While I’ve always loved a summer wedding for its vibrant colours and fresh air, by the time fall (and winter) roll around, I’m ready for a cozy kind of event.
The change of seasons is such a beautiful time across B.C., so when the rain starts sweeping in, followed by snow in the north and interior, I don’t mourn the sunshine. Instead I celebrate the romance of leaves changing colour, rain pattering on a stained glass window, and sipping a glass of deep red wine beside a roaring fire.
If you’re planning your wedding or an event and you too love fall and winter, you’re in luck. B.C. has some amazing venues that are open year-round so that you can celebrate the way you want to. Here are a few of my favourites across the province.
Fraser River Lodge—Agassiz
For me, the word lodge has always drummed up images of a log cabin nestled among mountains, with rooms full of deep-hued wood and fur blankets thrown over weathered leather couches. If that’s a feeling you yearn for, then Fraser River Lodge might be for you. Just over an hour East of Vancouver, the lodge is a classy and rustic getaway. With a backdrop of the Fraser River, roaming bison, and Mt. Cheam through the floor-to-ceiling windows that open onto a massive deck, you’ll be able to plan something spectacular, rain or shine. Embrace the wood features and pull in seasonal florals for a tablescape full of deep green ferns, white lilies and dark berries. Keep the décor richly hued with brass elements like candle holders and vases, brightened with softly glowing string lights above and tapered white candles on the table.
The Pipe Shop—North Vancouver
A 9,300 square foot restored heritage building on Lonsdale Quay, The Pipe Shop is a dream come true for couples that love a warehouse look. The exposed wooden beams and concrete floor provide the space its abandoned-factory-charm, but with ceilings that touch the sky and windows to match letting in the daylight even on a cloudy day, it’s a blank canvas ready to impress. Warm up the space with burgundy Persian rugs, candles at every height, and long tables for your guests to enjoy a catered meal, à la West Coast. The acoustics at The Pipe Shop are also impressive, so opt for live music and set aside some space for a dance floor.
Cecil Green Park House and Hycroft Manor—Vancouver
Both of these Vancouver venues boast a European manor vibe, on lush grounds that stay green even in the winter. At Cecil Green Park House, the structure overlooks Howe Sound and the Straight of Georgia. Even in fall and winter, the spacious house can host up to 140 guests. The covered terrace is ideal for a ceremony in any weather, but for a more intimate wedding, consider the Yorkeen Room for its light and bright atmosphere and marble fireplace or the Kanakla Room, with mahogany panels, original stained glass and a mahogany and black marble fireplace. At Hycroft Manor, the Drawing Room on the main floor also boasts a marble fireplace, and opens onto the terrace for views of the mountains and English Bay. Already a beautiful space, bring in some crisp ivory linens, Chiavari chairs and floral arrangements full of Juliet roses to create a whimsical and romantic setting for your guests.
Rowena’s Inn on the River—Harrison Mills
For a truly magical winter wedding, you may need to travel a couple of hours from the coast Vancouver coast. Along the Harrison River, Rowena’s Inn on the River transforms into a winter wonderland once a year. The English-style manor is set on snowy-hilled grounds, with rooms decorated with antique furniture and classically patterned wallpaper and linens. The palette at Rowena’s is a soft gray and white, with hints of pale blue and lavender. Maintain the palette with crystal vases and candle-holders or milk glass accents that suit a Victorian-era soirée. Pale florals will elevate the look; it won’t take much in a space like Rowena’s. While your guests are there, treat them to afternoon tea for a truly British experience.
Emerald Lake Lodge—Field
Are you seeking a little more adventure or a more remote getaway for your winter wedding? Head northeast to Field, B.C. where you can rent an island. The lodge can host medium sized weddings for up to 88 guests and there are accommodations on site, with each room in the 24 cabins boasting its own private balcony (overlooking Emerald Lake, known for it’s magnificent jade colour) and fireplace. Mirror the shining jade hue indoors for your décor with deeper versions of the shade in your linens and florals. Details like placeholders and menus are the perfect place to add touches of a more vibrant jade to the space. If you choose to head into the mountains for your wedding, this destination will be magical for not only you, but each of your guests as well.
p.s. Take advantage and go for a sleigh-ride in the snow while your there.