With Views this Stunning, Who Needs Wedding Decor?
Today’s amazing Banff Wedding shot by Julie Williams has me totally inspired. Look at that ceremony site. You don’t need flowers and a chuppah to make that site pretty. The mountains are more than enough. OK, one more thing. Before we dive right in, I just want to point out Hollie’s hiking boots. I love a fellow hiking-boot-wearing bride!
Tell us a bit about your wedding.
Ryan proposed to me at the top of Rundle Mountain in Banff last August and I was so excited we pretty much started planning the wedding as soon as we set off back down the mountain. We had about 9 months to plan the wedding and started getting all of the important things organized right away – wedding site, reception venue, photographer, coordinator etc. We decided to get married in Banff and knew that it was important to get these big things booked as so many people get married here in the summer. Our main inspiration was our love for the outdoors and the mountains that we live in. We are also very environmentally conscious and wanted to incorporate that as well. We choose an outdoor ceremony location at Tunnel Mountain Reservoir overlooking Rundle Mountain and thankfully the weather was great! We had a very DIY wedding and made as many things as we could by hand – invitations, place cards, centre pieces, cake toppers, decorations etc. This was really important to us as we felt that we could really showcase our personalities. The main goal for the weekend though was to ensure that all of our guests had fun.
What are three things you’re glad you did?
Made our own cake toppers – we couldn’t find any cake toppers that we liked that weren’t tacky or clichéd. We wanted something that was totally original to us and after much deliberation we decided to use some goofy photographs. We went on to the train tracks behind our house and took pictures of each of us on an opposite track leaning in as if we were trying to touch hands. We used wire picture clips to display these on the cake.
Hired a Coordinator – Our coordinators were fantastic! They set up and took down the ceremony site and reception venue for us. This was such a huge weight off our minds to know that we wouldn’t have to burden our family members with these tasks especially at the end of the night after one too many glasses of champagne.
Had the wedding outdoors – This was one of the most important aspects for us and I’m glad that we stuck with this. We even had umbrellas and gum boats on standby just in case!
Three things you wish you had done?
Put instructions with the table cameras – we had disposable cameras on the table so people could take fun candid pictures of each other during the night however we ended up with countless numbers of dark pictures of the head table. Luckily some people had the right idea and we did end up with some good shots however I think with a little instruction this would have worked better.
Had an earlier wedding ceremony – we had a 4pm ceremony and although it was nice to be able to take our time getting ready it did feel a bit like the whole day was crammed into the evening. This made it go even faster for us and it would have been nicer to have more time to spend with our family and friends after the ceremony.
Hired Julie for the full day – We had Julie our photographer from 3:45pm – 10pm however I feel there were many moments that happened before and after these times that she would have been able to capture fantastically.
Three things you wish you hadn’t done?
Tried to cram so much into the evening before – We had already been incredibly busy the week before the wedding as a lot of guests arrived a week early and we spent most of our time entertaining them. On the night before the wedding we decided to have the wedding rehearsal and then a BBQ so that the wedding party and all family members could meet. This ran a little later than expected and them I had to finish off some final details and steam my dress! My bridesmaids and I ended up staying up until 2am! I defiantly would have appreciated some more sleep!
Restricted the wedding list so much – we didn’t have a huge budget and so we restricted the amount of people that we could invite. In the end after people that could not make it etc we could have probably invited everyone that we really wanted to.
Three things you wish you hadn’t worried about?
My Speech – I had huge worries when writing my speech mainly with the thought that I’d have to stand up in front of a lot of people!! In the end the speech went so much better that I could have ever expected. There was many a tear shed and I was informed that it was a great success.
Everything in general – you definitely worry about the small stuff when planning a wedding and it’s true that no one is going to notice the little things except you.
What is your very best hindsight advice?
Get organized – Have a solid plan and make a list of everything that you need to get done. Make sure that you assign and complete tasks each week so that you can cross them off you list. Being able to do this will reduce the stress and also reduce all the little things that build up and end up being done the week before the big day!
My very best advice would be to make sure you take time to really enjoy your day. Take a minute, several times throughout the day, just to step back and take everything in. I was constantly told how fast the day goes but couldn’t comprehend this until it actually happened. I remember asking for the time at the reception and it being 10:30pm and not being able to believe it. We ended up being the last people to leave somewhere around 2am as we were enjoying the night so much we didn’t want it to end. So remember to enjoy every moment of your day!
Julie Williams Photography is a distinguished member of the Mountainside Guide, an exclusive vendor directory featuring the best and most reliable mountain wedding vendors in North America. Mountainside Guide members are screened and vetted for quality of work, reliability, and professionalism, both among their peers and on review web sites.
See Julie Williams Photography’s portfolio HERE.