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fall/winter 2012 BEAUTY

CARLY FLINT MAKEUP (250) 661-0876 MAFFEO SALON AND DAY SPA 538 Wentworth Street, Nanaimo (250) 740-0092 ♥ MA-LUXE STUDIOS INC Featured @

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FOUR POINTS SHERATON VICTORIA GATEWAY 829 McCallum Road, Victoria (250) 391-5063 THE GRAND HOTEL NANAIMO 4898 Rutherford Road, Nanaimo (250) 758-3000 or 1 (877) 41-GRAND HATLEY PARK 2005 Sooke Road, Victoria 1 (866) 241-0674 INN AT LAUREL POINT 680 Montreal Street, Victoria (250) 386-8721 or 1-800-663-7667 MARY WINSPEAR CENTRE 2243 Beacon Avenue, Sidney (250) 656-0275 Merridale Estate Cidery 1230 Merridale Road, Cobble Hill (250) 743-4293 OSWEGO HOTEL 500 Oswego Street, Victoria (250) 294-7511 or 1-877-7-OSWEGO POETS COVE RESORT & SPA 9801 Spalding Road, South Pender Island 1 (888) 512-POET(7638) or (250) 629- 2100 SHELTER POINT DISTILLERY 4650 Regent Road, Campbell River 1 (778) 420-2200 ♥ SOOKE HARBOUR HOUSE

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reality wedding stories Photography by EA Photography ( Story by CEREMONY#1: morning of JUNE 5th, 2010 @ SIKH GURDWARA, VICTORIA BC CEREMONY #2: afternoon of june 5th, 2010 @ Bear mountain, langford, bC RECEPTION: JUNE 6TH, 2010 @ Mary WinSpear Centre in Sidney BC Rajan and Pia first met at the University of Victoria and were instant friends - a friendship that lasted years before they even considered dating each other. “I think we both knew the first night when we went on a ‘date’ - which, at the time, was just two friends hanging out on a Friday night with a little wine.” They later laughed about the fact that it felt like a date for both of them. Rajan loves how funny, incredibly goofy and yet, at times, serious Pia can be. “I love how she acts as though I am the funniest person in the world, when in reality I am likely only second or third! But mostly, I love the look that she gets when she sees me for the first time in a day.” Pia considers Rajan her coach, partner and best friend. “I love the way he makes me laugh, smile, the way he irritates me and then makes me smile about it after. I love how he knows me so well, better than myself at times. I love how he talks non-stop to me about the things he loves.” The couple had known each other for six years when Rajan proposed to Pia at her apartment. She had walked in, dressed in soccer clothes, only to find a path of rose petals and candles leading to the bedroom. Rajan had lit candles, spelling out the words, ‘Will you marry me’. He was down on one knee, waiting. “It was very romantic, except for the fact that I had just come home sweating from playing soccer and he had just done this grand gesture for me! It was perfect. It was about us and for the two of us. How could I say ‘no’?!” Rajan is from an Indian Sikh background while Pia is Indian Hindu. The first thing to plan were the ceremonies which would be a mix of traditional and non-traditional. Rajan grew up going to the Sikh Gurdwara and always wanted to get married there, while Pia wanted an outdoor wedding ceremony. “I had always had the vision of the outdoor wedding when I thought of getting married.” So, they opted for both! Along with the Sikh ceremony, a Hindu ceremony was planned at Bear Mountain (, where the Ceremony Circle turned out to be the perfect setting. They also opted for a very large guest list and chose Mary Winspear Centre (

4 • The Wedding Ring Magazine VANCOUVER ISLAND |

in Sidney for their reception. “It had all the right characteristics that we needed and it would hold our 550 guests!” Traditional ceremonies were held in the days just before the wedding and these were meant to help Rajan and Pia prepare for their wedding day. The women of Pia’s family held the Mehndi ceremony, where they all ate, sang songs and had themselves adorned with henna. A similar occasion was held by the groom’s family for Rajan - his face and legs were covered in a traditional turmeric-based mixture that is intended to help the skin look it’s best for the big day! Most brides go to great efforts to look amazing for the one day of their wedding, but in this case, it was going to be two whole days. With that in mind, Pia chose Sharon, of Sharon Rai Bridal Makeup Artist and Hairstylist (, to take care of her look for both ceremonies and the reception. When their wedding day(s) finally arrived, Rajan and Pia were excited about their fusion wedding! The morning started at the Sikh Temple where the highlight was Rajan and Pia taking four rounds as they walked around the Guru Granth Sahib (Sikh holy scriptures) - each round holding a special significance. Then it was on to the Hindu ceremony being held at the Outdoor Ceremony Circle at Bear Mountain. During this ceremony, Pia and Rajan also walked around the priest, who was giving offerings. “There is no official exchange of vows at either ceremony, but rather an understanding of the promise and meaning of marriage,” explains Pia. Rajan and Pia say the Bear Mountain Resort wedding professionals were very helpful, even though this was new to them as well. “Everybody was really interested and didn’t want to miss anything!” Pia was able to incorporate some western wedding traditions into the Bear Mountain ceremony such as bridesmaids! Her sister, Nidhi, was her maid of honor. She carried a bouquet of lilies and orchids which the wedding party had put together the day before. EA Photography ( was chosen by the couple, and had the added bonus of an old relationship, as Rajan had gone to school with Aaron. “The photos were more candid, and we appreciated that instead of being the focus of every photo. The photos were natural, and therefore, very emotional and meaningful for us.” Rajan and Pia loved their reception. “We laughed a lot at the speech that Rajan’s brother gave - it detailed all of Rajan’s quirks. We still refer to it!” As well, a video montage about Pia and Rajan was played for guests, filmed and edited by Pia’s sister and fiancé. The film was a real hit! Pia had formerly worked with the Canadian Cancer Society, and as a way to incorporate something so close to her heart, the couple donated to the BC Cancer Fund ( on behalf of their guests, in lieu of favours. From start to finish, Rajan and Pia had a extraordinary wedding, full of tradition, meaning, family, friendship and love. In their own words, “Getting married was one of the most challenging and happiest times of our lives... A wedding is a happy occasion for all involved, but for nonevent planners such as ourselves, planning for a 500+ person wedding has its share of challenges! We worked hard to make each other happy, bring our families together, and incorporate both of our values and beliefs into our special day. Everyone was there for [us], to see us move forward together in our lives... we were so thankful for their support! ■

reality wedding stories


JULY 28th, 2011 :: kelly stegman & jason brooks ceremony & reception at hatley castle ( Photography by Christina Craft of Funkytown Photography ( with Second Shooter, Nichole Taylor ( | Story by Kelly Stegman and Jason Brooks first met while Jason was working at a grocery store. In fact, their first conversation was a random chat about soup. Proving that not only can you find your soul mate in a grocery store, but soul mates can bond over just about anything! The two exchanged phone numbers and soon began dating. Both Kelly and Jason say that they knew within the month that it was forever. There was never an official discussion about if or when they should move in together. They think it happened around September 2003. Kelly says “It was more that Jason’s things kept showing up and not leaving!” Jason bought Kelly her first promise ring for Christmas 2003 and then bought her another one the following year! Kelly knew that a marriage would happen one day and so they both began their careers (he as a welding inspector and she as a mechanical engineer) while slowly saving for the wedding. On February 12th, 2011, they took a trip up to Whistler together. Jason had arranged a horse drawn sleigh ride, through the snow, up to a small cabin. Once there, he got down on one knee, opened a cupcake ring holder, presented the ring and asked Kelly to marry him. The ring was designed at Lugaro’s ( and had a yellow diamond in the middle surrounded by white diamonds. Kelly said ‘yes’ and they found themselves having an impromptu snowball fight!

Jason says that he loves how smart and resilient Kelly is. “She is always there for me when I need her and has great advice... She is beautiful, of course, but also silly!” Kelly says Jason is also one to smile and joke around. “He is always so positive... We play tricks on each other and he brightens my every day. Oh...and he is easy on the eyes as he’s a tall glass of water!” Jason is known as ‘Bahama Jay’ in certain circles, due to his love for the heat, making a summer wedding an obvious choice! Kelly, on the other hand, had visions of a vintage, garden ceremony, filled with flowers. The Italian Garden at Hatley Castle ( in Victoria quickly became the perfect venue. “We loved that Hatley Castle is so beautiful and natural! It had it all - seclusion, waterfront, heritage acres and even peacocks! And the inside of the castle had the beautiful Victorian look that made the reception elegant.” Once their venue choice had been made, Kelly started randomly googling wedding vendors in the Victoria area - and now admits she wishes that The Vancouver Island Wedding Ring had been around then!! She focused on finding a photographer first, knowing how far in advance they can are sometimes book up. They chose Christina Craft, of Funkytown Photography (www. “Christina was very calm and positive. She made us feel confident and

6 • The Wedding Ring Magazine VANCOUVER ISLAND |

her style was amazing!” The couple also appreciated that Christina had Nichole Taylor Photography ( there as second shooter. “Our guests were being photographed even while we were not around!” Kelly and Jason had a firm budget in mind right from the beginning, but had decided to splurge on some things: photography, a wedding planner, their rings, Jason’s suit and chivari chairs! To help with their dream day, Jason and Kelly appreciated receiving some financial help from Kelly’s parents. Their guest list was easily decided as all of Jason’s family lives in Victoria, while Kelly’s is spread

Kelly carefully made their invitations by printing on specially ordered paper and then wrapping them with a hand antiqued flower with a pearl in the centre! Kelly found dresses for herself and her sister in Abbotsford at Champagne and Lace. Jason wore a Holt Renfrew Gucci suit, styled after the look of Daniel Craig in the James Bond film. On the day of the wedding, Kelly and her sister, Bree, had their hair beautifully styled by Christy, of The Gallery. Make-up by Jenny at Pacific Makeup Group ( had the ladies looking gorgeous even before heading to the castle to slip into their dresses and accessories. Bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres arrived at the castle with Tina, of Platinum Floral Designs ( “Tina was very creative, professional and patient with us. She took care of small details such as flowers on décor items... she designed the vintage look with just the right colors for me.” Tina was able to wrap the stem of Kelly’s bouquet, which included flowers straight out of Tina’s garden, in pink dupioni silk and lace to match her dress. The same fabric was used by Tina to create pleats and silk rosettes. The finishing touch on the bouquet was an heirloom butterfly broach from Jason’s grandmother, Elizabeth. The ceremony was held in the Italian Garden in the late afternoon. “It was everything we had wanted... special and magical... even more than we dreamed...” Kelly and Jason say their guests are still talking about it! “And we loved that no one had to leave between the ceremony and reception [because it

was all in one location].” Jason’s Uncle Dan (who gave a touching speech later in the day) had a friend with a vintage 1929 Model A that he brought over for pictures, providing some vintage auto bling to the day! Décor for

the reception was styled around the colors of dark willow green, pink and ivory to bring the outdoors in. For elegance, elements of gold was seen within the linens and chivari chairs. Bird cages housing small antique ceramic birds acted as centrepieces. Potted willow branches with flowers were scattered around the room. In lieu of a guest book, guests autographed leaves on a signing tree. A picture of Jason’s grandmother was on display so that she could be in attendance, though she had passed on. Kelly and Jason loved their appetizers provided by Truffles Catering ( “The presentation was amazing!” Lemon cupcakes from Pink Sugar Cupcakery were delicious as well! In fact, the couple sent smaller designs of the cupcakes home with guests as favours, each treat contained in it’s own decorative box. Kelly and Jason’s romantic first dance began just as the sun went down over the horizon. And, at the end of the evening, the Model A picked them up to take them to Brentwood Bay Lodge where they stayed one evening before leaving for a honeymoon in French Polynesia. Kelly and Jason were really happy with the way their day turned out. “We had the magical garden wedding that we had wanted and everyone had so much fun!” ■

reality wedding stories

across the country. The final number of 75 was more a matter of logistics than anything else! Kelly found her wedding planners in Brittany and Katie of By Design Wedding and Event Custom Creations ( Kellys says they were professional, “and their attitude was great - they helped so much! They even got rid of the wedding crasher who wouldn’t leave! I couldn’t have done it without them.”

AUDIO SCRAPBOOKS An Expert Tip by Hi-Way Productions (

Ron Larson, of Hi-Way Productions (, has 15 years of radio and DJ experience and Ron is currently an on-air personality for Victoria’s top rated station 100.3 The Q. Ron takes great pride in taking care of the details so that weddings days are fun, simple and organized for wedding couples. “Wondering how you might fill that time at the end of your supper? Or how to make a shower fun and personal? Why not capture a snapshot of your lives along with your family, friends and pets in an audio scrapbook? What is an audio scrapbook? It’s a way of preserving your story. Unlike the photos and recipes that get handed down from generation to generation, most families no longer have the stories of how our parents or grandparents met. Audio scrapbooks will make sure family stories are preserved and shared. What we love though, is the unique way it captures the watermarks of your life’s notebook in a three to five minute audio segment. It’s not a narration, so much as it is a story that’s full of sound effects and theatre. In our world of social media, it’s a fun way to share your love story with friends and family instantly, on your Facebook or include it when you make that mixed CD.” > Check out audio scrapbooks made up by Hi-Way production’s award winning producer, Sheldon Holdve, and Ron Larson at ■

island brides Vancouver Island brides have the

world at their feet! Unrivalled natural beauty, historic architecture and modern glamour make up this sought-after destination. Local photographers, decorators, planners, gown designers, gown shops, make-up artists, florists and photographers all came together with The Ring to show the best of Vancouver Island bridal style in our favourite feature of the magazine: Vancouver Island Bridal Style.

