Our Wedding in the Canadian Rockies
Good morning and happy Friday! Although I am bursting with excitement to share our first wedding post with photos from our big day, when I sat down to write I had a difficult time getting words onto the screen. We are officially one month into marriage and the emotions still feel so new and overwhelming. I don’t know how to sum up our day, and our trip as a whole, other than to say that it was the happiest of our lives. I can honestly relate to people who label their wedding day “the best day ever”.
Leading up to August 14th, I was a little afraid that I’d be stressed out or too busy to truly enjoy being in the moment, but that wasn’t the case at all. We felt so at ease waking up in our hotel room at the Fairmont Chateau on the morning of our wedding. As I packed my things to move over to my “getting ready room”, we played Luther Vandross, Sam soaked in the warm bath, and we kissed each other goodbye knowing that the next time we would meet would be at the altar downstairs. I walked through the lobby with hotel slippers on my feet, champagne in my suitcase, and an ice roller massaging my face. It was so early that no one else was awake, and I felt completely at home in my own castle on the Lake. I made it to our room before anyone else, drew the curtains so I could see where we would be saying our vows to each other in just a few hours, and I stopped to soak it in. It felt crazy to me that this was our wedding day; that I was the bride in white that everyone would be turning to see. I had imagined this day so many times in my head and I just wanted to hit the “pause” button and enjoy it.
Once my Mother, Mother-in-Law, and bridesmaids arrived, we were pampered with hair and makeup by the Blush and Coco team, and I handed each of them a handwritten note about why I felt grateful for their presence on our big day. The room was full of emotion, and little did we know then, the happy tears wouldn’t stop flowing until well after our reception was over.
Next thing I knew, I was waiting by the doors with my Dad and my step-Dad on either side of me, and we could hear the distinct sound of “Cannon in D” playing by the Lake. Our wedding planner poked her head in from around the corner and told us it was time to go. It was a grand entrance and from the moment I stepped foot outside of the castle doors, the entire Lake froze. It was as if we had invited hundreds of strangers from all around the world as guests to attend our wedding. The chaos of the crowded Lake disappeared and the only familiar noise for miles was the sound of our song.
Once I saw Sam with tears streaming down his face, all hope of me keeping it together vanished as well. My entire body started shaking from the feet up and my eyes welled with happy tears.
I couldn’t believe that this was my life, our wedding, our marriage. It felt like we were in a dream. I was walking toward something so beautiful that it resembled more of a studio backdrop than our wedding venue, and the man standing in front of it was the same man I had fallen in love with after a chance run-in at a Mexican restaurant 12 years prior. The only way to put it is that it was unlike anything either of us have ever experienced.
Sam and I struggled through the ceremony, passing the handkerchief back and forth between personal vows and readings. We squeezed each other’s hands, reminisced on 7 years of dating, and made promises that would carry us into this next phase of life as husband and wife.
After the ceremony was over, we took photos by Lake Louise and had a little alone time to soak in the morning while our guests sipped on peach Bellinis and whiskey sours, and enjoyed mini cups of truffle fries at our cocktail hour. Entering the reception, we went straight into our first dance, doing the waltz and a few twirls in between to Ruelle’s “I get to love you”. It was a song we had picked out together while watching fireworks over Niagara Falls the year prior.
Our ceremony was complete with toasts from each of our parents, the Best Man, and Maid of Honor that didn’t leave a dry eye in the room. For brunch, the Fairmont served french toast with berry and peach compote, carved Alberta carved top sirloin with rosemary jus, Caesar salad, fresh fruit, and traditional eggs Benedict. In place of a classic tiered cake, we had white chocolate and passion fruit brulee and a poutine bar (with all the toppings, of course). It’s just not a proper Canadian wedding without poutine.
We made the decision to fly one of my best friends, and main photographer for Lifestyle by Anna Elizabeth, to Canada with her husband to photograph our special day. Jade has worked and traveled alongside Sam and I for the past few years now, and we knew that there couldn’t possibly be anyone better to capture our love on our wedding day. Needless to say, having her by our side made the photos that much more meaningful.
Our wedding planner, Jacqueline, went above and beyond to make the wedding day (and our entire trip) feel seamless and stress-free. Everyone always says to expect something to go wrong on your wedding day because there are so many moving parts, but for us I can’t recall a single item out of place. I trusted her and her team 100 percent throughout the process and they did not disappoint. Planning a wedding in a different country is no small feat, so having Jacqueline guide us every step of the way over the past year was a blessing we were both so thankful for.
Because there are so many beautiful photos from our wedding day, I am planning to split them up into a few different posts (covering: destination wedding tips, travel guides, our personal vows/reading, music playlists, budget tips, wedding website, our wedding video, and more).
I hope you enjoyed this first peek into our fairy-tale wedding in the Canadian Rockies! Stay tuned on the blog for much more to come.
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xo Anna Elizabeth