We always knew we wanted to go on adventures together forever, but when we got engaged, we had a planning block because I resisted the idea of a wedding. I grew to dread weddings because they have become so commercialized, so expensive, and they’re always the same. They are also too traditional in today’s society where couples are no longer religious nor traditional. Just the idea of a “wedding” is stressful because it carries a baggage of traditions that I dread.

So how do you make wedding planning less stressful? You can design your own “wedding”, so it’s more fun to plan! True, long-lasting love is difficult to find, and it is worth celebrating! Don’t let a traditional wedding stop you from celebrating and professing your love!

Our mental block came from our point of view of weddings. I welcome you to change your outlook on getting hitched. Answer these questions together…

How do we wanna celebrate our commitment to each other?

What is the purpose of a wedding, but to show your love and celebrate your commitment to each other. It’s not about having an expensive party.

Find, in your hearts, what is important to both of you – Throughout the years that Ray and I have been together traveling, we have always wished that our family would come to these trips with us. We always wished that they would meet our friends, and we can all do adventures together in another country. That’s it! That’s what we’re gonna do! We figured out our top priority: Take our friends and family on an adventure together in another country. As long as we can do that, if anything else in the wedding falls apart, it really doesn’t matter. If our friends and family are adventuring in another country with us, we have done our job! The idea of traveling with our entire family actually got us excited about planning the wedding!

Find your mission together and focus on that. Everything else will fall into place.

Are we a private couple? Do we want to celebrate our commitment to each other with our friends and family? Or do we wanna make it our own private ritual?

Getting married wasn’t even on our bucket list. We got married to give our traditional parents the experience of a traditional wedding. They are very important to us, so we definitely wanted to celebrate with our friends and family. If that is not you as a couple, you can always plan your own private day saying vows to each other and having dinner somewhere special to celebrate your commitment from that day forward. Create your own perfect day!

What is something we love to do together that we can bring our friends and family into? How do we show what makes us special?

A few things that have been consistent in our 10 year relationship are snowboarding, appreciating the outdoors, camping at 3-day music festivals, being eco-friendly, and creating art.

We couldn’t possibly force the elder people in our family to freeze in the snow, but we chose September in Canada because we loved snowboarding in Whistler! It’s also outside of the country, but close enough for the flight to be cheap. British Columbia’s natural beauty is undeniable, so our family can have a slice of the outdoors! 

As with 3-day music festivals, we also made our celebration into 3 days. Friday for the rehearsal BBQ, Saturday for the ceremony, and Sunday to take a gander around British Columbia! 

As for camping, we were lucky enough to have found a location that is a happy medium. Sunwolf is an outdoor wedding venue with mini cottages and beautiful campground areas. They allowed the non-campers in my family to be comfortable enough to sleep, but not too comfortable that they stay inside all day. Having the cottages at the same location as the wedding will also allow people to drink at our celebration and not have to worry about driving. It also allowed everyone to hang out as late as they want at the wedding without having to worry about leaving the venue at the specific time it was rented for. The location was perfect in every way!

Copyright Darby Magill

We wanted to be as eco-friendly as possible. We organized our guests to plane-pool and carpool as much as we can. We used bio-degradable tableware for our barbecue night. We also made our bouquets and garlands out of paper instead of plastic. We opted against confettis to keep the venue cleaner than we found it. Everything ended up being fully thought out with an intention!

We threw our own art into the wedding. Ray designed and printed the invitations. He made the website. I made my dress and was our own wedding planner. We made the bouquets and garlands with the wedding party. Ray and I collaborated on the wedding giveaway. We put our heart and soul into the designs, and it made the event mean so much more! It also made it cheaper when you do it yourself. Less expenses and more love made planning the wedding that much more exciting!

Our adventure wedding – photographed by The Apartment Photography

Do what you love as a couple, and the wedding should feel like another hang out! The 3 days we had with our friends and family gave them a tiny view of our adventurous lives! Months later, they still talk about how much fun the trip was! Hosting a big event will always feel costly, but think about it this way: You can always make your money back, but you can’t always have your friends and family together in one place!

After the experience, we would totally get married, again! I didn’t know I would come to appreciate weddings as much as I do now. 

If you start planning your wedding and you still find it difficult because of certain traditions you don’t agree with, see our post on How a Non-traditional Couple got Through a Traditional Wedding.

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