A beautiful start to a life-long love letter

Nostalgia has a way of waking me up from dreams and reminding me of all the good things that are no more. I have always been a nostalgic person, one who hates forgetting. I struggle with accepting the natural flow of life where days go on and new things happen, and without noticing, details of days and specific memories slowly slip away. While this is something I have accepted more and more as I have grown up, realizing that some things should slip away to make room for new things, there are some memories that I just do not want to let go of.

In particular, August 29th, 2015 is one that I refuse to let slip away. Of course, the most important days, like this one, have a way of sticking in our minds, and this is no exception, but I don’t want to forget any of it, even the small details that so easily blur and fade away. Nostalgia can often be a way of glorifying the past, However, when it comes to August 29, 2015, already 16 weeks ago, I don’t think this is true.

August 29, 2015 was the day I married my best friend. Given my nostalgic nature, I spent quite a few hours after the Wedding journaling about all of the details, the moments that I know will probably slip away over time- hoping to keep them forever, a beautiful memory to one day share with our future family. While I want to gush these details to anyone, I realize they don’t mean as much to everyone as they do to me and Zach so I have decided to at least share the highlights here with you all.

It is difficult to pinpoint a favourite event or moment, because each part was so amazing and meant so many different things to myself and to Zach. However, I thought I’d go over all of it as briefly as I can for you, highlighting the things that stand out the most in my memory, the moments that are so special, I can’t find the words for. While I am going to try my best, I also have to share some photos from our incredibly talented photographer Ash Nayler because her photos have a way of capturing emotion the way my words never could.

The highlights:

Ali&Zach-192Getting ready with my girls in the morning. It was amazing to spend such a large chunk of time that day with these incredible women. We laughed, we cried, we drank champagne, we told many inappropriate jokes and we shared so many special moments together. It was so incredible, and the last moments I had with my girls as a single woman are something I will cherish forever

Ali&Zach-219The few quiet moments that I had with myself as I looked out the window at our venue and saw every single person I loved gather for the purpose of us. The string quartet was warming up and it was probably the only moment of this day I had by myself to sit with my own emotions. It hit me at this moment that I was really getting married and I felt SO calm and relaxed and was ready to burst at the seems with love.

Ali&Zach-198Zach and I chose to keep things traditional and not do a first look. We had a really early ceremony (1:30pm) so we didn’t need to do pictures before and this is what felt right for us. I wanted Zach to see me for the first time as I walked down the aisle. However, we did have a quick moment beforehand to connect. It was actually pretty strange to not spend time with Zach the night before or the morning of as we had worked so hard to put all of the wedding together as a team, but this short moment kept me grounded and reassured me that we were in this together and all would go well.


Ali&Zach-261I always imagined myself walking down the aisle to Canon in D (I know, typical) and taking in the music and crying. Even though my string quartet dreams had come true and this song request was a reality, I wasn’t even focusing on the song! In fact, I had to ask Zach afterwards if they were playing at all (they were!) Walking down the aisle I was just bursting with joy seeing everyone’s faces and looking at them. Until I saw Zach. At that moment I couldn’t focus on anything else. I didn’t cry but I do remember thinking “Zach is losing his shit” and I may have even said that to my parents. Never thought he would cry that much! I think I blocked everything else out and just smiled the biggest smile, so excited to marry this man! It was like I had tunnel vision.

Ali&Zach-292Our Ceremony was perfect. Short but not too short, non-traditional but traditional and very much our own. I find that as a guest at a wedding the ceremony often gets lost in the day as the excitement for the party takes over. But in this moment, experiencing it first-hand at our own wedding it was so beautiful and made me realize how it is arguably the most important part of the whole day. Zach and I chose to write our own vows and this was probably the most romantic moment of my life.

Ali&Zach-337Immediately after the ceremony we took a few moments to spend some time just the two of us. While I held it together during the ceremony, now it was my turn to lose my shit! I’m not even sure we spoke in those 10 minutes we took to ourselves because I was pretty much bawling the whole time. We both thought it was really important to find some time for just the two of us to drink in everything we were feeling right after becoming husband and wife(!). It was such a special moment to experience with one another (and probably the only time we were alone that whole day!)

Ali&Zach-607After spending a good hour with our guests and taking the family portraits we wandered off with our photographer to take photos of just the two of us. Ash has a way of making everything feel natural and easy. She captured our vision for the day and everything we were going for (ethereal, understated elegance, midsummer night’s dream-esque) so perfectly. I was actually a little bit anxious to just get this over and done with because I really wanted to be with everyone having a good time, but after a few minutes it donned on me that this is actually a pretty special time. It is easily one of my favourite memories from the day. We got to spend some quality time just being all gross and cute and being present with one another. Hanging out with Ash was just like hanging out with a friend who was there to celebrate the fact that we just got married! I don’t think we left an inch of the property untouched. We played in the vineyards, hiked through forests, sat on a tree swing, took photos in front of the drapes from the ceremony, stood in the beautiful tree covered drive way, and hung out on the porch of the beautiful estate. (I can’t wait to share the rest of these photos with everyone!)

Ali&Zach-374A textbook type “A” I had spent months going through every detail to make sure that it was perfect. The moment I first saw the reception area I actually gasped. It was even better than I had imagined. This was definitely a superficial moment of satisfaction but come one, how gorgeous are those live-edge harvest tables? I was so happy to see this! (and a HUGE shout out is in order- thank you to our goddess of a co-ordinator Liana of Birch and Lace for executing all of this!)

Ali&Zach-715The reception was AWESOME. I can’t pick a favourite speech because they were all equally touching and endearing (and hilarious – thanks to my sister for tearing me apart in the most loving way possible). When Zach and I got up to say our speech I was completely overcome with emotion. I think this is the only time during the whole day that I cried in front of everyone, but I was just so full of gratitude and everything came rushing out. It was amazing to see everyone we love sitting in front of us as we were able to thank them all.

Ali&Zach-919Ali&Zach-929The sun was about to go down and even without a pretty sunset we had reached “magic hour”, with the twinkly globe lights in all the trees, it really did feel like a true magic hour. We cut our cake (so delicious, wish I had actually eaten a piece) and then started our first dance (turning page by sleeping at last). I’m not even going to try and describe the first dance because the photos do a better job. What. a. moment.

Ali&Zach-960The Party. It started with backstreet boys and only got better from there (if that’s even possible). This was also the time when I finally was able to catch up and speak with people that I hadn’t yet spent any time with. I had SO much fun dancing with everyone and seeing everyone else dance the night away. What a night!

I realize now that I pretty much summarized every moment of the day, but there is so much more that I want to share. I hope that you all enjoyed this re-cap and I will be sure to share more details soon including all the tips and advice I have for planning a wedding.

Much love!

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