The ultimate guide to Sea to Sky weddings
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An elegant, mountaintop wedding 6 Ringing in the New Year with a new ring 12 A destination wedding that’s all up hill 20 An organic Pemberton farm wedding 26 features:
Sustainable weddings: green is the new black 12 Wild weddings 16 Amp up your celebration with a shot (or pint) of local 24 directory:
Business directory 30
COVER PHOTO BY
Luke & Emily Robbins
(Read about this beautiful wedding on page 20)
Sarah Strother editor Alyssa Noel Louise O’Brien wplp production manager Karl Partington contributors Megan Lalonde, Dan Falloon, Brigitte Mah, Keili Bartlett sales manager Susan Hutchinson executives Amy Allen, Anthony Joyce, Cathie Greenlees, Sean Mulholland, Tessa Sweeney publisher
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An elegant mountaintop wedding A Seattle couple traveled to Whistler and took to the sky with their guests in tow
by: ALYSSA NOEL
hen Georgina and Henry Frantz’s wedding day rolled around, they still weren’t exactly sure where there ceremony would take place. They knew it would be near Whistler and involve transporting their guests up a mountain by helicopter, but the rest was up to Mother Nature… and Blackcomb 6 WISHES WEDDING MAGAZINE 2020
Helicopters. “The helicopter company made the final call based off of weather,” Georgina said. “It was a beautiful, sunny day, but it had sprinkled a little bit the night prior. Because of the clouds, they weren’t sure how high up the mountain they would go.” The couple and their guests ended up in the stunning alpine on Rainbow Mountain—along with a violin duo and some champagne. Early in their planning, the couple
considered only including their families in the unique experience, but once they realized their intimate guest list made it possible, they decided to invite everyone to take to the sky with them. With a large contingent travelling from the U.K. where Georgina is originally from, the flight was an extra special way for the Seattle-based couple to show off a piece of the Pacific Northwest. “It was a surprise for most of them,” Georgina added. “I think everyone was
really excited and thrilled. It was a really cool opportunity to thank everyone for their support of our relationship.” Shortly after, guests were whisked back down to the Fairmont Chateau Whistler for the reception. The couple had gotten engaged on a ski vacation in Whistler and knew early on the hotel rooftop was their dream venue. “The Fairmont is so beautiful and iconic,” Georgina said. “That was a no brainer. As soon as we saw the terrace,
we knew.” From there, their vision for the décor unfolded easily. “We wanted just natural greenery,” Georgina said. “Whistler is so beautiful, we didn’t want to compete by bringing in too many bold colours.” For another special, unique touch, the couple opted for a jazz trio during the cocktail reception and, later, a full band for the party. “There was a lot of music involved, from the violin duo on the mountaintop then cocktails with the jazz
trio. My husband plays the saxophone, and we love jazz music. They did a great combination of modern and R&B songs, which was really fun. It appealed to all ages.” With natural greenery, white roses, and gold accents, the space was clean, simple, and exceedingly elegant. While Georgina is now a corporate events manager, her background is in wedding planning, which gave her insight into planning her own big day.
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To that end, hiring a Whistler-based wedding planner—in this case, Rachael Lythe from Sea to Sky Celebrations— was a must. “It saves you so much time and stress,” she added. “They organized everything. That was the only point of stress for me—because I used to plan weddings in our area, I had an idea of what vendors I’d like to use for our wedding. Then of course I picked a destination wedding.” While she said their wedding might sound extravagant, her biggest piece of advice for couples dreaming big for their big day is to stay within your budget. “It’s so easy to go overboard with everything,” she said. “While everyone said, ‘It’s going to be the best day of your life,’ I assure you, there are going to be so many beautiful, wonderful days of your life. You don’t need to go overboard with just one.”
