When Emily and Nash were introduced by a friend back in 12th-grade gym class, little did they know that years later that same friend would be the best man at their wedding!
These two have a history of outdoor adventures—many of their early dates were taking walks with Nash’s dogs around Hasse Lake. That gorgeous, special spot also has the distinction of being the spot where Nash proposed to Emily…in 30-below weather, no less!
When they began planning, Emily and Nash initially booked a hall for a June 2020 wedding. In the interim, everything changed, so they postponed for the following summer. In the meantime, an acquaintance’s Instagram post led Emily to discover THE perfect place for their “I dos”—The Lodge at Panther River. Wildly beautiful, rustic, and romantic, it synched with their mutual love of nature and their relationship’s roots.
Emily found just the right gown (our Astrid & Mercedes Flutter!) to vibe with her boho-inspired wedding style, which she paired with the dreamiest flower crown and bouquet. In addition to being lovely, the flowers were also apparently tasty, as evidenced by a horse they met who tried to make them its lunch!
Read more about their day (which included grilled cheeses at midnight, a first dance to “Always” by Isak Danielson, and a mini-moon in a yurt) from Emily below:
How did you get engaged?
“Nash (my now husband) took me to where we went on some of our first few dates. It is called Hasse Lake, (we lived just west of Edmonton, Alberta at this time, now we live just north of Calgary, Alberta) it’s a day campground and has lots of trails and wildlife, and we used to take his dog there for walks when we first started dating. Nash had some of our friends set up a little campfire and decorations and proposed to me on our 4th-year anniversary (which also happened to be Valentine’s Day haha!). It was -30 out and I was confused as to why he wanted to “go for a walk at Hasse Lake,” but I went along and sure enough he proposed!”
How did you choose your gown?
“So I actually bought the first dress I tried on. I went to a local bridal boutique, “Bridal Avenue” (which has sadly now closed because of Covid), and I tried on the Astrid and Mercedes gown and I just had a feeling it was my dress. I tried on about 5 others, and then told my mom (my bridesmaids didn’t come to this appointment lol) that this was it! So we bought it and I am still in love with it!!!”
Tell us about your day!
“We had originally planned to get married June 6, 2020. But because of Covid we decided it would be best to postpone as we didn’t know what would be going on. Then a mutual friend eloped at the end of June 2020, and when she posted her pictures to Instagram I just had to know what her venue was! She told me it was The Lodge at Panther River and said that I should message them and see if they have availability on our new date for 2021. So I immediately messaged them, and we went out that weekend to check out the venue, and put a deposit down to secure our date!
Then we began re-planning our wedding, and in January 2021 we decided to cut our guest list by a lot (we originally had 125 people and cut it down to 45!). Most people were fine with it, but some were upset… but at the end of the day we had to do what was best for us, and we wanted to make sure we had a wedding even if there were restrictions.
Our wedding day itself was a dream come true. I went for a boho-ish style, but very simple with not a ton of décor because The Lodge is so beautiful itself. My girls and I got ready in one of their cabins, and my husband and his guys got ready in another. Our ceremony was right on the Panther River, and it was beautiful, short and sweet! We didn’t want a religious ceremony, so we had a simple but wonderful ceremony.
Then we took a lot of pictures, (some with the horses!) got some video footage with our videographer, and then just hung out for a bit before our dinner/reception.
Our dinner was super tasty and then we had some speeches from our best man, maid of honour and our parents. Afterwards we hit the dance floor, had our first dance, father/daughter dance, and mother/son dance. Then we had an epic dance party and bonfire, with a delicious grilled cheese midnight lunch!
Overall, it was a dream wedding, we could not have asked for anything different!”
What was the funniest moment of your day?
“Probably when the horse we were taking pictures with tried eating my bouquet, and then had to go pee and almost peed on my dress!”
What are three words that best describe your partner?
“Nash is kind, patient, and wonderful!”
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
“Because of Covid, we are going on a mini-moon this weekend to Golden, BC. We will be staying in an Airbnb yurt! For our real honeymoon, we are hoping to be able to travel in either 2022 or 2023, and we will be going to Iceland!”
Do you have any advice for future planning couples?
“My advice would be to just let things happen, small details will always go wrong, but honestly no one will notice. Make sure you love your photographer and venue, as it makes it such a special day. It goes by in a blink of an eye, so try to soak up every moment you can, as cliché as that may be!”
Emily + Nash’s Panther River Wedding Vendors
wedding dress: Astrid & Mercedes Flutter via Bridal Avenue | photographer: Kaihla Tonai | videographer: Allison Woolvett – The Hazlewood Studio | venue: The Lodge at Panther River | makeup: Sorella Beauty Studio | wedding cake, florals, and decor: The Blondie Bride