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.
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.
We’re all much more aware of our impact on the planet these days, so you might discuss eco-friendly events when you meet with an event planner. Planning a great event doesn’t mean you need to use endless single-use plastics or require throwing out a ton of waste. With some tips below, we’ll help you make some intentional choices for a successful and environmentally friendly celebration!
Choosing Sustainable Venues for Eco-Friendly Events
A great place to start is choosing a venue that values sustainability. Be bold and ask your potential venues what they are actively doing to help our planet. Ask who their suppliers or caterers are. Do they work with local and seasonal farms? And do they have ways of conserving water? The more emphasis on what they do to reduce the impact on the environment the better. If you want complete control over how eco-friendly your event is, consider a backyard celebration.
Go Plastic Free for a Green Event
Making some simple switches to plastic-free alternatives is an easy win for eco-friendly events. We’ve all seen the heartbreaking effects of plastic straws and bottles in the ocean, so swap plastic straws and cutlery for stainless steel, wood or paper.
Ditch balloons and opt for natural décor instead, like dried floral confetti or paper streamers. Rent glassware and dinnerware that can be washed and reused. Find out if you can buy food from a local farm that uses industry best practices. Make these choices and you are well on your way to an eco-friendly event!
Be Creative With Your Party Favours
A really fun part of planning events is choosing favours for your guests. Get your creative cap on and think about some small gestures that are both meaningful and something your guests can get excited about. Perhaps it could be something edible, like candies or gourmet snacks from sustainable sources and in reusable containers. You could also include customized, reusable bags or even flower seed packets for the bees! If you can find something that doubles up as a gift and benefits the environment, it will make you feel really positive about your choices.
Suggest Car Pooling or Travel Links
Have you thought about how you and your guests are going to arrive at the event? We all know that we need to avoid fossil fuels where possible to create a greener planet, so it’s definitely worth thinking about transportation. To reduce the number of cars being used, you could ask your guests to share cars. You could even give a small gift to the designated driver as an incentive. This will not only reduce the number of vehicles being used but will also make sure you have plenty of parking available too—a win-win for your eco-friendly event.
Alternatively, you could include train and bus links to your home when you invite people to plant the seed of attending without driving. The bonus here is that everyone coming can have a drink without worrying about driving.
Make Recycling a Team Effort
Depending on where you are having your event, express how important it is that venue staff and guests recycle throughout the day. Communicate by creating labelled areas and stations for your guests to place their separate items to be recycled. It could be for glass or even a place for composting your food waste. Explain that you would like everyone to be mindful about where they are throwing trash and not to litter. If you have already picked a venue with sustainable values, the waiting staff should already have this covered. Depending on the event, you may be handling clean up yourself; if you’re planning your event in Vancouver, you have plenty of places to recycle.
Share With Your Guests
You might have an abundance of food left over, or lots of arranged flowers sitting pretty that don’t deserve to get thrown out at the end of your event. Let your guests take things like food and flowers home, at their discretion. If people know they have permission from their host, it makes the idea of sharing much easier. You’ll feel much better knowing some of the things you’ve spent your money on won’t go to waste!
It’s become really important to do what we can for the environment and throwing eco-friendly events is a small part of that. Even if you choose just one of our suggestions, you can feel good knowing you’ve done what you can and enjoy your celebration even more. If you would love the help of an event planner, get in touch with us today and let’s create a forever memory!