photography: Logan Swayze I am a professional wedding and portrait photographer living in the amazing mountain town of Whistler B.C. I truly love spending time with people and draw inspiration from their connection to one another within the beauty that surrounds them. Everyone has a unique story and my desire is to tell that story through honest and creative imagery. I feel lucky every day to be able to do what I am passionate about for a living and am honoured to be the one trusted to capture people’s memories that will last a lifetime. loganswayze . com
vendors: Venue: Rainbow Mountain, Fairmont Chateau Whistler Transport: Blackcomb Helicopter Wedding planner: Rachael Lythe, Sea to Sky Celebrations
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Sustainable weddings: green is the new black HOW LOCAL WEDDING PLANNERS AND VENUES ARE HELPING COUPLES HOST ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY CELEBRATIONS
by: BRIGITTE MAH
hen most couples envision their wedding day, it generally includes being surrounded by those they love most. A couple’s big day is about the celebration of their love, but venues and wedding planners are also encouraging couples to consider another love: the love for our planet. Through sustainable practices, wedding businesses are encouraging couples to think green, and not just in the colour of their linens or dresses. It’s the unspoken horror of a wedding: the piles of garbage bags, decorations, unopened favours, half-eaten plates of food and wilting flowers that are left behind after the festivities are over. An average wedding of 100 guests produces roughly 400 to 600 pounds of garbage, and more often than not, couples don’t see any of it because the venue or wedding planner takes care of it all. But wedding planners and venues in the Sea to Sky corridor are working hard to change that. Linda Marshall, the owner of Whistler Wedding Planners and Events, has seen her fair share of garbage in the over 1,100 weddings she has planned over three decades. It’s almost impossible to add up the number of bags of garbage she has taken out over the years, so right at her first consultation with a couple, she tries 10 WISHES WEDDING MAGAZINE 2020
to encourage choices that will reduce the waste left behind. One of the most common items left on tables are pillar candles. “A pillar candle burns for five to eight hours during a wedding, and then there’s still five to eight inches of it left over,” she said. And although couples always have the grand idea that guests will take the décor home with them, the reality is that many don’t. “No one wants half a candle,” she says, adding that because weddings in Whistler, Squamish and Pemberton are often destination weddings, guests have to consider what they’ll be able to fit in their suitcases to take home. And half a pillar candle never makes the cut. So Marshall has electric candles that she rents out to guests, but if the couple insists on using pillar candles, she and her sister turn them into Christmas presents by burning them and reusing the wax and the wick. Dozens of vases are also left behind, along with all the flowers, so Marshall encourages couples to reuse the décor from the celebration site for their dinner, and then at 11:30 p.m. she returns, turns the flowers into mini bouquets by wrapping them in ribbon and wire, and hands them out to the guests as they depart. She also shares them with the staff, nearby senior centres, and hospitals. Marshall is not alone in this campaign. Two venues in Squamish are working hard to spread the green
wedding message. The Cheakamus Centre on Paradise Valley Road is an outdoor education facility on 165 hectares of ecological reserve. Surrounded by 1,000-yearold cedar trees, salmon streams, a working hobby farm, and a Coast Salish longhouse, the location is almost as green as you can get. The main building is LEED Platinum certified, and the entire centre works toward a zero waste practice by using compostable products, feeding leftover food to the farm’s pigs and chickens, growing herbs and tapping on site maple trees for the kitchen, and using digital communication instead of paper—just to name a few. “Just by booking here, you’re doing something [to be environmental],” says Sepideh Tazzman, the centre’s communication and marketing manager, adding that the centre encourages couples to be sustainable by suggesting practices like finding fallen wood for the décor, doing digital invitations, using eco-friendly paint, and giving out sustainable wedding favours. Tucked on the banks of the confluence of the Cheekeye and Cheakamus Rivers, five-acre Sunwolf has also taken up the charge to protect the planet by implementing sustainable practices like banning single-use plastics and offering certified compostable dishware, donating leftover flowers to the Squamish Senior Citizens Home Society, and providing couples with a list of areas
in their wedding that they can reduce their impact, from wedding dresses and makeup to favours and decorations. “The biggest barrier most people face [to being sustainable] is inconvenience, so the most popular choices are also the easiest, like the compostable dishware … reusing floral arrangements, and making use of the water station instead
of buying flats of plastic water bottles,” says Jess Freese, who owns Sunwolf with her husband Jake Freese. At the end of the day, weddings are about celebrating love, and what stronger love is there than the one for our planet? While going green can seem daunting, many of the sustainable actions lead to lower costs, and are easy to implement.
