Megan Baker and Kirby Armstrong
September 28, 2019 at Medina Cafe
Photography by Meghan Hemstra Photography

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Describe your wedding in a few words.

Classic, old Hollywood, Parisian, intimate, dramatic.

Number of guests 64

Budget $20,000

Walk us through the big day!

It was a magical day! We had 80 percent of our guest list arriving from out of town to be with us, so having them all in one spot was an amazing feat.

We stayed at the hotel next to our venue, L'Hermitage, so started the wedding there, each with our bridal party. The girls and I and my mom got our hair done, then had lunch and got our makeup done in the suite. My mom gave me a white handkercheif with blue embroidery as my something blue, the same as her mom gave her when she got married.

Then it was time for the first look. Our photographer had worked with us to choose locations downtown that would feel like we were in New York or Paris—and with the glow of wedding day, the whole city felt like we were somewhere else. The importance and the ceremony of the whole day really hit and we were both so nervous waiting to see each other!

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After that we did photos with our bridal parties, and had fun getting in ns out of taxis to meet our friends and family at different locations for photos.

Unconventionally, we decided to arrive at the venue before our guests, so we could be there to greet each of them. An homage to the more traditional receiving line, and a way to hug them all at least once before we got started! Even though I had designed and planned the whole look, I was amazed when I saw it all come together (our most trusted friends executed the plan using my floor plans and bins with the decor and flowers that were for each table and zone).

The invites had a hand drawn belly band that me and one of my bridesmaids (and designer bestie) spent hours drawing! It was a gold map of Vancouver, specifically the few blocks around the venue for the day.

We kept the travel/cities concept going by naming each table after a city that we have been to together, and I relabelled wine bottles with the city, country and year we were there as the table markers.

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I also made drink flags (with another patient friend) for the welcome cocktails that said "hello" and "welcome" in all of the languages that corresponded with the cities each table was named after. Including Greece, which would be the location of our honeymoon!

We had signature cocktails based on our faves. The "Spritz Parisien" and the "Medina Old Fashioned"

The ceremony was a standing event, where we had the celebrant customize the whole thing to share our story. It was really intimate to have everybody surrounding us, rather than staring up at us from seats far away

The groom organized a photo booth to enhance the old fashioned glamour, jazz club feel by printing out a scaled photo of the iconic Cotton Club. Guests had of-the-era props and a camera was set up so they could all take their own photos as the night went on

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What inspired the look and feel of the day?

As a couple, we love to entertain at our home, and we love to travel. For me, my design inspiration always come from Paris, and often from a different era! So the concept for the look and feel of the day was to be a 1930's New York jazz era wedding, set in Paris, with lots of classic black, white and gold.

What was your favourite thing about the wedding?

We had a champagne tower! It was immediately after the ceremony and the friend who first set us up gave the toast. It was a classic French wedding tradition that we wanted to set the bubbly tone for the evening.

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What was important to you to include in the day?

A signature scent and flavour. It was an exciting concept that the venue first brought up to us an idea, and we really ran with it. Also, it's something that often gets overlooked as a way to set up a unique way to enhance a concept. Medina has a lavender milk chocolate sauce for their classic waffles (which was one of three desserts we served!), so we used lavender again in the cake (lemon lavender), and also in each of the signature cocktails. I also mixed lavender/rosemary oil for diffusers that we hid around the venue and burned a few of my favourite candles (Trudon's "Ernesto") that has leather, tobacco and herbal smells, to create a really moody scent for the space that tied perfectly with the flavours of the food.

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What did you splurge on?

Photography, food and drinks. It was a no brainer to make sure we captured all of the details with an amazing photographer. We knew the day would fly by, and we had had out engagement captured by a photographer so already understood how the photos become really special memories. We consider ourselves foodies, so the food and wine had to be one of our best meals!

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Flowers! My family has lots of gardeners with beautiful gardens so they all let us raid their gardens and then my mom put together ALL of the table arrangements.

It was a huge savings, and it felt extra sweet to have all little bit of everybody's garden as part of the decor.

We also saved on the cake. It was important to me, because I love cakes, but we'd been to enough weddings to know that so much gets left behind. Instead of spending hundreds on a tiered cake, or something custom designed for our day, I chose a delicious (and already pretty) cake from a bakery's regular offerings. We bought two different sizes, and some beautiful cake stands and different height and created a deconstructed wedding cake.

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What was the biggest challenge during the planning process?

Planning the wedding on our own meant we had to be so organized with everything so we could be relaxed day of. We were able to stretch our budget much further by doing all planning, decor, flowers, even making the tablecloths! However it was challenging, and the price we paid to get an event as elegant as we wanted for a price we were willing to spend.

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What would your advice be to other couples planning their big day?

Keep it small. We knew we wanted something intimate, and it felt so good to actually spend time enjoying real visits with the people we are closest to throughout the whole day and evening.

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Venue/food/cocktails: Medina Cafe 
Dress: David's Bridal
Bridesmaids Dresses: The Reformation
Bride/Bridemaids Bouquets: Celsia Florist
Makeup: Save the Date Beauty
Hair: Blo Blow Dry Bar
Gold Chargers and Champagne Coupes: A&B Partytime
Cake: Traffiq
Cake Stand: CB2
Celebrant: Young Hip and Married
Invitations: Minted