We are always impressed by “labor of Love” weddings. The heartwarming gathering of family and friends brings a couple’s special day alive with personalized details made with love. The guests of this rustic Canadian wedding in an orchard take “generousness” to another level.

The couple received almost everything they had used on their wedding day. Her soon-to-be mother-in-law did the bride’s make-up. Friends did the catering, the flowers by my mother, and even the venue by neighbors. They also saved a lot on other things, such as digital invitations sent via paperless post.

Alabaster Jar Photography was one of the few vendors who captured that ethereal prairie gold light. We think it was a significant investment.

Our Love Story

We met in England, doing a Christian Training School program for a year. I am from Canada, and Louise is from the Netherlands. We developed a friendship long before we knew there was romance between us. We had already moved past the dating stage and started discussing marriage before we realized it.

When we started planning our wedding, I suggested we be officially engaged before making further plans. Louise replied shockingly, “I thought that we were already engaged!”

We had a picnic and walked in the Northumberland Forest while visiting Canada, where we were visiting family. We went to an overlooking vista of rolling hills in the county, and I proposed using my grandmother’s wedding band. I knelt and gave Louise a card referencing a note we shared earlier in the year.

Destination & Planning

Our venue owners generously provided us with their barn and orchard for the wedding day, as well as their house and property during the week before the big event.

The bride’s entire family was able to come from the Netherlands to stay with us as we planned and prepared for the wedding. In a way, it was the first time our families could come together and spend a week together.

The Ceremony

Our ceremony was held on the hilltop of the groom’s parents. The groom also built a prospector-style tent, framed with local timbers, overlooking Lake Ontario.

It was an unforgettable moment. We could bask in the sun of September, worship with our friends, and enjoy one of the most breathtaking views.

We then went to the neighboring property to have the cake cut and a toast. This is not what Canadians are used to, but it was well received. It was also the most common compliment we received that day.

The Photographer

Our close colleague, Alicia, is the only person we would have considered. Our wedding date was determined by her availability to photograph it.

The Reception

We then moved on to a dinner in an apple orchard under the stars. Our friend Randy helped us plan a picnic-style meal that evoked our early dates.

We moved to a barn near the orchard, which the owners have used for social gatherings. Each guest was asked to bring a dessert. As we listened in Dutch and English to speeches, guests were able to enjoy the wide variety of desserts.

The evening was rounded off with a dance before we returned to the hilltop and sat under the stars to enjoy our beautiful evening.

Favorite moments

Louise’s brother-in-law, fluent in English and Dutch, translated the wedding day from Dutch into English or English to Dutch.

We were delighted with our choice to invite children. Their laughter and joy played a big part in the wedding.

As per Dutch tradition, I gave the bride the bouquet during our first meeting,

Couples Advice

The financial aspect of our wedding could be a separate blog. After praying and waiting, we were amazed at the generosity of our family and friends in providing for our wedding. We were blown away by the lavish gifts that followed. Our wedding was more extravagant than anything we could have imagined.

We didn’t have to worry about cultural standards for a wedding. While we tried to honor Canadian and Dutch customs, we found that the marriage of two cultures created a more affluent wedding and was not offensive to our guests.