The best part is the environmental practices that couples learn and spread to their guests. “Maybe we get one person who thinks, ‘That’s such an easy thing; I could incorporate that into my daily life,” said Tazzman. And that makes all the difference to the world.
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Ringing in the New Year with a new ring A NYE wedding brings nature to the forefront at a snow-covered Cheakamus Centre
by: MEGAN LALONDE
nce the exciting afterglow of an engagement begins to settle, there are a lot of decisions couples need to make. For Elyse and Mike Leahy, the easiest one by far was deciding on a date.
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Dec. 31 “was always a special day for us because we met on New Year’s,” Elyse explained. So, nine years to the day since the pair met while celebrating at a downtown Vancouver restaurant, and just over one year to the day that Mike proposed during a trip to New York City—“I think the plan was to propose on New Year’s, but we got down to New York and I guess he was too
excited so he did it a couple days before,” said Elyse—the two were married. Another easy decision was the venue. Knowing the big day would be taking place during the winter, the North Shore-based couple began searching for spaces outside of Vancouver. “We thought it would be amazing to have snow, and we thought there would be a better chance of that happening in the Sea to Sky than here in the city,”
Elyse explained. After stumbling across Squamish’s Cheakamus Centre online, it wasn’t until the couple arrived at the venue for a site tour that they were struck by its natural beauty—and by the realization that Mike had visited the venue years before, as an elementary school student attending the Cheakamus Centre’s outdoor education camp. “We’re both from pretty active families that ski a lot, so growing up travelling the Sea to Sky corridor was a regular occurrence. It was pretty familiar to us both and obviously beautiful,” Mike said. Added Elyse, “When we started walking down the path, I think we both got goose bumps … Even in the winter, the forest is still beautiful and green. It’s such a natural, beautiful setting that we both instantly were like, ‘Yep, this is the place.’” The venue’s setting was showcased at its best on the couple’s wedding day, with a fresh blanket of snow—something that isn’t always guaranteed in Squamish’s coastal
climate—under clear, sunny skies. The picture-perfect weather even prompted the pair and their wedding planner to abandon their already set-up, covered ceremony location at the last minute, in favour of another open-air, snow-covered ceremony site across the venue, where Elyse and Mike said their vows surrounded by tall evergreens and mountain views. Though the sunshine did little to weaken December’s chilly temperatures, hand warmers, blankets and a spiked apple cider bar helped keep the couple’s nearly 100 guests warm during the ceremony. A bagpiper accompanied the couple down the aisle, paying tribute to both Elyse’s and Mike’s Scottish roots. Nature also had a front row seat to what both the bride and groom described as their fondest memory from a day full of highlights: their first look. “It was amazing and you’re overwhelmed with emotion, and I remember just hugging him … and an
eagle just happened to fly out of the tree in behind us,” Elyse said. “That’s just burned into my mind as the most incredible moment I’ve probably ever experienced.” Mike agreed: “It was magical.” Despite the glitz and glamour typically associated with New Year’s events, Elyse and Mike stayed true to themselves and their chosen venue by keeping the overall vibe of their special day in line with its natural surroundings, even when it came time to party. “We’re both pretty casual … I wasn’t going to wear a super-sparkly dress; he wasn’t going to wear a sparkly tuxedo or anything like that,” Elyse said with a laugh. “We didn’t make it black-tie … but there were certain aspects about New Year’s we knew we wanted to have.” That included NYE traditions like a midnight countdown and champagne toast, a champagne tower and “Happy New Year’s” hats for their guests. “It was a regular wedding, but the New Year’s thing was just a special [addition] at