VANCOUVER ISLAND Bridal Fashion Feature

PHOTOS & FASHION ON THIS PAGE: LOCATION: Nanaimo’s Port Theatre ( shines with a wonderful sense of intimacy, and plays host to the Victoria Symphony ( throughout the year, who actually stopped their rehearsal just for the taking of this fashion fabulous photo! MAKE-UP & STYLING: Brian, of Maffeo Salon and Day Spa (, drew on the retro inspiration to create a wonderful look with vibrant lips and creamy skin tone. Her hair is the epitomy of elegance! APPAREL: The simplicity of this dress from Blush Bridal Boutique ( draws all the attention to the beauty and personality of the bride through accessories from Lux, an accessory boutique on Commercial Street in Nanaimo - 250.591.3003. The pearl earrings, exquisite peacock feather fan and elbow-length white gloves complete the look. PHOTOGRAPHY: Vivid Photography (


As Victoria celebrates its 150th year, Hatley Castle ( continues to shine as one of it’s greatest jewels. Originally built in 1908 as a summer home for the Dunsmuir family, it is now the ultimate romantic wedding venue where the ocean and mountain vista mix with spectacular gardens! HAIR & MAKE-UP: Sharon Rai Hair & Makeup Artistry ( opted for a sleek and sophisticated hairstyle for this bride, incorporating hair jewellery by The Bride’s Closet! Sharon highlighted the cheeks and lips with a natural radiance before adding a touch of glamour to the eyes. DRESS: Fashion Stylist, Marion, of Maluxe Studios Inc. (, wanted to create a fashion feeling of grandeur! This slim, fitted gown also features a beautiful plunging neckline, beaded lace and contoured cap sleeves that continue to a v-shaped back. A chapel-length train and covered buttons are a gorgeous way to finish the design. This dress is available at The Bride’s Closet ( in Nanaimo along with all accessories shown. PHOTOS ON THIS PAGE: Vivid Photography (

DRESS: This multi-layered, soft chiffon gown is sensual and sweet with a plunging neckline that is embellished with ruffled rosettes. A ruched bodice with split front a-line skirt completes the dress design by local Vancouver designer, Anaiss, whose designs are also available at The Bride’s Closet ( FLOWERS: Tina of Platinum Floral Designs ( used cream roses, waxflower and alstromeria flowers wrapped in ribbon and adorned with a jeweled flower for the bouquet. The crystals in the roses are so pretty!

10 • The Wedding Ring Magazine VANCOUVER ISLAND |

PHOTOGRAPHY: Vivid Photography ( DRESS: Blush Bridal ( HAIR & MAKE-UP: Maffeo Salon and Day Spa ( ACCESSORIES: Lux, an accessory boutique at 212 Commercial St. in Nanaimo FLORALS: Petal and Kettle of Parksville ( The bouquet was a mix of roses, cordolyn leaves, berzillia, and shampoo ginger. We love the original idea of sisal framing the bouquet!

fashion & style

Coast Bastion Inn, in Nanaimo (, graciously offers a modern take on retro glam, as well as harbour views, forming the backdrop for any wedding day!

Quadra Island’s April Point Resort and Spa ( invites you to hold your wedding ‘by the ocean and under the trees’! We love that you can take a boat from their sister resort, Painter’s Lodge (, in Campbell River. DRESS: Danielle, a Campbell River bride-to-be, is modelling a taffeta Mori Lee dress from Divas Bridal and Prom ( featuring a beaded empire bodice with figure-hugging ruching and upswept skirt. What stands out here is the extra sparkle and colour!

‘THE SECOND DRESS’ OPTION (BELOW): We also really love this fun dress (Sparkle, by Impressions), which is also available at Divas Bridal and Prom. Imagine slipping out of your gorgeous - yet more traditional ceremony dress - and into this fabulous bridal party dress before dancing the night away!

HAIR & MAKE-UP: Chelsea Banwell, of Chelsea Dawn Makeup Artistry (, used her favorite blush, a rose hue with shimmery gold undertones, to catch the light and leave Danielle looking radiant. To bring drama to the look, a rich magenta tone was added to the eyes and lips. Marlene, from Marlene’s Laser Therapy and Salon (250.285.2938) on Quadra Island, twisted the hair to the side creating a focal point and a little fun to Danielle’s look! ACCESSORIES: We adore that Lori and Stephen, of Bird of Paradise Floral and Wedding Boutique, (, had a gorgeous, sequined carnival mask to accessorize with. Every bride deserves to add a little mystery to her wedding day!

PHOTOS: Vivid Photography (

Adam and Neil, owners and photographers at Vivid Photography (, are nuts about weddings - the emotions, the highs and lows, the ceremonies, the families and celebrations, and of the dresses and fashion. At times goofy, at other times sentimental, and sometimes just full of ridiculous energy, this photography team definitely gets their groove on for the wedding season. "We always want our couples to feel like they fell out of the pages of a magazine and yet we still want to keep the day special and intimate." If you want to meet Adam and Neil, just visit their website and make an appointment with them where you'll be sure to be greeted with a box of chocolates! Read their review at! 12 • The Wedding Ring Magazine VANCOUVER ISLAND |


Black Rock Oceanfront Resort ( mixes ultra modern architecture set against Vancouver Island’s breathtaking West Coast! A spectacular escape for weddings, elopements and honeymoons!

DRESS: Alida’s Gowns (, a local couture bridal boutique, created this sophisticated and sexy gown with an entirely open back. A vintage cumberband was used to cinch the waist and jewellery placed into the hair which complemented the floral palette. HAIR & MAKE-UP: Stylist, Marion, of Ma-luxe Studio Inc. (, achieved this unique and opulent look using rich colors and texture, giving an almost ethnic feel. The style inspiration was Midnight in Paris, a film set in the 1930’s, with it’s Gatsby feel. Marion knotted the hair in vintage style while Carly (www.carlyflint. com) worked corals and pinks into the mix after focusing on a dark, romantic smokey eye. FLOWERS (below): Colleen, of Foxgloves Flowers (, amazed us with her modern twist of distinct floral within the bouquet!

PHOTOS: Vivid Photography (


Craigdarroch Castle’s ( first wedding took place in 1891, when Jessie Sophia Dunsmuir married Sir Richard Musgrave of Ireland, in the most extravagant wedding Victoria had ever seen, with 30 bridesmaids and flowers girls. It was reported that “the fashionable company spent hours merrily in the palatial residence and it’s beautiful grounds.” We love that couples today can continue this tradition in the historical castle!

STYLING & ACCESSORIES: Marion of Ma-luxe Studio Inc. ( styled with glamour set in times past, including period hats and a striking choker. DRESS: The strapless, organza Mon Cheri gown from Victoria Bridal Boutique ( features a delicate soft pick up skirt with bubble hemline and Swarovski crystal bodice with dramatic, dropped waistline. HAIR & MAKE-UP: Hair was teased into a waterfall of curls by Christina at Salon C ( Peach eyeshadow draws out her blue eyecolor while a light base and translucent highlighted the skin. Cheeks and lips were finished in a soft pink.

FLOWERS: The beautiful rose and lime green bouquet, featuring black fiddlehead ferns, added the delicate touch to finish this glamorous take on the Victorian era ( PHOTOS: Vivid Photography (

14 • The Wedding Ring Magazine VANCOUVER ISLAND |


FAV: CONVERTIBLE DRESSES! Finding a dress to suit every one of your bridesmaids can feel impossible at times. That’s why we love ‘convertible dresses’ from

Muse Bridal Wear. They are designed to be worn in infinite (15+) ways, come in hundreds of colours, and are all about making sure every girl finds her perfect dress. The dresses also come with instructional videos on how to customize and slip into your dress. Even better, the dresses are designed right here in Victoria by Vanessa Fedorkiw. Muse ( also carries convertible bridal gowns which are adorable. We love the ‘Chloe Convertible Tulle Bridal Dress’. Fantastic! MAPPING IT OUT FOR GUESTS. Laura Lavender Calligraphy and Illustration ( draws personalized, hand made maps for your wedding guests. If you are having your ceremony and reception in two different venues, or if you’re planning an outdoor wedding, this is just the thing to get everyone where they ought to be during the day! We love this map of Quadra Island (image, left: that includes small personal tidbits about the wedding couple. BRAGGING RIGHTS. Photos, below. Save yourself from pulling out the 20 pound album or searching for the right album on Facebook from your mobile phone while in the middle of a soirée. Instead, get yourself a ‘brag book’, if your photographer offers them. They usually come in various sizes (including purse size) and can be filled with your favourite wedding photos to share, show off, and give as gifts. We found ones we LOVE at Jesse Hlady Photography ( Jesse says they are also perfect gifts for your wedding’s VIPs - parents, wedding party members, or relatives who couldn’t make it. PUT YOUR STAMP ON IT. For the DIY bride who wants to put her personal stamp on the details of the day, customizable monograms and round handmade favour tags can be found at Starling Memory ( You can also personalize your day with love posters, thumbprint trees or personalized wedding websites. Photo, below, right, courtesy of Smiling Rain Photography (smilingrainphotography. com. Below, left, courtesy of Jesse Hlady (


SHORT & SWEET. Shorter bridal dresses are popping up everywhere from the best wedding fashion designers! It’s a great way to show off those awesome shoes you have found for your wedding day! (image from Karen McKinnon Photography - Dress from The Bride’s Closet and bouquet by Purely Flower) And, thanks to

Duchess Kate, we now have sleeves galore on bridal runways this year! METALLICS. We love the popular trend of soft metallic colors running through wedding palettes and accessories! Belts, jewellery, shoes and floral are showing up within brides’ ensembles in these tones. Silver gloves can complete a retro style (see page 11). Adding metallics to your reception tables is also hot right now, such as with the use of platinum, gold or silver charger plates. Even wedding cakes can have a metallic looking finish with a little bit of creativity and a talented cake designer (cake photo, above, courtesy of Island Expressions Photography: CUSTOM, HAND MADE INVITES. While lots of e-vites and websites are being used by bridal couples - it’s still considered elegant to have paper invitations. Aimee, from Open Invitations (, agrees that bridal couples are embracing hand made invitations along with cards, table numbers and signs. Whether you are looking for classic and formal or carnival/ vintage, something created ‘just for you’ is a great way to accessorize your wedding with your theme! Hairscaping. Photo, right, courtesy of Ophelia Photography ( Millineries rejoice! Brides are having fun fashioning their hair accessories. Headbands, enormous flowers, hats, jewelry, feathers, fascinators and of course, hats - nothing is considered too outrageous anymore. “Hat’s off ” go to all those adventurous brides with big personalities! Among our favs are the hand made creations of Adorn Atelier ( here on the Island. BARBER SHOP GROOMS. Everyone knows that girls primp before the wedding day but what about the guys? Victory Barber and Brand ( in Victoria has a manly beauty regime for the discerning guy. Their shop resembles a modern bar - one that’s filled with vintage barber chairs and lighting set against modern architecture for a masculine atmosphere. The famous ‘Classic Hot Leather’ starts with an invigorating facial steam infused with eucalyptus and mint, followed by a moisturizing mentholated preshave lotion that’s applied to facilitate a close and comfortable shave. Several hot, steamed towels are applied to the face and neck while a hand-whipped lather of their own recipe is GET LOCAL. PLAN FABULOUS! • 15

built using a traditional brush and bowl. The face is shaved using a straight razor with the grain of the beard. The process is then repeated and a second cross-grain shave is preformed until the face is smooth. “The face is then soothed with our aftershave ritual including both a cooling balm and a classic aftershave. It is the ultimate masculine indulgence,” says the Victory staff. This is a great gift idea for the groomsmen and makes sure they’re looking hot for the wedding day.

‘best bride ever!’ rank overnight.

BRIDAL PARTY FASHION WITH PERSONALITY. Photo, above, left: Crystal Clear Photography (www. The days of dressing your maids exactly the same are vanishing. Brides and their wedding parties are having fun with colors, patterns, styles and shoes! Ask your bridesmaids to choose their own design style and/or colour to achieve!

