This has been one crazy year for us as Redwoods Weddings! With weddings only running from May through to the beginning of October you might think the rest of the year would be a breeze—but that's certainly not the case. In fact, this winter season has been one of the busiest yet, especially with our wedding ceremony site renovations!
We broke ground back in early October and have been working hard with the architects at Site Lines Architecture Inc., the Landscape architects at van der Zalm & Associates Inc., and the construction specialists at Tidball Construction Ltd. to complete this incredible renovation. It is one thing to visualize and plan, but to see it all physically coming together—each little piece falling into place, every minute detail coming to life—has been a thrilling experience for us all.
We are beyond excited for the upcoming 2017 wedding season,
not just because of our new wedding ceremony site, but also because of the phenomenal brides and grooms that we get to host this year!
We have been running a social media contest over the last few months for our 2017 couples which has allowed us to get to know the brides and grooms even better than usual; we could not be more excited for all of these amazing couples to share their vows in front of family and friends as they have the happiest day of their lives right here at Redwoods Weddings throughout this spring and summer season. One of the wonderful couples that have been participating in our social media contest will be winning the Redwoods Food Truck serving their entire wedding a late night snack of hot cinnamon-sugar mini doughnuts! A delicious prize valued at over $1000!
Winning the Food Truck hasn't been all that easy; each month our brides and grooms have received a new challenge to complete in order to continue their participation in the Food Truck Challenge. One of the challenges that our couples had to complete was to tell us their "YES!" story. Getting to read about how all of our couples got engaged has been the most touching and heartwarming part of this contest. Everyone's engagements were absolutely perfect, and totally unique; not going to lie, there were quite a few happy tears shed over these incredible love stories. From hastily blurting out those four little words right before leaving the house to your evening plans, to asking for a hand in marriage
while overlooking a spectacular vista, to professing your love through an entire afternoon of planned events (or possible distraction methods) all leading to the big question... each of the engagaments were extremely touching and emotional, and we are so very pleased that those who shared their stories with us did. We will be announcing the winner of the Food Truck Challenge in early April! Good luck to all of the participants!
Whether you are getting married this year or not, make sure to keep your eyes on our Facebook and Instagram pages for updates on the progress of the wedding ceremony site over the final few months of construction! We will be doing an exclusive reveal of the completed ceremony site to our 2017 brides and grooms in early May. Shortly after we will be unveiling the ceremony site to the public through our social media accounts.
We are counting down the days until we get to show everyone the absolutely unique and truly remarkable space that we have been working so hard towards creating. It's going to be that butterflies in the stomach, weak at the knees, stumble on your words kind of love at first sight with our brand new Redwoods Weddings Ceremony Site and we cannot wait to share it with you!
At the Redwoods we love supporting local. We pour pints of locally brewed beers, glasses of locally made wines and we even grow some of our own herbs on site! Driving south over the rolling hills and past the luscious farmlands of 216th street you can’t help but notice the vineyard of the makers of our most popular wines who resides right here in Langley: Chaberton Estate Winery!
Chaberton Estate Winery has been producing award winning wines since it opened
for retail in 1991. They produce over twenty different wines that are all 100% BC VQA. Chaberton uses grapes that are grown right here in Langley as well as some grown on vines in the Fraser, Similkameen and Okanagan Valleys. At the Redwoods we have been serving Chaberton wines for over ten years; it is our most popular wine at weddings and one of our top sellers in the restaurant. We have poured enough Chaberton to fill the average swimming pool!
Back in July, Chaberton Estate Winery graciously hosted an educational (and supremely enjoyable) private event at their winery for the Redwoods Food and Beverage Team. Upon our arrival we were given a private tour of the vineyard where we could look across acres of land teeming with six different varietals of grapes; wandering through a vineyard on a beautiful sunshiny day just cannot be beat! Apparently when you are standing in among the vines, and it’s really quiet, you can actually hear the vines growing! However, in a group of 15 ladies, it’s a tall order to get some silence—quiet certainly is not our strong suit!
Following the vineyard tour we were taught about the entire process of wine making followed by Chaberton from the harvesting of grapes in early fall to a unique natural filtering processes that they practice, to the aging of the wine in French oak barrels to the bottling and labeling. So many individual efforts and practices go into each and every delicious bottle.
After the tour we were greeted with a wonderful spread of cheeses, breads and crackers and a variety of wines to sample! Our tour leader Louise did a phenomenal job of teaching our team proper wine etiquette all the way from presentation to pour. Everyone got the opportunity to practice opening and serving wine to the group, reaffirming the tips that we were given.
The wine itself was amazing. We were fortunate enough to sample six different wines giving us all a taste of how fantastic BC wine is. Louise took the time to teach the team how to properly taste wine and gave us tools to help find the words to describe what notes and flavours we taste in wines.
An afternoon spent tasting (and learning about) wine while sitting on a shaded patio overlooking a vineyard is an afternoon well spent! Thank you so much Chaberton Estate Winery, your staff members are wonderful and your wines delicious—you make it so easy for us at the Redwoods to continue supporting local!
To learn more about Chaberton Estate Winery head on over to their website!
