Last month my husband and I traveled to Vancouver for a whirlwind weekend of celebrations leading up to a family wedding. Every occasion, from the groom’s dinner to festivities for out-of-town guests and ultimately, the ceremony and reception, radiated a magical sense of happiness.
Just planning and staging so many events is a challenge in itself. Add to this mix the delicate balancing act of blended families —the groom’s parents divorced and remarried— and you have boosted the factor wedding planners call the sticky-situation-quotient. With both biological parents and their spouses in attendance, who gets invited to what? Who sits where? And what about the photo sessions?
But for the bride and groom there was an effortless ambiance at every turn. Clearly, top of mind for family and friends was to ensure this long-anticipated wedding-weekend flowed seamlessly. This is a first marriage for what I call “Today’s Couple,” both well educated, professionally established and each possessing an inherent sense of style. Naturally, there was an aura of sophistication. Even the guests — many actors and members of Vancouver’s art scene — contributed to this sense of chic. But what struck me at every event was the graceful blend of elegance with warmth, not so simple to master.
The actual wedding dinner illustrates this perfectly. Imagine a Merchant-Ivory film set (A Room with a View, Howards End) and you have a sense of what I mean. The bride’s silk bustier gown was a pinky-cream colour and the flowers — roses and hydrangeas in the same colour palette, arranged in a collection of delicate vintage pitchers and teapots — had a just-picked-from-the garden quality. The room itself was beautiful, with hints of days gone by but with nothing pretentious about it. Sparkling candlelight created an atmosphere of romance and even intimacy, rare indeed for a reception of this size. Everything was soft, almost delicate and captured, indeed, the bride’s vision of a sophisticated “fairytale wedding in the woods.”
This took months to plan, as everyone who has ever attempted to arrange a wedding understands. But what I hadn’t known till weeks after this special evening, was that there really had been magic in the air. Or perhaps a magician or two. Because of the inevitable glitches that seem to precede events of this significance, unexpectedly, the wedding planners had only thirty-minutes to set-up, install and transform the venue from an empty shell into an enchanting magical kingdom. Not so much as a whisper about what was going on before la grande fête. That’s what I call grace under pressure.
Merci beaucoup, bravo et felicitations!
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