Love Changes Everything
My relationship with Robin Ducharme began, not as her wedding planner, but as an event planner for her Real Love Ready Summit, a wonderful resource for those who wish to “learn how to love better”. The debut event was scheduled to take place in the Spring of 2020. Then Covid hit. Real Love Ready was forced to postpone and we agreed to reconvene when a new date could be confirmed (now scheduled for April 15, 2023 for those that may be interested). A couple of months later, Robin reached out to share with me that she was engaged to her wonderful fiancé, Todd Shelley. She asked if I would plan her 2021 wedding in Victoria. Robin’s enthusiasm for life and her “love changes everything” attitude is infectious and I couldn’t wait to be a part of bringing her wedding to life!
Indeed, Love Changes Everything!
Over the next few months we exchanged many emails sharing thoughts, ideas, and plans for the BIG DAY! There were site visits, momentum meetings, lunches, and laughs the whole way through. Working for a couple that make you feel trusted and appreciated is a dream for any wedding planner. I always looked forward to meeting with Robin & Todd and sharing updates, downloading new requests and ideas, and implementing next steps in the plan. Initially the weekend wedding affair was set to take place over the July long weekend with several pre and post events to welcome and celebrate the occasion. The wedding venue itself…. Robin & Todd’s GORGEOUS oceanfront home in its final stages of build.
Love, not Covid, won!
Early on in 2021 we discussed the possibility of having to push the wedding date back due to the Covid restrictions on guest size and also those preventing private residences from hosting weddings. We considered alternate venues, we scaled down the guest list… so many pivots, adjustments, discussions, and moments of pure frustration! In the end Robin & Todd decided they didn’t want to push the wedding to 2022 and so made the decision to scale back the size of the wedding to a third of the original guest list, tentatively secure an alternate non-home venue as backup, and push the date a couple of months into the end of August in hopes that enough restrictions may lift by then so that the wedding they longed for could take place.
“Forget Plan A & Plan B…. we had a Plan C too! We were real love ready for anything!”
Over the course of the planning another wonderful thing happened! Robin and Todd welcomed their son Evan into the world providing Robin’s daughters Sadie and Maya with a sweet little brother to love. With the family complete it was time to celebrate in the most spectacular, elegant, and love filled way with a multi day Home Wedding Celebration unlike any other I’ve ever had the joy of planning! I hope you enjoy viewing the photos and highlight film of this beautiful love story as much as I enjoyed bringing this wedding to life!
Getting ready is half the fun!
Friends since high school, Robin’s bridesmaids rallied around her with laughs, recollections, and pure joy all weekend long!
This is the sensible way to pre-ceremony partay… balance the celebratory bevvies with water!
Robin’s wedding gift to Todd was a custom double Adirondack style “love bench” made by master craftsman Luke Gaskin, owner of Salvage Vancouver. The stunning exotic hardwood was salvaged from container dunnage from Japan. An unexpected fabulous find!
First look Photos are THE BEST!
Robin’s bouquet included Quicksand roses, Westminster Abbey garden rose, white ranunculus, white freesia, white garden roses, olive branch, Italian ruscus and gunni eucalyptus. It looked and smelled heavenly! Created by Tina and her team at Platinum Floral Designs in Victoria, BC.
Time to say “I do!”
The ceremony music was upbeat and unexpected with the Wedding Party dancing their way down the aisle!
Baby Evan made his debut appearance carried in by a proud Papa!
Robin’s lovely daughters, Maya & Sadie, danced down the aisle ahead of their Mom!
Robin was escorted (– or rather “danced in”) by her brother Blake and her Mom to the song Sunrise by Simply Red.
Due to the guest size restrictions in place at the time of the wedding Robin and Todd decided to live stream the ceremony so that all family and friends could be witnesses to their oceanfront union!
Cocktails always taste better with a view!
Delicious Paloma Cocktails were served. See recipe from Love & Lemons.
A surprise SUP Board float by from Friends to wish the couple Happily Ever After…
After a lovely leisurely cocktail hour on the water guests were invited to head under the garden tent on the front lawn for an exquisite feast.
Three gorgeous 8 foot rings hung high above the guests’ heads covered in greenery picked in with fresh florals! So dreamy!
So much love, time & attention went into making this wedding what it was. The install of the tent, chandeliers, florals, draperies, lighting, furniture, and more was a sight to behold and took approximately 2 days. In the days leading up to the wedding (and as Robin and Todd’s new home was in its very final final stages of completion with construction wrapping up in the final hours before guest arrival) a team of passionate and determined wedding professionals worked alongside one another to bring Robin & Todd’s wedding to life. I was so proud of the team that I assembled for this wedding. Not one of them disappointed. Never has Teamwork makes the Dream Work been more apropos.
The Victoria local catering company Toque was responsible for the feast of fare offered the whole wedding weekend. Their passionate and talented chefs and fantastic service team are always an impressive pleasure to work with.
As the night went on and the sun set, the speeches (and heaters) kept everyone warm and laughing!
Time to dance outdoors under the stars!
Late Night Warm Homemade Ice Cream Cookies!
Love Changes Everything…
Stay tuned for Part II – The Post Wedding Brunch
The Vendor Team that brought this Wedding Weekend Affair to life…
- Wedding Planner: Genève McNally, Founding Planner
- Photographer: Daniela Ciuffa
- Cinematography & Aerial Drone: Memento Films
- Stationery: Love by Phoebe
- Officiant: Wendy Wawrysh
- Transportation: Wilson’s Transportation & L.A. Limo
- Makeup & Hair: Erin Bradley
- Caterer: Toque Catering
- Florist: Platinum Floral Designs
- Décor: Bespoke Décor
- Tent: Elevation Tent Rentals
- Wedding Cake: Ruth & Dean
- Live Music: Greg Neufeld for Musos Entertainment
- DJ: Sherry Freeze
- Custom Neon Sign: Steveston Creative
- Rentals: A&B Party & Event Rentals
- Entertainment: Portrait Guestbook
- Concierge: Stargazer Services, Joanna Danzinger
- Washroom Trailer: Full Moon Rentals
Wedding Planned with DreamGroup Founding Planner Genève McNally.