Now that we’ve all said good bye to traditional white satin bridal pumps, today’s brides are showing off their flair through their shoes. Just about anything goes; bright colours, patterns, floral, old school, bling... We also love the idea of different shoes on each member of the wedding party! Have fun with your shoe shopping and remember to have your photographer take that all-important shoe shot! Photo, ‘I Do’ shoes, above, courtesy of Nichole Taylor Photography (

PHOTOS: Above, Andrew Paquet Photography ( Lower left, Marnie Recker Photography ( Lower right, Brawns Photography (

FROM PETAL AND KETTLE ideas, favs & trends

Karen, of Petal and Kettle (, says coral is the hot color this year, and going for modern style with vintage twist. “Mixing eras with floral... brides are increasingly blending dark and light tones in their floral choices as they venture away from the allone-color designs of last year.” Karen is also seeing the beach feel playing a big part, making corals and aqua blues her most popular colour requests. Cascading bouquets that are more loosely constructed are making a comeback.


Photo by Nichole Taylor Photography ( Flowers by Platinum Floral Designs.


Tina, of Platinum Floral Designs (, says that the trends of the coming year are going in really different directions. The biggest inspiration seems to be a French Parisian vintage look that includes lace, bling, large blooms, lush florals and soft whimsical designs. On Vancouver Island, there are more weddings taking place in unique, natural spaces, making the ‘rustic glam’ that uses herbs, branches, wildflowers and lots of texture popular. As for colours, navy and pink seem to be attracting brides. Bold colours are slowly creeping back into all the neutrals - often through dramatic roses and ranunculus. Loose and flowing arrangements with lots of movement are also becoming popular again!

Photo by Vivid Photography ( Flowers by Petal and Kettle.


Photo by KGOODPhoto ( Flowers by Foxgloves Flowers.

Colleen, of Foxgloves Flowers (, says that bouquets are becoming more personalized through the use of accessories. Vintage jewellery and bling are being added to part of the bouquet or handle. Sentimental items like grandma's hankerchief or a piece of lace from mom's dress are also being added. Shells, beads, pearls and gems, like crystals tucked into the middle of flowers, are showing up in the best dressed bouquets this season! This gives the bouquet a more dramatic look and captures the light for added sparkle. The popularity of metallic accents has led to many imaginative uses for decorative wire in bouquets. It's a season of contrasts - a bride can either be sweet and sentimental or very edgy and modern.


Karen, of A Sea of Bloom (, says she has noticed the romantic wedding dresses of today’s island brides are being paired with softer, ruffled-looking flowers such as garden roses, open peonies and grey foliage like dusty miller. Often, the handles on the bouquets are being wrapped in lace or exquisite French braiding ribbon as an alternative to satin-wrapped stems. And one of the biggest things we are being asked for are feathers! [See photos of Karen's work on page 42 as winner of BC Wedding Professional Award for Best Bridal Bouquet, 2010.] 18 • The Wedding Ring Magazine VANCOUVER ISLAND |

Photo by Vivid Photography ( Flowers by Bird of Paradise.

The team at Bird of Paradise Floral and Wedding Boutique ( says that no matter how limited your budget, you should always try to have a professional florist on the day of your wedding. “Be realistic about the time you will have on your wedding day and don't take DIY too far... You don't want be in tears as you try to decide between your hair appointment or making your bouquets! The stress is just not worth it.” They suggest telling your florist your price point right away so that they can steer you towards what is possible within your budget. (Perhaps a friend will pick up and tear down, saving those costs.) “One trend we are seeing are the classics coming back into vogue such as carnations. This time they are in new, eye-catching varieties with ruffled edges. Flowers like this can be a real lifesaver if you’re a bride on a budget!”


Tamara, of Purely Flower (, says that wedding colours can often become the easiest way to choose your flowers. “Take time to consider the value of accent colours,” she explains. “They can open up a whole new world of choices... A beautiful white bouquet can be enhanced with subtle colour details that might not be part of your wedding colour palette. Adding a touch of pigment here and there can create interest within your bouquet. For example, a white bouquet will continue to read as white, with a simple addition of intrigue, perhaps in blush or butter tones.” At Purely Flower, the key to great design is subtlety and repetition. “In the end, it should all blend beautifully!” Photo by Vivid Photography ( Flowers by Purely Flower.

GOOD TO KNOW • Each review in The Ring is based on industry knowledge, thorough research, interviews with the vendors, interviews with their past brides, personal viewing of work, feedback from wedding industry peers, and so much more!

• Reviews are on experts who are local, well-loved, and dedicated to making your wedding fabulous. • The Ring is doing the research so that you don’t have to - one wedding community at a time!

• Are award winners • Have multiple degrees & accreditations • Are members of selective organizations • Do regular charity work • Are teachers & mentors in their craft • Have appeared in television news & wedding segments

WEST COAST CELEBRATION May 28th, 2011 at THE BOTANICAL GARDENS, TOFINO, BC ( Photography by Marnie Recker ( | Story by Joel and Maddie first met at a work Christmas party and they clicked right away. “It was pretty quick for us,” Maddie told The Ring. “Our first date of sorts was a day at the beach surfing in the middle of January and we both loved it. We both liked chocolate, camping, beer in cans, neoprene, and hiking into obscure surf spots!” Joel soon found himself telling Maddie that he loved her, and not too long after (August 2010), proposing. He says, “When you know, you know!” Joel loves that Maddie is uncompromisingly her own woman and that she does what she loves. “I am thankful that I get to be a part of that.” Maddie loves that Joel “is caring and kind on the eyes and always down for a good time!” The first thing that Joel and Maddie knew was they wanted to get married outside and they didn’t want to wait too long. Spring 2011 proved to be perfect. There was no theme per se - though wanting to have a good time outdoors could be counted as a theme in itself! “We were looking to show people what was important to us, nature, good friends, good times, and good food. Our friends are as much a part of our family as our parents, and it was important that people traveling a long way were able to have an experience that they would never forget.” Choosing their vendors was surprisingly easy. Maddie’s maid of honour, Jennie, suggested Marnie Recker ( for their photography and Marnie pointed the couple toward the Botanical Gardens and Sheila. “Our initial meeting with our Wedding Planner, Sheila (, took place in the pouring rain at the gardens... Her excitement about what we wanted to do was infectious. It was the first venue we had seen together and it was perfect, even in that February rainstorm.” Joel and Maddie chose the beach overlooking Clayquot Sound, off of the Botanical Gardens (, in Tofino, for their ceremony. The flexibility of the location, the ability to have a beach wedding and then immediately into the reception on the main

garden lawn (without anyone having to change venues) was a big part of their decision. Plus, the location offered backup-up options in case of bad weather. “It had all the amenities, a great caterer through Black Rock Resort ( and a dance floor on which to get loose in the evening!” With the date set, invitations (postcards with a photo taken by Maddie’s maid of honor, Jennie) were sent out. The couple liked that they were able to send a personalized message for each guest on their invitations - and it was inexpensive! Joel, and his mother, Wendy, began a project for the dessert at the wedding. Twenty-two homemade apple pies, with sharp cheddar cheese from near Joel’s mother’s hometown, were baked and frozen. Good friend, Allan, took care of baking all the pies and getting them to the Gardens on the day of the wedding! Maddie had a vintage, family heirloom bridal veil that had been passed down from her grandmother to her mother, and then to Maddie. It was quite damaged, so Maddie asked the designer of her wedding dress to fix it with the same style of antique lace. Because of the veil’s intricate and delicate design, Maddie decided to complement it with a simple bridal dress with a sweetheart neckline. The weekend for the wedding finally came and everyone started to arrive in Tofino. Maddie and her bridesmaids got together for a little fun the night before the wedding and ended up covered in bruises and scratches from dancing and running around in the forest! But there was a big worry hanging over everyone’s head - rain had been predicted for the next day... But thankfully, the morning of the wedding arrived and lovely blue skies and sunshine showed up as a very welcome guest! Maddie and her girls got ready at Cox Bay Beach Resort (

The tradition of enjoying every minute of our lives together started immediately after the wedding with champagne & oysters. Maddie had her hair done at Studio One ( by Rhonda, who choose to pin back loose curls so that the style would work perfectly with the veil. Makeup was done by Amanda Gangoso (, who was both a freelance makeup artist and a personal friend. The bridesmaids wore navy blue dresses they had chosen themselves. Each one had a Cowichan sweater which they wore until the ceremony. The ladies carried bouquets of yellow and white lilies and peonies, designed by Crab Apple Floral ( Photos commenced right there at the beautiful beach lookout with photographer, Marnie Recker ( Joel and Maddie describe Marnie as open, excited, and say “she wanted to make something special rather than just make money. She had everything meticulously planned out and allowed us to improvise some shots. She also could handle our wedding party - who were having the time of their lives, haha. We wanted our wedding photos to be outside and in memorable locations... Marnie made sure that it was perfect.” The couple also liked having Marnie’s friend, Candice, on hand to help and to take black and white film shots. Meanwhile, the boys were getting into their kilts at South Chesterman’s Beach. The house was filled with the smell of apple pies as they put on their boutonnieres! Bespoke kilts for Joel and his brother Luke in their mother’s family tartan and some great rental kilts were found for the rest of the groomsmen. Joel’s sporran featured beaver fur and was handmade in Nova Scotia. Joel was proud to say that the tradition of nothing being worn under the kilts was strictly adhered to - which led to some NSFW photos later that day! Mid-afternoon, Maggie was piped in (a sweet bag pipe performance by James McKinnon!) out of the forest and down to the beach. Joel’s close friend, Roger Mann, officiated the wedding, and they were married “under blue skies, the eyes of our friends and family and a lone bald eagle!” Rene Gibson officiated the vows with a private ceremony in a quiet little forest grove and they were sealed with a kiss. Joel’s best man, Evan, was a childhood friend, former roommate, travel partner and a source of constant inspiration. Maddie was thrilled to have her long time friend, travel partner and number one ‘partner-in-crime’, Jenni, as her maid of honour. Truly, the couple was grateful to have so many friends travel from across the country to attend their wedding. Joel told The Ring, “The tradition of enjoying every minute of our lives together started immediately after the wedding with champagne and oysters”. They broke out the bubbly and everyone toasted to the day. They also brought out real bubbles and posed for some fun shots that had everyone laughing and creating some amazing photos - one of which earned Marnie Recker a Fearless Photographer Award! For more fun photos, Joel and Maddie later headed out with the wedding party to the mudflats - girls in mismatched rubber boots, and the boys, in bare feet. As the evening shadows crept across the Gardens, everyone moved into the large white tent in front of Darwin’s Cafe. Maddie had done all of the decorations herself, aiming to create as an authentic experience as possible for all the people they loved who would be there. Mismatched vases of flowers and feathers sat atop tables dressed in fresh crisp white linens. Rocks with each guest’s name were used as placeholders. Flowers rested in watering cans, scrabble letters marked Joel and Maddie’s initials, and plenty of hand painted signs were just some of her efforts. The evening was beautiful as Black Rock Resort ( presented the buffet dinner. Maddie and Joel cut and served the apple pie and ice cream - while doing so, the Italian tradition was followed where money was pinned onto Maddie by guests. After plenty of laughs and some sentiment during speeches, everyone moved to Darwin’s Cafe for dancing - which lasted until the wee hours of the morning!

Joel and Maddie recommend hiring a wedding planner “so you don’t get overwhelmed with all the details...” The couple says Sheila made it possible for them to focus on the parts they really wanted to control themselves, while she took care of the rest of the many details.

If Maddie and Joel could change anything about their day they said it would be to make it a three day event! “If we reinvented some lavish ceremony of days gone by, we think we might have been able to say we actually were able to absorb everything.” Joel remembers. That said, from beginning to end, Joel says, “It was a day of constant smiling with everyone I love. I have never felt so happy or fortunate in my life.” ■


BRIDAL SHOW Fall Bridal Exhibition 2012 September 16, 2012 Pearkes Recreation Centre Victoria Fall Bridal Exhibition 2012 September 23, 2012 Vancouver Island Conference Centre Nanaimo Fall Bridal Exhibition 2012 September 30, 2012 Florence Filberg Centre Courtenay Welcome Wagon Bridal Showcase September 30, 2012 Comfort Hotel and Conference Centre Vctoria Victoria Wedding Show October 21, 2012 Crystal Garden Victoria Cowichan Valley Wedding Expo January 6, 2013 Duncan Travelodge Hotel and Conference Centre Duncan Spring Bridal Exhibition 2013 January 13, 2013 Pearkes Recreation Centre Victoria

Spring Bridal Exhibtion 2013 January 20, 2013 Florence Filberg Centre Courtenay Nanaimo Wedding Show January 27, 2013 Vancouver Island Conference Centre Nanaimo Spring Bridal Exhibition 2013 February 10, 2013 Beban Park Social Centre Nanaimo Victoria Bridal Fair February 17, 2013 Crystal Garden Victoria Port Alberni Bridal Fair March 05 2013 Best Western Plus Barclay Hotel Port Alberni The Old House Village Hotel & Spa’s 4th Annual Wedding Show March 10 2013 Courtenay

bridal show

SURVIVAL TIPS 1. PRINT PERSONALIZED LABELS Shows are home to some of the best giveaways of the year. You have the chance to win items such as honeymoon getaways and huge online shopping sprees. Save yourself from hand cramps by printing labels at home. When you circulate through the various booths at the show, just stick your labels onto the many ballots you’d otherwise have to fill out by hand! On your labels, include... • bride’s name • groom’s name • wedding date • address & phone number • email address 2. PREPARE TO CARRY ON Be sure to bring a bag with a comfortable shoulder strap, a backpack, or better yet, a bridal party (or the groom!) to help carry things. You’ll be given countless brochures, gifts and magazines and you don’t want to be left juggling them for hours.


