We are so happy to show off this unique wedding with a truly romantic love story. Here’s what wedding planner Nicolle Wilhauk had to say about working with this sweet couple….
“Working with this couple was an absolute dream and I am honoured to now call them friends. They are amazing people who are madly in love, so once the engagement happened, they worked fast to plan their dream wedding in six months.
Being flexible with their wedding date helped with booking the locations and we quickly secured the Stone Barn in Leduc for the ceremony and The Derrick Golf & Winter Club in Edmonton for the reception.
Blending the trendy theme of ‘rustic chic’ with their love of wine, we created their dream vision. Wine crates, wine bottles, gorgeous linens and beautiful florals brought together the wine-themed wedding perfectly.
On a gorgeous summery Friday, these two pledged their love to each other and I was so blessed to be their wedding planner!”
All images by Viewpoint Photography.
Now, you have to read their incredible love story, as told by the bride. Let me tell you – when this one landed in my inbox, I just couldn’t stop reading! I challenge you to get through this story without shedding a few tears…
How did you meet?
A love story of two farm kids that started 25 years ago with a 15 year old girls crush on an older guy…. Sounds like the start of a Danielle Steel novel or something, but no, this is our story. Before the story starts, just a bit of background, both Murray and I grew up on farms about 4 miles from each other, his was a dairy farm and mine has mixed grain and cattle.
I was babysitting at a neighbour’s house (for a wedding, ironically) and the place I was at was also the place where the groom and his groomsmen (one of them being Murray) were getting ready. I didn’t know any of the guys in the wedding party, as they were all in their early 20’s and why would I hang out with people that age (I was 15). Anyways, the guys were all done getting ready and before left, they all came out to the family room to do pictures or something and I was there with the kids (cause I was babysitting) and that’s when I caught a glimpse of him, groomsman #3, Murray, and I thought “Wow, he’s cute… for an older guy” and that’s where my crush started.
Now, this isn’t a going to become some creepy story where a 15 year old girl dates a 23 year old guy, besides that brief meeting on that wedding day, Murray really had no idea I existed, that wasn’t until I was 18 and some mutual neighbours, who knew about this “crush” I had, told him about me. They told him that there was a farm girl that they thought he should meet but the problem was I was away at college; so they gave him my number. I lived in a dorm and I shared a phone with a group of girls on my floor. One day, one of the girls came to me and said “Nicole, there is some guy on the phone for you”; I was kind of curious…. I answered the phone “Hello” and I heard ” Hi Nicole, this is Murray”… well my heart just dropped, even thinking about this now, I still get little knots of excitement in my stomach. We chatted for a bit but that really was as far as anything went.
It wasn’t until the following year after I graduated from college and I was back living at home, when we were set up at a community breakfast. Talk about awkward moments, two empty chairs among all of your parents, neighbours and friends …. Can you say “Fishbowl”?!?! We chatted but, like I said, the meeting wasn’t the most ideal. A couple weeks later, I called him up and asked him to go to the movies (a double date with my twin sister) and when the movie was over, we were chatting and I asked him if he’d like to escort me to my college grad (which was in a couple of weeks). He said “Sure”. Over the next few months, we went out on some more dates but then things just slowed down. I remember talking about what had happened years later, but all I could come up with was I just wasn’t ready, I was only 20 year old and I needed to figure my life out (I know – cheeseball answer) and I felt like we were under a microscope. Anyways, we decided to move on but remained friends, seeing each other occasionally.
Do you believe in angels? If you don’t… you might after this.
I was in town for a job interview, I knew that Murray’s mom had been in the hospital and she wasn’t doing well. When my interview was done, I was driving home, next thing I knew I was in the parking lot of the hospital. Now, to this point I had actually never met Murray’s family but my only intention was to see him and to let him know I was thinking of him during this tough time. As I walked down the hallway, Murray came out of the hospital room, turned, looked up and saw me and walked towards me; I gave him a big hug. He then told me to come in to the room, as I entered, his family was there with his mom, his dad woke her up and said “Nicole’s here.” I held her hand and she said to me, “I know you two will find each other one day”. The next day Murray’s mom lost her battle with cancer.
