Stefanie and Heath's Wedding at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
“An elegant evening in the Castle in the City”
Congratulations on your wedding! What made you decide on having your wedding with us at Fairmont?
I've always admired the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver since I was a little girl. I love the architecture, the beauty, the class... before we were engaged, Heath and I went on a date in the city. From a cafe below, I gazed up at the historic building and told him that I'd always dreamed of getting married there one day.
Shortly after that date, Heath went and sat down in secret with Darcy, the Catering Manager at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. I found out later that they'd viewed the rooms and went over details about menus and such together. They also tentatively set aside a date and made arrangements for our engagement which was to happen a few months later.
Heath had planned a very elaborate engagement, which included dinner at the Hotel Vancouver. There was a table and a bottle of champagne waiting for us in the Roof ballroom, overlooking that same cafe where we had dreamed about that very window. There was a lot more planned for that night, but after such a wonderful experience and being treated so well, we knew we would be making that tentative date a solid one.
Where did you have your ceremony?
We had a simple ceremony in The Roof Ballroom on the 15th floor of the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. We were married in one of the giant windows overlooking the city. We compiled our ceremony on our own using the traditional "I do's" along with a few unique stories and excerpts. As we're both suckers for the classics, we decided to say the traditional vows of "for better, for worse..." We did, however, both take a moment to explain, in our own words, what our wedding rings meant to us as we exchanged them. Sticking to the classics, I walked down the aisle to Mendelssohn's Bridal March.
Tell us about the flowers you chose. Did you go traditional or contemporary?
We chose classic red roses with a deep red carnation. My bouquet was a hand-tied satin-wrapped bouquet of just red roses. The Groom and fathers wore a singe red rose, and the bridesmaids held a small bouquet of mixed reds.
Heath's sisters - who stood up for him as his groomsmaids - and our mothers and grandmothers all wore a rose wrist corsage. Red rose petals were scattered along the tables and around the candles.
Everything was very classic and romantic.
Tell us about the meal you served your guests. What type and flavor cake did you have at your reception?
Oh, my goodness; the food! The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver provided the spectacular menu for us. While we went and took photos, our guests enjoyed hors d'oeuvres while a pianist played classical and jazz standards on a baby grand. Those included a Brie & Pancetta Beignet, Qualicum Goat Cheese with Caramalized Pear and a Dungeness Crab Cake Remoulade.
We had a formal, seated meal with three courses for dinner. We had a Pemberton Beet Salad with Qualicum Goat Cheese to start and then our guests had the choice of:
Truffle Butter Roasted Breast of Organic Chicken with Foraged Mushrooms and Sauted Yukon Gold Potato in a Granny Apple – Maple Bacon Vinaigrette
Roasted Haida Gwaii Halibut with a Potato Brandade and Asparagus in a Taragon Butter
Wild Mushroom and Quinoa Tenderloin with Celeriac Mash, Heirloom Carrots and Black Truffle Essence
For dessert, we had Tahitian Vanilla Crème Brulee with Macerated Berries and Crystallized Ginger.
All of that was so amazing, we didn't want to fill people up with plain old cake, so we chose a lovely, tiny butter torte for the cake table to take pictures with and have our cake cutting ceremony. It was just enough for two...however, we were so full after all the amazing food, that we only had our obligatory bites, and were done.
Later in the evening we treated our guests to a midnight buffet of french macaroons, tiny pies, fruits and cheeses.
Where did you go on your honeymoon? Tell us about it.
We will be having two honeymoons. Our dream honeymoon was a trip to Italy and Greece, however, various circumstances would not allow us to take such a lengthy trip until the spring. Being old fashioned, we really wanted to leave right after the wedding, so we decided to take a mini-honeymoon to Cancun for a week right away.
It was a beautiful trip with perfect weather. We chose a five-star, all-inclusive, adults only resort. We lounged on the beach and enjoyed the beach-side service, tried different multi-coloured drinks and relaxed in the sun. We didn't spend all of our time being lazy though, we took advantage of the excursions around the area: swam in a cenote, explored Chizen itza, swam with dolphins and manatees and released baby sea turtles into the ocean!
