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  • Writer's pictureKeely

VanDusen Botanical Garden Wedding

What a stunning, sunny, spring wedding day at the VanDusen Botanical Garden. Leading up to the day, G + N were considering what they would do about the possibility of rain. They gambled on it and committed to the outdoor ceremony, and we were SO glad they did because it was perfectly sunny, perfectly warm, and so so beautiful.

 

A groom kissing his bride on the cheek in front of lilac coloured bush.

Getting Ready

 

G and the groomsmen were getting ready at his parents’ home in Burnaby, while the bride, Natasha, was getting ready with her big crew of girls at The Douglas hotel in Downtown Vancouver.


A bridesmaid getting her make-up done in a bright hotel room.

The 2-story hotel suite overlooking BC Place was bustling with bridesmaids, make-up artists, and the bride’s friends. N was so relaxed getting her hair and make-up done, despite there being so many people and so much going on in the room; she seemed to genuinely be enjoying and soaking up the fact that this was her wedding morning which we were so happy to see. None of the little details were stressing her out, she just wanted to have a fun, great day.


A bride's details, including her engagement ring, her sparkly silver shoes, white heart-shaped sunglasses, and her vow book.

G was also having a fun, relaxed morning with the guys at the house. They all slowly got ready together and hung out outside smoking cigars in the backyard for a while before leaving in the limo for the ceremony.

 

Wedding Ceremony

 

The ceremony was at Heron Lake at VanDusen Botanical Garden, a beautiful spot with a big, leafy tree right beside the small lake. The lake has a big fountain in it, giving off such calming background noise of splashing water.  This ceremony site is so gorgeous as is; all G + N added to it were some florals and drapery on the arch, simple white chairs, and some flower petals lining the aisle.


Rows of white chairs on a bright green lawn, with white flower petals lining the chairs.

G + N didn’t have a first look before the ceremony, so N walking with her parents down the aisle was the first like G saw her, and her stunning dress! Actually, her dress had been a surprise for everyone until the day of the wedding! She had received it only a few days before the wedding. It was such a special moment to capture G’s reaction in real-time to seeing his beautiful bride in her gown on this hugely important day.

A bride and groom standing at the front of the aisle, holding hands in front of a big green tree.

The whole wedding ceremony was such a sweet one. They shared heartfelt, honest vows with each other and there wasn’t a dry eye in the audience. After signing the marriage license and making it all official, G + N were declared husband and wife and they smiled and danced their way back down the aisle, followed by their cheerful wedding party.


A bride and groom walking back down the aisle, big smiles on their faces and their audience is clapping for them.

Photos


Immediately following the ceremony, we did some friends, family, and bridal party photos right at the lake in front of the fountain before heading off with G + N for their portraits. We could have taken photos in the garden with these two all day; they were so easy to pose, they were down for all of our photo ideas, and every step that we took further into the garden produced absolutely magical backgrounds for them to pose in front of. The light was shining through the colourful flowers and greenery just right in certain pockets of the garden. It was the perfect scene for romantic bridal portraits and we were so happy we got to spend most of the allocated photo time with just the two of them. Natasha had a custom veil that has “Till death do us part” and their initials and wedding date stitched onto the bottom of it. We had to feature this detail in their portraits.

 


A bride and groom hugging in front of a colourful, lilac bush.

A bride and groom smiling at each other, both under her veil that says "Till Death Do Us Part".

Cocktail Hour


After about 30 minutes of dedicated photo time, we headed to the cocktail hour at Shaughnessy Restaurant. It was decorated beautifully, and the room was jam-packed with their family and friends, laughing and having great conversation. G + N took some time to escape in the bridal suite at the beginning of cocktail hour and Linden took this time to fly the drone, before the couple brought us outside where their fur baby was waiting to see them! We got some photos and video of the newlyweds and their pup which was adorable.

 

Then G + N went inside to go enjoy their cocktail hour. I don’t think it has been planned as an official “entrance” but as they entered, all their guests clapped and cheered for them before going back to their conversations and appetizers.

 

Reception

 

Then it was reception time, AKA time to eat, drink, and party. :) A few sweet speeches were given by their closest family and friends, and we snuck G + N out for a quick 15-minute golden hour portrait session in the garden. We only had to walk a few feet from Shaughnessy Restaurant into the rose garden to get amazing, glowing light. The garden was closed by this time, so there was no one else around.


An empty reception space with long tables adorned with greenery and wine glasses.

A groom picking up his bride and twirling her around in a colourful rose garden at sunset.

After golden hour photos, we headed back to the reception for dinner and the remaining speeches. It was such a fun and lively crowd; there was so much laughter and input from the audience during the speeches and the MC talking.

 

After the formal program of the evening ended, G + N took some time to mingle with their guests before cutting their GORGEOUS tiered wedding cake. They mingled a little more after this, before making their way to the dance floor for their first dance and their parent dances. After that point, everyone was welcomed to the dance floor and the party got started! Virtually all of their guests were out dancing, the youngest to the oldest.


A bride and groom sharing a kiss during their first dance as husband and wife.

Three wedding guests dancing and smiling.

Recap

 

G + N had a magical wedding day at VanDusen Botanical Garden. We are so glad they took the risk to have their ceremony outside. The weather, the bride’s last minute dress, the golden hour… everything turned out absolutely perfect.

 

The Team

 

Venue: VanDusen Botanical Garden & Shaughnessy Restaurant https://vandusengarden.org

Dress: The Bridal Gallery https://www.thebridalgallery.com & Rosie Etienne Bridal https://www.rosieetienne.com

Bride’s Hair: Clara Leung https://www.claraleung.ca

Bride’s Make-up: Paige Griffith Make-Up https://www.paigegriffithmakeup.com

Flowers: Jorbelina Flowers https://jorbelinaflowers.com

Cake: Once Upon a Cake https://www.onceuponacake.co

Food: Shaughnessy Restaurant https://shaughnessyrestaurant.com

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