Photographer: Dallas Kolotylo Photography
Venue: Heritage Hall
Accommodations: Carmana Plaza
Wedding Planner: Revel Events
Bride’s Dress: Monique Lhuillier, from Bisou Bridal
Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal, BCBG
Hair & Makeup: Katie Elwood
Bride’s Shoes: Ivanka Trump, from Nordstrom
Groom’s Outfit: Ermenegildo Zegna, from Holt Renfrew
Décor: Spruce Vintage Rentals
Stationery: Oslo Cards
Flowers: The Flower Factory
Catering: Louis Gervais Fine Foods & Catering
Cake: Elite Bakery
Officiant: Doug Cameron
Music: Coldwater Road (ceremony), Brown Paper Bag (reception)
Jewellery: Aurelie Bidermann (cuff), Etsy (gold leaf hair comb)
Transportation: Prestige Limousine

You could say that Heidi Annell and Larry Amskold’s romance got off to a rocky start. But the two Alaska-based geologists wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Wed at Vancouver’s Heritage Hall on February 15, 2014, the couple wouldn’t have met were it not for their mutual love of minerals. After all, they owe their introduction to a geologist colleague, who brought them together in November 2010 at Gastown’s Irish Heather pub. The attraction was rock solid from the start.

A long-distance romance ensued before Larry relocated to Anchorage a year later to join his beloved. But it wasn’t until the two journeyed home to Vancouver for a Neil Young concert in 2012 that they upped the ante with an engagement. And no conventional diamond sparkler would do for this discerning duo. Larry deemed it only fitting, given their introduction by a ruby expert, that Heidi should be gifted with a “beautiful custom-made ruby ring.” After treating her to lunch at the pub where they first met, Larry dropped down to one knee during a walk through Crab Park, and proposed to his surprised — and “uncharacteristically emotional” — girlfriend.

Choosing to hold the wedding in Vancouver instead of Anchorage was a no-brainer for the couple, whose friends and family are largely in the Lower Mainland. But doing all the planning from such a far-flung locale made it feel as if they were planning a destination wedding, Heidi recalls, citing endless emails, phone calls and Skype meetings with vendors. To help with logistics, the couple hired Vancouver-based wedding planner Jenna Smith of Revel Events to take care of all the nuptial nitty-gritty.

One easy decision for the pair was choosing Heritage Hall for both their ceremony and reception. As Heidi explains, “We loved the architecture, and the interior was decorated with such rich colours it didn’t need much additional décor.” Of course, it still needed some dressing up, so the couple added several fun personal touches to achieve their mutual vision of a “vintage academic” theme. Rather than typical flowers and ribbons, they decorated the historic ballroom with an assortment of rocks, globes, maps, terrariums, geodes and even miniature dinosaurs.

The couple’s attire was equally unconventional. Heidi eschewed traditional wedding white for a blush-pink silk Monique Lhuillier gown — “I bought it in Vancouver, as options are somewhat limited in Alaska,” she jokes. And Larry chose a navy-blue tuxedo rather than basic black. The two made a striking couple as they stood before 105 guests, flanked by a quartet of groomsmen and bridesmaids, to recite their own self-written vows.

And though it poured rain on their wedding day, the spirit of the occasion wasn’t dampened in the least. Guests staved off the winter chill with a chef-created menu full of upscale comfort foods such as mac-and-cheese, Swedish meatballs, and prime rib with caramelized winter vegetables, followed by dancing to local R&B band Brown Paper Bag.

In a night full of wonderful moments, Heidi’s favourite came just before the reception, when she surveyed the scene and “realized everything came together and all we had to do was enjoy the rest of the night.” For Larry, a highlight was “looking around seeing all our guests mingling and getting to know each other” — but the icing on the proverbial cake came later, when his new bride jumped onstage to sing a rendition of “Unforgettable.”

It was the perfect song to sum up a day that had, indeed, been unforgettable.