A Country Estate Wedding

HANNAH + MIGUEL

Our wedding day was really the culmination of a challenging, stressful, yet thankfully successful year for both of us.  We got engaged in April 2015 while on a hike in Southern California. While the promise of a life together was exciting, we both recognized that planning a wedding in addition to the upcoming year’s already packed agenda was a daunting task. I was entering a year-long marathon of studying for my professional exams, while Miguel prepared applications and travelled country-wide to interview for professional training positions – all while working long hours and hectic, often mismatched, schedules.

In fact, I think we learned that we actually work best when under pressure. Together, we decided what our wedding day priorities would be: 1) Food 2) Photography and 3) Music. Our goal was to create an intimate outdoor celebration surrounded by our closest friends and families. We sought ways to bring personal meaning to the ceremony, food & drink and overall experience, while representing our different backgrounds. We wanted to be truly present and “in the moment” (a difficult feat given our typically chaotic schedules) and feel completely at ease.

Our friends and family truly stepped up in helping us prepare for the big day. We had chosen a beautiful venue with weeping willows, old stone buildings and beautiful grounds on which to pitch a reception tent. The only catch was that we were responsible for all set-up and preparation. After enlisting the assistance of our families and wedding party, we spent a sweltering day setting up the site and ended, exhausted, with a rehearsal food truck dinner on site. It was the perfect way to zone in on the calm, relaxed feeling we hoped to achieve the following day.

With the help of a Day-Of Coordinator, the day went off without a hitch. The little personal details came together perfectly to create a sense of warmth and love. From the recipe box guest book made by an uncle, the wooden centrepiece boxes crafted by another uncle, and the welcome sign and seating chart scripted by my mom – it felt like home. We wrote our own ceremony, with secret parts written for one another to hear for the first time then and there. I think we managed to capture us, and our relationship, in a unique and meaningful way.

For the food and drink, we chose a local restaurant and catering company, Twisted Lemon. With their expertise, we managed to express our love of food perfectly. Our favourite dishes were turned into appetizer-sized samplers and our choice cocktails were put on display as signature drinks. We even managed to order gelato on dry ice to serve as a late night treat – our go-to summer dessert. By the end of the night, we were successfully stuffed!

The day ended with dancing in the stone carriage house. We curated our own playlist online in order to incorporate the diverse music tastes of both families – mine Canadian, and Miguel’s Venezuelan. The highlight of the evening was a Girls vs. Guys dance-off to a selection of songs, including Thriller, Single Ladies, Salsa and Turn Down for What… quite the mix of styles!

During the planning process, we had heavily debated whether to hire a videographer. In the end, we decided against it, but I was worried that all the emotions and moments of the day would be lost. Through her photos, however, Brittany managed to capture every expression as though it were on film. From my dad’s reaction, to Miguel’s first look, she perfectly captured the moments that are burned in our minds. Some of our absolute favourites are the photos of us crying –we are an emotional family! Brittany was fun, laid back, and organized. We love how she managed to sneak into the background and catch genuine expression so flawlessly. We are so grateful to have these memories portrayed forever. Thank you, Brittany!

Looking back, I don’t think we could have planned a day that better encompassed us, as a couple, and our new marriage. The weather was tranquil, the food reminiscent, the venue and details so intimate. After a pretty wild year, we were finally able to let go, relax and enjoy all our hard work.

-Hannah & Miguel

 

Photography by Brittany Fleming