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photography: Darby Magill Instead of saying “cheese” I like to say “pickles.” It can cause people to giggle and photographing that real richness of emotion is how I became a wedding and family photographer. I’ve been living in the mountains for over a decade but grew up in Ontario so I have a love and appreciation for both big blue skies and foggy peaks. Documenting the natural connection between loved ones is where my eye gravitates to most. darbymagill . com
vendors: Venue & Catering: The Cheakamus Centre Flowers: A Fox in the Flowers Wedding planner: Smitten Events Hair and makeup: Natacha Trottier DJ: Amiee Hawker
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the end of the evening,” said Mike. To that end, the Leahys kept décor “super simple,” opting for neutralcoloured flowers and elegant white tablecloths adorned with natural greenery, complimented by a collection of modern materials like wood, glass, gold and copper. Though some items were sourced online while others were bought secondhand from Facebook wedding groups or handmade—for example, a seating chart and table numbers crafted from wood and copper piping by the
bride’s father—it all came together as a cohesive representation of the couple and the space where they chose to make their biggest commitment yet. “We wanted to capture that natural beauty of the area and the venue and the outdoors that we really value,” Elyse said.
At press time, the Cheakamus Centre was not taking bookings for weddings due to “unforeseen circumstances” with building repairs. Check cheakamuscentre.ca for updates.
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Wild weddings HOW TO INCORPORATE PETS AND ANIMALS INTO YOUR SPECIAL DAY
by: MEGAN LALONDE
hen most couples envision their wedding day, it generally includes being surrounded by those they love most. These days—particularly in the petfriendly paradise that is the Sea to Sky corridor—pets often top that list. Thankfully, weddings no longer have to be an animal-free zone. There’s a limitless number of ways to integrate your beloved fur-babies into your wedding day, no matter their size. For one of Caroline Hyatt’s brides, that meant carrying her gerbils down the aisle, in floral-adorned plastic hamster balls, in place of a bouquet. “That was one of the more bizarre [ideas],” Hyatt said with a laugh. While that bride ultimately decided to abandon the plan—the wedding was set to take place on a summer day, after all— as Hyatt, a wedding planner and owner of Squamish-based Love and Confetti, explained, it’s not uncommon to see animals accompanying their humans down the aisle. Since pets can make great ring bearers or flower girls (Hyatt even recalls reading about a wedding that went viral when bridesmaids walked down the aisle holding puppies that were available for adoption at a local shelter instead of bouquets), there are myriad ways pet parents can help make their animals look their best for their moment in the spotlight. 16 WISHES WEDDING MAGAZINE 2020
“You can ride in on your horse with a wreath over his or her neck, or if you’re bringing your dog down the aisle, dress up the leash with greenery so it doesn’t look like a leash,” Hyatt mused. But before planning your wedding around your pets’ participation, Hyatt advises couples to double-check with their chosen venues. “If it’s an outdoor ceremony and reception, you’re pretty good, but if, let’s say, it rains that day and you need to move things inside, because of food safe (regulations) you really need to worry,” she said. She also recommends that pet parents keep “their audience,” or guest-list, in mind: “If you have some people that are severely allergic to dogs or cats or whatever animal you have, it kind of wouldn’t be fair to your guests to bring that animal in.” One option to look into—especially if your animals tend to wear shoes and saddles—is a pet-friendly, farm-style venue, for example, Cheekye Ranch, just north of Brackendale. The 24-hectare ranch is home to about 60 horses, upwards of 45 of which were rescued and rehabilitated through Second Chance and Cheekye Ranch, a charitable organization based on the property. The venue also offers yurts where wedding parties, guests and their four-legged family members can stay. “Last year we did have a wedding where we had the bride and groom [did] their first look photos on horseback,” said Miranda Capelle, event manager and wedding coordinator at Cheekye Ranch. “The other thing was the bride was led down to the