After all of the busy business leading up to the wedding, we were very pleased to spend some quiet time, just the two of us doing cheesy things like holding hands as we stroll along the beach in the moonlight.
I must admit, as much as we both enjoyed our trip, we were both quite excited to come home and start our lives as husband and wife.
What element(s) did you add to make the wedding uniquely 'yours'?
Heath and I love to dress up, Our first date was downtown at the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra - our second: at a VSO Jazz concert. We still dress up to travel and we own a wicker picnic basket, which we frequently take to the park, or the beach at sunset. We wanted the night to reflect our love of the finer things, and our appreciation for classic romance. Red roses, candles, sunset over the city....even the historic building itself was all so very elegant and classic. The waiters were all in their oxblood coat tails, live classical guitar and piano and a dance playlist that was heavy on the Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett. We did not have a photobooth, or a candy bar, or any of the popular trends for wedding receptions; by keeping it simple and romantic, we made it ours.
We do have an adorably whimsical side to us which poked through during the ceremony. The bridal party all entered to a classical guitar rendition of Disney's "Up" Heath was also secretly wearing a bottle cap badge which I made for him on our one month "anniversary" (Another Up reference)
Another integral part of the day is the wedding dress! Tell us about what you chose to wear. Did you follow the old English saying "something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue"?
My dress! I loved my dress so much. Growing up, I always though I wanted a poofy princess dress, but as I started looking at dresses for real, I realized that I wanted sleek and elegant.
This dress was the second one I tried on. Everyone cried when I came out of the change room and I had a feeling it was just right. Of course, I finished my dress shopping appointments for the day, because it was my first day shopping, but by the end of that day, I knew it was The One. We rushed back to the shop across town just before it closed and tried it on one more time...everyone cried again. I knew I'd nailed it.
My dress was a full lace, sheath dress with a slight flare at the knee. It was Ivory lace over light gold satin - boy was it heavy. It had a plunging sweetheart neckline, and a very low, key-hole back with a chapel length train.
I wore a two-tiered finger tip veil with it. My shoes were comfortable, rhinestone covered flats. (I'm quite tall enough as it is) I chose simple jewelry which was a pair of drop earrings and a matching pendant necklace in silver and white sapphires. A simple tennis bracelet was the only other thing.
As I've mentioned, I'm a sucker for the classics, so of course I had my "somethings" with me. Something old was my grandmother's engagment ring and wedding band. They have been married over 66 years now, and they are still going strong. They are my inspiration when it comes to lasting love and friendship. My Something new was my Jewelry set, which was a gift from both my new mother-in-law and my step-mother. I borrowed the tennis bracelet from a dear friend of mine and I made my own garter set which had a blue ribbon and blue Swarovski crystals on it.
I felt beautiful.
What was the first song you danced to as newlyweds?
Our first dance was to Norah Jones' "Come Away with Me" which, I think, surprised many, as they thought it would be Frank Sinatra. This song has a little more meaning to us, but a lesser known back story.
On a random walk in the rain one night, I pulled Heath aside to stand in an open field to feel the rain. I grabbed him close and we started slowly dancing and that song came to mind and I sang it to him quietly right then and there. It was a fond memory for both of us. From then on, it was our song.
Now that you are married and have had time to reflect on your wedding day, what was your favorite moment?
It was beautiful day filled with wonderful memories, which we will keep with us forever. I would have to say, hands down the very best part was the ceremony. It was absolutely perfect. The anticipation walking down the aisle with my dad, taking his hand for the first time, looking at his smiling face, and finally, the kiss! It was perfect. I'm so lucky. We're so lucky.
Vendors & Service Providers:
We were so pleased with our photographer Patrick Lui. He was so friendly, and polite. He was right there when you needed him, yet we never seemed to notice him. I also have no idea how he got so many shots, it was like he was everywhere! He was great at giving direction and also did a fantastic job fanning my dress!
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