This DIY wedding is what dreams are made of. Sarena and Alex drove across the country in their motor home, jam packed full of all their wedding supplies and their dogs, and married on the South Shore of Nova Scotia in beautiful Lahave. Scroll through their wedding photos but be sure to read their wedding story – it’s incredible.

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

Photo Credit: J Wells Photography

From the Bride and Groom …

August 22, 2015. I know they say that your wedding is just one day that goes by so fast, but I have found myself day dreaming about it every day since. My heart beats faster and I smile without even realizing when I think about it. We packed up our 1987 motor home with our two dogs and drove from our home in Edmonton, Alberta across the country to get married in Middle Lahave, Nova Scotia where Alex’s family is and then drove back to Edmonton for our honeymoon. This was by far the most exciting thing we have ever done, and the hardest.

My mother was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer and was not able to make the trip to Nova Scotia. Because of her condition my dad stayed at home with her as well. Leaving without them was absolutely heart wrenching & before we left I did not know how we were going to do it. We had to change our mindset to still be excited & to not let this ruin everything we had wished for and dreamt of for so long.

This was without a doubt the best adventure yet! Our photographer J Wells Photography in Nova Scotia had said it perfectly, “If you can drive across Canada in a camper stuffed with wedding supplies, two dogs, and no air conditioning and still want to get married at the end of the drive, you know you’ve got something to hold on to.” To be able to have this time together before the mayhem began was so important to us. The things you see, people you meet, and adventure’s you experience when driving across a country will fill you with memories to last a lifetime.

To all future brides that plan a wedding in a different location from where you live, please don’t stress more! We realized that it is the same as planning a wedding where you live in that you hire all of these different people to help with your big day and hope for the best! It is the same thing you just have to have faith in them. I quickly realized that good communication was crucial in planning from across the country. If they did not have good communication from the beginning we moved on! And the internet was our best friend!

We found our venue online and it was love at first site. St. Marks Place originally was a church built in 1901, a few years back the building was falling apart and the whole property was up for sale when a man bought it and instead of tearing it down he fixed it up and kept a lot of it’s original character and the beautiful stain glass windows that we are obsessed with. The venue is now just rented out for events. The ceremony and reception were both there, but we had a few hours break between the two to take photos. We caught a little cable ferry that goes across Lahave River and had lunch at our favorite bakery Lahave bakery. We then made our way to Fort Point for more photos. Pictures were very important to us so we made sure that we did not feel rushed. We are in LOVE with how they turned out.

I am a planner, it is what I do. I can’t sit still, I always have to be working on something. So if you are like this DIY projects are your best friend in wedding planning. I created and designed pretty much everything. With that being said the only way to not be stressed and exhausted is to start early! It’s just common sense, the more you leave to the last minute the more stressed out you will be.

I made my bouquet, the bride maids bouquets, the groomsmen’s boutonnieres, the head tables, aisle, and dessert table floral garland, the arch florals, all of the doily wreaths, and dream catchers, & the floral hangers for our dresses. I collected brass candle sticks for the tables for months from good will stores. We rented most of the vintage décor from Something borrowed Vintage rentals, that has the most adorable stuff! Some of the vintage décor we brought. We let the groomsmen choose there pants and shoes, but told them beige pants, and long sleeve white shirts, and we supplied the ties and suspenders. It was suppose to be mismatched, but tone on tone. I think they did pretty darn good! We also got the bridesmaids to choose their own dresses and shoes, which they found at Forever 21 & H&M for no more than $40! I told them the color and feeling I was going for, but chose something they liked and felt comfortable in. The girls got ready in floral robes ordered on Etsy and lace Toms shoes. I made their necklaces.

My dress was ordered off of Etsy, which was very scary doing, but could not have paid off more. I was looking for something I knew I would not find in the gown shops. I had been following a super talented women on Etsy who makes each dress one of a kind from vintage lace tablecloths. MuseClothing by Laurie is a must if you are looking for a unique, one of a kind, bohemian dress. Because my mom was too sick to even go to a gown shop as well it could not have worked out better. I found my dress while visiting my mom at home. We cried and it was everything it was suppose to be and more. Because I did not know how much time I would have left with her because of her condition, it was a special moment that I will remember for the rest of my life. My head piece was from Gypsy Junkies, and the flower crown and veil for the beach photo’s I made. I also designed and created our invitations. For our wedding favors we donated money on behalf of each person to Ovarian Cancer research, because it is something very close to our hearts. We are all known by our friends and family for hosting holidays & great parties with lots of great food. For our wedding day our biggest hope was to pull off the best party yet. We definitely accomplished that.

The best & most memorable part of the day was the moment I began to walk down the aisle to Alex. It has to be by far the most sincere, happiest moment of my life thus far. Nothing prepares you for the over whelming love from a room filled with the people who love you most, and your best friend on the other end vowing to always love you. It’s beyond magic. It was really important to us to do our own vows and we are so happy we did it! Our second favorite part of our wedding was dancing with everyone. We love dancing and we dance at home all the time with our dogs. Processional – Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo Ole. Recessional – Better Together by Jack Johnson.

Our biggest advice would be, have fun! We have watched so many friends get so stressed out that they couldn’t even enjoy it. It is so sad to put all that money, time and effort into planning & not be able to enjoy it! We found continually checking things off our list made this possible. The more you do before hand the better off you will be the day of! And we would recommend at least having a wedding planner the day of to make sure things run smoothly & help make all your wedding dreams a reality that day. Leave it to Susan Event Planning made this possible for us and we are so grateful we had Susan’s help. My mom had reminded me so many times that there would probably be little things, maybe big things that may go wrong, but that most people wouldn’t even know about it or to just joke about it. We can honestly say that we were incredibly lucky and everything went smoothly for us and all of the people we hired were phenomenal. At the end of the day all we really cared about was finally being married.

We have learned that things in life really don’t always go as planned and there will be many challenges and heart ache along the way, but if you lift each other up and choose to appreciate, and love the beautiful simple moments around you along the way that you will still find a way to be happy among such pain. We met over 7 years ago while I was cutting his hair, and life has been so much sweeter since. He proposed to me across the street from our house in a little community hall he rented for what I thought was our year end softball party. He drew my raffle ticket and I thought I had just won golf balls and a golf shirt. Turns out I won his heart. He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him in front of all our friends. We hope to grow old together, and if life has other plans we choose to enjoy every single moment we have together. He truly is my best friend and with one hug from him I melt.

-Alex & Sarena

Wedding Details:

Photographer: J Wells Photography
Planning + Design: Leave it to Susan Event Planning
Venue: St. Marks Place, Middle Lahave, Nova Scotia
Florist: We did the flowers ourselves
Videographer: Jeremy Waterman Watch our video here! (password is lahave)
Catering: Twisted Spoon Catering
DJ: Sound Choice Entertainment
Rentals: Something Borrowed Vintage Rentals
Brides Dress: Etsy