Outdoor ceremony space at Quaaout Lodge in Little Shuswap, florals by Tangerine Orchid
DIY floral headpiece and dress for flower girl at Little Shuswap wedding
Midsummer Night's Dream inspired reception decor by Defining Decor in British Columbia
BC wedding photographer Kevin Trowbridge captures TV-style bridal party photograph
Photographer: Kevin Trowbridge Photography
Venue: Quaaout Lodge
Décor: Tyler O'Hara, Defining Decor
Florals: Shannon Prodor, Tangerine Orchid
Cake & Cupcakes: Sweet on You
Bride's Dress: Hailey Paige, available at Cameo & Cufflinks
Groom's Tux: Paul Bentenly
Makeup: Melissa Craven
Music: Derek Learmonth
Growing up, Nelle spent her summers at her parent’s cabin on the Shuswap. It was nearby to Quaaout Lodge, a place she and Alex visited many times as a couple—and a location that had many happy memories for the whole family. So when Alex proposed and the couple began the planning process, Quaaout Lodge stood out. “I loved the idea of a venue that combined a beautiful, majestic forest setting with pristine views of the Little Shuwsap Lake,” says Nelle. That combination perfectly captured the Midsummer Night’s Dream theme the couple set out to create.
They wanted to highlight the natural beauty of the venue and chose a pink and purple palette, in many shades, to accompany the lush greenery of the locale. “It also helped that purple is my absolute favourite colour,” laughs Nelle. The Midsummer Night’s Dream theme was a balance of bohemian, whimsy and glamour; “a party that you could imagine fairy royalty throwing in the middle of the forest with ethereal twinkling lights and moss-covered chandeliers,” say the couple.
Their planner and vendors all worked closely together to achieve this vision, and the results were spectacular. Mossy escort card picture frames (inspired by Pinterest, of course), tree trunk cupcake stands, romantic floral arches and sweeping displays, and miniature terrariums, complete with moss, leaves and tiny flowers, as well as Shakespearean quotes about gratefulness and thanks—every detail was well-thought out and perfected.
And many of the elements were DIY projects that the bride and family pitched in to complete. Alex proudly constructed the cupcake stands, Nelle’s aunt made the flower girl’s darling dress and her father made the Shakespearean table numbers. The couple wanted to include as many personal details as possible and bring their family into the planning process.
The morning of the ceremony, Nelle and her bridal party awoke early and headed to the lake for a yoga session. The hotel guests were still sound asleep so they had the lakefront to themselves. “It helped everyone relax and really prepared me for all of the excitement that was to come later in the day,” explains Nelle. Following the class, the bridal party sipped mimosas while they got ready.
One of the most unique elements of the wedding was Nelle’s stunning alabaster Hailey Paige gown. It wasn’t what she originally envisioned (a sleek, lacy white ensemble) but it was love at first sight and with her bridal party in tow at the boutique, she had the encouragement of all those around her. “Everyone said it was meant for me.”
Throughout the day, Nelle and Alex say there were so many special moments. Nelle’s mother pinned a beautiful antique broach—her great grandmother’s—to her dress as something old; the couple remembered their grandparents in a heartwarming slideshow during the reception; they exchanged heartfelt letters, both doodled with the same silly picture, a throwback to their early dating days; Alex’s mother gave Nelle a custom-made gold ring to represent the joining of their family.
The reception took place beneath a canopy of glittering lights overlooking the lake. To keep the party open and the conversation flowing, the couple opted for a picnic-style head table. “Our decorator really took advantage of the venue’s architecture by adding romantic draping and purple up lighting behind the table.” The speech and laughter-filled reception flowed right into a dance at the venue’s gazebo—a natural dance floor.
This wedding was certainly touched by fairies as in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and as the guests stayed on to enjoy a Shuswap summer, the couple whisked off to Japan for an unforgettable honeymoon.