Beautiful Bouquets

With Valentines day just a few sleeps away, it seems like beautiful blooms are on display around every corner!! Flowers (I think, at least) are the best gift for your loved ones on V-Day, and will always be appreciated (I’m talking to you Nick).  With this in mind, I’ve gone through the archives of all the beautiful real weddings I’ve had the honour of being a part of, and gathered my top 5 favourite Bridal bouquets.  So, without further ado (and in no particular order)….

Nicole&Brad-03921. This Pender Island wedding holds a very special place in my heart, for many reasons….and the guinea feathers poking through in Nicole’s soft and romantic bouquet, just so happens to be one of those reasons.

Bouquet by: Verbena Floral Design | Photo by: Jennifer Ballard Photography  | Pender Island, 2012

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2. This textural beauty is so incredibly unique, and was perfectly fitting for this Farm wedding. And I could star at those rich colours all day long…I mean, black ranunculus’ in a bouquet?  Gorgeous!!!!

Bouquet by: Rook & Rose Floral Design Boutique | Photo by: AMERIS | Birds Eye Cove, 2013

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3. This soft and natural inspired bouquet, just oozed romance!  The splashes of chocolate cosmos, mixed with berries, lush roses, and soft ferns, was utter perfection for this farm to table wedding.  I’m pretty sure I could stare at this one all day!

Bouquet by: Clare Day Flowers  |  Photo by: Centric Photography  |  Birds Eye Cove, 2014


4. This one had me at hello.  The rich colour palette, textural elements, flowing ribbon…it was even more stunning in person! And making it even more special, a lady slipper orchid was added at the last minute by chance, which just so happened to be the national flower of Singapore (the Bride’s home)

Bouquet by: Verbena Floral Design  |  Photo by: Kelly Brown Photographer  |  Starling Lane, 2014



5. This sweet posy was filled with so much goodness, I can hardly stand it!!  Featuring my personal favourite flower of all time, the Anenome, it couldn’t not make this list!  And the perfect balance of texture and soft blooms, makes it perfectly west coast!

Bouquet by: FLEURtacious by Lynda Marie | Photo by: Hunt and Gather Photography | Ward Room, 2013



FKE in Print: Wedding Bells

One of my business goals of 2014, was to have some of my work featured in print.  Well, 4 features later, I would say that it is safe to say that when you put your goals out there, and are willing to work hard to achieve them, anything is possible!  The most recent feature, is in the current issue of Wedding Bells (it’s their anniversary issue, and oh man…it is a good one, so make sure to pick yours up!), and features Karly & Matt’s Fairburn Farm wedding.  It’s full of charm, love, and gorgeous images (courtesy of Christie Graham Photography), and perfectly sums up this wonderful day.  Thank you so much Wedding Bells, for the feature!! It is truly a career highlight, seeing our name in your magazine!cover1

Last summer, on the hottest (seriously) day of the year, Karly & Matt got married.  And oh, it was lovely!  I had been working with this sweet as can be couple, for over 18 months, and seeing everything come together just as they had dreamed it would, was so special!   When the planning first began, all we really knew was that they wanted a venue that felt like home.  Somewhere that they could relax with their family & friends, and celebrate in a space that truly felt like them.  When we discovered Fairburn Farmstay, we knew that the hunt was over, and the planning all just fell into place after that!

With a vintage palette of blues, peaches and purples, the decor was kept soft and romantic, through the locally grown flowers, simple table settings and small touches of glamour.  Lavender was found throughout (and was sourced locally here on the Island), and the lavender bridesmaid bouquets were just too pretty for words!  Simplicity at its best!  This wedding day was one of many laughs, beautiful moments, and the most perfect setting, and I am honoured to have been a part of it.  And here’s a look at some of my favourite pieces of the day, all made possible by the following amazing vendors:

Photography: Christie Graham Photography
2nd Shooter: Kelly Brown Photography
Planning/Design: French Kiss Events
Venue: Fairburn Farmstay
Florals: Cartref Gardens
Catering: Food For Thought
Vintage Rentals: Simply Sunday Vintage Rentals
Beauty: Belle Amour
Wedding Dress: Ladybelle Bridal

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Year in Review: 2014

2014 has officially come to a close, and oh my goodness…what a year it was!!  16 weddings, 5 events, 4 styled shoots, and oh yeah…my own wedding to boot!!  Here’s a recap of what was hands down, the biggest year of my life!

