When I first got Joanna’s email, I was taken back by her name, it’s rare that I come across a Joanna, which is my twin sister’s name. Then I read the groom’s name, Tyler–my best friend’s son’s name. Not exceptionally coincidental except for the fact my sister and best friend’s son, who were incredible people full of life and love, both passed away too young. My sister was actually the original florist of the two of us, and working with flowers is a constant reminder of her spirit. When I saw this lovely couple was getting married on the weekend Tyler passed away, I knew this wedding would evoke a lot of emotion for me, but Joanna struck me as an especially warm person and I was intrigued. Sure enough I got to know Joanna and her mother quite well, Tyler was lovely, and the wedding was a nice way for me to remember and reflect while at the same time celebrating family and this young couple (and their precious daughter).

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Joanna and Tyler were married at Oak Bay Beach Hotel and I feel you don’t need to do any floral design for a ceremony with a backdrop like that. The only florals we created for the ceremony, other than the bouquets, were to make little posies of blue delphiniums to hang on the pew markers.

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I feel Joanna’s bouquet was one of the prettiest I made all summer, and I think it’s because I made it organically while thinking of my sister. Those are the most stunning arrangements because they have a whimsical, natural, unique look that can’t be replicated.

XOX, Joanna and Tyler, and your family. Thank you for asking me to be a part of your special day. It is one I will always remember.

Venue: Oak Bay Beach Hotel
Event planner: Details Special Event Planning and Decor
Cake: Ruth & Dean
Hair: Conscious Hair
Makeup: Jen Clarke
Flowers: Verbena Floral Design
Photographer: Ameris

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Katie and Ryan are so incredible, apart and together. Their vision for their west coast, intimate wedding was inspirational and we had a blast pulling lush garden flowers in their water-colour palette that perfectly suited their location in the Saanich Inlet. Delphiniums, english roses, peonies, and so much more overflowed to create a look of abundance, joy and romance. VANCOUVER_DOCUMENTARY_PHOTOGRAPHERVANCOUVER_DOCUMENTARY_PHOTOGRAPHERVANCOUVER_DOCUMENTARY_PHOTOGRAPHERThe ceremony was held on the Brentwood Lodge restaurant’s breathtaking patio. There’s nothing like it–and it has the added bonus of a very inconspicuous and attractive awning providing shade from the summer sun.

VANCOUVER_DOCUMENTARY_PHOTOGRAPHERLook at that lush backdrop… the water, mountains, forest and flowers. It’s such a joy to add our creative touches to this space.VANCOUVER_DOCUMENTARY_PHOTOGRAPHERVANCOUVER_DOCUMENTARY_PHOTOGRAPHERThis incredibly photographer, by the way, is courtesy of Rick CollinsAnd if you’re like me and love to see the “behind-the-scenes” shots and feel everyone’s anticipation:

VANCOUVER_DOCUMENTARY_PHOTOGRAPHER VANCOUVER_DOCUMENTARY_PHOTOGRAPHER VANCOUVER_DOCUMENTARY_PHOTOGRAPHER VANCOUVER_DOCUMENTARY_PHOTOGRAPHERAnd then it was party time in the Lodge’s restaurant! VANCOUVER_DOCUMENTARY_PHOTOGRAPHERGlamorous gold table runners from Bash Specialty and delicious pies and cakes from Ruth and Dean.VANCOUVER_DOCUMENTARY_PHOTOGRAPHERVANCOUVER_DOCUMENTARY_PHOTOGRAPHERVANCOUVER_DOCUMENTARY_PHOTOGRAPHER

Congrats, Katie and Ryan. All our love, Vanessa and the Verbena crew. XOXVANCOUVER_DOCUMENTARY_PHOTOGRAPHER

Verbena Floral Victoria BC wedding floristSeattle-based optometrists, Roslyn and Luke met at optometry school and are now starting their life together as husband and wife. They came back to Roslyn’s hometown of Victoria, BC, for a beautiful West Coast wedding.

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We set up two locations for this big day: a waterfront ceremony at bride’s parents’ house at Willis Point and the reception at Brentwood Bay Resort, which is just up the coast of the Saanich Inlet.

Verbena Floral Victoria BC wedding floristIt was a very hot day in Brentwood Bay, but a gorgeous one all around. We worked alongside some very very talented vendors, including French Kiss Events, Tuktu Paper, Toque Catering, AMERIS Photography, Style by Erin Bradley, Conscious Hair by Elena, Liam Biggs DJ, local musician Geoffrey Lundstrom, Bash Specialty, Schur to Please Cakes and Orris Films (Australian based wedding videographers).

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 Oh, to be a baby…

In the middle of summer it’s fairly rare that we get to work with a bounty of colour, but we did for this event and it was so much fun to work with. And I had to overcome my fear of carnations, because I found a couple varieties that are really beautiful. See if you can spot them.

View More: http://ameris.pass.us/roslyn-luke-marriedVerbena Floral Victoria BC wedding floristView More: http://ameris.pass.us/roslyn-luke-married

This adorable pooch, Milo, played huge part in wedding (he was on all of the paper goods, too).

