From handwritten notes to heaps of comfort food, this couple thoughtfully welcomed family and friends to celebrate their union


t may have taken them seven years to exchange vows but Ashton Burdge and Charlie Pollock were certain—almost from the day they met through friends at The Moose restaurant in Vancouver—that they would marry.

“I think we were just really aligned and our values were so similar from the beginning. That just cemented that we were with the right people [for one another],” recalls Ashton.

But she was bemused that the proposal didn’t come when she expected it would. The travel-loving pair were on an adventurous five-week tour of Asia, and Ashton had assumed that Charlie would propose in one the many special locales along the way. Her intuition was right, but her timing was almost off. Charlie proposed in Tokyo at 11 p.m. on the very last night of their trip.


“I think he was a bit nervous. He said after that he had carried [the ring] in his pocket every single day,” she recounts. “He almost brought it out numerous times, but he got too nervous. On the last day, he felt there was no other option.”

Ten months later on a mercurial day in February—there was rain, snow and sunshine—the couple married in a magical, romantic setting designed by Ashton (who owns Bespoke Decor), and planned by Smitten Events.

“It was a little eclectic,” she explains. “The most important thing was... making sure that everybody felt welcome... it was beautiful, sure, but it was still a space in which everyone could relax and enjoy.”


There was no angst over the bridal gown—the elegant lace creation was a gift from her mother. “I went into Lisa’s Bridal. I didn’t have an appointment. I just went in and it was the first dress I tried on.” For Charlie’s tuxedo, they decided to rent, rather than buy, from the same boutique.


“We wanted to do something different in that space and the ghost chairs do bring a bit of a modern element to that industrial building,” Ashton says of the acrylic chairs that had each guest’s name handwritten on the back by Meg White Design. The pair also wrote a note to each guest that was tucked into their place setting.


The sculpture-like botanical installation in the u-space of the table arrangement, created by Celsia Florist, adds warmth, colour and visual interest to the romantic setting, enhanced with a soft glow from the lanterns and candles.


The overall colour palette was definitely dark, Ashton admits. And the florals reflected that choice with what she describes as “moody botanicals. A bit wild and unkempt, which is very Celsia’s signature style.” Having worked with them, Ashton trusted that the florist could accurately interpret their vision.


As lush as it looks, the table decor was an informal mix of low-height botanicals in marble vases, three types of candle holders with gold cutlery and black charger plates and knotted lace napkins for the place settings.


Space for lounging was inviting and generous: two living-room-like spaces, a café and a dedicated children’s lounge with pint-sized furniture and food service. The relaxing mood in each space was set with luxurious seating and layered lighting: overhead garlanded string lights, lanterns and candles.


The ceremony music, performed by Colin Bullock, referenced the importance of family for the couple when he played a song written for Charlie’s grandparents’ 60th anniversary a few years before.


Ashton and Charlie’s values not only align with each other but also with those involved in their wedding. Ashton says Shawn Miller, of Young, Hip & Married, approaches weddings believing he is “creating marriages more so than ceremonies.”


One sustainable approach to giving is the gifting of a wedding experience or contribution, as with the striking, floral-festooned black cake, by Christine’s Creative Cakes, which was a gift from Ashton’s former high-school math teacher.



PHOTOGRAPHY: The Apartment Photography | VIDEOGRAPHY: Hello Tomorrow Wedding Films | CREATIVE DIRECTION + PLANNING: Bespoke Decor, Smitten Events | FLORALS: Celsia Florist | VENUE: The Pipe Shop | CATERING: White Table Catering Co. | STATIONERY: Meg White Design | CAKE: Christine's Creative Cakes | RENTALS: Elizabeth Stanley Event Design, Lonsdale Event Rentals | DECOR: Bespoke Decor, Greenscape Design & Decor | BRIDE'S DRESS: Lisa's Bridal Salon Ltd. | GROOM'S SUIT: The Tux Store | BRIDAL PARTY ATTIRE: Lisa's Bridal Salon Ltd., The Tux Store | OFFICIANT: Young, Hip & Married | MUSICIAN: Colin Bullock