Alyssa + Jonnie by Scarlet Oneill

Our starting point: a pastel 70s dance party in the country. We stuck to that concept throughout, aiming for a comfortable, welcoming, and fun atmosphere. Sparkly disco balls, a bouncy castle, and bonfires with s’mores added playful touches and filled everyone with warmth and joy.

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love…
Jonnie is a long-time service industry guy from rural England, and Alyssa is a creative dreamer type from Vancouver, Canada. When they say opposites attract, that’s us! Jonnie loves music, local beer, and late nights, while Alyssa loves flowers, natural wine and early mornings. We meet in the middle when it comes to going on adventures together big and small, watching our family grow (kids and pets, because we’d both happily live amongst a hoard of animals) and lusting over a simple life somewhere with wide open spaces.

How/where/when did you meet – and what were your first impressions?
It was peak pandemic, June 2020, and Vancouver had just allowed restaurants to open back up for patio season. Alyssa and her best friend went out to a very popular beer bar and found themselves with Jonnie as their server. The connection was instant and the flirting undeniable, so near the end of the night Alyssa posed the question, “Are you going to ask for my number or what?”. He agreed, and as she was leaving she told him, “You’ll remember this as the night you met your soul mate”. Jonnie had no idea at that point that Alyssa was a single mom by choice with an 18-month-old at home, and wouldn’t find out until their first date a couple of weeks later.

When did you first realise that this was someone you’d like to spend the rest of your life with?
Jonnie was nowhere near even thinking about having kids of his own and was very overwhelmed to learn I came as a package deal, but when he met my daughter Summer after we had been on a couple of dates, it was so obviously love at first sight. We’ve both since said that had she not been in the picture, the two of us probably would have just been a short-term fling, but something really special clicked for all 3 of us when Jonnie started spending time with Summer and me – it was clear very early on that we were meant to be a family.

Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it…
I went away for a weekend to Seattle with my mom and sister and when I got home, Jonnie had gone to great lengths to turn our back patio into a beautiful surprise, despite the relentless grey Vancouver winter rain. He made the same drinks he’d been serving me the night we met, put together a great playlist, and built a very impressive charcuterie board that neither of us could manage to eat because we were both shaking so badly! There were many tears from the two of us, and Summer was thrilled to get her ring as well (a ring pop she still talks about to this day)

What was one element you were happy to splurge on?
We were pretty thoughtful and reasonable about everything, but as a passionate gardener and aspiring florist, flowers were top of my list when it came to dividing up the budget. Almost every bloom included in our day had a special meaning, and Meredith at Coriander Girl did an amazing job tying all of my ideas together into something truly magical. We re-used the arch from our ceremony at the head table for dinner, repurposed the bridal and bridesmaid bouquets on the tables – basically any trick I could think of to give the florals the spotlight they deserved throughout the day so nothing felt wasted.

Did anything happen on your wedding day that you laugh about in hindsight (even if it was stressful at the time)?
It was a non-negotiable that Summer (and her friends) be a big part of our wedding day because she’s such a big part of our love story, and our future together. We wanted it to be a special day with lots of memories for her too! But on the big day, she was so tired from all of the travel and events earlier in the week that she could barely keep her eyes open. She fell asleep on my mom right before we were meant to hop in the car and head to the venue to walk down the aisle, and I was doing my best not to panic she was going to sleep through her part in the ceremony. Luckily a power nap did the trick, and she was up just in time! A few hours later when everyone else hit the dance floor she fell asleep on a couch in the corner and spent the rest of the event peacefully cuddled up under our jackets.

VENUE One Hundred Acre Wood, @onehundredacrewood / PHOTOGRAPHER Scarlet O’Neill, @scarletoneill / FLORA Coriander Girl, @coriandergirl / CAKE Hello Coco, / WEDDING DRESS Alena Leena Bridal, @alenaleenabridal / BRIDE’S SHOES Loeffler Randall, @loefflerrandall / SUIT Indochino, @indochino / GROOM’S SHOES Poppy Barley, @poppybarley / ENGAGEMENT RING Foe and Dear, @foanddear / WEDDING RINGS Condesa Jewelry Expertise, / CUSTOM EMBROIDERED WEDDING JACKETS Daily Disco, @daily_disco / VEIL Tempete Band, @tempetebrand / FLOWER GIRL DRESS Nora Lee, @shop_noralee / FLOWER GIRL SHOES Kailee P, @kaileep / HAIR & MAKEUP Eryn Shannon, @esbridal / BRIDE HAIR COLOUR GLOSSALON, @glossalonyvr / BRIDESMAID ATTIRE Park and Fifth Co, @parkandfifthco / BOUNCY CASTLE RENTAL Oui Bounce, @ouibounce / HANDMADE JAM WEDDING FAVOURS Kitten and the Bear, @kittenandthebear / PHONE GUEST BOOK After the Tone, /

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