We all know that DIY weddings aren’t necessarily easy.  They take a lot of hard work and determination, foresight and creativity.  In other words, if you are a DIYer out there in SMP-land crafting the heck out of your wedding, I salute you.  Because there’s nothing that floors me more than a drop-dead gorgeous day that’s a true labor of love organized by an awesome bride and groom + amazing friends and family.  And you know what?  This wedding is all of the above + a whole lot of pretty.  See every last moment captured by Marie Skerl in the full gallery.

From the Bride… Whimsical, romantic, meaningful and personal. Those are the words I would use to describe the way Mark and I wanted our wedding day to feel.

Mark and I got engaged on October 16, 2012 on the edge of the Fraser River in Fort Langley. While slow dancing, surrounded by flickering candles and photographs documenting our journey together, Mark dropped to one knee and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. Nine months later we danced to that same song, on our wedding day.

After our dream-like engagement, we began the fury of wedding preparations and DIY projects. Mark and I LOVE to make things and I have always loved event planning – the little details are what make it so special! We wanted to incorporate Mark’s love of nature and wood (he has a passion for building guitars) and my love of all things romantic and sentimental! I had visions of beautiful fabric bunting and Edison light bulbs draped like a canopy over top of our guests to create an intimate and memorable atmosphere. I wanted our guests to feel like they were a part of our day not just spectators.

We drew on the amazing abilities of our friends wherever we could! Two gifted friends designed our wedding invitations and programs and one of our friends, Christina Willows, with a passion for flowers created our bouquets. Another friend who LOVES to bake, Melissa Suzuki, agreed to take on the task of creating a ‘sweet’ table including homemade cake pops, cookies and jam jar pies! We borrowed mason jars from friends, collected coupons to purchase burlap and, whenever the opportunity presented itself, made (sometimes dangerous) stops by the side of the road to pick up branches and stumps to add to our decor collection! I made the boutonnieres for the guys, Mark and I designed our very own “kissing wheel” and Mark’s mum helped us to sew the beautiful bunting that hung overhead.

The day before our wedding we began the set-up process. Mark, his brothers and his father built a GORGEOUS arch right in the church parking lot! It was an amazing focal point and has now found a home in his parents backyard. We lined the aisle with bunting (borrowed from another friends wedding) and carefully placed the stumps and mason jars filled with flowers from his Aunt’s garden along the stage. Seeing as Mark and I weren’t able to get into the reception venue until the morning of, we hired an INCREDIBLE design team (Alyssa Short Designs) who understood our vision and could make our dream come to life! A very close friend served as our wedding officiant (his first wedding EVER) and he did an amazing job!

We had an incredible team of friends and family who assisted in the planning, set-up and tear down of our wedding. Although a DIY wedding can often be more work, for us it was worth it. We included interactive games for our guests and, accompanied by a friend on the guitar and harmonica, I sang a song for my groom. The highest compliment that was paid to us was, time and time again, hearing “that wedding was SUCH a reflection of you both”. We wanted our love for one another, for life, for our friends and our faith to shine through our wedding.

PS – I could also mention that, with help, I created a mood board for our bridesmaids and groomsmen to help with their attire. I wanted my girls to have a concept of what to wear but to have freedom/flexibility to choose a dress that suited them. Proud moment: none of my girls spent over $40 on their dresses!

Photographer: Marie Skerl | Dress: David's Bridal | Ceremony Venue: Fort Langley Evangelical Free Church | Reception Venue: Fort Langley Hall | Shoes: Ardene | Food: Watershed Cafe | Make-up: Celina Seib | Decor: Alyssa Short Design | Men's Outifts: H&M | Videographers: Kent and Holly Factora