Real Weddings/Rustic Weddings

Rustic Orchard Wedding (With The Most Generous Guests)

Rustic Orchard Wedding (With The Most Generous Guests) | Alabaster Jar Photography 27

We’re always so impressed with “labor of love” weddings – the heartwarming coming together of friends and families to make a couple’s wedding day come alive with personal details, made with love. Well, the guests at this rustic Canadian orchard wedding take the term “generous” to a whole new level.

Nearly everything from their day was donated and given to the couple. The bride’s makeup was done by her soon to be mother-in-law. Catering was done by a friend, flowers done by my mom actually, music were friends, even the venue was given by neighbors. The couple saved big on other items, like doing digital invites via Paperless Post (also eco-friendly, of course!)

One of the only vendors, however, was the talented Alabaster Jar Photography, capturing that ethereal, prairie gold light. In our opinion, an exceptional splurge.

Rustic Orchard Wedding (With The Most Generous Guests) | Alabaster Jar Photography 20
Rustic Orchard Wedding (With The Most Generous Guests) | Alabaster Jar Photography 21

Our Love Story

We met in England doing a year-long program with a Christian Training School, I, Bradford from Canada, and Louise from the Netherlands. For us, a friendship developed long before either of us were aware of feelings of romance. By the time we both acknowledged it, we skipped the dating phase and began with conversations on marriage, which was our first encounter with a cultural difference.

For several months – when we began to plan our wedding – I suggested we should be formally engaged before going forward with any more plans. To which Louise shockingly replied, “I thought we were engaged!”

We prepared a picnic together and then went for a walk in the Northumberland Forest while during a visit to meet family in Ontario, Canada. We went to a vista that overlooked the rolling hills of the county and I proposed with my grandmother’s wedding ring. I got down on one knee and presented Louise with a card that referenced a previous note and moment we had shared earlier that year.

Rustic Orchard Wedding (With The Most Generous Guests) | Alabaster Jar Photography 9
Rustic Orchard Wedding (With The Most Generous Guests) | Alabaster Jar Photography 33
Rustic Orchard Wedding (With The Most Generous Guests) | Alabaster Jar Photography 35
Rustic Orchard Wedding (With The Most Generous Guests) | Alabaster Jar Photography 17
Rustic Orchard Wedding (With The Most Generous Guests) | Alabaster Jar Photography 11
Rustic Orchard Wedding (With The Most Generous Guests) | Alabaster Jar Photography 34

The Destination & Planning

The owners of the property where we held our reception generously offered us not only their orchard and barn for the day of the wedding, but their property and house during the week leading up to the big day.

The entire family of the bride was able to come over from the Netherlands and stay there as we prepared and planned everything leading up to the day. It was in a sense the first uniting of our families and a delight to get to spend that week together.

Rustic Orchard Wedding (With The Most Generous Guests) | Alabaster Jar Photography 26
Rustic Orchard Wedding (With The Most Generous Guests) | Alabaster Jar Photography 6
Rustic Orchard Wedding (With The Most Generous Guests) | Alabaster Jar Photography 7
Rustic Orchard Wedding (With The Most Generous Guests) | Alabaster Jar Photography 1
Rustic Orchard Wedding (With The Most Generous Guests) | Alabaster Jar Photography 2

The Ceremony

We held our ceremony on a hilltop belonging to the groom’s parents, where the groom had also prepared a luxurious prospector styled tent framed over local timbers and overlooking the vast expanse of Lake Ontario.

The ceremony was a magical moment for us. Basking in the September sun, worshipping with friends and overlooking undoubtedly one of the most beautiful views we’ve ever seen.

From here we progressed down to the neighbor’s property to cut the cake and have a toast, which by Canadian standards is a far cry from traditional, to eat the cake before the meal but was altogether well received, and was the most repeated compliments we received on the day.

Rustic Orchard Wedding (With The Most Generous Guests) | Alabaster Jar Photography 4
Rustic Orchard Wedding (With The Most Generous Guests) | Alabaster Jar Photography 19
Rustic Orchard Wedding (With The Most Generous Guests) | Alabaster Jar Photography 15

The Photography

Allicia is a close friend of ours who we work with and we would not have considered anyone else, in fact, the date of our wedding was hinged on the availability to photograph the wedding.

Rustic Orchard Wedding (With The Most Generous Guests) | Alabaster Jar Photography 28

The Reception

From there we progressed to an open sky dinner within the apple orchard. We worked closely with our friend Randy to plan a meal evocative of our early picnic dates.

As the sun set, we moved into a beautiful barn next to the orchard which has been dedicated to social gatherings for many years by the owners of the property. We’d asked each of our guests to bring a pie for dessert and so as we listened to speeches in both Dutch and English guests enjoyed the variety of desserts that had been brought along.

We capped off the evening with a dance before returning back to the hilltop to sit under the stars and enjoy the beautiful evening in our new intimate abode.

Rustic Orchard Wedding (With The Most Generous Guests) | Alabaster Jar Photography 25
Rustic Orchard Wedding (With The Most Generous Guests) | Alabaster Jar Photography 23

Favorite Moments

A bilingual wedding from start to finish with both Dutch and English translations, Louise’ s brother in law whose fluent in both English and Dutch translated the entire day from Dutch to English or English to Dutch.

Despite much advice against it, we were very pleased with our decision to invite children to our wedding their laughter and joy was an integral part of the day.

In keeping with the Dutch tradition, I presented the bride during our first look with her wedding bouquet.

Rustic Orchard Wedding (With The Most Generous Guests) | Alabaster Jar Photography 22
Rustic Orchard Wedding (With The Most Generous Guests) | Alabaster Jar Photography 31

Advice to Other Couples

We haven’t told the story of the financial side of our wedding which could be another blog in itself. We prayed and waited and were blown away by the ways our friends and families stepped forward to bless us and provide for our big day. We were amazed as one lavish gift after another followed and we witnessed our wedding materialized in a way far more extravagant than we ever could have provided for ourselves.

Don’t worry about what’s culturally standard for a wedding, while we did our best to respect both Canadian and Dutch traditions we found the marriage of these two cultural traditions created a wedding far richer and not nearly as offensive to our guests as we feared.

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