Enchanted Garden Inspired August wedding at The Lake House in Lake Bonavista, Calgary
Stella + Troy August 1, 2020
The things Stella learned from planning and executing her wedding during Covid-19 and her jewels of wisdom to pass on to anyone planning for their dream wedding.
This late summer wedding love story is a true testimony to why we continue to always believe that true love always endures.
The love story
Stella and Troy first made each other's acquaintance on a date in February 2018. "We were actually introduced by a mutual friend," Stella revealed in our interview.
"A close friend of mine kept telling me that I need to meet this guy, Troy, and asked if she could give him my phone number,” explained Stella. “I thought, ‘How bad could it be?’ But then he didn’t call.”
It turns out, Stella’s friend didn’t give Troy her phone number until almost a year later!
After a few quick texts and phone conversations, they decided to set up a time to meet. The two hit it off immediately.
"We met up for what turned out to be a six-hour date!" exclaimed Stella, "We went from one restaurant to the next, and before we knew it, we were having wine and cheese and didn’t make it home until one o'clock in the morning."
“We just clicked. We talked like old friends the first time we met.”
Things moved quickly from there. Stella and Troy were both at a stage in their lives where they knew they wanted to start a family. The two decided to take a leap of faith.
Troy proposed to Stella in December 2018, just before announcing to their families that they were expecting.
"I really wanted to announce my pregnancy to our families, and he kept saying ‘No, we can't.’ He was just waiting for the perfect time and place to propose,” she said. “It was like a whirlwind, but I can’t imagine jumping into a life like this with anyone else.”
The couple welcomed Sophia Grace into their lives just over a year after meeting, in early 2019. Sophia Grace is such a huge part of Stella and Troy’s love story and they were both so thrilled to have had their little girl at their wedding.
Being a mom opened Stella's eyes and heart to so much more than she could have imagined.
"There is just no greater purpose, no matter what you think you have achieved in life. For me, this is where I bloom. Sophia Grace and Troy truly are the loves of my life."
COVID-19 has affected so many people, in so many different ways over the past year. Some of the things that have been impacted most are weddings and wedding planning. Many weddings had to be pushed to a later date due to the pandemic while others had to work within the ever-changing restrictions.
Stella and Troy's original wedding was meant to include over 200 guests, but like so many others, their plans were derailed.
Stella and Troy decided to proceed with their wedding on a smaller scale. The couple wanted to have a relaxed, yet elegant affair. They chose to have both their ceremony and reception at The Lake House on Lake Bonavista, in Calgary. The Lake House was the perfect venue to greet the 50 intimate close friends. Every detail of this wedding was designed to make each person feel like they were invited to be a part of the enchanted day. It was an experience their guests will remember for a lifetime.
“I wanted something beautiful, sincere, and memorable,” explained Stella. “I really wanted to focus on the things that were important to us and that automatically translated into something that everyone else enjoyed too.”
Stella chose a simple yet elegant colour scheme of pinks and creams while incorporating natural greens.
“I didn’t have a strong vision for the wedding décor,” said Stella. “I just wanted a soft natural colour palette, and everything just fell into place.” When asked what the most difficult part of the wedding planning was, Stella said it was the short timeline more than the COVID restrictions.
“We had a very short time to make everything happen."
“Nothing had to be perfect as long as we were together in the end.”
“The only thing that I would have changed is I might have wanted to invite two or three more people, but looking back, I'm actually glad we were restricted because it made our decision-making so much easier.”
“It wouldn’t have been so special and intimate. We would have been running around trying to connect with over 200 people and then the day wouldn’t have been about us,” she said. “Honestly, it was a blessing in disguise for us that we were limited like that.”
Highlights from the day
We asked Stella to share some of the highlights from their special day.
“There's so many,” she reminisced. “If I had to choose one, it was when I walked into the ceremony and saw how beautifully everything came together.” The famous Lake House fireplace was a natural and breathtaking show stopper for everyone to drop into the beauty of this day. The fireplace was dripping with flowers so abundant and full and was a breathtaking sight used as the backdrop for the wedding ceremony.
"I wanted it to look like a fairy tale, and it indeed was. The Lake House is such an incredible venue and all the little details made everything so much more special.”
Stella had hoped to include peonies from her garden in her bridal bouquet but with an early August wedding date, the garden peonies were no longer in bloom. Elli was aware of this wish and was able to save a few precious blooms from a local grower to surprise the bride on her wedding. Stella's bouquet was created entirely with all local flowers sourced from Alberta and British Columbia.
There were flowers running down the center aisle that drew the eye up to where the couple gave their wedding vows. These same flowers were later moved to run down the center of the dinner tables. Local harpist Gianetta from For Love of Harp set an elegant mood with the sweet sounds of her harp. “The flowers were exquisitely beautiful, which set a dreamy atmosphere, but I think the harpist also brought it all together. Everything together created a beautiful experience for the guests.”
The reception had a relaxed yet elegant ambience with the harvest style tables set with stunning baroque dinnerware provided by Modern Rental. The linen napkins, baroque dinner menu custom made by Indy Bee Craft and delightful specialty chocolate favours handcrafted by local chocolatier Epiphanie Chocolate made for a fanciful treat to greet the guests to a lovely reception.
“Epiphanie Chocolate is owned by a couple in Calgary. They make the most beautiful chocolates, and you can request custom designs and flavours,” said Stella.
Sophia Grace stole the show, however, as she led the way down the aisle as the couple’s flower girl.
“It was just fabulous because we really wanted her to walk down the aisle, but she wasn't walking yet. Literally the week before the wedding I bought this gorgeous dress for her, and we had her practicing at home walking with her dress.”
“It was the funniest thing ever, but she did it and we were so thrilled to have her be a part of our experience in that way. It was like an extra special little gift.”
Advice for the newly engaged
When asked if she had any advice for couples planning their wedding, Stella offered: “Get the right help from the start.”
“Choosing the right team is so important. It takes away a lot of the stress,” she explained. “I liked to be involved, but I also knew that I could trust the people I chose to help me.”
“I love how everything came together and ran so smoothly. It felt so cohesive and looked effortless in the end.”
She added that it's also good to set your budget and decide what the key items are for you as a couple.
“It’s great if you know what areas
you want to spend a little bit more on to make your wedding unique and reflect your personal style.”
“I also think it’s important to enjoy the process and remember that it's not about what anyone else thinks of the day. It's really about the essence of becoming a married couple and sharing the love you have for one another.”
Photographer and Videography: @thetothsphotofilm
Decore & Rentals: @modernrentalsweddings
Wedding Gown: @thebridalboutiqueyyc
Bridesmaids' dresses: @nordstromcanada
Groom's Attire/Groomsmen: @thebridalcentre
Makeup Artist, Nikki
Wedding ring: @austensok