When Heidi mentioned to me in the summer that she wanted to do a styled shoot that focused on all the stunning plus-sized dresses they have in the store, I totally wanted to be part of it. Fast forward a few months later and we got together on a private property to photograph some stunning dresses that Heidi has at Everything But The Groom! Robyn and Veronica were amazing models and I love that Heidi brought so many dresses for us to work with! This is one of the reasons that I love Everything But The Groom they have so many dress options for EVERY body type!
I’ve known Nicole since my high school days. When she contacted me to do some new headshots for her and some promo photos for her to use on social media I was totally game. I mean, come on. Who doesn’t like to hang out with an amazing girl boss and wine for the afternoon? If you have friends (and those friends love wine) you totally need to check the website out for Social Sips!
I have to say over the years I’ve met some amazing people in the wedding industry! Heidi and her team of beautiful women at Everything But The Groom are no exception. I was so excited that Heidi contacted me to capture some updated headshots of her fabulous team for their new website. I always get so excited when I get to go to the store and see all the pretty dresses. It always makes me want to play dress up!
So if you are looking for that special wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses, or prom dresses you should definitely check out Everything But The Groom in Langley!
You might recognize Alan and Rosemary from their Squamish winter wedding back in December! Their December ceremony was a close family event, with the party happening in the summer at Alan’s family’s farm in Courtney, BC. My hubby and I packed up our car and headed to the island for the weekend to celebrate with Alan and Rosemary.
The farm was amazing, especially the blueberries! I have to admit I’ve never shot a wedding where during the reception and dancing the guests could just go out into the fields and fill mason jars with blueberries to eat! It was great to spend time as the photographer and as a guest, playing giant Jenga in-between shots. They even had two food trucks on site to feed everyone and the food was AMAZING!!
My hubby even decided to put together a few special photos for Alan, so he could always remember him!
Congratulations to both of you and we can’t wait to meet your new bundle of joy in the new year!
One month after running a triathlon together, these two tied the knot! We were super excited for their wedding as we knew some of the bridal party from a wedding last year, and one of the bridesmaids was my cousin! We started out the morning with the girls at Val’s parents’ place, while our second shooter Leanne from Leanne Sim Photographer headed over to hang out with the boys! When we arrived, they had all the dresses hanging on the balcony along with Val’s moms wedding dress. It was a relaxed morning while the girls got their hair and makeup done by Faye Smith and team! There were lots of laughs, and a few mimosas!
Once we got Val into her dress it was time for a few bridal photos. This girl looked STUNNING! Like, seriously!
We then headed down to Deas Island for Val and Nick’s first look along the dock. It was such a touching moment with Nick being absolutely floored by his fiancée. He kept stepping back to look at her and couldn’t keep himself from wrapping his arms around her and dancing with her on the dock. We gave them some time with each other before heading over to the heritage house to do some group photos and bridal photos. They had two beautiful amazing cars with them that we most definitely used for photos!
It was then time to get these two married. We headed over to the South Bonson Community Centre in Pitt Meadows for the ceremony and reception. The ceremony was held out on the water along the Fraser. Being outdoor enthusiasts, they had a tree planting ceremony before they exchanged rings. After lots of family photos it was time to do a few more bridal photos before heading back for the reception.
I loved all the details at their reception: from the memory wall; to the photos; and, um, the doughnut wall! The food was amazing and I loved the centerpieces. With the sun pouring in through the big windows behind the head table, there were many stories shared about Val and Nick. With many laughs, and a few tears, it was the perfect end to a perfect day.
Thank you, Val and Nick, for having us part of your big day!
You will remember Beth and Craig from their woodsy engagement session at Minnekhada Park! We were so excited to be shooting again with our second shooter, Leanne from Leanne Sim Photographer. We were at a location we had never done a wedding at yet, the Hart House in Deer Lake Park. When we first arrived, Beth was getting the final touches on her hair and makeup by the fabulous Makeup by Rae. We took all the detail photos while Leanne spent time with Craig and his groomsmen.
After the ceremony, they had a champagne toast with all their family and friends before it was time for their family photos and bridals. One of the best parts of having Leanne with us was she was able to stay back at the Hart House and capture a bunch of casual family photos of all the guests, while we were out doing the formal family photos. With an April wedding, I always worry about the weather. But on this day the weather was perfect.
We loved spending time with Beth and Craig, and with their family and friends celebrating. There were a lot of laughs, fabulous food, and so much love for the two of them! Congratulations Beth and Craig, and thank you for letting us be part of your big day!
You might remember Katrina and Bruce from their fall engagement session and their March wedding. While the weather and light were not working in our favour on their wedding day, it was a great excuse to get together again to do some more bridal shots for them in all the fabulous locations they had picked out for photos for their wedding day.
I seriously could photograph these two all day. You can just tell by the way they look at one another how much they love each other. With her beautiful dress from Everything But The Groom, his amazing navy suite, along with a stunning backdrop and two amazing people, it was the perfect recipe for epicness! I’m so glad that we could get together to do some more photos and spend some more time hanging out together!
You might remember Katrina and Bruce from their amazing fall engagement session! Their big day was our first wedding of the year and we were super excited to be shooting it with our second shooter, Leanne from Leanne Sim Photographer.
We started out the day with the girls while they were getting their hair done by the fabulous Justyne! Katrina’s dress was stunning and looked absolutely gorgeous on her. The rain had been on and off all day, and as we got a little later into the afternoon the skies got very dark. Once we had Katrina all dressed and ready to go, it was time to take her to see her groom at Hayward Lake.
When we arrived at Hayward Lake the skies opened up, but that didn’t stop us from using the gazebo for their first look and some umbrellas for their bridal photos. Due to the weather we were not able to get to all the great locations that Katrina and Bruce had picked out so we made the plan to come back another day and do some more bridal photos for them.
