Are you ready to tie the knot and looking to create a unique event? An outdoor wedding can be the perfect solution for a truly memorable experience. We’re lucky enough to have so many stunning locations in British Columbia that are perfect for special moments, so we’ve listed some of the best outstanding outdoor and forest wedding venues near Vancouver, BC.
Outdoor and Forest Wedding Venues Around Vancouver
Island Lake Lodge (Fernie)
Find mountains, 800-year-old trees, and a beautiful lake to set the scene for your wedding in historic Fernie, available for use year-round. This outdoor wedding venue near Vancouver has everything you need for an elevated experience, while still feeling connected to nature with its epic surroundings.
Make use of the spa and massage options, as well as nearby hiking and biking trails to make the most of your time here. Yes, there’s only one wedding day, but if you can afford a few days away with some of your favourite people, why not? They also have yoga with goats, if you’re that sort of person.
Maan Farms (Abbostford)
Maan Farms is a perfect place to celebrate your love during spring, summer and fall, where you can choose between a ceremony by their strawberry fields or a heritage walnut tree. Alongside the scenic backdrops for the ceremony, your reception can take place in their antique barn which has been restored to create a special space that can hold up to 150 guests.
Earthwise Society Agassiz (Delta)
Earthwise Society is an organic working farm with endless possibilities for your special day. Whether you say ‘I Do’ beneath their forest canopy or with their mountain backdrop, the friendly team love to accommodate your requests to make the day truly about you and your loved one.
There is also wonderful seasonal produce for delicious meals and appetizers, providing a quality farm-to-table experience. This outdoor wedding venue is a more affordable option for hosting.
Exchange vows at a family-run venue with boutique accommodation, all set within a five-acre woodland in Squamish. Even though the location feels totally remote it is only an hour drive from downtown Vancouver. Sunwolf has been praised for its relaxing and festival atmosphere, tied in with the perfect balance of down-to-earth luxury feel.
Nita Lake Lodge (Whistler)
Head to the snowy mountains in Whistler to wed at a nationally recognized wedding destination with various outdoor ceremony spaces to choose from. Not only will you have your wedding in a striking outdoor landscape, they also have bridal spa services and an executive chef to create a personalized menu for the event. For a true luxury event, Nita Lake Lodge has everything you need for the ultimate outdoor wedding.
Bodega Ridge (Galliano Island)
Tie the knot on the bluffs of Galliano Island to celebrate in serene surroundings with ocean views. Part of the incredible location also boasts coastal cuisine using organic ingredients from a Galliano farm, and a BC-centric wine list. If you’re looking for something secluded and intimate, they also have a lovely option of a fully private space just for elopements.
Outdoor and Forest Wedding Venues on Vancouver Island, BC
Sea Cider (Vancouver Island)
Close to downtown Victoria on Vancouver Island, Sea Cider offers panoramic sea views and a woodland, creating a magical scene for a west coast wedding day.
The team has access to many quality local resources for catering assistance, and to suit different tastes and budgets, making it a popular place for an outdoor wedding venue. Don’t forget to sample their very own award-winning organic cider!
Cedar Haven Weddings (Vancouver Island)
If you’ve dreamed of a true forest wedding with a wow factor, then look no further! Cedar Haven Weddings is a private property nestled within an old growth forest on Vancouver Island. With everything you need to create the perfect rustic setting, this forest wedding venue has all the magical vibes for a memorable experience and perfect setup for your wedding day photographs.
Creating forever memories is what we’re most passionate about, and that all starts with organizing your dream event! Contact us for a free consultation to learn about how we can take care of your wedding day from start to finish. We can’t wait to hear from you!
If this article got you thinking, you can find our earlier article on Vancouver wedding venues too.
Congratulations, you’re planning a wedding! There are many things about your day that you can delegate to your partner or event planner, but (luckily) wedding dress shopping is not one of them. Odds are you already have an idea of what kind of dress you like, whether you have been scouring pinterest since you were 14 or you ended up watching Say Yes to the Dress when you claimed there was nothing better on TV.
It is so exciting to think that your perfect dream dress is out there waiting for you, but there are so many choices that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Wedding dress shopping should be a day (or weekend!) where you feel happy, loved, and absolutely beautiful. To make planning this event as stress free and fun as possible, we’ve done the research and put together the top 6 most important tips from brides and wedding planners to have the most success finding your dream wedding dress.
