images by Eee and Bee
complete with a first-dance performance by local band The Collective West, a hot chocolate and donut bar featuring artisan treats by Frickin’ Delights Donuts, and a dreamy winter landscape, Heather and Chris’ winter wedding is full of great ideas and personalized details. plus, Heather has some great advice for planning a wedding in edmonton – read the full story below, and be sure to check out the highlight video of their wedding at the bottom of this post!
how did you meet?
Chris and I met when we were 15 working at McDonald’s. I was getting more fries and he was loading up the fryer basket with chicken nuggets. Right after Chris and I started dating, I was promoted to manger, which has worked for us even outside of McDonald’s, since I am definitely the more bossy one. Although there were growing pains taking our relationship from our teen years, we’ve been able to grow up together, and now we’re ready to see what the future will bring.
what was the proposal like?
A complete surprise! We had just bought a condo off Whyte Ave, and I figured it would be a few years before we were ready to take that next step, but Chris had other plans. He drove out to my family’s cabin on Wabuman Lake the day before to deliver the supplies, then we headed out the next day to enjoy a summer weekend on the lake. He set up a pathway lined with candles, and came inside to take me out while his friend, Mike, watched the candles to make sure they didn’t blow out. He asked me to come look for Mike outside, and I took some convincing, as I had no idea what was going on, and was sitting inside enjoying a snack, but I finally came around. We walked around the corner and he said “I think you know what’s happening… There we were, lakefront and surrounded by candles, and he dropped to one knee and proposed.
tell us about the planning process!
The first surprise was Chris himself – he wanted to be so involved! He truly was my partner in all wedding planning activities. This was great because I am a little high strung, and Chris is way more relaxed. He was so good at calming me down when things got overwhelming. Which, while they did sometimes, I feel like we got really lucky, because a lot of things just fell into place. Our venue, flowers, makeup artists, and donuts all came to me, and for the most part, we were in sync with how we wanted it to turn out. We both agreed, if we were going to have a big wedding, we wanted to make sure we did it right.
The biggest thing for us was music – Chris and I are very into music, and wanted to express ourselves with the songs that played as we walked down the aisle, signed the marriage certificate, and had our first dance as husband and wife. This was probably one of the most considered and heavily curated parts of our day.
was there anything you were worried wouldn’t work, but turned out awesome?
Two things were keeping me up at night. The first was day-of décor. Our venue (Windermere Golf and Country Club) does all your decorating for you. While I loved and trusted the ladies there, I had some concerns about whether or not they would be able to execute the image I had in my mind. I lost sleep over nothing, because not only did they execute my vision, but they made it more beautiful than I could’ve imagined!
The second was our first dance. Right after we got engaged I stumbled across a beautiful song, “Call it Home” by The Collective West, a local Edmonton band. As luck would have it, a few band members are friends of friends and one day we all went out for wings together. After some conversation about weddings (our friend was also getting married) we started talking about first dance songs and I admitted to the band members that I actually wanted to dance to their song. They offered to come and play a live, acoustic version. Chris took all the planning with the band and I just crossed my fingers that everything would work out. They were a hit, and such a fantastic touch!
what was the best moment of the day?
I have always loved the speeches at weddings! Since I was younger and started attending all of my cousins’ weddings, I looked forward to laughing with the couple at shared stories, getting sentimental while reminiscing, and watching the bride and groom be enveloped by all the love in the room. We picked each of our speakers because they were special to us, and we knew they would be unique and touching. We had it all! Humour, earnestness, lots of tears, and so much love. It warmed my heart. Chris had prepared some very kind words at the end of all the speeches for me, and it is something I’ll always carry with me.
The second best moment was waking up and seeing snow! We knew we wanted a winter wedding, and it had rained in the days leading up to the wedding, effectively washing away all the snow that had been accumulating. To wake up and see the white stuff floating gracefully to the ground made the day feel like it was meant to be.
got any advice for someone planning an edmonton wedding?
I know summer weddings are popular, but I really encourage people to think about having a winter wedding! Edmonton is beautiful when it is covered in sparkly white snow, and it really makes your wedding colours pop! Plus it makes planning a little easier, since most vendors aren’t battling competing priorities and can focus on your wedding alone.
Winter weddings allow you to get a little inventive! To help make our day more cozy, we had a hot chocolate and donut bar, which was probably the element I was MOST excited about.
Also – get out there and meet people! Even though Edmonton’s population is growing, there are times when this city feels like a small town. We had donuts instead of a wedding cake, and we found our vendor just by perusing the Old Strathcona Farmers Market and sampling some of her delectable treats. I still make an effort to stop by Saturday afternoons for donuts, as a little reminder of how fabulous our day was.
vendor shoutouts – what vendors made your day awesome?
photography + videography: Eee and Bee Photography and Films by Eee – Husband and wife photography and videography team. So friendly, funny, and easy to work with. They captured the majority of our day through my favourite kinds of photos – candids!
decor + rentals: River City Events – personalized service and great decorating advice!
dress: Bridal Debut – I was struggling to find a dress, because I loved them all! Bridal Debut was the third shop we visited, and Roisin knew me better than I knew myself, she pulled the dress and made the ‘say yes to the dress’ moment for me!
groom + groomsmen’s attire: Derks – they outfitted Chris and all our groomsmen and helped us to accommodate our out of town groomsmen
men’s accessories: The Briefing Room – by far the coolest socks and mens accessories! If you are headed to Derks, stop by here and check them out!
transportation: Eternity Limousines – not only did they chauffeur us around, but they helped us to set up a shuttle service to take our guests home at the end of the night, so no one had to try to deal with the snow on the roads!
DJ: Wolfman DJ Services – he has done so many friends weddings, and asking him to do ours was a no brainer. He goes with the flow of the night and makes sure everyone is having a good time!
officiant: Tammy from Meaningful Ceremonies. She helped us to customize our ceremony and helped relax us, both on rehearsal day and the day of!
here’s the sweet video of Chris + Heather’s wedding, by Films by Eee:[vimeo 115241650 w=700 h=441]
got an edmonton wedding you’d like to see featured on yegwed? get in touch! we’d love to hear from you.