Christine Butler and Alexandre Gilbert met in college in Quebec and became inseparable best friends. While life took them in many different directions over the years, they never lost touch. It wasn’t until many moves across the country, a few relationships later, and nearly 14 years had passed, that their friendship became something more.

On April 2, 2013, Alex serenaded and proposed to Christine in their own home. After waiting so long to become a couple, the two didn’t wait any longer, scheduling their wedding for just five months later. Their day was a largely DIY production and “a total communal labour of love,” says Christine. “We could not have made this happen without all of our friends and family’s help. It was a lot of work to go the DIY route — anyone who thinks they will save time and money, think again — but somehow we pulled it off with relative ease and grace and almost no drama. It was perfect.”

Christine and Alex hosted an intimate outdoor country wedding with about 30 of their closest friends and family. They chose Springbrooke, a gorgeous country location in Langley (though it’s no longer open to weddings), and had a personalized, meaningful, non-denominational ceremony by a little brook, surrounded by weeping willows. It was a scene out of a fairy tale, recalls Christine. They had a friend play and sing while they walked down the aisle, and topping off the scene was a barefoot bride: “Everyone thought I planned it this way — it isn’t too far out of character for me — but I actually forgot my shoes back in Vancouver,” laughs Christine.

Because of family and friends flying in from out of town, Christine and Alex booked the resort for the weekend, giving everyone two entire days to celebrate together and get to know one another. “Now our friends and family are all each other’s friends too,” says Christine. “We had kids playing in the pool all weekend, and campfires every night with live music, singing, storytelling and amazing connections. It was the most unforgettable weekend of my life and I am still moved by how much love Alex and I have in our lives and are surrounded with.”

Photographer: Suzanne Rushton of Feeling Photography (and Tracy Riddell) | Wedding Planners: Bride’s sister Cynthia and friend Rebecca | Bride’s Dress: Jenny Packham, from Bisou Bridal | Bridesmaid Dresses: Alexia Designs, from The Bridal Gallery | Hair: Jeannie Frost | Makeup: Jenn Harder | Stationery: Homemade invites, name tags & thank-you cards | Flowers: Country Farms | Catering: Marion Baker, at Springbrooke | Cake: Made by friends | Jewellery: Etsy