Into the Wild
‘I’m committed that my husband is my hero…When he wins, we win.’
LB: How did you meet?
SJ: We met in grade eight. We attended the same high school. He was a bad kid, I was a goody goody. We hung out with different crews and barely spoke more than a couple words to each other during recess.
Fast forward 13 years, we run into each other at an art show. I ask if he remembers me. He says “yes”, but I don’t quite believe him. Mind you, I did have a pixie cut and bleach blonde hair (I looked different to say the least). He instantly had a crush on me, but neither of us were looking for a relationship. No moves were made.
A year passes, another art show. Boom, we run into each other. “Oh yeah… that cute girl that I vaguely remember from high school”, he thinks. This time he’s ready. So am I.
We find out that we’re both planning to be in Whistler the following weekend and we plan to meet up. A new friend? Why not. We party, we innocently stay up all night, we ask each other all the questions under the moon.
“What if you had no legs?”
“What if you couldn’t have children?”
“What if your wife became paralyzed?”
“Where is your favourite place in the world?”
At the end of the night, he kisses me on the hand. “I’ve been friend-zoned”, I think to myself. But really it was the beginning of the rest of my life with the most beautiful gentleman.
LB: Tell me about your engagement.
SJ: We were travelling in India, specifically in the North, Leh, Ladakh, in the Himalayas. We hiked a mountain with a temple on the top, built by the Dalai Lama symbolizing world peace. Rainbow prayer flags strung across the peaks, with the wind blowing their messages of love and harmony. He set up his camera and tripod to get the shot. I thought nothing of it, a regular occurrence. Then he got down on one knee. It was one of the most beautiful moments in one of the most beautiful places, that embodied everything about who we are.
LB: How did you approach planning your wedding?
SJ: We hired a day-of wedding planner, Filosphi events. They were unbelievable. Before the wedding they sent us a lengthy questionnaire that helped us build our dream wedding (and eliminate the things that didn’t work for us). This helped them craft a detailed timeline. They were available for unlimited questions and took over all vendor communication one month before the big date.
BEST INVESTMENT EVER.
We started with doing the research, breaking down each aspect of the wedding into categories: Venue, Food, Decor, Guest list, officiants, music, DIY, wedding party attire, pinterest for inspiration, photographers.
Once we had a good idea of different resources to make our day happen, we started gathering quotes so we could start building a budget. Venue, food, and rentals (chairs, tables, cutlery, glassware, tents, etc) were the biggest costs.
LB: What challenges did you face planning your wedding?
Knowing where to start. Start building your budget as soon as possible, so you aren’t flying by the seat of your pants, blind, and then end up with a massive expense with no idea it was going to cost that much! So start early, i.e. nine months to one year in advance.
‘Then he got down on one knee. It was one of the most beautiful moments in one of the most beautiful places, that embodied everything about who we are.’
LB: What surprised you about planning your wedding?
SJ: Everything costed more than we thought! All the little things add up. We budgeted for $20K and spent $25K.
LB: What was the best part of your day?
SJ: The day of was so smooth. Our wedding planners made it seamless, all we had to do was show up, take pictures, and have the best time of our lives!
LB: What advice do you have for couples currently planning their wedding?
When stress or frustrations come up, take a deep breathe. It’s just ONE DAY. And it’s going to be the BEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE. Stress doesn’t change what’s happening or what you are dealing with (it only makes it worst), so take a deep breathe, and enjoy every moment leading up to the big day.
Ask for help!!! Anything you don’t have to do yourself, offload it to your friends and family!! It took a community to pull off our wedding (literally), between our friends, our family and our neighbours… everyone pitched in!
Get creative! Make it personalized and special to reflect who you are as a couple. There are no rules to what a wedding has to look like. Make it unique with family traditions, fun games, and memorable moments that will have your guests remember why love is so grand.
LB: Now that you’re married, what do you know for sure about marriage?
When we are having a fight or a disagreement, we always go back to our commitment and vows to each other, and provide ourselves the opportunity to be them everyday.
I’m committed that my husband is my hero. And that it’s my job to have him win and get bigger when he’s around me. When he wins, we win. When I give up being stubborn or right, so does he, and that gives space for our love to grow.
Photos by Brian Van Wyk Photography