Want to become a featured bride or vendor on Vancity Bride? You can submit an application on our contribute page, or contact us for more info!


Love is Sweet… Like Maple Syrup!

December 7th, 2011 by Jeannine

Love is Sweet... Like Maple Syrup...

Katherine’s 30th birthday ended up being more of a milestone than she thought. Her boyfriend, Ben, planned a surprise for her special day. He re-created their first date at the Sandbar Restaurant in Granville Island and even went as far as booking the same table! The romantic evening ended with Ben popping the question… and I’m sure you can figure out what Katherine’s answer was ;)

2 years later on July 23rd, 2011, they wed on a sunny summer day at the Vancouver Maritime Museum. Katherine and Ben said their “I Do’s” in front of 120 of their friends and family. Standing up for them were 4 bridesmaids and 4 groomsmen, and as you can see, the ladies are wearing different shades of pink and red. Katherine loved the idea of having her bridesmaids wear a pallet of colours and lucky for them they could easily wear these dresses again.

Katherine and Ben planned their $12k wedding themselves. Wedding traditions weren’t that important to the couple (a wedding cake wasn’t even in the plans until her mom stepped in). Instead, they decided to fill the day with unique, personal touches.  Katherine made their seating chart herself. She saw a design she loved at a local store and re-created it by grabbing some supplies (on sale) from Michaels.

For their guestbook, guests wrote them special notes and put it into this box, which was then sealed at the end of the night. It will be opened on their first wedding anniversary. I love this idea!

Katherine and Ben had some generous friends who donated a lot of time to help out with their wedding. One of Katherine’s bridesmaids made all the pretty pom pom wedding decor, inspired by the ones she loved from a magazine. A couple of her bridesmaids also helped her assemble the menu cards.

They also had some friends in a band called Miami Device, who provided the music for them. Katherine walked down the aisle as Leathan Milne played his acoustic guitar. Katherine says it was one of her favourite moments of the day. Live music was important to the couple but what made it even more special was that it was their friends who were serenading them all night.

A Few Words With Katherine…

During the planning stages, how did you imagine your wedding? Did the final result live up to expectations?
“We wanted our wedding to be casual, fun and a representation of us.  We wanted to be stress free on the day and just have a really good celebration.  We exceeded our expectations and had a great time at our wedding.”

What personal or unique touches did you have for your wedding?
“Probably the most special personal touch to our wedding was that my brother actually married us.  He isn’t a justice of the peace, so we had to have one on hand to witness the ceremony and sign the paper work with us, but having my Brother help us with our vows and conduct the ceremony was really special.  Being married by someone that Ben and I both knew well was what we wanted, and it will be a very special thing that I will always remember.

Throughout our wedding we tried to involve all the people that love us and we care about.  Our Mothers also held onto our rings during the ceremony and then presented them to us when it came time for the exchange.  It symbolized the love and support that we get from our families and that was really important to us.

The Chicken Toss was something that our MC incorporated.  He is a great friend of ours and when we asked him to MC we gave him free range on how to do things.  We told him to think of something creative in how to send up the tables for dinner.  The Chicken Toss was his idea and it was really fun.  It was a competition between Ben and I and if he won the tables would go up from first to last, and if I won the tables would go up from last to first.  Ben won….but we both had fun.  It was a great addition because it helped to set the tone for the dinner, and it got everyone laughing and cheering, it is a favorite memory of the day.”

Why did you decide to give away maple syrup as your favors?
“Ben LOVES maple syrup.  He is from Quebec originally and it is something that is part of his heritage.  His family has been in the Maple Syrup business for generations.  The Syrup came from a farm that was once owned by his Great Great Great Grandfather and is now run by a second cousin of his dads.  He parents shipped it to us all the way from Montreal.  Once we knew we were getting married, the first thing Ben said was that we had to get Maple Surup as our favour.”

What did your guests think about your wedding?
“I hope they enjoyed it.  We got really good feedback and everyone raved about the food – which was important to us.”

What did you splurge on and what did you save on and why? 
“We didn’t have a lot of splurges actually, we splurged on a little mini honey moon right after the wedding, and we went away to the Galiano Inn and Spa – that was totally worth it.  We also splurged on our food (although we got a great deal).  We wanted food that tasted great and people would really enjoy.  We saved by bringing in our own liquor and by tailoring down some of our decorating expectations.  We also had a friend who got married a month before us and we got to share some of their wedding items, which was a huge help.  We also saved by making our own invitations, and our own seating charts, menu cards and table #’s.”

How did you manage to keep everything below budget?
“We did have to let something’s go.  For example I had originally wanted white chair covers for all the chairs, because the chairs were sort of a beige colour that I wasn’t crazy about.  However Ben talked me out of it, because we were reaching the top of our budget.  In the end I was really glad that we didn’t over spend, and chair covers wouldn’t have made the day any more special.  Also having everything in one location saved on costs, because we didn’t need transportation and we only had one venue fee.”

After planning a wedding, what one advice would you give to future brides?
“Make the day what you want, don’t worry about outside influences.  Wear really comfortable shoes and don’t be afraid to delegate.”

Katherine & Benoit’s Vendors:

Ceremony venue: The Vancouver Maritime Museam
Reception venue: The Vancouver Maritime Museam
Dress: Lisa’s Bridal
Tux:  Ben didn’t wear a tux, he had a suit made by Steve Sampson
Photographer: Imaging by Marlis
Flowers: Colour Box in Richmond
Hair and Make-up: Regi at Joji’s Hair Salon
Invitations: We made them ourselves.
Cake: Tracy Thorn from The Cake Conspiracy
Decorations: We made them ourselves.
Wedding Favors: Maple syrup from a farm in Quebec, that is in Ben’s family
Music for ceremony/reception: Miami Device
Transportation: Ben’s Bike
Wedding planner/coordinator: None
Food: Tracy at Taste to Savour

All photos courtesy Marlis Funk

Would you like to be featured as a Real Vancity Bride? Apply here.

You may also like...

Support Local Vendors


  • December 20th, 2011 at 6:53 pm
    Milissa says:

    Best wedding ever!


Leave a comment