Cassandra & Dylan’s sweet and thrifty garden wedding

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 | Photography by Anne Warwick
Photos by Anne Warwick

The Offbeat Bride: Cassandra, Employment Counselor

Her offbeat partner: Dylan, Self-Employed Landscaper

Date and location of wedding: Canada — August 17, 2013

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Saying that we cut corners was the understatement of the century. Dylan and I strongly believe that the billion dollar wedding industry can be out of control, especially because weddings are a beautiful thing at their source. Our wedding was a simple backyard wedding, full of flowers, bright colours, and great big smiles. We are fortunate enough to have parents that live in the country and have very green thumbs.





We had a very strict $10,000 wedding budget. Everything we could do on our own, we did! This forced us to get creative, and the wedding party helped out tremendously by shopping at craft stores, sharing ideas, and making things from scratch. The wedding arbor was created by a friend who has a small carpentry business.



Tell us about the ceremony:
My father wasn't in my life growing up, so I had my favorite uncle walk me down the aisle, and that was a very emotional moment for me. He's always kind of acted like a father in my life; however, my brothers and I never had the nerve to EVER call him “dad.” When I asked him if he would walk me down the aisle, he told me “Of course, you're my daughter and I would be honored.” Even typing that just now gave me goosebumps.



But on the lighter, less sappy side of things: the ceremony included tons of tall jokes. 🙂 We are both tall of stature — I am 6'3″ and my husband is 6'6″. Both of our families, through very different looking, all have something in common, and that's our sense of humor. It was nice to see everyone laughing unanimously at the same thing.



Our biggest challenge:
Our biggest challenge was my chaotic-outspoken-unorthodox family. We both have huge families, and that made having a small wedding very challenging. Both our parents have over eight siblings, and those siblings all have four or five children, and some of those children have children… so you do the math.

There was tons of pressure from both of our families reminding us “What about this person? Or THAT person? Oh you MUST invite so and so…” In a perfect world, we would have invited everyone, and their best friends.

We overcame this issue by sticking to our guns. It wasn't easy, but it was necessary. We did our best to include as many people as possible by inviting more to join us for the dance party that was happening after the food was served.


My funniest moment:
My brother was the MC and he blew me away with his charm throughout the ceremony. He is ruthless as well. For example, when a certain someone was very obviously intoxicated and starting to speak in circles with the mic, he smoothly grabbed the mic from him and told everyone, “Catch up with this guy! He obviously knows how to party.”


My favorite moment:
The most meaningful moment was the ceremony. The reverend took the time to get to know us and he nailed it. It was tasteful, short and sweet, with lots of laughter throughout. We also wrote our own vows, and there's nothing more nerve-wrackingly beautiful than sharing something so personal and sweet in front of your family and friends.

Another meaningful moment was the open mic portion. I was especially surprised when my grandmother got up and sang so confidently, powerfully, and beautifully in front of everyone. She made up a song for us on the spot, and had everyone clapping along. A good friend of ours also performed a lovely spoken word piece that made me cry. We allowed those that were bold enough to take the mic at any time, and were blown away by the results .



Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

  • Photography: Anne Warwick
  • Bride's dress: Wai-Ching. Chrissy, the designer, makes all of the dresses herself, and is an amazing person. I was too tall for most dresses that I've tried at other shops, so it was nice to get one custom-made for my height.
  • Arbor: Jake Jonston
  • Gardens: Dylan Muileboom, the groom and owner of Hummingbird Landscapes

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Comments on Cassandra & Dylan’s sweet and thrifty garden wedding

  1. I’m right there with the guest list quandaries. It’s tough, because we really do want to invite the world, but just can’t. One (hopefully) helpful solution was posting humorous/heartfelt notations explaining the reasons behind limiting extended family/plus ones on the wedding website FAQ section. We’re also having a secondary bash in late summer which will serve as an casual, open house-style, outdoor reception. One thing I’ve known from the beginning of the planning process is that it’s not possible to make everyone happy and there will always be a voice or two (or more) of dissent.

    Beautiful, sweet wedding! Bride is gorgeous and the groom is adorable. Bravo on making it all work for YOU – and not giving in to those voices of dissent!

    • Thank you very much! 🙂 We have learned a lot in the process. A bash would have been nice, but the pride my family has is out of control LOL I suggested the idea to my mother and she said “Our family does not accept consolation prizes.” It took me a long time to get over hurting peoples feelings, I’m a sensitive kid I guess. You’re right, you cannot please everyone, so why bother trying? lol

  2. Wai-Ching bride high-five! Beautiful, beautiful wedding, I can feel the love all the way down South.

    • We all know at least ONE singer, they are usually quiet flattered when asked to perform at your wedding! 🙂

  3. Gah! This wedding is PERFECT. Gave me goosebumps. Congrats to you and your husband!

    Also, this wedding is strangely like the wedding we’re planning, and the families aren’t too different either! It’s literally similar right down to the budget. It’s really fun to see how it all worked out for you!

  4. Your dress was amazing, how beautiful! I loved the photos from the front, but was blown away by the back.
    Fantastic colors, what a beautiful wedding. I love the candles floating above the stones. I think the vibe of the wedding really comes through in the photos as well.

  5. What a beautiful wedding and a beautiful couple. You can feel the joy radiating off you both. Also, the bride’s dress is AMAZING!

  6. What a joy-filled, wonderful wedding! Thank you so much for sharing. Hearing your story about your uncle walking you down the aisle almost had me in tears.

  7. So beautiful! I really love the mason jar candles (^_^)!!! Congrats you two!!

  8. I love this! It’s pretty much my dream wedding, and you guys look soooooo happy it brings tears to my eyes! Congratulations!

  9. I love the hot air balloons! Can we hear more about those? I’m so tempted to steal that idea…

    • Hot air Balloons or (lanterns) have TONS of symbolism behind them, google will help you choose the one you find will best suit what you’re going for. We shared a few words of thank you’s and dedicated it to our guests for being the lights in our livese that has helped us get to where we are today.

  10. Hope they have kids – can you imagine the supermodel basket/volley -ball stars they will raise??

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