We always say, nowadays there isn’t much we haven’t seen go wrong, which is why we kept this post to the 2019 edition only. It takes a lot to really surprise us anymore….But, every now and then, someone or something comes out of the woodwork and absolutely shocks us.
We are not talking about the flying veils that we have to chase down or retrieve from a tree, or the bride’s broken high heel right before the first dance, or the sewing up of ripped crotches in the groom/groomsmen suits – That’s a day in the life.
We’re talking the truly unusual, first-time-for-everything sort of stories. So here are a few of our favourites from the year (of the ones we can share anyways)…
1 . This first look with a T-Rex
You should know, this was 100% orchestrated by the bride (to the grooms utter surprise & delight), and was complete with the Jurassic Park theme song playing in the background. I think the photo says it all… But we had been laughing about “Operation Jurassic Park” in the office for weeks leading up to this moment, and it was just as hilarious as we’d hoped.
2 . Please add “Firefighter” to our job description.
During a ceremony Aimsley can generally be found in the back shedding a tear, and prepping for what’s next. One particular day she was most definitely shocked to hear her name over the mic being called to the front by the presiding priest during the ceremony, which was a little concerning. Her first thoughts were he must need more wood for the ceremonial fire (it was an Indian wedding) – Not a problem we had extra wood ready to go, she thought… As she approached the mandap, she noticed the ceremonial fire shining a little too bright and that the priest had used all the wood provided, at once, and made sort of a campfire in Riverview Hall.
Some quick thinking and still with a smile on her face, she quickly grabbed the bowl through the side handles and made a very quick exit outdoors where they were able to safely put out the flames and return to finish the ceremony. Most of the 2nd level of the hotel had a charming fireplace smell for the remainder of the day.
3 . When the Garter Toss Went Awry…
This was one of our highlights of the year, hands down. One of our grooms this year did a choreographed garter toss dance with his groomsmen (think wedding appropriate Channing Tatum style, which was a huge success considering everyone in the bridal party was also a professional dancer – Win!) on the beautiful dance floor at the Fairmont Palliser – which is directly under a chandelier. 3..2…1 – And you can guess where the garter got stuck, leaving 20 hungry single men jumping and waving their arms in fury & complete despair. For all who need to know, the Fairmont Palliser has a 22ft ladder on site to retrieve said garter, if this ever happens to you, and thank you to Steve and Duncan at the Palliser for helping the guys out.
4 . That time Aimsley had to step in and Officiate
It was 6:01 PM we had queued up the ceremony procession and were ready to begin. We had been checking the weather all afternoon and all signs pointed to mildly cloudy skies (perfect for photos) but no rain. In typical mountain weather style, things turned quickly and as the groom stepped out to the aisle the skies opened up and an epic down pour began. We quickly changed gears, and got all of the 10 guests inside where dinner was ready and waiting. This couples ONLY wish was to have their ceremony with Lake Louise as their backdrop. Knowing this and with the rain showing no signs of stopping anytime soon, so we snuck the couple away to fulfill the legal requirements of the ceremony while the officiant was present, and planned to conduct a symbolic ceremony once we had a break in the rain. It was at this time they popped the question… and asked Aimsley to officiate their Lakeside Ceremony. The answer, ABSOLUTELY!
Following dinner, the skies finally opened up, and after queuing the couple down the aisle for the second time that day, she had the great pleasure of “officiating” her first ceremony under the most beautiful blue sky, and guests had no idea this was not plan A. (Sadly we do not have photo evidence of this!)
5 . That time we had to Landscape a Donkey Pasture.
In true Jeff Cooke photojournalistic style, you can see in the image above, Julianne is very authentically unimpressed. This is the look of “Holy crap this is not what we signed up for”. After months of planning a dreamy destination wedding in Greece for her clients, she arrives to the venue a few days in advance of the wedding for a venue tour, and to what had been promised was a ceremony site in the Olive Grove – Oh yes, the pictures had rows of olive trees, perfect sunlight poking through the leaves, and was otherwise the Grecian wedding dream – to what in reality was a very dusty, overgrown literal donkey pasture complete yes, with a few olive trees here and there, but also many mounds of donkey manure & weeds…. Not cute. Not going to work for the wedding in 2 days… Enter – Internal Panic mode.
As it turns out, the venue had failed to mention the olive grove that was promised was no longer part of the property and was taken over by neighbours land about 2 month before… Cool cool. As a result, a few honest conversations & late nights led to immediate landscaping, lawn mowing, ground leveling, weed whacking, donkey manure removal (& no more free-ranging donkeys), and installing beautiful antique carpets down the aisle… Resulting in a once-again beautiful ceremony site for the couple. Voila – Crisis averted.
6 . That time the Church had Scheduled the Wrong Wedding day.
Yes – This happened – But luckily we caught it early enough that this wasn’t a total disaster. However – There is a reason why our team does confirmations with vendors at a minimum twice before the wedding day, starting about a month out when we take over the reins for a month-of coordination client. In this particular instance, we found out when doing confirmations that somehow a mistake was made and the church recorded the wrong wedding date & time for the couple. This is the kind of things that keep brides up at night! Not to worry though, it was all fixed and we were able to have the wedding ceremony on the correct day, just an hour earlier than hoped for.
7 . That time the Power Went Out in Downtown Calgary
You wouldn’t think The Nash is on our list of places we’ve had to bring in a backup power generator, but it is! This beautiful spring wedding was hit with a heavy snowstorm and all the power in downtown Calgary was out. Luckily for us, guests had already eaten dinner so that didn’t go cold, but we did secure a generator last minute to power the dance. Phewf! What we thought would be a walk-in-the-park restaurant wedding had some curveballs!
This image really is the “calm before the storm”, right when the snow was falling pretty, and shortly after it started blowing sideways – hence, no photos of that, because nobody looks cute in sideways snow! And for all of our international clients reading this and wondering – “Sideways snow??” – Yes, that’s a thing – Please refer to our earlier blog post on planning a wedding in the Canadian Rockies for more details!
Like I said, never a dull moment around here! Looking forward to 2020 and the stories it will bring, and the uncharted territory we’ll surely cross with a smile & hopefully veiled look of concern.