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BBQ Chic is what Stephanie and David wanted when they were planning their big day. They wanted something easy and laid back and a day that their guests could just relax and enjoy!

LOCATION: Waterloo Regional Police Association (♥) (

PHOTOGRAPHY: BMKH Photography ( “His photos seemed very natural and unposed. We really loved that.” – S

GUEST #: 115 

COLOUR PALETTE: “White, Black, Gold, Silver, Green, & Burgandy.”-S

THEME: “Our theme was a pig roast! 🙂 We really wanted it to be easy, inexpensive, a laid back ‘Backyard BBQ’ style.” – S

TELL US YOUR STORY: “November 7th, we got engaged. Dave had a plan for the proposal which I totally screwed up! We just purchased a new car, and on November 7th we were going to pick it up from the dealer in Milton. After we picked up the car, Dave’s plan was to pick up pizza and go to the spot where we had our first date, then propose there. When we picked up the car, I called my parents very excited that I was finally calling them on Bluetooth! I suggested that we will pick them up for a ride in our new whip! They didn’t really seem all that excited about it but they agreed. When I hung up I said, “Well that was rude, they didn’t even seem excited!” They weren’t excited as they knew Dave already had plans and I was currently ruining them. So Dave and I picked them up, went for a little drive and I said well I’m hungry, mom you made soup right? Let’s just go there and eat (another plan I just ruined). Around 11 pm, we walked home (we live right behind my parents) and then Dave ended up proposing on the living room floor when I came out of the bedroom in my pajamas.

We ran back to my parents and then stayed another hour showing off my new ring!

December 14th, we met with Jackie at the WRPA. We fell in love with the venue and were so happy it fit into our budget and plan!

We just had 4 weddings that happened in 2018 and Dave and I were both exhausted from just being a part of them, not to mention the expense of being in a wedding; let alone 4! So for our wedding, we wanted something different. We wanted a surprise wedding! We wanted all our guests and our bridal party to show up thinking it was a surprise retirement party for my father-in-law for Daves’s side of the guest list and a surprise stag and doe for us for my side of the guest list. They were all going to show up thinking they were there for someone else, but realistically they were going to be surprised by us!

We told Jackie all this and gave her the run-down of our plan and she was more than happy to accommodate any way that she could! We signed the contract for a wedding date of June 27, 2020, and off we went.

Over the next few months, I continued to lie to all 7 of my bridesmaids. I told them that I was standing up at a wedding and I needed them to try on this sample bridesmaid dress as it was too small (or too big) on me (whichever made sense for the bridesmaid wearing it). Little did they know that they were trying on their own bridesmaid dresses. I purchased dresses that were expandable at the back so the only alterations needed were to the hems. This alteration could be done easily on the day of the wedding with just a pair of scissors. I also got all their shoe sizes from looking at their shoes when I was over (or they were over) trying on the dress. So I ordered and had all their dresses and shoes ready to go for them!

I also booked an entire team of make-up and hair stylists as they would have had to do 10 of us the day of the wedding in a matter of 2 hours.

Dave did the same thing with his groomsmen; we casually asked each one what their shirt and pant size was and ordered everything from Le Chateau that year as well!

We also booked 4 full shuttle buses to bus everyone home after as we knew that they would all be drinking once they found out it was our wedding.

We were all ready to go. We started sending out invites to the surprise parties that weren’t happening and quickly developed a guest list. We had all the dresses and suits ready to go, steamed, ironed folded, etc. Then Covid hit and all the people that were flying in were no longer flying in. All the venues that could hold our wedding were closing or having minimal gatherings. Everyone knows the restrictions that happened over the next year(s).

Within that time, we re-booked (I can’t even remember the actual dates now) 3 times with Jackie. One time was even so quick that we booked and re-scheduled that I’m not even sure she was able to get in it her books! Things were changing that quickly.