Research Types of Wedding Dress
We don’t mean staying-up-all-night-writing-your-thesis type of research, just spend a bit of time on pinterest and online dress websites so you have an idea of what kinds of dresses you like. Knowing the difference between a mermaid-style dress and a fit and flare dress is much simpler than trying to describe (or draw!) a shape when you get to the bridal shop.
Bring some photos, know what you like and what you don’t like, but don’t overplan and certainly don’t rule anything out. Let yourself be surprised if you end up liking something that looks nothing like what you thought you wanted. Being open to trying different styles and colours will help you feel more confident that when you find the one, you’ll know.
Plan Your Hunt for the Perfect Wedding Dress
Making an appointment with a bridal consultant 9-12 months before the big day ensures you have enough time not only to find your wedding dress but also to alter it, which is often what takes the most time. Planning appointments within days of each other (or making a weekend out of it!) is recommended so the dresses you have tried on are fresh in your mind. You will also want to call the bridal shop before your appointment to let them know what styles you like. That way, they can have some dresses ready for you before you arrive. If you have a specific gown in mind find out if they have it ahead of time and let them know.
When you call the bridal salon, make sure you also ask about their COVID-19 precautions and protocol. Ask how many people you are welcome to bring, whether or not you need to wear a mask the entire time (and if they offer complimentary neutral-toned ones) and whether or not they have sanitizing wipes available for you to use.
There is nothing worse than getting somewhere and realizing you forgot something you needed. This is why packing a special “dress shopping” bag is so important and will help ease your stress. In it you want to make sure you have:
—underwear and a bra similar to what you think you’ll be wearing on your wedding day
—heels similar in height to the ones you will be wearing
—a simple neutral-coloured mask that won’t draw attention away from you or the dresses
—any accessories you are thinking of wearing on your wedding day, especially if you want to build your look around a specific item or piece of jewelry
—your favourite snack
—any hair products you might need to touch up your look
—your favourite hand sanitizer—preferably one that does not leave residue on your hands
—anything else you think you might want to bring
If there is a remote chance you might need something, bring it. You’re always better safe than sorry. (Better make it a big bag!)
This day is all about you, so if you have the opportunity to plan an entire day for yourself, do it!
Have your hair and makeup done in a way similar to what you would like on your big day. Accuracy is not important here, it’s more about the style (hair down/updo/half up, half down etc.) and feeling confident and beautiful. You don’t want to be hungry when dress shopping so make sure to eat and to do something fun before your appointment. It is so important to be in the right mindset and to feel good about yourself when you’re trying on dresses. You also want to choose your posse carefully; bring people you have fun with who have your best interest at heart.
Document Each Dress
Take pictures! Take notes! Have someone take one or two good pictures of you in all the dresses you try on and don’t delete any. As you are trying them on, sort them into different folders so you can show bridal stylists which you like and which you dislike. It also helps to come up with nicknames so you can refer to dresses quickly within your group.
Trust Your Gut
This is the most important piece of advice you will ever receive about your wedding. Trust your gut. No one knows you better than you know yourself and if you get a good or bad feeling about any dress, trust it. At the end of the day your feelings and opinions are the only ones that matter. Your wedding, your dress, your decision.
Unfortunately, trying on wedding dresses and feeling beautiful is not the only thing you need to do before getting married. (How amazing would that be though?!) Thankfully, YouForever is here to guide you step-by-step with ideas and planning because we want to make sure that the day you marry your forever person will become a forever memory.
Wedding planners wear many hats, and one of the most vital is that of day-of wedding coordinator. This role is essential in making sure your special day goes off without a single unplanned surprise.
What is a Day-of Wedding Coordinator?
Your big day is about you and your partner. The coordinator’s main job is to make sure you do nothing but enjoy the day in whatever way you choose. They achieve this by planning and coordinating the wedding in advance and being there on the day to see it happens in the correct sequence.
A Wedding Coordinator’s Duties
- Oversees the wedding rehearsal.
- Creates a detailed itinerary and floor plan.
- Acts as your point person on the wedding day.
- Addresses any last-minute details and additions.
- Checks in with the vendors to review their contracts and confirm logistics.
- Helps to organize and transfer items from the ceremony to the reception.
- Does a final walkthrough of the ceremony and reception venues.
What’s the difference between a wedding coordinator and a wedding planner?
While a wedding planner helps you plan the whole affair from the get go, a wedding coordinator will be there with you from four to eight weeks before the wedding. They check all of the details in the lead up to the wedding, confirming vendors, seating plans, timings, and anything else either you or your event planner have decided on. They will then attend on the day of and coordinate the wedding so that your only job is to have an incredible day.
