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Destination I Do
Friday, August 14, 2015

A Seamless British Columbia Wedding

Words by Courtney Kellar
Photos courtesy of Jamie Delaine Photography

For Annik and Robert, there was never a doubt they would opt for a wedding away when it came time to say “I do.” With the majority of their guests having to travel no matter what, there wasn’t the question of convenience. “The decision to have a destination wedding came very easy to us and was a notion that we had talked about even before getting engaged,” says the bride. “We both always really liked the idea and never even really considered having a local wedding. A destination wedding was what we wanted and we were going to make it happen!”

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Not only was a destination wedding what the couple always envisioned, but it also served a practical purpose. “On top of my pre-existing desire to have a destination wedding was the fact that my sister and I were both getting married in the same year (only two months apart),” explains Annik. “As a result, we wanted to differentiate ourselves from my sister’s wedding and give our close friends and relatives something different and unique to look forward to.”

When entering into the world of destination wedding planning, the couple knew they would have to make sacrifices – namely to the size of their guest list. “Ultimately, my husband and I decided that this was the wedding we wanted and those who really wanted to be there would make the effort to do so. We understood that having a destination wedding could deter some from wanting to make the investment to come and we could have fewer guests. We were OK with this and even welcomed the idea of a smaller, more intimate wedding. In the end, we found that everyone whom we really wanted to share our day with was eager and able to come and the destination location made it more exciting and fun for our guests.” 

Aside from being sure they wanted to get married away from home, Annik and Robert also knew the general vibe they wished to achieve for their W-Day. “We wanted to do something different than the typical Caribbean or Hawaiian beach wedding,” says the couple. “From the moment we got engaged, we had a strong vision for a romantic wedding with a rustic, vintage feel. Considering this, the Okanagan’s Wine Country with its lakeside setting, rolling hills, stunning views and notoriously nice weather seemed like the perfect fit…”

Ultimately, the couple decided on Kelowna, British Columbia as their destination of choice. Not only was this where the groom grew up, but there was another major perk. “On top of our desire to have a destination wedding was the fact that my husband and I wanted to have a traditional Catholic ceremony,” says the bride. “Organizing a wedding in a Catholic church could have proven very difficult had we chosen to be married out of the country or at a resort-type location. By finalizing Kelowna as our wedding destination, we were able to coordinate a marriage in their local Catholic church fairly easily…”

Once the destination and venue were decided, this bride truly enjoyed the planning process. “The overall experience of planning my destination wedding was positive, fun and relatively stress-free. I am an individual who has a difficult time making decisions, often going back and forth and obsessing between varying options…over and over again. The fact that I had to plan a wedding from afar and in a relatively short amount of time (nine months) ended up being a better situation for someone like me as it didn’t allow me the opportunity to waver and stress about decisions.

Having their wedding in a smaller destination also had its added benefits. “In our situation, the fact that I had a decreased number of vendors to choose from, compared to the hundreds I could have had access to locally, really eased the wedding planning process for me. Ultimately, having a destination wedding took some of the control and decision making out of my hands, which created a much better experience for me in the end.”

One of the best decisions the couple made was going with local vendors who had lots of experience in working with their venue. “They knew the rules, inner workings of the space and were essentially self-sufficient in coordinating with the winery, setting-up and knowing what was required and what would work best. In our case, the fact that we didn’t have a wedding planner was a non-issue as the vendors did the majority of the coordinating on their own!”

While the couple didn’t hire a wedding planner, they did eventually opt for a decorator. “Initially I had planned on making my own centerpieces, but eventually I realized I had bitten off more than I could chew,” says Annik. “Hiring a decorator eased the stress on the day of the wedding as we were not responsible for set-up or tear down – allowing me to enjoy the morning of my wedding without any other responsibilities.”

In the end, Annik and Robert knew what they wanted when it came to their wedding and went for it. Not surprisingly, they advise other couples to do the same. “Ultimately, it is important to remember that your wedding is your special day and you need to do what is meaningful to you. Others may disagree with your choices, but as long as you are happy as a couple with the result then that is all that matters.” 

Vendors: Photographer: Jamie Delaine Photography, Ceremony/Reception Site: Immaculate Conception Catholic Church/Summerhill Pyramid Winery in Kelowna, British Columbia, Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas, Cake: Whisk Cake Company, Hair: Amrit Johnson with Loyal Hair Therapy, Makeup: Kailea Cabico, Gown Designer: Alfred Angelo, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Moores Clothing for Men & Vera Wang, Bridesmaids/Groomsmens’ Clothing Designer: Custom dress from Golden Brides in New Westminster, BC/Moores Clothing for Men & Vera Wang, Reception Décor: Stage Right Etc., DJ: DJ Superdave, Videography: Tailored Fit Films, Bride & Bridesmaids’ Jewelry: Sweetpiece Jewelry by Marjolein

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