Photography by Karen Mckinnon Photography ( | Story by Danielle and Justin are high school sweethearts that first began dating in grade eleven. Danielle admits, “Neither Justin nor I had ever expected to fall in love with our first boyfriend/ girlfriend...” After they finished high school, Danielle decided to move away, but after only a few months they both realized they really didn’t want be apart. “Our lives were just not the same without each other.” Danielle remembers the day Justin proposed to her at home: “Justin surprised me... I walked into our room... He met me at the door with the biggest smile on his face, and asked me to marry him! Of course, I dropped everything on the floor!” Danielle had dreamt of getting married many times but after eight and a half years together, she didn’t think it would be anytime soon. “I was very, very surprised! My husband has a real sense of humor, so I remember falling to the floor and saying, ‘please don’t be joking’, while crying and shaking with excitement. We were hugging each other, both laughing/crying and so excited! He finally said to me, ‘Is that a yes then? Do you want to try on your ring?’ I was so excited I had totally forgotten about the ring! It was a great moment and we both could hardly contain our excitement.” Danielle and Justin have really been able to grow together since they met so young. Danielle loves Justin’s sense of humour and that he always has such a positive attitude. “He has such a loving personality.” Justin says Danielle has a great sense of humour too. He loves how much she cares and puts everything she has into everything she does. Danielle and Justin set the date for July 9th, 2011, planning for a summer wedding. “Vancouver Island is such a gorgeous place in the summer.” For their venue, the couple chose the Mt. Washington Alpine Resort ( It had everything they were looking for. “The beautiful backdrop of the mountains and trees along with the amazing trails, lakes and ponds was a combination of everything we were looking for in a location.”

I remember falling to the floor and saying, ‘please don’t be joking’, while crying and shaking with excitement... Danielle remembers putting a lot of time and effort into planning every detail of the wedding. “We wanted to make sure the day involved our family and friends and that we made our day about celebrating our marriage. So we wanted to plan as much as we could so that we would be able to enjoy every moment of our wedding day and take everything in.” When it came to choosing a wedding photographer, friends had mentioned Karen McKinnon Photography ( to Danielle and Justin, and when they saw her work they fell in love. “Karen has such an amazing and warm personality, not to mention she is very talented, so she made us feel very comfortable and confident that everything would go great on our wedding day. Karen was not only a wonderful photographer, 24 • The Wedding Ring Magazine VANCOUVER ISLAND |

but she was also responsible for a lot of advice that made our day run so smoothly!... We had a large amount of family there, and Karen [with assistant photographer – Jen Dodd] made sure no one was missed... Karen and Jen were able to capture all the moments that we did not necessarily get to see, our families, and all the happiness and excitement that Justin and I were sharing. It was very hard to choose pictures as we loved them all...” Justin and Danielle’s vision for their wedding was simple, yet elegant, and so they went with a black and white palette. “We didn’t want the wedding colours to be busy or distracting...” Danielle admits she spent many, many hours formulating their visions, ideas, and budget. Yet, for all of Danielle’s planning, there were still some surprises when the day arrived! “We planned the wedding for July thinking that we would have the sun, but it turned out that day was warm with some sun, but there was still a lot of snow at the mountain which was very unexpected. Who would have thought snow in JULY!! Everything worked out though and the snow made for an interesting backdrop.” Then, the flower truck from 5th Street Florist (www.courtenay5thstreetflorist. com) broke down on the way up to the mountain. But before the florists even had time to arrange the rescue of themselves and their bride’s flowers (they say they would’ve got those flowers to their client, no matter what it took!), Danielle’s hairstylist, Megan, from Roots ( happened to drive by and see the breakdown. Unknowingly becoming one of the heroines of the day, Megan pulled over, realized the situation, loaded her car full of the flowers, and carried on to the location and to her job of glamming up the bridal party. Crisis averted! Danielle’s bridesmaids wore stylish, oneshoulder black satin dresses. Danielle had her makeup done by freelance makeup artist, Catherine (catherinejoiner1@gmail. com). They carried bouquets bursting with creamy white roses and hydrangeas and, in the bridesmaids’ bouquets, dark calla lilies.

Spend lots of time looking at pictures, websites and talking to other people about ideas. I spent hours looking at ideas and inspiration online and in magazines, so when it came time to make final decisions on things, we knew what we wanted.

Justin and his groomsmen dressed in tuxes from Black and Lee ( The outside ceremony took place at 3:30 pm, under a canopy draped in white linens. The spectacular backdrop of snow peaked mountains and blue sky provided the ultimate wedding scene. Justin and Danielle were fortunate to have many supportive and helpful friends. Danielle’s was able to have her best friends and younger siblings (twins) in her wedding party. “My friend, Tara, was absolutely amazing. She was there for every single moment of planning, every meeting, and she was always one step ahead of things to make sure everything went perfect for us.” Danielle was also thankful when her friend, Jennifer, was able to come all the way from Florida! Justin, as well, had both his best friends in his party. He makes special mention of his friend, Jason, who made sure that everything really came together on the wedding day. “We were both so lucky to have all the people in our wedding party with us that day and each one of them really contributed to making our wedding day and the moments leading up to it very special.” Following the ceremony, a reception was held in the warm, cozy Raven Lodge. “We were certainly not disappointed with the food, and there were many options, that allowed us to select something that would suit all our family and friends... We were very lucky to have a talented and generous friend (Sandy) that was able to make us a spectacular cake. She makes the most delicious and beautiful cakes as one of her many hobbies. I had fallen in love with her red velvet cake, and I could not think of any other cake that I would want on our wedding day. My husband does not have a sweet tooth, but knows I do, so he trusted my choice of cake,” says Danielle. The cake was three square layers, each wrapped in black ribbon. In lieu of wedding favours, Danielle and Justin decided to donate funds in honor of family members that had passed away due to cancer. “Justin and I loved everything about our wedding day, even though everything didn’t always go as planned! We just loved that we could share such a special day with all our friends and family and it really was the happiest day of our lives.” But, wait! It wasn’t over yet! “Karen knew that Justin and I had wanted to have some photos by the water, but we had been unable to do so because of the snow. So she had a session after the wedding for us, which meant the world to us! It was such a great opportunity to really capture Justin and I together because we were so much more laid back and casual - which is very much who we are.” Everyone had told Justin and Danielle to really enjoy every moment of the wedding because it goes by so fast. Danielle said “Were they ever right! So our advice is to soak up every moment of that day in because it really is over before you know it.” ■

{ design palette }

Colleen, of Foxgloves Flowers in Victoria, was inspired when she found sweet chocolate eggs in blush and cream colours at the local candy store! With a little imagination, a gorgeous theme quickly unfolded and Colleen soon found herself with a palette that balanced the delicate lace and pink blooms with the earthy greens and lush gardens of summer on the island.

Antique lace on the table creates harmony with the intricate details such as the faux nests and eggs and gilt edged china. Brown linens bring in the colour tones of the wood boxes and twigs wrapping the bottom of the bouquet. Collections of flowers are sweet and romantic, mixing blooms such as pink esparance roses, champagne

spray roses, hyacinth, rananculus and cymbidium orchids. Bonsai euculyptus and prunas branches are used to anchor arrangements and create an ethereal feeling of new beginnings. And of course, incorporating a rustic bird house in tans and browns was a perfect touch! ‘Shabby chic’ frames with pink insets, that mark the table number, offer the ultimate finishing touch. ■

PHOTOGRAPHY: Poppy Photography ( FLOWERS: Foxgloves Flowers in Victoria (

SAVE ME! 26 • The Wedding Ring Magazine VANCOUVER ISLAND |

To keep the fires of creativity burning, cut out this page & save it in your ideas binder.

{ design palette }

Tom and Ashley had a mutual love for the time period and colours in the movie, The Count of Monte Cristo, particularly in relation to the masquerade scene. They wanted to draw inspiration from the movie’s renaissance style for their June nuptials! Soon realizing that not everyone was quite as knowledgable about great French literature as they were, they opted to incorporate other famous romantic couples throughout history into their own wedding day story and theme as well.

Tom and Ashley gave each of their guest tables the name and theme of a famous couple such as Romeo and Juliet (see above) and used old frames, like the gold one above, to mark each theme.

purple shoes and the flowers in her hair. Because of her half-Chinese heritage, Ashley noted that purple and gold are considered lucky. We love that she carried this from the tea ceremony right through the reception!

Ashley used the rich, lush colors of the masquerade scene in the design of her florals, which were roses and calla lilies in deep reds and purples. The bridesmaids wore a brilliant purple that was echoed in both Ashley’s

Ashley’s brilliant necklace and earrings were purchased by her parents in Shanghai. And to tie in perfectly with the style of the day, Hatley Castle provided a phenominal backdrop. ■

LOCATION: Hatley Castle ( DéCOR: Tie the Knot ( FLOWERS: Kenmar Flower Farm ( Photography: Island Expressions Photography ( SAVE ME!

To keep the fires of creativity burning, cut out this page & save it in your ideas binder.


{ design palette }

Even dessert can provide a sweet, gorgeous theme for your wedding. The romance of renaissance architecture and Italian gardens at the Villa Marco Polo Inn in Victoria was the perfect setting for our stunning wedding cakes and chocolates extravaganza! The fact that the Villa was built in 1923, as a wedding present, provided our inspiration for the al fresco tables. Ooh-La-La Cupcakes provided five exquisitely detailed wedding cakes in varying shades of beige and chocolate brown. Our favorite was the chocolate cake with light pink detailing!

Rogers Chocolates has a rich history as Victoria’s premier chocolate maker since 1885 and can now be found across Canada. Their mouth-watering, hand made winter apple caramels, passionfruit truffles, ice wine truffles and sea salt caramels adorn the tables covered in brown, crushed taffeta (chocolate coloured, of course!). Your guests will love the look and taste of these delectable delicacies. We especially love the whimsical touch of the elegant wedding cake perched atop the Italian fountain!

Take advantage of architectural opportunities at your wedding venue to express your unique style or vision! To create this look, we used creamy, pastel shades along with rich, chocolate shades of linens. Crystals and petals were sprinkled across the table along with fresh flowers to create a romantic confectionery look. Wow your guests with an assortment of cakes and chocolates and let them decide how to satisfy their sweet tooth! ■

CHOCOLATES: Rogers Chocolates ( PHOTOGRAPHY: Kristopher James Photography ( LOCATION: Villa Marco Polo Inn ( CAKES: Ohh La La Cupcakes (


To keep the fires of creativity burning, cut out this page & save it in your ideas binder.


{ design palette }

Tina, of Platinum Flowers, along with Danielle and Franziska, of Charming Décor, envisioned an airy, yet whimsical feel, filled with bursts of color in these vintage tablescapes.

Flowers such as white lilies, snapdragons, gladiolas, scabiosa seed pods, and carnations provide the color and tie all the elements together.

Instead of approaching the wedding table with a solitary centrepiece, many elements - burlap runners, mason jars, antique candlesticks and crystal - are used collectively to exaggerate the theme and feel of the tableau.