So we headed off to Eighteen Pastures Golf Course for the ceremony and reception. They were surrounded by the most amazing friends and family as they said “I do”. There was so much love in that room for the two of them. They both are two of the most kind-hearted, loving people we’ve ever met and we couldn’t be happier for them!
We are soooooo very excited to share our first styled session on the blog today! It’s been hard to keep these images under wraps but we are so happy that Real Weddings choose to feature them on one of their online posts. Before we flood you with all the photos from the session here is a little more about how our session came to be!
In the fall of 2016 we started planning a stylized session that would incorporate some of our favourite vendors and highlight the beauty of the West Cost. We started with the word “woodland” to start drawing inspiration from and we knew that we wanted the session to have a spring feeling to it. We immediately knew who we wanted to model for us: Jami at Adventure Awaits and her amazing husband. They were the perfect couple to bring our vision to life! And who better to glamify her but Rae from Makeup by Rae. Rae has such an amazing ability to highlight natural beauty, which is exactly what we wanted. Having photographed several weddings at the Fraser River Lodge, we knew it was the perfect backdrop for our session.
Working with Kristina at Buds and Blooms Floral Shoppe, we wanted to make the florals one of the main features of the shoot. We focused on the natural greenery with pops of white and cream. We then met up with Nicole at Past Pieces to go through her massive inventory of antique furniture. We selected some key pieces that, coupled with the flowers, would be the foundation to our session. Next it was on to picking out the dress. We headed over to Everything but the Groom and worked with Heidi to find the perfect dress. We wanted something new and modern, but which still had a very soft elegant look. The “Marilyn” dress by Morilee was perfect! The last pieces to pull together were the cake and the stationery. Crystal at Reddy Made Cakes provided us with a beautiful 3-tiered white cake that we could then decorate with the same florals that we would be using with everything else. And Eva from Love of Creating made my own wedding invitations, so I knew she was the perfect person to do up the stationery for us.
Finally, we had all our pieces together and it was time to head out to the Fraser River Lodge. With the forecast calling for rain that week, we were not sure we’d even be able to get outside for any photos. But we knew if we had the most beautiful set-up that we’d be ok. Luckily for us, the rain held off ‘til the end of the day and we were able to get a mix of both indoor and outdoor photos.
The photos turned out exactly the way we wanted them to, and we could not be happier with them!
A big shout out to all the fabulous vendors that we worked with to put this all together!
Photography: Amazing Day Photography
Venue: Fraser River Lodge
Florals: Buds & Bloom Floral Shoppe
Hair and Makeup: Makeup by Rae
Cake: Reddy Make Cakes
Furniture Rental & Place Settings: Past Pieces
Stationary: Love of Creating Design Co.
Dress: Everything But The Groom
Dress Designer: “Marilyn” by Morilee
Model: Jami (and her husband) from Adventure Awaits
Next up on our vendor series blog posts is one of our favourite venues, Westwood Plateau Golf Course! We had our first wedding at Westwood a number of years ago, and we are always so excited when we get a booking there! Westwood boasts one of the most stunning views of Mount Baker from the reception room and has a beautiful ceremony site set amongst the trees.
Westwood has 2 banquet rooms with stunning wooden beams and amazing architecture that makes it stand out. This isn’t your standard banquet room! When you book with Westwood you get to work with their amazing coordinators, who will definitely help you bring your vision to life.
One of the thing I always look for from a great venue is a beautiful spot to have the ceremony if it rains. Westwood has some great options for indoor ceremonies, so you won’t be disappointed.
Westwood is one of the few venues where I actually got the opportunity to be a guest at. I attended a wedding at Westwood in the summer of 2016, and I was very impressed! They were very professional and quickly flipped the room from “ceremony to reception” so fast that I barely noticed they were even doing it.
I always say you can tell the strength of a team when they are facing a challenge. While it’s rare for something go wrong on a wedding day, one of the weddings we attended at Westwood ended up having a power outage in the middle of the reception. With the electricity not due back on ‘til after 1 am, the team came together to ensure that the wedding could go on. The interruption was very short, with them bringing in candles and reassuring the guests and couple that the party would be back on in no time.
One of the things that Westwood is know for is their food! They have one of the most dynamic buffets I’ve seen, with so many options for you to choose from. We quite often joke with guests that they might need two plates just to be able to try everything. And trust me when I say it’s worth trying everything!
They also have some fantastic photo locations so that you can do all your photos on-site. The ceremony site provides a beautiful backdrop and a great location for family photos. There is also a helicopter pad with stunning views of the valley and big barn-like doors that can provide a bit of a different look for your photos. Also, I highly recommend taking a bit of time to take some photos up on the first hole after the final golfers have gone through. The light from the setting sun is amazing with all the tall trees!
I had the opportunity back in January to go and meet Danielle and Marlee, Westwood’s two Special Events Managers and you could instantly tell how much they love what they do. They were so passionate about making sure they provide their couples with the best service and making their dream wedding go off without a hitch!
I wanted to hear more about their role and really what made Westwood stand out amongst all the other golf course wedding locations. Here is what they shared with me.
What can couples expect when coming to Westwood Plateau?
From the initial site tour with one of our Special Events staff members to the finishing touches on the evening by our Banquet Supervisors, couples can expect an "Above and Beyond" experience when they book their wedding with Westwood Plateau Golf and Country Club.
How many years have you been hosting weddings?
Westwood Plateau Golf and Country Club has been hosting weddings since 1996. Danielle has worked here servicing events since 2008, and Marlee has been working weddings since 2011.
What’s your favourite part/moments about weddings?
Marlee: I love when a couple shows so much excitement when booking their wedding with us and totally embraces the moment with their fiancé. It is such a special time and should be experienced with so much excitement and love and makes me so happy to be apart of it and assist them along the way of the start of their next chapter together.
