A Gabriola Island wedding was a natural choice for them as it holds a special place in both their hearts. Allison grew up on the island and Matt did in the summers at our grandparent's cabin, which now belongs to his parents - so glad it is staying in the family. At the end of the post you'll see photos from Orlebar, the beach where the cabin is; you'll know when we get there because it was so cold, Matt and Allison are well bundled. You two were such troopers putting up with the chilly wind!
We met at the beginning of the summer in 2007, when a group of mutual friends got together for a bonfire and a midnight swim at a back roads lake. It was a bit like a country song; as was the summer of fun that followed, spending lots of time on Gabriola at the Girard family cabin on Berry Point Road. One of our favorite country songs is 'It Just Comes Natural' by George Strait, and it always seemed to come pretty naturally. It's always just felt right - we've been through a lot together: my graduating from high school and going to university, going to university together, Matt's graduation and starting his career, my travelling to France to teach English for a year, and my own graduation - all life events that often cause people to grow and change. The best thing about Matt and I is that we have grown and changed together. We just fit.
Five years after that first summer, Matt proposed at Drumbeg Provincial Park on Gabriola. He had the ring for nearly a month before that, waiting patiently for the perfect time and place. And it really was perfect - it was a gorgeous autumn afternoon and both our families were on the island for Thanksgiving. After Matt got down on one knee, like one properly should, and popped the question, he arranged for us to meet our families at the Silva Bay Patio to share a bottle of champagne to celebrate in the sunshine.