This past weekend was the wedding of Liz & Andy, who were among my first clients to sign on the dotted line. I've been working with them since October, and I knew from the beginning that this was not going to be a run of the mill wedding. Living in Toronto, Liz & Andy were not able to run around Winnipeg checking out venues, or meet with photographers, etc. They enlisted myself and the Maid-Of-Honour (Liz's sister Aileen) to do the planning on the Winnipeg side of things. Liz & Andy wanted a venue that would allow them to be outdoors but have shelter, somewhere they could bring homemade wine, somehwhere close to the city and somewhere that guests could mingle freely and not be stuck in one room all night. An afternoon of phoning around later, we found the venue: Six Pines Ranch.
A Ranch that provides tours and a petting farm, and is likely best known for their Halloween tours, Six Pines is run by a friendly and very accommodating couple. I'll likely do a Feature Venue post in the future, but want to highlight how very flexible James and Judy were before I go over the rest of Liz & Andy's story.
We moved 20 something picnic tables out of the shelter and then back again, brought in chairs, tables, a dance floor, lighting and decorations. Liz is a DIY bride all the way and her family was in on it - they provided the bartending, DJ-ing and flowers. Liz made her bouquet and the boutonnieres, Liz & Andy made the invitations, and Liz and her bridesmaids made the truffle tower, and the list goes on.
One idea that Liz had was chairs, tables and blankets outside, and people sitting and eating in different areas: some at tables, some on chairs, and some on picnic blankets on the ground. This was something we went over again and again, and I was hesitant. I thought that since there are picnic tables at the Ranch, people would be more likely to search for a picnic table than eat on the ground. Liz insisted something along the lines of "out of sight, out of mind" would work, so the solution was to "hide" the picnic tables. And we did, and it worked. The guests loved the idea of a picnic style dinner, and when Liz & Andy plunked themselves on a picnic blanket, guests gladly followed.
This wedding was a tremendous amount of work on everybody's part, and (since I'm done carrying around tables and chairs) I can say it was totally worth the effort. I'm sure there are few wedding venues where guests can go look at the horses and goats and cuddle a cat between supper (which was eaten off of blue and gold banded china) and speeches - it was relaxed and celebratory and wonderful and congratulations to Liz & Andy on your wedding and for pulling off such a unique celebration!
A few photos of the dinner set up: