Monday, July 26, 2010

Mr. and Mrs. Hopp

~"May your troubles be less, and your blessings be more, and nothing but happiness come through your door."~

Kelly has always been like another big sister to me. I have two older sisters, but I think over the past ten years we've spent more time in different cities than living in the same city, and although my own sister's are my best friends, it was always nice to have someone around supervising our weekend activities back in high school.
Kel is the older sister of two of my very closest friends, Fiona and Sinead and the daughter of someone I consider my second mom, Yvonne. They are a wonderful family and all seem to share the same heart - when one hurts they all hurt and when one is happy, they all have huge smiles on their faces. This was one of those occasions, the girls were gaining an older brother and Yvonne, a son. Kelly was marrying her Prince Charming, as she referred to him in her speech. Brad is just an awesome guy and I can tell that him and our Kelly will have a long, exciting and very happy life with one another.

Brad and Kelly both love adventure and the outdoors and when they were going to choose venues they ventured out to beautiful British Columbia. Initially they were thinking a winery, maybe near Kelowna, but after staying at the Panorama Mountain Village, they knew they had found the spot, and what an amazing location they chose. It is this magical, sunny little village in the middle of the mountains and is totally self contained. They have shops, restaurants, pools, beautiful accommodations and lots to do for those who like outdoor activities. The staff there were so friendly and helpful, many of them from overseas, Australia, New Zealand and England seemed to be common and they were always offering to assist in anything they saw me doing.

The day of the wedding was gorgeous and sunny with blue skies. The ceremony site was stunning, right beside Toby Creek, a rushing crystal blue mountain stream that runs alongside the road leading up to the village. Being Irish, U2 seems to be a favorite in this clan so Kelly and Yvonne walked down the aisle to All I Want is You. Brad was overwhelmed and teary eyed as he saw his beautiful bride to be walk down the aisle. The entire time I was snapping photo's the two were grinning from ear to ear, and looked as though they only saw each other.

The reception was held in the Ski Lodge and was a perfect match for their theme and colours, rustic, natural, greens and blues. Kelly saved various glass jars and bottles for months and decorated them in ribbon and lace and had the florist fill them with a variety of natural looking greens and flowers. Darby, their adorable Cairn Terrier, was represented in frames for the table numbers. The candy buffet was enormous and again, Kelly made sure to have it colour coordinated with blues and greens and included her very favorite treat, Galaxy bars.

The guest mix was wonderful, and included 14 family members all the way from Ireland and one friend of Yvonne's from England, and does that gang ever know how to party. They shut the place down singing and dancing. The speeches were touching and Kelly's words to Yvonne brought everyone to tears, as it is widely known what a spectacular mother she has been to her three beautiful daughters. Slideshow's are always a great way to tie in the earlier lives of the bride and groom and show how they merged their lives together, this one also show cased some rather, um, unique photo's of both of them. Gotta love the 80's and 90's!

My absolute favorite moment of the day came when some of the Irwin School of Dance students performed traditional Irish dancing and dragged Kelly up. Acting coi and surprised I was wondering what she would do, until I spotted her dance shoes on her feet. Kelly surprised everyone, especially her new husband by Irish dancing in her wedding dress. To see Brad's reaction to this was amazing, and me, as the planner, I never get surprised by anything and this was such a treat.

Kelly and I share a lot of personality traits and planning this was so enjoyable as we agreed on everything and I saw her vision perfectly. The venue fit the theme, the party fit the family, and Kelly and Brad fit one another absolutely perfectly. Love you guys!

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