Rural & Free-Spirited, 1970s Themed Wedding

Allie and Brian describe their first moments of falling in love as ‘like the same existential self-discovery that so many people waxed lyrical about in the late ’60’s and early 70s’. So, coupled with their love of music from the same era (cosily nestled between the folk and Rock n Roll genres), they used this as a starting point for the shaping their wedding around that same kind of ‘groovy, grounding energy.’

They also have the benefit of not really knowing what’s ‘expected’ from a wedding – neither had attended that many, so they were able to plan their day free from the weight of societal expectations. They simply followed their hearts and told their wedding party, officiant and families to do the same. “We wanted the weekend to feel like a music festival or camp-out experience,” explained Allie. They hit up a booze cruise with all their friends a couple of days prior to the wedding, and their wedding party stayed for the weekend at the bed-and-breakfast venue with them. “It was important to us, since we were celebrating in the city that Brian used to live in when we first fell in love, that we really live it up the way we used to back in our Dubuque days.”

They used sentimental touches throughout their day, too. Allie and her mum DIY’d a record wall backdrop for their reception, and bottle cap mirrors for favours as herself and Brian are big beer drinkers. Allie also put together their wedding website and stationery. Her mum hand-dyed her veil, and her grandmother took a load of old family blankets and upcycled them to table runners. With a friend, Allie arranged wholesale flowers for centrepieces, and many other people helped DIY in so many other ways. “We wanted the experience to be rich and lovely, but we didn’t feel the need to pay out the ass for such an experience for our guests. We could do that, with enough love and elbow grease.”

Their ceremony was held in the grounds of the venue, and officiated by a family friend. “His vows blew us all away”, Allie continued. “Not a dry eye in the house. It was a huge surprise to all of us who know him well. He pulled out the magic at the exact right moment and made us all cry.”

Their biggest priorities for their $25,000 budget were the venue, their photography and videography. “We wanted more than just a few hours of a wedding experience,” said Allie, “and we wanted the documented memories to reflect the true essence of the experience. On those two fronts, our money could not have been better spent. Our venue was gorgeous, well-cared for, quaint and quiet. Our photos and video speak for themselves. The team we landed for that job… We may never understand how we got so lucky.”

Even though they had help financing their wedding, the money stuff still sucked for them. “We had support, but we still found out very quickly which elements actually mattered to us and which elements were just bogus traditions that meant nothing to us. Turns out, most of it us bogus tradition stuff, so that helps with the budget.”

In retrospect, the couple do think about the fact that they could’ve spent that money on a house; “And maybe that’ll be something we think about longingly someday soon. But what we did that weekend was something special. We took time with our loved ones, gathered them all back in one place (a rare occurrence), and celebrated with everything we had. What would life feel like if we’d done that differently? Who knows.”

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