The photos are finally in! Now I can share my travel themed wedding for foodies and all the Okanagan vendors who made it a reality. It was a long year of planning that went into this and a few DIY projects as well. My house is still a mess but I am relieved to be done sweating over details, logistics, seating arrangements and unanswered RSVPs.
To my amazement everyone told me how much of a calm bride I was throughout the process. The venue owners even suggested I become a wedding planner. Believe me when I say planning a wedding is something I only want to do once in my life. And to be honest it was something I barely wanted to do at all. When I first became engaged Hawaii was the first place that came to mind. When that was shot down I realized that it’s go big at home. If I couldn’t bring my guests abroad I would bring the world to them. Here’s how we did it.
It’s in the details…
Shauna Grobowski of Passionate Blooms Flower Design did an amazing job interpreting my flower wall request. She took the time to get to know me and added little details that she knew only we would notice. Knowing that I am a foodie who loves to travel she included fragrant basil and cascading twills of olive branches into the centrepieces of bouquets. I could write an entire blog post about her work. She does amazing work and was the only Kelowna florist who was willing to work in our smaller budget. Shauna much respect to you! The flower wall at the altar made my day. I couldn’t stop looking at it.
When it comes to weddings I kept it unconventional. I am not the slightest bit religious so we wanted to keep the ceremony fun rather than drawn out. We wrote our own personalized vows and thew in a bit of travel quotes including one from Bill Murray (I had to!). And capped off the ceremony with a toast and a swig of our favourite drinks. Budweiser for him and sparkling wine for me.
My maid of honour was my sister Taryn, pictured above in her ombré sorbet sunset dress. We loved our bouquets and even after the bouquet toss the flowers were handed back to me by my cousin who knew how special they were to my sister and I.
We knew we wanted a backyard feel for our wedding with the option for lawn games. I also knew I had to have Joy Road Catering for the food so we needed to pick a place that would allow us to bring in any catering company we wanted. When I stumbled upon the Lindon House, a 100 year old Edwardian home in the heart of downtown Kelowna it was love at first sight. Sadly, the front street was being ripped up so all our guests had to enter in the side entrance to the back garden. No biggie. As a bride you have to roll with the punches.
Lindon House offers the option for a Champagne arrival so all our guests wouldn’t mind with a glass of wine in their hand.
Another thing that makes the Lindon House the perfect choice for outdoor weddings are the unique spaces to tuck away for a conversation, relax and showcase dress details. Bride’s get full use of the interior and get to prepare for the day in the rooms upstairs tucked away from guests. It is a lovely area to spread out with your family and bridesmaids. We sipped wine, listened to tunes and relaxed as I got my makeup and hair done….
Well that’s what I did anyways. My sister on the other hand was frantic inside as she forgot the rings at her house. My mom forgot her dress and shoes at her house. The wine was flowing freely at 11 am with a 2 pm ceremony start. Despite the distractions we all were ready on time.
If you’re wondering how the hell to incorporate travel into your wedding without using clichéd maps or expensive globes you might want to take some notes. I didn’t want to go overboard on my wedding theme but rather keep it subtle where people got it without rolling their eyes. I’d like to think I achieved that with the comments I overheard.
We made our own directional sign which was a lot of fun to do. We took the cities that we have traveled to together and used it both on the sign and each city was also a table “theme” represented through the centrepiece knickknacks. I have to give up some appreciation to Taylor O’Hara of Defining Decor. His chairs, linens and chandeliers made the ceremony and reception even more picturesque.
The table seating “map” was another way we incorporated the travel theme. Laura Ayotte did an amazing job making this idea her own with the gorgeous design and map all matching my desire for watercolours to be used throughout.
The tables were the most difficult and time consuming because each one was to be different. For example, Venice needed rich gold colours with Venetian masks and crystal accents. Boston is more rough around the edges so it needed more earthy accents. I had an antique duck horn, a gold bell (just because I always think of bells ringing as Paul Revere shouted “The British are coming”) and a tree stump cake plate to establish height juxtaposition. This kind of creative process was done with all 9 tables. Each city was really up to interpretation. For San Francisco I had 3 poetry books from the Beatniks (Kerouac, Ginsberg mainly).
The cherry on top was the excellent watercolour illustrations by Paper Monkeys Wedding Stationery & Illustration. Katharine Swift, based in the UK, was an absolute pleasure to work with over the phone and e-mail. I knew as soon as I saw her work that it had to add the finishing touches to the table.
Finally, instead of a guest book we opted for a postcard table. The Lindon House has this excellent antique cast iron mailbox. We used that to our advantage and had guests fill out vintage postcards the same as they would a guestbook. Here’s a guest doing an excellent modelling job.
To me this was the most important part of the wedding. If the food sucks then I certainly don’t remember much of the wedding. That may or may not be because of wine consumption but that’s another story. As I have repeated numerous times since our engagement, I had to have Joy Road Catering for the wedding. There were no compromises on this and no one tried to talk me out of it. I wasn’t a crazed fiancé but if anyone tried to come between me and JRC they wouldn’t do it twice. Just look at this menu!
The funnest part about planning the wedding is the cake design and tasting. To me, it wasn’t something that should be pondered over for too long. We didn’t need a big cake because we had about 68 guests so we stuck with 2 tiers and added cupcakes for later. For our cake design we had the top of the cake look like a penned postcard with out looking cartoonish. The writing is the famed love letter that Johnny Cash wrote to June Carter Cash on her 67th birthday.
If you’re a foodie and want the hardwork you put into the menu captured be sure to relay that to the photographers more than once. I have told him but he seemed to forget. Aside from the 3 course appetizers and amazing customized menu we provided our guests with more than enough sweets to go around. Macarons from Sandrines, Donuts from the award winning Dolicious Donuts and cupcakes in 3 flavours by Kakes by Kathie.
All in all the day went perfectly. My advice to blogger brides or those who have a keen eye for detail? Make sure your photographer does too. Be VERY clear about what you want photographed and come up with a clear and detailed list from the food and guest sign in to the family shots you will go blank on when the day arrives.
A special thank you to Jade Mathiscyk, Jaxx Kienas, Amy Gleboff and Anthea Song for filling in some of the missing photos. You guys are truly awesome!
Floral Design: Passionate Blooms
Caterers: Joy Road Catering
Cake & Cupcakes: Kakes by Kathie
Wedding Dress: Elize Gown by Watters Wtoo
Venue: The Lindon House
Decor: Defining Decor
Seating Chart: Dandelion Willows
Table Signage: Paper Monkeys
DJ: Airwaves Music – DJ Les
Makeup: Saara MUA
Hair: Julia Moore of Mint Hair Studio
Wedding Favours: Dolicious Donuts & Sandrine Pastry & Chocolates
Photography: Tailored Fit Photography