Photographer: Ophelia Photography
Venue: Hotel Georgia
Planner: Genève McNally, from DreamGroup Productions
Bride's Dress: Rita Hayworth by Christine Dando, available at Isabelle's Bridal
Bridesmaid Dresses: Donna Morgan, available at Nordstrom
Groom's Outfit: The Tux Store
Bow Ties: Beaux Ties
Hair & Makeup: Anita Lee Beauty and Style
Stationery — Invitations: InspirAsian Creations
Stationery — Escort Cards: Love by Phoebe
Décor — Trees: Reel Silks
Décor — Linens: Upright Décor
Décor — Balloon: Balloonatics Designs
Games: Bespoke Decor Rentals
Florals: Granville Island Florist
Cake: Gourmand Macaron
Jewellery: Marcus Jewellery
Officiant: Karen Ell
Music: Musical Occasions
DJ: DJ Pri, from GirlOnWax Entertainment
Rentals: Pedersens Rentals
Photobooth: Vancouver Photobooth
Zara and Dave planned their Hotel Georgia wedding in just six months. Engaged in June 2015, they knew they wanted a winter wedding. “We fell in love in January 2009, shared our first apartment in January 2010 and purchased our home in January 2012,” says Zara. “January is a month dear to our hearts, not to mention that David’s birthday is also in January!”
To make a winter wedding happen, it would either be a six-month or 18-month planning period, but the couple didn’t want to wait long. They found DreamGroup Productions in October and planner Genève McNally helped plan their January wedding in the final three months.
When it came to a vision for the wedding, Zara and Dave admit they have different styles. “David is intelligent, sensible and reliable,” says Zara. “He wanted a timeless wedding with a sophisticated colour palette.” Zara, on the other hand, describes herself as cheerful, spontaneous and bubbling with energy. Her wedding vision blends traditional and non-traditional elements. “I like the look of two opposites together,” she explains.
For a venue, Zara and Dave wanted something full of history and character. Hotel Georgia was just the spot and they fell in love with it immediately upon entering the lobby.
Zara found her blush Rita Hayworth by Christine Dando gown at Isabelle’s Bridal and Jesse from Beaux Ties designed her custom cathedral-length veil. David wore a custom midnight blue suit from The Tux Store. Blush and navy then inspired the colour palette for the wedding party, ceremony and reception. The flower girls wore blush tulle dresses and the bridesmaids wore midnight blue formal gowns. Jesse from Beaux Ties made David’s tie and the ring bearer’s bowtie, including hand-sewn polka-dots.
Before the wedding, Zara brought her nieces and nephews to Nordstrom to choose their own shoes. “The girls wanted simple black shoes and the boys wanted to run around, so Converse sneakers was the way to go,” says Zara. To match, Zara found a pair of navy converse (the last colour in her size!) Since she had already found her pink Badgley Mischka’s to wear with her ball gown, Zara decided to wear the Converse for photos and dancing. “I would most definitely recommend the Converse Chuck Taylor Hidden Wedges to all brides out there if they decide to go with a ball gown.”
While Hotel Georgia is a beautiful venue, Zara and Dave wanted to add their personality to the space. “To add a little fun, we rented super-sized Connect Four and Jenga for guests to play,” says Zara. Instead of a traditional seating chart, they brought in a huge cherry blossom tree with heart-shaped nametags hanging from the branches. “The guests had so much fun looking for their nametags,” says Zara. She explains that the inspiration came from her favourite children’s book, The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. The book also inspired the tree-like centerpieces throughout the reception hall.
Another personal detail, Zara’s mother made the ring bearer’s ring-shaped pillow based on a photo Zara had see online. The blush-coloured round helium balloon carried by one of the flower girls was another fun element in the ceremony. “The balloon was so big that the helium kept pulling the flower girl's arm up.” The idea came from the folks at Big Love Ball (another big hit amongst guests).
Zara and Dave say the planning process was fun and full of surprises. “We had an idea of what we wanted, but were open to ideas from Genève,” says Zara. Being flexible allows for the best possible outcome. For example, Zara and a friend were driving down Granville Street in Richmond when Zara spotted an old blue car on the side of the road. One dangerous U-turn and a conversation with the owner later, and the couple had found a unique accessory for their wedding photos.