Photographer: Sweet Life Photography
Videographer: Capture the Moment Media
Venue: Hycroft Manor
Wedding Planner: CountDown Events
Hair: Chris Funk
Makeup: Emily Cheng Makeup
Bride’s Dress: David’s Bridal (dress & belt), Groom’s mother (handmade veil)
Bridesmaid Dresses: J.Crew
Groom’s Outfit: ASOS, Hugo Boss
Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade, from Nordstrom
Groom’s Shoes: House of Hounds, from ASOS
Décor: Eclat Décor
Rentals: Pedersens Rentals
Linens: Taffete Designs
Stationery: Love by Phoebe
Flowers: Flower Factory
Catering: The Lazy Gourmet
Cake: Sweet Bake Shop
Wines: LaStella, Steller’s Jay Brut
Officiant: Paula Cline
Jewellery: J.Crew
Wedding Rings: Spence Diamonds
Transportation: KJ Limousine

“I moved to Vancouver 11 years ago for makeup school and thought I was going to be a makeup artist to the stars,” says Edmonton native Erin Gerlach, now principal at Sparkle Media and a beauty editor at Glitter Guide.

She needed a part-time job and dropped off her resumé at a West End Starbucks – wearing knee-high vinyl boots, long, streaked hair and acrylic nails – never guessing she’d just met her husband-to-be.

“When she left, my manager said he thought she seemed nice,” says Roberto Sousa, now an account executive at Creative B’stro and a stylist at Nadia Albano Style Inc., who remembers interjecting: “She seems like the biggest princess.”

She won the manager over with her smile but it took a bit longer to impress Roberto. “On my first shift with her,” says Roberto, “I asked her to change garbage and she said, ‘Do you see these nails? I don’t change garbage’ – and she still doesn’t to this day.”

Nevertheless, Roberto and Erin soon struck up a close friendship. The two were best friends for the next seven years, “but it was very platonic,” says Erin. It wasn’t until a conversation with her sister, asking why this perfect match wasn’t a pair, that they decided to start dating.

Two years later they moved in together, and the following Christmas, Roberto hatched his proposal plan. He created an epic “engagement tree” near Lost Lagoon in Stanley Park, complete with a “will you marry me?” garland and battery-operated lights. Leading Erin down the trail for a “casual walk,” he lit up the tree, and when she turned back to look at him he was on one knee.

“He proposed the day before I left for Christmas in Edmonton, so of course the first thing I wanted to do was look for a dress with my family,” says Erin, who found the perfect gown at her first appointment, five days after their engagement.

“As soon as I came home, it was full steam ahead,” she says of the seven-month window in which they planned their wedding. At first they dreamed of marrying in Sousa’s native Portugal before realizing how difficult it would be to manage.

Instead, in response to their hope for a “very European-style venue, something romantic with plenty of outdoor space,” their wedding planner, Vancouver’s CountDown Events, suggested the historic Hycroft Manor. They took one look at the photos and booked it right away.

“Our venue was so gorgeous that I didn’t want the décor to overwhelm the space, and I wanted everything to feel very personal and very ‘us’,” says Erin. “We worked with an amazing team and I handpicked everything, from the chargers, to the linens, to those beautiful Louis chairs.”

The couple wed on a perfect summer’s day in the manor’s garden, then took photos on the grounds, while their guests mingled over cocktails and canapés. Then it was time for dinner at the long table set on Hycroft’s grand terrace for 65 of their nearest and dearest.

“It was such a beautiful feeling to have this big, long table and these big, bountiful plates being passed around,” says Erin of the family-style dinner featuring cod fish for the groom’s Portuguese heritage, beef filet for the bride’s Alberta roots, and an endless supply of their favourite special-occasion wine.

Next, it was time to dance, and the music-loving couple spent considerable effort pre-selecting a song list that would inspire the most feet on the dance floor until Hycroft’s early curfew. When it was time to leave at 11 p.m. a party bus delivered everyone to the couple’s suite at the Fairmont Pacific Rim, where they’d arranged for pizza delivery from The Parlour to fuel their continued celebration. And celebrate they did, making the most of every minute of their first day together as husband and wife.