January kicked off with a very exciting front page feature on Style Me Pretty, right here.  This was the first shoot of many, with my new friend, Adrian Michael Photography, and it was a stunner.  And the fact that Nick & I got to model, of course made it that much more special.  The rest of the month was spent catching up on a ton of office work, meeting with clients, and pulling together so many details for the seasons coming weddings!59

In February, I had a blast helping a former FKE Bride, throw a Gatsby inspired birthday soiree!  The night was filled with gold details, great cocktails, and tons of dancing!  Planning for the coming weddings continued, and in an attempt to completely unplug, we spent a weekend over on Salt Spring Island, with some good friends.  We drank lots of wine, ate cheese, and enjoyed pancakes and mimosas for breakfast.  It was heavenly. Also in February, I was thrilled to have this featured on SMP.Photos_by_JesseHolland_190IMG_5414

This DIY project was featured in March, on one of my favourite blogs, 100 Layer Cake. It also inspired me to get more crafty with my Brides, and to continue growing my love of paper goods, and what they can add to a wedding.028BarbLaura090BarbLaura

In April, I headed out with a whole crew of wedding vendors, and put together the biggest styled shoot I have ever had the pleasure of being a part of.  The day was incredible, and was one of those ones that really makes you take a step back, and appreciate everything/everyone.  Moroccan Surf Elopement-57Moroccan Surf Elopement-140Moroccan Surf Elopement-211

With the arrival of May, was the arrival of wedding season!! Woohoo!! So many wonderful couples, and so much pretty was made this season.  And we started the season off right, by planning (alongside Jesse Holland), the 2nd Victoria Wedding Industry Meetup! It was a total success, and what a fun way to start a busy summer, with a party for everyone!May-2014-VWM-94-X2

In June, Nick & I managed to escape away to Seattle for a weekend getaway.  I love Seattle, and always enjoy getting to spend a couple of days eating and drinking. So good.  And then, just a couple of weeks later, I was swept off to Pender Island, for my bachelorette weekend!  Lets just say, the girls in my life know how to completely spoil me!  The month finished off with one of my favourite weddings of the season, a black tie affair, that dripped in elegance.  Amazing!


In July, 3 more incredible weddings took place, each one as different as the next.  We got to play with tons of colour, incorporate family traditions, and work with a nautical theme that rocked my world!  A pretty good month if you ask me!
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In the middle of July, my best friends planned the worlds prettiest Bridal Shower for me (seriously!).  And Nick & I celebrated our 8 year anniversary, by hanging out with these guys, and floating on a lake for our engagement pics.
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August was insane. We had 7 weddings in 5 weeks, and the month flew by! We travelled all over the Island, from Maple Bay to Campbell River, and got to soak in some pretty stellar venues.  The month was capped off with a very special wedding, for 2 Canadian sports icons. It also just so happened to be featured in Hello! Canada.  How cool is that?!!Matt + Karly-364S+P vendors-35View More:

In September, another wedding highlight of the season happened.  Set amongst a rose garden, and a true farm to table gathering, this wedding was special.  And later in the month, I did a MASSIVE happy dance, when our Mystic Beach shoot was finally printed in the Fall/Winter issue of Pacific Weddings.  Can you say #careermilestone?!!  AYNblog20AYNblog11

Feeling refreshed, October was finally here!  But before heading off on our trip to get married, we helped plan the 3rd Wedding Meetup, another fabulous night with so many great friends!  Also, I received a very fun box from Real Weddings BC, full of their newest issue, that featured this wedding.  Pinch me now! Then, off on a plane, to the beautiful Island of Maui.  It was truly a trip of a lifetime.  Our wedding was perfect, and getting to spend so much time with our family and friends is something we will never forget.  I can’t wait to share all of our wedding photos, but here’s a sneak peek to tide you over…
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We returned to Victoria, halfway through November, this time as newlyweds!  Still on cloud 9, most of this month was spent with a goofy grin on my face, and the desire to talk about my wedding to anyone who would listen.  Amongst this though, I teamed up with some incredible vendors, on another epic shoot!!  This one is a goodie….stay tuned this year to see all the gorgeous details! I also hoped over to Vancouver, for the BC Wedding Awards, and got to celebrate all the talent here on the Island, with great friends!Holland_141128_7744_edit

In the first week of December, I hopped on another plane, and joined Nick in Austin, Texas.  He was there for a work trip, and I was lucky enough to tag along, and soak in all that Austin has to offer!  What a cool city!!  And the BBQ….yummmy!!  Once back in Victoria, it was major catch up time, and starting to think about 2015.  So much goodness is coming up, and I can’t wait to see what else this coming year has in store.


In Conversation with Adrian Michael: Fine Art Photography

I’ve admired Fine Art Photography for many years now, what with the likes of photography celebrities, Jose Villa and Elizabeth Messina, gracing the pages of so many inspirational blogs. It wasn’t until I met and got to know local fine art photographer, Adrian Michael, that I truly understood what fine art photography really is, and how film captures such breathless and ethereal images, time and time again.  With the increasing popularity of film up here in Canada, and with blogs such as Vale & Vine, that are focusing primarily on Canadian fine art photography, there is an extraordinary amount of choices for couples out there, looking to find their wedding photographer.  Everyone is looking for something different in their wedding photos, and we all have such different priorities and tastes, and so I thought it would be a good idea to have a chat with Adrian, to find out what makes film different from digital photography, hopefully allowing couples to be more educated in their options.


{FKE} What is fine art photography, and how does it differ from traditional photography?

{AMP} I think the main factors to defining fine art photography would be natural light, film photography, and direction from the photographer.

