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From the Bride…Our October wedding was a labour of love and a little girl’s dream come true. To say I had long been waiting for our special day to arrive would be an understatement. I have always had an interest in weddings; my first drawings (circa 1989) were of poufy-sleeved brides and I even became a WPIC-certified wedding co-ordinator in 2008 – mostly to help me plan my own future nuptials. When Derek proposed in Banff in May 2010, I was anxious to officially put my plans into action for our Calgary wedding.

Following the ceremony, we headed to Derek’s office to make use of its stunning fixtures and features, including the wooden spiral staircase and library with floor-to-ceiling leather-bound books. One of our favourite photos was taken on the rooftop patio, with the historic Fairmont Palliser Hotel in the background. “Home” served as a theme for our wedding, built on a foundation of family and our love for each other. It was important to us that our guests felt “at home” at our intimate reception of just under 100 of our closest family and friends. To foster that feeling, we selected Calgary’s historic Ranche Restaurant, built in 1896 as the Bow Valley Ranche House, to celebrate our love and commitment. The Ranche holds special meaning to us; Derek worked in the Ranche’s kitchen a few years after it opened in 1999, it was one of the first places he took me for dinner and where he eventually asked my parents for their blessing to marry me.

Our colours were black and off-white with touches of aubergine and grey, and the feel was clean, classic, rustic elegance…with a touch of vintage. To add to our homey theme (and as a cost-saving measure!) it was important to channel my inner Martha Stewart and DIY (or purchase DIY-inspired!) to personalize our wedding. My favourite design element was undoubtedly the mantle feature in the grand salon. While scouring blogs for design inspiration, I came across images from a wedding at The Ranche the previous summer that featured a stunning glassware display. I contacted the decorators who put me in touch with the bride. She sold us the lot for a fraction of the cost (and effort)! My mom helped us clean the glassware; some elbow grease (and a little Goo Gone!) and they were good as new! Inspired Occasions did a fabulous job arranging all our reception décor.

We opted to forego certain wedding staples – at least in the traditional sense of the word. While we had a cake, it was made of wheels of cheese and decorated with roses, figs and grapes. (Derek and I aren’t big dessert fans, but we Love our wine and cheese!) Also, instead of a bouquet toss, I asked my parents to drive my all-white bouquet to my paternal grandfather’s grave. (When asked whom I would like to meet, dead or alive, I’ve always said my grandpa Jerry, who passed away when my dad was 12. I thought that would be a nice way to honour him and include him in our big day.)

My something old, borrowed and blue held extra special significance to me that day. The Monday prior to our wedding, my maternal grandmother passed away. My something old and blue (the handkerchief she had given me in the hospital the day I was born, which I carried down the aisle) and borrowed (stunning 50+ year broach that adorned my bouquet) were from her. She may not have been with us that day in body, but we felt her spirit.

The cliché held true: our wedding took countless hours to plan; yet the day flew by in the blink of a false eyelash-enhanced eye. The planning process may be over, but our happily ever after has just begun. I am so proud to be Derek’s wife and look forward to all that tomorrow brings.

Bride’s Dress: Rivini from Dina Alonzi Bridal / Bride’s Shoes: Christian Louboutin / Bride’s Veil: Paloma Blanca / Bride’s Sweater: J.Crew / Bride’s Earrings: Nadri / Bride’s Bracelet: Swarovski / Wedding Bands: Birks / Groom’s Suit: Burberry / Groom’s Tie: Armani / Groom’s Shoes: ECCO / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale from Blush Bridal / Bridesmaids’ Sweaters: J.Crew / Groomsmen’s Suits: Groomsmen’s own / Groomsmen’s Ties: Hudson Room / Groomsmen’s Cufflinks: Banana Republic / Groomsmen’s socks: Daniel Buchler / Burlap Table Runner: Paula And Erika (Etsy vendor) / Window for seating chart: WindowsEtcetera (Etsy vendor) / Cheese “Cake”: The Ranche Restaurant / Guestbook: Created with iPhoto / Ceremony Venue: St. Mary’s Cathedral / Reception Venue: The Ranche Restaurant / Photographer: tlaw photography / Design: Inspired Occasions / Make-up: Trena Laine Makeup Artist / Bouquets, Boutonnieres and Corsages: Sarah Mayerson Design / Limousine: Cascade Limousine / DJ: Andy LePage / Invitations: Pinkpolka Wedding Design / Hair: hedkandi

Amsale, J.Crew and Rivini are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.