While the social media wedding has risen over the last few years making your wedding easily accessible across social media with the use of a wedding hashtag (which we discussed last month), we are now seeing the backlash of this phase with the increasingly popular trend of unplugged weddings!
An unplugged wedding simply means that the bride and groom ask their guests to put their phones and cameras down, or better yet, turn them all off! How do you accomplish an unplugged wedding? A simple sign, and perhaps a friendly reminder from your wedding officiant prior to the ceremony can make a huge difference! Some weddings may have the entire night “unplugged” while others may choose to have just the ceremony unplugged—that choice is up to you!
1. You most likely have paid a professional photographer to capture your day; we promise your guests will not have ‘better’ photos from their devices then the ones your photographer will get.
2. Your photos can potentially become compromised by competing camera flashes and your photographer might not be able to capture all of the shots they would like to as they are constantly trying to shoot around other wedding guests attempting to capture the same picture.
3. You will not have to be interrupted by the obvious audible distraction of clicks, pops, and whirls as guests take pictures, or power up and down phones and cameras.
4. Your guests will all have a much better view of the ceremony without their sightlines being blocked by other people’s cell phones and cameras, or even other people’s bodies as they scramble around trying to get a picture perfect angle of the glorious bride walking down the aisle.
5. Wouldn’t it be nice to be standing up at the alter looking back at all of your guests’ smiling, maybe even teary-eyed, faces instead of being greeted by the backside of their cell phones because they are busy taking your picture?
Asking your guests to put down their phones enables them to truly enjoy and be fully present in the event or at the very least, the magical moment when the bride walks down the aisle and the couple says their “I do’s”. While pictures are great memories, so is actually being there, present in the moment.
Your wedding is a once in a life time event and your guests were not invited as paparazzi. You have invited them to share in your wedding, not necessarily share your wedding with their Instagram followers.
One of the most popular selections this year from the Signature drink selection in our Diamond Wedding Package has been the house infused White Sangria. What makes it so darn good? We asked our resident mixologist who invented it (that’s Tim, our restaurant manager) and believe it or not, he is willing to share his recipe with you!
In his words… “it all starts out at least three days in advance. I collect all of the necessary ingredients; some from the grocery store, some from our liquor storage and some straight from the herb garden that we have growing around the Redwoods clubhouse. To make sangria great it needs time to sit and get all of the flavours working together. To make your own white sangria combine all of the following in a jug and store in your fridge for a minimum of three days. (Yields approx. 4 litres of sangria).
“Place all ingredients together in a container and store in the refrigerator stirring once a day to agitate the mint and really blend the flavours. When you are ready to serve it at your big event—by big event I mean after work on a sunny Friday on your patio—I find it works best to strain out all of the fruit and set it aside. Make sure that you remove all of the mint leaves as they might wilt and turn a brownish colour from the acidity of the juices. Serve the sangria over ice, top with a spoon full of fruit and a sprig of fresh mint. Cheers and Enjoy!”
First look photos—taking pictures of the first time a groom sees his bride prior to the ceremony—are becoming more and more popular these days. There are quite a few reasons to consider taking first look photos:
Doing a first look allows for better planning and less time feeling rushed. It allows for extra cushion time to get the best photos. If you can’t get all of your photos taken before the ceremony, there will be time afterwards!
Weddings can feel absolutely crazy with out-of-town guests coming in early and friends or family buzzing around trying to help get the last minute details squared away. If you have a few hours blocked out for first look pictures and just some hang out time on the day of the wedding, your nerves will thank you! It will mean having a chance to spend a little quiet time with your future husband/wife which will help make the day all the more enjoyable.
Most traditional weddings do photos of the wedding party, bride, and groom after the ceremony while the guests enjoy a form of cocktail hour. Sometimes photos take longer than planned which can cause a delay in getting the reception started. Having all or most of your photos done before the wedding allows for a quicker turnover which keeps everyone happy!
We don’t want to make anyone upset who doesn’t want to do a first look, but we do believe you’re able to get fantastic if not better photos with a first look. More time with your photographer allows them to get more creative with their shots. If you take photos after the ceremony, there’s often a feeling of pressure to get just the necessary photos completed so you can join the rest of the party and the guests can move on to dinner.
You shouldn’t be nervous about missing out on seeing your grooms reaction at the first sight of his beautiful bride! The photos you get from a first look shoot are just as genuine as the ones when a groom sees his bride as she walks down the aisle! Your future groom is guaranteed to break into a massive smile the second he sees you—no matter where that happens! We would even argue that you might get an even truer reaction from your future spouse as the moment is more privately romantic being just the couple and the photographer rather than being in front of hundreds of guests.
The idea of taking photos after the ceremony stems from tradition dating back to the era of arranged marriages; it was believed that if the couple saw each other prior to the ceremony it would give them a reason to run away. Seems like a solid foundation for a marriage doesn't it...?
With all of this in mind, will you take the traditional route and see your future husband for the first time on your wedding day as you take your first steps down the aisle towards him? Or will you take a more modern approach to your wedding photos and see your groom for the first time when you share a moment in a more private setting prior to the ceremony?
No matter which direction you choose to take we are VERY excited to host your special day!
Photo on top right by Ainsley Rose Photography; Photo on bottom left by Matt Kennedy Photography