When to Hire a Wedding Coordinator
It fits your budget
Budget naturally plays a role in all aspects of wedding planning. Hiring a full-service wedding planner means someone is by your side at every stage of planning and on the day. But, if you can’t afford a full-service planner, a coordinator can be more cost effective. If it’s within budget, hiring a wedding coordinator will make the event effortless for you. You part with the money so that any last-minute problems fall on someone else’s shoulders.
You just want to relax on the day
You can start your day relaxing, having an easy breakfast, getting your hair just right, taking the time to enjoy a drink with your bridal party or groomsmen as you get ready, then allow yourself to be guided through the day carefree.
Your wedding calls for it
If you’re having an intimate backyard wedding and your uncle is manning the bar, you probably don’t need a coordinator. However, if you’re looking to wrangle over a hundred guests at a large venue, have a bunch of musical cues, multiple hired caterers, or a handful of musicians, you may need someone to spin all those plates.
You’ve chosen an untraditional venue
The staff at traditional wedding venues know how to go with the flow of a big day with little supervision. If you’ve chosen a location that doesn’t regularly host weddings you might need a coordinator to organize the staff.
You’ve planned the event yourselves
Some couples will opt to plan their own wedding and then pass off the logistics to the day-of coordinator a month or two before the wedding. Despite your best efforts, you probably haven’t thought of everything and this is where a coordinator can tie up and last-minute loose ends.
So, do you think a coordinator fits with your plans, or a full-service wedding planner? At You Forever, we can do both. Get in touch with us today and let’s get started!
And, if you’re newly engaged, take a look at our next article on choosing the perfect wedding dress.
The big event is coming, and you can’t wait; you’re full of excitable nerves. You’ve looked forward to it for months. Everyone you know is going to be there. The day arrives and it’s not exactly like you expected… it’s even better! A great event planner can walk you into a room with their hands over your eyes and blow you away. But to meet and outdo your expectations they need a few key qualities.
Empathy and Understanding First
What will make this occasion special for you? Your event planner will listen and understand. Their first job is getting to know you, or your loved one, or you and your partner as a couple. Then they can get started. Most people like cake, fine food, good lighting, popular music. Anyone can throw these generic elements together. Your planner will design the event around your tastes, the picture in your head, and make decisions based on your personality.
The Best Event Planners Are Versatile
Before, during, and after your event, your planner will be playing a lot of roles in your life. They understand the catering industry, they’re amateur therapists, professional crisis managers, financial planners, artists, florists, DJs, interior designers, they’re fairy godmothers and organizational wizards. That versatility is really what this article is about.
Organization Skills Are Key
Hosting an event is like cooking a large roast dinner. There are a bunch of elements that need different types of preparation and care, and most importantly each one needs to be timed perfectly to succeed. Having a head for organization is key to event planning.
They Love Networking
Ice sculptures, an authentic Vegas blackjack table, a petting zoo, a bounce house, a cake that a person can jump out of… you probably don’t know how to source any of these things. Your event planner does or knows someone who knows someone who does.
They’re Resilient and Adaptable
We’re here to alleviate your fears, but events are actually made up of a series of smaller events, any of which could go wrong. Hitches happen. The music might not go down when it’s time for speeches. The birthday girl might not be feeling the playlist. A dove might fly into Aunt Karen’s giant wedding hat. A great event planner will foresee most issues before they happen, and quick to rectify them if they do.
Resilience is about taking problems in your stride. Your planner will be at the event to take on any challenges that arise and keep everything running smoothly. The best ones remain calm, accept the situation, take a breath, and go to work at fixing it. An arrangement of roses fell apart: more colourful petals for the flower girl. The vegan main option wasn’t ordered: the planner has Ubereats on standby and is troubleshooting with the chef in the heat of the kitchen. Becky’s Sweet 16 cake says, “Happy Birthday Debbie,”: some whipped cream magic and it now only says “Happy Birthday,” and you’ll be getting 50% off from the baker. Resilience and adaptability at work.
They Have a Deep Understanding of Events
The point of you hiring an event planner is that you get to experience the special day rather than run it. Much like a film or a piece of music, events have high points and dips as they play out, which your planner will understand.
Take a wedding, for example. People get a drink and time to relax when they get to the reception. They are then seated, and the meal is brought out. Then speeches, because everyone is full, relaxed, and ready to sit for half an hour and have a good laugh or cry. Then more drinks and dancing. Simple, huh?
But, what if the meal was after the speeches? People would be scattered, distracted by hunger, and sneaking off to the bar. If there was a second or third round of drinks before the speeches and food, people might be too tipsy to enjoy both. This may seem basic, but every event needs considered forward planning in order to be a perfect day.
