Melanie Soucy always knew she wanted to get married at a garden party wedding in her parents’ picture-perfect backyard with its cascading waterfall and impeccably landscaped greenery. What she could never have imagined, however, was that she would be marrying the boy from high school whose heart she’d broken more than a decade before. “I remember seeing Justin walking in the halls,” Melanie recalls. “I’d make excuses to walk by his locker or the places I knew he’d hang out at lunch with his friends.” Eventually the two started spending time together, but before the relationship could blossom Melanie decided to break things off, saying their two-year age difference was just too drastic. “At that point it really was a big deal that he was that much younger—a two-year difference is like 10 years when you’re in high school,” Melanie says. “When I told Justin it wasn’t going to work he was absolutely crushed.” Years passed and Melanie left her hometown of Rothesay to study nutrition in Halifax. Then one day an email appeared in her inbox. It read: “If this is Melanie Soucy from Rothesay I just wanted to say hello. If not, please ignore this email.” It was from Justin. Melanie immediately responded and the two picked up where they had left off years before. Melanie moved back to Rothesay and she and Justin started dating shortly after. Five years later they were engaged. The decision to hold their garden party wedding in Melanie’s parents’ backyard came naturally. “My parents just put in this big waterfall and they were doing regular yard maintenance in the hopes that I would stick to the plan of hosting a garden party wedding there. Justin and I wanted our wedding to be an extension of who we are—easygoing and outdoorsy.” Melanie wanted the au naturel theme to carry throughout her day in everything from the handmade elements to the colour scheme. The couple’s family and friends pitched in to help bring Melanie’s vision to life. A bridesmaid made the shortbread cookie cake favours, and a close friend played music during the ceremony and reception. Melanie’s mother’s best friend contributed the wedding cake and Justin’s mother found the perfect cake topper. When it came time for Melanie and Justin to see each other for the first time on their wedding day they chose to have their first glimpse by a swing Melanie’s stepfather built for her when she was young. “I think it was just a really special spot to do it,” Melanie says. “And I will never forget the moment Justin saw me. He had his back to me until I told him to turn around…the look on his face and in his eyes at that moment…I will never be able to describe it. I think when he saw me he was just so surprised that I was standing right behind him waiting for the entire day to happen.”
Melanie Soucy and Justin Drew, August 13, 2011, Rothesay, New Brunswick.
Photography courtesy of Sean McGrath Photography (www.seanmcgrath.ca).
Ceremony and reception location: The bride’s parents’ backyard
Dress: Allure Bridals from Lockhart’s Bridal
Groom’s tux: Moores
Bridal party attire: The Dessy Group from Lockhart’s Bridal
Hair: Lisa Mullen from Bow Tangles (506-849-4247)
Makeup: Carrie McGrath from Persona Bella
Music: Dwayne Doucette, a friend, and Duncan’s Disc Jockey Service (506-640-1044)
Cake: Baked by a family friend
Caterer: Culinary Impressions (506-672-9374)
Favours: Mini three-layer shortbread cookie cakes made by bridesmaid Mary White and boxed in small cream boxes with “have your cake and eat it too” labels on the top from My Own Labels
Flowers: Potting Shed (506-849-6206)
Others: Tent, chairs, tables and linens from Commercial Tent; Toilets from Ready John
See all of the photos from this beautiful garden party wedding here.