After taking pictures with the Bridal party, it was time for things to get real. Our guests would be arriving soon as everyone got to work on their individual tasks while Sarah D. and I hid up in my bedroom, peeking through the window at the action below.
Meanwhile, over at the guest's hotel, they were patiently awaiting the departure of the first bus that would quickly shuttle them over to the cottage!
My Uncle Tom served as the bus monitor for the first group. He made sure everyone who needed to be on the first bus out, was on their way.
There were so many elements of the wedding I wished I could have been at as a guest. The bus ride was one of those things. I heard so many stories both going there and coming of people's antics. It was like one giant school bus of children, taking them to an exciting day out.
Liam and Tori had been made up by their grandma and grandpa and were so excited to have such important jobs at the wedding. They took it very seriously, and we loved them for it!
When the guests arrived and got off the bus, the had to climb the hill up from the road up to the cottage. We wanted to walk up to entertain the guests so we had various things for them to read and look at on their way up.
Since the wedding was taking place mainly in our backyard, we wanted to give the guests some idea of what was and was not off limits. I made these little signs that ran up laneway to designate the various "Rules of the Wedding".
At the top of the hill, Mom and Shelley were there to greet all the guests as they came in. They could grab some popcorn or cotton candy, get a drink or simply mingle with the other guests until everyone else got there. In addition to mum and Shelley, we also had a vintage mirror up there listing out all the day's events so people knew what to expect and when.
The girls had finished putting everything in its exact place at the ceremony site, ready for the guests to arrive. We had been dreaming out this day, making plans and sketches for weeks and finally, it was here. And it looked even more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. The grass seemed almost ethereally green, and the little flags in the grass blew gently in the wind, adding a touch of colour to the green grass.
Even after being out all night, the carnations were still in full bloom, looking like they had been picked just hours before.
The flowers were one of my favourite decor aspect of the wedding. They were impossibly beautiful, and the large centrepieces on either side of the altar were so stunning.
Any guests we'd forgotten their shades or needed a handkerchief had the pick of the litter from our collection we had ours on display.
The antique coal cart we had rented was filled with ice, and then we dumped beers and non-alcoholic drinks inside. It was a fun little feature for the guests to enjoy dipping into whenever they felt thirsty. Easier than waiting for the bartender.
Aunonna was tasked with handing out programs to any guest who wanted one. It gave the rundown of the ceremony and also provided a translation of the Ukrainian readings we would have during the ceremony.
I could hear everyone laughing and chatting downstairs. It was torture for me to be missing out on all the fun, but it was lovely to see everyone having such a good time.
Many people travelled far and wide to come, but the one that meant the most to be was my Grandma and Grandpa. Their health isn't the best, and they're getting up there in age, so the fact they came all the way out here to be with us was so special.
When I was four years old, my Aunt Liz got married. I was her flower girl. I got nervous in front of people. So, my grandpa brought with him a giant bag of jelly beans and promised me, if I were a good girl and did as I was told and didn't panic, he'd give me the entire bag. Later on, he made me share it with my cousin but still, it was a very sweet memory I have burned in my brain. When I was waiting upstairs, while the rest of the guests were outside, I heard someone say my grandfather had come to the house and was asking to see me. I didn't want him to see my in my dress before the ceremony, but he was so insistent. I came down, and he lit up as he saw him, tears in his eyes. In his hand was a plastic bag, filled with jelly beans. "In case you need something to calm your nerves," he said. I melted. I couldn't believe he remembered that. I broke down into tears, and we just hugged for minutes. I'm crying even now writing it. It was one of the most meaningful gifts I received that day. And perhaps ever.
A lovely picture of John and Marty standing in front of mum's beautiful banners.
The person who probably travelled the farthest for the wedding was Dan's cousin Nazar, who came all the way from the UK. He is from Dan's Ukrainian side of the family and added a little bit of that culture to the event.
People spread out all over the place as the ceremony time was getting closer. Some had already taken their spots and were catching up with family they'd not seen in ages.
Other people were mingling on the lawn, enjoying the sunshine and blue skies.
Before taking their seats, people were asked to fill up their confetti cones for when the bride and groom walked down the aisle after they were pronounced man and wife. The confetti bar was an idea I dreamed up. I picked various confetti types and places them in a cute little vintage box Dan found. Then had had Shelley and GG create these little confetti cones and guests could create their unique confetti concoction.
You could pick rose petals, lavender buds, paper circles and even traditional wedding rice.
Since we knew the wedding ceremony was bound to be late, and it was the middle of the afternoon, we wanted some snacks on hand for guests. Dan and I both have a love for state fair treats. Dan loves popcorn, and I love cotton candy so we chose these two vendors to serve up their delicacies before the ceremony.
I was staring out the window, watching the cotton candy being wrapped around the cones, dying inside, wishing I could just run down there and each a big puff of spun sugar! But, I did hear from everyone they especially loved this aspect of the wedding, and that was wonderful to hear.
Dan was looking pretty excited, moments before the service was about to begin.
Before the ceremony, Liam came up to visit me; he wanted to see my dress. We had a lovely little conversation him and me about how important the rings he was carrying were, and he seemed almost more excited than me.
Liam had even had some help in making up his business cards! They were so adorable, and everyone just melted when they saw him handing them out.
For the remainder of the time, I waited upstairs, mostly by myself, and sometimes with Sarah Danahy by my side. We had one big hiccup at the wedding. Our shuttle buses that were supposed to pick up the second round of guests at the hotel didn't make it there. Who knows why. Perhaps they forget they had a second run, maybe they never got the memo. Who knows. But from up here most of that chaos was unbeknownst to me. Luckily for me, we had some amazing team members both on the vendor side and from the bridal party who all came together to go and get those remaining guests. It was very moving to see everyone come together to solve this problem. The wedding was delayed a few minutes, but as far as problems go, we were thankful this was the only one we had. I looked down at the guests as they began to take their seat. I felt so anxious and excited all at once. Even being without Dan for a few hours seemed like forever, and I couldn't wait to commit my forever to him, in front of all those we love, in only a few more moments. Sarah came upstairs to tell me it was time. I took one last look out at the beautiful horizon, smiled and went downstairs. Ready to meet my forever.