Danielle: I enjoy taking the stress off of couples for the planning and execution of their wedding day. A wedding is something that is only celebrated once in a couple's lifetime and I don't want them to have to worry about the little things throughout the day. I like to make sure that all details are coming together so that couples can enjoy themselves throughout their special day.
What is included in your wedding packages?
Our wedding packages include: Catering, Day of Wedding Coordinators, set up of banquet space (inclusive of tables, chairs, and dinner ware), indoor and outdoor ceremony locations, service staff, venue planning assistance, audio/visual equipment and wireless microphone.
What makes you stand out amongst all the other wedding venues?
Our unique architecture, coveted BC landscapes and extravagant food selections make us a unique venue choice for couples.
What is your best advice for a newly engaged couple starting the planning process?
Make sure that you have an idea of what you envision your wedding to look and feel like. Then start your venue search, as many as needed, to make sure that it suits your vision and overall needs/requirements, have your questions ready! Once you find your perfect venue match, book your larger vendors, and then everything will start falling into place. Start early!
What other services do you offer?
We offer complimentary rehearsals, groomsmen packages, midnight buffet selections, crepe station and a helicopter pad just to name a few.
Where do you see wedding trends going over the next few years?
As Marlee and Danielle have such a variety of different clients that come in and plan their wedding with them, they all have their own unique sense of style and desires. Throughout the years Westwood Plateau has housed many different types and styles of weddings; however, we do not see trends veering in a specific direction as many couples have their own visions in mind for their big day. Marlee and Danielle assist the couples in planning their itinerary, floor plan, menu and venue invoice and in doing so assist in making their vision come to life.
Do you offer customization for the couple that wants something a little different?
Absolutely! We would be happy to sit down with any couples to create custom details that are specific to their needs.
How far in advance do you recommend for a couple to book their venue?
13-18 months in advance for best availability options.
Is there anything else that you would like for people to know about Westwood Plateau?
We want to make your day the most memorable it can be. With all of our specialty touches and suggestions we are pleased to say that we have been continuously assisting couples with their venue planning for over twenty years.
Some of the feedback that we got from some of our past clients that got married at Westwood is:
We enjoyed so much at Westwood! The booking and coordination was great and seamless. We loved the panoramic room we booked. It was spacious for 140 guests (I think it's meant for max 200) but we wanted people to be able to walk around easier. The views from the ballroom were awesome and people loved the balcony
The garden for the ceremony was lush and green and quiet so it was a great place for the ceremony and very close to the venue for guests to walk to. The food choices were great. We were impressed by the assortment and the sea of options when we walked down to get our dinner. So many people complimented the food. Tons of options for dessert too. Probably one of the best buffets I've seen.
The two massive screens for the slideshow were fantastic and the grounds for the golf course were beautiful and we got some stellar photos especially since my husband loves nature photos. ~ S & P
Westwood Plateau was the first and only venue that my husband and I saw when we were planning our wedding. We wanted something that was unique and rustic, yet elegant and cozy at the same time. Since we had lots of family coming in from out of town, we also wanted a venue that was accessible and convenient to all our guests. And most of all, we wanted the food to be the best for our wedding! Westwood Plateau simply delivered. Right from our first contact with them, their customer service was impeccable. Their banquet team was super accommodating, and I even had a personal server at the reception! The grounds were well-manicured, clean, and had lots of free parking for the guests. The bridal room was a very good bonus as well, as it was a good place to store clothes and valuables during the entire day. Have I mentioned the food? There were fresh oysters on a half shell and a prime rib station, among many more sumptuous dishes. Safe to say that everyone went home happy! We were happily married, indeed, at Westwood Plateau. We have absolutely no regrets. ~ K & S
So if you are looking for a great location for your wedding with outstanding views, food, and people I highly recommend Westwood Plateau!
Address: 3251 Plateau Boulevard, Coquitlam, BC, V3E 3B8
Phone Number: 604-552-5114
Previous Vendor Spotlights:
Amanda and Dustin’s wedding was one of our last before we launched the Amazing Day Photography name. I've know Amanda for almost a decade and it was truly like watching my little sister get married!
We started the day off with the girls at the Signature Sandman in Langley as they got their hair and makeup done. Once we had Amanda in her dress it was time to head over to the Derby Reach for the bridal photos of the girls. We timed it well with our second shooter, Megan from Oh Love Photography. Her and the boys were at the park just before us. Our goal was to have all the girls’ and boys’ photos done before the ceremony so we could get Amanda and Dustin into their reception faster.
We love Redwoods Golf Course! The setting is beyond amazing and the food and service are both top notch! Watching Dustin tear up as Amanda and her dad walked down the aisle warmed my heart. After the ceremony we did the photos with the full bridal party, who were so much fun to work with. Then it was Amanda and Dustin’s turn in front of the camera for their bridal photos. They are so natural in front of the camera and I love the variety of backdrops that we got to shoot at Redwoods.
Next it was time for their grand entrance into the reception, where we got to hear stories from their family and friends that made us both laugh and cry. The night finished up with their first dances and one of the best bouquet tosses/garter throws we had seen all season!
Congratulations Amanda and Dustin! We are so glad that we got to be part of your big day.
You might remember these two from their Gastown/UBC Engagement Session. Alan and Rosemary’s December wedding was our last of 2016, and was it ever beautiful! We felt so honoured to be part of their intimate ceremony at the Howe Sound Inn in Squamish, BC.
We started out the day at the Inn with Rosemary and her sister getting their hair and makeup done by the fabulous Natacha Trottier. Alan was just in the room next door, so we had to make sure that we moved her dress and details around carefully so that he wouldn’t see. Once we were ready to go I headed to the Sea to Sky Gondola with Rosemary and her sister so that we could head up the mountain ahead of Alan and his brother. It was so beautiful at the top as there has just been a recent snow fall the day before.
