Fairmont Hotel Vancouver Wedding by John Bello

Alberta high school sweethearts Courtney McKay and Chris Marchand swapped their destination St. Thomas wedding for an opulent affair at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.

Alberta high school sweethearts Courtney McKay and Chris Marchand had originally planned to marry on a beach on the island of St. Thomas in March 2013. Invites were sent and the wedding trip was booked and paid for. Tragically, Courtney’s grandfather was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer and became too ill to travel. Without question, the couple cancelled their destination wedding in order to bring their wedding to their family. They chose Vancouver, where both Chris and Courtney have family members.

Courtney gives full credit to wedding planner Aurora Buchanan from Alicia Keats Weddings + Events for turning her dream wedding into reality. While Courtney wanted the high-end wow factor for their ceremony and reception, the couple also wanted the day to feel fun and laid-back for friends and family.

Courtney recalls that she woke up on the morning of the wedding feeling surprisingly calm, although Chris was suffering from nerves and a touch of stage fright. Luckily, says Courtney, her husband got through the intimate church ceremony without fainting!

After a photo session in Stanley Park, everyone was set to party at the opulent Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. Glimpsing the decorated reception room for the first time, Courtney says every detail took her breath away, from the stunning flowers and crystal candelabras, to the dramatic backdrop and head table. After a delicious dinner, cake and a few heartfeltspeeches, everyone made their way to the dance floor and photo booth to celebrate the night away. “If we could do it over,” says Courtney, “there is not one single thing we would change — best day of our lives!”

Photographer: John Bello | Ceremony Venue: St. Andrews-Wesley United Church | Reception Venue & Catering: Fairmont Hotel Vancouver | Bridal Planner – Alicia Keats Wedding + Events | Decorator – Upright Decor | Bride’s Dress: Enzoani, from The Bridal House | Bridesmaid Dresses: TB Dress | Hair/Makeup: Emily Cheng; assisted by Jennifer Mathison | Groom’s & Groomsmen’s Outfits: Black & Lee | Stationery: Love by Phoebe | Flowers: Garden Party Flowers | Cake: Anna Elizabeth Cakes | Jewellery: The Bridal House | Ceremony Music: Musical Occasions | Reception Music: Complete Kitchener | Transportation: Pacific Harmony Limo