Monday, October 5, 2009

A castle wedding

Like a fairy tale, my lovely friend Brittany married her one true love, Steve, in a garden beneath an old, ivy-covered castle in Victoria, B.C. The weather was brisk as we waited for the ceremony to start. In our jackets we strolled the grounds and took in the view. There was so much to look at: the castle, the sea, the flowers, the peacocks parading around the ground. A few even sat perched on a stone wall bordering the garden, as if they were waiting for the festivities to begin, too.

Close family and friends filled the rows of white seats. It was an intimate affair, which seemed fitting despite the grand setting. The ceremony was traditional and yet personal-- the officiant shared with those gathered how the bride and groom met and just what they thought of each other, a moment that was both funny and sweet. The couple recited the vows many of us are familiar with, but they also exchanged their own sentiments that were truly from the heart. I don't think there was a dry eye in the house; I know I shed a few tears. I always get emotional at weddings, I'm such a sap, but it was more than that. I was so very happy to see the love between Brittany and Steve. Their feelings for each other were palpable, undeniable. It's so great to see a couple so completely in love.

After hors d'oeuvres and champagne on the patio overlooking the garden, the reception moved inside the castle. Completed in 1908, Hatley Castle's interior is as impressive as its exterior. Think oak and rosewood paneled rooms, a baronial fireplace, teak floors and sparkling chandeliers. One could not imagine a more perfect place to get hitched. After a hearty dinner, the cutting of the cake and toasts from the father of the bride and the mother of the groom-- words that, again, pulled on my heartstrings-- guests made their way to the dance floor, which was situated between a grand dual staircase. The first dance, to Jack Johnson's "Better Together," kicked off the night of celebration that ended a few hours later in the most romantic way: with a sparkler send off and an old Rolls Royce as the getaway car.

Like I said, it was a wedding straight out of a storybook. And just like the fairy tales we've all read as children, I have no doubt they'll live happily ever after. In Costa Rica. Or wherever their hearts take them.

Here's some more pictures, if you'd like to see...

Strolling through the garden, the evening sunlight streaming through the trees.

The garden's colorful blooms were the perfect backdrop for saying "I do."

Snapping a pic before the ceremony began.

The Italian Garden at Hatley Castle.

Exchanging vows. The bride's sister was the maid of honor, the groom's brother was the best man.

A big smooch sealed the deal.

So glad to be Mr. and Mrs.

I think they look like movie stars here. And I'm the paparazzi!

A view of the garden. The wedding party was finishing taking photos.

First dance.

They were definitely queen and king of the castle that day.

I heart weddings.

The bride gets down to "Bad Girls" by Donna Summer with her sister and mom.

P.S. I updated my blogroll yesterday so if you haven't looked in a while and feel like browsing, definitely check it out. There are some great blogs on there!


Shoshanah said...

I would love to be able to get married in a castle someday! The pictures all look so amazing.

rachel said...

Looks like such a sweet ceremony! I love that it was a small wedding, too. That's how I'd want mine to be, too – very small, just with those who matter most to me.

Have a great rest of your Monday! :)

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

What a GORGEOUS wedding!! I love her dress. I never got to visit Hatley Castle when I was in Victoria but now I REALLY want to!

{lovely little things} said...

What a beautiful location for a wedding, I adore Victoria, it's so picturesque. That castle is gorgeous!

trishiekoh said...

Oh wow...looks and sounds great, I'd love to get married in a castle too but where to find one if australia?!

Kristin said...

Wow, what an amazing venue!! Totally something out of a fairy tale!

Erin said...

I live right up the road from Royal Roads and Hatley Castle. It's gorgeous. We didn't get married there, but took a lot of our wedding photos there. Thanks for bringing back some great memories!