Kelly + Bill
When Jenny and I met working at a florist, the first thing we ever talked about was how much fun we would have planning our daughters’ weddings. We quickly became best friends and started Verbena together (Jenny is now retired from Verbena and is an incredible doula at Hey Baby). And now, almost ten years since we first started planning Kelly’s wedding, here we were!
It’s hard to know where to start with the story of this wedding because there are so many meaningful things happened. I think we have to start by explaining this was more than a wedding. It was a celebration of the good things that happen in life: family and love. Kelly wanted to get married on the weekend in August that held a history of terrible events for her family, as a way to add a happy memory for everyone. On August 25 2008, Kelly’s brother Tyler, who was a sweet, loveable, joyful young man, passed away in a workplace accident. On the same weekend five years earlier, Kelly’s family home burned down in the Kelowna fires and her grandma passed away.
Kelly looking at the dragonfly hovering around her.
The wedding was in Bill’s parents’ orchard in Kelowna. Kelly and Bill grew up in Kelowna, but met through friends at a party in Victoria. Bill proposed in the orchard: in the exact spot the ceremony took place. The spot was so beautiful that all we did was anchor it with the mantle and a persian carpet that we rented from Skippy’s Prop Shop.
Trees lined the aisle and we had 75 paper lanterns in shades of peach, cream and gold. Rented wooden benches for ceremony seating from. About a dozen of Kelly’s friends planned a surprise serenade of Neil Young’s Harvest Moon for the couple with tambourines, guitars and a broom for the sweeping sound. By the end, all 140 guests were singing Harvest Moon, and that was how the ceremony ended–magically.
We picked all the colours, flowers, decor from Jenny’s living room. When we got there, all the trees were in fruit–shades of burgundy, pink and peach. Everything about this wedding came together and blended so seamlessly.
We had the most amazing help from Kelowna’s Top Knot Events, run by Sara K. This is another way in which everything just fell in place perfectly for this wedding: Sarah K was a guest at a wedding we worked on a few years ago, and after the wedding she sent me an email complimenting our team on the flowers and told me how she wanted to work as an event planner and would love to work with Verbena one day. So when we knew Kelly and Bill would get hitched in Kelowna, I immediately knew this was finally a chance for us to work with Sara, and she was fantastic.
Photographers Jenna and Tristan captured the day. This amazing husband-and-wife team (who just won the Best Overall Photographer award at the BC Wedding Awards) are long-time friends and actually lived in the same building–just two doors down from Kelly and Bill for awhile.
Thankfully Kelly was thrilled to let us have “our wedding” and let us do our thing: from the decor to the flowers to her DRESS! I have to tell you about the dress: I spotted it when she was in the change room at Blush and I asked the girl working to take it to Kelly. I could hear her… “displeasure” at it initially… “Beads?!” But I told her to give it a try, and sure enough, when she walked out, we all knew
There was no plan B for rain, Kelly wouldn’t have it, and it teamed with rain (bouncing off the ground) the day before. Not only was it a little scary but we couldn’t do any prep until Friday evening. But it all came together so perfectly, and on the big day the only thing it rained was champagne.
Jenny and I.
And they partied into the night!
Congrats, Kelly and Bill. We love you. XOXO.