THE STORIES BEHIND THE EVENTS (or random things we think are cool...)

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Monday, November 26, 2012

There Were Signs All Along

We did the coolest wedding back in September. Our groom had a vision to get married in a clearing in the woods; and, boy, we did it up in style! Female guests were encouraged to wear their flats for the picturesque walk in and out of the forest. We hung signs along the way: Each one said one thing going in to the woods and then, during the ceremony, we flipped them over to reveal a different message as guests made their way out to the reception.

Deborah Lau Yu from Palettera Custom Correspondences illustrated 3 different versions by hand and mounted them on board that my poor team had to tie around trees at just the right height. The small army of photographers on hand that day from 5ive15ifteen Photo Company snapped these photos; they make me smile, every time I look at them.

This one still cracks me up: You're Almost, Almost There. It was probably only a 5 minute walk in the woods in total, but I thought it might be a good idea to let guests know it wasn't much further!

At this point, guests exited the main path and began the final leg in. Once they turned left, this is what they saw:

Sixteen waiters lined the footpath with glasses of festive pink champagne. Guests were able to take these into the ceremony site, where they were continually topped up until the ceremony began. On the way out, these same waiters lined up with trays of delectable hors d'oeuvre. We may have been in a forest, but our revelers were made to feel they were at a five-star restaurant. Albeit a five-star restaurant with trees in it...

This was the payoff for all their efforts: the enchanted ceremony location. I'm sure I'll write another post about what went into creating this one day, but for now, sit back and enjoy the magical setting, courtesy of the fertile imagination of Event Designer Bill Fulghum.

After the ceremony was done, guests started the walk out. Join them now as we exit the forest together... These are the 'new' messages on the signs:

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Winter's Tale

Another oldie but goodie... this is the beautiful winter wedding we did in Lake Louise, Alberta, almost 2 years ago. I wrote about the skating party we threw on the frozen lake in a previous blog post, but realized I never posted photos of the actual dining room...

The dinner reception was held in the storied Victoria Room at the Chateau Lake Louise, complete with its oddly charming 'Ode to the Swiss Alps' decor. Yes, those are pastoral scenes with milk maids and men in lederhosen hand-painted on the ceiling arches... It's a big room, with fabulous, big stone fireplaces at either end.

As event planners, we are hardly ever allowed to used 'open flame' -- i.e.: candles whose flames are not contained within a glass container/votive. I couldn't believe it when the Chateau Lake Louise said we could use tapered candles --  that became the starting point for the whole design. My bride had a vision of silver candelabras running down the long tables and I must say, it was so cool to be able to do that. I don't think the rental company had ever rented (or had to assemble) so many of them at a small wedding before. There were three different sized candelabras on each of the four long tables, and boy, it took a long time to light all those candles.

I had the actual candles shipped from Toronto and was so worried about breakage that I ordered about 6 dozen extra; I could think of nothing worse than being trapped in a potential snowstorm on the top of a mountain  with no way to get more candles if needed. It turned out my worries were for naught: not even one candle arrived broken. I was so impressed!

Heather Simms from The Nosegay in Calgary did a lovely job with the all-white flower vision: each glass vase held a single kind of white flower: tulips, ranunculus, amarylis, anemones, hydrangea, roses and, honestly, it was so long ago now, I can't remember what else!! But, as you can see, there were a lot of them... Heather and her team were real troopers -- they drove up to us in a ferocious storm with all the precious cargo on a drive that should've taken 2.5 hours and instead took 5. Ahhh... the joys of destination AND winter weddings...

I love this photo... it shows a close up of the table setting AND the million-dollar view in the background.

This is a close up of the menu that carried on our winter-wedding-themed stationery, created by Julie and Christian of Pantry Press. Everything we did represented 'tracks' pressed into fresh snow: The invites themselves had ski and dog tracks (taken from a real photo my bride and groom took after they skied down a run, accompanied by their black lab, Fernie). The weekend activites card showed footprints going to and from snow angels and the travel detail insert showed skate tracks in the ice. So very, very Canadian of us!

These photos are kind of fun... showing the room once all the guests sat down for dinner. "Sat down" was a relative term, as there was a whole lot of shakin' going on that night.

Finally a couple of shots of my wonderful couple. Baby, it might have been cold outside, but inside it was cozy and warm and everyone felt the love radiating from them, all weekend long.

Thank you to our friend Michael Greenberg for coming along on our Rocky Mountain Adventure and preserving the memories so beautifully. It was magic, pure and simple, and you captured every moment of it.