We set up a first look for Alan and Rosemary at one of the lookout points. I loved the dramatic shots of Rosemary walking across the suspension bridge towards Alan. With the wind blowing and the snow falling, it made for a pretty dramatic backdrop for their photos.
Once we were done at the top of the Sea to Sky Gondola, it was back to the Inn for their ceremony surrounded by their families. Rosemary’s mom did such a great job with all the flowers for the reception and with Rosemary’s bouquet.
This summer they are having a reception with all their family and friends, and we can’t wait to head over to the Island to celebrate a second time with them!
I’m super excited to bring the next blog post in our vendor series! I truly believe that one of the best investments in your wedding day (aside from a great photographer, of course) is a wedding planner. Not only can they guide you through the planning process and help you build your timeline, but they will also help in coordinating all your vendors and take away some of that stress that goes along with planning your wedding.
We met Shawna a few years back at Westwood Plateau for one of our first weddings there. She was so friendly and easy to work with. She communicated very well with us, giving us time to get our lighting set up or a quick nudge just before the events of the day were set to happen. Not only was she great at keeping the wedding on time, she was also personable.
Now they say you see the true test of a person’s abilities in times of high pressure. Well, at this wedding we lost power mid speeches. One of the guests worked for BC Hydro, and after a quick call found out that a car had hit a pole and it would be hours before the power a was restored. As the DJ got set up with his generator, Shawna was working in the background with the staff at Westwood to ensure that the wedding could continue. Out came the candles, and a plan was put into action on how we could finish the speeches, have the first dances and party the night away. We left that night at about 10pm, but we heard afterwards that the power didn’t come back on till 1am. However, the guests and couple never missed a moment!
We were super excited when we ran into Shawna at wedding a year later, and she remembered us. With all the photographers she meets, we thought it was really cool that she remembered working with us the year before. Again, our experience with her was top notch and the wedding went on exactly as planned.
Shawna’s down-to-earth nature is the perfect mix that you need for your wedding day. She will keep you on task, and ensure that you have the most magical, amazing wedding day!
A few weeks back we sat down with Shawna to talk about why she loves weddings and the company she works for, Sweetheart Events.
Who is Sweetheart Events and what do you do for them?
Sweetheart Events is a boutique wedding planning company. We specialize in creative marriage proposals and personalized weddings. I am the Associate Planner at Sweetheart Events and I work with clients for “day of” wedding coordination, décor and design and full service planning.
What made you want to get into the Wedding Planning Business?
Growing up I was always a planner and involved with the organizing of school events, fundraisers, and birthday parties. When I went to College in Calgary to study Public Relations, one of my courses was Event Planning and I just remembered thinking “wow, you can make a career out of this?” I ended up moving back to Vancouver and attending BCIT for Event Marketing and something just kept pulling me towards wedding planning over corporate events. I fell in love with the idea of getting to celebrate one of the most important days in someone’s life everyday.
What’s your favourite part about planning for weddings?
I love décor and design and enjoy guiding my couples through the planning process. Helping them find creative ways to share their love story through personalized touches that represent them as a couple.
What can brides expect from you when they hire you to do their wedding?
They can expect that I will always be in their corner and cheering them on. They can think of me as their wedding planning bestie! We in no way take over the wedding planning but are there to offer advice, support and to steer them in the right directions. When they start to get overwhelming opinions from friends, family and colleagues we can guide them back to what is most true to them as a couple.
We also offer wedding planning for destination couples that are having their weddings in Vancouver. It is our goal to offer an experience for them so they can feel at ease knowing that every detail is looked after and that they are still fully a part of the planning even though they are miles away.
How would you describe your style?
Sweetheart Events couples gravitate towards the organic, west coast nature backdrops and rustic weddings. The team is fully diverse in all styles. My personal favourite is a combination of vintage and romantic details with heavy flowers, greenery and candles.
Where do you see trends go over the next few years for wedding decor?
I predict we will see more organic and nature inspired weddings. Neutrals like white, gold, blush & wood tones. Greenery is going to be big! It’s simple but by adding more, draping tables, and filling backdrops you can create a dramatic style
What would you recommend for a bride that doesn’t know where to start?
I would recommend starting with a budget. Find out what they are comfortable with and who is contributing. Also, whether they want a small or large guest list. They should then consider hiring a wedding planner to help guide them through the process and start with the biggest task, which is finding the perfect venue. If hiring a full-service planner is not in the budget then confirm some important details and hire a “day of” coordinator who can still offer some advice along the way.
Why should a couple hire a wedding planner?
Planning a wedding is a BIG TASK! It is most likely their first time planning one, and it can be overwhelming and time consuming. It takes hours and hours and if we can help eliminate some of that research time, e-mailing vendors for prices and availabilities by recommending vendors we know are within budget and your style we’re already a huge stress relief.
When should a couple hire a wedding planner?
As soon as they have set a date. Typically we start working with couples 12+ months out from their wedding date for full service wedding planning.
What’s your favourite part of a wedding day?
Oh that is hard to pick just one! I have three:
I love seeing the ceremony and reception space all come together! We spend months planning every single detail, so it’s pretty amazing to see their vision come to life.
Sending my brides (and grooms) down the aisle will always be the most important and special part of the day.
A fun and energetic grand entrance with their bridal party is also a top moment for me. The music is pumping and you can tell the nerves are gone and everyone is just ready to celebrate! I love it and I get goose bumps every time.
What do you like to do on your weekends?
I love getting coffee and taking walks with my boyfriend and our pug Ella. I also like to visit my friends and family on the Sunshine Coast. I was super blessed to have 2 nieces and a nephew all born in 2015 so it’s a pretty entertaining time in our family with three one year olds.
