Winter weddings are some of the most magical, and this one captured beautifully by Orange Girl Photographs is the loveliest example. It’s a wedding where it seems as though the snow fell on cue as if it was just another fabulous detail planned by this stylish pink-Vera Wang-gown-wearing Bride. But the pretty doesn’t stop there, there is even more waiting for you right here.
From the Bride…Chris and I got engaged during a trip to Maui in November of 2011 after two and a half years of dating. It didn’t take us long to envision our dream wedding; we had many ideas by the time we got home from Hawaii. Chris and I wanted our wedding to be intimate, involving only our very closest family and friends, we wanted to impress our guests, and we wanted our wedding to be a reflection of us as a couple.
Chris and I agreed that there was no more desirable place for us to get married than Lake Louise. The first day Chris and I spent together we went snowboarding. We both started snowboarding the year we met and spent lots of time learning together on the local hill. Near the end of the season Chris planned a romantic snowboarding getaway to Lake Louise. We both had an incredible time. It was the first trip we ever took together and since then we have returned to Lake Louise every year in March for a romantic getaway. Chris and I adore the majesty of the mountains. Alberta is a beautiful province and we wanted to get married close to home. We chose the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise as our venue for it’s proximity to the lake and its opulent yet unpretentious atmosphere.
I am very creative by nature and I did the majority of the wedding planning with help from Chris and our parents. We were incredibly fortunate that Chris’ parents had offered to pay for the entire day and truly no expense was spared. We embraced the winter theme and incorporated ice and snowflakes in the decor. My three sisters, who I had chosen to be my bridesmaids, and I spent hours crafting personalized luminaries for each guest, a detailed seating chart, a timeline of our relationship, and even coloring sheets for the children.
Our day was a true gift. One of the things I was most nervous about was the weather. I get cold very easily and even though our wedding ceremony was held indoors I was apprehensive about going outside for photos. We woke up to a beautiful blue sky that morning and temperatures just below freezing. The day was warm and the sky was clear until late in the afternoon when heavy snow began to fall allowing us to get some incredible photos.
My sisters and I got ready at the hotel in our Belvedere Suite. A hairstylist from Bottega Salon in Banff came to the hotel to style our hair while we enjoyed a room service breakfast making it a relaxing morning. The bridesmaid dresses were Jim Helm with Midori satin sashes. My dress was a blush colored Vera Wang which I chose because I thought it would standout against the snow in photos. Chris rented Vera Wang tuxedos for the groomsmen from Moores.
Our wedding ceremony was held in the Victoria Ballroom which is the oldest part of the Chateau Lake Louise turning 100 years old this year. The back of the room was draped in white fabric that was illuminated with soft pink lights which created a cozy atmosphere. The aisle was lined with floating candles in oversized vases. We were situated in front of a large picture window with a view of the lake and mountains, and as we said our vows, tiny snowflakes began to fall. Our chaplain Klaus Ohlhoff did an exceptional job. Because neither of us follow organized religion we struggled with planning a spiritual wedding ceremony that was personal and heartfelt. Klaus helped me create a ceremony that was truly reflective of Chris and I, and our intentions for our marriage. To further augment the ceremony we hired a harpist and we had Chris’ talented cousin and my sister sing three songs we had chosen. We also lit unity candles and passed the flame among our guests asking that when they blew out the flame they thought of a wish for our marriage. After the ceremony Chris and I received our guests in the Sun Room where were were served champagne and chocolate covered strawberries.
After the ceremony, we headed outdoors for some beautiful photos on the lake with our bridal party. Late in the afternoon there was even an opportunity to relax in our suite and enjoy even more chocolate strawberries and champagne served by the hotel staff. During that time a blizzard rolled in over the mountains. Big fluffy snowflakes began to fall. Our photographer Kirstie Tweed of Orange Girl Photographs knocked on our door asking that we extend the outdoor photo session further. She was very excited to be shooting in a real life snow globe. It truly was a winter wonderland!
The cocktail reception was held in the Red Room just outside the Victoria Ballroom. The heavy snow, which was visible through large picture windows, and dim lighting created a cozy atmosphere and our guests enjoyed appetizers and signature drinks, “the Chris” and “the Cass” which was poured through an ice luge.
Our reception was also held in the Victoria Ballroom. The room was stunning and all of our vendors did an incredible job setting up. We had “quartz” style ice sculptures surrounded by lush floral wreaths and even a large ice bar. I crafted personalized luminaries for each guest which were used instead of place settings. The professional draping and lighting completely enhanced with room. The lights were soft golden pink during dinner, and during the speeches and dance, transformed to vivid jewel tones. It was truly breathtaking.
The meal and service the the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise put on was incredible! We chose a plated three course meal with Toblerone chocolate fondue in addition to wedding cake for dessert. After a spectacular meal we enjoyed heartfelt speeches from our friends and family. One incredible surprise that Chris had for me was that he had secretly videotaped his proposal and kept it hidden from me the entire fifteen months we were engaged. At the end of our slideshow he added the video from the proposal. It was incredibly touching and had many of our guests in tears.
We hired the RaNSom band to play at our dance. The band did an incredible job and our guests enjoyed dancing the night away. The party went so late that we had to move everyone including the band downstairs into the hotel saloon once our venue closed! Chris and I both agree that our wedding day was the undisputed best day of our lives and everything we had dreamed of. Our wedding was truly personal, heartfelt, fun, and most importantly, a celebration of our lifelong commitment to each other surrounded by loved ones.
Photography: Orange Girl Photographs | Floral Design: Willow Haven | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang | Cake: Cake Creations | Ceremony Venue: Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise | Reception Venue: Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise | Bridesmaids Dresses: Jim Hjelm | Lighting: Stardust Event Group | Band: RaNSom | Grooms Attire: Moores | Groomsmen Attire: Moores | Officiant: Klaus Ohlhoff | Harpist: Deborah Nyack | Bride's Makeup: Bobbi Brown | Hair Styling: Bottega Salon | Ice Sculptures: Frozen Memories | Linens And Chaircovers: CDM Group | Ribbon: Midori | Ski Resort: Lake Louise Ski Resort | Stationary Supplies: Notables