Peter Bowers proposed to Jackie Detering on Valentine’s Day 2013, hiding the engagement ring inside a box of chocolates. Of course, she said yes. Five months after that sweet start to their engagement, the two married on the same July day that they celebrated their relationship’s fifth anniversary.

The couple chose to wed at Nanaimo’s Bowen Park, where the grounds provided a beautiful setting complete with a pond, old-growth trees and nature trails. Two owls even made a special visit up in the perches during the outdoor ceremony, witnessed by 80 of their family and friends.

Since Jackie and Peter met through their work on the high seas, they embraced a nautical themed wedding, including many decorative knots. Close friends lent their skills and talents by sewing a custom veil, leading decoration efforts and making bouquet arrangements. Jackie was also fortunate to have two dear friends, Victoria and Peter Patenaude of Boot & Canoe Photography, to capture the special day. Jackie says she relished the quiet moments shared with her friends at the hair salon and the makeup counter.

Kids were also a highlight of the day, with four of the couple’s favourite little people taking on important roles as ring bearer and flower girls. The couple even arranged for a special games table to entertain their junior guests at the reception.

Peter and Jackie have enjoyed holidays on the Hawaiian islands, and chose to dance their first dance to the late Hawaiian musician’s song: In this life by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole.

Photographers: Boot & Canoe Photography | Venue: Bowen Park, Nanaimo | Bride’s Dress: Alfred Angelo, from Dream Dress for Less | Hair: Serenity Spa | Makeup: Clinique | Groom’s Outfit: Tip Top Tailors | Catering: Coastal Culinary Creations | Cake: Dolly’s Delights | Jewellery: People’s Jewellers