We love the wisps of blue tulle tied across the chairs and the lemon slices scattered throughout, as well as the birdcage topped with a floral nosegay. The blue candleholder giveaways with vintage tags serve as a lovely way for guests to find their place. And the

lollipops add a child-like, delicious temptation! If you are looking to create the true vintage decor look, then antique furniture and fun objects will go a long way to embellishing your day. Old cupboards, chalkboards, suitcases, basins, tins and even a wagon add history to the landscape. And of course, who wouldn’t adore the formally dressed little boys working the lemonade stand? (Although they are not available with the décor package... we checked!). ■

PHOTOGRAPHY: Smiling Rain Rain Photography ( CUPCAKES: Fairy Cakemother FLOWERS & DéCOR: Platinum Flowers ( & Charming Décor ( SAVE ME! 30 • The Wedding Ring Magazine VANCOUVER ISLAND |

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reality wedding stories


OCTOBER 1st, 2011 :: Sun Lotus, Cowichan Valley, Duncan BC ( Photography by Ophelia Photography ( Story by Ryan and Vanessa were friends for five years before they realized there may be more to their friendship than meets the eye. They started dating and Ryan remembers knowing right away that they were meant to be together. That said, he admits, “Vanessa took a few years to convince!” Vanessa had struggled for most of her life with a fear of trusting and committing to someone in a relationship. Throughout a difficult time in her life, she turned to Christianity, discovering her relationship with God. After a year of not speaking to Ryan, Vanessa decided to invite him to a class on Christianity. “Shortly after this I realized that my fears had vanished. and I had never felt so strongly that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with someone. Ryan has always been there for me and always so loyal and he gave me every reason to trust him. I love his heart. I love his incredible passion to help others and make a difference in the world. I truly felt that having Ryan back in my life was a gift from God and I have not had a single shred of doubt in our relationship since. I feel truly blessed to have found him.” And it’s Vanessa’s heart that Ryan fell in love with: “I love her kindness, compassionate nature, and her warmth.” Ryan planned to propose to Vanessa while on a romantic getaway to the Fairmount Chateau Lake Louise in Alberta. On February 7th, 2010, while cross country skiing on the lake, they stopped to take a photograph. Ryan recalls, “After four or five different poses, I ran back to the tri-pod to press the ten second delay. As I pressed the shutter, I pulled the ring out of my pocket and Vanessa shouted “What pose this time?” I ran over to her, dropped to one knee and said “Will you marry me?” Vanessa said yes with a massive smile on her face and began to remove her mitten to slip on the ring, just as the camera snapped the shot. Since they both were lovers of the outdoors, they set their date for a summer wedding - July 2, 2011. “We wanted our wedding to represent who we are, our personal style, and what we are passionate about. We also wanted to share the west coast beauty and culture with all the family and friends that travelled from our hometown of Edmonton, Alberta. Our wedding was locally inspired and its Canadian flare suited it being on Canada Day weekend. We worked hard to include our favorite cuisine and Ryan’s favorite beers, adding a global twist”. GET LOCAL. PLAN FABULOUS! • 31

Who would have guessed that a ‘decision matrix method’ (in-depth version of a pros and cons list, used by engineers) that Ryan had learned in engineering school would be the deciding factor in choosing a wedding venue?! But that is exactly what happened after an extensive search of Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland. The sure fit for Ryan and Vanessa’s wedding was at Sun Lotus located in the heart of the Cowichan Valley, Duncan, BC. Sun Lotus ( is run by volunteers from across the world that are taken in by the owners, Anita and Paul. Volunteers are given free room & board in exchange for work. The Sun Lotus Guest House is a peaceful oasis, surrounded by beautiful flower gardens, a pristine pond and lush forest; definitely an outdoor lover’s paradise. “It truly encompassed everything we had envisioned our wedding would be like, what we wanted most was to have our wedding in a beautiful and lush setting where we could have maximal flexibility to create our special day the way we wanted it.” And with so many out of town guests, this venue’s close proximity to nearby accommodations made it even more perfect. “We were able show many of our out of town guests the beauty of the West Coast and provide them with a little vacation while attending our wedding.” Vanessa and Ryan created a wedding website (using that outlined their wedding details such as accommodations, activities and other travel information for guests. The couple found beautiful, handmade paper and twine invitations on an online store, Of the Earth ( The organic paper was imbedded with wildflower seeds so that each invitation could be planted in the ground to later yield pretty little wildflowers. “The invitations, and most of the stationary, were hand crafted by my amazing bridesmaids! My friend Christina even handmade little butterfly name tags to sit on the wine glasses of each of our guest’s spots!” Ryan and Vanessa kept their décor theme natural and eco-friendly. “We were generally going for ‘earthy garden mixed with enchanted forest’.” They used natural elements from the forest such as moss, stones and some twigs to add to the centrepieces. “The table number holders were simply stumps of birch logs with a notch sawed into them… and the peacock feathers in the centrepieces had been shed from the Sun Lotus peacocks over the years! Anita, the owner of Sun Lotus, was kind enough to give us her collection!” The wedding colours were lavender (Vanessa’s favourite colour), dark purples and earth tones. The day before the wedding, Vanessa surprised her bridesmaids with a massage/facial, complete with wonderful, fresh little appetizers. “The bridal party stayed at Maple Grove Guesthouse ( and we had our pampering night at the house. It was wonderful! We all felt like princesses getting ready there the next morning.” Vanessa says Carly Flint Makeup Artistry ( was wonderful to work with and made her feel absolutely stunning. “I have already recommended her to many other brides I know!” Liz and Christopher from Lavish Salon ( completed the look by creating beautiful hairstyles. “We were so grateful that both vendors were able to drive all the way from Victoria to our little guesthouse for the wedding day!” “We had a wonderful group for our wedding party. The Maid of Honour was Lisa Kuly. Lisa has been my best friend since grade one and we have always been a great support for each other over the years. All my bridesmaids were wonderful and were SO helpful days

Make sure you plan on relaxing and enjoying your wedding. Get a massage the night before! Enjoy the actual day and don’t worry about other people’s judgment. Delegate if needed. Your wedding day is about love and celebration… and it’s for you and your groom! Don’t cheap out on the photographer… getting an awesome photographer is well worth the money! - Vanessa & Ryan 32 • The Wedding Ring Magazine VANCOUVER ISLAND |

before the wedding. I was even blessed with Christina and Beata coming from Edmonton nearly two weeks beforehand to help with tons of favor and decor prep!” The bridesmaids were Christina Lambert, Beata Tymoszejko, Nicky Lother and Ryan’s sister, Deana Craig. Ryan’s Best man was Steven Sych, who flew in from Montréal. Ryan says, “Steven and I have been friends since birth... Well, actually, we were just born on the same day in the same city, Edmonton, Sept 18th 1985. We met and became friends in the 8th grade, but it wasn’t until university that we became great friends through many after school debates, yoga sessions, wall climbing, and ps3 parties!” The Groomsmen were Jarret Tomlinson, Neil Crowell, Roger Chan and Vanessa’s Brother Ryan Knebel. “The groomsmen looked awesome in suspenders!” laughs Ryan. The wedding day was sunny and warm. Everything was beautiful. In the late afternoon, surrounded by their family and friends, they exchanged their vows before God under a wedding arch Ryan built from wood he found in the forest and nailed together on their condo balcony in Vancouver! Vanessa ordered Monarch butterflies, along with some other beautiful butterflies that her Mom had bred specifically for the wedding, and released them after the ceremony. The name ‘Vanessa’ means butterfly and she has always loved butterflies, so it was both beautiful and symbolic. After a long search, Ryan and Vanessa came across a blog post by Ophelia Photography ( of a wedding shot at Sun Lotus. “The pictures we’re incredible to say the least. We decided to give her a call and after our chat I realized we had a really cool, down to earth photographer that would produce quality pictures! Lisa was amazing to work with; she went the extra mile to produce unique photos that captured our day beautifully. She was actually stung by a stinging nettle attempting to get a shot for us. Though in pain, she managed to finish shooting the entire day without a complaint!” Staying at the same location allowed the couple more time for photos. Guests had fun with various activities such as badminton, canoeing, river tubing or walks through the wilderness before the reception. Bouquets were made by Leaf and Petal ( Vanessa can’t thank her Mom enough for insisting they have a wedding cake (by Thrify Foods: “The cake was three tiers... It was delicious. Each tier was a different flavor: dark chocolate raspberry, coconut crème brulee, and dark chocolate mocha.” The menu was important to both Ryan and Vanessa. “We wanted lots of variety and to choose our own dishes, but we also wanted quality food. Our caterer, Parker Productions ( was willing to offer us the flexibility we wanted. Anita helped with some of the planning and appetizer prep.” They offered a mix of global favorites including sushi, Greek salad, vegetarian quinoa cannelloni, Thai yellow curry, maple glazed Coho salmon, Chinese BBQ, free range chicken and chili lime prawns! “To this day people are still taking about how good the food was.” The couple had a fantastic bar set-up, constructed from large cedar trees. They served selections of wine from across BC, including local wine from Averill Creek Winery ( which was ten minutes from the venue. The beer list was from across the Canada and across the globe. “We also had a “tea buffet” and offered about 15 different delicious loose leaf teas with a variety of interesting sweeteners, such as flavored honey, and rose and lavender cane sugar.” Ryan and Vanessa were blessed to have many musically talented friends and family. Their musicians included a wedding band (Ryan’s cousins: Andrew, Jordan and Justine), Turntable DJ (Vanessa’s friends: Matt and PJ), other singers during the ceremony (Roxy and Seana), Serenation song (Vanessa’s Uncle Tom), plus a harpist and cellist for the ceremony music ( that they hired.

To thank guests for coming, Vanessa and Ryan splurged on mini gift baskets as favours for each in attendance. They contained goodies from local artisans and shops. Bridesmaids, groomsmen, family and friends were an incredible help with wedding set-up and tear down. Without their help the wedding wouldn’t have come together as wonderfully as it did! Ryan and Vanessa were also so grateful for their parents, Valerie & John Knebel and Linda & David Galloway. “Without their support our wedding would have never been possible!” Vanessa and Ryan loved their wedding day and the special memories that were made with family and friends. “The day was filled with lots of laughs! We thought it was especially funny when the peacocks squawked just as Ryan and I kissed after the ceremony. Everything worked out really great for our wedding day. It was sunny and warm, and everything looked beautiful! The venue helped make our day magical! I always thought my dream wedding would be on my own property and everything about the setting would represent who Ryan and I are as people. Sun Lotus was the closest reality to that and we see ourselves owning our own beautiful piece of land one day too. We loved that Anita and Paul cared about the environment, were non-consumeristic, and had a great sense of style. We had so much fun on our wedding day we have decided to have a ten year anniversary celebration on our own piece of land (which we hope to acquire by then). We look forward to many years of strengthening our love and growing together!” ■


FOR BRIDES: Check out reviews on the island’s hottest photographers and photoshoot locations at (then click on Tips!) for Photographers: keep sending your tips to

Kristopher James Photography | “I really enjoy shooting weddings at the Villa Marco Polo Inn ( I find the staff there extremely well-organized and easy to work with. The venue itself is gorgeous, a photographer’s playground. I also really love when I have a wedding at St. Ann’s Academy (www.stannsacademy. Photo: st. ann’s academy by kristopher james com). It is such a breathtakphotography ing building.” Nichole Taylor Photography | “Beacon Hill Park has awesome locations and great light. The waterfront in Sidney has lots of good spots for photos. There are also some awesome fields in Saanich and I had a great time shooting a couple at the Saanich Fair! My favorite venues for taking wedding pictures would be the Villa Marco Polo Inn, St. Ann’s Academy, Prestige Harbourfront Resort ( and Sooke Harbour House ( Neil of Vivid Photography “Well, Black Rock Resort ( in Tofino is one of my newest favourite places as far as ven- Photo: Sooke Harbour House by NICHOLE TAYLOR photography ues, as well as the Best Western Premiere Prestige Oceanfront Resort in Sooke. Just really a dynamic settings where you have lots of indoor or outdoor options within steps of each other. That’s important because you sometimes need to have lots of different options with limited time and the possibility of rain... We know most photographers use beaches here, and we have our favourite beaches too - Neck Point Park in Nanaimo, anywhere in 36 • The Wedding Ring Magazine VANCOUVER ISLAND |

Parksville - but we also have some very dramatic locations that we love... A forest setting in south Nanaimo, on top of Sugarloaf Mountain in Nanaimo, and urban settings, usually downtown areas in cities like Victoria, Nanaimo, or even in smaller centres.” Deanna McCollum Photography “For engagement shoots, I love Goldstream Park, for its rainforest feel. It’s very ‘West Coast’. For weddings, I just shot at Craidelonna Oceanedge Lodge ( LOVED it. Very ‘cottage in the woods’ feel, beautiful gardens and structures and, on the ocean’s edge! There are a lot of places for portraits. I also really like Merridale Ciderworks.” (


KGOODPhoto | “Fort Rod Hill National Historic Site! Lighthouse and the views are perfect!”

McKinnon Photography “Dolphins Resort ( is a gem with beautiful rustic woods leading down to a private beach front, including a romantic dock. There seems to always be magic light at Dolphins. And when I photograph at the Kingfisher Oceanside Resort (, I know I am going to start the day with great light for the getting ready photos and anticipate sneaking the couple away at dusk to the romantic beach. I also like Crown Isle Resort ( for the visual variety. From the greens, to the indoor and outdoor architecture there are lots of options for photos. Which is great in case it rains!” Szymon Photography | “Wya Point - my new favourite. I love the ruggedness of the beach, the seclusion and tranquility. I love this place because of the versatility, there is a beach with sand, beach with smooth pebbles, an area with massive rocks, and lots of nooks and crannies in the trees...”

