Steph & Tara {real wedding story}

Bride & Bride: Steph Walter & Tara Piper

Photographer: Lyn Schmidt Photography (www.lsphotography.biz)

Wedding Date: June 23, 2018

Guest #: 75

Ceremony & Reception Location: Imperio Banquet Hall (www.imperiobanquethall.com)

Officiant: Something New Officiant (somethingnewofficiant.ca)

Colour Palette: Pastel rainbow

Tell us your story!: “I began a new journey in life, one that started with recovery. I never knew what that choice would bring into my life. I’m a recovering drug user 10+ years in addiction, almost 4 years in recovery Oct 31st. My life was at an all-time low, just released from a women’s jail to my parent’s custody at 33. They gave me one option: rehab!

So I attended a 3-month program to find a way to live a better life, made it 6 weeks, and was asked to leave. Feeling defeated and ready to give up, I was sent back to my parent’s home with my daughter whom I had disappointed and failed again… So in January of 2017, I went back into the program, this time I was there to make changes! I was 3 months sober but white-knuckling it every day.

On January 10th a new girl had come into the program just 5 days from alcohol scared yet hopeful ready for her new lease on life. We quickly found a friendship which grew in groups, where we talked about our pasts.. about our fears.. and what we wanted to do.

In personal time we played ping pong and we were just drawn to each other. Some people from the program tried to keep us apart. There were rules against this kind of thing. Fraternizing as they called it wasn’t working a proper program. They also didn’t let you read, work out, have any kind of religious beliefs. Ask, listen, do as your told was what they called the golden rules. I understood their reasoning, for that as addicts and alcoholics we didn’t ask others when struggling in our lives, we didn’t listen when told what was good for us to do. But nevertheless, our bond grew.

After weeks of sharing our lives with one another but never crossing any boundaries within the program again, I was pulled aside by a counselor and told I wasn’t growing in my program then asked to leave. So angry now because I felt I had done so well I packed my things, which started an uproar with the house so many of the girls I had been in the program with thought this unfair.

I wanted this, needed the new friendship for a successful recovery. Little did I know, one special girl packed her things and walked out of the program. Not knowing what would happen as we lived cities apart. I was on a conditional sentence to live in my parent’s home and going through a court process, which would end with me doing some in-custody time. But 9 months after being asked to leave the program I completed all my conditions and moved cities to begin a life with this girl.

She accepted me and my past and waited while I dealt with the wreckage of addiction. On our 1 year anniversary, I sat my girlfriend’s children down to ask them if they would take me as another mom, someone to love them, to help teach them and support them in all life has to offer them.

With smiles on there face they accepted the ring pops. Now to ask her. That was an easy one and she said yes!

Fast forward 18 months to June 23, 2018, the day of our wedding the most amazing day of my life. And one that went the fastest ever. She was absolutely beautiful the smile never left my face even for a second. We had a very trying start but nothing I wouldn’t do again to meet the love of my life.

Together we have 5 children, 1 grandchild and a life I could never have dreamt of 4 years ago” – S

Best Memory: “Saying my vows and seeing the way my wife looked at me” – S

Any advice for couples planning their wedding?: “Take time to stop and look around, the actual day went so fast! I also wish we would have recorded the ceremony” – S

More Love Stories…

Imperio Banquet Hall, LGBTQ+, Lyn Schmidt Photography, Something New Officiant