What makes you stand out in the wedding planning industry?
I hope it’s just our genuine passion for planning weddings and celebrating our couples and their love story. We strive to make the experience as fun and stress free as possible.
Is there anything else that you want people to know about you and your company?
I would love to give a shout out to the rest of the team at Sweetheart Events: Stephanie, Caitlyn, and Beth. Their talent, passion and positivity makes me love what I’m doing that much more. They are the best support and it’s so fun to be part of such an amazing group of ladies!
I also want to thank our couples. They trust us with one of the most important days in their lives. We get to spend time leading up to and on the day with their families and friends honouring this next step in their story. It is so rewarding and we’re blessed to celebrate love every day!
So when looking for a planner, someone to help you with decor and design for your big day give Shawna a call and you will not be disappointed!
Previous Vendor Spotlights:
Today we are posting the second vendor spotlight in our series which we will be running over the next few months. See below for a list of the previous vendor spotlights.
In today’s post we are featuring one of the best bridal stores in the Lower Mainland, Everything But The Groom. Located in Downtown Langley, Everything But The Groom is a bridal store that has dresses for everyone. I had a chance to visit the owner Heidi, and the girls over at EBTG last weekend to take some photos of the store and talk to them about why they love wedding dresses.
One of the things I love about this store is how they have a great selection of dresses in every size. Being plus sized myself I know how stressful it was for me thinking about going to try on dresses and never finding anything that fit my body. I completely understand that this is a feeling many brides have, no matter what size you wear. But this is not something you have to worry about when shopping at Everything But The Groom!
I had been in the store on two previous occasions when planning my wedding (I got my veil from them), and I remember thinking to myself that the environment or feeling in the store was so friendly and relaxed. I think many people feel that wedding dress stores can be stuffy, but this is not the case at EBTG. You can tell the consultants are having a tonne of fun and all love their jobs, and that the clients are truly enjoying their bridal experience. They pride themselves in having dresses for everyone and making every dress buying experience special and unique.
In talking with Heidi and the girls at the store, I could immediately tell how much they loved their experience of helping a bride find “the” dress. And while the dress buying experience can be stressful, they will help to take all the worries away from you.
I think one of the things that make Everything But The Groom stand out is their 4 private bridal rooms for you to try on the dresses. In these rooms they have changing rooms, couches, and an open area to come out and see yourself in big floor to ceiling mirrors. You have lots of space, and it’s your own to enjoy for your appointment.
Everything But The Groom also has a large selection of bridesmaids dresses, mother dresses, as well as prom dresses.
We had a chance to ask Heidi some questions about Everything But The Groom.
What can brides expect when coming to Everything but the Groom?
We pride ourselves on providing a relaxed, friendly atmosphere where the bride and her entourage can enjoy the dress shopping experience. Our semi-private lounge areas allow brides to feel comfortable and at ease.
How many years have you been helping brides find "the dress"?
We just celebrated our 11-year anniversary on October 29th!
What kind of bride to you have dresses for?
I would say just about any kind of bride. We always have a sale rack for those that are more budget conscious and we carry a wide variety of destination dresses for those heading to warmer climates. We a so carry an amazing collection of plus size gowns for those brides that are more curvy.
What's your favourite part/moments about weddings?
I love the moment when the bride appears at the end of the aisle and everyone sees her and her gown for the first time. I love seeing a bride’s personal style reflected by the gown she chose. I also love seeing the look on her grooms face when he sees her for the first time.
What makes you stand out amongst all the other bridal stores?
We aren’t afraid to have fun, and it shows. We all love what we do and our customers tell us all the time they love our honesty and our no pressure environment
What is your best advice for a newly engaged bride trying on dresses for the first time?
Try to limit the number of people that you bring along for the shopping experience. You want to make sure your voice is heard and you get a dress that represents your vision of how you want to look on your wedding day. Too many opinions can be overwhelming for some brides.
What other services do you offer?
We also offer bridesmaids, flower girl, and mothers dresses as well as a great selection of veils, jewelry and hair accessories. Our staff also includes 3 seamstresses that can help with alterations to make your dress fit like a glove.
Where do you see bridal trends going over the next few years?
I see trends moving towards a simple elegance. Lace will still continue to be strong, but we are also seeing a return to classic fabrics like satin and mikado. The ball gown is also seeing a rise in popularity after a few years of more fitted silhouettes.
Do you Offer customization for the bride that wants something a little different?
Our seamstresses are able to offer custom options to add on to a gown that has already been purchased, however we do not offer custom gowns from scratch.
What brands of dresses do you sell?
Mori Lee, Calla Blanche, Alfred Angelo, Blush by Hayley Paige, Madison James, Mon Cheri, Sophia Tolli, Venus and Bonny
How far in advance do you recommend for a bride to start shopping for her dress?
I recommend giving yourself 6-8 months. Most dresses take about 4 months to arrive once ordered and then you want to give yourself a comfortable amount of time for alterations.
What do you love the most about selling wedding dresses?
Finding the bride's perfect dress and the look on her face when she really sees herself as a bride in that gown.
If you could meet any wedding dress designer who would it be and why?
I would love to have met Helen Rose. She designed Princess Grace's bridal gown. I love its classic beauty and elegance.
Is there anything else that you would like for people to know about Everything but the Groom?
Wedding dress shopping should be fun! We want to make sure you, and your friends and family have a memorable experience.
