If you’re looking for the sweetest happily ever after, then you’ve definitely found it. We love Kendra’s and Derek’s story and the way they intertwined their favorite hobbies – woodwork and reading – into their special day. Kendra and Derek were married at Westfield Heritage Village in Rockton, Ontario on September 10, 2016.
From the bride:
Derek and I met in high school and quickly became very close friends shortly after. We stayed in touch after we graduated and started dating mid-way through university. February 2017 marks twelve years of us being together! Now I work as a nurse and Derek is a software engineer. We have an 11-year-old dog, Frisket, to round out our little family.
Derek popped the question on Christmas day after almost 10 years of dating! I worked that day and headed straight to my family’s house after work to join them for Christmas dinner. Derek had gone to spend Christmas with his family since I was working a late shift. Later that night we both met back at our house to spend some quality time together since we hadn’t seen each other all day.
I logged onto my computer and turned around to get something only to see him right there in front of me with a little box in his hands! I was really surprised and at first I thought he was teasing me! After I calmed down a bit and realized he was serious, I definitely said yes. I was still in my hospital scrubs at that point and my face was all red and splotchy from crying. Although we couldn’t really celebrate right at that moment since I had to go back to work again in 6 hours, it’s still a very special moment to me that I love to look back on.
We really wanted to have a low-key celebration with all of our closest friends and family. Our theme was inspired by a blend of trees, books, apples, and wood. We tried to incorporate all the things we love since my husband does woodworking as a hobby and I love to read. We even made apple-shaped cookies to use as our cake toppers and my husband made these amazing wooden apple crates himself for all of the guests’ tables.
I made the entire bridal party’s bouquets out of paper, including sheet music from our processional and first dance songs. I added a little individual touch for each bridesmaid’s bouquet and combined all four elements in my own bouquet to unite all of our themes. We wanted our wedding to be as personal as could be, so everything was as DIY as we could make it!
We wanted every part of our wedding to be about our family and friends. My hair stylist was someone I went to high school with, and my makeup artist was my husband’s cousin. My wonderful photographer is one of my best friends too. We had a priest come to our house in the early afternoon as we were getting ready to sign the paperwork to legally marry us, and then we went to the venue for pictures before our ceremony.
Our friend, a comedian from Hamilton, performed our ceremony and then we went to the hall to celebrate! We hired a local bartender we really liked to manage the bar and our music was performed by a musician we used to go see every Thursday when we were still in university. Later on we had a food truck come do our catering, and we even had a surprise visit from our favorite donair place in Burlington. They brought us some late night donair pizzas and joined in the fun! It really felt like a whole community effort and made every aspect of it so personal and special for us.
I wore a Pure Ivory Sakura Maxi Dress in the Charlotte Style with a few minor alterations. Instead of tying the knot, I used the Princess Starburst Mini Brooch Set to pinch the fabric together, and just wrapped it across my back. I added a Pure Ivory Hana Chiffon Overlay and topped the look off with the Blooming Vine Brooch on my waist to add some more sparkle.
I matched my hair clip with pearl accents to tie in to my two pearl necklaces, one of which was an antique heirloom I received on my 18th birthday, while the other was borrowed from my mother. The Henkaa dress was my ‘something new’ item, and my toenails were painted bright blue to complete the traditional saying!
I already had two Henkaa dresses – a Sakura Midi and a Sakura Maxi – that I had gotten to wear as a guest to my friends’ weddings, and I loved the feel of the dresses. The versatility and the fact that they’re one size fits all were an added bonus! I asked my bridesmaids if they were willing to wear the dresses and they all jumped at the chance. It was an easy choice! We picked out the Emerald Green dress to go with our wedding theme and went to the Toronto Showroom together to have a style session done.
What I loved most was that we could all wear something similar while showcasing each of our individually unique styles. It also worked well for everyone’s body shape and we loved that there were no dress fittings required! I’m so happy that I can wash the dress myself and that it’s so low maintenance. I plan to cut the dress to knee-length this year to use as a summer dress during the warmer seasons.
My favorite moment from the whole day was walking into the hall as they announced us husband and wife for the first time and seeing all of our friends and family cheering for us. It was incredible to see over 100 people from so many different points in our lives all together under one roof, ready to celebrate our special day with us. Having friends from grade school, high school, university, work, as well as some family I rarely get to see, all come together for us was such an amazing feeling. My husband and I have been together for a long time now, but I was overwhelmed by the love and support I felt from all those closest to me.
We definitely loved all DIY elements in Kendra’s and Derek’s wedding, it gave it the perfect personal touch. What are your favorite DIY elements to incorporate into a wedding? Tell us in the comments!
On this spotlight of Inspiring Women, learn how Julia from Oriana Women's Choir unlocked the key to success in balancing her business and doing what she loves. Oh and we forgot to mention, maintaining a social life!