I love when a wedding carries on in the most elegant of ways and then BAM -- a few fun, unique surprises pop up along the way! The couple's toast to their friends and family before the recessional during the ceremony is so touching, and a tower of mini donuts for dessert at the reception!? Yes, please! It's not hard to see why the bride and groom chose Pender Island in British Columbia for their nuptials. If I found myself on a gorgeous island with a winery, I'm not sure I'd ever leave! Check out the photos from this gem of wedding below and see so much more right here in the full gallery.
From the Bride... Brad and I had been dating for an epic 16 years before we said "I do" on a sunny July afternoon in 2012! We wanted to throw one heck of a party to celebrate the past sweet 16 years of friendship and love, and to celebrate our future together. We knew we wanted to create an "at home" destination wedding where family and friends could gather for more than just one night. We have both lived in multiple cities but growing up on Vancouver Island, but our roots and hearts are here on the West Coast. We chose Pender Island for its proximity to Vancouver Island – close enough for many family members and friends that it would not be too far of a journey but far enough away to make it a destination.
We exchanged vows at the Morning Bay Winery under the watch of a bald eagle in a nearby tree. What a magical place! The vineyard literally rolls right down to the sea. I love wine, and Brad loves a good party. As our guests, arrived they were greeted with a glass of Morning Bay red or white to start the party off before the ceremony began. For the decor, we wanted to honor the rustic, West Coast setting of Pender Island but also embellish it with elegant and quirky personal details. We undertook a few DIY adventures and hand-crafted 150 wedding invitations, menus and wedding soundtrack gifts with the artistic help of my cousins. Before the wedding, I’m not sure Brad would have ever imagined cutting and pasting that many little black birds on anything! Barb Raymond of French Kiss Events did a fantastic job of listening to the concepts that Brad and I had dreamed up for our celebration. She offered artistic advice, put us in touch with some wonderful vendors, listened to me talk endlessly about flowers and then brought all the magic to life! There was draped white fabric; lots and lots of soft, breathtaking, natural flower arrangements by Vanessa at Verbena; twinkle lights; and heaps of soft, glowing candles that added a romantic and elegant tone to the natural beauty of the Pender Islands Community Hall. We are huge baseball fans, so I wanted to find a way to include an element of our love for the Toronto Blue Jays. We had vases filed with baseballs and flowers. We placed the vases beside decanters of scotch and a box of cigars — all on top of a wine barrel that the Morning Bay Winery had lent to us. Over our 16 years together, Brad and I have shared a number of great adventures. We wanted to share some of those special moments with our guests, so we had old photographs pinned with clothes pegs and strung around the wooden poles outside of the community hall. Guests sipped on sangria at cocktail hour and took a trip down memory lane with us.
There are so many beautiful memories from that day, but one of my favorite moments was raising our glasses to our family and friends after the ceremony and toasting everyone before we walked back down the aisle as Mr and Mrs. Looking out, pausing for a moment, and seeing all those faces smiling back at us, glasses of wine raised in the air was a truly spectacular moment. We were so lucky to have the talented Jennifer Ballard capture moments from our wedding day through her lens – beautiful memories that we will hold close to our hearts for years to come. Jennifer is a dear friend and another of my favorite memories is seeing her arrive in her party dress for the reception ready to kick up her heels after a hard day’s work. Wedding photographer by day, dancing queen by night! I know every bride says this and I don’t think I fully appreciated the meaning of it until our wedding day rolled around, but the day goes by SO fast! Nothing could have prepared me for how overwhelmed I felt with love that day.
Wedding Photography: Jennifer Ballard Photography / Second Shooter: Images by Bethany / Ceremony: Morning Bay Winery in Pender Island, British Columbia / Reception: Pender Island Community Hall in Pender Island, British Columbia / Event Planning + Styling: French Kiss Events / Floral Design: Verbena Floral Design / Catering: Pierre Delacôte of Pender Island / Wedding Paper Goods: DIY by the Bride / Ceremony Music: Amy Cunningham / DJ: Ron Larson of Hiway Productions / Band: Rock of Ages / Table Runners + Draping: Charming Décor / Linens: Designer Weddings & Special Occasions Rentals / Rentals: Scene About Town / Wedding Dress: Ivy & Aster "In Bloom" via Frocks Calgary / Bride's Veil + Feather Headpiece: Sara Gabriel via Frocks Calgary / Bride's Shoes: Ron White / Bride's Clutch: Davie and Chiyo / Bridesmaids' Dresses: Their Choice / Bridesmaids' Headpieces: There Once was a Girl / Bride's Hair: Jessica Kirkham / Bridal Party Hair: Crystal Hoover / Makeup: Angela Dean for Mary Kay / Bridesmaids' Bracelets + Earrings: Bijoux Designs for You / Flower Girls' Dresses: Olivia Kate Couture / Groom’s Suit: Canali via Harry Rosen / Groom’s Cufflinks: Tateossian via Harry Rosen / Groomsmen's Socks: Thomas Pink via Selfridges / Men's Ties: Dion via Harry Rosen