I have been planning weddings since 2011, got engaged at the end of 2013 and then finally started planning my own wedding in 2015 and planned the date for 2016. From the beginning of my wedding planning career to when I finally started planning my own, my vision changed soooo much! The colors, the theme, the patterns... everything. This isn't super shocking of course and trends and tastes change but planning and coordinating weddings for five years before certainly gave me the best insight to what I didn't want.
One thing that was important to me was to make sure this wedding really felt like mine and not like one that I had planned before. Step one was choosing a venue that I hadn't worked in before. The other two stipulations we wanted were an awesome view and a place that we could bring in our own alcohol. We knew we wanted to offer a hosted bar for our guests but we also had a budget that we wanted to stick to. Honestly, I didn't have high hopes that we would go three for three on that checklist but then one day I was scrolling through Instagram and saw one of the accounts I follow post a photo and had the location tagged. I had never heard of the venue before so I started a search and wow.... it was like angels were singing! I was pretty sure it was perfect but I just needed to take Jason and go look. So what is this venue you ask? Well, it's The View On Lonsdale in North Vancouver. It's actually the top floor of the school board building and has AMAZING views of downtown Vancouver, the Lions Gate bridge and the ocean beyond. We also were able to bring in our own alcohol so check, check and check! Jason liked it as well and it was available in the time frame we were looking for.
I talked a bit about planning in previous posts (but if you want more information or have any questions about my wedding don't hesitate to leave a comment or send an email) so for this post I'm going to try and talk mainly about the actual day. The Saturday before our wedding POURED rain and the following few days weren't much better. We were hoping for an outdoor ceremony on the patio but could move it inside if necessary. The venue was available to us the afternoon before and our decorator, Valley Weddings, came in and did their set up and we brought the personal decor we had as well like the place cards, favors, and cake as well as the alcohol and mix. I also did "goody bags" to give to all my guests as they left so my bridesmaids, mom and I put those together. There were quite a few guests who I knew were staying in hotels in the area or driving an hour or so home so I wanted to provide them all with some snacks for the late night. Each bag had some bottled water (or juice boxes for the guests with kids) some cookies, a bag of chips and some candy. I anticipated most people taking full advantage of the open bar and figured some food and water would come in handy! But back to my decorators... Shyla and her mom Eunice, run Valley Weddings in Abbotsford and I have worked with them multiple times with other clients. I can be slightly picky and they listened to everything I wanted and boy did they deliver. One thing I always knew is that I didn't want white table linens. My colors for the wedding were navy, gold and blush pink with a bit of cream. We went with navy table linens, gold chargers and cream napkins and because we chose to do long family style tables they provided cylinder vases for all of the pillar candles I had purchased and ran them down the middle of the tables. The next day, our florist, Budget Blooms, filled in spots with peonies in bud vases. Jane also provided our gorgeous bouquets and two stunning arrangements that we used for our ceremony and then moved inside.
The day of the wedding, the sun was shining and it was gorgeous outside. Myst Makeup came to the location where we were getting ready and did makeup for myself and the bridesmaids and my cousin did our hair. Paul Behm, our photographer, arrived and started with the detail shots of the dress and rings and of me getting ready. I also made sure to have one of our invitations, done by Cornwall Stationery, so that we could include those in the detail photos as well. I loved what Hesha created so much so I definitely wanted them to be a part of our professional photos. On top of our invitations, she also made our seating chart, place cards, table numbers and other signage.
Meanwhile, at the venue, my day of coordinator, Alicia McDonald, was taking care of the final details there. BU Letters delivered and set up the marquee letters and Vancouver Chiavari Chairs brought the chairs which we used for the ceremony and then moved inside to the dinner tables. We had picked up the cake from Hello, Sunshine Cake Studio the day before so it was put out and the bar set up.
The bridesmaids and I arrived at the venue followed by Jason and the groomsmen to start our first look and wedding party photos. Our ceremony was at 4:00 and I wanted to go directly into cocktail hour and then dinner without a long gap so we did the majority of our photos before guests arrived. We also had hired Capture Productions to do videography so they were there as well. We finished with plenty of time so I got to go upstairs and check everything out in advance. It was so great to see the finished set up before anything was out of place and it gave Paul and Capture Productions the ability to get photos and video. I spent a lot of time planning and I wanted evidence of all of it!
The ceremony started right on time (I wouldn't have it any other way!) and once it was finished we took a few minutes to ourselves and then came back into the cocktail hour and took family photos. It was also important to me that I get at least one photo together with each guest or family group and we used this time to get a lot of that completed.
Johnny, from Man About Town Entertainment, was our DJ for the night and he played for the ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner and reception. We were introduced into the reception to the Michael Buble version of 'Me and Mrs. Jones'... a nod to our last name... but we just played a portion of it since the song itself is about an affair! For first dances, etc. make sure you pay attention to the lyrics! Some songs sound romantic or about true love because of the name but that's not always so.
Dinner began and it was catered by Forage, who are the exclusive caterer to the venue. I did write a post about our menu tasting experience and now I can confirm that the product the night of the wedding was just as amazing. I only heard good things and I loved that they use fresh and local products whenever possible.
Overall, the wedding day was everything I could have hoped for and I send our most heartfelt thank you's to each vendor that helped us and our friends and family for being there to celebrate!
Make sure to check out Paul Behm Photography for more photos!
Again, if you have any questions about any of the planning or vendors please send me a message!