Wedding Day Recap: Our Elegant + Rustic Farm Wedding
As much as I looked forward to my wedding day, I didn’t have lofty expectations. I certainly didn’t expect it to be the best day of my life. I simply wanted to celebrate our marriage in the presence of our family and friends and, above all, I wanted everyone to have fun. Looking back, though, I have to say October 15, 2016 was one for the books. Despite a few hiccups, it turned out better than I could have imagined. I would love to share the details here so we can remember from years to come.
We had our wedding at Adam’s parents’ house. They live on a farm and we had the spent the months leading up to the wedding prepping the property and decorating the barn, where we held the reception. Adam and his dad even built the bar themselves out of tree stumps and barn board. The backdrop behind the head table was also built from bard board and then decorated with lights, which was one of my favourite décor details.
The Friday beforehand, we hosted a rehearsal dinner at the property for our families, wedding party, and out of town guests. Everyone was giddy with excitement. I was so happy to see everyone I loved in one place and it felt surreal that we would be married the very next day. After a BBQ and our fair share of wine, we called it a night around 10 pm to get ready for the big day – me sleeping at my parents’ house and Adam at our home.
Saturday came and the weather was perfect. I’d been a little nervous because October in Southwestern Ontario can be hit or miss. We’ve have October weekends that are sunny and warm, but also those that are blustery and rainy, or even snowing. I needn’t have worried. October 15, 2016 was sunny and about 20 degrees Celsius with a slight breeze – the best weather for a wedding if you ask me.
I woke up early, at 6 am, to shower and the hair and makeup crew arrived shortly after. They got to work putting my hair in curlers and my bridal party arrived at 7:30 am, taking turns getting their hair and makeup done as well. We had so much fun drinking mimosas, listening to our favourite music, and chatting the morning away. I was really trying to soak everything in because it was my wedding day, of course, but also because ours was the last wedding of SIX we had celebrated that summer and fall for close friends. I felt nostalgic that the wedding season of 2016, and all the fun we’d had, was coming to a close.
Before we knew it, the limo arrived and it was time to head to the farm for the “first look” with Adam and our photos. When we arrived, Adam’s brother and Best Man led him out of the house, blindfolded, while I waited for him. I just remember everyone cheering and smiling. We then proceeded to take photos with our wedding party, our families, and each other.
If anyone is on the fence about whether to do a first look or not, I HIGHLY recommend it! I have absolutely no regrets about this decision. Seeing each other before the ceremony really put us at ease. Most importantly for us, it got all of our photos out of the way before the ceremony, so that we could actually visit with our guests during the cocktail hour. We didn’t want to miss our own party, after all! (Note: The only thing I would do differently is adjust the timeline. The women arrived at the farm for photos at 1 pm, but we got a little rushed as guests started to arrive shortly after 3 pm. If I had a do-over, I would make sure we started photos by noon).
After photos, the wedding party and our families gathered inside the house for a quick toast as our guests were being seated, and before we knew it, it was go time.
The ceremony started at 4 pm and was underway right on time. We’d had a backup plan to have the ceremony inside the barn, but due to the gorgeous weather we had it outside, which I was thrilled about. To be honest, the ceremony was a bit of a blur but three things stand out to me:
- Walking down the aisle with my dad. I was concentrating on holding my dress up and trying not to fall the whole time, but I won’t forget that moment with him. He kissed me and told me he loved me as our song, Crazy Love by Van Morrison, came on and we set off down the aisle arm in arm.
- Seeing all of our family and friends in the audience who were there to celebrate with us was surreal. I wish I’d had longer to take it all in, but I was focused on making it down the aisle to get to Adam.
- Smiling at Adam all throughout the ceremony while we said, and sometimes stumbled though (!) our vows, which produced a lot of laughter and made our ceremony light hearted, which is so fitting for our relationship.
When the officiant pronounced us husband and wife we basically pranced back down the aisle and Adam lifted me into the air as we hugged each other. Soon, our guests joined us and there was a lot of embracing and congratulations and drinking throughout the cocktail hour.
My cousin, who I grew up with, was our MC and she did the most beautiful job. She surprised us by reaching out to all of our aunts and uncles, parents and grandparents before the wedding to ask them for a piece of marriage advice, which she shared during the course of dinner. They were equally hilarious and heartwarming.
We had a buffet dinner followed by one of my favourite desserts: pumpkin pie, which was fitting for a fall weekend right after Canadian Thanksgiving. My sister and Maid of Honour, Adam’s brother and Best Man, my best friend Laura, and both of our parents gave speeches afterwards, and I think I was both laughing and crying the entire time.
Soon, it was time for first dances. Adam and I danced to “Love Your Love the Most” by Eric Church. The first year we were dating, we went to an Eric Church concert and played that song on repeat, singing it to each other the whole ride to Detroit. So, even though there are many songs we love, that one was perfect for our first dance as husband and wife. Adam and his Mom then danced to “Happens in a Heartbeat,” followed by my Dad and I to “Butterfly Kisses” by Bob Carlisle, which has ALWAYS been our song. Before getting engaged, I hadn’t given much thought to my wedding day, but if there was thing I knew ever since I was a little girl, it was that I would dance with my Dad to Butterfly Kisses on my wedding day. It makes me cry every time, and my wedding day was no exception. Afterwards, we surprised our guests by having the DJ fade into “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” by Meatloaf, and my dad and I started to jive, which got everyone else on the dancefloor as well.
From then on out, the dance floor wasn’t empty for the rest of the night. I spent most of the night dancing with various guests, but at one point Adam and I stepped outside to the biggest, most beautiful harvest moon lighting up the fields. We could not have planned it better.
As great as it was, the day flew by. I loved every detail, from the flowers to the colours to the music to perfect fall day. But what really made it memorable and incredibly special were the people. We got to celebrate our love and start our marriage in front of the people we love most in the world and party the night away with them afterwards. We felt the love all day long. That’s what weddings are all about, after all.