Parisian Inspired Afternoon Tea Wedding
July 18, 2014
VintageWeddings in Historical VenuesSpring Weddings
Admittedly, I am completely obsessed with tea parties, so this Parisian inspired tea party wedding was for sure going to be one of my favorites (it just was).  But beyond my love of the really, really good theme, it's a drop-dead gorgeous day that gives pretty an entirely new meaning.  Think vintage-esque styling meets one seriously stunning setting.  See it all captured by Fill In The Blank Weddings right here.
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From Fill In The Blank Weddings... Mike and Marrisa are good friends of mine. Mike was actually one of my groomsmen when I got married in 2008. I was honored and humbled that they chose me to capture their very intimate family-centered wedding at Cammidge Heritage House. From the beginning of the day there was an electricity in the air as they both anticipated their wedding day. They had an incredible first look before we did photos and ceremony, and the joy and fun carried though out  the entire day. We had such a great time with the two of them and their families, and it's a wedding we won't soon forget.

From The Bride... The goal of our wedding was to ensure that the celebration of our union was both deeply meaningful and also a fun and relaxed time that we could share in with our closest friends and family. Both Michael and I share a love of tea, French pastries and nature walks at our local bird sanctuary. This set the theme of our avian and Parisian afternoon tea wedding.

Our guests arrived at the picturesque location of Cammidge House, a heritage home located inside beautiful, windswept Centennial Beach Park just outside of Vancouver. The park is situated near the Rifle Bird Sanctuary, a haven for a variety of local birds and is a nod to one of our favorite pastimes. Guests were greeted by blue sky, marshmallow clouds and dazzlingly sun, which is quite the departure from the typical “June-uary” we often experience before summer sizzles in.

Traditional, instrumental wedding songs floated on the summer breeze as guests left their name on one of two custom paintings created by the maid of honor (my very talented sister). Forgoing a program, the ceremony was communicated through a custom chalkboard which sat upon an heirloom chair of groom’s grandmother. Grandparents made an appearance through photos of their own wedding days, which was a meaningful touch. Guests were seated outside on the lawn looking toward the character home, with beach behind and a romantic, floral accented arbor in front.

Meanwhile, the bridesmaids and I dressed above in a room overlooking the site, which was a fun way to spy on all the guests and added to the anticipation. I wore a vintage mermaid-style dress in peach with a cream lace overlay. It was meant to be as it was the first dress I set eyes on and ended up being alteration free. I didn’t like the idea of a tone of jewelry, so I opted instead for two crystal headbands and a simple fingertip veil. My something borrowed were my earrings, which my sister wore to her own wedding the year prior. I’m fairly tall, so I had to forgo heels with my dress and instead chose vintage-inspired flats that were cute and functional. The bridesmaids all wore black high-low dresses accented with florals and pearl jewelry. The modernized vintage theme was capped off with cute and comfortable lace-cut wedges and a custom sash.

The groom and groomsmen greeted guests below as they were seated. The groom wore a cream suit with a golden vest, while the groomsmen donned black suits with golden vests for contrast. Once the ceremony started the contrasting color blocks of dark suited groomsmen and chic bridesmaids came into full effect as the light colors of our outfits popped. The ceremony was deeply reflective of the our spiritual beliefs and our commitment to one-another and our community of friends and family. The ceremony was performed by one of Michael’s best friends who came in from another province. Out wedding really was a community event, as our wedding coordinator was a family friend, as were our florist and cupcake and cake maker. Having such good friends involved so closely in our wedding made it so much more meaningful. This was also reflected in our song choices, which were partially sung by family friends, including the lyric version of “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri, which I had walked down the aisle earlier to an instrumental version.

Following the ceremony, we had refreshments waiting for our guests while they enjoyed group photos. Following photos, guests were led to the marquee tent which was decorated to suit an avian and Parisian themed high tea. The majority of the décor was either items we owned or borrowed from friends and family or crafted ourselves. The first piece that inspired me to pursue our focus on birds were the sets of laser-cut birds. They were actually part of a window display at a high-end store that the I acquired when I asked if I could have them upon learning they would be thrown out otherwise. My sister and I spray-painted the majority of the gold to add a touch of Marie Antoinette elegance, as did the lush table overlays, golden birdcage centerpieces, and gold-rimmed china.

The food was reflective of a scrumptious afternoon tea, including mini-scones with raspberry jam and clotted cream as well as little amuse bouche and finger sandwiches. The sweet table was filled with all of the delicious desserts we adore from the French patisserie we frequent. In place of a traditional wedding cake, we incorporated a variety of delights including the French equivalent, a Piece Montee (aka Croquembouche), as well as a custom cutting cake. Guests also delighted in reversed lemon-meringue tarts, cupcakes, opera cake, chocolate mouse, a macron tower and more. We incorporated a longstanding tradition and handed out the cupcakes personally to all of our guests. Although everything looked picture perfect, complications can still arise. As mentioned, it was a brilliantly sunny day, and even with a gentle breeze and shade, it ended up melting the chocolate truffles within their glass apothecary jars. Thankfully we saw an opportunity rather than a disaster and utilized the fruit skewers to create a fondue.

The sweet treats and savory delectables were offset with custom teas made by the groom’s aunt. There was a lavender earl grey and a lemon roobis to pair. The tea theme continued with the favor as each guest received a custom lychee green tea based on our personalities. All teas were crafted by the groom’s aunt which again added to the community essence of our wedding. The tea and sweet-filled afternoon was capped off with story telling from guests, which also included the creation of a memory card for the bride and groom to keep.