How We Became Rob & Kori
Rob and I met in a meeting at work and became great friends. Rob says it was love at first sight, but I think he fell in love with my legs at first sight. He's still very sweet.
We both knew we wanted to marry each other 3 weeks into dating. We would skirt around saying love by saying "I REALLY REALLY like you" or "You make me want to say crazy things" instead. Yes, we're both 13 in case you were wondering.
The rings have been passed down for over 100 years, most recently from his grandmother to his father, then his mother to him. A week or so into dating he showed me the engagement ring... I tried it on my right ring finger and he yelled "WHAT ARE YOU DOING!!" I yelled "IT WAS MY RIGHT HAND!!" but that did not ease his shock. So when three months later, while cleaning out his closet, he asked if I'd like to see the ring again. I gave a cautious "sure," then teased him by saying he had dropped the ring and should kneel to get it. He got down on one knee as I laughed and walked out of the closet. He yelled for me to come back and said "I've loved you since the moment I met you and it would make me very happy if you would be my wife." I asked if he was serious and then hugged him (eventually I remembered to say 'yes!'). Over the next week I realized that explaining to my friends why he proposed in the closet was almost as difficult as explaining why I thought it was romantic. Everyone has their own idea of what's romantic. For me it was a simple proposal in a messy closet.
Wedding Planning by the Penny-Pincher & Nordstrom Addict
We had an engagement brunch at Green Vegetarian where our family lamented the lack of bacon, then it was on to wedding planning! The start of wedding planning is fun and exciting until you figure out EVERYTHING you ever imagined is way over your budget. Rob wanted to spend as little as possible. All we need is love, right? I wanted a laid back party with an indie/bohemian feel. The guest list was easy. Wedding app, bridesmaids, colors, theme -- all check. I felt pretty full of myself at this point. I found my dress at Nordstrom in the special occasion section (not bridal area) which saved a ton of money (and the alterations were WAY less expensive). With a wedding budget of $2,500 I started the venue search. There are a lot of creative wedding venue options out there for weddings on a small budget and lot more ridiculously priced venues. Every time I got excited about a venue there was a big "BUT". After a month and a half of planning, arguing and agonizing I asked Rob if he would run away and marry me. "Let's go to New York and get married on a hotel room balcony overlooking Brooklyn." Not supper pumped about NY (why is beyond me) he suggested Ottawa since his grandma lives there. She worked for most of her life at a large agricultural center, like a gigantic park, called The Experimental Farm. It only cost $25 to have a wedding there!! TWENTY FIVE DOLLARS! VENUE -- CHECK!! Moving the wedding to another country cut down the guest list to just our parents and a few family members in Ottawa, and having the ceremony among the trees in the arboretum meant no need for decorations.
Marriage is What Brings Us Together Today
Four months after getting engaged, I packed everything for our wedding (INCLUDING MY DRESS) into a carry on and boarded a plane. Ottawa was beautiful. The leaves hit 'peak foliage' (I did not make up that term! There are actual 'foliage reports'!); yellow, orange and red everywhere. I desperately wanted a simple, laid back, stress free wedding day filled with joy and love; a throwback to the days when you got married in the garden and then had a potluck dinner at home. That is exactly what I got. Everyone laughed as Michele began our ceremony with "Mawwiage. Mawwiage is what bwings us togethaw today." Princess Bride anybody? We stood under the trees thinking it was impossible to smile any bigger as we promised to love each other more with each new day. We walked into a tiny, candlelit café to strangers cheering and complementing my dress like we're old friends and drank champagne with our closest family at a table for eleven late into the night. Ottawa changed from a place Rob loves to a city that will forever hold many happy memories of our start together.
Advice for Future Brides
I tried to keep in mind while planning that the goal of our wedding was to get married and to recognize and celebrate our love and commitment. Otherwise, I started getting lost in the details of dresses, favors, gifts and flowers. My advice to you is to imagine you have no preconceived notion of what a wedding is, no Pinterest, wedding magazines, websites, or friend's weddings to compare to. How would YOU celebrate? DO THOSE THINGS. If you want to fly across the continent and stand under the trees with flowers in your hair, do it. Those are the things you'll remember most.
What's your best advice for newly engaged couples?
The Who, What, and Where
Photography: We adore our photographer! She was absolutely the most helpful person leading up to and the day of our wedding. Melissa Morrissey Photography, Getting ready & First look location: Arc the Hotel, Ceremony location: The Arboretum at the Experimental Farm, Mom gifts: Personalized Locket, Groom's Vest: Hound & Tooth, Wedding Dress: Tadashi Shoji at Nordstrom (in the regular special occasion dress section... not wedding section) This exact dress no longer available but Tadashi has lots of beautiful dresses and a wedding dress line. Veil: Silk tulle chapel length veil on Etsy, Flowers: Full Bloom, Officiant: Michele Fansett with All Seasons Weddings, Bridal Hair & Makeup: Beauty by April, Dinner After: Cafe my House