Victorian-Theme Home Wedding in Vancouver, British Columbia

Shannon and Bradley

Photographed by: Katherine LasfordLocation: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

For the first few days after they met, Bradley Wheeler thought Shannon Tymkiw was just naturally shy. Surprisingly, she is rarely at a loss for words, but when she met her husband-to-be at a costume ball, she admits, “He literally took my breath away.” The feeling was clearly mutual because not long after, Bradley proposed to Shannon on a serene stretch of beach behind his parents’ house in Cape Cod. With only four months to plan their ideal wedding, the couple knew they wanted as private and as sentimental a setting for their wedding as they had shared for their engagement. With a barn perfect for hosting an elegant celebration, the beautiful garden at the home of Shannon’s parents became the only choice for creating a backdrop worthy of their dream day.

Merging the natural elements of the garden, the rustic beauty of the barn and the extravagance of a Victorian theme, the couple created a distinctive ceremony and reception that was lush, elegant and intimate. Orange became the central color of the décor, making bold appearances in Indian saris that framed the barn doors and ran along the reception tables, in the up-lights that cast a warm amber glow, and in floral arrangements of all shapes and sizes. From the orchids in the bride’s freshly gathered bouquet, to the oversize roses in the centerpiece urns to the sliced fruit which lined the glass bottomed chandeliers, shades of orange transformed the Tymkiw property into a portrait of late summer romance.

With her mother’s antique pin embellishing her bouquet, Shannon was waiting with her father at the top of the aisle when she was overcome by the significance of all that was unfolding before her. A solo jazz guitarist singing “La Vie En Rose” and the embrace of their nearest and dearest loved ones made it difficult for the bride and groom to feel anything but fortunate and loved. Shannon and Bradley were married in a simple ceremony that was entirely about them.

As proud members of a “foodie” family, Shannon and Bradley designed a gourmet menu that incorporated local organic ingredients: goat cheese and beet salad, potato encrusted salmon or filet mignon and a special wedding cake that was somewhat of a tradition in Shannon’s household. Called a “diplomat cake,” this confectionary favorite is a large version of a crunchy Napoleon pastry, topped with English cream and raspberry coulis and decorated for the couple with an assortment of fresh berries.

Guests were gifted with cookies from Vancouver’s famous Grandville Island open market. Each heart shaped cookie was personalized with a word from the couple’s vows: love, honor and cherish. Shannon and Bradley also designed their pre-wedding parties to include some of Vancouver’s must-see sites, such as a boat ride from the hotel to the waterfront home of Shannon’s aunt for a “meet and greet” luncheon overlooking Stanley Park and a rehearsal dinner atop Grouse Mountain which produced an amazing view of the city lights after dark.

Shannon and Bradley could not have envisioned a more perfect atmosphere for celebrating their wedding. While the details made it stunning, it was the foundation that brought them the most joy. “Having it at home was most important to us. The intimate setting, the guest list of family and a few close friends and the overall low key feeling really reflected the type of people we are.” Shortly after their nearby honeymoon, Shannon and Bradley embarked on their brand new life together in a brand new place, California, building together a new marriage, new careers and of course, a new home, sweet, home.

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