Brooke & Adam- A McLean Mill Wedding in Port Alberni
Brooke and Adam married at McLean Mill Historic Park in Port Alberni on September 5th, 2019 among 175 family and friends- country-style. It was filled with shared stories and laughter, classic cars, and a hearty home cooked meal. At McLean Mill Historic Park, they rented out the campground, said their I do’s beneath the water tower, and danced beneath the stars among the Douglas Fir forest. Their family cooked for 175 people, spent hours crafting the paper flower decor and made this wedding a day to remember for every guest that attended. Wow, what a fiercely loving day.
Wedding Venue: McLean Mill Historic Park, Port Alberni, BC
Florals: Azalea Flowers & Gift, Port Alberni, BC
DJ: Devan Zaruk
Decor: DIY and crafty moms
Doughnuts: Mountain View Bakery, Courtenay, BC
Wedding Dress: Approximately 100 years old sourced from a thrift store!
Their Love Story
Brooke and Adam are both lovers of a good craft brew and enjoy spending nights out late making friends at breweries and bars. We even photographed their engagement session at the Longwood Brewery! At one such evening out, these two connected and instantly crushed HARD on each other. That was it; one night together was enough to prompt another and another, quickly turning into a serious relationship. With very busy lives already, they had no problem becoming twice as busy together and tackling it as a team. Brooke is in school full time and is usually working while Adam is a golf instructor whose work takes him on many long drives. These two are ALWAYS driving up and down the Island, and sometimes take Adam’s 1964 El Camino for spins. These two work hard, learn hard and love hard. Everything they do they put their full effort and enthusiasm into, all the while with a casual laid back attitude. You instantly connect with Brooke and Adam- and that’s why they had 175 people at their wedding.
A Large Wedding
Like I mentioned earlier, these two are very easy to get along with. It was evident at their large wedding that wherever they go in life, they attract a crowd. They call these crowds their little families and each has a personalized group name; there’s the History Family, the Country Fest Family, the Bar Family and then the actual bloodline families. Include at least two dozen random friends collected throughout various jobs and stages of life and you have an intimate group of 175 guests at your wedding.
The details of this wedding were really quite special. The love and effort that so many people put into this was incredible and deserves a huge kudos. Instead of having the wedding catered, the family pulled a collective effort and cooked a hearty meal for the entire group. Throughout my time observing the day, I noticed at least ten different people chopping, baking, stirring, and putting the food out on the table. On top of that, the intricate paper flower decorations were handmade by Brooke’s crafty mom Shannon. There were dozens of these flowers, and some of them were HUGE! She did a fabulous job. The teacups with small Aloe Vera plants in them were collected from family members at thrift stores for months. Brooke told me that every time they went to a thrift shop they always walked out with a box of teacups! Will they ever be able to walk into a thrift store again without checking out the teacup section by default?
Brooke’s wedding dress was purchased from a thrift store by her mother when she married. They guess it to be about 100 years old. It’s SO amazing when daughters and mothers have shared the same wedding dress. The alterations were done by a family friend, of course. The DJ this night was the talented Devan Zaruk, who exactly one year earlier married the girl of his dreams. Both were there supporting Brooke and Adam on their first wedding anniversary!
Weddings at McLean Mill Historic Site
McLean Mill Historic Site in Port Alberni opened its space to becoming a wedding venue in 2017. They are now steadily booking weddings for couples looking for a rustic venue surrounded by forests and mountain views. There is camping accommodation available, indoor and outdoor reception space, a variety of potential ceremony settings, and plenty of old rusty vehicles for your viewing pleasure. The formal photograph opportunities are endless; forest, pond, water tower, cabins, railroad tracks, and a ton of rustic vehicles. There is a wooden dance floor patio elevated among the Douglas Fir trees, with starry twinkle lights set up for perfect mood lighting. If you are a history buff, you will be delighted to marry in a National Historic Site of Canada. I highly recommend checking out McLean Mill Historic Site as a wedding venue and as a day trip for something fun to do in Port Alberni.