Small town backwoods wedding: Alain + Anna

Categories   Real Weddings

Here’s a bride that three years ago disconnected herself from the internet and phone and traded her stilettos for cowboy boots, all for a good old fashioned cowboy named Alain. Summed up in two words, Alain + Anna are “old souls”. They live comfortably on 160 acres of wild forest in a cabin nestled in the Great White North of British Columbia, Canada. Their time is divided between working, canning, crafting, gardening, clearing fields, and hunting to fill the freezer. Curious to see how their wedding turned out? (Spoiler alert – amazing). If it helps – every now and then a bride comes along that wow’s us with DIY details and sound planning advice. Today is one of those days and Anna is one of those brides.

rustic handmade wedding

After two failed attempts in dress stores where I was continuously brought stiff huge & crunchy dresses I arrived at Blush Bridal, in Victoria BC. They immediately got my concept of married in a field, dress must be flowy and natural and even made a custom floral strap to add to my Maggie Sottero Gown. As a cowboy boot bride, I went all out and bought beautiful Hand Tooled Lucchese boots. They were perfectly impractical for farm chores, and will always remain a special pair for that reason.

rustic handmade wedding

rustic handmade wedding

Marrying on our 160 Acre property in the Bulkley Valley meant our families coming together and meeting in the middle to start our new life which was very symbolic to us. The hardest part was narrowing down where it would take place! We ended up having the ceremony in a huge hayfield on the edge of our farm, in the middle of the original homestead. We considered building a new barn for the reception, but thankfully came to our senses and rented out a rural hall (complete with a one roomed schoolhouse!) for a steal of a deal at $350 for 3 days. It was perfect-rustic and rural with a full kitchen to enable our home cooked wedding feast!

rustic handmade wedding

rustic handmade wedding

rustic handmade wedding

rustic handmade wedding

They salvaged windows from their old barn and used them for ceremony signs, dinner and beverage menus. They made all the signage using typefaces from their invitations to really brand the day. As for their favors, seen below, those were quite an involved project. Bring that Anna is an obsessive gardener, what better than to ‘let the love grow’ and give out seeds as favors. She spent months collecting scrapbooking paper and making the seed envelopes.

rustic handmade wedding

With very limited choices for caterer’s we knew from the get go we were making it all ourselves. The menu was constantly evolving over the year and we were able to make things in advance like balsamic onion preserves, and wild rose petal ice cubes (picked when they first bloomed in the spring!). The day before our wedding, family members from both sides showed up at the hall to pitch in and assemble everything under the skilled direction of my sous-chef, sister. The spread included pulled pork, quinoa in a roasted red pepper reduction, calico bean pot, roasted corn & grape tomato salad with bacon, avocado, and balsamic reduction, french green beans with dijon and toasted almonds, my mom’s killer ceasar salad, and wood fired artisan rolls from Rustica Bakery.

rustic handmade wedding

rustic handmade wedding

Anna’s advice: My best budget tip would be to be decisive to the point of being ruthless. Know what you want and stick to it. Use your resources, use your family. Plan your projects within your wallet and time capacity, and hire the best vendors that you could possibly afford. We only hired one professional, Simply Rose Photography. Your family and friends are there because they love you and you have trust that they will be eager to jump at the chance to pitch in. Trust that when the wedding day comes you will never notice (or care) if the little things are a little out of place from your carefully drawn diagrams, you will care about one thing only – your vows and the start of your marriage with your wonderful husband. The fact that your family has surrounded you with limitless love and support to help make that start so strong will only make it more wonderful!

Congratulations Alain + Anna!

Photography: Simply Rose Photography / Venue: Private residence / Details & decor: Bride + family / Food: Cooked by family + friends / Bride’s dress: Maggie Sottero Gown / Bride’s earrings: La Petit Maison / Gold bangle + pearls: Family heirlooms / Feather hairpiece: made by sister of bride / Groom: J.Crew jacket, Wrangler jeans + shirt / Boutonnieres: The Thirsty Trout / Bridesmaid dresses: J.Crew + their own boots

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Social Love

Tim Duncan on Jan 24, 2012

What an adorable outdoor wedding! The Name Your Flag mason jars are my favorite!

Kathleen Niffenegger on Jan 24, 2012

What a beautiful wedding (and lifestyle!!). How did you make the seed packets? All I can find that is the right size are those ugly manilla envelopes. Thanks!

Lucie Desaulniers on Jan 24, 2012

I would love to purchase some of these pictures of my son's wedding. (Alain) Could you forward to me a selection that I can pick from. Thank you in advance. Lucie Desaulniers

Sophisticated Stationery on Jan 24, 2012

This wedding is beautiful! So charming! :)

Jenna Stratman on Jan 24, 2012

Bunting makes my heart happy. :) Loved all of the details in this wedding!

Elizabeth@La Fleur Vintage on Jan 24, 2012

I almost thought I was in Texas. This was beautiful and the dress was a beautiful choice. Looks like it was a fun day.

Tegan on Jan 25, 2012

Wow, this is my kind of wedding! I love the DIY details and those cute little seed-packet favours.

anna on Jan 25, 2012

The seed packets where actually really easy to do! They were just insanely time consuming. I found a template online roughly like this one: and just trace-cut-fold-glue Xrepeat 200 times. Thinner scrapbook paper was easier to work with. I averaged 4 packets per each standard square of scrapbooking paper. I searched high and low to find a bulk seed supplier that would ship to canada. This company has great prices on sweet peas. My total project cost was about 50 cents per unit, as opposed to 3.99 packets of seeds that you see in store! It's a very good 'winter project' for when you dont mind spending hours and hours on the most mundane wedding tasks!

Jenni on Jan 26, 2012

anna! your wedding was beautiful! did you make the 'hitched' sign yourself? any tips on how to do that? :) and did you really make the bouquets yourself? they're perfect!

anna on Jan 26, 2012

Hi Jenni The hitched sign was easy to make, the hardest part was finding the wired moss 'rope'. If you're in the states i think the best price is from saveoncrafts. (the hardest part of the whole planning process was finding materials that stayed a reasonable price one shipping and customs was factored in!) I took the boards off of a fallen down building adjacent to our ceremony venue, and just screwed them together to make the backboard. I 'wrote' hitched out freehand(bending and crimping the wire as i went) and then just used tiny finishing nails driven through the moss to anchor it to the board. The moss covered up the nailheads. The bouquets were the best part! I finally had an excuse to spend $$ on flowers! I would highly reccomend purchasing flowers by the stem and and arranging them yourself. A little work and you can cut the cost of your bouquets to a fraction of the florist's quotes!

Kathleen on Jan 26, 2012

Thank you so much for the information! I am still drooling over this wedding :) Congrats and job well done!!

larinna @ on Jan 27, 2012

I love the typography on the windows. How did you get the typography on there?

anna on Feb 10, 2012

Hi larinna I just found a stencil that i liked (mine was on etsy). the green/blue/pink writing was just an acrylic paint that can be washed off, and for the white handwriting i used a Sharpie Paint Pen. I kept the 'menu' window to hang in my kitchen, and the others just got washed off and stored in the barn for any other brides

Nicole {The Aisle Style} on Feb 15, 2012

What an amazing menu! It's so awesome they were able to cater the event themselves!

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