If ‘Hell’s Gate’ doesn’t immediately conjure thoughts of romance, you have yet to hear about this place through the eyes of country & rock loving couple Amanda & Robin. A traditional romantic, Robin decided that on the bridge overlooking the rushing waters of the Fraser river (the place where the couple officially became a couple just under 2 years earlier) would be the spot he asked Amanda to be his wife. This thoughtful groom-to-be had also planned a big engagement party with friends that evening (confident move!).
Amanda (who has been outed by her good friends as ‘Type A for sure!’) went into planning mode right away and in fact the pair were scoping out vendors the next day! Not only was this day well organized, it was FULL of thoughtful, hand crafted personal details though the reason why the couple went DIY is different for both of them.
Amanda “I love bringing out my creative side! I was so over-sensitized by ideas i've seen on social media and I decided to just pick a few guidelines and then make them truly our own by hand-making everything with my mom.”
Robin “Any money we could save was worth the DIY!”
Keeping it local and choosing a venue in the town where they lived, this Chilliwack couple planned both their ceremony & their reception at Camp River Hall. The personalization that followed transformed the space into a one of a kind experience for the pair & their 115 guests.
They gave themselves 13 months to pull off their June wedding (the Canadian average is 14.5 months). Choosing the date for their fun garden-party wedding was another meaningful touch by the romantic pair. They planned it so their first official day as a married couple is the same day they became a couple 3 years ago.
Having just over a year to pull of a wedding that reflected Amanda & Robin as a couple, they got started right away. Amanda & her mother worked together throughout the summer to create the two largest DIY pieces of the wedding. The 16 foot x 7 foot flower wall and the giant bike tire based chandelier.
“Giving yourself a lot of time allows you to enjoy the DIY process and create works that you'll be truly proud of - not ones that you had to rush to get done because you were running close to the wedding. It's so important to enjoy the process and not resent it by overworking yourself in the months before your wedding” cautions the hard working bride.
Gathering inspiration from Pinterest (as so many couples do) Amanda loved the look of the capiz shell chandeliers. She used this as her inspiration and worked from there. Using a hoola-hoop, cork ribbon and chicken wire, they built the framework for the chandelier. A trip to Michaels to purchase a heart-shaped punch, wax paper and fishing weights (to ensure the fishing line lengths didn’t tangle in the breeze) and this bride to be & her mom created a BEAUTIFUL statement piece for the reception space.
Not stopping there, from September to December of 2016, these two spent 300 hours crafting a custom flower wall while watching their favourite tv shows. They found the cardstock they needed at Staples and then used metallic spray paint to add shimmer and shine. Amanda remembers a time when you couldn’t move for paper petals scattered all over their place!
According to the bride, “Having all of the DIY stuff done so far ahead of time allowed Robin and I to relax and enjoy the last few weeks as an engaged couple, and enjoy the festivities leading up to the big day!”
The day itself was full of games, karaoke limo rides and shenanigans on the dance floor. Amanda & Robin’s chosen #filmityourself crew, Chris & Ty not only captured all the beautiful elements of the day on film, they shot what we can only describe as a series of ‘wedding after dark’ clips which the couple will surely enjoy watching for years to come!
This laid back couple did decide to stick with tradition when they separated the night before their wedding, using the best man and maid of honour to send messages when needed. The anticipation built all the way until their first look. Amanda counts this moment as her favourite. “It was the only part of the day I got really outwardly emotional, and I was shaking walking up to him. I was so excited to see him, and for him to see me, it was absolutely perfect when he turned around, and we got to spend the rest of the day together!”
Some group time together with their 12 person, mixed-gender bridal party included some pretty major goofing around and fun with photographer Melissa Houser before a pretty epic limo ride and karaoke session. For the groom to be, his moment of joy didn’t reach its peak until it became official. “I was so happy once we were actually married! It had been a long time coming, and when we were walking back down the aisle together it was so euphoric. It all sunk in during the receiving line, it was great to see all of our family and friends, and hear all of their well wishes."
After DIY'ing their way to a highly customized and thoughtful wedding, the two were sure to celebrate their honeymoon on a much deserved road trip up the Pacific Coast highway. While they bask in the glow of newly married life, we encourage you to take a look at a few moments of Amanda & Robin’s beautiful Chilliwack wedding video here.
Vendor Shout Outs
Wedding planner: Heartfelt Events
Wedding photographer: Melissa Houser Photography (her photos are featured on this blog)
Wedding venue: Camp River Hall, Chilliwack, BC
Wedding video: Us! Clipsake