Two New Yorkers who met over a hockey game but sealed the deal during sunset in Central Park. Their intimate wedding in the Rockies will have you speechless. Chelsea wore our Winnie gown and man, she looked more breathtaking than the view.
X THE MEETING STORY
John and I met while working in undergraduate admission at Fordham University in New York City. By no means was it love at first sight- we became friends only after watching hockey playoffs together (the way to a Canadians heart) and I propositioned John on a bike ride out to Brighton Beach one Saturday with the line ‘So are we just buddies?’ He bought my ice cream when we got back into the city and we shared our first kiss next to the giant trash pile outside my apartment building- the true New York City experience.
X THE PROPOSAL
John was offered an opportunity within his company in their Chicago office shortly after we started talking about marriage being something we thought we should do. On John’s first visit back to New York my little brother came up to stay for the weekend as well. John had bought the ring from a family friend right before he left for Chicago so it was burning a hole in his pocket. He decided to get my brother involved and Taylor was there to help execute. After an afternoon in the West Village Taylor said he really wanted to stop in Central Park for a picture. Red flags should have been everywhere considering parks and walks are both on the bottom of Taylor’s ‘Things I Love List’ but I was completely surprised seeing as we were spending the whole weekend with my little brother. As Tay asked to get our picture as the sun was setting John got down on one knee and said he couldn’t go back to Chicago without knowing we were getting married. Central Park has so many memories for us- it’s where I played and coached hockey in the winter and where John and I spent so many afternoons together in the summer- so it was the perfect place for such a special moment. And it’s a memory we will have with my brother who is so important to me.
We were going to be in the process of moving from New York to Chicago, John is from Massachusetts, my parents now live in North Carolina and my family is in Saskatchewan and Alberta so it was the perfect excuse to do something small and intimate in a place we love. My parents fell in love with Banff, Alberta when they were in college in Saskatchewan and we eventually moved closer to the Canadian Rockies when I was a kid. Even though we later moved to the States, we came back to Banff every summer. I took John last year for the first time and he finally got to share in my love for the Rockies. When he wanted to come back as soon as possible I knew he was going to be the guy.
We had about 30 people at our ceremony in a meadow that overlooks the Bow River Valley and Rundle Mountain. John’s family and our friends had never been to the Rockies so we had the reception on the outdoor patio of the Saltlik in downtown Banff so they could get as much time enjoying the views as possible
Artistry and craftiness are not in my skill set so the mountains were the perfect place to be. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking and truly majestic so we needed no decorations for the ceremony or reception.
I never thought I would be someone who would go all out for the photographer but I phoned my Mom the minute I found some of Tricia’s pictures on a blog from an elopement she shot in Banff last year. I loved not only her approach to photography but the way she talked about her love for the mountains and being outside. Since I tend to struggle with decision making and we were keeping the engagement short, once I connected with Tricia I went with all her suggestions for flowers, make-up, hair, and most importantly the dress. Getting her emails and knowing she would be there to preserve these special moments kept me so calm throughout the process. I was so confident in her vision.
We set our wedding date for just four months after we got engaged. Knowing we wanted to do it outside in Banff your window for good weather is pretty narrow and waiting over a year just seemed too long. So as I began the dress trying on process the biggest surprise to me was how long everything was going to take to order and then get altered. Who knew?! I tried on a few dresses that I liked but the timeline was just going to be a bit too tight if things didn’t fit perfectly. After a conversation with Tricia she suggested I look at Daughters of Simone, one of her favorite designers. As someone who was really intimidated by the idea of walking and spending a whole evening in a floor length dress, comfort and simplicity were at the top of my list. With about two and a half months to go at this point I found one store in Brooklyn that carried DOS dresses. I called up the store and they had one DOS sample in the store- the Winnie Gown. I took the subway out to Gowanus, Brooklyn on a Tuesday after work just praying this was going to work. They pulled the sample for me and everything about it was perfect. It fit like a glove and it was like no other dress I had seen. It was also going to fit in the overhead compartment on a plane and not wrinkle! It really felt like it was made for me. Even the length was what I needed so I could wear as is. I bought it on the spot and rode home on the subway with my dress. Before I knew it I was asking for a flower crown and was picking out boots for my dress. Full boho-chic.
Thanks to my Mom’s encouragement we were unconventional in a lot of ways. We kept things small and planned things on a very tight timeline. The beauty with doing things quickly for over analyzers like me is that you just have to make decisions quickly. We also went with a weekday which freed up so many of the vendors who would normally be booked a year or two in advance. I don’t love to plan events so I didn’t make the wedding into something I was not going to enjoy putting together. The reception was really more of a mixer on the patio of one of our favorite restaurants but we still got to have our dances and toasts and you really got to visit with everyone.
X MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT
It started to rain during our ceremony, very lightly, and you could feel the prayers and wishes of everyone there as they called on the sun. It sprinkled on and off throughout our vows but the sun came fully out as Don, our Pastor, gave the Irish blessing to conclude the ceremony. ‘May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields.’