January 26, 2015 · Weddings

♥ Banff Springs Winter Wedding - Thad + Melissa ♥
W
hen I saw the spectacular sunrise on Thad & Melissa's wedding day I had a feeling we were in for a stunning day in the mountains and I was thrilled to see that it turned out to be a memorable mountain day. Melissa and Thad traveled with their families to the Castle in the Rockies to hold an intimate mountain wedding. Everyone was so gracious and kind to Kevin and I and we felt lucky to witness such a heartfelt wedding day.

It is surprisingly the only wedding ceremony where the bride and groom both answered in response to their vows "I do....EH!" igniting laughter throughout the room just as guests had begun to subtly wipe their eyes with tears from the heartfelt ceremony. It was the perfect comic relief.
The night before their wedding we received the first snow we had seen in weeks. It was the perfect amount to dress the mountains up and arrived just before our huge January thaw that melted everything. Their timing was perfect!
Melissa's Gran brought along their family's heirloom wedding veil for Melissa to wear on her wedding day. It was so beautiful.
Thad waited for Melissa so we could take photographs outside while the mountain light was perfect for photographs.
Melissa wore her Gran's vintage leather gloves for photos.
The mountains looked stunning for their wedding photographs.
Melissa's cascading bouquet was created by Forget-me-not flowers in Banff.
George the ringbearer was beyond adorable and so well behaved.
A last minute lipstick touch up just before the ceremony with Melissa's Gran.
Deborah Nyack known as Harp Angel was there to play their ceremony music and it sounded beautiful. It added a warmth to their ceremony.
I just loved the way Thad looked at Melissa.
Robin White performed their ceremony and as always was the perfect person to make everyone feel comfortable. There were some funny moments during the ceremony and Robin always has perfect timing where he allows the funny moment to shine and then moves on seamlessly.
There was so much love that day and we were lucky to have several generations there to celebrate with Thad and Melissa.
A good friend of Thad's very thoughtfully gifted Thad with a pair of cufflinks showing off their home mountain range so he'd have a piece of home to carry with him on their wedding day. They were stunning and such a thoughtful detail.
George documented the reception with his iPhone. I loved his photographer stance.
Julie from Rocky Mountain Weddings was there to make sure Thad & Melissa's wedding day ran smoothly and to set up their decor so everyone could just enjoy the day and their time together.









January 26, 2015 · Personal

♥ Lake Minnewanka ♥
K
evin and I recently walked out on the frozen Lake Minnewanka and were in awe of the bubbles frozen into the lake. It was a stunning day. This winter has been really memorable and I've witnessed some magical things from vibrant orange sunrises and sunsets, delicate ice crystals, snow flocked trees and blue frozen waterfalls. I've put together a Steller Story below to share some of what I've seen this winter.









January 25, 2015 · Weddings

♥ Banff Springs Winter Wedding - Jean + Alberto ♥
J
ean and Alberto held a stylish and romantic destination mountain wedding that started off by inviting their guests to go dog sledding with them as the perfect introduction to their Canadian winter wedding. They created a cozy candlelit feeling for their wedding ceremony and reception held at The Banff Springs known as the Castle in the Rockies. They timed it so that guests could enjoy that beautiful blue glow of a mountain dusk in winter through the stained glass windows with the amber glow of twinkly lights and candles keeping everyone cozy inside. Their long table reception was breathtaking and created an intimate vibrant dinner party with a lively dance party taking place under the 30 foot Christmas tree following dessert.

