Sandra-Lee & Conrad's rustic fall intimate outdoor wedding

February 18 2014 | offbeatbride  
Photos by: Tyler and Katie Branch
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Photos by Tyler and Katie Branch

The Offbeat Bride: Sandra-Lee, Photographer

Her offbeat partner: Conrad, Lighting Technician

Date and location of wedding: Strawberry Hill Inn, Little Rapids, Newfoundland, Canada — October 8, 2013

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We knew exactly what we wanted: small, offbeat, intimate, and fun. We had two years between the proposal and the actual wedding, so during that time I handmade all of the bunting flags, the fabric backdrop, and signs. Things I couldn't make, we thrifted or bought at yard sales/antique stores. The mens' and families' boutonnieres were also handmade, with a little cursing and hot glue. The ladies' bouquets were picked up at the local supermarket. I went with the bulk filler flowers for a wildflower look, and tied them together with twine and floral tape.

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On the morning of our wedding, we woke up together, ate breakfast, ran errands, and as our bridal party arrived, we went to our separate parts of the chalet and got our duds in order. The ceremony was followed by our first dance right there on the altar, and everyone then made their way to the main chalet for poutine and drinking!

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Shortly after the ceremony, it started to absolutely pour. Our photographers and bridal party were troopers right until the end. They were covered head to toe in mud, and were still smiling in all the photos.

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Tell us about the ceremony:
Our officiant really helped make our ceremony beautiful. We created a ceremony from bits and bobs from around the internet, poetry, stories, and our hearts. Our friends Victoria and Megan (alongside Megan's 11-month-old daughter, Olivia), read Edward Moulton's "A Lovely Love Story" and my grandmother blessed us with an Irish blessing.

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Our biggest challenge:
The biggest challenge was explaining that we weren't doing the type of wedding that is the norm around here: ceremony, followed by a five-hour break, then a formal reception with supper and dancing, usually in the hometown of the bride or groom.

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We're both from the east coast/central portion of Newfoundland, but decided on a "destination" Newfoundland wedding, in the stunning area of Humber Valley on the West Coast. To make things more difficult, we decided on a Tuesday in October — not exactly prime time for people to have holidays off of work. There were complaints, but we stuck to our guns, and these challenges really helped to skim down the guest list.

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My favorite moment:
Waking up next to Conrad knowing that it was the morning of the day we'd finally become husband and wife was a really amazing feeling. I'm so happy we decided to buck the tradition of not seeing each other the night before/day of.

Next to that, it would be walking down the aisle with my father to "First Day of My Life" by Bright Eyes. I had imagined that moment over and over in my head, but the music fit the moment and created the perfect vortex of emotions… meaning I walked down the aisle crying like a banshee.

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What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
Do what makes you happy. Be true to yourselves. You're obviously doing something right if you're reading Offbeat Bride, but really… be true to yourself. This is hopefully a marriage to last the ages, and wouldn't you rather look back and remember the fun you had rather than the stress? At the end of the day, you're in love, you're happy, and you had FUN!

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

  1. There are SOOO many details I love! First and foremost: the venue! I was thinking of honeymooning around your neck of the woods, I think I know where to stay 🙂 I love your little note to Conrad in his Chuck's so much, I pinned it 🙂 Other details: your hair, your whispy dress, the bunting outside was part of your cake (that sat upon tree cookies)… I could go on and on, but I'll finish by saying everything, including the bride and groom, look beautiful. Congratulations and may your wedding "last through the ages"!

  2. I am in love with this wedding… and I agree about the location- it's gorgeous, and somewhere I've always wanted to go! I love your dress (I think I want to copy the sleeves!) your hair looks amazing and I love all the windblown pictures! I'm going to steal the idea of "marking" relatives- I loved the sister/brother ones I saw. Congratulations!

  3. Everything is so goddamned beautiful! You just look like you're having so much fun, and I was moved to my own tears at the gorgeous loving tears during the ceremony!

  4. Your wedding looks so fun and relaxing! I'm inviting 60 for a Sunday wedding and expecting many not to be able to come. Since our wedding will be small, one of my concerns is that it will also be boring. It looks like your wedding was far from boring!

    "wouldn't you rather look back and remember the fun you had rather than the stress? At the end of the day, you're in love, you're happy, and you had FUN!" So true, something to remember as I plan my wedding. Thank you for sharing!

    • Oh! My big-day is also set for Sunday afternoon for 60 people! Neither of us like parties and try to dash out after it is apparent that everyone has seen us. Other reasons why our 3-hour celebration (ugh!) might be a little dull (in some eyes): *no alcohol *no outside-the-family kids *no dancing (it's a small barn with not much space) … also, see the very first reason
      Like you, I'm having doubts that it might be too dull. But! We are having it at a nature sanctuary, playing big-band music from the 1930's/1940's, and most importantly, we are inviting people we love and whom love us 🙂

  5. I guarantee that your weddings will not be too dull. It is never dull to witness and celebrate two people who love each other make a commit to each other.

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