Kaitlyn Deforest and Dave Johnston stand beside the 1968 Dodge Charger owned by Deforest’s father on their wedding day. SUBMITTED PHOTO

LIV: How to plan a wedding in three days

Port Alberni’s Kaitlyn Deforest and Dave Johnston didn’t have a ‘traditional’ wedding ceremony

When Kaitlyn Deforest and Dave Johnston were married two days before Christmas in 2017, the ceremony wasn’t exactly traditional.

“We got engaged in October, and we were planning to get married in the summer of 2018 or 2019,” said Deforest, who works at AV Financial. She currently goes by her maiden name, but she will be taking her husband’s name in the future.

Not long after their engagement, Deforest and Johnston received word that Johnston’s grandfather was going to be hospitalized and might not make it to the summer. Johnston had always been close to his grandfather.

“We just decided to get married very quickly,” said Deforest.

A wedding was planned within the span of three days. The ceremony took place in the couple’s living room, in front of their fireplace, featuring a Christmas tree. The couple was married in front of their parents and grandparents—including Johnston’s grandfather, who was released from the hospital for the wedding. It turned out to be a complete surprise for him.

“He didn’t know we were getting married until right when it happened,” said Deforest.

They were married on the last sunny day before a snowfall. They took pictures next to her father’s 1968 Charger—the one that she had always dreamed of taking to her wedding.

“He actually got the car out of storage,” said Deforest. “We were lucky the weather was so nice.”

Although there was no white dress, and no rehearsals, Deforest said it was still an emotional and beautiful ceremony.

Deforest wore her grandmother’s wedding band. The ring she purchased for Johnston turned out to be too large, so they had one custom ordered online.

“He doesn’t have one right now,” Deforest laughed.

Susan Thomas was their commissioner, and a cake was made by Mountain View Bakery. Deforest’s mother—a florist—provided the flowers. They held a family dinner at Drinkwater’s that evening, where they were the only ones in attendance. Rather than hire an official photographer, the family relied on their phones to preserve images from the ceremony.

“Everybody was so understanding,” said Deforest. “They were all really supportive and good about it.”

She added, “It felt like we were scrambling around. But it all came together really good, considering.”

The couple had been planning a much more “traditional” wedding originally, and had talked to McLean Mill, as well as different caterers and photographers. Deforest said her friends were surprised to hear the news.

The couple is still hoping to hold a reception sometime in the future. But Deforest said her wedding went well, considering the circumstances.

“It was not ideal,” said Deforest. “It wasn’t what we had ever planned. But it was really beautiful.”


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