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Vanessa and Jonathan go way back to their days at Shawnigan Lake School where they both attended. It was fitting they had their wedding at their alma mater– and get this: all their friends and family stayed in the dorms. How fun is that? The school’s grounds are unbelievable gorgeous and feature a chapel, where the ceremony was held.
Okay, but before we talk about anything else… that dress, right? Vanessa has incredible taste, and this dress was sent from heaven for her. And by heaven, I of course mean Klienfeld in New York. The Romona Keveza dress is a gray-blue raw silk confection. Un-flipping believable.
Of course everyone wants a beautiful, sunny day on their wedding, and in so much as this wedding was planned perfectly by the bride, the weather doesn’t always get the memo that it’s your wedding day. The weather threatened all day… in July… in a summer that saw almost no rain. We were protective of Vanessa’s raw silk dress in the rain and did what anyone would do: we wrapped her in garbage bags (and surrounded her with umbrellas). And were we glad we did because as Vanessa walked from the courtyard to the chapel the sky opened up and poured. Of course at that point she was so excited to see her husband-to-be that nothing was stopping her.
We used shades white and green, but we worked in pale blue for the ceremony to highlight Vanessa’s dress. Those soft, subtle blue hydrangeas in the arrangements were a last minute addition. When I saw them (they came in randomly on the Thursday before the wedding to my floral supplier Mt Newton) I grabbed them because I thought if we put colour anywhere we will do it for the church flowers and highlight her dress.
The day-of coordinator was Tammy of Blue Lily Event Planning, the photographer was Erin Wallis (who I’ve been wanting to work with for years, and it was a dream come true!) and hair and makeup was by Chelsea Dawn.
The larger arrangement on the head table are from the ceremony–we always move the ceremony flowers to the reception so they can be enjoyed for the entire event. We made over 275 feet of garland with salal, eucalyptus, plumosa fern and ruscus. It tied the indoors to the lush outdoor surroundings and was striking on such a large scale.
Shara from Bash Specialty chose some special pieces, including the bride and groom’s love seat (seriously, how perfect?) couches, side tables, pillows, and more to create a living room atmosphere in the dining hall.
…There is a tradition at Shawnigan: at breaks the school serves fresh cookies! So the couple, familiar with the cookies, requested their favourite flavours for the dessert table and paid homage to their school days together.
Vanessa is a family friend from Qualicum and it was a joy to take part in her and Jon’s special day. We wish you many years of health and happiness, Vanessa and Jon. XOX
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This wedding was absolutely incredible for us for so many reasons, not only did we love this couple, but they trusted us to do whatever we wanted within their colour palette, which is every florist’s dream come true. This was also the first wedding where we got use some product from the lovely girls at Meadowsweet Farm on Saltspring Island. Molly and Claire are vegetable farmers and have just started growing flowers as well, and we couldn’t be more thrilled about them because their product is divine. It gives all our designs that gorgeous romantic garden look that we have been itching to incorporate into our work. The results were overflowing, romantic English-inspired designs. And we’re thrilled to see that Swooned Magazine recently featured this beautiful wedding!
Transporting the ceremony pieces to the site–our amazing Cara is in there somewhere… The ceremony spot was on this breathtaking terrace in Glendale Gardens, at the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific–103 acres of public demonstration gardens and conservation land. It’s not only beautiful, but a great central location for a Victoria wedding–it’s located just between West Saanich and Interurban. The reception was in the Gardens’ brand new, gorgeous Couvelier Pavilion.
We got to use raspberry foliage for the first time (Vanessa has been wanting to use it for years)!
The beautiful photography is by Jesse Holland.
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Totally smitten I am, smitten with two of the best people I have ever worked with. Bryn & Jeff, you had me at hello and I am still amaze we pulled it off given that all we did at our first meeting was laugh. Bryn is all heart and Jeff is all humour two of my top qualities, so this day was an expression of love and laughs from start to finish. It helped that me and everyone that is part of the Verbena team fell in fast love with these two and their families and friends as it made the preparations and creating all the more easy.
