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In this post I am going to be sharing with you how I kept my elopement AIP friendly. Just a pre-warning it’s going to be a long one! I got married on March 13th, 2017 in Sechelt, British Columbia, Canada. The planning of even a small wedding can be stressful. I knew that it wasn’t going to be easy to plan a strict AIP wedding, but with my trusty friend google and some local Paleo and AIP Facebook groups I was able to do it!
We started the planning process by making the decision to elope. We always knew we wanted a small wedding but after much consideration and thought we decided that eloping was the best choice for us as it would limit the cost and stress as much as possible. Not everyone in our families were happy with our decision but in the end everyone made their own peace with it.
Next we needed to decide on a date. This was probably the hardest decision for me personally. Due to the fact that I teach elementary students (who are constantly catching colds) and my immune system is heightened which in return suppresses it, I catch colds fairly often. I couldn’t decide what month of the year would be best. We knew we didn’t want a summer wedding as neither of us wanted to look like hot messes with the humidity. So we decided on spring or fall. In the end we went with spring because my teacher work load is slightly less in the spring. I did catch a cold two weeks before the wedding and then two days after the wedding I caught a second cold! In the end I was just happy I felt healthy on my wedding day! It was a small victory!
Then we picked our location. We knew we wanted to be near water as we both find it very relaxing and serene. We also planned on staying for a few days as we took a week off for our wedding. So after looking at lake front rentals and ocean front rentals we chose the latter due to reduced cost and slightly warmer temperatures. I scoured sites like vrbo and home away before finding a beautiful house on the side of a cliff right on the inlet.
When I booked the house rental I also booked a wedding planner. Being that I live 13 hours away from Sechelt, I knew having someone help me out would reduce my stress load. So I hired a coastal wedding planner named Melissa Tripp and she helped out with all of the day of stuff. It was pretty affordable actually since I did all of the behind the scenes planning and she just carried out my vision on the big day. I also brought decor from home that we already had along with photos in different frames to help make the house feel more like ours.
Finding an organic makeup artist is also not as easy as it sounds. In all of Vancouver I was only able to find two organic makeup artists. I ended up going with Jacqueline from @beautyreawakened and she did a beautiful job (there will be a separate post on my wedding makeup later). I had to pay the cost for her to travel from Vancouver to Sechelt but it was so worth it to know that I was using clean products on my skin for my big day!
The next big task of course was to find someone who could do the dinner and the cake. Let me tell you this was difficult. I got turned down multiple times by chefs and bakers. They simply said they couldn’t accommodate that many restrictions or that they weren’t sure how they could make a meal special enough for a wedding with all the limitations. It was a little disheartening to be honest. But I was determined and I kept looking and looking. Finally there was a chef who was willing to accommodate my dietary needs. I basically told her we wanted a steak dinner with sweet potatoes/potatoes, and salad. Simple, yet delicious! I asked the chef to send me a final ingredient list to make sure there weren’t going to be any hidden ingredients and then I signed off. On the evening of the wedding, the chef came to the house with all the fresh ingredients and she cooked for us and then cleaned up and left. It was absolutely perfect! My husband loved his scalloped potatoes and ranch dressing while I opted for the sweet potatoes with sage and olive oil and balsamic vinegar as dressing. We enjoyed a sparkling pear non-alcoholic wine with our dinner.
The cake also turned out fabulous. I sent a list of yes and no ingredients to the baker. She then came back with her ideas and she made sure to ask about every single ingredient. She was so thorough! We decided on three layers. The bottom layer would be a gluten free vanilla cake and the top two layers would be a coconut orange AIP cake. She did a raspberry filling inside both cakes. Then she did a coconut based icing with lemons and raspberries for garnish. The cake held up so well! It traveled from Vancouver by ferry to Sechelt where we popped it in the fridge and then took it out a few hours before serving the day of the wedding. There was so much left over that I froze some pieces for later!
On the day of I made sure to eat some fresh berries and a banana for breakfast. Then for lunch I had left over turkey, sweet potatoes and some broccoli. Along with lots of water – hydration is key! I also drank a lot of bone broth the week before the wedding.
Here is a photo of the fridge stocked up with all of my favourite foods. Along with a few non AIP items for my future husband!
Overall there are a lot of pieces that go into planning a wedding. For me it was important to be as stress free as possible and to relax. Is it weird to say that my actual wedding getaway was self-care?! It truly was. We went on walks everyday in the old growth forests and by the ocean. Then we toured around and stopped at different resorts along the way. I loved stopping in at all the local shops in Sechelt and supporting local businesses. Knowing that we will be able to return and visit Sechelt to relive those memories are what I am most grateful for.
So there you have it. An AIP wedding! If you are in need of any help planning your AIP wedding please just send me an email or reach out to me on Instagram! I’d love to help you!
XO Meagen Ashley