We landed on July 9, 2022. And Dave and I both agreed that this was the date, even if it was just him and I, the officiant, and our witnesses – this date wasn’t changing.

When we landed on July 9, 2022, in January of 2022 we realized we weren’t going to keep the wedding a surprise anymore. Through pregnancies and COVID restrictions, all of our bodies had changed and I knew that the dresses and suits we had picked were no longer going to fit. There was no way I was going to be able to lie to them and get them to try on the same exact dress without them being suspicious. Same with the men! For the out-of-town guests, we didn’t think they’d fly in for a retirement or stag and doe party. But we were hoping they would fly in for a wedding. So we had to tell our wedding party and our guests about the plan/planned wedding and that we had been lying to them about now for 4 years!

Since it was now officially a wedding, we had to have actual decorations, invitations, dress alterations, suits, and all the other details. While before we were cool with just whatever Jackie had as a standard setup, now we felt pressured to do at least the basics of a wedding. We sent out actual invitations so we could get an actual headcount. We had major alterations to dresses including my wedding dress! Some of the dresses needed to be reordered entirely. Suits were a struggle as Le Chateau had now closed so the guys just had to suck it in for the day!! Haha! We had to have table charts, a cake…ALLLLL the things!

Jackie booked and re-booked and changed our entire day at least 3 full times. The pig roast was still on, and Jackie worked hard to continue to stay in contact with them and keep our moving dates.

To say the least, I feel for Wedding Planners! They earn their money!! By re-scheduling our wedding 3 full times (plus a quick reschedule in there somewhere) and calling Jackie, the florists, and the photographer (whom we lost the next 2 times due to our new dates being scheduled on something he already had booked- thankfully he was able to attend and shoot our actual wedding day), the officiant (we actually lost the original one), the make-up and hair artists, the DJ, the shuttle busses!! It was a full day-long event – and then some – re-scheduling each thing each time, but we got through it! And I learned that I hate wedding planning! Haha.

On July 9, 2022, everything went off without a hitch!! We were SO SO happy with how everything turned out. The venue was PERFECT! The weather had almost no humidity and was sunny all day. The pig roast was delicious (we still hear comments about how delicious everything was). We have put forward Jackie’s information and told everyone that would listen how amazing that venue is and how cost-effective everything was! Jackie went above and beyond each time we rescheduled and rescheduled to ensure that our day would go as smoothly as possible!

Although it was an absolute nightmare planning, we’re so happy it turned out the way it did! Every person that attended, even the guests of our guests that we didn’t know, were commenting on how much fun they had and what a great spot to get married it was!! 🙂

DÉCOR: Decorating Dreams (♥) (

FLORAL: The Flower Shop (

BRIDE’S ATTIRE: She’s So Beautiful.Consignment And Bridal Boutique (@shessobeautifulbridal



HAIR & MAKEUP: BeautiMark Pro (

DJ: 586 Event Group (

CAKE: Cake Lover’s Unite (

OFFICIANT: Enduring Promises (♥) (


VENUE: “We found WRPA while searching wedding venues online. We met with Jackie back in December of 2018 and booked right away! We had looked at a few other venues all over which were ridiculously overpriced and when we met Jackie both David and I were thinking that this was going to be another location that was out of our budget. We walked the grounds, the hall, the bar area, and the boardroom. When we asked the price, we were floored! It was way below what we had thought and expected so we booked with Jackie on the spot! ” – S

BEST MEMORY: “There are many, but I know that each person got up at least once to dance and that was important to us!” – S

ADVICE: “Stay laid back! Don’t make the event stuffy and uncomfortable – the more we told people it was a casual BBQ wedding, the more people didn’t feel obligated to wear suits and uncomfortable heels. Everyone had a blast!” – S 

Featured in the Spring/Summer 2023 edition of The Wedding Ring Magazine

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT WATERLOO REGIONAL POLICE ASSOCIATION | To speak with Waterloo Regional Police Association about your wedding options, you can reach them using the form below.

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