Our photographer, and one of our best friends, Erik Hornung summed up our wedding perfectly, “This wedding was a whirlwind of events – stressful, hilarious, and wacky. My wife was a bridesmaid, the florist, and emcee. Brian and Erin catered all the food themselves – probably the best pulled pork I’ve ever had.” Erik left out Lindsey also being our wedding planner and doing a reading! She was our saving grace.
But first! A Brerin Fun Fact! The wedding we had was not the first wedding we planned. It wasn’t even the second or third. It was the seventh! Or was it the eighth? I can’t keep track anymore.
If you read our story, you’d know that we became engaged on February 3, 2008. We had so many plans it’s hard to keep track. Amongst our many plans was an elopement on December 1, 2008 followed by a second ceremony and reception on March 13, 2009. Then we were going to get married in Vegas (that plan lasted about 2 weeks). Next, we planned for a wedding on September 12, 2009 on a beach in Vancouver. We booked a venue and had almost everything planned out. Then Murphy decided to throw his law at us repeatedly and we had to cancel it. Then we were going to get married December 1, 2009 and my MOH Erika was planning it. But again, Murphy and his damn law came down hard on us and we didn’t go through with it.
Then one day in November 2009, we were at Erik and Lindsey’s house when Lindsey asked us when we were getting married. (Her and Erik had gotten engaged around the same time we did and got married in July 2009. What? You mean people don’t plan 7 or 8 weddings before they finally get hitched?) Brian and I just sort of looked at each other because we had no idea when we were going to get married! We’d just moved into our condo, I was working days and Brian was working nights. We barely saw each other, let alone thought about planning a wedding.
Lindsey was going to have none of that. She grabbed Erik’s appointment book and started looking for free Saturdays. I suggested summer of 2010 and she said, “Nope, too far away. You’ll cancel again. You can have sometime before…April.” She furrowed her brow, flipped pages in the book and said, “March 13 is free.” I looked at Brian and he looked at me and we said, “Okay!” And then she did the unthinkable: She wrote our names into Erik’s book…IN PEN.
What happened over the next month is how Lindsey earned her nickname “Ze Führer” (which we did say to her face and it was with a lot of love, affection and apprection!). If you haven’t figured it out by now, Brian and Erin had an insanely hard time committing to a wedding. Lindsey was bound and determined to get those crazy kids married. As a grade one teacher Lindsey is used to challenging students and Erin was no exception. She did what any teacher would do: she gave Erin small goals (with deadlines) to complete. And would check up on her to make sure Erin was completing them.
Then one day in January, Erin went on a road trip to Jasper with Erik and Lindsey. For the first 2.5 hours Erin had to write down a wedding to-do list. Lindsey would dictate and Erin would write. When the sun set, Erin used the light from her cellphone. Sure it was hard on the eyes, but that’s what Erin gets for being a bride who has 4 months to plan a wedding.
If you read the page about us, you’d know that we love to DIY! So what better way to showcase our skills than to DIY our wedding! Deb and Erin put together the invitations (which were designed by Erika (MOH) and printed at Staples), sewed the table runners (with fabric a friend of Deb’s gifted), and put together all the favours, menu cards and programs (also printed at Staples). The set up involved Brian’s parents, Karen & Dave, his uncle Rand, his sister Kristina, her boyfriend Chris and his other sister Emily. Deb and Erin were there, too! Dave, Rand and Deb were in charge of hanging the lanterns from the ceiling, while Kristina, Chris, Karen and Emily put slipcovers and chair ties on all the chairs. While Erin assembled centrepieces and laid out glasses, programs and favours, Chris, Kristina and Karen assembled the chuppah. For anyone wondering, no we are not Jewish. We just love what the chuppah represents and were determined to have one. Without those three, we wouldn’t have had one at all! Our flowers were put together by Lindsey with help from Erika’s mom Shauna. Our guestbook were two records (bought for 1$) spraypainted platinum, which guests were asked to sign. We also had notecards with speech bubbles for guests to write well wishes on.
The biggest part of our DIY wedding was that we catered the food ourselves! We still joke that our wedding will remain the biggest dinner party we’ve ever thrown. We had A LOT of help that day from amazing family (Deb, her BFF Yolanda, Karen and Emily’s boyfriend Nathan) and without them there is no way that dinner would have happened. We chose a menu of salads (tossed, caesar and pasta), quiche, garlic mashed potatoes, roast beef and barbeque pulled pork. Dessert were mini cupcakes in chocolate and lemon. Not very many people would attempt to do what we did and I can very happily say that it all worked out! Now, to give credit where credit is due: Brian did most of the cooking. Erin was in charge of the pasta salad and peeling potatoes. He did everything else.
A lot of people have asked us why in the world we catered our own wedding. Like everything else, our biggest reason was cost. We knew we wanted three things: to have everyone there with us, to feed everyone a great meal and to have an open bar. To get all three things, we’d have to cut something from our already-on-the-paltry-side-as-far-as-weddings-go budget and really the one thing we had to play with was the meal. So we decided to just do it ourselves! The conversation went something like this:
E: Why don’t we just do the food ourselves?
B: Are you crazy? Pause Don’t answer that. I already know you are.
E: Why not?? We’re good cooks! We have the internet! We can TOTALLY do this.
B: Oh man..
E: C’mon! If caterers can do it, why can’t we?
B: Fine. You do the research though.
We went through different menu options (doing bbq’d pizza was my number one choice but the logistics of barbequing enough pizza for 75 people in March was just not going to happen) and did some research on cooking food for large parties in advance. We also went through a pasta buffet option and a Mexican buffet option. When we finally settled on the menu, we went to Costco for all the ingredients (we had three full carts by the time we were done) and then got home and set to work! Erin was on pulled pork duty until Deb and Brian claimed she wasn’t “fast enough” and put her back on pasta salad duty. It was a long two days but it was worth it in the end!
Brerin Fun Fact: At our engagement party in July 2008, we had a quiz and one of the questions was, “Who is the better cook: Erin or Brian?” The answer then was Erin but now it’s Brian. Two chefs have changed his culinary life: Chef Michael Smith and Chef John. Though in Erin’s defense, she’s still a pretty good cook but Brian’s definitely the better of the two now. Erin Fun Fact: She can’t make an omelet to save her life.
Like most weddings, not everything went as planned. The girls were running late from the salon, which meant they were running late for makeup, which meant they were running late for the ceremony. We opted not to have a rehearsal, so everyone just kind of winged it. Our ceremony music didn’t happen. We got pulled over by a peace officer on our way to take bridal party photos in the city. We didn’t have a very big dance floor.
But you know what? Those things didn’t matter to us. Weddings run late and music doesn’t happen. The peace officer let us go with a warning. We had a couple dances as a married couple. What was important to us is that everyone who attended was there out of love and support for our marriage. And we knew people would forgive us for being late and slightly disorganized. After 7 weddings, we think everyone was just happy that we finally got married!
During the reception, we watched a fantastic slideshow that Erik put together, followed by some hilarious and tear-jerking toasts. If you’ve seen the photos from the wedding, that black and white one where I’m laughing hysterically? That was during Erika’s toast where she said she has 7 dresses in her closet. I sense a screenplay! You heard it here first folks! Also, for the record, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house when Deb did her toast.
Our wedding day will remain the best day of our lives. We feel so blessed to have so many amazing and wonderful family and friends who traveled from far and wide (Ontario, Idaho, Montana, British Columbia…) for us. We love you all.