Yesss you read right – Luke and I got married this past weekend!!! I’ve been a little quiet around the blog over the last couple of weeks and that’s why. Too busy tying the knot!
The Story of Me ‘n’ Luke
For those of you who don’t know, the guy I married is Luke (Raftl … and that’s my new name…. Tracy Raftl).
He’s an Australian. We met 5 or so years ago when we were both backpacking around Europe and found ourselves working at a hostel in Budapest, Hungary.
We were together for a couple of months, but I was not convinced that he was the right guy for me, so I left and went home to Canada.
During our time apart, we dated other people but kept in close contact as friends via the internet. When I was going through my bad acne, he was so loving and supportive to me.
I felt like he was one of the only people I could truly divulge to about how desperate and anxious I was about what was happening. I never felt judged by him, only supported.
He later came over to North America for another travel adventure … I suspect it was entirely to win me back, but he sheepishly denies it 😉 … either way, he was destined for my side of Canada with a working visa in hand (come on Luke, just admit it… it was obvious!)
At this point I still wasn’t totally convinced he was the right guy for me (which resulted in cold feet about getting back together and some drama), but I finally decided to concede defeat and give him a chance only to see that we’re incredibly compatible, and he’s totally awesome, and that I just do not want to live without him!
When we first got back together, we lived for a winter in a little room in a share house in downtown Vancouver. We were completely broke. He worked a terrible, low paying construction job.
Even though I really needed to, I was having an extremely hard time motivating myself to apply for yet another totally uninspiring and drudging job just to get by (of which I had cycled through plenty of in the last however many years), so he graciously allowed us to scrape by on his measly income while I started The Love Vitamin.
He’s literally been my number one fan since the very beginning. He fully believed in me that it would take off, and never complained that we had barely enough money to pay the rent.
To this day, he goes and checks my blog every day and reads the comments and gets excited about how it’s all going and even brags about me behind my back… I heard ;p.
After that, I begged him to move with me back to my hometown so we could both work the summer at the kayak rental place that I had worked at for the past four summers. He agreed, and we began setting up a lovely little life here.
After being introduced to kayaking, he chose to become a sea kayak guide, while The Love Vitamin is thriving and allows me to make an incredibly fulfilling living by helping people (amazing!), we have found ourselves a beautiful group of mutual friends that feels like family, and we adopted two of the funniest little doggies I’ve ever seen.
Every day I love him and our life together more and more.
We actually decided to get married a long time ago. There was no “proposal”, or real “engagement”, we just kind of decided (after a talk about work visas and how he could stay in Canada… so romantic, I know), and then kept it rather hush.
Either way- it just felt right. We’re meant to be together and after I allowed myself to see that, I have never doubted it, even though we have the typical relationship spats and arguments like everyone else.
The Pre-Honeymoon & Wedding
The wedding was wonderful. Everyone was happy, there was very little stress, and the love was definitely in the air.
We’re not very conventional, and we didn’t want a big fuss (or a big bill), so we got married at a local campsite, on a bluff overlooking a lake, and then just used the firepits and picnic tables at the campsite to have dinner.
We skipped much of the traditional stuff like walking down the aisle, bride’s maids and groom’s men, etc.
There were about 25 people there – to keep it under control, we kept it to immediate family, and close mutual friends that we had both spent a lot of time with in the last year or two.
This included 7 of Luke’s family members and a few of his friends from Australia.
The wedding week kicked off by Luke and I, six of our friends, and our two little pups, going on an epic six day kayak trip in an area north of my town called Desolation Sound.
It was amazing. Breathtaking scenery, beautiful campsites every night, and an amazing (and hilarious) crew of people to boot. It was perfect. Although I suppose it was more like a combined stag/stagette rather than a honeymoon.
When we got back, all my friends and family got together and spent a day furiously prepping food for the wedding, and then it was the big day!
I think I’ll just let a little photo essay take over from here…. (scroll over the pictures for little captions):