images by Erin Sweet Photography
this stunningly simple two-day wedding includes plenty of thoughtful handmade touches, and a very family-focused celebration. photographer Erin Sweet shares a few of her favourite elements of Gwen and Ian’s unique edmonton wedding:
‘Gwen and Ian are originally from Ontario and are here in Edmonton for work. They had a lot of family and friends fly in for this special event. They decided to do it in two days…the first day was the ceremony and brunch. The second day was photos (with me!) and then the reception.
Gwen’s dress was made by her mom, who sewed in a special message at the bottom of her dress. The two days were very intimate as most of their family and friends were from Ontario and they just spent the two days celebrating. They didn’t have any bridesmaids or groomsmen but instead had all their family friends there.’
read on for more details from Gwen about their love story and how they planned such a personal, intimate wedding day!
how did you meet?
We met at a Metric concert in our fourth year of University. A friend of mine photobombed a picture he and his friends were taking, so they turned around to chat and we hit it off!
what was the proposal like?
Ian’s proposal was magical! We were travelling through Europe, and had made it to the island of Santorini in Greece just days before our 4th anniversary. We went to watch the sunset in the village of Oia, and just as the sun finally dipped under the gorgeous pink mediterranean sea Ian dropped to one knee. I don’t know if either of us really knows exactly what words he said to me- we were both so happy and excited! A few hours later, once we had both calmed down somewhat, he asked again to which I again gave a resounding ‘yes!’
tell us about the planning process…
I was never much for planning a wedding. I had a few ‘pins’ on pinterest, but no binder of information that many other brides seem to have. In fact, because I was so nonchalant about planning the whole thing Ian and I were engaged for two and a half years before we really sat down and began to book and plan things! We decided we wanted a small and intimate affair, and had previously been to a party held at the Yellowhead Brewery, so our first step was to book that venue for the reception. Since most of our guests were coming ffrom out-of-town we booked a Thursday night for the reception, and being mid-week meant that we could get a date that was only 4 months away. Since we had a short time to plan things, we also went for easy and laid-back plans as much as possible (ie outdoor ceremony with less than 30 guests, at the free park location at the Royal Alberta Museum, brunch afterwards at the Urban Diner on 124th street, an evening cocktail reception, a local musician who we love to play the reception, and a local baker to do our pies for dessert). We were really lucky and everything fell into place relatively easily, and the only thing we had to scrap was our plan to walk from the museum grounds to the restaurant along the 102 street bridge over Groat – as the bridge was (and still is) out!
what was the best moment of the day?
The best moment of the day(s) were: as I stepped out of the car my mom and dad and I drove up in, and the reality that I was finally marrying the love of my life set in, and I began to cry out of happiness and could not stop all through the ceremony; as my sister performed a song she wrote just for us as we signed the registry; and the next day at our reception as Ian and I danced our first dance as husband and wife surrounded by all the people I love most in the world!
got any advice for someone planning an edmonton wedding?
My advice for planning an Edmonton wedding is to take advantage of all the natural outdoor beauty the city has to offer! For all our out-of-town guests the surroundings for our wedding really took them by surprise, as Edmonton doesn’t always get the best rap in other parts of Canada (let alone Alberta). We used as many independent and local artists, venues, and establishments as possible also, and everyone we dealt with was so amazing and helpful – Edmonton is full of so many lovely and community minded individuals, we felt supported by not only our friends and family but even by people we had only just met in the planning process!
reception venue: Yellowhead Brewery – Ido (and everyone else) at the Yellowhead Brewery… He was so helpful, and the fact that he runs all the events meant he was able to guide our choices in ways that made sense for the size of our group (I had no idea how many hot canape’s my guest list of 75 would need!)
photography: Erin Sweet – She was so easy going, patient with us, and flexible! Everyone has raved about the beautiful pictures she took (a co-worker even booked her for their wedding after seeing our photos!) but she was so good at putting Ian and I at ease, at getting all the photos we had wanted, and helping us to time out the days so that we got all the shots we had wanted.
officiant: Carillon Cameron – our wedding commissioner led us through an amazing and perfectly timed ceremony.
ceremony venue: Royal Alberta Museum
after-ceremony brunch: The Urban Diner
photo location: Louise McKinney Park
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