Every guest was given a pair of Canada mittens on their arrival and a selection of Jean's famous Seattle Chocolates to welcome them. Their clever favour boxes included their family names that would now bring families together and their wedding date tied up beautifully with a big red bow. An overpouring candy bar featuring some of Jean's candies was open to their guests to enjoy alongside a piece of wedding cake. Jean and Alberto really understood how to create an ambiance of romance and style. The team from LFW Weddings brought Jean and Alberto's vision to life. I was thankful to Lynn of LFW Weddings who at the last possible moment brought in 6 amber lights to shine down on the long table that made it all glow! It was absolutely gorgeous.
Jean looked radiant in her red gown and her daughter was with her in the morning to do Jean's make-up and help her get ready before we headed outside for photographs to take advantage of the natural light before their evening ceremony.
Jaime from Fleurish Flower Shop created a vibrant bouquet for Jean. I loved her short red nails!
Jean and Alberto met each other at the fireplace in Rundle lounge before braving the cold for photographs with the mountains. I loved that Alberto wore a touch of red with his socks and bow tie. Such a stylish couple!
Jean was absolutely gorgeous in that stunning red gown.
I loved the abundant holiday greenery used throughout the ceremony in the Ivor Petrak room with twinkly lights to compliment the grand chandelier.
Jean's son walked her down the aisle and later spoke of the joy he felt in that moment during a touching and hilarious speech at dinner.
Jean had her daughter and niece stand up with her.
Jean and Alberto read a poem to each other as part of their wedding ceremony and left everyone in the room in tears. It was romantic and intimate and cozy.
After the ceremony guests were invited down to Mount Stephen Hall where they were greeted with glasses of champagne.
Jean and Alberto very cleverly chose decor that worked with the Banff Spring's existing holiday decorations which made it feel really cohesive and stunning.
It was the first time that I witnessed a long table reception hosted in Mount Stephen Hall and it was absolutely stunning!! Tall centrepieces, abundant candles and sparkly linens to catch some of the evening glow made for a romantic and intimate setting with lively conversation and toasts full of love.
You can see in this photo how seamlessly Jean and Alberto's decor worked with the existing holiday decorations making it feel full of glowing light and red pops of colour.
I loved the way the blue winter dusk of the mountains contrasted with the warm glow of Mount Stephen Hall for the reception. It was a magical room to get to experience.
Alison from Whippt created a beautiful candy bar next to the giant Christmas tree that guests could enjoy in between breaks on the dance floor.
Jean brought along her famous Seattle Chocolates to personalize their candy bar.
Jean and Alberto gave guests a welcome toast from the romantic balcony above Mount Stephen Hall when everyone was first invited to be seated for dinner.
I loved this elegant favour box that was filled with Jean's Seattle Chocolates and featured their wedding date and their family names that would now become a new family all tied up with a big red bow. It was an elegant addition to their dinner table setting.
Jean and Alberto are known to spontaneously start dancing with each other so it was perfectly fitting and so romantic to see them do so after they cut their wedding cake together.
Everyone was on the dancefloor the moment dinner was over.









December 28, 2014 · Engagements

♥ Banff Engagement portrait - Adam + Audrey ♥
A
dam and Audrey will be getting married in the mountains next year. They came down over the holidays to spend time skiing with their family and scheduled an engagement session with me while they were here. We were given a stunning morning for photographs and I loved getting to drive around Banff to take advantage of the beautiful sky and light that day. Adam and Audrey have a beautiful ease with each other that I loved getting to witness. They know how to make each other laugh and they have an unspoken quiet communication with each other that is lovely to be around.
I'm really excited about Adam and Audrey's wedding because they will have their ceremony in the grand Mount Stephen Hall and then they will invite their friends and family down to the Waldhaus pub for their reception. If you haven't been to the Waldhaus it's an amazing cozy space with incredible views that in the winter sits above a skating rink and toboggan hill with a fire pit that you can enjoy some s'mores with. The Waldhaus also earned the title of best wings in the Bow Valley and rightly so. Kevin and I went to the Waldhaus twice over the holidays for wings, warm pretzels and a giant 42 oz boot of beer. There are all kinds of cozy corners and a pool table making it an amazing space to spend time with friends and family.
Adam and Audrey share my love of Whitebark Cafe so we headed there for a latte warm up. The talented barista Sarah made them a couple of grizzly bear lattes.









December 25, 2014 · Weddings

♥ Emerald Lake Winter Wedding - Julie + Simon ♥
J
ulie and Simon hosted an intimate winter wedding at Emerald Lake Lodge that was filled with so much joy. I loved that they held their ceremony outside as the snow slowly fell. What made their wedding special was all of the special touches they included that were personal to them.
Their wedding day sunrise was absolutely stunning. The sky was filled with an intense orange glow.
Simon incorporated cufflinks from when Julie and Simon lived in Vancouver together.
Hair and Make-up by Botega Salon in Banff who traveled to Emerald Lake Lodge so Julie and her family could relax in their room on the morning of the wedding.
Julie and Simon opted to take their photographs before the ceremony which meant we could capture the natural light. We set up a bride reveal for them so they could have a moment where they saw each other for the first time on their wedding day.
I think vibrant bouquets photograph the best against the snow for winter weddings. This stunning bouquet was created by Willow Flower Company. I loved the pinecones throughout.
Julie and Simon thoughtfully packaged up hand warmers in pretty orange bags to hand out to guests for their outdoor ceremony.
Given their history of mountain adventures together it was particularly fitting that Simon made this climbing "ring pillow" for their ceremony.
I loved this moment between Julie and her Mum just moments before the ceremony. Julie was reading her vows when her Mum came over.
Julie's Mum handing out hand warmers to all of the guests for the ceremony.
As soon as Julie and her Dad came into view everyone started clapping. It was wonderful!
It was the first time I have witnessed anyone set up Cilantro with a sweetheart table surrounded by a U shaped table and it was my favourite set up. It was absolutely brilliant! It meant that everyone could see Julie & Simon, it felt really intimate and no one had to give up their table for dancing.
They used climbing rope for their napkin rings, very clever!
Julie's Mum wrote her speech in this beautiful book she made and then gave it to them. What a thoughtful idea to be able to save the speeches that people wrote for your wedding day.
Kevin spotted a mama moose and her baby way up high in the avalanche path.









 
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