DIY Wedding at the Chicago Chophouse in Calgary
Today we are gonna have two DIY weddings, the first one is at Calgary at the Chicago chophouse and the other one is at Victoria BC. Let us see both one by one.
From the moment we got engaged, everyone kept asking “What’s the theme of your wedding? Do you have colors? What do you mean your bridesmaids are choosing their own dresses?”. I could never answer, I didn’t know how to please the masses. So my answer became, “We’re just not having that kind of wedding”.
So what kind of wedding would we have? Definitely DIY (though sometimes I just wanted to take a nap), nontraditional (we walked down the aisle together, and saw each other pre-ceremony), eclectic (homemade decor that included books, old sheet music, and shreds of fabric tied to ropes to make “columns”), and YUMMY (I love food SO MUCH!).
We planned our wedding in six months. We decided immediately to do our best to make it easy on our friends and family, and on ourselves! To us, this meant that our bridal party would choose their own attire (we asked them to try to keep it generally neutral, but that was their only guideline), and we would have the ceremony and reception in the same location and one immediately following the other. We loved the idea of not having to travel between locations – it would be November, and in Calgary, that could mean SNOWSTORM…..and it did just that.
Our “first look” was magical. Jordan didn’t seem too surprised by what I was wearing….he said: “It’s exactly how I imagined you would look”. He also couldn’t resist taking his own iPhone photo!! Even though we had two professional photographers catching every moment!
Did I mention that it was a SNOWSTORM the day before our wedding?? The sun finally came out on our wedding day, but not before it snowed a TON and was FREEZING cold that day. Having our photos done in the afternoon, I was terrified of the red-nosed picture we were sure to have…..INSTEAD, we headed to a favorite antique and salvage store of ours called UNIQUITIES. I think Nicole and Meg (our photographers) nearly died of joy. Here was a huge building, full of amazing antiques, warehouse windows, and lots of corners full of “stuff”….there was just so much stuff! We waltzed in like we owned the place, and Julia (the owner) greeted us with hugs and smiles. We had so much fun, and we were even married yet!
We are pretty much the most fortunate couple on the planet. Our best friends (one of whom is my cousin, the other was one of my bridesmaids) own a restaurant. And not just any restaurant, a beautiful, BIG, high-end Steakhouse. We knew the minute we got engaged that we would have our wedding at the Chicago Chophouse. We were married in the evening (6 pm) and the reception followed immediately. Our guests arrived at a romantic, sexy candlelight atmosphere where they were served a freshly squeezed vodka lemonade (squeezed by the bride herself!) and enjoyed a cocktail before the ceremony. Live music was really important to Jordan, who is a musician himself. So we had a three-piece band for the cocktails pre-wedding and the ceremony.
I’m not sure I had any exact inspiration. I love white, cream, gold, silver, grey….anything neutral. So this became the basis for all the decisions. The feeling was light and airy while still sexy and romantic. I surfed wedding blogs and Pinterest for ideas, and truly my mom (decorator extraordinaire!) was my sounding board. She has amazing taste and really helped shape the way our day would look. We thrift shopped for old silver platters, we made fabric columns to frame the ceremony location, we used Etsy for accessories and invitations, my best friend lent me dozens of hardcover books for centerpieces, and the floral arrangements on the tables were hand done that morning by our moms and friends with flowers from Costco. It was a group effort to pull off our day 🙂
We were married in front of their amazing Wine Cellar, which was decorated by my girlfriends with all our homemade decor. During the ceremony, the guest could stand around us, we were literally circled with love. It was still important for us to have a traditional (ish) ceremony. That’s what a wedding IS….the ceremony is what makes you married. We had a lovely officiant who asked us privately some personal questions and shared our answers with our guests during the ceremony. We also took a moment during our ceremony to look around at all the faces of the important people who were there to celebrate with us, this was my favorite part of the evening…..so emotional.
The wine flowed all night long, the vodka lemonades were gone and every spec of food was finished! We partied until 4 am and closed down the restaurant ourselves. Some of us even climbed up above the front entrance to ride the huge decorative bull that night. Guests left with a bag of kettle corn (made by the bride) and mini homemade pies (dutch apple, pecan, lemon meringue, strawberry rhubarb) as if they hadn’t had enough to eat :). We loved our day, and our guests did too – everyone left with full bellies, and smiles on their faces. You could just feel the love. Sigh. I wish I could do it again.
Processional Music: Kissing You, love theme from Romeo and Juliet by Desree’
Registry Signing: Marry Me, Amanda Marshall
Recessional: All You Need Is Love, The Beatles
Brides Dress: Bridal Couture Designs
Bridesmaids: ModCloth, Anthropologie, American Eagle Outfitters
Grooms Suit: Le Chateau
Photography: HAZYblur Creative
Photography venue: Uniquities, Calgary
Photo booth: Mia Nelly Photography
Officiant: Abby Charchun
Bouquets and Boutenniers: In Bloom, Calgary
Hotel: Hotel Le Germain, Calgary
Ceremony and Reception Venue: The Chicago Chophouse, Calgary
Now sharing some west coast love this morning with a vintage, rustic-inspired wedding captured by Amee Nijjar Photography and planned/designed by Marika of Rock Paper Square. It’s filled with thoughtful DIY details and absolutely beautiful floral pieces.
Says Marika: This summer wedding was filled with both rustic and romantic decor elements with a color palette of whites, greens, and a hint of blush. Guests were greeted at Starling Lane Winery and directed to the romantic ceremony location under the stunning oak tree. Geometric decor strung from fruit trees with romantic touches (and prize-winning Dahlias) placed throughout cocktail hour. DIY table numbers created by the groom provided a personalized touch to the reception venue and added to the playful table runners made from Kraft paper. This was a true celebration with Family & Friends.
Ceremony venue: Starling lane Vineyard
Reception venue: Prospect Lake District Community Hall
Photographer: Amee Nijjar Photography
Event Design + Planning: Rock Paper Square
Florist: Rook&Rose Floral Design
Officiant: Sherry Lynne Easthome
Ceremony Music: Europa Duo
Reception DJ: Christopher Poynter
Wedding Dress: Truvelle (Merly – no sleeves) from White Peony
Bridesmaids Dresses: J.Crew
Bride & Bridesmaids Makeup: Trish Sidhu
Bride & Bridesmaids Hair: Wink2 for Hair & Body
Bride’s Earrings: Violette
Bride’s Shoes: Coach (bought from The Bay)
Grooms Suit: Indochino
Groomsmen Suits: Moores Clothing for Men
Wedding Rings (all): Paul Mara Jewellers
Catering: Wits End Catering
Cake & Desserts: 6 Mile Bakery
Bartenders: Max Sydenham & Ed Adams (The Local Bar/friends)