So we wake up in Banff, breathe in the mountain air and stretch our limbs knowing we are going to be having a fun filled (that means food and drink to me!) day.
We lounge about and drink coffee and read our books, slowly unhook the electric and water and generally chillout. We were in Banff townsite by 8.30am and had read the rough guide for recommendations for breakfast. We head down to a seemingly Mexican cafe and order the hungry man breakfast and a 3eggs breakfast, a coffee, a juice and a plate of granary toast!!! 2 hours later we can barely move due to the amount we have eaten but…there is lots to see in Banff (says Lisa the ‘fun police’) so we set off into town.
Now one thing we haven’t mentioned is that we had contacted a horse riding ranch in Banff about the possibility of a wedding there. We said we would pop into the shop to discuss things and found ourselves there full of breakfast. We browsed the store, filled to the rafters of all things cowboy, Alex tried on the largest cowboy hats available (…7 and 3/4…they still didnt fit) and I checked out the fools gold and the rattle snake eggs.
We eventually introduced ourselves to Amanda with whom Alex had been in contact. She told us that the stables weren’t far and just a half hour walk away and that we should go have a look around. We strolled around Banff for a while and then set off to the Stables. The walk was an interesting one, we saw our first (and only, so far!) male deer!
He was sat casually in the front yard of a B and B. He wasnt strapped down, tempted by food or fastened in by a fence. He was just laid, enjoying the shade and watching the passersby! I thought he was plastic so we got closer and he just looked at me intrigued as we took a few pictures! Strange!
Anyway, we carried on down the road and met the gang at the stables…the gang being over 300 horses, goodness knows how many cowboy staff (who weren’t officially allowed to work without a cowboy hat on!!) and a lot of horse….saddles ( you thought I was going to say poop didn’t you?!?!).
We met up with Troy in his cowboy hat, spurs, chewing straw and wearing a leather waistcoat in the 100 degree heat and tried to talk him into being master of ceremony for our wedding tomorrow! ‘Its my day off’ he says! That’s us stumped for all of 3 seconds until he says ‘…But we can do it today!’ We were gobsmacked! It was 1 in the afternoon and he said ‘come back in an hour or two and we’ll have it sorted!’…so…us being us, we said okay then and set off bewildered and wandered back to Peggy absolutely struck dumb…we walked back past the deer chilling out and wondered if our eggs had been spiked!
We made it back to Peggy and looked at each other and decided we needed a beer to calm our nerves. To the local Irish bar we go and order 2 pints of your finest Guinness!! ($15!!!!!!!!! later) Guinness down and our heads back on right we realised we had a wedding in an hour!
I have never been on a horse in my life, nor have I ever had the desire to go on one but here I was planning to get on a strange horse, ride it into the wilderness, say my vows and all in a wedding dress!!!!! Definitely the eggs!!!
Amanda rang her deputy Rebecca who had shown an excitable interest in filming the wedding and asked if she could be there, Rebecca arranged for Nicole to come with her to take pics and she printed out the vows for the master of sermon to read!
We collected Peggy and set off back to the stables! We packed my wedding dress into a day bag (sorry Tabitha!!) and Alex put on his checked shirt and jeans and Amanda’s chaps and too small cowboy hat! We met our horses…Brumby and Clay and walked them to choose our mountain view.
We had the choice of three, Cascade, Rundle and Norkway. Roland had his wedding in front of Cascade (the biggest in Banff) so we chose there as he was to be master of ceremony!
I got changed in the field and mounted a trailer so that I could get onto Clay and once Alex was on Brumby we headed out into the meadow.
The horses were brilliant and after a waver about what on earth my dress was draped down his back Clay was absolutely fine.
Once in place Roland started the ceremony and Nicole and Rebecca warmed
up the cameras. The setting was amazing with the stunning backdrop and the horses behaved so well that again I certainly got butterflies and Alex fumbled for the rings.
A true sign that the nerves and the amazing feeling of it being your wedding day are still there! We repeated our vows after Roland and kissed on cue (with a little help from Brumby and Clay) and then set off back on the ride to the stables!
We cant thank Warner Stables enough nor can we remove the thistle stings or mozzie bites that Nicole and Rebecca received whilst recording our special day for us but we can tell you guys that we truly had a day to remember!
My first horse ride, an amazing horseback wedding and the very first time I had met such a lovely horse with a blue eye!!!