My experience at Everything But the Groom was great over all. I first met Laura from EBTG at a wedding show, and being a plus size bride I quickly realized that the dress style I had in my head and the dress style that would suit my body were drastically different things. Laura made me feel comfortable and at ease and I never felt like I needed to justify why a dress made me feel like a lump, she just took it away and brought back 2 more options! My mom, grandma and bridesmaids all made several trips to the Everything but the Groom's Salon in Langley after the show and tried on a number of different dresses before we found "the one" - the ladies were always friendly and very helpful with my (many) questions. We actually purchased our bridesmaids dresses through EBTG as well because we found the quality we wanted at a price that wouldn't break the bank! We even got a discount on the girls dresses since I'd purchased mine there. The ladies were great with keeping me updated on the arrival of our dresses and accessories, and I felt informed through the entire process. I would thoroughly recommend any bride, no matter her size, to go to EBTG and work with Laura (she's wonderful) The salon is bright and beautiful, the staff is friendly, and you get that bridal shop experience but free of the snooty or stuffy atmosphere that can sometimes come with them. Happy hunting! - Laura
Everything But the Groom is a delightful boutique bridal shop jam packed with beautiful dress choices! I was thrilled that my unconventional dress dreams could be met and I fell in love with a beautiful caramel gown, well within my budget. I would and have recommended them to other brides I know. I love my dress, and it made for some epic photos in the wind storm that joined us on our day! – Rhea
So when you are looking for “the” dress, make sure you check out Everything But The Groom!
Previous Vendor Spotlights:
There was a project that I really wanted to work on over the fall/winter. It’s a project that I’ve wanted to do for years! For many reasons, I haven’t been able to put together over the years. But this is the year that I’m going to make it happen. So, this is our first feature story in a blog series that will span the next 6-8 months.
Working in the wedding industry as a photographer, we are usually one of the first vendors that a couple secure for their big day. Often I’m asked for referrals of other vendors that I would recommend for all different parts of their wedding day. So this blog series is all about our preferred vendors. While it’s easy to pass along a name or a business card, I want my clients, followers, and everyone else to learn a little more about these fantastic people that I have met over my 10+ years in the industry.
Our first feature blog post is all about one of our favourite Hair and Makeup Artists: Rae Pelat from Makeup by Rae! I met Rae through a friend and fellow photographer when I was seeking a new MUA for a boudoir marathon that I was having. She told me that not only was Rae’s work amazing, but she was a pretty fantastic woman too. She grew up in North Delta (like me) and we know a lot of mutual people.
The first time we met was in the penthouse suite of a Downtown Vancouver hotel for the boudoir photos. I stuck her in a small bathroom with a small window for the day, as it was the only space I had for her that we were not using for the photos. From the moment I met Rae I adored her. She was fun loving, easy going, professional, and made my clients feel at ease, and I could tell all of this before she even picked up a brush. Over the years I have recommended her for many of my brides and I always get such joy when I see her name on list of vendors that I get before the wedding. We have a running joke that I always seem to get a photo of her with her elbow up in the air and her armpit showing to the world. It’s become a staple shot that I always send to her after the wedding.
When I first approached Rae about this blog post, she was totally game. We brought in a few models to get some great before and after photos, and allow her to show some of her finest work. She also asked if she could bring her pup, Sakura, and have a few photos with her. I’m a sucker for dogs so that was no problem!
So, we sat down and talked about some of the important questions that I felt brides, clients, or anyone in need of a Hair and Makeup Artist might want to know!
What made you want to get into the Hair and Makeup industry?
I've always loved art and painting. I feel it challenges me to be creative with each individual face and personality. I studied business and psychology for 6 years, but I always knew I would have to be doing something artsy and with people to feel fulfilled.
What’s your favourite part about doing Hair and Makeup for weddings?
Meeting different people and groups of people on and before a wedding day is the best. Helping a bride relax and feel confident walking down the aisle, helping them fulfill their dreams of that perfect wedding moment. It's the happiest day of one's life; how lucky am I to get to be there!?
What can brides expect from you when they hire you to do their hair and makeup?
OCD attention to detail. I am a perfectionist. I work fast but I have the highest standards for my work. People are trusting me to help them realize a dream and to be a part of creating a very special moment that they will remember for the rest of their life, so I want to honor that no matter what. Personality is huge for me as well. I like getting to know people; their style, vision, what they love, what they don't, everything.
How would you describe your style?
Versatile, clean, natural. It sounds cliché, but I truly do believe in enhancing one’s natural beauty. I like skin to be flawless, but I don't like putting makeup where it isn't necessary. Don't get me wrong though, I still love a good glam look!
What makes you stand out in the HMUA industry?
I think I have a good combo of personality, creativity, experience and skill. I grew up an ultra sporty girl that wanted nothing to do with makeup, and what later started out as curiosity developed into a driving passion. I believe this allows me to connect and relate to most people. I get the best of both worlds now and could not be more grateful and happy for that.
Where can you see hair and makeup trends go over the next few years for weddings
It seems as though trends are very cyclical. Trends come back, but in a different/unique way. While pushing the envelope to be different, I still think that the classic ethereal glow, natural waves, soft braids, nude lip with dramatic eye, and winged liner with a bold lip will forever be timeless.
What’s your favourite part of a wedding day?
I wouldn't say it's a tangible thing that's my favorite. It's definitely the emotion. The excitement and love that surrounds weddings is contagious. Every wedding is as unique as the bride and the people surrounding her.
Other than weddings, what else do you do hair and makeup for?
Lots of photoshoots: engagement, maternity, boudoir, family, headshots. As well as Halloween events, parties, and simply just because. Also, the occasional Sportsnet event, as well as the Canucks for Kids Foundation Telethon.
What's in your makeup bag?
I am pretty addicted to trying new products and trends. Over the years I've tested just about everything and have found some staples that I stick by. A few examples are; the Makeup Forever Ultra HD foundation, NARS blush, pretty much every colour of MAC lipstick, the Smashbox Photofinish Primer, Anastasia contour palette, and Voluminous mascara. I also airbrush using MAC foundations.
What do you like to do on your weekends?
