I was very excited when I saw this wedding land in my inbox. I first saw the photographs and loved the neutral simplistic angle. Then I read all about how they met and their engagement story which instantly made me fall in love with this pair. With a multicultural wedding, some opt to include both cultures and some couples opt for a neutral wedding as it’s a good common ground. Jennifer explains how she and Regis chose to have their wedding below. The ceremony and reception was held at Volo, a local restaurant/ wine bar on 5th October 2014. It was an intimate affair with only about 60 guests in attendance. Their wedding was photographed by their good friend Thomas from Slack Photography.
Bride: Jennifer Ho | Groom: Regis Verliefde
How they met:
We both belong to the Universal Sole running club. We met about 3 years ago at a Beer Mile the team organized. Regis didn’t throw up, and placed second. That impressed me. Just kidding. After that initial meeting at the Beer Mile, we went on our first date for Poutine at a BYOB. He brought some La Chouffe. I’m Canadian from Chinese parents and Regis is from Belgium.
How they got engaged:
While hiking together in Patagonia we reached a lake called Laguna de los Tres, where there was a postcard view of mount Fitz Roy. But the lake was still iced over and covered in snow, so we didn’t see the glacier-blue waters we’d come to expect. We were just about to leave, when he suggested we quickly explore another trail around the bend. We found ourselves overlooking a sparkling glacier-blue lake about 1000 feet below. I hear Regis say “Let’s hike down!”. But the only way to get to that lake is to go back the way we came and go around the base of the mountain. It wasn’t a trail, no one had really been this way. There were giant boulders scattered everywhere. We got lost a few times. Made a few detours. Just as I was about to lose my cool and demand that we turn around, we went over the final boulders and there it was, the crystal blue lake of Laguna Sucia! It was there that Regis proposed. I didn’t expect it. I was so tired. I was thinking about my bed and getting some real food. There was no one else in sight. It was just us.
Is it harder to plan a wedding when the couple is from different faiths/cultures:
The planning wasn’t harder, but the language gap didn’t allow everyone to communicate at the same level. A bit of translation and hand-holding was in order. His mum only speaks French, and my mother’s English isn’t the best. Since my parents live in Canada and Regis’ parents live in Belgium, they had not met before. Their first meeting was the evening before the wedding. I was anxious that everyone would be able to communicate and feel comfortable in a social setting. It turned out great. Parents eventually can sense how well we are doing, and good parents just support that. The rest was solved with some wine and some hand gestures…
How did you decide on what you wanted for your wedding?
The easiest approach was to not cater to specific customs. Attempting the cultural melting pot would have been tough to organize, and frankly, confusing.
We opted for an informal event, with family and friends at a local restaurant that we were able to close down and rent out on a sunday afternoon. We set up a neutral ceremony with an officiant followed by a walk-around-and-mingle type of event. It suited the crowd of 60, and the DJ got everyone in gear from there. April from Volo was the mastermind behind the event and ran the whole show for us. I think this may be the first wedding for many of our guests where they remember what they ate. The food was memorable.
Any advice to give to other multicultural couples?
In some instances, elements of tradition cannot be bypassed. But in our case, we took the lead in the event and called for a neutral gathering. It allowed both sides to focus on meeting up and spending time with us, rather than being focused on the obligatory details of -sometimes- outdated customs. It’s your day, not anyone else’s.
From the photographer:
“Aside from the satisfaction of helping out a friend, the best part of the wedding for me was shooting a few rolls of film. I love anything old and analog, so being able to bring back the craft of film photography to a wedding is exciting for me. It’s just another way to keep my approach fresh and new.”
This wedding was so lovely, I love intimate weddings because you have who you really want there and have the time to interact with everyone. How would you go about adhering to or leaving out customs in your multicultural wedding?2