Geena and Mark approached me last summer for an Okanagan Destination Wedding. They are residents of Edmonton and I must say they have been exceptionally easy to work with. Due to Mark's profession, they travel extensively and find their time split between Canada and the U.S. but Geena has put her keen sense of classic yet simplistic style and lots of dedication into pulling off this wedding. A romantic tale of two school sweethearts now tying the knot after several years together. I've been their go-to person locally and assisted them in bringing their ideas together. Their wedding day vision was a semi-formal comfortable but fun day celebrated with family and friends, including children. Thanks to Geena and Mark for allowing me to share their planning through this blog.
Wedding Date: July 23rd, 2011
Guest Count: 150, with 35 children under 12
Wedding Day: Summer reflection, simple, elegant, semi-formal, casual charm
Bridal Party: (11) Br, Grm, 3 BrMaids, 2 GrM, 2 Flower girls, 2 Ring Bearers
Color Palette: Black/White/Yellow, with touches of damask (Damask is characterized by a background of lustrous fabric against which raised designs appear. Patterns are generally geometric or botanical in theme)
Typical geometric Damask fabric!
Style: clean, simple, modern, fresh, some DIY
Venue: This couple have been coming to Kalamalka Lake in Vernon for many years with their families, camping. It was very important to them to get married in this area because the Okanagan held strong memories for them all. Originally they were looking at an Orchard location for a tented wedding close to the lake. Unfortunately the selection of venues for this purpose and that would accommodate their guest numbers made this near impossible. I hate that word as I always say anything is possible, we just have to make it happen. None the less we honestly couldn't find the appropriate venue on Kalamalka Lake so the couple opted for my 2nd selection which all in all has turned out to be most suitable for them. The criteria was to have guest accommodations on site, lots of activities for guests during their stay, and a close by location for camping. Final choice was the LAKE OKANAGAN RESORT. Although on Okanagan Lake, not Kalamalka Lake, all their wishes are fulfilled in this one resort. 300 Acres of mountainside parkland with golf course, stables, boating, hiking etc. It was looking a little tired and dated, but new ownership has made considerable changes over the winter and spruced up some areas that needed the most attention. So now we are excited about the freshness of the resort and the beauty is absolutely outstanding there.
Ceremony: " The POINT ", is a location where the ceremony will take place on the sand, lakeside, steps from the waters edge. 2 white pillars with tall cylindrical vases full of flowers will grace the site where the couple will stand. Geena is still toying with the idea of being boated in to say her vows, rather than the traditional walk down the aisle. This would be perfect as her dad owns a boat and would naturally be escorting her anyway. I'm still focusing on how we can get her from the boat, dry and dress intact, in a gentile manner.
"The Point" ceremony location at the Lake Okanagan Resort
Photo credit: www.realbigtours.com
Reception: After the ceremony waterside, the guests will walk back up the hill to the patio of the main building where Cocktails and tapas will be served. Slide Presentation and afterward a plated dinner service.
Decor: With Geena's love of damask she opted for clean and chic black and white theme. Crisp white linen cloths with a black and white damask runner, black napkins. Chairs will have black form fitting lycra chair covers. The yellow accents brought in with the addition of yellow flowers. Lots of twinkling candlelight. Since there will be a whole team of eager family members wanting to help with setup, we opted to rent these items and decorate ourselves. This will be loads of fun and give all the waiting hands something to do.
Florals: calla lilies, snapdragons (hold a special meaning for her). Simple, modern, uncomplicated designs highlighting the modern sleekness of the calla flower itself. Table top vases will be tall cylinders in staggered heights, one swirled with white calla lilies inside, the other filled with bright summery yellow lemons and and topped with a floating candle and submersible LED's inside the vase to create a warm glow. Fun, fresh and modern.
Cake: Again a simple, clean design in black and white. 3 layer stacked, square cake covered in white fondant with geometric patterns piped in black frosting. Of course the addition of yellow callas to accent.
The cake based upon this design!
Photography: to add a whimsical, fun element to the evening, the couple chose to go with a photo booth provided by their photographers, Abby Photography. Chris and Elisha will bring the props and take professional photos of all the guests throughout the evening. Terrific mementos for everyone.
DIY: Geena is very creative and thrifty at the same time, so she has opted to put her hand to creating several elements in her day. She had made the invites (see below). Also made the flower girl baskets adorned with sea shells on the rim (perfect for a beachside wedding). She made the ring holder from a star shaped shell and attached ribbons to tie the rings onto. She's also produced some small logs for the table number holders. The earthy Logs bring out the couples love of nature, hiking and camping which they often do with family members.
Handmade invites, made by the bride!
Favors - again to save a little, they have opted to do chocolate bars with custom labels that say the table number and have a matching picture of the couple on them and the table they number they are sitting at. This way they double as escort cards and favors.
Gift Table - They opted for no gifts, rather donations to the Humane Society. They had the photographers take a picture of their two 4 legged friends (at the engagement shoot) with a top hat and veil on them. They'll blow this up on a canvas and put it on the gift table along with a card/donation box in the shape of a doghouse. How cute is that!
Children's tables - there was some debate here. Geena didn't want flowers on these tables, but something more appropriate and fun for the kids and all the children were going on tables with similar age groups. After speaking with some moms, who would prefer to have their children under wing, she decided against special children's tables. However to keep the children occupied she is making up gift bags for every child, with crayons and coloring books and a few simple things to entertain them. Also, in the bags, disposable cameras and photo scavenger hunts for all the kids. Obviously a lot of thought and preparation has gone into making sure the children as well as the parents can equally enjoy this celebration.
(sorry this is getting to be a long blog, but feel free to come back to it to finish reading it another time)
Apparel: Geena initially was looking for a plain destination style dress. When she sent me the picture of her selection - well like many brides they start out with one style in mind and end up with another. However her Allure Collection gown is so fitting for her petite frame and soft demeanor. The gown features beautiful organza that wraps asymmetrically thoughout the fitted bodice while Swarovski crystals adorn the one shoulder detail. The skirt is constructed from organza with three dimension effects and accents of feathers. Soft billowy ruffles and chic chic chic. She will look gorgeous in this. Accenting with a birdcage veil with flower hair pin, pearl earings and pearl bracelet. Flipflops for comfort and suitability on the sand. Bridesmaids are wearing sunny yellow, off shoulder dresses.
The boys will be semi formal and comfortable in the heat. Wearing khakis and white shirts. They are struggling a little to match with their very different sizes. They're going shopping together and I am sure they like the girls will have loads of fun and come back with them all dressed perfectly.
Now at the 8 week mark before the wedding date, several things are in the works and although the planning is completed the detail work continues. Stay tuned for updates!
AGATHA SOROS, Kelowna, B.C.
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