Lydia Okello and Hannah Ackeral
August 8, 2019
Bloedel Conservatory
Photographed by Wild Hearts Collective

fsgfsPhoto by Wild Hearts Collective

Lydia and Hannah knew they had each found their person within their first year of dating. They just didn’t think they’d get hitched as soon as they did. “We knew we wanted to get married and were planning to do it in summer 2020,” Lydia says. “But we went to two weddings this year—one in Australia, one in Vancouver—and they were just so fun and intimate and felt so personal to the couples. We loved being at both of them, and so we were like, ‘What if we got married this year?’”

The pair, who met at a party at the Red Gate Arts Society in 2014, had that thought in April. They ended up marrying in August in a cheery, unstuffy ceremony atBloedel Conservatory, where classic wedding conventions were upended in favour of coral-pink pants, a poetry reading and a ring-warming ritual in which guests had the chance to hold—and imbue love and blessings into—the dainty wedding bands that Lydia and Hannah would eventually slip onto each other’s fingers.

Hannah led the whirlwind four months of planning, enlisting the help of talented friends as florists, bakers and sound technicians. Friends contributed to the reception at Gastown’s Six Acres, too, by naming a song they’d like to hear on the dinner and dance playlists when they submitted their RSVPs. “Having our friends help out and having a little bit of them in the wedding was really lovely,” says Hannah. “Because they’re what flavours our lives, right?”

Photos from Lydia and Hannah's Intimate Wedding Day

gdgfdgPhoto by Wild Hearts CollectiveCOORDINATED COOL Lydia and Hannah didn’t want to go the traditional wedding-dress route. Instead, Lydia opted for peach-pink Eloquii pants and a Zara button-up dotted with sunny daisies. Hannah paired a breezy white Zara dress with Oak and Fort earrings. The couple wore pink shoes: a pair of About Arianne bow-tie sandal mules for Lydia and 27 Edit slingback pumps for Hannah. “Our outfits weren’t a big reveal on the date,” says Lydia. “So we were able to coordinate our looks.” Chrissey Leyburn did the brides’ makeup. Nessa Pineda of Field Trip Hair styled Hannah’s tresses; Hannah styled Lydia’s hair.

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sfdfsdfPhoto by Wild Hearts CollectiveREADY TO ROLL Securing a venue for a wedding just four months out proved the most challenging part of the planning process. Luckily, Bloedel Conservatory—an attraction Hannah has fond memories of visiting as a child and an environment that fits Lydia’s love of the tropics—was available. It works great for couples in a time crunch, too. “The Bloedel is beautiful, so you don’t have to decorate it,” says Hannah. “You can just show
up and get married.”

adsdasPhoto by Wild Hearts CollectiveFLOWER POWER Lydia arranged the bouquets with the help of a friend on the morning of the wedding. The duo opted for a minimalist arrangement of origanums from the Flower Factory and Wynn’s Plants and Flowers at Kingsgate Mall. “We wanted to have something in our hands, but it didn’t need to be elaborate,” says Lydia. “We didn’t want it to get lost in the setting.”

fsdfsdfsdPhoto by Wild Hearts CollectiveSWEET STRUCTURE Lydia and Hannah skirted tradition for most of their ceremony, but, as writers, they made it a point to craft their own vows. That’s when their celebrant, Jayne Gibson, came in handy. “She was like, ‘Your vows should be about this long, and that’s about this many typed words and this many pages,’ which gave us a guideline to work with,” Hannah says.

adfdfaTHE LOCAL A go-to date-night spot for Lydia and Hannah, Six Acres proved a natural choice for the reception. “It almost feels like a womb in there,” says Lydia. “It’s very warm and sheltered, and there’s this feeling of history and memory. But it’s also very easy and approachable.”

adsadasBEST BITES The wedding cake was a collaboration between two friends, one a hobby florist and one a baker. The couple had a few guidelines: the cake should be white and unfussy, lavender-lime in flavour and decorated with pastel-hued blooms. “We didn’t see it until we got to the venue, but it was perfect—and it tasted really good,” Lydia says