top of page

A Wedding Planner’s Wedding

Oftentimes, planners pull from their own experiences to help guide their clients on what is to come. Sometimes these experiences are from previous weddings they’ve planned, and sometimes these are from their LIVED experiences - as brides!

That includes me!

My wedding, which was over 9 years ago, was actually planned about 2 years prior to that because I was broke as hell, and I wanted to make sure that I had saved enough money to be able to properly invest in what my husband and I wanted. I had planned enough weddings by then to know at least one thing: Weddings were (are) expensive, and 99.9% of the time, whatever number you had in your head about what it “should” cost ends up being far more. So my strategy was to make sure everyone (me, my then-fiance, and family that wanted to contribute) had that time to prepare financially.

But beyond that, it was the most fun and (simultaneously) stressful time of my life!

Let me preface this by also saying that I did not want an ordinary wedding and I definitely wanted to get out of Toronto. I had very high expectations of the overall experience for my guests - from the food to the activities, to the vibe - which is also a philosophy that I integrated into my business for years. I spent countless hours thinking about how guests and my bridal party were going to enjoy the wedding, in its entirety.

So this is what Mike and I came up with.

The Location: Whistler, British Columbia

We wanted a wedding setting that was going to speak for itself, with minimal focus on decor and floral and more focus on the enormity and vastness of nature. We chose Whistler based on our visit to BC for the Vancouver Olympics in 2010 and felt it was the perfect cross between a destination wedding and still feeling like we were home. To think that some of our guests also had never visited this part of Canada before was a travesty that we wanted to correct!

The Guest Count: 50, inclusive of the bridal party, ourselves, and vendors. We received guests from Shanghai, Taiwan, all over the States, and of course, Toronto.

The Ceremony: The original plan was to have our ceremony at the top of Whistler Mountain. But after seeing the $3000 price tag for the gondola alone, we started to look elsewhere. We then found the gorgeous grounds of the Nicklaus North Golf Club with the green backing onto a private lake and a view of the mountains and were sold.

On the day of the wedding, it rained, which I wasn’t bothered by as they had a backup-covered outdoor space that still allowed a view of the mountains. I will never be able to pay for those moments having my family and friends there with those views again.

The ceremony was a super important part for me, as I really wanted to shift the usual focus from the flowers and the cake to the vows itself. I told Mike that I was determined to look back on our wedding and remember the ceremony most of all. So we hired Michele Davidson, a celebrant who focused on writing an incredibly personal ceremony based on knowing parts of us over 6 months through private individual interviews and interviews together as a couple. What resulted was this amazingly intimate written homage to everyone present to witness our marriage -- and let me tell you, there was not one dry eye in the house!

We walked down the aisle to a guitar and violin duo playing selections that we personally selected. “Edelweiss” was chosen for my mother, bridesmaids, groomsmen and ring bearer, as my salute to the movie that my family has watched every Christmas since I was five years old (and also, in its lyrics, it is also paying tribute to its home country, which I feel was very appropriate to where our wedding was held). Then I walked down to Beethoven’s Sonata Number 8 (the 2nd movement specifically, chosen by Mike). And finally, the register signing was Andrew Lloyd Weber’s “All I Ask of You” from The Phantom of the Opera, which is Mike’s favourite Broadway musical.

I was intentional about every aspect of this part of the wedding and on purpose.

The Reception: I was pretty set on having a unique reception and didn’t want your typical restaurant or banquet hall vibe - which ruled out having Table Thirteen (the Nicklaus North Golf Club restaurant) as an option - although, in hindsight, it may have lent to the intimacy of the event. Instead, we chose the Four Seasons Resort Whistler and their outdoor cabana in their gardens as the reception location. I also needed the food and hospitality to be second to none, as both my husband and I are incredibly huge foodies.

With its famed customer service and world-renowned chefs, the Four Seasons did not disappoint in either of those areas. Our guests, on the night of the wedding, enjoyed wild mushroom ravioli, a choice between roasted bison with crushed yams and potatoes and vegetables, or roasted monkfish with mushroom risotto, an endive and arugula salad with BC apples, candied pecans and blue cheese, and for dessert, maple flan with poached pears (because ya girl loves her flan!). Oh, and by the way, we never chose between main courses. We just asked for both. 😉

The food and beverage manager also surprised us the day of the wedding by upgrading our standard suite to the luxurious 1-bedroom apartment - which she didn’t tell us until we were in the elevator going up to the suite between the ceremony and reception! I will never forget their kindness and will always recommend staying at the Four Seasons ANYWHERE.

The Dress: I opted for a simple dress because I tend to err on the simple side for my attire in general. Everything I tried on was too beaded, too fancy, too heavy, not flattering or was not available in my size. I am VERY glad that these days there are more plus-sized options for bridal fashion because in 2010 when I was finding my dress, there was not.