Cheryl and Sean both love the autumn season, so they threw a wedding to celebrate the two of them “Falling” in love.
Date: September 26, 2015
Venue: The Gates on Roblin in Headingley, Manitoba near Winnipeg
Photographer: Kelly Bik Photography
Wedding Planner: N/A – Cheryl and Sean planned the event themselves
Cheryl met Sean when she started working at the same publishing company that he did. Although they met in 2006, they did not become a couple until 5 years later!
When I got together with Sean, it was like I was brought back to life. He is my best friend, and I feel like I finally know what love is.
How he proposed: We actually got engaged while we were on vacation in NYC, on top of the Empire State Building. This was on July 1, 2014, which is Canada Day. We bought some champagne glasses in the Empire State gift shop, and we toast the occasion every Canada Day. We took a video and posted it on Facebook, and that is how we told everyone. We were already living together (bought a condo in 2013), and knew we wanted to get married eventually. We were travelling with our friends from Spain, so we all had a toast in a pub somewhere near the Flatiron Building afterward.
Caterer: The Gates on Roblin
Officiant: We had a secular officiant who I found through a Facebook Group.
Florist: Monica at Timeless Florals. She was excellent to work with, so easygoing, and she delivered for free, and gave free rose petals for the aisle.
Linens: We used the white tablecloths and black napkins provided by the venue.
Lighting: Soft lighting provided by the venue, with candles on the tables
Wedding favors: My friend in BC is a beekeeper, and as her gift to us, she provided us with small jars of honey for our favours. I found some ribbon (on clearance!) that was black with silver “C”s and “S”s, so I used that to decorate the jars. I also ordered some individual tea bags with our names and date, and I put those together in little wooden crates which I had sprayed gold, and added little “Thank You” tags to them. They turned out pretty good, and we got a lot of compliments on them.
DJ/ Band: We didn’t have dancing, since it was just our ceremony then dinner and drinks. But a friend of Sean’s (they used to work together) is a local singer named Neil Keep. On one of our first dates, we had gone out for drinks in the lounge at the Inn at the Forks, and Neil was singing there. We had gone to see him a few times over the years, so it was very fitting for him to sing at our wedding. It was the first time he had sung at a wedding. He provided the music for us as we walked down the aisle, and after dinner he sang while people mingled. It was a big hit, with everyone singing along for some songs. That day was my sister’s husband’s birthday, so we all sang Happy Birthday to him, too.
Wedding Theme: We both love autumn, so we wanted an autumn theme. The tea packets said “Falling In Love” with autumn leaves.
Wedding colors: All Autumn colors
Flowers/ Centerpieces used: The centerpieces were square low vases with an assortment of flowers in autumn colors.
Wedding Dress: I bought it on eBay. It was an off-white, tea length BHLDN Omari dress, with sleeves.
Bridesmaids Dresses: My sister was my only Bridesmaid/ Maid of Honor. So, I offered to buy her a dress of her choosing (up to $250), but she had a sage green Ted Baker dress she wanted to use, so that is what she chose.
Tuxedos/ suits: Sean’s mom bought him a navy suit with an orange tie.
Shoes: I used some shoes I already had, Chelsea Crew Gallery Opener Heel in jade. I got many compliments on the shoes, and my feet did not ache at the end of the night!
Rings: My rings are white gold and Canadian Ice diamonds. Sean’s is a mix of white and yellow gold which was custom designed.
Jewelry: I bought a bracelet in NYC which matched my ring, and wore a necklace and earrings I already had. The best part was Sean’s cuff links. He is a Mac IT consultant, so is an Apple junkie. He got some blue cuff links in the shape of the Apple logo. They looked great.
Wedding Party: One Maid of Honor, One Best Man.
Vows: We had the option of writing our own vows, but I knew I would likely flake out during the ceremony and not be able to remember them. So we went with the standard vows provided by the officiant. So glad we did that, because I was nervous, but happy, and when we were saying our vows we were both tearing up, and I knew I would have been a blubbering mess if we’d gone with something custom.
First Dance Song: We didn’t officially have dancing, since the dining room was small, but we were goaded to get up and dance by Neil. So our first dance was to Willie Nelson’s “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before”. It was actually pretty funny. Our folks also got up and danced too, in between the tables.
Wedding Song: We walked down the aisle to Pachelbel’s Canon. We walked out together; I didn’t want to be given away. I don’t like the symbolism of that.
Honeymoon details and location: We initially wanted to go to Napa Valley and San Francisco (Sean really wants to visit Apple) but we were unable to go, so we looked for a Canadian destination instead. We ended up in the Maritimes, staying in Amherst, Nova Scotia in an amazing bed and breakfast owned by another former coworker of Sean’s. Then also to Cape Breton and finally to Prince Edward Island. And we loved it! We fell in love with the area and have since gone back to PEI, and would like to eventually move to Nova Scotia.
