How did you meet?
Paul is Australian and I’m from Canada. We met each other when we travelled to Europe for a 37-day Contiki tour through Europe. At the time we were both involved with other people, but became good friends. After the tour, I moved to Brisbane to study law and a few months later we reunited, along with a few friends from the tour. Paul and I were both single then and started dating soon after.
Why did you choose Banff for your wedding?
We had travelled to Banff a few times as a couple and both fell in love with the place. Once Banff’s crystal clear blue lakes and majestic mountains entered our heads as a destination wedding location, no other town or city stood a chance. We travelled to Banff to choose the venue and visited various hotels and golf courses. We stopped looking once we found Fairmont Banff Springs, as the grand hotel is so romantic and we couldn’t think of a better way for our guests to experience Banff.
What did you do for your hens and bucks?
Our bridal party was from Australia and Canada, so my maid of honour and the best man planned the hens’ and bucks’ parties in Las Vegas. The boys rented a villa at the MGM before hitting the town. The girls had a buffet brunch at Wynn Hotel, followed by pole dancing classes and a night out at Pure in Caesars Palace.
We gave all the female wedding guests a pair of thongs in our wedding colours (white, silver and ice blue). We placed the thongs in a basket which we also decorated in our wedding colours.
What was your key styling inspiration?
We drew inspiration from the gorgeous mountains and clear blue lakes at the location. Our colour palette was ice blue, silver and white to reflect the mountains in the winter. We also used pine cone-themed stationery and our name cards were placed atop frosted pine cones.
What gifts did you give your guests?
Paul and I designed the favours. They were shot glasses with two joining hearts that read Val and Paul and our wedding date. We filled the shot glasses with white, light blue and silver M&Ms and various pictures of Paul and I. The shot glasses were wrapped with silver lace and tied with light blue and silver ribbons.
What was the funniest moment of the day?
My grandmother gave me the pearl brooch that she wore on her wedding day. A few moments before walking down the aisle, the pearl fell off the brooch. Our wedding planner quickly found some superglue and stuck the pearl back on. When signing the marriage registry, my maid of honour was meant to pass my the bouquet so I could place it nicely on the table for photographs. As she passed the bouquet, she muttered “Val” and was looking wide eyed at the pearl which had stayed glued to her hand! We all had a great laugh.
What is your most special memory of the day?
My favourite part of the day was when my husband and I had wedding photos just the two of us, because it meant we could spend some time alone together and just take in the day. It was also very special that my stepmother, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer a few months prior, was able to attend our wedding as we held it in Banff – only a few hours away from where my father and stepmother live.
What did you do for your honeymoon?
We honeymooned in Los Cabos and Mexico, then travelled to Nadi in Fiji. We spent a lot of time relaxing by the pool because our week in Vegas followed by the wedding in Banff was an exhausting time.
Special thanks to…
All of our guests for making the long trip.
What advice would you give other brides-to-be?
Getting a wedding planner was one of the best moves we made, as it was nice to have an expert help us plan and make decisions. We skyped regularly with our wedding coordinator, Connie, and she truly made our vision come alive. She was crucial on our wedding day, taking care of everything and making sure that all suppliers and vendors were on time – so we didn’t need to worry about anything. Also, book a videographer; we are so glad we get to revisit our special day through a video.
Connie Grace, Elegant Banff Wedding
Eric Daigle, Eric Daigle Photography
If you want to learn more about weddings at Fairmont Banff, log on to http://www.fairmont.com/banff-springs/meetings-weddings/.