If you can’t tell, this couple is all about the fun and the silly and the geeky. Which lines up with me perfectly.
Michaela and Ryan’s engagement session had a sneak peek of the geeky stuff they’d incorporated into their wedding day, namely their love for the board game Settlers of Catan, but at the time I had to keep it a secret. The cat is out of the bag now! Other fantastic geek references were Ryan’s amazing Star Wars related cufflinks. I can’t really recreate the sound I made when I first saw them (trust me, it’s for the best that I don’t).
One of my favorite parts of the day was their First Look. It was truly different than any other First Look I’ve ever done previously. Ryan had expressed interest to Michaela about incorporating Nerf guns into the wedding day, but she shot the idea down (bad pun, sorry). As an homage to this concept, Michaela ditched the otherwise romantic notion of a First Look to shock and surprise Ryan by shooting him with a Nerf gun to get him to turn around. Uh, talk about awesome!! Ryan loved the idea and a Nerf gun fight ensued.
We visited a few locations before their ceremony, namely a spot that was literally in the middle of a traffic circle, to get creative with ruin-type architecture. We also popped over to Peters’ Drive-In (free milkshakes for the bride and groom, holla!) for some snacks for rumbling tummies, and our timing was perfect as the skies were starting to open up just as their order was delivered.
The ceremony had to be moved indoors due to a spit of rain, but it didn’t dampen the spirit of the ceremony for the two at all. They chose a wonderfully unconventional reading to each other, The Day The Saucers Came by Neil Gaiman, which bewildered and amused their guests with a resounding “aww” at the end of the poem.
Michaela and Ryan, I can’t thank you enough for the honor of participating in your amazing day.
Special thank you to Glen of Glen Co Photography for his assistance and photography during the day!
Describe the planning process!
“The location was a pretty easy decision. We knew we wanted it in town, as most of the family is here. When we started looking at community halls most seemed to hold less than 100 people with a dance floor, and we knew we’d have more guests than that. Strathcona was the perfect size. Big enough to hold everyone and have a dance floor, but not so small that we’d have to move tables between dinner and the dance. And conveniently it had a green space with a view of downtown for the ceremony, and an amazing upstairs loft that would work in case the weather decided not to cooperate. Which it did. We decided on the style of our wedding when we were browsing on Pinterest and found these Settler of Catan centerpieces. Being one of our favorite games we stole the idea and ran with it, incorporating little details from the game into everything we did. From there we wanted something that fit with our personalities, so we came up with a simple rule. When in doubt, choose the fun option. Candy Bar? Heck yes. Bring some sass into the programs with a funny FAQ- for sure. Butter tarts instead of cake? Why not. It worked well, and we ended up with an event that really captured us and our relationship.”
What was your favorite part of the day?
Ryan: Michaela totally surprised me at our first look. I’d been totally calm all day, but the nerves were starting to get to me as we waited for the girls to show up. Anna positioned me all careful like, and the nerves went past the red line. All of a sudden I hear a nerf gun cock, and feel the darts start to slam into me. It was the perfect way to pop the tension and get the day going on the right tone. Also seeing Michaela come down the aisle. Even though I’d been with her all day, well nothing really prepares you for that first look at your wife. There’s no words to describe that feeling.
Michaela: One of my favourite parts of the day was surprising Ryan. I had been conspiring with Eric, the best man, a few days before about whether it would be a good idea. I somehow had Ryan convinced that I really, really did not want Nerf guns around at the reception (he was set on shooting people who tinked glasses). I figured he would would laugh, and Eric said I should do it. My only regret is that I didn’t have the gun cocked fully when I went to shoot, because I didn’t get to shoot him before he knew I had the gun! It was fun to be goofy rather than crying in that moment when we first got to see each other.
Another favourite part of my dad was experiencing my dad’s reaction to his first look at me before walking me down the aisle. It was so full of love, I’m not sure how else to describe it other than that.
Best advice for planning a wedding?
Michaela: Give your fiancee responsibilities and don’t assume he’s not capable or willing to take them on. For instance Ryan handled the cake, planned the honeymoon, built the huge backdrop for the stage and had input in and helped with most the crafts we did to make our theme work.
Ryan: Just have fun with it, and let your personality through. A big elegant wedding was so not us, and the Catan theme ended up working so well. All our friends caught the little details we included, and while some family didn’t catch the references they caught the tone we were going for, and enjoyed themselves. Also, there is an expression we have in education- when it comes to lessons beg, borrow and steal ideas from where ever you can. This really applies to wedding planning as well- being original for everything is really really tough, and there are so many great ideas out there on the internet. Look around, find the ideas of what you like and spin them to make them yours.
Ceremony and reception venue: Strathcona Community Hall / Officiant: Tamara Jones / Bridal dress and designer: David’s Bridal, dress by Oleg Cassini / Groom’s attire: Moores / DJ: DAVE ELLIOT – Estevan / Hair stylist and makeup artist: Avenue Beauty / Florist: Dahlia Floral Design / Cake design: Kim Yeats (groom’s sister – she rocks!!) / Catering: Alpine Catering