{GROUP BLOG } VANCOUVER ISLAND... WE (Definitely) DO! BLOGGED BY: Laura, Heather & the team at The Wedding Ring Vancouver Island GET LOCAL. PLAN FABULOUS! We were so excited to wake up on the morning of January 15, 2012, knowing that it was the official launch day of the Vancouver Island Wedding Ring’s website, community and magazine. It was all to happen at the Bridal Exhibition in Victoria! The Shaw TV Wedding Belles, Aubrey and Sarah, had graciously come to Victoria to officially kick things off for us. But, first, the snow and sleet had to be overcome! Just in the nick of time, the Belles’ limo arrived and they ran in to rip the paper off the cover of our first magazine issue! After the big reveal, boxes of magazines were cracked open for vendors and brides to receive free of charge at The Ring’s booth. Anne, co-founder of The Wedding Ring, had made the trip from Ontario for the launch and to join in the festivities. At our booth, brides were encouraged to view the website and the vendor reviews. We loved our first official show booth, thanks to Sears, who had provided two huge screens (one for our website and one for the Exhibition’s hashtag), and Tina of Platinum Floral Designs (, who had taken care of our floral arrangements. And then there was the ‘Wedding Ring’ cake provided by Ohh-La-La Cupcakes ( that was pink with a huge ring on top! LOVE. As well, Best Western Premier Prestige Oceanfront Resort ( had sponsored our launch, offering a FREE WEDDING (wow!) for one lucky bride attending the show that day! A month before the launch, we invited everyone who had contributed to the magazine to a ‘Sneak Peak’ event at Villa Marco Polo in Victoria, where we spread out the proofs to be viewed. We want to thank all the island wedding experts who were brave and jumped on board with us (visit our founding members online)! The launch was a huge success and received coverage through tv and radio. And we love that the day ended at a professional mixer hosted by Home for the Honeymoon ( where most of us thankfully collapsed after such a busy day! Thanks for the wonderful welcome, Vancouver Island! ~ Laura, Heather & the team @ The Ring BLOGGED BY: Shaw TV’s Wedding Belles, Sarah &Aubrey Sarah :: When The Wedding Ring asked Aubrey and I to come over and celebrate the launch of their new magazine, at the Vancouver Island Bridal Exhibition, we jumped at the chance! We could go to one of my favorite places for a weekend of kicking back, enjoying the scenery and meeting new people. Well, I got one of those right! We met so many incredible people, had so much fun and were on the run the whole time. And all because the gals at Wedding Ring and their incredible wedding vendors of Vancouver Island had other plans for us! 38 • The Wedding Ring Magazine VANCOUVER ISLAND |

From the moment we drove off the ferry, we were literally whisked from place to place, trying on dress after dress at Victoria Bridal Boutique, and merrily sipping wine with a group of intelligent, ambitious and creative women. *sigh* Such a hard life... When we finally did get back to our hotel, the Best Western Premier Prestige Oceanfront Resort in Sooke, I was beyond delighted to find a pink box on my gorgeous bed, full of Ooh La La Cupcakes, awaiting my arrival. If you were to watch an episode of Wedding Belles, you are more than likely to find me eating a cupcake. I love cupcakes. And these cupcakes were truly awesome - decorated in pinks, greens and whites, complete with a wedding ring... I was ecstatic. Just as I bit into a chocolate morsel of heaven, there was a knock on my door. The stylist had arrived. Marion Groot, of Ma-Luxe Studio Inc., along with the gorgeous gals from Home for the Honeymoon descended upon me with clouds of tulle, chiffon, lace and pearls, all from The Bride’s Closet in Nanaimo. Wiping the cupcake crumbs from my face, I proceeded to try on dress after dress (did I mention I have a hard life?). When I put one particular cloud of a dress on, all four of us knew it was ‘the one’. It turned out to be from Vancouver designer, Anaiss. I felt like Carrie in that episode of Sex and the City when she is in Paris, sleeping on the bed in that massive dress. Naturally, the others felt the same way, so I posed on the bed, asleep, to channel my inner-Carrie Bradshaw. Not difficult considering Marion had a suitcase full of glittery shoes.

After we had played dress-up, we proceeded to have one of the most delicious dinners. To say I was impressed by the quality of the Prestige Oceanfront Resort is an understatement. Dinner was amazing – partly due to the copious amounts of delectable food and partly due to the incredible company we were keeping. And my room! Oh, my room. The highest ceilings I have ever seen, a huge kingsized bed, and a patio with a view of the Sooke harbour. Too bad I had to be up at 5:30 the next morning... Dragging myself from slumber the next morning, I met Aubrey and Patrick, our limo driver for the day from L.A. Limo, in the lobby. Shivering and sleepy, we crawled into the back of the limo before Patrick carefully delivered us down the snowy road to Sharon Rai’s Hair and Makeup Artistry studio. Sharon proceeded to turn me from a grumpy morning hag to a doll with bright pink lips! Colleen from Foxgloves Flowers finished our look off with bouquets that coordinated with the Wedding Ring colors while Kelsey of KGOODPhoto began filming our adventure. It was finally time for the big event: The Ring’s launch at Vancouver Island Bridal Exhibition! Once again, we were delivered by Patrick and then the real work started. The day flew by as we met hundreds of excited brides. I once again helped myself to some Ooh La La Cupcakes – which were harder to eat while stuffed into a wedding dress. We met with Island vendors who blew us away with their devotion and passion to their work. More than anything, however, was the wonderful feeling we got at the show. It sounds so simple, but everyone was so nice. Everyone was friendly, enthusiastic and readily helping one another out. Of course, the highlight of it all was the launch of The Wedding Ring and spending a weekend with the owner, Laura Kalcsa. Continued page 41...



BLOGGED BY: The Ring’s ‘Resident Bride’, Emmy, along with her bridal entourage. Photojournalism by Deanna McCollum Photography ( So ladies…it’s time to be honest. How many of us are guilty of procrastination when it comes to our wedding to-do list? I am the first to admit that pretty much everything gets priority over wedding planning… coffee dates, chores, movies, organizing my filing, just about anything will get done instead of things like searching for invitation styles or creating a guest list. Luckily I’m having a long engagement! However, now that 2012 has rolled around, I realized it’s time to put one foot in front of the other and take a few steps on the road to planning my big day. I’m a girl who prefers to do everything with a friend or two along for the ride. So when I was considering attending the biggest bridal show in Victoria, I knew I had to get a group of my besties together for support, encouragement, and a few laughs. So I put together a team of awesome ladies and went from there. I know... Some of you are thinking “bridal show... Ugh!” But, trust me, we had fun! The Bridal Exhibition ( was on a Sunday morning, which is the usual time the ladies get together for brunch. Well, you’ve seen Sex in the City, you know what I’m talking about! So with that in mind, I started making a plan. First, we hooked up with the lovely L.A. Limos ( to arrange for us to ride in style. This would allow all the ladies to gather together at one location and make a whole day of it without worrying about driving, parking, or having a beverage or two. We piled into our stretch, complete with twinkling lights and leather interior, and were whisked away by our charming young driver! Next stop was the newest, most stylish nail salon in Victoria – Glow Luxe Beauty Boutique ( All four of us were able to sit, relax, and be pampered while we got the trendiest manicure colours. There are two luxurious, upholstered couches complete with all the gossip magazines a girl could want on a lazy Sunday. They even spruced up my face using their own in-house cosmetics line! I got many compliments on my rosy cheeks that day. Once our nails were buffed and polished, it was back to our car. I had arranged for a cold bottle of bubbly to refresh us on the way to the Bridal Exhibition. By the time we arrived we were

feeling relaxed, yet giggly, and ready to get to the Show! The Bridal Exhibition itself was really high energy, with loads of attendees and what seemed like endless vendor booths, which spanned every possible thing a bride could need to coordinate her whole life, let alone her wedding! From mortgage brokers to lingerie, this place had us covered. There were great prizes which you entered by visiting each booth and we received the Bridal Awards Card that would give us savings with the Bridal Exhibition wedding professionals all year long. We began at the Wedding Ring booth and grabbed the inaugural copy of the Vancouver Island edition of The Wedding Ring Magazine - hot off the press! We met the lovely Wedding Belles of ShawTV, Aubrey and Sarah - beautiful girls with big personalities to match their huge dresses - and then headed over to the stage to get a peek at the wedding gown fashion show. Some highlights of the Bridal Exhibition were getting a mini-lesson on ballroom dancing from The Arthur Murray Dance Studio (, trying a to-die-for champagne flavoured mini cupcake from Ooh La La Cupcakes (, and seeing all the amazingly beautiful floral arrangements from the various talented florists at the show. By the time we had done the rounds, the four of us had been able to get more vendor information out of one day than I could’ve possibly accomplished myself in months of research. I had a bag full of swag, business cards, and website addresses which set me up perfectly to turn my wedding visions into reality. And now that my girls have all been involved, they are even more excited to help me with the rest of the process. Bonus! As we travelled back in our lovely luxe car, I realized that I had not only gathered a whole bunch of important planning info, I had also learned a few important lessons from the Bridal Exhibition experience. First, taking the time to plan just a few simple details really created a special day for all of us and you might think about including the new female relatives in your life as a bonding experience; second, having a supportive group of friends with you makes anything do-able! I look forward to sharing all the adventures that my girls and I have along this journey! Google ‘the wedding ring resident bride’ or keep up with my planning on Facebook at Vancouver Island Wedding Ring. Just look for the Resident Bride logo!

resident bride OF THE RING


GOING GREEN @ YOUR WEDDING Written by The Ring with Chantal Orr and Jill Doucette (

Eco-friendly weddings are a wonderful trend for the savvy couple who want to cut down on their carbon footprint when it comes to their wedding day. Going green not only makes a difference, but it helps your guests create an impact as well!


1. Have an outdoor wedding, which is not exactly a sacrifice on Vancouver Island! Indoor spaces leave a larger environmental footprint. Use nature as your gorgeous backdrop for your ceremony and after party. If you are planning to have your wedding indoors, look for a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certified building. 2. Source local food for your event using the Island as your food theme. Try local micro breweries and wineries. You will be amazed at our local talent (and maybe slightly tipsy if you go on a tour)! Buy organic and Fairtrade certified. Ask at local markets for suppliers you could find in your area. If you are hiring a caterer, ask them what they can offer for local food sources. 3. Use eco-tableware. This can mean anything from compostable dishware to vintage china! One bride found beautiful second hand dishes for each setting and gave them to guests at the end of the evening! 4. “E-vites’ such as emailed invitations and wedding websites cut down on paper use. Another green idea is to use recycled paper for your invitations.

bride raves for the ring

“I just love your website and magazine! I found our photographer and venue through the Vancouver Island Wedding Ring.” - Heather, July 21, 2012

“I was given your Vancouver Island Wedding Ring magazine and I passed it onto my niece, who was planning her wedding. Her wedding was so beautiful and she found her centrepieces and other décor from your magazine!” - Donna, March 13, 2012 “I picked up a copy of your magazine today... I am totally impressed. The layout is beautiful and elegant and easily navigated. The personal stories are wonderful, the information is invaluable... it’s just all-round gorgeous. I applaud your and your team’s talent and smarts.” - Amanda, Account Exec. for a local news organization. “The Wedding Ring is a very valuable tool for brides. And for us! The website and magazine have been very successful in bringing us potential bridal couples and in showcasing our resort as a premier destination wedding location on Vancouver Island.” - Danielle, Marketing Manager, Black Rock Oceanfront Resort “I’ve relied on and trusted The Ring for EVERY vendor we’ve hired for the wedding so far... The reviews are so informative and in-depth... it’s as if all the investigative work has been done for me! I’ve already (and will continue to) recommend The Ring to every new bride I meet!! I’m a fan guys!! Keep up the great work!!” - Lisa, May 1 2011

40 • The Wedding Ring Magazine VANCOUVER ISLAND |

Chantal Orr and Jill Doucette specialize in helping local businesses become eco-friendly. Find out more at 5. Instead of sending printed thank you cards or postcards, consider emailing or using an online service to send an online photo album to guests with your specific, heartfelt thank you message. While some may consider this to be a faux pas, times are changing and innovative ways to communicate are becoming more widely accepted. If you just can’t fathom ditching the parchment, plant trees to offset the paper used. 6. Ask your jewellery designer about getting customized rings made from recycled gold or silver. 7. Décor can be gorgeous and yet also eco-friendly. Try using second-hand or antique items as centrepieces. Get creative. For example, we love the idea of fresh green apples for placeholders. Easy to find locally for any wedding. 8. Do you really need that extra set of steak knifes? Encourage guests to donate online to a favorite charity or community group in your name. Helping others is the best gift of all! “She had great ideas and understood what I was hoping to achieve. Even when I changed my mind three times and the types of flowers, she always offered up great solutions to my frantic bride-zilla moments! ...Her work is both unique and timeless in the same breath. I wanted a mix of old traditions and new concepts, modern flowers and flowers that my grandma would recognize… Tina pulled it all together.” - Erin, excerpt from interview on Platinum Floral Design ( “The Vancouver Island Wedding Ring has really helped me plan my wedding day. Thank you!” - Sara, April 2013 “It felt like we were hanging out with friends.They’ve got a creative way about capturing weddings. When looking at their samples, we saw there was an edge, and dramatic beauty to their work. We have some incredible shots that can only be described as epic”- Jon and Christina, from interview on Vivid Photography ( “Deanna McCollum was recommended to us... I was very confident that we had found a good match. Deanna was... effortless to be around... I was so pleased with the engagement shots, and that doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt after seeing the wedding shots.” - Morgan, excerpt from interview on photographer, Deanna McCollum (

From page 38 ♥ Vancouver Island brides are in very good hands if this woman is in charge. Seriously. There’s a problem? She solves it. You need something? She gets it. So I wasn’t entirely wrong about the relaxing bit. Sure, the show was so busy that by the time dinner rolled around that night I had no voice. But, the women of The Wedding Ring took such good care of us that even filming an episode of Wedding Belles the next day was considerably easier with Laura helping us along the way. Would I return to the Island and the Bridal Exhibition? In a heartbeat. On one condition: I get to spend a week next time! Thank you to all the inspiring women we met on the island and happy planning to brides everywhere! ~ Sarah & Aubrey, the Wedding Belles


I DOs & PLEASE DON’T!s An expert tip by Ma-luxe Studios Inc. (

...Mix & match colours that seemingly ‘don’t’ match in the first place.

