When Veronica Nuspl and Dan Spencer first started planning their DIY wedding they briefly considered renting a vintage sports car. In the end nothing but their very own 1973 Winnebago Brave would do. One year earlier, Veronica and Dan purchased the vehicle on a whim, fixed it up and embarked on a memorable road trip from Ontario to Newfoundland. Before setting out on their adventure, Dan asked Veronica to be his wife. “The Winnebago became a part of ‘us’,” Veronica shares, “so we had to include it in our wedding.”
On the morning of their wedding, Veronica waited in eager anticipation for her unique chariot to arrive: “Hearing the Winnebago coming gave me butterflies,” she recalls. When it pulled to a stop Veronica was overjoyed to set eyes on her groom: “I was just so happy that the day had finally come, and those first moments seeing each other with no one else around were so calming and peaceful.” The Winnebago was spiffed up for the summer wedding—Dan and his groomsmen cleaned it from top to bottom to make it “white-gown ready,” Veronica laughs. The Winnebago was also adorned with a handmade bunting that said “Going to the Chapel.”
The adorable bunting was only one of the special handmade elements Veronica crafted for her DIY wedding. From stationery and cupcake wrappers to favours (caramel sauce in decorated jam jars), Veronica poured her heart into creating memorable details for her celebration. “We put a lot of ourselves into our wedding,” Veronica notes. “We wanted it to be about ‘us’ and sharing the day and the things we love with the people we love most.” To that end, there were subtle nods to the couple’s first meeting—a brief encounter while waiting for an elevator! “The first thing Dan ever said to me was ‘nice shoes,’” Veronica recalls with a smile. Appropriately, guests were served an “elevator” cake topped with handcrafted figurines, and treated to colourful flip-flops with “Nice Shoes” tags attached.
Veronica also personalized her bridal ensemble with tributes to members of her family: her bouquet was adorned with flowers from her mother’s wedding dress and a locket containing photos of both of her grandmothers. She also wore a lace flower brooch that once belonged to her grandmother—it was originally a shoe clip—and her grandfather’s World War II pin (he belonged to the 75th Toronto Scottish Regiment).
When it came to decorating their DIY wedding reception space, found objects also played a big role. Reclaimed barn boards topped the tables and antique silver teapots, cream jugs and sugar bowls served as unconventional vessels for flower arrangements. During their yearlong engagement Veronica visited local thrift stores in search of the perfect silver pieces for her outdoor wedding, and relied on friends and family to help get them in pristine shape. “We had lots of teapot polishing parties,” Veronica laughs.
It was one memorable evening for the couple’s 110 guests, and the happy couple was showered with compliments ranging from “That was the best meal I’ve ever had” to“Your wedding was so personalized.”
Once their DIY wedding was over the newlyweds hit the road—in their Winnebago, of course! “The drive home the next day was terrific, too,” Veronica reminisces. “We had to stop for gas. Dan was still dressed in his suit and the ‘Just Married’ banner I made was hanging off the back. It was perfect!”
Veronica Nuspl and Dan Spencer, September 11, 2010, Caledon, Ontario.
Photography courtesy of Justin DeMers from stillmotion (www.stillmotion.ca)
Ceremony and reception location: The Alton Mill
Dress: Enzoani from L&J Bridal
Groom’s tux: Custom ordered from Hong Kong
Hair: David Newman from Hair By David
Makeup: Andrea Brown from Friskey Brown Makeup
Music: Ron Davis
Cake: The Wedding Cake Shoppe
Caterer: Chezvous Dining
Favours: Caramel made by the bride; Donation made to the Alzheimer Society of Toronto
Flowers: Pink Twig
See all of the photos from this DIY wedding here.