Michael and Richel
July 1, 2017, Riverway Clubhouse, Burnaby
Photography by Clint Bargen Photography

Ask Michael and Richel what the word rustic means, and they’ll likely refer you to the Oxford English Dictionary. But the word perfectly encompasses what the couple was looking for when it came to tying the knot. “To this day, I couldn’t even tell you what rustic looks like,” Richel says. “But our wedding coordinator, Chloe, helped us capture that whole aesthetic.”

Mike and Shay - Clint Bargen Photography
Credit: Clint Bargen Photography
Mike and Shay - Clint Bargen Photography
Credit: Clint Bargen Photography
Mike and Shay - Clint Bargen Photography
Credit: Clint Bargen Photography

Using the pair’s Pinterest board — which was filled with white, gold and earthy elements — as a jumping point, Chloe Wan of D’Love Affair helped high-school sweethearts Michael and Richel transform Burnaby’s Riverway Clubhouse into a charming “rustic luxe” chalet, where friends and family proceeded after a church ceremony on Canada Day.

Mike and Shay - Clint Bargen Photography
Credit: Clint Bargen Photography
Mike and Shay - Clint Bargen Photography
Credit: Clint Bargen Photography
Mike and Shay - Clint Bargen Photography
Credit: Clint Bargen Photography
Mike and Shay - Clint Bargen Photography
Credit: Clint Bargen Photography

The venue’s high wood beams went swimmingly with natural-wood seating charts and backdrops, while glittering gold tableware kept the look and feel modern. Small touches of greenery by Kaye Fleur strewn atop tables and a grand chandelier — and across a handcrafted trellis — tied everything together. “We're not the type of couple to want these, like, very elaborate floral installations,” Richel says. “We like natural and lots of green.”

Mike and Shay - Clint Bargen Photography
Credit: Clint Bargen Photography
Mike and Shay - Clint Bargen Photography
Credit: Clint Bargen Photography
Mike and Shay - Clint Bargen Photography
Credit: Clint Bargen Photography

Of course, Michael and Richel didn’t just want any rustic-luxe wedding. They wanted the day to feel theirs, too. That meant incorporating wedding table numbers modeled after Xbox controllers — a reference to the couple’s love of video games — as well as decorative military men that gave a cheeky nod to Call of Duty, which they often play together.

Mike and Shay - Clint Bargen Photography
Credit: Clint Bargen Photography
Mike and Shay - Clint Bargen Photography
Credit: Clint Bargen Photography
Mike and Shay - Clint Bargen Photography
Credit: Clint Bargen Photography

The pair also created a laidback lounge — outfitted with vintage furnishings from Past Pieces — where guests could kick back between mingling and waiting for their close-up in the on-site photobooth. The lounge was adorned with framed photos from Michael’s and Richel’s parents’ weddings, too. “The lounge kind of set the mood, because it was right at the front entrance and very casual,” Michael says.

Mike and Shay - Clint Bargen Photography
Credit: Clint Bargen Photography
Mike and Shay - Clint Bargen Photography
Credit: Clint Bargen Photography

Guests were spoiled for choice when it came to dessert. Michael and Richel had the Sweet Alley prepare a red velvet cake, as well as vanilla bean- and ube-flavoured cupcakes. “The ube was an homage to our Filipino traditions,” Richel says. “And it tasted so good we had to include it.”

Mike and Shay - Clint Bargen Photography
Credit: Clint Bargen Photography
Mike and Shay - Clint Bargen Photography
Credit: Clint Bargen Photography
Mike and Shay - Clint Bargen Photography
Credit: Clint Bargen Photography
Mike and Shay - Clint Bargen Photography
Credit: Clint Bargen Photography

Just as sweet as the treats was the money dance, a Filipino tradition in which guests pin money on the bride and groom for good fortune in exchange for a dance. A pre-reception photoshoot at Deer Lake with Michael’s and Richel’s nearest and dearest — and speeches by the entire bridal and groom parties — were also among the couple’s highlights of the day.

“They're part of our love story, because they're all high school friends of ours,” says Richel. “So it was really nice to hear their words.”

Mike and Shay - Clint Bargen Photography
Credit: Clint Bargen Photography

Key vendors

Venue, Riverway Clubhouse. Photography, Clint Bargen Photography. Videography, So Wedding. Wedding coordinator, Chloe Wan of D’Love Affair. DJ, DJ Miss M. Flowers, Kaye Fleur. Décor, Past Pieces. Calligraphy, Alexandra Script. Cake, the Sweet Alley. Photobooth, Dang Good Booths. Wedding favour succulents, the Heart Company. Rentals, A&B Party Rentals. Hair and makeup, Rita Tang of the Love Team Makeup and Hair. Dress, the Bridal Gallery. Suit, Indochino.