What was your old, new, borrowed, blue? I borrowed an antique brooch from Sean’s mom, and I didn’t have anything blue (not my color). The jewelry and dress were new. I guess I’m not much of a traditionalist.
Most Memorable moment: It’s hard to come up with one moment, but the main memory I have is the feeling of warmth, friendship, and camaraderie from everyone that day. I haven’t heard of any problems or complaints from anyone. Everyone told us they had a great time and enjoyed the day.
You and your husbands’ wedding advice: Keep it simple, and talk ahead of time about what you want. Things were easier for us because we are in our 40s, and didn’t have any sort of family pressure. We paid for everything ourselves, and tried to keep things as simple and easy as possible.
Did you hand-make or DIY any wedding items? The weather at the end of September in Winnipeg can be unpredictable. Since our ceremony was outdoors, we weren’t sure how it would go. So I made a capelet to go over the dress in case it was cool out. I went to NYC with my sister in April 2015 and bought some nice silk at Mood Fabrics for the capelet. The brooch I borrowed served as the clasp, but as it turned out, the weather was very warm so I didn’t end up wearing it. Also, Sean has some graphic design experience, so he did our invitations, as well as the table number signage, and the seating chart.
What was the biggest roadblock that you ran into while planning the wedding? We had a lot of time to plan, and we knew we wanted to be a one-stop wedding where we could have photos, ceremony, dinner, all in one place. I’d been to the Gates for an office X-mas party a year before, so I knew the venue was nice and the food was good. Once we had the date and venue booked, it was easy to make everything else fall into place. Really, the hardest part was coordinating with Sean, since he is always super busy, so a lot of the planning fell to me.
Who/what gave you the most help in the planning process? Working with the planner at the venue was good, but things weren’t very difficult because we did not want an onerous, complicated day.
How much influence did your family/ fiancé have in the planning process? Family wasn’t really involved, but we did consider them when planning (grandmother in a wheelchair, she couldn’t negotiate stairs well, etc). My sister helped with some minor things, but I really didn’t want to burden people with stuff. I wanted everyone to have a relaxed good time, and not have to do much. We didn’t even have speeches, because I honestly didn’t care. People made toasts, and we got up and thanked everyone for coming, and Neil kind of acted as MC, but it was all really casual.
Which part of the process gave you the most stress? It took us a while to book a photographer, since that was Sean’s department (he’s done photography and videography for weddings in the past). We were hoping for a friend of his to do it, but he was too busy with his new job. He did give us Kelly’s name, and he acted as second shooter, so in a way, we ended up working with him anyway. I’d booked hair and makeup way early. The biggest problem was with the dress from eBay. It came from Texas, and I ended up being charged twice for shipping, so it was a hassle dealing with them and FedEx to get the dress released.
What did you do that you found helped out with stress the best? Sean was on my side with the eBay problem, and he took the lead when dealing with them. I got the charges reversed, so it all ended up ok. I had fun making the favors, and Sean helped me with them, so we had a good time. I really didn’t have much stress at all. Although wine always helps!
Is there anything that didn’t go as planned? The only bad thing was the wind that day! All week it was sunny and warm, but on our wedding day, the wind was crazy! At least I had a lot of pins in my hair, but I was worried I was going to lose my fascinator. Sean was disappointed with how his hair looked in the photos because of the wind.
What was your favorite part of the experience/ event? I loved it all, especially being surrounded by friends and family. Our friends from Spain came (my friend Maria is my closest, dearest friend), we had friends from Australia, and also from Vancouver. Some of Sean’s family from Colorado came too, so it was awesome. It was a big reunion. We had 60 people, total, so it was a cozy experience.
If you could go back in time, what would you have changed? I would have looked into invitations earlier. Sean wanted letterpress, and because of his graphic design background, he wanted to design them, but finding a printer took a while and we ran out of time, plus it was a small print run. We ended up printing them ourselves. But I liked what we ended up with way more than the proposed letterpress ones. We have a pet rabbit, and Sean incorporated him into the design. The main image was an autumn tree, with the bunny peeking around the trunk. It makes me smile every time I see it.
What did you do to save money? Shopped around for flowers, bought some decorations on clearance after the fall season the year before, printed our own invitations, made our own favors.
What was your biggest splurge? The largest cost was the food and booze at the end of the night. I guess the dress was my biggest splurge. It cost me US$500, and I never spent that much on clothing for myself (for a single article). But I was happy with it, and didn’t need to alter it at all.
Beautiful! Thanks for sharing your wedding story with us Cheryl!