Country music lovers Alli and Eric wanted a grand Victorian-style wedding in a castle. They achieved exactly this, with a spectacular affair fit for royalty. With just 30 guests, the pair said their "I do's" with a particularly royal backdrop. See more from this wedding, featured in Issue 1 of Luna + Honey now...
Wedding date: July 30th 2016
Wedding location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Number of guests: 30
Bridal Party: One maid of honour, one bridesmaid, one best man and one groomsman
Ceremony time: 5pm – 5:30pm
Reception time: From 8:30pm
Tell us about how you met...
We met at a Rascal Flatts country concert in Toronto, Ontario, Canada where we were with mutual friends. Someone introduced us both as musicians and suggested that we should collaborate. We started writing songs together, became very close and fell in love writing love songs! We started performing together, and have been writing, recording, and performing together every since!
How did Eric propose?
We both enjoy the watching the show The Bachelor. Eric would constantly surprise me with Bachelor themed surprises - the date card, rose, and an adventure. He hid a camera as all along he was creating an episode of The Bachelor. For the final date, he surprised me with a trip to the Bahamas, and we left the next day. There on the beach, he propped up the camera and proposed! We were able to put all the clips together for our guests to see at our wedding reception, and it was our own episode of The Bachelor.
Where was the location of your wedding ceremony and reception and why did you choose these locations?
Our ceremony was at Hatley Castle and our reception was held at Fairmont Empress Hotel in the Library Room.
We were originally going to get married in Prince Edward Island where I'm from, but after thinking things through, we wanted a grand wedding in a castle, so we looked up the most beautiful castle in Canada, and it happened to be 20 minutes from where Eric grew up and where his family still lives on Vancouver Island.
What was the vibe or theme of your wedding?
How easy or hard was it to plan your wedding?
It took over 2 years, because I was very detailed and wanted everything to look like a perfect editorial fairytale. I gave my decorator/day of coordinator a 52 page PDF document of exactly where each item was placed and which flowers were where.
What are you glad you did on your special day?
We had a reception the day after our wedding for all of Eric's friends and family in Victoria that didn't attend the wedding, drove across Canada travelling around, then flew to Prince Edward Island and had another after reception for all of my friends and family that didn't attend the wedding. So we basically had 3 weddings. It was country themed as Eric and I love country music. It would have been the wedding that they would have had if they had had it in PEI like my parents always wanted.
Did you have an itinerary or planned activities for guests on either side of the wedding?
We had our bachelorette/bachelor parties 2 days before. My sister planned a private boat cruise around the Victoria Harbour with beautiful mountains in the background. We went for dinner then met up with the men. The next day we all went whale watching, then had a BBQ at my parent's Airbnb house as a 'rehearsal/welcome dinner'. The day after the wedding we had another reception for all of Eric's friends and family that didn't attend the wedding and for everyone who came to the wedding aswell.
What advice would you give a couple planning a destination wedding in this location?
Hire me! Just kidding, the castle is so beautiful and had so many florals that you don't even need alot of decor, but I didn't want just typical chairs, and no arbour, so I got all mismatched victorian sofa chairs, got my father in law to build us an arbour, and filled it with florals.
What did you like about having a destination wedding?
That is was unique to anything my friends of family had ever seen. Most friends my age are getting married on Prince Edward Island where I am from, and all of the weddings look the same, and there are not alot of locations, so we've seen them all been done many times.
What are you glad that you did on your wedding day?
Taking a breath in the middle of the ceremony, looking around, and really soaking in that all these people had travelled far and wide to celebrate our love, and that they were really so invested in our relationship. Not to mention the fact that there was a beautiful castle behind us, and we were marrying each other!
Photography: Kristy Ryan at Blush Photography
Ceremony: Hatley Castle
Reception: Fairmont Empress Hotel - Library Room
Wedding Rings: Bride - Edan Diamonds Groom - Corrine Hunt
Bride’s gown: Designer: Hadas Cohen
Bride’s shoes: The Perfect Shoe Company
Bride’s veil: Veiled Beauty
Hair stylist: Erin Bradley
Makeup artist: Done by the bride
Groom’s and groomsmen' suits, shirts, pants, ties and shoes: Moores
Event planner/stylist: Alli Walker (bride), r and day of coordinating (Danielle Lewis)
Celebrant: Barbara Densmore
Cinematographer: Mark Relf at Kismet Creative
Entertainment: Allegro con Trio and David Keen- Jazz Band (not online)
Transport: Classic Car Tours
Cake: Sweet Surrender Cakes
Decorations: Danielle Lewis at Trend Decor and Janice Heijas at Simply Sunday
Engagement Ring: Edan Diamonds, Toronto, Ontario
Florist: Tina Baronoff of Platinum Floral Designs
Furniture Hire: Shara Zimmerman of Bash Specialty
Stationery: Berenice Sanders of Studio 745