It was 13 years later, Murray and I saw each other at a Superbowl party but this time the circumstances were different, we were both single. We had chatted, exchanged numbers and said that we should go for a drink or something sometime. It wasn’t for another few months that Murray called me and asked to go for that drink. We went to a local pub for a drink, a 4 hour meeting over 1 beer… my stomach was in knots the whole time and I realized I hadn’t felt this way in a long time (which was a good feeling). Our next meeting was a coffee… again, 4 hours and 1 coffee, we had the greatest time just talking and getting to know each other all over again. We had a few more dates where we’d go for dinner, take in a park concert or just go for wine or a coffee… I was hooked. July of that year, I told my family that we were dating and they were ecstatic; not only did they really like Murray but they had never seen me so happy; in their words “We have our Nicole back, he has put that smile back on your face that has been missing for so long”. And he did and it has not left in the last 3 years.
As my twin sister said at our wedding, I had found my “Prince Farming”.
Tell us about the planning process! Was there anything you were worried wouldn’t work, but turned out awesome?
The initial planning process was a bit stressful because we decided that we didn’t want a long engagement, we waited long enough for this moment (and we weren’t getting any younger). We had decided that we wanted to get married in summer 2015 (6 months) at home (versus a destination wedding) because we wanted to be surrounded by all our amazing family and friends who have been on this journey with us.
Being from a family of grain farmers, marrying a grain farmer and looking at a summer wedding made the task of finding a date (reception and ceremony location) all that more challenging. Summer is peak wedding season and grain farming limited us to literally specific weeks … as we either had to get married before seeding (Mid Jan – Mid April) which would have given us 3 months to plan, a week at the end of May and the beginning of June but we couldn’t as our friends were getting married at that time so that left us with the two weeks at the beginning of July because Aug – Oct were harvest time.
We had a church location available (Rabbit Hill Baptist Church) but we were also on the hunt for a ceremony location that was outdoors and very unique, that’s when we found The Stone Barn in Leduc. It was perfect, as it totally represented who we were … two farm kids and went along with our theme “Rustic Chic Winery”. Now we had to try to coordinate a reception venue for 200 people; the things that were important to us at our reception venue was to have great food and drinks for our guests and we also wanted a great atmosphere. We had looked at halls and golf courses as they had the atmosphere we were looking for but unfortunately we were having issues coordinating (Ceremony and Reception) on a Saturday in July, so we planned to have a Friday wedding. We ended up booking The Stone Barn for the ceremony and The Derrick Golf and Winter Club for the reception on Friday July 3rd, 2015.
Noting that we had such a short timeframe for putting the wedding together we had decided to enlist the help of a wedding planner. We met with three wedding planners but when we met with Nicolle Wilhauk – Owner/Lead designer of Key Event Planning, we knew we found our gal. We used Nicolle to assist with Day-of wedding management and décor planning. The décor planning was limited to the reception and bridal flowers. The ceremony was located in a beautiful garden and didn’t need any additional decor; Murray and I, along with Nicolle, had come up with ideas for décor which included wine bottle centrepieces (which Murray cut all 60 wine bottles to size), wine boxes which we used for the cake table, signing table, head table to hold the bridal bouquets and additional accents around the wine bar. We wanted to keep everything simple and elegant. Nicolle and I met to complete mock ups of the tables with White and green hydrangeas, purple snapdragons and burgundy (wine coloured) orchids and she also helped to narrow down the vendor for the backdrop and head table dressing.
Murray and I added our own little touches (we made a wine cork “S” and painted our initials for the head table) and we enlisted the help of our wedding party, family and Nicolle to help with décor set-up the day before the wedding … everyone had a job, completing mock-ups and taking pictures of everything made the set-up run smoothly and quickly (2 hrs). Later that day, we had our rehearsal at The Stone Barn (in the 30 degree heat) and followed by a Steak dinner at the Moose Factory for everyone that was a part of the wedding (24 people).
Vendor shoutouts – what vendors made your day awesome?
Wedding Planner: Key Event Planning (Nicolle Wilhauk)
Ceremony Location: Stone Barn – Leduc, AB
Reception Location: The Derrick Golf and Winter Club
Brides Attire: Stella York from Pure Bridal
Groomsmen Attire: Derks Formals
Stationary: Be Marry Invites
Photographers: Viewpoint Photography
Décor: Dazzle by Dawn
Flowers: Kuhlmann’s Floral
Cake & Desserts: The Art of Cake
DJ: Hear by Request