PHOTOGRAPHY BY VASIA HAN OF VASIA HAN PHOTOGRAPHY
Lauren Wood swept Michael Busto off the ice rink and into the ballroom of the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver for a fairy-tale wedding
It took a 2013 weekend in Whistler and an engagement ring to transform Burnaby native Michael Busto from a rough hockey player into a super romantic guy. But his bride-to-be Lauren Wood was smitten long before he popped the question.
The couple met in 2008, when Michael was playing professional hockey with the Charlotte Checkers in North Carolina. Lauren was studying at the University of North Carolina at the time. They hit it off and were soon dating. By Christmas, she invited him home to Salisbury, North Carolina, to meet her family. To Lauren’s delight, Michael’s outgoing personality had him fitting in immediately.
In the years that followed, as Michael followed a hockey puck around the world playing for various teams, Lauren frequently packed her suitcase and jetted out to see him. “She stuck through a lot of stuff with me,” says Michael, who knew he’d met “the one.”
The two were living in Angers, France, when Lauren began planning her dream wedding. Vancouver was a natural choice for the venue since it was Michael’s hometown. “The city is so beautiful, I wanted to show it off,” she admits. “I come from a small Southern family in North Carolina, compared to Michael’s large Italian family, and I knew it would be a fun vacation for my family members if we married in Vancouver.”
Planning from a distance, the couple relied on Sahar Sarband of Modern Mint Events to help arrange the details.
Lauren wore a strapless lace and tulle gown by Monique Lhuillier from Bisou Bridal, while Michael swapped hockey gear for a navy tuxedo from The Tux Store. His groomsmen wore black tuxes, while the bridesmaids wore dresses by Israeli designer Sheryll Raz Gold, found on Etsy.
Lauren found her Badgley Mischka light blue heels decorated with Swarovski pendants at Nordstrom. Her fresh face and gentle waves were by Faye Smith Makeup And Hair and she wore a headpiece and jewellery from Jeweliette.
The gold-embossed stationery suite by Carlson Craft was elevated with intricate laser cutting along the paper’s edge.
The couple held their late-afternoon wedding ceremony at St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church, chosen for its proximity to the reception venue and its inclusiveness of all people and all faiths.
At the reception, Lauren and Michael sat at a mirrored table draped with dusty pink roses and hydrangeas, the leaves sprinkled with gold dust. “We wanted it to look very romantic,” says Lauren of the arrangements created by The Flower Factory.
A fan of Beauty and the Beast, Lauren found her dream reception venue in the ballroom of the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. Her vision of a fairytale, fun, romantic wedding in gold and white came to life with rentals from Éclat Decor and a delicious feast catered by Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.
To add texture to the room, Lauren selected two different tablecloths for the reception tables. The carved-back Louis chairs from Éclat Decor were another elegant nod to Belle’s castle.
Cake By Nicole recreated a cake Lauren found on Pinterest. “Nicole took my vision and went over and beyond,” says Lauren of the vanilla buttercream confection decorated with fondant, gold leafing and petals.
DJ Nathalia from Girlonwax entertained guests after the couple’s first dance to Michael Bublé’s cover of “All You Need Is Love.”