THE LOVE STORY
It’s hard to imagine that we ever planned on having any other style of wedding, but our mountain top elopement turned out to be perfect for us. Our relationship has been anything but conventional from the time we started dating 3 years ago. This May-September romance has been “go with the flow” for years, starting with the fact that we were dating while living almost 4 hours away from each other. We built a strong foundation of trust, creativity and the greatest adventures almost instantly. But our wedding adventure started with our proposals, Roland and I had been dating for two years and I was starting to wonder if he would propose on a romantic trip that we had planned to Canada. Then I started to wonder if he was ready to propose at all and as I sat and wondered it hit me, “I am a strong independent women and I know what I want, it’s the perfect time, so I’m going to propose to him”. I bought a ring and waited for our trip to the Butchart Gardens to ring in the New Year 2020. The day before we left on our trip, Roland asked if I wanted to go on a horseback riding adventure. We were riding on a trail and he asked our riding companions if they would get a picture of us. We side stepped our horses close together and posed for our picture and as I started to pull away, Roland said, “Wait, I have something to ask you” I caught the image of the red box being pulled from his coat pocket out of the corner of my eye and started crying. I couldn’t believe it! Roland opened the box and said, “Stacey, I love you, will you be my cowgirl and my wife?” Instead of shouting “YES!” like I should have, I started repeating over and over again, “Are you kidding me?” while smiling, crying and laughing. I couldn’t believe that he had beat me to it, that he had surprised me on horseback, which was perfect, and that I didn’t have his ring with me so that I could make it a double proposal. I eventually made it clear that my answer was most definitely yes, and we continued on to our planned New Year’s trip. I followed through and proposed to him as well, at night, with the Butchart Gardens lit up with hundreds of thousands of Christmas lights. It was more amazing than we could have hoped for, to be on the same page at the same time and each of us having picked the perfect places to do that for one another.
We began making plans, imagining that we would have a very small summer wedding, simple attire, almost like an elopement, but with 30 or so guests in our backyard. Then as 2020 progressed we realized that our summer wedding, as small as we had planned, was not going to happen. My simple summer wedding dress sat in the closet, mocking me. I tried it on several times and as summer came and went, I realized that this wasn’t the dress that I wanted to marry Roland in after all. I realized that I was making our day feel small because it wasn’t a first wedding for either one of us. I was making my dress simple, because I was an older bride. I was settling for a day, not a dream, because of what society might think of it. As soon as I let all of that go, the flood of possibilities started to hit me. We love the outdoors, mountains, adventures, and making our own rules, why would our wedding be any different? When I first posed the idea of a winter wedding in the snow, with less than 5 guests, in fancy attire, he stared at me and squinted his eyes, trying to see my vision. A few example photos later and he was all in! New Year’s Day 2021, almost a year to the day after our engagement, we were married on top of Mt. Ashland, with only 4 guests and a photographer. One of my oldest and dearest friends was ordained so that she could perform the ceremony, and my daughter along with her boyfriend stood by our side.
Our day was anything but small, as hundreds of onlookers and skiers cheered us on from a distance, congratulating us, and yelling well wishes throughout the day. Not one time did I feel like an old bride, in fact, I don’t think I’ve ever felt more beautiful. To any bride who may be wondering if she’s too old for the long dress of her dreams, to any couple who is feeling the pressure of expectations, I say this, go for the adventure! Have your moment the way you want it, and enjoy every bit of it. Life is too short not to live it with your brightest light shining.