aisle on horseback. That’s another option we offer in our package, as well.” Because the venue is geared towards destination-style events, couples can opt for adventure packages that include trail rides for wedding guests. Meanwhile, the yurts work well as a calming space for dogs to rest up in the event that they’re not up for partying after all the excitement of the ceremony. Cheekye even offers two yurts set up for “bed and bale”—meaning horse owners who would prefer to ride their own horses on their wedding day can sleep just a few feet away from their animals, Capelle explained. “They’re family. Being able to have your whole family there can be really special and meaningful to people, so having the freedom to have their horse or their dog as part of their ceremony is a really important ...The fact we can offer that; it feels nice to be very inclusive.” Coupled with the rescue-side of the ranch, “The whole property has a bit of that serene, haven, peaceful feel that animals bring … it adds to the venue,” Capelle added. That said, Hyatt recommends thinking carefully about whether your pet can handle the hustle and bustle of even a calm wedding. “If you’re going to have your dog stand at the front of the aisle … you’re going to want to make sure that they’re not going to go crazy, that they’re going to be calm and not chase after a squirrel or something,” she said with a laugh. So what if your beloved pet’s personality isn’t exactly well-suited for all the excitement of a big event, or your beloved venue isn’t suitable for four-legged guests?
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There are still many ways to make sure your pet is part of your special day. One option could see your pet-sitter stop by with your animal during formal photos. That way, you can capture memories with them on your wedding day without subjecting your pet to overstimulation, courtesy of a string quartet and a 200-person guest list. Hyatt also suggests, in lieu of favours, making a small donation to the animal organization of your choice in honour of each guest, and adorning each place setting with a picture of your pet. “That’s a fun idea if you’re looking to give back, without being wasteful,” Hyatt said. Couples can also work with cake designers to incorporate their animals into the cake toppers or design, or include photos of your pet in wedding stationary like save-the-dates or invites. But arguably the most important tip when you want to include your pet in your special day? Have a (willing) designated friend or family member responsible for making sure your pet’s needs are met.
“You want to enjoy your animal but you don’t want to be taking care of them (all night), so I would definitely get someone
you trust … that the animal knows and trusts as well,” to keep an eye on your pet, Hyatt added.
There are plenty of ways to dress up your pup on your wedding day.
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WISHES WEDDING MAGAZINE 2020 19
A destination wedding that’s all up hill Whistler Mountain has seen plenty of ceremonies—but one couple decided to stay on top of the world for their reception too
by: ALYSSA NOEL
hen Luke and Emily Robbins told their wedding guests where they were getting married, it’s safe to say a few were skeptical about their choice. After all, it involved travelling from the U.S. to Canada, getting in a gondola and 20 WISHES WEDDING MAGAZINE 2020
heading up a mountain, which many of their friends and family had never done before. “Some were big into the outdoors and hiking,” Luke explained. “Meanwhile, others couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to do that. For some people, the gondola ride was looming in the background.” In the end, the couple, now based in Brooklyn, NY, decided to stay true to their vision. After all, the mountains had played a
huge role in their lives, serving as a backdrop to their first date and the site of their proposal. “I grew up going to Whistler,” Emily added. “I knew I really wanted to get married in the mountains. Luke and I both love hiking.” Just as they had hoped, their guests instantly changed their minds the moment they set foot on the gondola up Whistler
photography: Logan Swayze I am a professional wedding and portrait photographer living in the amazing mountain town of Whistler B.C. I truly love spending time with people and draw inspiration from their connection to one another within the beauty that surrounds them. Everyone has a unique story and my desire is to tell that story through honest and creative imagery. I feel lucky everyday to be able to do what I am passionate about for a living and am honoured to be the one trusted to capture people’s memories that will last a lifetime.