Photo of bridesmaids, right: Marnie Recker Photography (

...Opt for a flowerless bouquet to create interest in texture (gems and paper are really big right now!). ...ChangE into a “send off” dress like ‘THE OLD days’! (LET’S FACE IT, We’re all secretly fashionistas!)

Photo, top right: Ophelia Photography (

...Partake in a really fun and humorous manicure with your ‘maids.

♥ Keep your options open - you may have always envisioned your wedding day a certain way but be open to change. ♥ Hire the best talent you can find - use the Wedding Ring as a resource…of course! ♥ Take advantage of the moment – this is your wedding! Enjoy every stage. Let’s say it snows in June (you never know) then make that the unique part of your pictures, don’t run away from it! ♥ Work with great investors – Choose friends and family that are invested in making it a fabulous day! It is true some people are great wedding guest others great wedding party people, know that difference. ♥ Play bigger than you are – this is your wedding go for it! Make bold decisions that are true to your self! ♥ Find mentors – talk to people who have been married, ask Brides you don’t know who have used your same venue or photographer, for example. ♥ Be honest and transparent – If you don’t like something say so right away! It’s your wedding, be honest with yourself and your groom. ♥ Enjoy the ride – enjoy every moment, it won’t be perfect but it will be perfect in it’s imperfection!

...Bling it out! The more bling, the better! After all, this party only happens once! Photo, bracelet,

right: Island Life Photographics (www.

...Become overwhelmed with the choices you suddenly have. Be true to yourself! ...Forget to create a really fun, energetic playlist of the songs you love for bridal prep. It helps everyone get into the mood! ...Shop at one store for all of your bridal attire needs. Mix and match vintage, high-street and high-end pieces for a more sophisticated feel.

Ma-luxe Studios Inc. prides themselves on staying ahead of trends and adding creative flare to everything they do. “When it comes to the magic of a wedding, the devil is in the details. Style and wardrobe help to bring home the feeling you are trying to achieve - whether it be romantic and sensual or charming and pretty!” Ma-luxe can be reached by email at You can visit them online at

...Think that everything has to be expensive to be bridal. Be creative and let your personal style shine through! ...Overlook sentimentality. History is important and using aspects of your mother’s dress, shoes etc adds a personal touch. GET LOCAL. PLAN FABULOUS! • 41


Written by The Wedding Ring Vancouver Island and the Ring's Vancouver Correspondent, Justin Eckersall, of Hyperfocus Photography (

November 30th, 2011 marked one of our favourite nights of the year, when industry professionals at the Professional BC Wedding Awards ( paid tribute to talented wedding experts in their field.

photography, transportation and more. Wedding professionals around British Columbia are encouraged to submit their work and the judging is even done out of province, just to help keep the process unbiased and fair.

Awards were presented by ‘Wedding Belles’, Sarah and Aubrey, in front of a sold-out crowd at the Red Robinson Theatre. The guest list was made up of wedding experts and the night’s décor was as glam as can be expected from an event created for and by an events industry.

And proving our theory that Vancouver Island is the ultimate wedding location, a number of seriously talented island professionals picked up awards that night, continuing the trend that experts such as Tie the Knot (winner for ‘Décor’ in 2010, ( and Sea of Bloom (Best Bouquet in 2010 - started last year. Island photographers swept the Best Wedding Detail Photograph (2011) category. Jenna and Tristan ( won Best Photograph with KGoodPhoto (photo, left) earning position as finalist.

Why is this important to bridal couples here on Vancouver Island? Well, if you are looking for wedding professionals who have high caliber work, this is one way to find them! Like The Wedding Ring, the awards recognize experience, talent, ambition and expertise. Categories include venues, floral, cakes, makeup, hair, jewellery design, décor, video, A Sea of Bloom ( won an award for Best Bouquet in 2010. Owner Karen Stone says her passion for her work began with growing flowers. She quickly realized her natural affinity for blooms and that she loved making bridal bouquets. Karen specializes in romantic, detailed floral creations that make brides feel beautiful! The judges awarded her based on Karen’s consistent excellence and originality with colour and texture. Read The Ring’s review on A Sea of Bloom @ OR go to, click on Vancouver Island, and then click on Reviews :) PhotoS RIGHT:

Note: Finalists are within 5% of the winning mark.

Kelsey, of KGOODPhoto, took this stunning destination detail shot. ( Kelsey loves photography that allows you to go back in time. “It accomplishes the seemingly impossible concept of time travel. You can go back to that moment!”

SONG IDEAS TO GET YOUR SONG LIST STARTED Disc Jockey, James Green, knows better than anyone how important the first dance, father/daughter, and mother/ son dances are to a bride and groom. While each song should be chosen for its meaning to you, here’s a few song choices to help you get your songs list started:

5 Top First Dances 1. Thank You for Loving Me - Bon Jovi 2. You & I - Stevie Wonder 3. Don’t Want to Miss a Thing Aerosmith 4. Everything I Do - Bryan Adams 5. Close to You - Carpenters

5 Top Father/Bride Dances 1. The Way you Look Tonight - Fast: Frank Sinatra, Slow: Tony Bennet 2. I Loved Her First - Heartland 3. Butterfly Kisses - Bob Carlisle 4. Just The Way You Are - Billy Joel 5. Wonderful Tonight - Eric Clapton

5 Top Mother/Groom Dances 1. Unforgettable - Nat King & Natalie Cole 2. Can you Feel the Love Tonight - Sir Elton John

3. Have I Told you Lately that I Love You - Rod Stewart 4. I’ll Stand by You - Pretenders 5. Because you Loved Me - Celine Dion James Green and the Vancouver Island Disc Jockey ( team aim to become ‘part of the family’ with their professional approach to wedding music. James, who maintains a team of friendly, experienced and outgoing disc jockeys, explains that “The music sets the mood, creating a memorable atmosphere... It really is a science, and we work with clients to concoct the perfect musical formula!”


Written by The Wedding Ring Vancouver Island and on of The Ring’s favourite island wedding photographers, Karen McKinnon ( ♥ For your portraits, decide how willing you are to head into the elements. It is my suggestion to keep family inside and save the outdoor shoots for just the creative bride and groom imagery. All my clients have different ranges of comfort levels, with heading outside in rain, ranking somewhere between ‘absolutely not’ and ‘let’s go for it’.

♥ As much as I am passionate about photography, I feel strongly that the day is about a wedding, not wedding photography. You will walk down the aisle, get goosebumps, kiss and toast. You will be husband and wife – rain or shine! That is what truly matters.

♥ If opting for outdoor portraits, there are a few things that can help such as practical shoes. Your photographer can shoot so that the feet don’t show, and you can be wearing whatever you like – maybe even rubber boots and making that part of the image. We also like to carry a bed sheet – it makes a perfect wrap for the bride that can be whipped off in just a few seconds.


A rainy wedding day isn’t anything new to Vancouver Island brides. But, if you ask long-time photographer, Karen McKinnon - who has photographed more than two hundred weddings (many of them, in the rain) - wet forecasts don’t have to put the breaks on your dream day... Here’s Karen’s expert tips on how to take advantage of those cloud bursts to add a splash of fun to your wedding...

your photos will be unlike any others.

♥ A professional photographer will have a plan for poor weather. They will be a master of indoor lighting and zealous about finding crafty outside spots that keep you protected from the elements. They will rise to the challenge of leaving you excited about your images, despite the weather. Rain can push your photos into a unique and creative place. Your photographer and you can search out alternative locations, and

♥ Have some cute umbrellas ready: from vintage or colourful to customized with your names, there are tons of options! ♥ Rain, and all that it signifies, is seen in many cultures as bringing blessings. Rain can also create a cozy, warm, intimate and romantic mood! Remember: If it rains, it is just part of the story... Your story. Every one of the couples who I have photographed on rainy days, ends up laughing about it and saying they wouldn’t change a thing – honestly! Karen McKinnon Photoraphy can be visited online at A full review of the options, specialties, research, bride interviews and samples of work on Karen McKinnon Photography can be found in The Ring.

♥ Your venue will also help you determine a ‘Plan B’ to move inside if necessary. If you are getting married outdoors in a park, beach or yard on the West Coast there are a few things to consider. Can you move your ceremony to your reception location if necessary? If you are planning to have both the ceremony and reception outside in an area without a shelter/facility, consider renting a tent. ♥ If you are committed to a ceremony outside, without a tent, then ask guests to bring an umbrella. Keep in mind, though, that you don’t want your guests to be too uncomfortable. You want to be as relaxed as possible throughout your vows so that you can take it all in. GET LOCAL. PLAN FABULOUS! • 43



Shopping for that all important dress is an exciting experience. But it can also turn into a stress-filled event. So to skip the stress, consider these fabulous tips by Bliss Gowns and Events ( ♥ Call ahead for an appointment if at all possible and plan for at least an hour and a half. Bridal shops staff according to appointments. You are always welcome to walk in, but you will receive the attention you deserve when you have booked time with the bridal assistants. Some shops even offer private bridal shopping experiences after hours for you and your party! ♥ You are welcome to bring photos or style numbers of dresses you like. If you want to REALLY be prepared, check out the shop's website ahead of time, check out the designers they carry, and then visit those designers online. Don't despair if that's not your thing - shops are ready and willing to help you out! And remember to keep your mind open to suggestions! ♥ Bridal shops would really appreciate if you didn't wear make-up while shopping. If that's impossible, at least try to leave the foundation off! ♥ Wear the undergarments you will most likely be wearing on your wedding day, including shoes. If you haven't found those things yet, extra pairs of shoes and foundation garments can be provided to you. ♥ Shops will have different policies on whether an assistant is the one to help you into the dress or not. Please, please wear undergarments and remember that you may feel uncomfortable in that thong while trying on dresses! ♥ Trying to decide who to bring with you for your shopping experience? Some brides come in ahead of time on their own and choose which dresses they wish to try on for the entourage. Others choose to use the occasion to bring female relatives from both sides of the families and others bring the wedding party and girlfriends. Whomever you do decide to bring, be sure they are someone you trust to give you an honest opinion and still respect your taste. Don't go too big or you will just find yourself trying to make everyone happy.


Having my Dad fly myself, my bridesmaids, and our photographer in the classic twin engine Beechcraft was one of the most touching moments of my life (other than the actual ceremony, of course). The day was beautiful, so we circled April Point Resort ( on Quadra Island, making a perfect landing on the water. Of course, an aircraft with twin engines creates a lot of attention, and when people realized it was a wedding, the cameras came out! A small crowd gathered on the dock taking photos and giving well wishes. It was magic! ~ Julie Billinghurst 44 • The Wedding Ring Magazine VANCOUVER ISLAND |

> Are you planning a grand entrance to your ceremony or reception? Email us:!


My husband, Josi, and I met while working for my Dad at Vancouver Island Air ( in Campbell River, and so serendipity required that an airplane would have to be involved in our wedding somehow.

An Expert Tip from Nichole Taylor of Nichole Taylor Photography ( Now let’s assume you have found a fantastic photographer with some badass skills, and their personality “clicks” with your own. You want this photographer! Fantastic! Now what? Discuss with your photographer how much coverage you want. Do you want “getting ready” photos? Do you want reception coverage? As a photographer, I love it when the whole story is told with full coverage of everything that happens that day. The next step will be the contract signing. Expect to pay a deposit to hold your date. This can range from 20% to 50% and is required for your photographer to hold that date and not book any other weddings that day. The deposit or retainer is usually non-refundable but is almost always applied to the balance of what you owe. This balance is due on or sometimes a few days before your wedding day.