  • Natural light – it comes in so many forms – backlight, window light, open shade, filtered light, overcast, and so on. It seems obvious to state, but it always looks natural. When used properly by the photographer, it gives images a timeless, soft and ethereal feeling.
  • Film – Natural light combined with film photography is a match made in heaven. They way film holds natural light is magical. It’s not necessary to shoot film to be a “fine art photographer” but digital lacks the ability to hold as much detail in both the highlights and shadows of an image, and a digital image sensor just can’t produce the depth that you see in film. Film is magical!
  • Direction – Fine art photography is the artist inserting themselves into a situation. They give a lot of guidance to the subject, and craft images with thought, attention to detail, and with a vision. This doesn’t mean they don’t capture candid moments – but they know when to step in to turn a good image into a great image.
{FKE} What inspired you to begin to shoot with film?{AMP} I started shooting film because that was my only option at the time! I got my start in photography in 2001, and film was the standard back then. I did switch over to digital in 2006, when it seemed like film was doomed to go extinct. But I just didn’t care for it and switched back to film a couple of years later. The colours and natural grain of film are just so beautiful to me, and a digital camera just doesn’t measure up – no matter how many mega pixels!


{FKE}What are your favourite things/moments to capture during the wedding day?

{AMP} This is a tough question! Every wedding is so different and presents itself with unique moments and events. But to categorize, I have been loving groom portraits lately. Sometimes the spotlight shines so brightly on the bride that the groom takes a backseat on the big day. It’s his big day, too! I like to make sure he gets great portraits. I love the bridal portraits so much too, right after she’s donned her dress. There is so much anticipation and excitement – they always make for album worthy photographs. I also love the walk down the aisle after the ceremony. It’s such an iconic moment, the first steps as husband and wife – huge smiles, high-fives, confetti flying – a moment of pure joy and happiness, and that photo is one that will stay in an album or on their mantle for the rest of their lives.


{FKE}How does the editing process differ from digital photography?

{AMP} This is one of my favourite things about shooting film. When I shot digital, I would spend countless hours staring at my computer, editing colour and contrast to every photo. But now, I send the film to my lab where the develop and scan it. The scanning is so important. I have a colour profile with my lab, and they scan each negative to make sure the colours and contrast match up just the way I like them. Then they send me the scans online, and ship the negatives and proof prints in the mail. My clients get the proof prints and the scans. This is very important to me: I want them to see the photographs printed on paper before they look at the digital files. This is film’s biggest advantage – it looks SO amazing when printed. I also think it’s so much better to flip through prints than looking through your photos by hitting an arrow on a keyboard. It’s tangible, and warm and so much more real and meaningful than a cold computer screen.

{FKE} Where do you see fine art photography going, in the wedding world?{AMP} Fine art photography is a force in the wedding industry, and seems to only get stronger each year. Especially in the US and Europe. It’s finally starting to catch on in Canada. It’s not just a trend, film is here to stay. It fits the aesthetic of a wedding day so perfectly. For couples that are looking for timeless and crafted images, it is the perfect option.

49 To see more of Adrian Michael’s work, please check out his blog, as well as his most recent features (alongside FKE) on Vale and Vine, here and here.
*All images in this post, courtesy of Adrian Michael Photography

FKE Featured in Print: Real Weddings

Well, isn’t THIS exciting?!!  Shannon & Steve’s spring time wedding, was featured in the Fall/Winter 2014 issue of Real Weddings BC, and I couldn’t think of a cooler wedding to have grace the pages of this fabulous publication! Their wedding was filled with lovely little details, delicious food, and a setting as unique as they are.  So much heart was put into their big day, and it puts the biggest smile on my face, knowing that so many people will get a glimpse at their wedding in the magazine.  If you haven’t done so already, definitely make sure to pick up your copy of the magazine next time you’re out, and have a read below to see some of my favourite moments of the day.

I still remember getting my first email from this couple, asking me if I was available to help them plan their wedding that they were hosting at a Lawn Bowling Club here in Victoria.  I was completely intrigued of course, and after meeting them in person, hearing their love story (they met at this exact club as kids), and their vision for their wedding, I was in!

Being lawn bowlers themselves, the ceremony was set on the lawn, with the aisle made out of the bowls; and their new marriage was made official, with their “first bowl”. To keep the budget in check, and to honour Shannon’s love of tea, the wedding was an afternoon tea party!  Beautiful vintage china was used, small bites, and delicious treats were served, along with various types of tea and iced tea for the guests to enjoy throughout the day.   Following the reception, the guests gathered around the lawn, performing a “spider”, and celebrated the newlyweds over many spirited games.  So many lovely details were put into this wedding, and I loved every minute of helping plan with Shannon & Steve.  Thank you so much to this wonderful couple, for asking me to a part of your day!  It was truly one I will never forget!

And an incredible team of vendors helped make this day as magical as it was!  Thank you so much to:

Photography: Taylor Roades Photography
Planning/Decor: French Kiss Events
Florals: Cartref Gardens
Catering: Toque Catering
Vintage Rentals: Simply Sunday Vintage Rentals
Beauty: Sigma Squared

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  • Barb Walker, owner & lead planner

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