Our wedding was a dream.

All photos in this post by Shari + Mike PHOTOGRAPHERS

Kyle + I had been together for 7 years, and living together for 6 of them when we got engaged, which means we were common-law.  We have never broken up, and we seem to keep falling more in love.  

So people always ask us why did we want to get married?

We both wanted to get married really badly.  

We love each other so much sometimes it feels overwhelming.  

We are wildly proud of our relationship.  We believe we bring out the best in each other.  We challenge, interest and inspire one another. We felt very strongly that this love should be celebrated.

We wanted to be literally and figuratively surrounded by our community- by the people who love us the most when we committed to a lifetime together.  We wanted to commit to each other and to our community, we wanted to be there for them, for each other, and we wanted our friends + family to promise to be there for us too.  To share in the joys and sorrows that life is inevitably going to throw at us.  

We wanted our wedding day to be filled to overflowing with love and joy and we wanted every single guest to know they were loved and appreciated and we wanted them to have one hell of a good time feeling that way. 

Our vision for the day was "Beautiful.  Meaningful.  Fun." and we tried together to ensure that all three of those elements were present all day, and that not one of them took over the others.  It meant focusing on the people involved.  It meant taking time to select the readings, songs, and places to honour people in our life.  It meant meetings with the florist over beer, and cake-tasting dates, and answering endless texts on fashion choices, and learning new crafts, and digging out old photos.  It meant Kyle did a 30-year data analysis to figure out which weekend would be most likely to have sun in April or May before we picked our date.  It meant putting the YMCA on the dance floor even though it's the YMCA.  It was all for one day.  But it was also for our whole lives.  

We spent a great deal of time celebrating what we love about our city by using local vendors who, for the most part, happened to be located within a few blocks of us.  We wanted to show off and share our lives, our community, our city, our loves.  

I'm going to talk about our wedding a lot on this blog.  I literally have 10 years of Martha Stewart Wedding magazines in our home and Kyle and I (and Marie and various other people) put our hearts into planning it for a year and a half, almost every moment of it enjoyed.  So here is a sketch of the day so you know what I'm talking about in the invariable 9,000 posts to come.  

Marie served as our Friend of Honour (FOH) which meant she was my maid of honour, and Kyle's best man and she planned Kyle's stag and my stagette with equal, although very different approaches.  Kyle's best friend from college was his day-of best man (Jared is going to be a doctor and lives in New York, so he was very, very busy in the wedding lead-up) but did an incredible job on the day.  K + J started the morning by going bowling and then getting ready at Marie's house, whereas during that whole time Marie + I got ready at my place, because that's how long it took.    

Kyle + I then had our first look, just the two of us, at a local antique shop, went and grabbed some beer and then met back up with M+J.

We grabbed that beer at our favourite place, Brassneck Brewery.  We got there on a busy Saturday and realized of course we weren't going to be able to just go in as it was packed.  But because we love it there so much, and everyone on staff knows us, they let us go into the actual brewery which is really a life highlight.  

Our ceremony was designed to be egalitarian, and engage everyone.  We honoured our parents who had been there since the beginning by walking in with them and having our guests follow us.  When Kyle and I met in the middle we continued in together and were surrounded by everyone as they were asked to stand with us as a community of love and support by our officiant, my Auntie Rhonda.  

Th rest of our "wedding party" was made up by our two Paleros, Pablo + Jac- One night Pablo, who is from Mexico, explained "in my country we have Paleros.  These are friends whose duty is to ensure the wedding is a party"  (he doesn't normally talk like that) and the idea just seemed so brilliant that we decided to have two people officially designated to make sure everyone felt welcome, had as many tequila shots they wanted and could have someone to talk to if they didn't know anyone (which is one of my life's biggest fears as I'm painfully shy.)

We got married at Bon Accord which is a local woodshop and had a family-style meal so that everyone could share food and stories and laughter over candlelight.  Speeches happened in between courses and they made us laugh and cry which was perfect.  

My dad and brother played our first dance that has been our song since we started dating in 2008, "I Summon You" by Spoon, before we kicked off the dance party that went until 3am with "What Does the Fox Say" in order to impress my 5 year old nephew (it didn't work.) 

Like I said.  A dream.