An outdoor wedding at Hycroft Manor brings a little Italian romance to Vancouver


Though Vancouverites Kelly Wu and John Chan got engaged in Nagoya (with a surprise Christmas Day proposal at a skating rink after two years of dating), their wedding wound up being heavily influenced by a totally different part of the world: Italy.

“We love European style,” explains Kelly. “We wanted something with that vintage charm.” So when the couple started planning their 128-person ceremony and reception at Vancouver’s Hycroft Manor for the following summer, they looked to Tuscany for inspiration, dreaming of rustic linens, lush florals and traditional details for their big day.


Of course, finding a theme was one thing: executing it well was another... but Kelly was nothing if not diligent when it came to the details. “It was pretty stressful in the beginning because I like everything perfect,” laughs Kelly, who studied graphic and communication design. Though they brought in White Event Studios to help with the creative direction and planning, the couple was hands-on throughout the planning process, scheduling taste-tests at all of the city’s best caterers, multiple floral consultations, and days of dress shopping. “I cared about everything so much. To me, it’s worth it, even if we have to go back five or six times to get what we want.”

But even with the intricate planning, the bride was happily surprised when she finally walked down the aisle. “Even though I knew the colour palette and what to expect, I was still overwhelmed with joy by everything I saw as I walked through the rose garden,” says Kelly. “If it had been in Italy, it would have been perfect, but I think they did a great job of getting close. It didn’t look like it was in Vancouver.”


The vintage furniture from The Collections Rentals and White Event Collections played a huge part in creating that Old World vibe. Mix-and-match seating—everything from chesterfields to high-backed upholstered armchairs—was set up in the rose garden for the ceremony, while the blue-linen covered long tables were lined with cane-backed chairs for the reception dinner.


Kelly went looking for a dress with a European style that was unique and wouldn’t break the bank. After visiting six or seven shops, she found her dream design by Toronto’s Calla Blanche in a North Van boutique. John, meanwhile, sourced his suit from ASOS. Angeline Cut did Kelly’s hair and makeup.


“I just love roses,” says Kelly. Not only did she and John get married in a rose garden, the flower was also heavily featured in both the bridal bouquets and table centrepieces by Celsia Floral. The bridesmaids wore strapless Jovani evening gowns, while Kelly’s maid of honour switched things up in a Terani Couture grey dress.


The invitations had a classic romantic look, even featuring a custom wax seal on dusty blue envelopes. Maurelle Calligraphy hand-lettered each piece; the raw edges of the paper added to the vintage appeal.


The gold cutlery and centrepiece vases both added glamour to the tabletop, though the antique finish kept the overall vibe down-to-earth. Crystal glassware and blue linen tablecloths both provided beautiful texture.


After a meal fromLazy Gourmet Catering, the bride and groom served up a three-tiered cake from A. Elizabeth that referenced those pretty blue hues found elsewhere in the decor. More sweet treats from Mon Paris Patisserie rounded out the dessert offerings.


The couple loves Italy so much, they even went as far as to travel all the way to Tuscany for a pre-wedding photo shoot with Blush Wedding Photography, and then wound up returning to the country for their honeymoon. But their day of love in Vancouver was of course special, too. In fact, after exchanging rings from De Beers and Cartier, John even serenaded Kelly with a surprise ukulele performance. “He learned a song from YouTube!” laughs Kelly.

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PHOTOGRAPHY: Blush Wedding Photography | CREATIVE DIRECTION & PLANNING: White Event Studios | FLORALS: Celsia Floral | VENUE: Hycroft Manor | STATIONERY: Maurelle Calligraphy & Design | RENTALS: The Collections Rentals, White Event Studios | CATERING: Lazy Gourmet | CAKE: A. Elizabeth | DESSERT: Mon Paris Patisserie | BRIDE'S DRESSES: Calla Blanche, Stella York (Grey dress) | GROOM'S SUIT: ASOS | BRIDESMAID DRESSES: Jovani, Terani Couture | HAIR & MAKEUP: Angeline Cut | RINGS: De Beers, Cartier