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Banff National Park Mountain Wedding

If I could plan the ultimate rustic wedding, this is where I’d start. Intimate, cozy and set among the mountains with scenery so pretty, it almost doesn’t seem real. Of course I’d have Orange Girl there to capture every second, and with any luck my day would turn out exactly like this.

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Styles
Rustic

From the Bride… Doug and I met seven years ago at Murdoch University, in the most isolated city on earth: Perth, Australia. He was an exchange student while I was down there for my full education—we were flatmates for a semester and the rest is history!

Doug is American while I am Canadian and with immigration policies keeping us apart for any significant amount of time, we wanted to tie the knot sooner rather than later. We were engaged in March, 2013 and quickly booked our wedding in October, 2013—on the same day as my parent’s wedding anniversary!

We had a few very important considerations when planning our wedding: we wanted a small, intimate event, we wanted to get married in the Rocky Mountains where I’m from and we wanted to be relaxed and have fun. Most of our guests had to travel to be with us and many of them made a weekend of it. The venue that we chose, Buffalo Mountain Lodge, is a small, rustic resort, slightly removed from the Town of Banff. Each hotel room had its own wood burning fireplace and incredible views of the Rockies. With most of our guests staying at the resort, we couldn’t take five steps without running into someone that we loved. It was perfect!

With only seven months to plan, and recognizing how important it was to us that we be relaxed and able to enjoy our big day, we delegated some tasks to our family members. They were eager to be involved and so we leaned on their individual areas of expertise. Both Doug’s and my parents were invaluable in the planning process. For example, I explained my vision to my mother and let her run with the décor and Doug’s father is a wine enthusiast and he worked with the resort’s sommelier to choose the wine. This allowed Doug and I focus on other larger details, like the flow of the weekend and smaller touches that we felt were important.

Advice to future Brides: 1. Find a dress that is beautiful, represents you and is comfortable. I danced the night away in mine! 2. Delegate, if you can. It avoids stress and confusion on the day of the wedding. 3. Don’t forget to brief your wedding party on all the minute details (give them a guidebook with vendor details and contact information if you can) so that they know the plan and if there is any confusion, they can jump in and help. 4. Only focus on the small details that matter to you. We hand-made some small items to add a personal touch to the décor, but recognized that it was a slippery slope and were better off keeping things simple. We ditched some traditions like cutting the cake. 5. It’s not for everyone, but we loved having a small wedding. Sure, the guest list was challenging, but in the end we were so surrounded by love that nothing else mattered.

Photography: Orange Girl | Wedding Dress: Marchesa | Floral Design: Kelly's Mother + Doug's Cousin | Wedding Cake: Sunterra Market | Invitations: Handwritten On Sugar Paper For Goop | Bride's Shoes: Pour La Victoire | Bridesmaid's Dresses: J.Crew | Hair: Sylvia At Jerome Salon | Groom's Shoes: Banana Republic | Groom's Suit: John Varvatos | Cocktail Reception Music: Werner Frey | Makeup: DIY | Music: Kelly's Brother | Tie: The Tie Bar | Venue: Buffalo Mountain Lodge

J.Crew is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.

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Banff Engagement from Kim Payant Photography

Just when you thought that Canada couldn’t possibly be any more gorgeous than it already is, along comes this mesmerizing Banff engagement session to prove that, yes, in fact, it can.  Because this isn’t just any e-shoot.  It’s two seriously stunning cuties, two adorable fur babies and an entire gallery of breathtaking images captured by Kim Payant Photography.  In other words?  It’s exactly where you’ll be spending your entire Tuesday… guaranteed.  Start it off right here in the full gallery.

From Kim PayantWhat a cute and lovely engagement photo session! Ashley and Cameron and their two amazing dogs were so much fun to work with! At the beginning of the shoot, the dogs just wanted to play around in the fields full of daisies that just came out– I don’t blame them, they were so pretty. As you can see the puppy wanted to play with me while I was taking some photos, he would jump on me and try to eat my camera. Once they ran out of energy, my job got a bit easier and I was able to get some great pictures of the dogs with their two deeply in love masters!

One of my favorite moments of the shoot was when we saw two deer in the fields. Cameron got really excited and he wanted to get a few photos with the deers in the background. Those pics turned out great! I thought it was really cute and really represented the mountains, because here, there’s wildlife everywhere!

Photography: Kim Payant Photography

Canada Hotel Wedding from Brittany Esther Photography

This wedding has me on that kind of high you get after eating waaay too much cotton candy. Brittany Esther‘s sun-kissed photographs contain the fluffiest of fluffy gowns, golden heart-shaped peep toe heels and piles of strawberry macaroons. Seriously, need I say more? Terra Law, Willow Haven and the bride’s DIY’s have created a place that only could be described as heaven. Please enter the golden gates of the gallery and indulge, loves.

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Settings
Hotel
Styles
Romantic

From the Bride… In the months that led to our big day, just the thought of our wedding would make my heart and stomach flutter with excitement. Apparently my mother also felt this flutter, but hers was more of the stress-induced sort. Fortunately, this was quickly abated when we asked the talented Terra Law of Inspired Occasions to be our wedding planner. From that point on preparations ran smoothly, vendors were booked, flowers were chosen, and cakes were tasted!

All the while, I indulged my artistic side by designing and creating many parts of the wedding. One thing I could not have gone without was Photoshop. Sometimes it could be a bit overwhelming trying to picture in my head how all the things would look together. However, with this program I was able to use photos I’d snapped at the venues to digitally create, arrange, and then re-arrange how things would be decorated. This allowed me to accurately get the look and feel that we wanted as well as being able to show our vendors exactly what we had in mind. There was no guess work or misunderstood descriptions involved! Another tool that aided me was the laser printer, which I used to make many custom items like the swallow-shaped seating cards, chocolate wrappers, and envelope liners. Luckily, I had plenty of help from Josh through it all!

When the actual day came and I took my first step into the guest-filled ceremony hall with my father, it felt like I’d just walked into a perfect dream. All of the most precious people to us were there, the venue was gorgeous, and at the other end of that long room stood the love of my life. Our pastor did an amazing job officiating the wedding and when the ceremony was over, Josh and I walked back down the aisle to the string quartet playing Yann Tiersen’s Loin Des Villes. At the reception Josh and I were too excited to eat much of our meals, but from what we hear, the food was delicious! The two dessert tables, which were filled with macarons, doughnuts, and our favorite candy, were well loved by our guests. After I’d changed into my second, more maneuverable dress, Josh and I did our first dance. At the end of it, Josh gave me a huge hug that lifted me off of my feet, and that is one of my favorite moments of the entire day. All of the memories that we made during our wedding will be treasured by us for a lifetime.

Wedding Photography: Brittany Esther Photography / Wedding Venue: The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in Banff, AB / Wedding Event Planning + Design: Terra Law / Floral Design: Willow Haven / Wedding Cinematography: James McVinnie /  Wedding Invitations: Designed by the bride, Joy Ang / Letterpress portion by Studio on Fire / Wedding Cake: Cake Creations / Wedding Favor: Designed by the bride, Joy Ang + Design a Tea / Wedding Gown: “Diana” / Wedding Shoes: Alexander McQueen