For Andrew Wark, deciding to propose to Melanie Penner, his girlfriend of three years, was the easy part. It was the “how” that required more thought. “I wanted something romantic but not cliché,” Andrew admits. “So after throwing out the writing in the snow idea, I moved ahead with a movie soundtrack idea. You know how everything is just so much more epic in movies because they have that perfect song playing in the background? Well, I had the song—‘Say Yes’ by Langhorne Slim. I just needed some way of having it played at the right moment.”
With a plan in place Andrew persuaded Melanie to ice-skate with him down by Manitoba’s Red River at The Forks. When he found a quiet moment, Andrew forged ahead with his musical proposal and pressed play on his iPhone while he got down on one knee. “In my head it was totally like being in a movie; in reality it was probably awkward,” Andrew jokes. “But she said yes!”
From the outset the couple knew an outdoor ceremony was a must for them. “I’m a farm kid and pretty tied to that lifestyle—I grew up on a farm and my family owns a wheat field,” Andrew confides. “But the whole idea of getting married in the middle of a field was Melanie’s idea.” The two knew they had their work cut out for them with only six months to prepare before the end of harvest season—when all the colours begin to change and the weather is most ideal. Melanie and her personal wedding team worked diligently on a few DIY projects—one of them being cut-outs of paper hearts. “I thought it’d be cool if we had hearts on a stick to make our ceremony site more defined,” she explains.
On the day of their wedding everything was set and seemed to be running smoothly until some rain clouds made a guest appearance. “It was pouring rain the whole morning,” Melanie says. “Then it magically stopped raining about 30 minutes before the ceremony.” With just enough time to spare 160 guests took their seats and watched as Melanie and Andrew said “I do.”
Following the ceremony the party moved to Franklin Memorial Hall to continue the celebration, where homemade details from wheat centrepieces to DIY terrariums abounded. The food was a highlight with guests indulging in an old-fashioned, family-style buffet. “Our caterer was 87 years old and she specialized in home-cooked Ukrainian food,” Melanie recalls. “There were pierogies, cabbage rolls, salads and tons of desserts—everyone loved them!”
For their star sweet attraction Melanie’s sister-in-law whipped up a cake for the newlyweds to cut into, in addition to dozens of cupcakes available in three kitschy flavours: pistachio, root beer float and chocolate chip cookie dough. The reception itself kicked into an all-time high when friends of the newlyweds got on stage and performed live. “The reception and the entire wedding—speeches and food—were so much fun,” Andrew asserts. “It was probably the best party I’ve ever been to!”
Melanie Penner and Andrew Wark, September 1, 2012, Rosedale, Manitoba.
Photography courtesy of Red Photo Co.
Reception Location: Franklin Memorial Hall (204-476-2497) Bridal gown: Alesha Fredrickson, a friend of the bride Bridal party attire: ModCloth
Cake: Jessica Penner, sister-in-law of the bride Caterer: Pauline Suidy Catering (204-546-2842) Favours: Scott Creek Honey Flowers: Prairie Dried Flower Co. (204-878-3195) Groom's attire: Tip Top Tailors, Moores and Le Château
Hair: Pantages on Park Salon & Spa
Stationery: Kendrick Quality Printing
See more from this pretty farm wedding in Rosedale, Manitoba.
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