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The lucky guests were picked up for the event at Brentwood Lodge marina and boated over to the ceremony and then back to the Lodge for dinner and dancing.

View More: http://ameris.pass.us/roslyn-luke-married View More: http://ameris.pass.us/roslyn-luke-married View More: http://ameris.pass.us/roslyn-luke-married View More: http://ameris.pass.us/roslyn-luke-married View More: http://ameris.pass.us/roslyn-luke-marriedView More: http://ameris.pass.us/roslyn-luke-marriedThe colours palette was crushed berry and tiny hints of peach.

View More: http://ameris.pass.us/roslyn-luke-married View More: http://ameris.pass.us/roslyn-luke-married View More: http://ameris.pass.us/roslyn-luke-married View More: http://ameris.pass.us/roslyn-luke-marriedBarb and her team at French Kiss made these custom wooden signs seating charts, and Barb’s mom made custom tapestries to hang above the dessert buffet. View More: http://ameris.pass.us/roslyn-luke-marriedView More: http://ameris.pass.us/roslyn-luke-marriedBarb and I decided we wanted to do something special and a surprise for them so we had their invitation blown up and hung it over the fireplace in the dining room.

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Seating area on terrace with furniture set up by Bash Specialty.

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 Congrats, Roslyn and Luke. You truly had a dream day, and we were honoured to be a part of it.

View More: http://ameris.pass.us/roslyn-luke-marriedVerbena Floral Victoria BC wedding florist

This wedding was incredibly special for us for a number of reasons, first and foremost because we have so much love and respect for Kuljit and Brad, and their families. They are so accommodating, appreciative and kind, and we we honoured to play a day in bringing their special day together for them. Also…this was our very first traditional Indian Wedding, and we were able to work with so much rich colour, pattern and texture, and we’re pretty thrilled with the results!

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Brad and Kuljit with his parents, who, like I say are the nicest people on the planet. Just the most lovely energy. You could not find more thoughtful, appreciative people. Love.

This wedding was a massive undertaking, especially given the torrential rain and wind storm that kicked up, and would not have been possible without the Herculean efforts from the Verbena crew, Nick and his crew from Toque Catering, who ran the food and bar program from the entire event, Marika from Rock Paper Square, who sourced linens and many of the decor elements, Magical Moments, who helped coordinate the traditional Indian ceremony, Bash Specialty, who provided the carpets and furniture, and the phenomenal Lillie Louise Weddings, who photographed all the details for us.

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Verbena had the privilege of working on Brad’s sister’s wedding six years ago so we have been able to get to know the family quite well, and for Brad and Kuljit’s wedding we were on site for three days setting up and we stayed onsite throughout the evening. I absolutely love getting to know families like this and being witness to them spending this special time together.

The entire day was ladened with beautiful ceremonies. Brad entered on a white horse and was led by a drummer, as is tradition he was followed by his close family and friends to where the bride’s family was having tea. This is called the milni, which literally means ‘the meeting’.

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And can we have a round of applause for how spectacular the guests looked? Have you ever seen such a gorgeous group?

When the musicians start chanting it is a signal for the guests to begin entering the sacred ceremony space. The beautiful chanting made us feel as if we’d be transported to India.

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It’s rare we get to work with such ancient traditions and customs, and one of the best touches of the day was supplied by Claire at Earth Candy Farms: the beautiful marigold flower. Marigolds are grown in India and sold as garlands in many urban markets. The colors of marigolds range from yellow to gold to orange, red and mahogany. Flowers in Indian culture are thought to be pure and are used in many Hindu festivals and during worship. In India, there are flower gallis, or stalls, where you can buy these flower garlands in town centers or cities. Families will stop at these gallis before heading to the temple to worship. A guest came up to me and said when she walked into the tent and thought she was in India from the smell of the marigolds.

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Marika, from Rock Paper Square, and I sourced all the tapestries for the cocktail tables. For our colour palette we worked with sophisticated, bold colour choices: raspberry, copper and reds. We also wanted to complement Kuljit and Brad’s incredible traditional outfits.Brad&KuljitWedding_2015-08-29-196

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A nod to Brad’s mom’s Scottish heritage, a bagpiper played to kick off the reception—and a rainbow came out as he began.

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The couple had a signature drink created for their guests.Brad&KuljitWedding_2015-08-29-61 Brad&KuljitWedding_2015-08-29-58 Brad&KuljitWedding_2015-08-29-11

Copper gloriosa daisies were from Flower Power in Metchosin.

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We had a custom bar made that can now be rented through Bash. Brad&KuljitWedding_2015-08-29-301

Brad&KuljitWedding_2015-08-29-150Getting ready for the late night snack – a roasted lamb barbequed by Brad’s friends. Brad&KuljitWedding_2015-08-29-217 Brad&KuljitWedding_2015-08-29-221Brad&KuljitWedding_2015-08-29-32

Thank you to my team: Jenny, Marina, Cara, Sarah, Kelly, Lauren, Claire, Molly, Robin, Christine, Candis, Dre, Jamie, Steph, Nolan and Nikki. Huge round of applause. Could not have dreamt of being able to do this without you.

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Congratulations again, Brad and Kuljit.

Much love,

The Verbena crew