The first time I remember thinking I wanted to have my wedding at the cottage was farther back than I dare admit. I pride myself on being one of those women who doesn't/didn't obsess over their wedding. And I think, for the most part, while I loved planning and making lots of things for my wedding, there wasn't too much drama or obsessing over things as I think some other brides have. Other than the location, I did have too many details that needed to be just right.
But the place was sentimental to Dan and me. It was our place of solace and escape from the rest of the world.
I remember the first time I saw this place, in truth, I hated it. I was 14, and we had seen another cottage I truly fell in love with and I was a bit heartbroken they hadn't chosen it. And looking back - they were totally right and thanked God they didn't listen to some silly 14-year-old. But as I spent more and more time at the cottage, I learned to love it. Learned to make it my home. Learned the personality of the bricks and memorised the sound the wind made when it rippled through the trees.
I knew I wanted to get married somewhere where I could come back to; somewhere I could look out and see our wedding day on the horizon, against the sunset. So I remember when I first, blushingly and coyly talked to Dan about it, the joy it gave me to know he was on board too.
After we had asked mum and dad for their blessing (and their willingness to give up their home for the remainder of the year to wedding plans), we walked around the property in the middle of the winter and tried to imagine where everything would take place. Even now, I remember looking out over the snow and wondering where the guests would stand, where the altar would be and where dinner would take place. Shockingly enough, most everything turned out to be in the same places as we dreamed up that first day own on the lawn.
Over the course of the next few months my mum and dad, as well as myself, Dan and our amazing wedding planner, got the cottage ready for a wedding! We mapped out how long the aisle would have to be, planted new flowers, did some major landscaping and other little alterations to make sure there was enough space for all the guests.
In the Spring, there was many walk thus to see how the day would go and where everything would fall into place. Sure, these were all a lot of work, but being in one of my favourite location in the world, it didn't seem like work.
My dad did an amazing job of cleaning up the forests and fields behind the cottage, to make room for the gorgeous wedding party pictures we took before the wedding.
Although we were preparing the cottage for the wedding, there was one big, looking fear. And that was the fear of rain. No matter how we spun it, if it rained, we couldn't fit anyone into the house for the ceremony. Sure the tent we were renting for the dinner might have served as a backup, but me being me, I also sourced a few other inside backups that might work in a worse case scenario.
We found a little old church as well as a beautiful golf course club house that would have been great - but thankfully, unneeded.
Throughout the weeks leading up the wedding, I spent countless hours stringing lights, making flower and candle arrangements.
The week before the wedding when I finished lining the driveway with twinkle lights and mason jar lanterns, as the night crept in and the lights simply sparkled, I felt so excited and proud of all the world we' done.
The day before the wedding, when I walked around the cottage, looking at everything we'd built and designed - I knew that every time I came back to this place, I would be flooded with memories. I know that weddings only last one day, one fleeting moment, but with all of those memories being embedded into the ground here, I knew those memories would last a lifetime.