The palette was filled with greens, whites and touches of raspberry. Easy to do at this time of year, as the flowers are all in their prime right before the frosts of early fall start to turn them. The bouquets for Bryn and her lovely bridesmaid were a perfect combination of just that using some gorgeous rich red garden roses from the gardens of Starling Lane.
Bryn is a natural beauty, she shines and glows from within, and their is an absolute breathtaking quality to her that encompasses the essence of simplicity. So with that being the starting point, we filled the floral elements with an abundance of simple and lush blooms like hydrangeas, roses, pods, berries ferns and mosses. Gorgeous magnolia foliage with it’s rich hues of green and suede like brown were the base of all the arrangements.
Bryn made an entrance in her Dad’s red pick-up, one of the better ways to get to wedding I would say. A perfect glowing bride emerged from the truck with her beautiful friend Lisa and a beaming Trevor, ready to walk down the aisle. Such sweetness and love in these moments right before the ceremony. Bryn you couldn’t have been more beautiful!
Guests were treated to another feast from the amazing Dan & Micayla of the London Chef, they mingled in the beautiful garden’s of the Starling Lane Winery for cocktails prior the fabulous dinner reception at The Brentwood Bay Lodge & Spa.
The reception was decorated with more of the same rustic beauty as the ceremony. We created large “trees” of oak leaves to surround the space, it was a gorgeous way to mark the space. The tables were laid with gorgeous linens centrepieces created in beautiful cedar boxes made by Bryn’s Dad. Candles were everywhere and they were the perfect compliment to the gorgeous space and the setting sun over Brentwood Bay.
The wedding was beautifully “branded” and coordinated by the talented Roxanne Cave from Celebrate Whistler Events. It was great to be able to collaborate with her and her team. Her touches made everything come together seamlessly.
Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. French, thank you from the bottom of my heart for asking me and crew to be a small part of your fantastic day.
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Sometimes we get to be a part of something really magical. It’s magical because everywhere you turn every element blends seamlessly into the next and what is left is something so breathtakingly beautiful, there are no words. Now, it always adds to the ease of it all when you get to start with a gorgeous venue, Starling Lane Winery has no shortage of charm and character. We have been lucky enough to be able to work there a number of times this year and my goodness this venue never fails when it comes to scenic beauty abound!
The palette was a perfect combination of muted blush pinks, whites and soft silvery greys. The bouquets for the bride and bridesmaids were a filled with all of those shades and they were a brilliant compliment to the monogram created for the wedding of grey and pink.
The ceremony took place under a tree beside the heritage water tower and we marked the spot with 4 large arrangements, 2 in shades of pinks and 2 in shades of white all of them in weathered grey urn style planters.
The bride has impeccable taste and it was evident at every turn, her touches made our job easy as the starting point was already spectacular. This wedding took “shabby chic” to another level. The undeniable “piece de resistance” was the stunning bar for the cocktail tent, that was lovingly made by the groom’s father. Stunning, absolutely stunning.
Dinner was served under a beautiful lined and draped tent in the back hayfield next to the grape vines. Black & White Party Rentals provided the beautiful tent for both the dinner and the cocktail area. You just can’t deny the beauty of perfectly draped tent. It was the perfect venue for a fantastic meal catered by Truffles Catering. They always make an event memorable and this was no exception, no detail was overlooked. The centrepieces were arranged in rustic white washed boxes custom made by Modern Bodger, and were flanked by small posies of muted roses in mercury glass vases, all was awash in the soft glow of candle light.
The entire wedding from start, almost 2 years ago till finish was guided under the watchful and impeacable eye and attention to detail by Christine of Smart Events, and the pictures speak for themselves. This wedding is one for the record books. Simply put stunning! Congratulations B & S, it was an honour!