Mountain. “Once they were in the gondola, they understood why we did it,” Emily said. While their May date meant the village was quiet during shoulder season, it also meant ski season was yet to wrap up—and the site of their ceremony was still covered in snow. For their first look, the couple hiked up about 400 metres above the Roundhouse— which offered a memorable experience. “I was literally walking by skiers in my wedding dress,” Emily said with a laugh. “It was such an incredible spot. We both wrote letters to each other before turning around and seeing each other.” Afterwards, guests gathered for the
ceremony overlooking the snow-capped Coast Mountains and the two were wed beneath a chuppah covered in greenery and florals from Billies Flower House. (Luckily, their rabbi wasn’t hurt when, before the ceremony, it blew over from an unexpected gust of alpine wind.) Despite the sunny spring weather in the valley, “we told every guest to wear a coat and we still brought blankets,” which was the right move, Emily said. Guests then moved into the Roundhouse where their wedding planner was key to quickly turn the space from a ski lodge into an elegant reception, complete with string lights overhead, and pink and white décor. “Hailey Ostridge did an absolutely
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vendors: Planner: Haley Ostridge, Weddings by Bluebird Flowers: Billies Flower House Desserts: Purebread Cake: Anna Densmore, The Cake Kitchen Whistler Makeup: Kerry Waring Lighting: Rob Megeney
WISHES WEDDING MAGAZINE 2020 21
incredible job,” Emily said. “It was open to skiers that day and she did a fantastic job getting everything done … I couldn’t believe it when I walked in and saw what Hailey and the florist had done. We couldn’t do anything up there [planning long distance]. I didn’t know any vendors. It was wonderful having a planner because she was able to coordinate with the vendors and tell us who to talk to.” In the end, one of the highlights of the day was the very thing that had been a source of stress. “The gondola ride down in the dark, for Emily and me, was a highlight of the night,” Luke said. For Emily, all the planning and travel was “100 per cent” worth it. “I think it was the exact wedding I’ve been planning and hoping for since I was a little girl,” she said. “I loved every minute. To me, it was worth everything involved in planning a destination wedding, dealing with all the problems that came up with planning a wedding in a different country, and getting everyone up the mountain. It was all worth it.” 22 WISHES WEDDING MAGAZINE 2020
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Amp up your celebration with a shot (or pint) of local SEA TO SKY DISTILLERIES AND BREWERIES OFFER A UNIQUE SPIN ON WHAT’S BEHIND THE BAR
by: DAN FALLOON
hen you’re planning your perfect wedding day, you’re likely ensuring every detail has a personal touch. But there’s one aspect of the big day that often goes overlooked when it comes to adding a unique flair: the bar. If your M.O. is consuming locally, Sea to Sky brewers and distillers are more than happy to help. In Squamish, Kelly Ann Woods of Gillespie’s Fine Spirits in addition to filling your order with the spirits you’re looking for they’ll look to tick another item or two off your long list if you opt for a signature cocktail. In that department, Woods has been particularly proud of the caliente Moscow mule, which is pepped up with Gillespie’s chili lime shrub. “The cocktail can be given to people in their mug and that becomes part of the party favour for the event,” she said, noting that the distillery can order custom mugs if given enough lead time. “The great thing about the Moscow mule, too, is you can make a nonalcoholic version.” Another recommendation is a French 75, a gin-based champagne cocktail (or its rosy cousin, which can be made with raspberry gin). Woods also notes that Gillespie’s can 24 WISHES WEDDING MAGAZINE 2020
