I started to ask my clients for their own words from their wedding day, this interview is the Hotel MacDonald wedding of Ian and Amara. In their words.
My favourite part— tell me how you met, your love story leading up to today.
We met through our mutual friend Janet (who was MC at our wedding). Amara danced with her, and Ian was one of five roommates in the house. We met in July when Janet and Amara were fundraising for the dance group’s fringe show, but we didn’t start dating until after Christmas when Ian came home from Nanaimo and started messaging Amara on Facebook.
We agreed to meet for a craft beer on a beautiful -33 evening and instantly clicked (Amara = no knowledge of beer & Ian = craft beer aficionado).
Little did we know that we both shared a passion for fashion, watching sports and a shared sense of humour. Once we started dating, we were absolutely inseparable – from cold walks on Whyte to adopting our cat Stella from Edmonton Humane Society and more than we can count new restaurants and cafe adventures.
Amara quickly started to learn about the municipal government role that Ian played at work, and Ian quickly gained a new collection of shoes. Many of our mutual friends would comment on the fact that we were inseparable and we usually responded with the short answer of “of course—we love each other.” Very quickly the relationship grew and transformed into what our family and friends celebrated on July 8, 2017.
How did the proposal happen?
Amara had been hinting at marriage for months and in true Ian fashion, he knew he could pull the grand scheme off. Ian started coordinated with a mutual friend coming home from school and the plan was hatched.
It was a cold day when they met for coffee. Without gloves or a warm jacket, Ian suggest a walk, Amara was still none the wiser.
A secret word was in place for the friend to make a “phone call”. So she walked off, Amara not wanting to get to far from her. Ian knelt down, and the freezing temperature was forgotten as he was filled with love, and proposed to Amara. Our friend captured the whole proposal on her phone and to this day our friend reminds us how magical of a moment it was.
A very cool fact many people don’t know is that Ian worked with Amara’s parents to use Amara’s mom’s original engagement ring centre diamond and yellow sapphires to develop and design the whole ring with Carmen from Concept Jewelry.
What was your wedding date?
July 08, 2017
How important was photography to you, how did you make your way to Ampersand Grey?
We wanted a simple, classic, and elegant wedding. When it came to photography we didn’t want a typical ho hum wedding experience. We wanted something more personal, meaningful and an experience as opposed to a “product”.
We agreed that the actual experience and lead up on the day of the wedding was just as important as the photos and therefore memories are.
Ian knew Michel previously though volunteering, and Michel always stuck out as an amazing and caring person and artist. Amara and Ian had been following Ampersand Grey for years and always said when “we get married we need Ampersand Grey”. Our dream came true.
What are some of your plans/details from the day that you’d like to highlight?
We keep on telling everyone that photography was not something that we always had to think about on the day of, it was an integrated element of the day. Some of the highlights included when Ian was waiting in the room at the Church and Michel arrived and said, “let’s get you married.” Ian’s nerves were boiling and literally the temperature was, well… hot… hahah, as soon as Ian saw Michel he relaxed.
Something that we don’t know how she pulled off was family portraits. Michel took charge and managed all of the family so efficiently and it played a huge part in our day.
The hands-down, most memorable part of the day was us going away for 2-3 hours to take some photos with Michel. We hit up LockStock/Red Star pub, Legislature fountains, a rustic wall and the river valley. It was such a relaxing and memorable time as we were able to reflect, just be us and have a fun time.
Michel convinced us how important it was to spend some time just the two of us by far this was the best advice we received from anyone and it made our wedding day even more special.
Where was your wedding and your reception? Why did you choose those venues?
St. Joseph’s Basilica and Hotel MacDonald Wedgewood Room. They both fit perfectly into our elegant and classic part of our vision.
Hotel Macdonald has always been such a huge part of celebrating for us. We also chose venues that wouldn’t need to be overly decorated, that were visually stunning, and reminded us of European architecture.
Did you have an “OMG” dress moment? How did you choose your dress?
I went shopping with my mom and Tyrel Abbott who was the stylist/”wedding whisperer” from Say Yes To The Dress Canada. We went to The Bridal House. After four dresses, when I stepped out I knew it was the one. I had this feeling of never wanting to take the dress off and started crying before the veil was even on! We ended up phoning my dad to have him come and see the dress.
Bride’s favourite moment:
Walking down the aisle and seeing Ian. Neither of us could stop our happy tears and it just felt overwhelmingly perfect.
Groom’s favourite moment:
Not dropping or stepping on Amara during our dance, I practiced so much… HAHAH…. The number one moment was seeing Amara walk down the aisle towards me and when our hands met to walk up to the front of the church. It was a whirlwind of emotion. A close second was sitting in the air conditioned LockStock Coffee shop and being completely ourselves. There were too many moments created throughout the day.
If you could pass advice to the peeps that walk behind you, what would you tell them about wedding planning?
Take some time just for the two of you between the ceremony and reception. Also, have day-of coordinator to take any stress off. Ours was absolutely one of the best investments for our wedding.
Anything I’ve missed that you’d like to mention? Spill the beans!
We both feel that the wedding was absolutely how we envisioned it—we wouldn’t change anything. Michel is such an amazing person and photographer, she does the unimaginable (actually she does exactly what you dream of!)
Planner & style consultant: Tyrel Abbott
Brides dresses: Maggie Sottero & BHLDN
Grooms suit: Hugo Boss
Hair: Tyrel Abbott
Makeup: bride did her own
Brides Accesories: twigs & honey from Novelle Bridal Shop, Miu Miu from Holt Renfrew, Pronovias, 1861 and Gregg Ruth and vintage jewellery borrowed from her mother
Florist: Callingwood Florist
Rentals: Special Event rentals
Desserts: The Art of Cake https://theartofcake.ca & Amaracano – www.amaracano.com
Caterer – Hotel Macdonald
Invitation design & stationery Crane & Co.
DJ – Joses Martin managed by Thomas Culture