I don't have many weekends free! But any free time I do have is spent on the soccer field. I am the assistant coach of the Douglas College women's soccer team, I coach at Coquitlam Metro Ford Soccer Club, and I play women's premier soccer for Surrey United. Other than that, I love exploring with my dog, Sakura. We go for lots of muddy hikes and swimming at lakes.
Is there anything else that you want people to know about you and your company?
I’m mobile and have no problem coming to you. Whatever is the easiest and most accommodating. I love a good challenge and I'm open to trying new things. Being in the industry since 2010, my passion for beauty and desire to find the best products and solutions for any and all individual needs or requests has only grown. I also do airbrushing, and yup - everything is waterproof! Not only is it important to create a timeless look, but also a lasting one that will survive the happy tears, the cheek kisses, and the dance floor sweat.
Rae was the best! From the trial to the wedding day, she not only was amazing with make up and hair but she was a comforting, reassuring person in times of my own indecisiveness or uncertainty. She really knew how to make me feel beautiful physically, but also on the inside. She was flexible with my needs and had great suggestions when I asked for her thoughts. Rae is reliable and I would trust her again with my hair and make up for future formal festivities. Bottom line, I totally would refer her to my friends and family! - Julia
Rae was recommended to me by my friend, who also happened to be my wedding photographer, Morgan Green. I was so lucky that Rae was available for my wedding! The first time I met Rae, she was able to come out last minute to do my trial, right before my engagement photos at 7am on a Sunday! I knew then that she was the one! She listened to everything that I was looking for and I felt and looked amazing in my photos. The day of my wedding Rae was right on time and fully prepared. She had great time management skills and I couldn't believe that her and her assistant were able to keep my five bridesmaids, my mom and I all on time. She made us feel comfortable and our hair and makeup looked flawless! Rae has such a welcoming personality and is talented beyond words. I would recommend her to anyone in a heart beat! -Lena
Personally, as someone who doesn’t wear any makeup and most days my hair is in a ponytail, Rae has always made me feel amazing after working her magic. She’s done me up for my brother in laws wedding, headshots, and anniversary photos with my hubby. She makes me look and feel like an enhanced version of myself and I still always feel like me. She listens to what I’m looking for and works with me to ensure that I look great but that I feel completely comfortable, even when I request to wear chapstick instead of lipstick!
I have known Alanna since I was just a few years old. Her and her sister Kari grew up just a few doors up the street from me and we went to the same before/after school care. So, when Alanna messaged me about her wedding I was beyond excited!
We started out the day driving out to the always amazing Fraser River Lodge. I feel like I’ve said this a lot this summer, but throughout the week it was calling for torrential rain on their wedding day. I was happy and excited when we got to the lodge because all we had to battle was crazy wind. I’ll take wind over rain any day!
Just as we were getting set up Alanna’s flowers were being delivered and they were beyond stunning! I loved the rich colours and the loose style bouquet, so perfect! As the girls got ready it was so amazing to catch up with Alanna, Kari and their mom.
Alanna and Terry were doing a first look as the rest of the bridal party got ready. I love these moments where it’s just them and having that first interaction with each other on their wedding day. We got a chance to do some photos with all the girls and then some bridal portraits. I love how Alanna had a floor length veil, with the wind it looked incredible!
Then it was time for the ceremony. I loved watching Alanna walk in with her dad, so proud of his little girl. The ceremony was officiated by a good friend, someone that knew them before they were “Alanna and Terry”. It made their ceremony so personal having their good friend marry them.
After some family photos, it was time for a few group photos before talking off to do more photos of Alanna and Terry. I love how trusting and willing that they were when I asked them to go walking all over the place, all in the name for a great photo.
Alanna and Terry had a beautiful set up for their reception and the food was amazing. I loved the head table in the center of the room. It was go great to hear the stories from their family and friends throughout the speeches. I chuckled when in the slideshow a photo with Alanna, Kari, and I appeared on the screen. The night wrapped up with everyone grooving to the live band.
Congratulations Alanna and Terry, I couldn’t be happier for you <3
Venue: Fraser River Lodge
Band: March Hare Band
Flowers: Wild Rabbit Flowers
Cake: Sweet Thea Cakes
Hair and Makeup Artist: Celina Seib
Danielle and Andrew have to be the sweetest people ever! It was nice to see all their wedding details come together that we had hear so much about at their engagement photos at the Othello Tunnels. We were so excited to be part of their October wedding at the Clayburn Village Schoolhouse in Abbotsford.
We started the day by meeting up with both the boys and the girls at the Best Western in Abbotsford. I always love when the bride and groom get ready at the same location as I can jump back and forth capturing both. One of the photos that Danielle really wanted at the hotel was a picture of her and Andrew (in the same photo) but so they couldn’t see each other. Well the hotel had this amazing staircase in the lobby that gave us a cool spot to do just that photo.
Weddings are always emotional and at the moment that Danielle’s Dad saw her for the first, we knew we’d be in for a few tears. Both Danielle and her Dad broke down in to tears and it was such a beautiful moment.
We then headed out to Clayburn Village Church for the ceremony. This was my first time in this church and it was so adorable and beautiful. As they said their vows and promised their lives to each other in front of their family and friends, there were lots of laughs and a few more happy tears. One of the funniest moments had to come when the officiant asked “Danielle would you like to marry your best friend?” and her response was “Sherwood” (which is Andrew’s last name). The whole room erupted into laughter!
The weatherman had been calling for rain all day, but so far so good… but our luck only lasted till the end of the ceremony. As soon as we started the bridals and group photos the skies opened up. Well everyone was such troopers, getting a little rain on them as we quickly moved through their photos. We then snuck the bride and groom away to a different location for photos of just them. It was pouring rain, but they never let it get them down!
