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How COVID made my Fairytale Wedding happen!

Here's the story of why my husband and I decided to get married during the covid-19 pandemic!

After taking a multi-year hiatus from my travel blog, I’m finally back! For anyone reading this who doesn’t know me in person … here’s the story of why my husband and I decided to plan a mini-destination wedding during the covid-19 pandemic.

Disclaimer: I want to be clear that we made sure to take every possible precaution in order to ensure the safety of all of our wedding guests and vendors. I will touch more those details later at the end of this post, but I just wanted to reiterate that we take the pandemic seriously and we followed all of the provincial government guidelines that were in place at the time of our wedding (08.22.2020). 

Here’s a little backstory: in August of 2016, Riley and I went on a weekend getaway to Banff National Park, where we stayed at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel – which is famously known for being the ‘Castle of the Rocky Mountains.’ We had a wonderful stay and we were in such awe of the breathtaking scenery. I remember us even joking about how one day if we ever got rich that we would get married there, but at the time it was nothing more than wishful thinking! Little did we know then that almost four years later to the day, we would end up exchanging our wedding vows overlooking the same stunning view of the Bow Valley river surrounded by gorgeous mountains! ❤

Riley took this photo of me in August 2016 – which was the same exact place we ended up getting married!
Here’s another picture from 2017 that my Mom took of me when we went to Banff. (also in the same exact spot!!)

Almost immediately after Riley and I got engaged in June of 2020 (which also happened in Banff LOL), we came across an incredible deal at the Banff Springs Hotel which was offering a promotion for small weddings at the hotel that same summer. (Normally this hotel is super sought-after as a summer destination wedding venue and can be fully booked years in advance … so when we saw this deal, we took it as a sign and knew we had to take advantage of it). I think had it not been for the pandemic, we likely would have waited at a lot longer to get married.

As part of the Small Weddings Offer, we ended up paying well under a third of the normal cost for the outdoor ceremony, and we opted to book a semi-private dining room for a celebratory dinner rather than having an all-out reception. (This offer also included a complimentary night for the bride & groom in the Turret Suite - aka one of the 'castle tower' rooms). This deal initially allowed us to have a maximum of 15 guests, but we were eventually able to accommodate a total of 25 due to a slight ease of the provincial gathering restrictions.

Now keep in mind, we only had 2 months to plan everything (!!) .. but luckily everything came together just in time.

Since our wedding took place out of town (4 hour drive from Edmonton), we thought it would be a nice idea to provide our guests with reusable welcome tote bags. Each bag contained a few goodies & essentials including North Water reusable water bottles, personalized lip balm, hand sanitizer, anti-bacterial wipes, reusable fabric face mask, mini kleenex pack, our wedding schedule, and a personalized deck of cards. We also put together some wedding favours / thank you gift bags for our guests which we gave out to everyone after dinner.

Since our ceremony venue was outdoors on a terrace that already had a bunch of flowers along the railings – we didn’t feel the need to go big on decorations because we wanted the main focal point to be the gorgeous mountain view. We did however set up a guestbook table with a ‘Wishes for the Mr. & Mrs.’ jar, and we also provided some refreshments & macarons from my favourite bakery (Duchess Bake Shop) for our guests to enjoy before the ceremony.

Here are some more photo highlights of our special day

Here’s a list of our wedding vendors:

Although we would have loved to have more of our family and friends with us in person to celebrate, we were at least able to livestream our ceremony on YouTube so we could share a part of our special day! Overall, we are so happy with how the day turned out and neither of us would change a thing. In the end, the most important thing is that my husband and I were able to get married and begin this new & exciting stage of life together. ❤

Thank you very much for reading!

PS: In writing this post, it made me realize how much I've missed blogging so I definitely plan to post more about my adventures in the near future. If you'd like to receive an email notification next time I post, please feel free to sign up in the form on this page! (hint hint ... the next post may or may not feature another famous destination that also happens to be located in the mountains :D)

All the best,

-Jackie ❤

*COVID safety precautions disclaimer: we self-isolated and tested negative for covid-19 prior to our wedding. Our ceremony was held outdoors with all seats spaced out several feet apart. Hand sanitizer and face masks were also provided to all guests. All provincial guidelines were followed.

10 comments on “How COVID made my Fairytale Wedding happen!

  1. Claudia Taylor

    Your fairytale wedding at the Banff Springs Hotel was lovely Jackie & Riley! Your detailed planning made the event memorable for us all. Congratulations again! The sunny summer weather was perfect. It was nice to meet family members from all sides of the family and I enjoyed driving my sportscar on a mini getaway to the mountains. Love, Claudia Taylor (mom)!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Danik the Explorer

    I know the hotel very well and have worked there to promote the venue for weddings a few years ago and you guys choose the right location. To meeting each other, to getting engaged in Banff and now married, that town will always be close to your hearts. Me personally I can’t wait to take my family to the hotel again, we had an amazing time. Jackie, Riley, congrats from me from the other side of the pond and I wish you both all the success for the future. 🙂 Beautiful photos also. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is quite possibly the most gorgeous wedding venue I have ever seen. I was just about to look into traveling to Banff too, so it is so funny that I came across your blog! Although COVID has taken so much there are a few wonders that have prevailed and I’m glad you got to experience that. Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations! It is a beautiful story that can inspire many couples. It’s great that you got married despite the pandemic. Wonderful wedding ceremony and photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You look lovely! The place is really apt for a romantic couple. It just kind of fits in with your wedding theme. I hope I get to see such places more often in person.

    Like

  6. Blair villanueva

    I couldn’t help admiring your wedding photos especially those with the chateau as background. Destination wedding is a lovely experience for every wedding guests. Congratulations and wishing you a prosperous marriage!

    Like

  7. OMG! This is amazing. It is indeed a sign as you felt! It is not often that you have a crazy idea and then things fall in place for the crazy idea to become reality! This is so so adorable! The mountains are majestic and the view of impeccable. It’s really nice that you had a small ceremony. These small ceremonies are so much more intimate and meaningful than having a gazillion people over. I really really love the thoughful goodies in the tote bag. Love that idea.

    Like

  8. Subhashish Roy

    So nice hearing about love story, your dream and your wedding. A wish does come true if we wish from our hearts. Thoroughly enjoyed seeing the pictures of the events that followed. Felt I was there. Congratulations to both of you for a wonderful life ahead.

    Like

  9. Jennifer Prince

    How beautiful and so many congratulations! I love that it was the day of your dreams while costing less. And that’s a lot to plan in just two months. Congrats, and I wish you all the best!

    Like

  10. Hi Jackie! Congratulations and I am just so happy to read your fairy tale wedding story. It gave me hope that the pandemic isn’t all bad but actually a blessing in disguise.

    By the way, I listened to your wedding songs and they’re beautiful. Typing this now while listening to What a Wonderful World. Wishing you the best.

    Like

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