I have backyard envy over this breathtaking wedding by Camillia Courts Photography. With an all encompassing magnificent view, one might find it hard to compete. But this isn’t just your normal DIY bride, she’s an event coordinator in the making. With the help of Swan Lake Nurseryland and a heart full of ideas, this couple created a flawless event. If this were my backyard I would never leave, thankfully there are plenty of photos to lust over.

From the Bride… Alex and I met in 2006 through mutual friends in high school. After many months of double dates and flirting, in the summer of 2007, we began dating. The next few years were filled with post-secondary education, small trips and the tragic loss of my mother. Life had its ups and downs, but it kept going and so did we. I fell in love with weddings, and in 2009 decided to take an online part-time event management course at Mount Royal University in Alberta, and Alex began working towards his civil engineering degree in Kelowna. Alex moved to Kelowna and I stayed in Vernon, visiting on the weekends or when we could. In 2011, as school eventually slowed down, Alex got a position for his co-op in Vernon, and he moved home. We had discussed getting married many times, and it finally had become a reality. On Canada Day after the fireworks Alex “surprised” me at the foot of my bed with a proposal, and I of course said YES! I was so excited to finally make it official and put all my creativity to use. Not wanting to wait until next summer, we decided to get married September 4th of Labor Day weekend, the last hooray before summer’s end. With only two quickly approaching months to plan our big day, I got to work quickly!

The planning process was my favourite, and I wanted my overall look for the wedding to be DIY, romantic, simple and soft. I had ideas for everything, and of course I wanted to do everything myself within two months. In other words, I was on a crazy mission to get it done. Choosing the venue was the easiest of part of the whole planning process and was much of what prompted us to get married that summer. I had spent most my life at our lake house, either traveling up for holidays as a kid or living there for my teenage years. This house held so many family memories, and I really couldn’t imagine a better place to get married. As for the decor, I wanted everything to reflect us and create an intimate setting for our guests. Most of the vintage decor was my parents’ that they had collected over the years. With the help of all our family members, our day was shaping up perfectly. We also wanted our wedding to be affordable, so everything from the candy bar and the antique pie stands to the signs and centrepieces was homemade.

Our day had finally come, and we were surrounded by all of our favourite people and lucky to have a gorgeous, hot summer day. We chose to have our pictures done first as we wanted our ceremony to be followed by our reception. Everyone was carefree and thankful to be spending time with family and friends. It was so important to us to be able to cherish each moment of the day, and we were lucky to be able to visit with most of our guests. One of my favourite moments of the day was just after the ceremony when a train decided to pass on the tracks above our house. It was like it had known to hold off, and it had everyone laughing! The reception kicked off with a buffet, all made by our family, and was then followed by speeches and, finally, dancing on the end of the dock. Our wedding day was a true reflection of us as a couple and everything we could have asked for!

Wedding Photography:  Camillia Courts Photography / Wedding Venue: The Bride’s Family’s Lake House in Coldstream, British Columbia / Wedding Planning + Decor: DIY by the Bride / Flowers: Swan Lake Nurseryland + Arranged by the Bride / Officiant: Will Wiens / Catering: DIY by the Bride’s Family / Rentals: Nor-Val Event Rentals / DJ: Okanagan Entertainment DJ Services / Wedding Dress: White by Vera Wang / Hair: Chatters / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Victoria’s Secret / Men’s Suits: Tip Top Tailors