Kari & Bryce choose Southern Alberta Pioneer Memorial Building, a beautiful log cabin situated, unbelievably, in the inner city of Calgary as their wedding venue. It’s on a park ridge by Elbow River and provided a prime location that didn’t feel like it was slap bang in the middle of an urban area. “We had the ceremony and reception at there”, explained the bride. “Bryce and I lived in the same neighbourhood for 5 years and we walked around there a lot. Once we found out that anyone could rent it out for functions, we contacted them right away about having our wedding there. By that time we had already been engaged for over 3 years, so we were happy that we finally found something that was right for us. It is spectacular! You can walk through paths just behind it along the ridge and it feels like you aren’t in the city anymore. It is really quite perfect, and a fantastic price.”
The couple then planned their wedding theme around the venue. It was important to them to have a wedding that was authentically their taste, but that was also sympathetic to the spectacular surroundings. “Our theme was based around our venue”, Kari continued. “Classic, old fashioned and simple. It was as if we got married on a ranch and picked flowers from the garden and threw on our Sunday best. We handmade all the stationery and painted milk glass vases, blackboard signs, picture frames and blackboard menus. We also felt that flowers were a big waste of money, so found a flower market that sells all their weekly stock on a Saturday. We weren’t picky as to the types of flowers we had so we got all of the reception décor flowers for $25! We spent a little more on flowers for the bouquets because I had specific ideas on what I wanted to make. In total we spent just under $150 on flowers for the whole wedding. I also hand made all the boutonnieres myself.”
“I spent last 2 years collecting the décor bit by bit. We made frequent stops to Goodwill as well as antique shops all over Alberta. We had a mix of clear, green and milk glass vases. Which we spray painted ourselves. I collected tea cups and saucers, old watering cans, tins and orchard boxes. Our coordinator, Janna, made red paper heart fans for the hot weather that was expected during the ceremony. Maybe we should have thought about making umbrellas instead! Anything we couldn’t make, I bought off Etsy from someone who could.”
“I can’t tell you how much I dislike the tacky and typical weddings”, Kari concluded. “They looked outdated to us and are so overdone. I knew I disliked satin, crystals, charger plates, huge centerpieces, chair covers, bows… and all of those aspects that seem to accompany most weddings. So we knew we wanted to be as far away from that as possible. We didn’t want anything that would clash with log walls and the taxidermy that was already at our venue. It had to be very basic and appropriate. The venue has antiques and photos of pioneers all around, so I wanted to make it feel like this was a wedding that could have taken place back then.”
And finally, “Don’t sweat the small stuff”, Kari advised in conclusion. “Everything works out in the end. If you have a vision, don’t let others talk you out of it. And hey, there is nothing wrong with buying second hand stuff! You don’t need to spend a ton of money on a wedding to have a good time. It is not a competition, at the end of the day when the wedding is over, you are married and that’s the most important thing. Spend more thought about your marriage and what you will do together after the wedding. It is just one day, you have the rest of your lives together.”
Gorgeous! Thank you to Kari & Bryce and their wedding photographer Cassie of Cassie’s Camera for sharing today.