It’s amazing how inspiration for your day can come from one single item. In Sonja’s case it was the Claire Pettibone gown she fell in love with. As she explains further below, she instantly knew it was ‘the one’ and it was from this their ‘day in the French countryside’ (albeit in Canada) wedding was borne. The couple married at the groom’s parents farm on Vancouver Island. With a beautiful old barn – complete with mint green roof – it offered them the perfect venue for the relaxed, intimate gathering they had hoped for. After searching far and wide, they were thrilled with Jarrett’s father suggested the use of their barn and fields, especially as the bride had dreamt of a pretty barn wedding since she was a child. After a great deal of effort from lots of friends and family the barn had an overhaul and was ready for their big day.
Thanks to Sherri Koop for sending this beautiful wedding our way!!
How and/or where did you meet? We have both been big into photography for years and around the same time as each other we decided to go to photography school in Vancouver. We met in March 2010 on the first day of class…my alarm had not gone off that morning and I was an hour late for the first day. So Jarrett got a good glimpse into who I am right away with that! (when we started dating a few months later he took to calling me in the morning to make sure I was up and going to make it to class on time). At school we found that we worked really well together during shoots and we’d hang out a little bit on our own socially, but dating wasn’t on either of our minds at that point. It was a bit of a surprise to both of use when a romance developed, but it ended up being just the sweetest thing and such a gift for both of us. One of our classmates called it, though, within the first week of school. I don’t know how she knew, but she knew it was gonna happen with us.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I think I found a pin on Pinterest to the designer Claire Pettibone really soon after Jarrett’s proposal and while poking around on her site I saw a picture from one of her runway shows of a model in her Provence gown. That was it for me. I was done. I knew that was the dress. It was so different than anything I had ever seen before… I loved that it was cotton with a print! And had velvet patches and gold-threaded lace detailing. And the bustle. Oh my goodness, the bustle. I found a wonderful dress shop in Seattle that represented Claire and was so glad that I liked how how the gown looked when I got to try on the sample…it clearly put out of mind any other dress I’d tried on. That gown inspired the whole look and feel of our day…elegant yet easy-going, and, like the name of the gown suggests, a day in the French countryside!
Describe your wedding flowers: Going with our French countryside theme, lavender played a big role in our flowers. We had our bridesmaids carry simple bundles of it, while my bouquet and the men’s boutennieres were slightly embellished with pieces of eucalyptus. We wanted our flowers to seem like we had just gone out that morning and picked them fresh from the field, so the rest of the flowers we used on the tables and in the décor were mixes of hydrangea, baby’s breath, and other simple flowers. Each centrepiece was different, held in a variety of old tarnished silver teapots, serving vessels and antique wooden boxes that we collected and borrowed.
Favourite detail of the day: Hard to choose, but if have to pick I would go with a very practical detail and say the luxury portable washrooms with flush toilets that we rented. The farm property had no facilities whatsoever and the last thing I wanted was for our female guests to have to squeeze into one of those cramped, dark and often smelly porta-potty units while decked out in their finery. The first thing I booked for the wedding was a trailer washroom unit, complete with water, flush toilets, mirrors and not necessary but fun – a TV and DVD player. Our guests were so thrilled they didn’t have to rough it in their fancy dress clothes! It was one of the things I was actually most excited about for our wedding too… and I was so busy that day I actually didn’t even get to use them once!
Most memorable moment? Hands down we both agree it was dancing with the live band, SideOne, at the reception, especially during our first dance where they performed Patti Griffin’s “Heavenly Day” and later when everyone joined in on the dance floor for a rousing version of The Lumineers’ “Ho Hey”. Patti’s song just described our whole day and our emotions so perfectly and it was incredibly special to have that moment together on the dance floor. During the Lumineers’ song there was just this huge sense of celebration and community! Foot stomping and hooting and hollering…. it’s a good thing we reinforced the barn floors! One of our favourite moments, absolutely.
Anything other details that help tell the story of your day: One tradition that is a part of both of our families is pitching in and helping one another, and it was really neat to see this tradition practiced big time leading up to the wedding. Without it, the day as it was would not have happened. Jarrett’s parents would be up at the barn helping us on the weekends to power wash and sweep out the barn, mow and reseed the fields, and clear the barn out of all it had been storing for years. My sister-in-law helped with the DIYs before the rest of my bridemaids arrived in town and could pitch in. And when my family arrived the week before the wedding they were tireless, along with the bridal party, in helping us set up the decorations, plant trees on the property and run any errand that was needed. We both come from families that care about their members so much and who will do anything in a pinch to help. The wedding really was a way for both families to practice this tradition together, and having our families come together was one of the best things about that whole day.
Bridesmaids Dresses | their own, Grooms Attire | Le Chateau, Coordinator | Filosophi, Caterer | Galloping Gourmet