make a batch of cocktails in advance if needed. Another option a couple can select, she notes, is a Caesar bar. Some couples also opt for a his-and-hers cocktail set. Regardless of what a couple envisions, Woods said Gillespie’s will take a couple’s guest list, budget, and theme into consideration when planning out a curated experience to make sure everything is perfect. Woods noted that Gillespie’s has primarily served weddings in Squamish, though couples with weddings in Whistler and Vancouver have also utilized their services. Further north, Tyler Schramm of the Pemberton Distillery said he’s received a few requests to supply weddings in and around Pemberton over the years. Sometimes, it’s to stock the bar, but on occasion, the bride and groom are looking for small gifts, or have even just come in out of curiosity. “They’ve come to Pemberton, and it’s their first time, and it’s something for them to see and do while they’re in Pemberton,” he said. While it’s not a standard offering, Schramm sets up a tasting bar on a couple of occasions for close friends and, to his surprise, has been asked to host weddings at the distillery, despite it being located in the local industrial park. “It’s not really practical inside the facility because of the equipment and licensing, but
we have created an event space out of the back of the distillery which so far, we’ve only used for a couple of mountain-bike events, but the plan is at some point, when that’s totally dialled in—hopefully next summer—we can offer it as a venue option to people,” he said. Schramm noted that some couples are previous customers and know exactly what they want, while others are looking for a cross-section of local gin, whisky, vodka, schnapps and absinthe. “We definitely get some people who are planning their wedding a year out,” he said. “Pemberton’s not home for them, and they’ll come by the distillery. “They’ll taste the spirits to see what we have to offer and we’ll definitely help them a bit in that process.” On the beer side, Kevin Winter of Coast Mountain Brewing strives to be as helpful as possible in navigating a couple through their myriad of flavours in their Whistler taphouse. “We walk them through all the beers and describe each one, attributes of each one and give them tastes of the ones that they’re after,” he said. “They can make their selection there at the time of. They can take a few samples home if they want and get back to us from there.” Winter said the brewery has occasionally done a full bar setup on request when the couple has wanted Coast Mountain to be on site. For the most part, it looks like a
Add some local flair to your big day with drinks from Sea to Sky distilleries and breweries. LEFT: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM, RIGHT: COAST MOUNTAIN BREWING (instagram)
beer festival display, though Winter said he removes the brewery’s branding in order to ensure that the day remains about the couple. “We have the availability of up to four beers on the system that we have, but more often than not, with larger events, we’ll probably just pour two beers. It just keeps it easier,” he said. Winter encourages couples looking for kegs to call ahead to ensure availability. Back in Pemberton, Will Miller of The Beer Farmers has had some good fortune on the wedding front by virtue of being on the
land his family has farmed for decades. Being in the heart of Pemberton Meadows, with several venues in the area, it’s a simple choice for those looking to offer a local beer at their wedding. “People think it would be cool to get something from just down the road,” he said. “It’s partially a convenience factor. If something goes wrong with the system, we’ll go out and do a service call, or if they run out, we’re just two minutes down the road. We can top up.” The Beer Farmers have welcomed a
couple weddings on site since opening last year, offering as custom of a day as possible. Miller said, as of press time, they’re still figuring out what they can offer on that front in 2020. “We would rather do fewer and more custom events, and we find that works pretty well,” he said. “We’re just reassessing for the summer upcoming, getting our dates.” Other options in the Sea to Sky include: Whistler Brewing, Pemberton Brewing, Backcountry Brewing, A-Frame Brewing and Howe Sound Brewing.
