I was born and raised in Manitoba, Canada. Alson was born in England and moved to Manitoba when she was three. We both grew up on farms three hours away from each other but did not meet until later in life. Often we talk about how similar our upbringings were.
We moved to the Okanagan area in British Columbia from Manitoba roughly a year after we started dating. Al’s parents had semi-retired to a farm in the North Okanagan. The farm is set on a plateau adjacent to a gorgeous mountain/cliff. This is our happy place. Helping out on weekends and in the summer. Helping make hay, chop wood, and look after the cattle, sheep, and chickens.
We both love the outdoors and spend most of our downtime hiking and soaking in the sweet smell of the forest with our two fur babies (Fran and Oly). We enjoy working on our home together too. So much so we renovated much of our home and have really enjoyed making it our own. We also enjoy working on projects in our woodshop, like the picnic tables for our wedding. Since moving to BC, we have spent most of our holiday time exploring, hiking, and camping in this beautiful province.
How long have you been together, and how did you meet?
Ali and I met just over four years ago. We met at a pride festival in Winnipeg while in line at a hot dog stand. Yes, a hot dog stand. From the moment I met her, I knew she was special. She is like sunlight. We had everything in common, and it was a conversation that could have gone on for hours. I hoped she would become a part of my life. The following two times I went into the city that summer, I just happened to run into her! We joked about the fact the universe kept bringing us together. We kept in touch throughout the summer. Then, one beautiful evening, the woman of my dreams confessed her love for me. I kissed her under the stars and never looked back.
Tell us about the proposal.
I proposed to Ali in our favorite place, Tofino, BC. Our dog, Fran, helped with the proposal. Fran loves to play fetch, especially in the ocean. I had a heart-shaped dog tag made with a special question engraved on it. I slipped the dog tag onto Fran’s floaty toy when Ali wasn’t looking and then told Ali that I was going to throw the toy for Fran and that she should call her back this time so I could take a video of Fran swimming. Fran was a star, doing exactly what she was supposed to do! She fetched the toy and dropped it at Ali’s feet. Ali reached down to pick it up, and she was greeted by the heart-shaped metal dog tag that said, “Will you marry my Mom?”. She turned around to find me on one knee. I confessed my love, and she said YES!
We celebrated with a picnic on the beach that later turned into a fire on the beach as we watched the sunset. We sipped champagne late into the night, enjoying the fire and the sound of the waves gently crashing on the sand—Bliss.
What was the inspiration behind the vibe of your wedding and why did you go with that?
When we decided to have the wedding at the farm, we decided we wanted to have a natural and rustic but modern vibe. In addition, we wanted a smaller wedding with our closest friends and family. So it was an intimate wedding with 40 guests.
We both love nature and the beauty that nature provides and we incorporated this aspect into our vibe as much as possible. We made picnic tables from locally sourced cedar, cut slabs from fallen trees on the farm for serving platters at the dessert bar, and brought fallen birch trunks from the forest to line the aisle at our ceremony. Collecting pine sprigs from the forest and we used these as decor on the table runners.
Ali’s dad Denis is a true farmer. One of his pride and joys is an old Massey tractor that is the exact same make and model as the one he had growing up on his family’s farm in England. Ali’s brother washed and buffed it up, and we used this as a prop in many of our photos and decor at the reception
Talk to us about the wedding day.
As luck would have it, for the first time all summer, rain POURED down. The rain started just a few hours before our wedding. I was a little concerned that it would be raining all day, but luckily, it cleared off. For the first time in what seemed like months, the air was fresh and clean. The smoke from the fires had also cleared off. I had never been so happy to see rain, ever, even if it was on our wedding day. We had the most stunning mix of sunlight and clouds for the ceremony, and it made for some beautiful photos. It ended up being the best day ever. Not too hot, not too cold. Perfect.
We had the ceremony up in the hayfield just north of the house. Our guests were transported up to the ceremony from the house by a tractor and hay trailer. We lined the huge flatbed trailer with straw bales covered with white sheets. The hayride up to the ceremony site was a highlight for many of our guests! They had a blast. We had a small wedding party. First, my sister Des and Fran (our dog) walked down the aisle. I went second, and then Ali and her dad. Our best friend Bridget performed the ceremony and Ali, and I wrote our own vows. They were perfect, a little serious, a little funny, very sweet. After the ceremony, Ali and I had a photo session with our photographer. We took shots at different spots around the farm.
Roughly 45 minutes later, we arrived back at the yard, where we joined our guests for cocktail hour and a fabulous catered dinner. After dinner, Ali and I had our first dance. We danced in amongst the fruit trees as the sun went down. The fruit trees were lit up, which created a wonderful ambiance, and it was magical.
Speeches came next. A small handful of friends and family said some very lovely, hilarious, and heartfelt words about the two of us.
A dance party was next and it was so much fun! We danced into the wee hours of the morning.
Photography by Honey Deer Photographer
Catering Gumtree Catering
Celebrant Bridget Kirkland
Decorative Elements Total Event Rentals
Desserts Frosted Tier Cakes
Dress Boutique Bliss Bridal
Dress Designer Dessy Collection, Essence of Australia
Florist Forage General
Hair Shalina Burk Hair Designs
Makeup The Beauty Bar
Marquee The Tent Guys Okanagan
Shoes David’s Bridal
Signage Dory Holt
Stationery Vista Print
Venue Flintoft Farm
Wedding Rings G.W Bands