Shaunavon Announces "Marry on the Prairie" Event

Published on: Aug 27, 2019

In the recent years a growing trend has emerged in major Canadian cities for couples looking to say ‘I do’, known as a ‘Pop-up Wedding’. The Town of Shaunavon, Saskatchewan, being a progressive rural community, has jumped on board to create a one-day wedding and vow renewal experience on June 13, 2020, with an event appropriately named “Marry on the Prairie”. 

A pop-up wedding offers couples the opportunity to tie the knot without the hefty price tag and stress that is generally associated with a traditional wedding. Shaunavon’s Marry on the Prairie does just this, while creating an intimate, all-inclusive and memorable celebration in the heart of Southwest Saskatchewan.

Marry on the Prairie is the brainchild of Dianne Greenlay, whose son Michael Kruse-Dahl and his fiancé, Allie Pev, much to Greenlay’s surprise, were married at a similar ceremony called ‘Love on Robson’ in Vancouver, BC last year. Very quickly the initial shock of the non-traditional elopement was replaced with relief that they didn’t have to break the bank by paying for a traditional wedding. “As I found out more about the pop-up wedding phenomenon, the idea made more and more sense to me. These kind of events – which are quite different from the old-fashioned elopements –  are sweeping the nation as young people are wisely choosing to put the thousands that a traditional wedding can cost, instead towards their education, travel plans, and often a down payment on their first home. An idea quickly grew, of making our quaint and beautiful town of Shaunavon the pop-up capital of the Canadian Prairies. We have since come up with so many exciting ideas to make the experience stress-free, fun, and very unique, as well as astonishingly affordable.”

Additionally, Kristy Thienes, the Economic Development Officer who has spearheaded the marketing campaign for Marry on the Prairie, is an advocate for elopements, due her own personal experience. In 2011, she and her husband, Garrett Thienes, secretly and surprisingly wed in Las Vegas in an intimate and unconventional ceremony. The money they saved by choosing a non-traditional ceremony, they used towards a down payment on their house.  “The greatest thing about your wedding is that it’s just that – yours. Our ceremony was about Garrett and I celebrating our love for one another, without the months of saving, planning, worrying or spending. Now, not only do we have a great story to tell, but we also own a house,” said Thienes.

The Marry on the Prairie Committee has worked hard within the community of Shaunavon to create partnerships with local businesses and individuals coming together to take care of all the details. The event will take place at Memorial Park & Randy Surjik Amphitheatre, a spectacular greenspace in the heart of Shaunavon on Saturday, June 13, 2020. They have also made alternative arrangements in the case of inclement weather, which would change the venue to the Crescent Point Wickenheiser Centre – a state of the art facility, and the most popular indoor wedding venue in Shaunavon.

Marry on the Prairie has created an all-inclusive wedding package, for the modest price of $379. This includes: venue rental, officiate, registration and vows, one night accommodation for the bridal couple, a decorated archway, photography, hors d’oeuvres, cake, a bottle of bubbles, a rose with a commemorative tag, basic bridal vehicle detailing, a chance to win a travel voucher, and seating for up to 10 guests. Marry on the Prairie has also developed a variety of local partnerships for the bridal couple to take it up a notch with incredibly affordable enhancements. From unique transportation (horse & carriage, antique cars, a massive prairie tractor) to fresh florals, extended photography sessions, beauty services, couples’ massage, 9-holes of golf and cart rental, supper reservations or gourmet coffee party, a bridal brunch, a 30 minute aerial tour to view the prairie landscape, and the option to increase seating to 20 guests, the experience can be customized to fulfill each couple’s desires.

Marry on the Prairie does all the legwork for spouses-to-be, empowering couples to have a special wedding day without the financial burden or stress of planning. All they have to do is pre-register and show up with two witnesses, with a Saskatchewan Marriage Licence in hand. Marry on the Prairie is also a great opportunity for couples to renew their vows and to celebrate their love that has deepened over time (in which case no marriage licence is required).

As traditional weddings often require couples to book venues a year in advance, organizers Greenlay and Thienes will be in attendance at two wedding tradeshows in Saskatoon and Regina to let prospective couples know of the availability of this fun and affordable alternative to consider before laying down hefty non-refundable deposits for venues, décor, and caterers. In addition, organizers encourage and welcome all interested couples to contact them at any time – the earlier the better – for more details and/or to pre-register for the next Marry on the Prairie event!

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