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Small town backwoods wedding: Alain + Anna

January 24, 2012

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!

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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