Victoria Wedding at Canoe Brewpub by Karen McNeil Photography
May 31, 2012

Donut holes and carmel corn in adorable boxes at a pre-ceremony cocktail hour? Count me in! Despite being on a tight budget (although you could never tell from the detail-mania that is this wedding) this lovely couple put together their dream day by layering personal touches on an already breathtaking backdrop. Green and white florals, vintage camera centerpieces and a handmade outdoor chapel all add up to a dreamy celebration in the woods.  Take a peek at the rest of the images shot impeccably by Karen McNeil Photography right here as well as the film of the day by Drophot Weddings below.

Click here for the FULL wedding!

From the Bride... The one and only request my husband Michael made for our big day was that we get married outdoors in the summertime. My sister had been dying to have someone get married in her backyard, so it was a no-brainer for us to decide to have our ceremony there. I wanted to have a unique wedding that was laid-back and fun for our guests. With a small budget and just under a hundred guests to entertain, we had to get creative, as we wanted to have something chic, not too overdone and memorable at the same time. We chose to have our ceremony start at 7 p.m., following a 6 p.m. cocktail hour on the patio at my sister’s house followed by a cocktail-style reception at the Canoe Brewpub, a local brewery and restaurant situated at the edge of our downtown marina in a old heritage brick and beam building full of gorgeous chandeliers.

As the day flew by I enjoyed getting ready with my mom, my two sisters and best friend from high school, sipping Veuve Clicquot and listening to music while the flurry of activity went on around us. My hairdresser Anna had been working with our family for over twenty years and had done the hair for both my sister’s and my best friend’s weddings, and it made it so special to have her there with us. I had a special feather hair comb custom made for each of my bridesmaids and incorporated a vintage brooch that belonged to my great-grandmother into my custom-made birdcage veil. We were so fortunate to have many family and friends as our vendors and helpers on the day. My brother custom-built the doorway and altar backdrop for our outdoor chapel, and he and my cousin Brodie were literally climbing up in the trees hanging the chandeliers the morning of the wedding. My cousin Kristin spent the morning making lemonade and filling up boxes and bags with caramel popcorn and donut holes for our cocktail hour.

One of the most important things for me was that we have memorable music at our wedding, and there were more than a few smiles when the bridesmaids walked down the aisle to the string quartet version of "Sweet Child of Mine" followed by my dad walking me down the aisle to the string quartet version of "Don’t Stop Believing!" Our ceremony was the most memorable part of the day for Michael and me, and he was so excited he even sneaked a kiss mid-vows! We live in such a beautiful city with so much greenery and beautiful ocean backdrops that we wanted to make use of the magnificent nature surrounding us for photographs, which were captured perfectly by our photographer and dear friend Karen McNeil. One of the reasons we chose the reception venue we did was because it needed little to no décor. I did, however, want to have centerpieces on each table and had a friend who worked in a restaurant save me some oversized tin cans. Once I peeled off the labels I used a spray adhesive and glued on pages of an old copy of Ivanhoe and used them as pedestals to showcase my collection of vintage cameras. As a lover of '80s movies and music, it was a must have that our reception be an '80s dance party. After chowing down on the incredible canapés and hors d'oeuvres and a round of champagne toasts, Michael and I kicked off the night with a choreographed dance to Footloose, which we had been rehearsing in secret for months, and danced the rest of the night away!  It was truly the most magical day of our lives and a day we will treasure forever.

Wedding Photography: Karen McNeil Photography / Ceremony: The Bride's Sister's Home in Victoria, British Columbia / Reception: Canoe Brewpub in Victoria, British Columbia / Floral Design: Verbena Floral Design / Wedding Cinematography: Thomas Higgins of Drophot Weddings / Wedding Invitations: JK Design / Vintage Stamps: Tacoma Mall Boulevard Coin & Stamp / Wedding Cake + Centerpieces: Love Well Styled (Owned by the Bride) / Chandeliers: Charming Décor / Choreography: Passion and Performance / Cocktail + Dessert Table Design: Love Well Styled (Owned by the Bride) / Wedding Dress: David’s Bridal / Cocktail Dress: Sarah Seven / Shoes: Steve Madden / Hair: Anna’s Hair Design / Makeup: Jenny Clark of Pacific Makeup Group / Bridesmaids' Dresses: LeBlanc Boutique / Hair Pieces: Tetrik Apparel