Vancouver makeup artist Danielle West and British film editor Mark Relf met in 2009 on an island in Indonesia, where they were both travelling with friends. “We always joke that the universe conspired to bring us together,” laughs Danielle. They met through a mutual friend, but both were leaving the island the next day, so didn’t think anything of it.“Mark says he noticed me, even before we met up,” smiles Danielle, who runs Vancouver’s All Dolled Up makeup studio.“Well, it was hard not to,” jokes Mark. “She was the only girl on the beach with a top on!”As luck would have it, the two were planning to visit a number of the same places and, a couple of days later, Mark spotted Danielle on the beach of a different island. With only a week remaining of their respective trips, they decided to travel together to the town of Ubud on Bali.“We spent the next week pretty much inseparable,” recalls Danielle. “And I think by the end of that week we had just decided that it was obvious we were going to be together, even though we didn’t know how.”Upon returning home to England, Mark immediately booked a trip to Vancouver to visit Danielle, who soon returned the favour by flying to the U.K. “While I was there, we decided that we were going to be together and make this work somehow,” says Danielle. In no rush to settle down, they were happy to travel anywhere in the world to continue their adventures.“So, as a joke we decided to spin a globe and close my eyes and my f inger landed on Sydney, Australia.”“Luckily,” says Mark. “It could’ve been Uzbekistan!” Two months later the pair reunited in Australia where they stayed for six months. Mark then returned to Vancouver with Danielle and the two have lived together ever since.In October 2012, they made a return trip to Indonesia with friends for a charity tuk-tuk race — despite Danielle’s reluctance. “All the other girls had backed out, so I really, really didn’t want to go, but Mark had this grand plan and so he cajoled my best friend into coming so that I would come too.”On their last night in Indonesia, on the island where Mark and Danielle had first met, Mark texted Danielle and her friend Leah to come to a pop-up bar he’d found right on the beach.When they arrived, Mark’s best friend Simon led Danielle through the bushes to the beach where she found lights in the trees, lanterns in Coke bottles in the sand and Mark standing all by himself.“Simon ran in the other direction, and I got this weird nervous feeling because Mark looked really serious and nervous and he kept trying to hold my hand and saying, ‘You know I love you, right?’ And then I just remember he got on his knee, and I just started crying uncontrollably.”He presented Danielle with a toy ring with a picture of the ring, which he had designed himself, taped to it. “It was pretty easy to design,” says Mark. “She had a picture of it on her desktop.” They celebrated their engagement with friends, fireworks and Mai Tais on the beach where they’d first met.“It was just so shocking and romantic, I still get butterflies when I think about it,” says Danielle about a Tuscany Wedding.A destination wedding was the clear choice for this intercontinental couple, and they soon settled on a spot they had always wanted to visit: Italy. “We didn’t want a cookie-cutter wedding, which you kind of have to have with resorts; whereas in Italy, you can just hire a villa and then do whatever you want,” says Mark.And what could be a better choice than marrying under the glorious Tuscan sun? “Tuscany conjures up images of beautiful, romantic, relaxing times and that’s just exactly what we wanted,” says Mark. “As soon as we got the sample menus, it was just done. We’re all about the food, the scenery, the wine and the good times.”For decorations, they opted for a simple mix of rustic and vintage glamour. “We didn’t want too much fuss with the décor,” says Danielle. “It’s such a beautiful place as it is.”Following a symbolic ceremony where they exchanged vows they had written themselves, the couple’s intimate 45-guest gathering partied long after curfew, even getting a few visits from the local Polizia. “The owners were just so great about it, though,” laughs Danielle. “It couldn’t have been better.”Mark and Danielle then travelled on to Sicily for their honeymoon. The two are now suffering from pasta withdrawal, but are enjoying their new apartment and new life together in Vancouver.
Photographer Blush Wedding Photography | Videographer Wedding Films Vancouver | Venue Villa Il Pozzo, Certaldo, Italy | Bride’s Dress Romona Keveza, from Blush Bridal | Hair & Makeup All Dolled Up Makeup & Hair Studio | Groom’s Outfit Ludlow suit, from J.Crew | Flower Girl Outfit Us Angels, from Nordstrom | Ring Bearer Outfit J.Crew | Flowers Grazie dei Fiori, Italy | Catering Bi. Ricevimenti Catering, Italy | Jewellery J.Crew | Bride’s Wedding Ring Minichiello Jewellers