Alden Mitchell met Steve Budhill at a glamorous party in New York City back in 2006. At the time, she was living there, but Steve's home base was an ocean away in London. But they got to talking, and a few weeks later he flew back to visit her. The rest is history, and as Alden says, "several years, one transatlantic move, many adventures around the globe, and countless good times later," they tied the knot, on March 19, 2011.
The avid skiers took a trip to Whistler, British Columbia, a few months into dating and have gone every year since. When it came time to pick their wedding location, the London transplants knew a winter wedding at one of their favorite spots was the obvious choice. They set about planning a warm and welcoming affair complete with earthy tones, soft lighting, and cozy touches.
For the invitation, shimmery ivory paper was letterpressed and backed with chocolate card stock. It featured a compass rose motif brainstormed by Alden's mother, Jan Mitchell, that would continue throughout the wedding.
Gift bags welcomed guests to their hotels. The natural jute tote contained a spiked hot-cocoa kit and a personalized aluminum water bottle marked with a cheeky tag inviting guests to fill it with "water or alcohol, whichever you need more." Local sweet and savory snacks, a drink cozy, a welcome note with suggested activities and sights to see, and winter-wonderland travel kits containing necessities (hand warmers, ibuprofen, Band-Aids, tissues, Emergen-C, a trail map, and lip balm) rounded out the bags' contents.
More than 100 guests witnessed the ceremony, which the couple personalized with help from their celebrant. For Alden, the combination of the spectacular setting, meaningful words, and presence of all of their loved ones made the ceremony beautiful and spiritual.
The bride and groom exchanged nontraditional vows, and at the end of the ceremony the celebrant shared letters the couple had written to each other. Afterward, the newlyweds walked back up the aisle to "All You Need Is Love" by the Beatles.
Steve wore Richard James Savile Row and the bride wore a Vera Wang gown and veil, Christian Louboutin heels, and a DeBeers necklace. Her engagement ring, which had belonged to Steve's great-grandmother, and her own grandmother's engagement ring (on her right hand) served as a reminder of the importance of family.
The ballroom was set with four long tables, each named after the couple's favorite ski runs on Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. Natural linen cloths and chocolate-brown runners draped each table, and tall, moss-covered trees speckled with gardenias were nestled between rows of ranunculus, tulips, pine; pine cones added flair.
Napkins tied with a rustic tussie-mussie of local greenery were laid on top of letterpressed menus. In lieu of a charger plate, a Chilewich placemat anchored each seat and brought in a textural element.
The menu for the evening included beef filet with a blue-cheese flan and halibut with vegetables.
At the reception's conclusion, guests were given custom illuminated-paper lanterns made by Arak Kanofsky Studios with directions to the after party at the Four Seasons Private Residences. There, they enjoyed pulled pork sandwiches, chili con queso, tacos, and sliders -- and kept the party going until the wee hours.
Photography: Liz Banfield
Ceremony venue: Squamish Lil'wat Culture Centre
Reception venue and catering: Four Seasons Resort Whistler
Coordination, stationery, and event design: Florabella Weddings
Floral design: Florabella Lifestyles
Videography: Love Story Media
Audio and lighting: Promosa
Hair: Martin Hillier and Lance Blanchette of The Lounge Hair Studio
Makeup: Hayley Miller
Officiant: Celebrant Michele Davidson
Transportation: Glacier Coach Line
Calligraphy: Papineau Calligraphy
Get inspired by DIY details these real couples created for their big day.See the Latest