Jenny & Greg flew in from Canada, for their intimate private estate weddings. Heavy rains from the night before caused their ceremony to be moved inside, but nothing could keep our beautiful bride Jenny from glowing! This wedding was special with a customize “Hey Jude” song sang by the couple, a sharing circle with every wedding guest sharing authentic marriage advice, and instead of wedding gifts the couples requested for a donation to be made to charity.
We met on a blind date on January 1, 2016. We had such a great time that we extended the date until Jenny had to fly back home to Bali, Indonesia three days later. After having a 6 month long distance relationship and then finally moving together, buying a house together, getting engaged and having a baby, we decided that January 1 was the wedding date of choice. In Canada, January 1 is typically very cold, so a destination wedding was quite compelling. Initially, we considered eloping, but decided that it was best to have close friends and family for our special day. The themes, therefore, were intimacy, connection, and presence.
Our wedding planner took care of the decorations. This was not something that we have expertise in and we were happy to let someone else take care of making the reception look beautiful.
We knew that we wanted our two boys, aged 5 and 7, to carry three roses each. These roses represented loved ones who have passed away and could not be with us in person. Jenny and Greg both run marathons. When Jenny ran her first marathon in Bali, there was a segment of the race where girls dressed in traditional Balinese clothing threw petals at the runners. Jenny has a beautiful photo of running through a shower of flower petals. We wanted to reenact that moment at the wedding after having been pronounced married. We wanted flowers in the cake, where our guests ate, in Jenny’s hair and on the altar.
We wrote our own vows. This was a very long and personal process that involved a fair bit of reflection and discussion. The final set of vows were tailored to each other.Our officiant was a close mutual friend. She became a minister so that she could legally marry us. This meant a great deal to us! She produced a set of breath “commitmints” before kissing too!Greg is Celiac and so we decided to order food from a company that could go completely gluten free – even the cake! It was fantastic! Our guitarist personalized the songs that we wanted her to play. We have a family tradition where Greg plays guitar at the end of dinner and we all sing “Hey Jude” by the Beatles. We sent her a video of us singing this song together. At the end of the song we sing “na na na na … Hey Fenton … Hey Everett ,,, “etc. It is a lot of fun! The guitarist wanted to do the same at our wedding and our guests joined in. We had two other ceremonies after the wedding. One was a sand ceremony where Greg’s sons, Fenton and Everett, Greg, Jenny and our son Bromley all had different colors of sand to pour into a glass picture frame. It made a rainbow pattern that was symbolic of how we were now a beautiful family. The second ceremony was the sharing circle. Each guest had the opportunity to say whatever they wanted; advice, blessings or even a joke! It made the wedding extremely intimate and personal. Finally, we insisted that no phones or cameras were at the wedding to ensure that all guests lived in the moment, present, and available for human connection. It also made the wedding photos so much better because all of our guests were interacting with other guests instead of devices.
Jenny was three months post-partum. She ordered her dress online and it turned out to be a winner! There were some minor alterations to make, but in the end it looked perfect. She found her shoes two days before the wedding on sale for $30.Greg spent money on a floral shirt from Nordstrom. The rest of his outfit was a navy suit that he wears at work. We decided on having a bow tie theme as well. Tim, the best man, Greg, and all three boys wore bow ties. Fenton and Everett had matching outfits with Vans shoes. Bromley had suspenders and a vest.
Greg was skiing in the back country with Tim (best man) when he received a text message from a friend that he should meet this girl Jenny. They arranged a blind date for New Years’ Day. They arranged to meet at a restaurant but Jenny was 15 minutes late. Greg waited outside in the cold and was about to leave when Jenny pulled up, ran to him and gave him a huge hug. Greg was immediately sold. Jenny said she would never move back to Canada and Greg said that he wasn’t ready for a relationship yet. We continued to spend the next two days together and kept in touch every day while apart. Greg visited Jenny in Bali twice and Jenny flew to Canada to visit Greg and interview for a job. After 6 months in a long distance relationship, we met each other in London, Europe and traveled for a month through Prague, Italy, Spain, Belgium and Amsterdam. After that we both returned home together to Canada to start a life together.Greg proposed to Jenny in Lima, Peru in an area called Miraflores next to a lover’s walk. After a long day of exploring, Greg made a nice dinner at our place with an ocean view. Greg decided to propose at that moment because it felt perfect.
Walking towards each other right before the ceremony. We were both very emotional. The song playing (You and Me by You and Me) was a very special song that we played over and over again in Bali.
The most important thing is to enjoy the day. Things will go wrong and it is easy to feel the pressure to have everything go perfectly. A perfect wedding is one that is fun, happy and full of love – even if things don’t go as planned.