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An organic Pemberton farm wedding Local couple heads back to where it all started for a relaxed weekend celebrating their love
by: KEILI BARTLETT
hen Valérie St-Arnaud and David Leveille went on their first date, the couple went to a beautiful property full of fields and 360-degree views in Pemberton. “We’d go for long bike rides and we usually go up the meadows. It’s just a property that always stood out,” St-Arnaud said. “It’s just gorgeous.” 26 WISHES WEDDING MAGAZINE 2020
That was seven years ago. While their relationship blossomed, so too did the property that in 2017, would open as Blue House Organics. When the friend who hosted their first date heard the couple was engaged, she asked if they’d like to get married on the certified organic farm. It was a natural fit. “It was an easy choice for us. We could have the property for a whole week and our family was actually able to stay on the property, which gave us that freedom
to take our time as we went and planned through it,” St-Arnaud said. “Dave’s a big romantic, so I knew he would get all the feels out. It was an awesome process.” With the secluded 20 acres to themselves, the families and friends had the space to roam the organic fields. Some of their family hadn’t yet made it out to Pemberton, where the couple calls home, and the extended celebrations gave them the opportunity to explore. One friend
even hosted a morning yoga class. Both Valérie and David are originally from Montreal, so the seclusion was welcome. “We knew we were going to be loud— we’re both French and we’ve got a pretty rowdy crew!” she said. A wedding videographer herself—StArnaud launched her company Calling Mountains Productions three years ago— when it came time to plan her own said
she knew from experience how important it is to delegate. Having worked with many of the other Sea to Sky wedding vendors already, St-Arnaud said, “Each one of them were so great and made my day in their own way. We have such an amazing team of vendors here in the Sea to Sky. I would say for anybody getting married, stay local.” She left the florals up to the talented
604-986-5200 220 Esplanade W North Vancouver, BC firstname.lastname@example.org
green thumbs of Sophie (of Ninebark Floral Design), with one request: her favourite colour, yellow, be included. At the wedding, flowers seemed in bloom everywhere, woven in hair, tied in bouquets and overhead in generous arches above where they said their vows, and where they shared their first meal as a married couple. Yellow, of course, shone bright. “It honestly took my breath away,” St-Arnaud said. The excellence of the food, of course, could not be overstated. While the
photography: Pascale Gadbois I am a lover of life but more importantly a lover of love. I believe that life flies by and that my superpower is my ability to freeze a moment in time forever. I am a mother, a life partner, a daughter, a sister, a good but clumsy mountain biker, a hugger, a dog whisperer, an almond chai latte lover, a wine drinker, an ex-national team freestyle skier and an early morning riser (but only on Christmas morning and Opening Day on the mountain). gadboisphotography . ca
vendors: Officiant: Whistler Wedding Pastor Hair & Makeup: Colleen Conroy Makeup Venue: Blue House Organics Wedding day coordinator: Brilliant Events Videographer: Joey Gaskell Catering: Town Square Flowers: Ninebark Floral Design, Pemberton
28 WISHES WEDDING MAGAZINE 2020
wedding itself was catered by Pemberton’s Town Square Restaurant, for much of their stay, guests were fed from the (very) local produce. “Every night we would go and pick our own veggies and make our meals with them,” St-Arnaud recalled. Blue House Organics grows a variety, from broccoli to cabbage, beans, multiple kids of peas, garlic, cauliflower, and different types of tomatoes are included in their seasonal selections. Nature was all around to celebrate a couple who grew their relationship
outside—and on rock. The bride and groom started rock climbing together three years ago. StArnaud knew she wanted to honour its role in their relationship, and went to great lengths to incorporate it. “I would say that’s really what made our relationship stronger and that trust stronger as well,” she said. At the wedding, she unveiled a video for David featuring her and his friends developing a new climbing route for him. Naturally, it rocked the crowd, and swept David off his feet.
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30 WISHES WEDDING MAGAZINE 2020
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Intimate, exclusive, just for you When you say “I do” at The Brew Creek Centre, there’s no one else here on our secluded 20-acre property except your family and friends. The destination wedding of your dreams in a beautiful space designed for connection. We take care of the details – you make cherished memories of a lifetime.
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audainartmuseum.com audainartmuseum.com Envisionyour yourperfect perfect day at the Audain Art Museum, Envision day at the Audain Art Museum, locatedjust juststeps steps from centre of Whistler Village. located from thethe centre of Whistler Village. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org Contact email@example.com totoconnect with an an Event Specialist today. connect with Event Specialist today. Image by by CatCat andand Jeff Jeff of The Apartment Photography Image of The Apartment Photography
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