Emily + Chris
We come from a small town in New Brunswick, Canada. There's not a whole lot going on, but once a year a neighboring town Sackville has a little festival called Sappyfest. One year Arcade Fire put on a surprise show under the alias Shark Attack. Chris was living in Sackville organizing shows after dropping out of university, and I made the two hour trek to attend Sappyfest. Chris and I had some mutual friends and we were introduced behind one of the venues. He was thirsty, I had water and the rest is history.
In all honesty, I may have had a little too much to drink, and don't remember much about the day. He was cool though, maybe a tiny bit dorky. Just my type. He knew a lot of musicians and intrigued me enough that I remembered his face. A year later we reconnected online. Chris having just moved back to our hometown, and me fresh off the plane after having spent a few months in South America. We were both feeling kind of lost and misplaced. Long emails, back and forth, and eventually that one email; the 'we should meet up' message that wracked my nerves something fierce. I hated going on dates.
We were both nervous. I may have drank half a bottle of wine beforehand at a friend's house, and Chris later admitted that he too, was considerably drunk going in. I swear we're not normally big drinkers! It ended up being really fun. We talked for hours and he Chris kissed me as we walked back to my apartment. These kisses would become something I desperately looked forward to.
I moved around a lot in my 20s, and had many companions. Aside from one long term relationship out of high school I never really focused on that side of things. I was having fun, right? I didn't have time for a relationship. With Chris suddenly I had all the time in the world. I was content. And comfortable. Sleeping beside him was my favorite thing to do, and I just couldn't picture myself sleeping beside anyone else.
When I was pregnant with our son we had been together for just over a year and we were very happy with how things were going. I feel like marriage was just the next best step. We both mutually agreed on this. I also let it slip that I prefer rubies to diamonds. After we had Felix, I saw a whole new side of Chris, the father, and that feeling I had when we first started dating came right back. He was so gentle and caring. He let me heal, while making sure everything else was looked after. He was understanding when I had a nasty case of the baby blues and couldn't be there for him. I thought why on earth would I not spend my life with this man?
I was never one who dreamed of her future wedding. In fact I went through a stage in life where I was anti-marriage. So once we had a date set, I knew it had to be simple and cost efficient. The house I grew up in was so special to me and I instantly knew I wanted to get married under the big oak tree in my parents yard. Chris agreed. It was free, and people said it was one of the most beautiful spots for a wedding. One friend asked if my parents would rent it out to her and her fiancée.
We wrote our own vows and they were quirky and fun and had us all in tears. I spoke of love and lawn furniture, and Chris mentioned something about forever keeping me happy with morning coffee. Lots of it.
I am an early riser, so sleeping in wasn't really an option the morning of our wedding. I did relax with my son, while letting Chris sleep in. My family kind of took over set up while I got ready. I had made most of the decorations and my mom picked all of the flower arrangements from her garden so there wasn't much to do.
My parents are friends with our city's string quartet and we were lucky to have them there. My girls walked down the aisle to a rendition of Glen Hansard's "Falling Slowly," and then my niece pulled my son down in a wagon to The Beach Boys' "God Only Knows." My father and I followed to the same song. My wedding party was my best friend and two of my sisters. I found a great deal on these cute mint and lace dresses.
We hired a catering company to drop off of a huge selection of appetizers. My dad also had the BBQ going at one point, grilling up tons of burgers. We made our own wine and had a couple kegs of craft beer. I also heard my brother was making mimosas by the pool for people.
Throughout the whole ceremony my husband and I had a wedding playlist set up on the loud speaker and there was a ton of dancing. It started really sweet at cocktail hour, and grew funky as the night went on. A friend's band played for a couple hours in between as well. They sang covers of some of our favorite bands, like The Beach Boys and The Velvet Underground. People stayed until dark, and after the fireworks went off people started leaving.
Photography by James Walsh Photography and Heather Tufts
After the party, a friend suggested some of us go in town for karaoke. The thing is, the only karaoke in town was at the dingy hole-in-the-wall bar but that didn't stop us. We took over the place. I vaguely remember getting up on stage and singing LFO's "Summer Girls." The best man ended the night singing The Knife's "Heartbeats." It was spontaneous, and exactly how we would want to spend the last hours of our wedding night.
If anyone is feeling like they want to get married, but overwhelmed with cost and planning, know that it's possible to have a beautiful easy wedding. Ours cost just under $5,000 and will be a day we will never forget. Whether its in your parents' backyard or at your favorite Mexican restaurant with a few of your closest friends. If the desire is there, it can be done. I honestly wouldn't change a thing about ours.