Imagination is Essential
Part of having imagination is seeing all aspects of the event ahead of time, as we touched on previously. But a party planner’s real imaginative spirit is put to work long before that, in the planning stage. You have an image in your head of the perfect event. Your planner will see it, understand it, and do you one better. They will take your ideas to the next level, imagining all the ways to make your day one you will never forget.
Event Planners Need Endless Creativity
Imagining is one thing; your event planner also has to turn their amazing concepts into a reality. No two events are the same. Or, at least, they don’t have to be. With a creative event planner adding special touches and bringing all of your daydreams into reality, your day can be personal to you and unlike any other party you’ve ever been to.
Feeling inspired? It just so happens we know some event planners with such a set of skills. Get in contact with You Forever today to discuss any upcoming event you think you might need help planning.
You’ve landed your dream partner, but now it’s time to create your dream ceremony! It’s your wedding day and planning it can be daunting, but don’t worry, we’re here to help put your mind at ease and find out exactly how to make your day perfect. After all, you never know how to plan a wedding until you need to. Follow the tips below to start planning your wedding ceremony today.
Choosing a Wedding Date
First things first, you’re probably wondering how long it takes to plan a wedding. If you’re not having a quick elopement, choose a date that is at least six months away. Six months is the minimum amount of time you need to plan a perfect wedding.
Six months allows you enough time to make sure the people you want to hire are available, and it’s polite to give your chosen guests plenty of time to organize their calendars. It allows them time to plan ahead – especially if they need to consider travel and vacation time from work.
Also, the first question your event planner, wedding venue and vendors will all ask you is the date you plan to marry. Although, your wedding planner can help you decide on a wedding date. It’s the first step before everything else can fall into place.
Know Your Wedding Budget
Having a budget in mind will quickly help you and your partner understand what type of wedding ceremony you would like, the venues you’re able to afford and what you would like to include in your day.
Every wedding is different, and costs can vary greatly depending on what you’re looking for. It’s a good idea to make a detailed spreadsheet of everything you would like to include – catering, decorations, venue, entertainment, travel – and an estimated budget allocated to each category. This will quickly guide you in your decision making and help you visualize an order to the events and when they need to be booked.
Send Out ‘Save the Date’ Invites
We’re sure you have a list of special people in your life you want to be at your ceremony! Write down their names and count the number of people. The number of potential guests, even if it’s a rough figure, will instantly give you clarity on the style of event you’ll need to organize, as well as the amount of space required.
Once you’ve settled on the guestlist, send out your ‘Save the Date’ invites as soon as possible. The earlier your guests know your chosen date, the higher chance they will be able to attend.
Choosing a Wedding Venue
When planning a wedding you need to think about where you want your special ceremony to take place. You might imagine saying ‘I do’ under the stars, barefoot on the beach, or somewhere quiet and cozy. Let your imagination run wild! Whatever you picture, knowing a location or wedding venue will help you to move forward with creating your perfect scenario. It’s wise to have a few places in mind, just in case your first choice isn’t available on the set date.
If you know the area you want to marry but are unsure how to find a place to set up you and your partner’s big moment, a wedding planner or nearby venue will have plenty of options for you to choose from. Read our blog on beautiful Vancouver wedding venues to get inspired!
Arrange a Seating Plan
Making a seating plan can seem overwhelming and complicated, but keep in mind there is no right or wrong way to arrange one. The best way to start arranging a seating plan is to roughly draw out the layout of your ceremony or download a typical layout from the internet. Write down the names of where you would like people to sit.
Depending on how casual the set up will be, close family should have reserved seats at the front. This is especially important for family members who may be walking you down the aisle or giving you away. There’s usually a head table for your closest family and wedding party, then the smaller tables will be listed and on display near the entrance so everyone can find their seats.
Consider Special Details When Planning a Wedding
Now you have a plan formed, you can start thinking about other important and exciting details. What song would you like to walk down the aisle to? What flowers would you like to hold? This can be the really fun part between you and your partner. Choose smaller details that feel meaningful and reflect your relationship. It’s a magical time for your guests to get to know you both and what you love. Whether its classic styles or a quirkier taste, on a beach or in your back yard, don’t be afraid to show off your personality on a day that is all about the both of you!
If you’re left feeling overwhelmed and need guidance on making it all happen, we’re here to help every step of the way. We can make your perfect wedding ceremony happen by taking care of everything big and small. Get ready to make your forever memories and get in touch with us today!