Advice From the Newlyweds
Get a wedding planner, it’s worth the investment. Ensure that who you have next to you (your wedding party) are those who will stand by you, even after your wedding. Enjoy every moment, soak it all in, and get a good photographer and videographer because you will want to relive that day—trust me! Also, go on your honeymoon right after the wedding, it’s a nice way to finish the wedding celebrations.
It is hard to believe that it was already nearly two years ago that I, along with some of Edmonton’s finest wedding professionals, designed and co-produced Edmonton’s Exclusive Royal Wedding Event hosted at The Chateau Louis Hotel & Conference Centre. Together, the collaborative sponsored the largest event celebrating the royal wedding in Edmonton. While we celebrated the wedding of the century, our sponsors and our community proudly supported the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation and Edmonton’s Food Bank.
Local designer Lani van Rooyen of R O O Y Couture created a number of sketches of designs that she believed would be suitable for the Duchess of Cambridge. Following the event, she shared her experience of Edmonton’s Exclusive Royal Wedding Event, along with the highlight video designed by Raj Patel of A Love Story — check it out here — by far, this was one of my highlights of 2011. Through social media networks and the “sharing” of the video, bride-to-be Nadia found me. After conversing on and off for a number of months, we finally met and delved into the design of her and Felipe’s wedding. From our initial consultation, I became inspired by Nadia’s adoration of clean, simplistic design and the significance of family (including their fur baby Sinatra!) and their cultures; I was asked to design a wedding that would convey their story. Nadia and Felipe’s wedding would become one of my highlights of 2012 and following their wedding, I was granted the honour and the privilege of becoming one of The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald’s preferred vendors.
It was Thanksgiving weekend of 2009 when Nadia and Felipe first met; they have been inseparable ever since. True to his South American roots, Felipe played the role of the finest host to his friends for a Thanksgiving dinner. A mutual friend of Nadia and Felipe invited Nadia to join — an invitation that she is glad to have accepted. Instantly, Nadia and Felipe were attracted to each other; their smiles, their eyes, their personalities — there was an instantaneous, unexplainable connection.
Slightly over a year into their relationship, Felipe invited Nadia to join him in a place close to his heart — his home country — Chile. Although they knew that they wanted to share the rest of their lives together, after only a few months into their relationship, Nadia did not anticipate that their trip to Chile would be life changing. Here, Felipe surprised Nadia with a proposal and, of course, she said yes.
The wedding ceremony was held in the beautiful Empire Ballroom at The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald; there was an immense amount of joy, laughter, and love as Nadia and Felipe exchanged nuptials. Following the candlelit ceremony, guests were invited to join the newlyweds on the Terrace as they released eleven balloons — to symbolize the date of the wedding day — that had handwritten wishes from their guests attached to the strings. As their guests’ wishes were released into the sky, the couple were greeted by their loved ones. Meanwhile, inside the Empire Ballroom, a team meticulously flipped the room into a beautiful reception space; the promptness of the switch was impressive.
A few short hours later, guests returned to the Empire Ballroom only to be witness to a dramatic change compared to what they had witnessed earlier. As they entered the room filled with candlelight and lush white floral, they were welcomed by the smooth melodies of a live jazz band. While wishing to maintain a simplistic, clean, romantic atmosphere, we also wanted to incorporate elements that were unique and significant to the couple. Their fur baby came into play; we requested that Sinatra would have a voice within the reception stationery where he “thanked” his parents’ guests for celebrating their wedding day with them and in lieu of traditional favours, the couple opted to donate to the Humane Animal Rescue Team (HART).
One of the couple’s favourite elements of their reception was the entertainment. Unlike a traditional wedding filled with numerous speeches, Nadia and Felipe opted to share with their guests some of the things that were most important to them; song and dance. The bride’s best friend opened the entertainment with a beautiful rendition of Etta James’ infamous At Last. Following this special gift of song, Nadia and Felipe invited performers to share their heritage; in honour of his Chilean roots, Judith Garcia, a local flamenco dancer performed alongside the live music of her husband, followed by a colourful performance by Cheremosh, to acknowledge Nadia’s Russian background. After an evening filled with entertainment and dancing, Nadia and Felipe shared another one of their favourite things with their guests — breakfast for late lunch.
Directly following their wedding, the newlyweds jetted off to California for a few weeks to relax and rejuvenate in the sunshine; instead of a typical resort honeymoon, the couple opted to create their own adventure filled with the things that they love most.
Nadia & Felipe, Thank you for providing me with the privilege and honour of working with you on the planning, design, and details of your wedding. I greatly enjoyed our many lattes and scrumptious breakfasts (even if they weren’t during “breakfast!”). May you continue to flourish in your businesses, with the love, support, and encouragement that you share as newlyweds. Wishing you many blessings throughout your marriage. Love, Rebecca
Wedding date: 11 August 2012 | Location: Edmonton, Alberta | Guest list: 145 | Ceremony Venue: The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald, Empire Ballroom | Officiant: Pastor Dan, Red Willow Church, St. Albert | Reception Venue: The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald, Empire Ballroom | Wedding Planner: High Culture | Photographer: pink sugar photography | Videographer: Dave Tameling | Gown Boutique: Bridal Debut | Gown Designer: Maggie Sottero | Bride’s Accessories: Claire’s | Shoes: Toms | Groom Formal Wear: Jimmy’s Tailor, custom suit | Groom’s Shoes: Gravity Pope | Jeweller: Gemoro, West Edmonton Mall | Stationery: Paperhearts studio | Cake Shoppe: The Art of Cake | Floral: Urban Affairs | Design & Décor: High Culture | Rentals: Urban Affairs | Make-up Artist: Mimi Make Up | Hair Stylist: Christine Goodridge | Music: Galen Noland (harpist, ceremony) / Infinite Entertainment Services (dj, reception) / Oliver Miguel (band, reception) | Additional Entertainment: Cheremosh Ukrainian Dance Company / Flashworks (photo booth) / Judith Garcia (flamenco dancer) | Transportation: Budget Car Rentals | Honeymoon Destination: California (hermosa beach, san diego, los angeles)