Then it was time to PARTY! So much love filled the Schoolhouse. We loved hearing all the touching stories throughout the speeches. Then it was time for both the father of the bride and groom to so their speeches. Both had the room in tears, including myself. The bond between father and daughter can be one of the strongest. You could tell in the father-daughter dance how close Danielle and her dad were and just how strong that bond is.
With the first dances done, it was time for the bouquet and garter toss. I always love when people go all out to catch the bouquet or garter! Then it was time to dance!
Such an amazing wedding with the most amazing couple! Congratulations Danielle and Andrew, we were so happy to be part of your wedding day!
Back in September I was able to second shoot for Oh Love Photography for Shae and Trevor’s big day. I don’t often get the opportunity to second shoot but I absolutely love it when I do. Second shooting allow me to spend more time capturing the day from a different perspective and try out new techniques.
The backdrop to their wedding was the ever amazing Fraser River Lodge. When we first arrived I got to go and hang out with the guys as they shot some pool. The girls were getting ready in the bridal suite with the ever fabulous Rae taking care of their hair and makeup.
It was soon time for the boys to get dressed so that we could get Trevor out to the spot where they were going to have their first look. At most weddings my time is spent with the bride all the way up to the moment when they see their groom for the first time. So for me it was a lot of fun to spend the 15 minutes with Trevor as we waited for his beautiful bride to arrive. We talked about how they met and how they purposed and I could see how anxious and excited he was getting waiting for Shae to arrive.
I love first looks as it gives the couple that moment just to themselves to see each other for the first time. Shae looked absolutley stunning in her dress from Everything But The Groom. We spent some time with just Shae and Trevor before the rest of their bridal party joined us for some photos before the ceremony. Then it was time to head back to the lodge to get ready for them to join the family and friends and say their vows to one another. The ceremony was beautiful and full of so much love.
After a few family photos it was time to party the night away. At the reception instead of clinking glasses for them to kiss they had people meow like cats. Shae and Trevor have a love for cats, Trevor even wearing cat socks on their wedding day, so it seemed a fitting way to get them to kiss. I have to admit hearing a random “meow” come over the microphone during dinner made me burst out loud more than once. Just before they started to dance the night away they did the bouquet and garter toss and I absolutely love the images from the bouquet toss!
Such an amazing day with an amazing group of people and I was go glad that I could be part of their big day!
We were so excited to be part of Marcus and Jen’s big day in September! It was a beautiful day, with only a few rain drops, and the most perfect skies for photos. We started out the day with Jen and her girls (and her fur baby Bandit) at their home in Ladner. As soon as we walked in the door and saw her beautiful bouquet we knew we would be wowed all day long. The girls spent the next few hours finishing their hair and makeup, sharing lots of giggles and laughs along the way. Then it was time to get Jen into her dress. Just before stepping in her dress her girls surprised her with her “something blue”. Each of her five bridesmaids sewed a tiny blue flower into one of the layers of her dress. They also surprised her with a beautiful book of photos and notes celebrating how much they loved Jen and their friendship together.
It was then off to Beach Grove Golf Course in Tsawwassen for the ceremony. The sun started to peak out just as they started the ceremony. I don’t think Jen and Marcus ever took their eyes off each other throughout the ceremony. Once they said “I do” it was off to Centennial Beach for the group and bridal photos. As Marcus and all his guys grew up in Tsawwassen it was easy to find a spot off the beaten path where we were not surrounded by tonnes of people. The group was awesome to work with, knocking out the photos like champs! I loved the girls black dresses and their beautiful bouquets, so much elegance. We then made a quick trip over to the secret garden for a few more photos of Jen and Marcus and then it was time to party!
Beach Grove Golf Course did an outstanding job with the food. We loved the touch Jen’s mom’s photo in her wedding dress just as you entered the reception room. It was a perfect way of having her there with her on her wedding day. Throughout speeches we shed a few happy tears and laughed a lot and got to know Jen and Marcus through the eyes of their family and friends. Though they met playing soccer (Marcus’ favourite sport), Jen’s family is a BIG hockey family. I’m sure Marcus will have many Saturday night hockey games in his future! Once the dancing got started the dance floor never cleared, with everyone showing off their best moves!
We couldn’t be happier for Jen and Marcus and we are so glad that we got to be part of their big day!
Last weekend we had the honour of photographing Brittany and Jamie’s wedding! You will remember Brittany and Jamie from our Camping Themed engagement session that we did this past summer.
It’s hard to believe with all the amazing details that they put their wedding together within about 5 weeks. The wedding took place in the backyard of Brittany’s parents’ home. All week they had been calling for rain, even up to the morning of the wedding. They put up a few white tents and I’m sure that was what scared the rain away because not a drop fell.
I absolutely love the way that Jamie’s face lit up when he saw Brittany enter the backyard with her dad. They both couldn’t take their eyes off each other as they read their vows and committed themselves to each other.
After the ceremony we headed out to Minnekhada Park. I was so excited when they told me that this is where they wanted to do their wedding photos. My husband and I have hiked Minnekhada a few times over the years and I’ve always thought that I would love to do some wedding photos in the park, especially along the land bridge. But I also knew that this was a bit of a dream as the hike in, isn’t the easiest to be doing in your wedding attire. So you can only imagine my excitement when Brittany and Jamie said they were game for the hike in.
Now if I had really been thinking I would have put all my gear into my backpack bag rather than bringing my rolling case, but hey, you got to do what you got to do! So off we set into the park, walking over roots, climbing rocks and eventually getting to the land bridge. The sun was shining and we hiked all over the place. Did I mention that Brittany did all this in her high heels? It was totally worth it, I couldn’t be happier with the way the images turned out.
We then headed back to the house to take some family photos and start the party. After an amazing dinner Brittany and Jamie had their first dance as husband and wife. It was such a wonderful day and Brittany and Jamie’s family and friends were beyond amazing. We are so excited that we got to be part of the next chapter in their love story.