Photographer & Videographer: Life Studios Inc. 

Venue: Science World

Wedding Planner: A Day to Remember Events

Bride’s Dress: Galia Lahav

MUAH: Let’s Face it Beauty

Décor: Debut Event Design

Florals: Sunflower Florist

Catering: Savoury City

Cake: The Cake & The Giraffe

Stationery: 1520 Oak

Music: Famous Players Band

Officiant: Young, Hip & Married

Transportation: Ultimate Limousine

It’s not a good sign when your first date ends in a hospital emergency room. But for Stephanie Castillo, a Los Angeles teacher, the experience showed her that Wilson Braulio wasn’t one to shy away from adversity. “He had to carry me into the emergency room after I was infected with a bug,” she recalls. “That’s when I realized he was there to take care of me.” 

The couple had met through mutual friends while briefly in Vegas a month earlier. Wilson recalls asking about the calculus tattoo on Stephanie’s arm and learning she was a high school math teacher. “I realized she was not just externally beautiful, but intelligent too,” he says. They exchanged numbers and kept in touch by phone before arranging their first official date. Though the hospital wasn’t the ideal ending for that date, he felt a deep connection with Stephanie and penned a letter to her soon after – one he never sent. “I wrote that ours was a love that would last forever,” he says. “You know when it’s right, and I knew. But I never sent the letter because I didn’t want to seem overly creepy to her!” 

Wilson was soon ready to propose, but Stephanie insisted she needed a year. Over that time, she suggested they test their compatibility by travelling together, and the two settled on the Philippines and Vancouver as their destinations. Though their time in Vancouver was cut short by another medical emergency, Stephanie had seen enough to know she loved the city and that if a destination wedding were feasible down the line, it would be the perfect place: far from home, but not too far.

A year after their first date, Wilson was planning to propose during a surprise romantic weekend away. In the end, he simply couldn’t wait that long. At 5 a.m. on the morning they were set to leave, he bent down on one knee, ring in hand, and gently woke a groggy Stephanie to ask for her hand in marriage. Stephanie was ready, her destination wedding half-planned in her head even as she embraced her fiancé.

On July 11, 2015, a hundred guests gathered in the shadow of the dinosaur exhibit at Science World in Vancouver. Given Wilson’s career in sales for a biotech firm, and Stephanie’s passion for dinosaurs, the couple had found their perfect wedding venue in the modern science museum. They both wore black for their unconventional celebration, the bride walking down the aisle in an elegant gown by Israeli designer Galia Lahav. “I’m very non-traditional and I wanted my dress to be non-traditional too,” says Stephanie. “When I tried on a white dress it just didn’t feel appropriate for me, because I love black.”

The couple was determined that their wedding would introduce their guests to the sights and flavours of  Vancouver. Reception treats included quintessential Canadian foods: Japadogs, poutine and crêpes, and the party lasted well into the night before Stephanie and Wilson jetted off to Costa Rica for their honeymoon. 

“Vancouver was a great venue for our wedding,” Wilson says. “If  I could, I would do it all over again just the same.”

Words of advice from the bride and groom

It’s your wedding. “Let the wedding be a representation of who you are as a couple,”  say Stephanie and Wilson. Remember that it’s your day and no one else’s. “Your guests are there to celebrate your love as a couple, and couples shouldn’t be afraid to show people how fun, interesting and unique they are.”

Work with people you like and trust. “When it comes to vendors, work with people who share your goal of throwing the best party of your lives,” say the couple. “Word-of-mouth reviews certainly help, and our contact at Science World referred us to some excellent people.”

Listen to one another. “Tough decisions will have to be made and you’ll need to support each other and find a middle ground to achieve your dream wedding as a couple,” say Stephanie and Wilson. “This requires a lot of communication and compromise – great training exercises for any future married couple.”