An Okanagan bride recounts the magical moments from her harvest-inspired wedding filled with personal touches


"The best moment of the day was walking down the aisle and seeing each other for the first time; it was a really overwhelming and beautiful moment. Our ceremony was in a small historic church that was built in 1892. A dear friend played 'Claire de Lune' on an antique piano as I walked down the aisle, and the acoustics of the old church were so full and rich it felt like a movie.


"We didn't have a specific wedding theme, but the season and the location played a lot into our inspiration. The palette was full of deep golds, brick reds and rich pumpkin oranges that are characteristic of the harvest season in the Okanagan. We sourced everything we possibly could locally. The greenery and pumpkins were from my family farms; the meal was farm-to-table; the wine was from a local vineyard; the desserts and jam favours were made by my grandmother... the list goes on! We both grew up in the Okanagan, and we wanted our wedding to feel like the big, warm family gatherings we grew up doing.


"The wedding cake was by far my favourite detail. It was made by my grandmother. She spent all year testing and baking to find the perfect recipe. Then, the day before the wedding, she changed her mind completely and made her tried-and-true carrot cake—my childhood favourite. Her oven broke in the process and she had to drive across the countryside to borrow my great aunt's oven to finish the last layers. It was beautifully detailed with blackberries  and blueberries (which I loved picking in the wild where I grew up) and perched a wood round my grandfather cut. It was in a way a really special homage to who I was and how I was raised."


If you’re thinking of having children at your wedding, one element we really loved at our reception was the "Kids Zone". We have a lot of young children and new parents in our lives, and wanted to create a atmosphere where the parents could relax and this kids could be kids. We had a canvas teepee set up and filled it with blankets and pillows. There were colouring books, crayons, balloons and even homemade playdoh. We also added a couple chairs for breastfeeding mamas.


My advice for brides? Weddings are expensive, so really decide on what matters to you, and just go for it. If you can't afford it all, then really invest in the parts that make your heart skip and let go of the elements that don't matter as much to you. That being said, budget for a wedding coordinator— Lara and the CoCo team were the best decision I made. As well, planning an off season wedding can be a lot more enjoyable— vendors are available, prices are lower and you can relax a bit more in the planning process knowing you aren't competing as much with other brides. Finally, remember you can make an impact with all that money you are about to spend! Think about shopping and supporting local, as well as finding ways to be more sustainable.




Photographer: Bake Photography
Venue (ceremony): Benvoulin Heritage Church
Venue (reception): Laurel Packinghouse
Planner/Decorator/Consultant: Coco Events
Florals: Lavender and Lace Floral Farm
Rentals: Blushing Pear, Avalon Event Rentals, All Occasions Party Rentals
Bride’s Dress: Truvelle
Bridesmaid Dresses (designer and store): Adrianna Papell, Donna Morgan, Boutique 1861, Lulus
Groom’s Outfit: Indochino
Groomsmen Outfits: The Bay
Makeup: Jordi Dreher of It's Likely Makeup
Hair: Kari Sturgeon Hair by Kari Anna
Stationery: Lucy Panes
Catering: Chef Chris Van Hooydonk of Backyard Farm
Cake: Homemade by the bride's grandmother
Jewelry: Cavalier Fine Jewelry Shoppe (rings), Foe and Dear (earrings), Olivia the Wolf (headpiece), Catherine Hartley (bracelet)
Officiant: Derrick Koch
Music: Matt Kelly (ceremony piano)
DJ: DJ Randy