Jennifer and Christian

A lot of you wont know that recently my mother retired(ish). You may also not know that we decided to turn our beautiful property out in East Sooke into a wedding Venue. Its been such a fun project for me and my mom I am so excited to share it with you now. Hold on to your pants.

This whole album is natural light and all from my canon 5diii and my 50mm f1.2 L series lens (easy peasy).

Walking away as man and wife getting covered in dried flowers.

Lets talk a little about about the theme and who brought it all together. Jennifer had this amazing idea to do an Edwardian themed rustic type wedding in the woods because her and Christian both hold nature very close to their hearts. I think as brides often do Jennifer had all the amazing ideas in the world but not enough hours in a day to accomplish said wedding. Fair game though, weddings are very hard work. So I reached out to Fransizka Castioni of Charming Decor and Events ( who I have worked with before on my Winter bridal shoot that was featured in Bubby and Bean last winter. She is incredible if you ever need someone for decor! Obviously Fransizka was totally on board and NAILED IT... so hard. So here have a look at this beautiful edwardian decor set up below!

Next lets talk a bit about the food! They chose a perfect fit for a chef; Tom Kral of Natures Chef. Let just say the food was wild! No really. There was fermented breads, venison power balls, salmon to die for, humus, head cheese, and other delicious bites and salads. Tom often runs workshops on wild food and foraging, but I must say his final presentation is that of a five star restaurant and the taste is divine. Here are a few snaps of the yummy food he provided.

They brought in Solara from Wild Edge to do the bouquet and supply extra flowers from her farm for the tables and garlands. Jennifers words on why she chose Solara: "We chose a local flower farmer, florist and permaculture designer Solara Goldwynn of Wild Edge to create our arrangements and make my bouquet and Christian's boutonnière. Solara not only grows all the flowers herself, she also creates the most beautiful arrangements that often include unusual edible plants and herbs. She understood exactly what we were after and she went far above and beyond our expectations. She even hand-dyed a silk ribbon with yarrow and smokebush for my bouquet!". Needless to say although this was her first wedding bouquest she is someone to look out for and hire if you want an awesome boho bouquet!

I guess we should talk about the ceremony part now. I will start off by saying our beautiful little venue is called Cedar Haven, check it out at  and it is awesome. I can't wait to build on it over the years to come and witness more love and joy in woods.

Let me just say they put a lot of thought into it and I loved how they stuck with a theme al the way through. Really diggin' the hand-fasting ceremonies. This is my second one and both were couples who had been together for quite a long time. So maybe its the same as after a while you don't feel like the word "love" is enough? Maybe just regular vows don't seem like enough after a while. Either way it was gorgeous and this is what Jennifer said about it:

Guests were also invited to braid silk ribbons (plant-dyed by a friend of mine with yarrow, Queen Anne's Lace, rose, bay and Oregon grape) into our hand-fasting cord. We asked my friend's mother Sage Goode to officiate our ceremony. Sage has a deep reverence for nature and as nature's as close as we come to religion, we knew Sage would be the perfect person to perform our marriage rites. For the ceremony, we had a children's procession made up of my nephews & niece wearing crowns and mantles made with herbs and flowers associated with the four elements. They played triangles and presented their plants to our officiant Sage who placed them around the circle of yarrow, lavender and rosemary we were to be married in. 

We had a harpist play Spiegel im Spiegel for us as we came down the aisle together. It's an Arvo Part composition that we both love and he's also the composer we name our six-year-old son after. My sister's brother Simon performed Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" to acknowledge our loved ones whom are no longer with us and those who couldn't make it to the wedding. That was a heartbreaker, but beautiful at the same time. Next, my daughter Finn performed Bowie's "Heroes" just to make sure there wasn't a single dry eye in the house.

We followed up with vows, a hand-fasting, ring exchange and then a boisterous Russian vodka toast. We wanted to incorporate something jolly from Christian's upbringing. His late Opa used to enjoy a shot of vodka at Christmas to counteract the fatty holiday goose. Though not actually Russian, Christian's Latvian & German family would toast the holidays with a shot of icy vodka and loud toast of "Za zda-ró-vye!” (to your health!). We thought this would be fun way to mark the before and after bit of the ceremony. I first infused the vodka with our wedding herbs and then froze the bottles in ice molds of more herbs and flowers. We kept the vodka on dry ice right up until the ceremony and then passed around the beautiful, icy bottles. Once everyone had a shot, Christian and I jumped out of the flower circle and we all shouted "Za zda-ró-vye!” and downed our ceremonial vodka. It was great fun!

Jennifers dress! I forgot to mention the deal with this beautiful creation! Again I am just going to give you her words because I will most definitely forget some impertinent detail which would be rude because it is so cool! 

The Dress: The theme for our wedding was wild & herbal Edwardian. And so this meant, I really wanted an Edwardian-style dress. I put out a call on Facebook to see if any of my sewing-type friends could suggest how I could go about getting a 1910 tea dress made. Christian's cousin's wife Margot responded immediately. I knew that Margot was an accomplished dressmaker and a talented artist, but she lives in France and to be honest, I figured she was out of my league. However, she was planning a trip to Victoria for May and assured me she wanted to make me an authentic Edwardian tea dress and could do it in ten days. Over the next month, Margot combed french markets for antique lace and vintage muslin and linen. When she arrived in Victoria she came with armloads of some of the most beautiful fabrics and bits and bobs I'd ever seen, including 85-year-old lace crochet buttons. And true to her word, she handcrafted me a beautiful piece of wearable history. And she did it as a gift. I only paid $400 for material! 

After that we did some family photos and a couple shots of just them before I raced off to Ucluelet for another wedding. Yes I am crazy. loved this day. Loved how happy everyone was with the outcome it made all our hard work worth it.

If you haven't already "LIKE" Cedar Haven Weddings on Facebook and share with your friends: Cedar haven Weddings

Stay tuned on Rivkah's Facebook page because this is going to be in Budget Savvy Brides and Boho Weddings! 


Photographer: Rivkah Photography

Flowers: Wild Edge

Styling: Charming Decor Event Design

Cake: Ruth & Dean

Venue: Cedar Haven Weddings

Caterer: Nature's Chef

Coffee: Stick in the Mud Coffee

Hair: Sofia Pastro

Make-up: Erica Harris

Harpist: McKenna Jennings 

Wine: Charmé de L’ile, Unsworth Vinyards

Dress: Margot McPherson Balanos

Jennifer's custom wedding band: janamade

Rebecca CarrollComment