Weddings are a celebration of two families coming together, but when this lovely Bride and her tightly-knit family tragically lost a brother during the planning process, she knew she had to honor him in some way, and how she did gives me goosebumps. From one of his shirts, she cut out a heart (from where his heart would be), and had it sewn into her wedding dress covering her own heart and keeping him close on his special day. See all of the sweet details, photographed by Jacqueline Elizabeth Photography, and share in this wonderful couple’s well-deserved joy.
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From Jacqueline Elizabeth Photography… Brie comes from an amazing family. Her Mom recently won Wal-mart’s Mom of The Year, just to give you an idea. Her family adopted 4 kids from the Dominican Republic, and they are always helping others whether it’s helping a village (literally!), or raising money for charity. Brie takes after her Mom quite a bit. She is the most incredible step-mom a kid could ask for, with the biggest heart. Making beautiful handmade costumes, baking incredible cakes, building blanket forts, and teaching Lexi everything a little girl should know. She completed Nathans little family, and they make each other a better person.
After New Year’s Brie came to town to go dress shopping, and we hung out and discussed wedding plans. What was supposed to be one of the happiest times in her life took a halt that Monday, when her brother Damian was killed in a tragic car accident. I cannot fathom what their family went through knowing how close they were, but I can honestly say at Brie & Nathan’s wedding it felt like he was there with us. A heart cut out of one of his shirts (where his heart would be), and sewn inside her dress covering her heart to make sure he was close to her. I felt lucky to have been there, to witness the love, and two amazing families coming together. Everyone camped out that weekend, laughing, and sharing stories. And did I mention everyone was welcome to bring their pups, and we had brunch? It doesn’t get much better than that! Brie made the decor herself, putting her crafting to good use.
From the beautiful Bride… Nathan and I were married in a friend’s backyard on an amazing blue sky day in early September. It was a bit of a gamble, because the fall weather can be so unpredictable in Alberta, but we really lucked out. We ended up getting the first snow of the season the next day!
Planning the wedding ended up being much more challenging that I had anticipated. Two days after I found my wedding dress, my younger brother was killed in a car accident. I can’t even begin to describe what it felt like to plan my wedding knowing that he wouldn’t be there. It was really overwhelming when we finally started trying to get things moving again, but my husband was incredibly supportive and together we came up with some amazing ways to honour my brother on our wedding day. His best friends were our ushers, we saved him a seat for him in the front row with my family, and I had a heart cut from one of his old dress shirts and sewn into my wedding dress. All the little things we did made it feel like he was there with us throughout the day.
Nathan and I wanted to have a really laid back feel to the entire day. We chose to have a morning wedding followed by the most delicious brunch. Everything was in one location and many of our guests camped on site for the entire weekend. We were a little worried about how our daytime dance party would turn out, but thanks to our fantastic DJ, a few mimosas, and all of the super enthusiastic kiddos who attended, it was big hit.
Our ceremony was short, sweet and full to the top with love and laughter. Christal Earle, a very dear family friend and all around amazing lady, flew all the way from the Dominican Republic to marry us. I’m the very lucky step-mama to Nathan’s daughter Lexie and we wanted to make sure that we included her in our ceremony, since we were coming together as a family, not just a couple. I had separate vows just for Lexie that I read to her before Nathan and I read our vows to each other.
The decor was extremely DIY. Nearly everything was handmade, from the arch at our ceremony site to 1500 tissue paper tassels that were used to decorate our tent. Our amazing family and friends were the only reason our wedding was even remotely possible. They put countless hours into helping me make decorations, setting everything up and making sure that everything ran smoothly. My one big piece of advice to any bride would be to ask for help when you need it so you don’t burn yourself out. I don’t know what I would have done without our small army of helpers and all of their hot glue guns.
There were some things that didn’t go quite the way I had planned but on the day it didn’t seem to matter and even now, I wouldn’t change a thing. The day was 100% true to who we are as a couple and we had so much fun!
Photography: Jacqueline Elizabeth Photography | Floral Design: La Petite Jaune Fleur | Wedding Dress: Leanne Marshall | Shoes: Jeffery Campbell | Catering: Cilantro & Chive | Makeup: Shenise Boser | Hair: Danielle Chiasson Of Crop Hair Boutique | DJ: Juiced Audio | Groom's Attire: Hugo Boss | Venue: Private Farm