From the wedding planners, Candice, Karen, and Laura of Rustic Wedding:
As world-travelling wedding photographers themselves, Virginia and Evan knew they wanted their wedding to be different, personal, non-traditional, and just as much about their family and friends coming together as it was about them. On a budget, the most important wedding elements to this couple were photography, a unique and personal ceremony, creating a relaxed and entertaining dinner, and of course the dance. With photography as a top priority, the couple enlisted their friend and incredible photographer Fer Juaristi to document their day.
When their first venue in Calgary, AB cancelled on them, Vee and Evan were on the hunt to find a venue that could accommodate their wedding date last minute. They looked to the Shuswap (located in between Calgary and Vancouver) where luckily Rustic Wedding located at High Country Tree Farm had a cancellation of our own on that date. This venue combines the ceremony and reception site, vintage décor, wedding planning services, and floral design into one all-inclusive package.
Located on a completely private wild tree farm, a dilapidated paintball fort is the scene for this ceremony site. Built years ago by venue owner Karen’s children, the completely wooded fort offered the perfect moody tone for this alternative couple. A 5-minute walk from the reception hall, guests walk through a grassy meadow to get to the edge of the forest. There; skinny paths take them over a bridge, through fallen trees and under a twig arch where they arrive at a bohemian-inspired ceremony site. Persian rugs, antique lanterns, hundreds of paper cranes and a natural cedar bough backdrop are accents in the scrap wood fort. Alternating levels, platforms, tire walls, fallen birch trees, bridges, and graffiti all make up this unique and eclectic site.
Their Buddhist-Christian fusion ceremony incorporated their closest family and friends to bear witness to their commitment to each other and physically hold them through parts of their ceremony. This touching moment was truly unique to this bride and groom.
From the Bride and Groom:
When our closest friends gathered around us during our ceremony we felt so much love pouring into our relationship. We couldn’t believe how this one moment shaped our whole wedding day. This ceremony was an adventure for all that attended.
Cocktail hour was located in our venue’s barn and a champagne and popcorn bar waited for guests as they walked back from the ceremony site.
Next guests were invited to the main lawn where all the tables usually set up in the barn lined the backyard for dinner under the stars. Bistro lights lit dinner, and locally picked boxwood and cedar garlands created by the venue lined the wood slab tables. Venue owners also collected 110 antique chairs (even stealing from their own dining sets!) to give the bride the bohemian and eclectic look she wanted. Centerpiece décor included vintage green glass, apples and plums from the property’s orchard, brass candlesticks, and eclectic brass animals. With no formal bridal party, flowers were simple and we put together a bouquet straight from onsite flower beds using both dried and fresh flowers. British Columbia experienced a drought that summer and as luck would have it, it rained the morning of the wedding for the first time in 60 days. But the skies magically cleared hours before dinner and the sun came out just in time.
Dinner was served family-style on wine barrel platters to ensure interaction with the guests and to give the wedding an intimate feel.
This non-traditional couple didn’t want hours of speeches and instead opted for a fun and interactive game of movie trivia complete with chocolate bar rewards. The couple then shared a magical first dance under the twinkle lights and open sky surrounded by their loved ones. After an ice cream bar for dessert, guests changed into 80’s inspired costumes and headed up to the dancing barn. The bride and groom played DJ and after attending hundreds of weddings themselves, they meticulously put together their own epic wedding playlist.
In keeping with exactly what they wanted on their wedding day, no cake was cut and pizza was served at the midnight snack. Piñatas entertained guests (candy for the kids and mini liquor bottles for the grownups) and vintage furniture surrounding gas fire pits kept guests warm during the cool September night. A local church group shuttled guests safely home to their lake rentals at the end of the night.
Advice from the Bride and Groom
Find your way to think outside of the box. A wedding is a time of creation and self-exploration. It reflects who you are and to us that just meant a wedding with a ceremony under a treehouse and big piñata on the dance floor.
Musical Choices: The Oh Hellos, Gregory Alan Isakov, Bombay Bicycle Club