Nichole shoots many weddings each year and feels that the real key to having a great experience with your photographer is choosing the right one in the first place! To make sure that happens, she feels you should think about the following... Many couples find the most difficult part of wedding planning is finding their photographer. It is very important to find the ONE that you click with as a couple. So how do you find the right wedding photographer for YOU? Let’s walk through the process of signing with a photographer for your wedding day. There are two crucial factors to consider when shopping around. One is the quality of their work, and second, their personality. Let me explain... Quality! This one is probably the most obvious. However there is a whole lot involved in this one little word. You might have a friend or family member with a great camera who has taken some amazing photos, but have they ever shot a wedding? A wedding is a whole other ball game that involves good timing and high skill levels. For example, think of the ceremony. There is the walk down the aisle, the groom’s reaction as he sees his bride, the vows, the ring exchange, the kiss. All of those special moments only happen once. There is no rewind. My heart breaks when I hear from newlyweds how they had a friend take their wedding photos, and are unhappy with the results. A wedding cannot be done over, so I would encourage couples to hire an expert for the day. Invest in your photography. After all, your wedding album will be the first heirloom of your new family! Quality really comes down to talent, training, and experience. Often the price of your photographer will be directly connected to their level of training,

experience and demand, as well as other boring business stuff like cost of equipment (pro gear costs mad cash), insurance, supplies, software, etc. How do you find a photographer that matches your taste? The first step is to go looking! Every pro photographer has a website that displays recent work. Go on a hunt. If it seems overwhelming, narrow it down with some help - this is where The Wedding Ring does the work for you. Go to, then click on Latest Reviews). Ask your friends who their photographer was and if they were happy. Another great resource is your other wedding vendors. They have seen so many weddings and will not steer you wrong! Ultimately though, it is you who has to connect to that photographer’s work. Check out their webpages and narrow down your list based on whether or not you like their work. Photographers know they each have a unique style and so they will each appeal to different people. Some styles will appeal to you and others will not. Trust your intuition on this. Once you have a list that you are happy with, start contacting those photographers to see if they are available on your date. The earlier you start this process the more likely you are to secure your preferred photographer. Set up face to face meetings with the photographers you like. Which leads us to…. Personality! This might seem less obvious, but just remember, your photographer will likely be with you all day on your wedding day. Your wedding day will be full of joy, but also potentially a bit of stress. You want to make sure you “click” (no pun intended!) with your photographer. This is why a face to face meeting is an important part of choosing your photographer.

The deposit payment also usually goes along with the contract signing. What is all that mumbo jumbo small print anyway? Most photography contracts dictate that the photo copyright stays with the photographer. This is nothing to be concerned about. If your wedding package includes a DVD of high res image files, you can still print them. Copyright stays with the photographer so that only he/she can use the images for commercial use, contest entries, ads, etc. Your contract will usually give you a license to print your own files as often as you like. If this is there, no worries! Print away! Contracts will specify what is included, so you should read this carefully. Make sure the package you want is listed and the details of what that includes. Read your contract carefully before signing and ask for clarification if it is necessary! Lastly, relax. You have your photographer! Onto the rest of your wedding planning!

1. Wake up, pour coffee, log in. 2. Check replies to last night’s chat posts. 3. Read PMs. 4. Approve new friends. 5. Add top three gown possibilities to ‘maybes’ album to get feedback from the girls. 6. Post kudos on the photographer I hired last night. 7. Surf the tuxedo gallery. Then the cake gallery. Then the flower gallery.... 8. Read reviews on florists and save favourites. 9. Check out the show calendar and latest experts’ trends reports.

get local. plan fabulous. WWW.THEWEDDINGRING.CA


Wedding Worthy Venues is a feature of The Wedding Ring Magazine that’s designed to give you an at-a-glance look at some of the amazing wedding locations found in Vancouver Island. Browse the profiles for the basics such as capacity and bar options. Want more? Find everything from colour schemes to wedding menus, and package pricing by checking out reception hall reviews at

PHOTO: Erin Wallis Photography

LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION Where you host your wedding day on Vancouver Island or in the surrounding area - whether it be in an ancient castle, a beach beneath the stars, or a cider mill - is a decision guaranteed to play an integral role in the overall style and atmosphere of your fairytale day. Choose the venue that’s truly perfect for you. 46 • The Wedding Ring Magazine VANCOUVER ISLAND |

Shelter Point Distillery

IN CAMPBELL RIVER One of Vancouver Island’s most prized new wedding venues offers you two beautiful outdoor ceremony sites and indoor space for up to 80 people for sit down dinner, all set amid the unique backdrop of stunning copper pot stills and Whisky distilling equipment. Larger parties can be accommodated utilizing outdoor spaces in the summer months.  778-420-2200 | OUTDOOR CEREMONY | INDOOR RECEPTION | UP TO 80 FOR SIT DOWN DINNER



The perfect place to have your ceremony, reception, elopement or special event. Whether you want a large gala affair in the Seaglass Ballroom, or a small intimate ceremony on the beach or in a cottage. 1-888-512-POET (7638)| 250-629-2100 | UP TO 100 GUESTS

BUTCHART GARDENS IN VICTORIA The Spring Prelude indoor garden is a colorful and delightfully scented indoor garden, perfect for intimate wedding ceremonies and a champagne reception. Let the festivities continue with an elegant, charming dinner. Read review at 250-652-4422 | 1-866-652-4422 | UP TO 60 GUESTS | ON-SITE CATERING

VILLA MARCO POLO INN IN VICTORIA A romantic backdrop for a wedding proposal, an elegant setting for Victoria weddings, the perfect place to renew your vows, the ideal surrounding for rediscovering the magic that brought you together. Read review at


Best Western Premier Prestige Oceanfront Resort IN SOOKE The Best Western Premier Prestige Oceanfront Resort is the ideal haven to celebrate, meet, connect, inspire or retreat in the Greater Victoria area. Located in the seaside community of Sooke on the southwestern tip of Vancouver Island, this world-class resort is the perfect choice for conferences, events and weddings. The Grand Ballroom, three salons, executive boardrooms, waterfront pavilion and outdoor courtyard terraces provide flexibility in accommodating various functions and banquets. Our expert event planners provide personalized arrangements to ensure that each event is spectacular and our catering department can customize a unique menu for a group of any size. Read review at


BLACK ROCK RESORT IN UCLUELET A relaxing, stimulating, and creative atmosphere for celebrating and connecting. With its awe-inspiring setting, oceanfront spaces, innovative catering and high-tech services, it’s a spectacular destination for brainstorming or celebrating life’s essential moments. Read review at 1-877-762-5011 | 4,200 SQUARE FEET | UP TO 140 GUESTS

St. Ann’s Academy is the perfect historical setting for your wedding day. Exchange your vows in an interfaith 1858 Chapel, the lovely Novitiate Garden, or the rustic Orchard.




With gracious service and on-site wedding planners. The Fairmont Empress offers the ideal wedding location. Backed by over a century of expertise, they work tirelessly to design the wedding of your dreams.

Make your wedding day the stuff dreams are made of at Travelodge Duncan. We combine unmatched hospitality with convenient amenities in a quiet and charming setting to create an ideal venue for weddings. Conveniently located in downtown Duncan, our hotel rooms and suites provide the warm, comfortable atmosphere you wish for your out-of-town guests and wedding party. Tell us your dream; we’ll make it come true!

250- 384-8111 | 1-866- 540-4429


PHOTO: Greg Howard Photography

The Fairmont Empress IN VICTORIA


250-748-4311 | UP TO 490 GUESTS | 34 GUEST ROOMS & SUITES


A wedding is the celebration of a lifetime and we want yours to be like no other. The Grand Hotel’s attentive service, expert support and memorable cuisine will make every sparkling moment even brighter. The Grand Hotel enjoys an enviable location on the doorstep of a dramatic rock garden oasis and reflects the charm of timeless European décor within a distinctly West Coast environment. Featuring elegant locations for wedding ceremonies, sophisticated reception areas, creative catering and dedicated, personalised service for a seamless event and memories that last a lifetime.


We’ll take the work and worry out of your wedding. Imagine your customized ceremony on our spectacular tented waterfront patio. Our exquisite Japanese Gardens will be the exclusive backdrop of your photos.  You and your guest will enjoy elegant cocktails before heading into our stunning Terrace Ballroom and adjacent Spirit Room for a memorable reception.  Your destination for affairs from elopement to gala wedding events. 250-414-6731 | 1-800-663-7667 | UP TO 200 GUESTS | ON-SITE CATERING

CAMPBELL RIVER MARITIME HERITAGE CENTRE IN CAMPBELL RIVER Discover the most sought after venue on Vancouver Island, located on the waterfront, adjacent to Discovery Pier. Enjoy your wedding ceremony and/or reception in our wooden post’n’beam facility with a lovely unobstructed view of Discovery Passage. A beautiful setting for a beautiful day. 250-286-3161 | UP TO 150 GUESTS | any budget

CRAIGDARROCH CASTLE IN VICTORIA When you rent Craigdarroch Castle, you get the whole castle, surrounded by lavish Victorian era furnishings and exquisite stained glass. An ideal location to host an elegant cocktail reception or wedding. 250-592-5323 ext.22 | UP TO 150 GUESTS

48 • The Wedding Ring Magazine VANCOUVER ISLAND |

We’ve got magical ceremony, dinner and reception settings for every picture-perfect moment on your wedding day. Steal a kiss under hand-blown glass pendant lighting. Sit down to West Coast cuisine at an exquisitely appointed table. Then waltz across the floor of the grand ballroom. The Vancouver Island Conference Centres’ professional planners can make it work on any budget. 250-244-4050 | UP TO 1200 GUESTS | FULL BAR SERVICE | EXCLUSIVE ON-SITE CATERING



PHOTO: DEanNa McCollum Photography

IN SOOKE Award-winning Sooke Harbour House is known as one of Canada’s most spectacular wedding venues. Offering 28 luxury guest rooms and some of West Coast’s finest cuisine, let the water be your “something blue” at your oceanside wedding. Read review at www.theweddingring. ca/vancouver-island-weddings 1-800-889-9688 | FULL BAR SERVICE | ON-SITE CATERING

MERRIDALE ESTATE CIDERY IN COBBLE HILL The natural ambiance of Merridale Estate Cidery creates a unique venue to say “I do”. The quiet rural setting of the orchard and fields, alongside the water’s edge of our pond is perfect for those couples looking for a unique Vancouver Island wedding venue. Unique features include a luxurious honeymoon retreat for the bridal couple, a Cider House reception overlooking the orchard and spa facilities. Read review at 1-800-998-9908 | UP TO 130 GUESTS | FULL BAR SERVICE | ON-SITE CATERING



The largest full facility hotel in Port Alberni.  Offering 4500 sq ft of contemporary banquet space making a perfect setting for the most intimate gathering or a notable wedding up to 160 guests. Our first rate catering services will delight your taste buds, from appetizer, to the dessert table. Choose from one of our many offered menus. 1-250-724-7171| UP TO 160 GUESTS | PERSONALIZED MENUS AVAILABLE

When you choose the West Shore Ballroom, the largest ballroom in the city with natural light, for your wedding, you are engaging the services of professionals dedicated to creating incredible memories. Weddings are a delightful time with family and friends, yet one of the most important day of a couple’s life. Our Wedding & Event staff will meticulously consider every detail to ensure success of your event, allowing you the freedom to relax and enjoy your guests. We would be pleased to custom design a distinctive menu and environment to complement your personal taste, style and vision. 250-474-6063 | UP TO 350 GUESTS | FULL BAR SERVICE | ON-SITE CATERING



Forget the ballroom bore, and opt for the boutique experience. Celebrate with family and friends at the O Bistro and Lounge in a chic cosmopolitan setting. 1-250-294-7511| FULL-BAR SERVICE | ON-SITE CATERING | WEDDINGS FROM 4 to 90 GUESTS

Windswept Tofino beaches, bleached driftwood, Vancouver Island old-growth forests, and the Pacific Ocean are only a few of the natural elements that combine to make weddings at the Wickaninnish Inn truly unique. Our professional social catering team will create a wedding experience so personal that you and your guests will remember it for a lifetime. Entertaining your wedding guests is our THE OSWEGO HOTEL specialty. Celebrate with them in signature Tofino style! IN VICTORIA Read review at 1-250-725-3100| 1-800-333-4604 | 150 GUESTS OUTDOORS | 50 GUESTS INDOORS GET LOCAL. PLAN FABULOUS! • 49

The Wedding Ring Magazine VANCOUVER ISLAND - Fall/Winter 2012  

The Vancouver Island Fall Winter 2012 issue of The Wedding Ring Magazine - design palettes, local experts, local island fashion, budget and...

The Wedding Ring Magazine VANCOUVER ISLAND - Fall/Winter 2012  

The Vancouver Island Fall Winter 2012 issue of The Wedding Ring Magazine - design palettes, local experts, local island fashion, budget and...