The bride from today’s wedding describes her vision more perfectly than we could ever hope to — “a full day of love and laughter and beauty with our dear ones in a cozy, organic setting.” Erica and Andrew exchanged vows on picturesque grounds in Victoria, British Columbia, with the always-wonderful Shari + Mike Photographers and Rook & Rose making their vision a perfect reality. Could you imagine a more perfect ceremony spot?
From the bride, Erica: We wanted our wedding to be a holistic celebration – a full day of love and laughter and beauty with our dear ones in a cozy, organic setting. We loved the idea of being married on the Island, in amongst the trees, and when we discovered Starling Lane, we knew that it was the perfect fit. Every space was so full of life, character and color – the shaded groves, the lush rose garden, the tall grass field, the rustic barn covered in vines and, our favorite, the whimsical glass greenhouse. It was an ideal canvas for us to work with.
I curated the visual design of our wedding, handpicking every piece. I loved creating a romantic and intimate feel using soft fabrics, watercolors, vibrant florals, calligraphy, and candlelight. I wanted everything to feel intentional and cohesive, inviting our guests to feel at home. For months I collected vintage furniture and decor and worked closely with our florist. It was really important to me to have our flowers as a focal point. The exceptionally creative team at Rook & Rose captured our vision completely. It was absolutely magical.
We also had a strong vision for our ceremony. We wanted to design each element with our understanding of love & marriage at the center. After walking down the aisle, my parents blessed us rather than “giving me away”. We had two officiants. They shared the role of leading us through a carefully crafted liturgy that emphasized our empowering, peace-loving partnership. Andrew and I wrote a set of collective vows that we read to each other, allowing us to mutually commit to one another. We also wanted to show the importance of our relationship as part of a greater whole, a larger community. We made space to sing and partake of communion together with our gathered loved ones. From our entrance to our exit, music artistically tied it all together, giving us the opportunity to share another integral part of both our lives. Listening to an acoustic hymn performed by our dear friends, Jordan and Jocelyn, was one of my favorite sacred moments.
Feasting and fellowship followed. Andrew and I wanted to share our love of fresh food in a unique way. After an afternoon of cheese, loaves, honey and berries, we gathered for a time of meaningful toasts and a lively family-style dinner. Our caterer, The London Chef, helped us create a menu filled with our favorites prepared in a simple yet elegant manner. We wanted our food to be full of color, healthy and whole. Andrew and I also made a playlist of our favorite folk love songs to play while everyone relaxed and enjoyed the meal. We committed to mingling from table to table during the dessert. The evening of festivities concluded with dancing. It was the perfect way to end the day. Seeing all the silly moves and smiles gave us more joy than we could have imagined. We are so thankful that we were able to spend so much quality time with our guests. It was something we will never forget.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Take the time to define your values and then allow them to guide you in your preparations. You can easily become swept up in the chaos of trying to do everything, please everyone, and achieve every expectation when you are not grounded in what is most important to you. When you align the details of your day with your values, you can infuse each moment with meaning. See each decision you make as an opportunity to be intentional. Despite popular opinion, your wedding doesn’t need to be trendy. It needs to reflect you and the one you love. It should reveal your heart.
Processional: Clair de Lune, Claude Debussy
Recessional: “Take Care,” Beach House
First Dance: “Cicadas and Gulls,” Feist