Ariel and Colin held their Rossland winter wedding in the midst of COVID this February. Their plans were flexible knowing restrictions could change at any time… and they did.
A dream for a big wedding with everyone was condensed to a small wedding with family from other provinces and then switched to a micro wedding with people in their bubble. It was as thoughtful and sweet as they are… Ariel even wore a sweater she knitted, and they cross country skied into their ceremony site AND during their photos! But I’ll let them give you the details on how they planned, how they adapted, and what it all meant.
1. Tell me about your thoughts leading up to your Rossland winter wedding…
I always thought my mom or my poppa would walk me down the aisle. When my poppa died last year, that no longer became an option. My only other “dream” was to have my little sister as my bridesmaid and she passed away in 2018. For me, getting married, the act, didn’t have any real umphf behind it anymore. I wanted to marry Colin, but I was fine with just signing the paper and being done. Or so I thought.
When Colin and I got engaged in October it was a long time coming. It was hilarious and awkward. I loved it. We got engaged in the 100-Acre Wood outside of Rossland. Some kids making snow angels ruined Colin’s first planned location and ultimately he resorted to tapping me on the shoulder and saying, “Hey look over there,” before getting down on one knee. As we walked back to the car discussing when we would tell everyone, I saw a table with champagne and snacks and said, “Wow someone is having a good day!” … and Colin looked at me and said, ” Yeah, Ariel, YOU are having a good day.” That’s when Colin’s sister, brother in law and our friend Carlee all popped out of the woods!
At the start of the year Colin said ” Ariel -2020 is your year!” and then a pandemic happened… We were fine having a COVID wedding since we both have huge families and would want every single person there if possible, but a COVID wedding offered us a chance to curb our own enthusiasm to some degree. We had version 1: 40 people, Version 2: 15 people, Version 3: 10 people, and then the final version – just those in the area. It was hard to call our parents and tell them they could not come to the wedding. It was even harder to tell them we were not postponing. However, our families were very supportive of us moving forward in life. To be honest, the day was beautiful, happy and sad. Marrying each other was weird – but I like it.
2. Why did you choose the spot you did?
It had cell service and was pretty. [They recorded the ceremony on Zoom, and Colin’s dad even wore a tie to the viewing party!]
The night before the wedding (because we were lazy) we went out to stomp down the deep snow so everyone could stand on it. But we took our snowshoes and did the whole location, checked out the zoom to make sure it worked and looked around the area. The minute we were done, we took off our snowshoes and fell into hip-deep snow!
[They had their guests walk on the paths they had stomped out, but they thankfully reminded their wedding photographer to bring snowshoes… it wouldn’t be a Rossland winter wedding without them!]
3. What was your favourite part of the day?
Our niece being a total ham, our nephew being such a sweet little boy (even though he was freezing to death)…. and Colin having an “allergic reaction to pollen in the air.”
[Note: It was a Rossland winter wedding and there was definitely no pollen. It was one of very few times in their relationship that Ariel would see Colin cry!]
4. What were your favourite details and why?
My flowers were the bomb… Olea Floral did them. My sister in law let me borrow their Babcia’s pearls that Babcia gave her on her wedding day, and some beaver gloves that her husband brought back from the North (where I was raised), it brought a little bit of my life to the ceremony. Our ring box was made by Wildwolves Design out of Fernie. [Hair and make up by Alex Hitchcock.]
5. Why did you choose me as your Rossland winter wedding photographer?
Of all the love stories I wish this one was more romantic. We were referred to you by another photographer. We had no real vision or understanding of photos – we went in kind of blind. But this is bound to be one of the best love affairs we have. Your work was incredible, your spirit, support, unparallel. We could not be happier.
6. Do you have any wedding advice for couples getting married in the future?
Start by making the worst-case list first… Plan for that, but have more extensive plans in place. Also, go hire wedding coordinator Wild Smile Events. There is always this thought that a small wedding means fewer variables, easier to handle on your own. The truth is, small wedding means the same amount of variables, and fewer people able to help. Danielle is the bomb. We didn’t even get to utilize all her services for this ceremony (learn from our mistakes, we wish we had), but when we are able to have a reception with our family, we will be.
Ariel and Colin will be hosting a reception add-on to their Rossland winter wedding when the COVID restrictions allow. Couples, check with your wedding photographer and wedding coordinator for COVID-specific packages. Many of us are being as flexible as possible by splitting the hours of your wedding coverage, so you can get married AND have a party–even if they’re on completely different days. For more information about getting married during COVID and having your reception afterward, contact me here. I look forward to being there for you!