The Okanagan Valley is known for its beautiful landscape and picturesque vineyards that make it the perfect setting for a wedding. For many couples, this stunning area of British Columbia has become the ideal destination to get married. With its rolling hills, warm sunny climate, and abundance of wineries and outdoor activities, it’s no wonder so many people are choosing to tie the knot in this special valley. The Okanagan Valley is known for its beautiful landscape and picturesque vineyards that make it the perfect setting for a wedding. For many couples, this stunning area of British Columbia has become the ideal destination to get married.
2023 is shaping up to be an exciting year for weddings in the Okanagan region of British Columbia. We can expect to see a wide range of creative trends that will make your special day even more memorable and unique. From fun wedding venues to sophisticated decor, there’s something for everyone! We had a chance to speak with Valerie from Love Story Ceremonies to hear about her business and get the inside scoop of what 2023 has to offer!
We asked Valerie why she got into the business:
Because in my early adult life I was pursuing an acting career, I needed work with flexibility so I could go to auditions or take a commercial when I was lucky enough to get one, so like many aspiring actors, I found the flexibility I wanted working in catering and events. From bartending to decor, I freelanced all over. This is how I had the opportunity to observe several wedding ceremonies and the receptions that followed. The ceremonies were mostly quite dry and these were never in a church. In fact with so many mixed faiths and beliefs towards the church it was no wonder that couples seemed to want to brush this ceremony bit under the carpet so as not to make anyone including themselves uncomfortable. I saw couples preferring to just rush through the ceremony to sort of get it out of the way so they could just get on with the party, but isn’t the marriage itself and the vows the most important part ? To me it seemed like there was room for a better job that meant a richer script and a delivery that had some flair.. I adore love stories and I always had a desire to write. As a young pre – teen, I was a ghost writer for my best friends. Secretly, I would pen a love letter or poem for a friend to give to their romantic interest so I was a bit like the character Cyrano de Bergerac. I would spend time talking to them about what they wanted to say and craft something for them to help woo their sweetheart. So I had this romantic heart from way back and I was already comfortable on stage and speaking to large groups so I eventually began to think that a custom written love story based wedding ceremony would solve the boredom factor at ceremonies and it would be a great way to bridge any gaps in what the couple or the audience might be feeling in regards to religion and faith or no faith.
I can facilitate any beliefs and even blend them when desired. I facilitate others beliefs and not my own. A growing number of people are not connected to any specific religion and I believe in the virtues that bridge all religions and most of all I believe in love. I am a Reverend with the Canadian International Metaphysical Ministry. It is a religious organization and allows its members the freedoms to explore their own beliefs and independent investigation of their personal spirituality. I am more what many might refer to as more “spiritual “ than religious. I am free to blend faiths and I can serve everyone including the people who are remarrying and the LBTQ + community. Love is love and all are welcome and this all inclusive approach is more my style too! In order to really know how to perform Weddings and Celebrations of Life too (which I also do), I trained in the art of ceremony at the Celebrant Foundation Institute so I became a certified Life Cycle Celebrant. Now I can honestly say that I have my dream job. I get to launch couples into their marriage in a way that is always original and I get to write about love stories and the best part is, I get to perform them too! I love how I am able to truly honour the couple’s journey to the altar and to keep the audience entertained. I can feel when I have knocked it out of the park. When the audience hears about all that brought the couple to the point of marriage it is both hopeful and inspiring and people need this more than ever. When you can keep the audience captivated in joy right from the walk down the aisle to the big kiss, it sets a beautiful mood. During the pandemic it has also helped bring a richer intimacy even to the wedding ceremonies that were being watched on zoom!
Favorite Trends of 2022:
The intimate weddings with smaller groups were something required due to the pandemic and I loved to see it was t stopping them. The couples were in many cases relieved of the pocketbook pressures big weddings can bring. There were even many couples who eloped with only 2 witnesses and so I would often get to hike to some gorgeous nature spot and perform the ceremony at their favourite lookout!
Upcoming trends in 2023
I think smaller weddings will continue and also there is a trend to still want the ceremony now and the reception to wait until a later date, sometimes waiting to have it in their own home country the following year.
There are so many gorgeous wineries in the Okanagan and some unexpected surprises not commonly known. Quail’s Gate Winery for example has a separate Lakehouse down the road that can be rented out for overnight stays and set up for the ceremony too. There is the historic Laurel Packinghouse where you can have both the ceremony and reception and when wanting a more church like setting there are sweet little chapels with great acoustics such as the historic Benvoulin Heritage Church and the Belgo Chapel. Most of all there is the beauty of the outdoors all around us. Near the water’s edge and under a willow tree could be my personal favourite.
Advice for Newly Engaged Couples
Stay true to yourselves! I had a couple send me the wording the bride”s mother wanted to hear in the ceremony script. It had the words for her to love, honour and “obey!” I told them that I would facilitate their beliefs but not their mother’s and asked if she and her husband were that old fashioned in reality? It was not what either of them truly wanted and so they decided not to include “obey”. This was a very clear example of what I mean by staying true to yourselves. It can be more subtle than that though and mostly you want your day to be a reflection of who you both are.
Contact Information :
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While we are on the topics of weddings. Can we just celebrate this viral bridesmaid a little more? She was a tiktok sensation during the pandemic!