Love Isn’t Cancelled: Lauralyn + Martin

By Lauralyn Berlin

 

Today we are so excited to share with you Lauralyn + Martin’s intimate Fairmont Empress wedding celebration in our latest Love Isn’t Cancelled Series! These two were the sweetest couple, had the loveliest group of guests, and we loved spending the day with them.

 

Lauralyn + Martin had originally planned on having an epic beach celebration with 150 friends and family from across Canada, the U.S., Sweden, and Denmark. But unfortunately due to COVID, they had to change up their plans – a few times in fact! They ultimately decided they didn’t want to wait any longer to be married, and so they started planning an intimate celebration at the Fairmont Empress. Zoom was a large component of Lauralyn + Martin’s wedding as Martin’s family were mostly based in Sweden! We were able to have over 30 Zoom groups all logging in from across the world to witness Lauralyn + Martin tie the knot virtually! It was so special that they all could witness the wedding, even if they couldn’t be there in person, and even though it was the middle of the night in some parts of the world their guests were dressed up with champagne in hand! It was the best!

 

Lauralyn + Martin were married on September 19, 2020 in the Library Room at the Fairmont Empress followed by an intimate dinner reception in the Bengal Lounge. It was a modern, West Coast inspired design, that tied in the beautiful vintage details of the Fairmont Empress and the couples love of the Scandinavian design elements that they enjoy in their own home and lifestyle. We loved working with local Vancouver Island photographer, Luke Liable, who captured this day so beautifully!

When and how did you make the decision to change your wedding plans? Were there any specific deciding factors?

Our original wedding had been scheduled for May 9, 2020 which was precisely in the middle of the initial COVID shut down. As soon as international travel restrictions were announced, we knew that we had to change our wedding plans. The onset of a worldwide pandemic shocked us and threw our plans into disarray. At first, we planned on delaying until next year in the hopes that Covid restrictions might loosen and that we could go ahead with our “dream” wedding. As events wore on, it became clear that travel quarantines and gatherings of +50 would likely be restricted for an indeterminate time. It was then, that we decided to just go for it!!

How was your wedding day different than what you had imagined?

It was so much more intimate!!! The intimacy of having only 15 guests heightened the emotion of the day in an unimaginable and unexpected way. We were able to be completely present. The time spent with each guest was meaningful and precious. We let go of the worries associated with making sure that we were following a precise timeline. The venue was also completely different than we had originally envisioned. However, we are thrilled that we decided to change venues and that we were married in the Library Room and had our reception in the Bengal Lounge.  We felt that the space at the Fairmont Empress was stunning and was better suited to host an intimate wedding. Emma and her team coordinated our floral and decor elements and elevated them in ways we could have never imagined.

What was your new guest count? 

We had 15 guests! Although we deeply missed our family and friends who were unable to attend, we were able to include them during the ceremony by using Zoom. They were still able to be a part of our special day. We truly felt them there in spirit and even had the opportunity for a quick greeting directly after the ceremony. To see all of their smiling faces and big waves on the screen is a memory that we deeply cherish to this day. It was incredibly powerful and we felt so loved.

How was your wedding day the same as what you had originally imagined?

The outpouring of love and support was overwhelming!! Despite it being spread across different technological platforms including Facetime, Zoom, recorded dances, and slideshows, we still felt so incredibly special!  Our wedding ceremony was a deeply meaningful time of sharing our love, joy, and lifelong commitment.

Are you still planning for any part of your original plan for a later date in the future? One year anniversary? Vow renewal? Reception celebration?

Not for now! We are SO excited to be married and are thoroughly enjoying life as newlyweds. For us, it was the most perfect day that we could have ever imagined! Having fewer people allowed us to really take in every beautiful moment and absorb it into our memories for all-time. We are still treasuring these precious moments and so grateful for the opportunity to have had such a beautiful wedding.

What would you want to say to other couples who are considering a smaller wedding?

It may turn out to be the best decision that you’ve ever made! Allow yourselves the opportunity to use this unique Covid climate to do what you truly want to do and what makes you happiest as a couple.  While our guest list had to be significantly reduced, everyone was so gracious in accepting the nature of the circumstances. Friends and family will understand and support your vision no matter what it looks like. Take advantage of technology and try to find unique ways to include people who aren’t able to attend. It has been incredibly special to reminisce with friends far and wide about the wedding; Zoom enabled them to be part of the most special day of our lives!  A smaller wedding allowed us to bask in the joy of each moment, rather than being rushed or distracted.

What was your most memorable moment of the wedding day?

All of the most memorable moments we had hoped for on our wedding day came to fruition. It’s too impossible to pick just one! My Dad walking me down the aisle was something I’ve dreamed of since I was a young girl and it still makes me emotional thinking about how beautiful that moment was.  My husband’s family in Sweden surprised us with a slideshow which was incredibly touching as we missed them dearly and it meant the world to us!  Finally, making it official and saying “I do” was the best moment of our lives!

Anything else you would like to share?

We are deeply grateful to Emma, Marley, and the Good Party Team. They took the time to really listen and to get to know us! They brought a set of exceptional skills to coordinating the many aspects of our wedding and made our day complete. Their eye for detail and exceptional taste, combined with their strong relationships with wedding vendors, helped make our new vision a reality. Additionally, they served as effective liaisons with The Empress as we all navigated the ever-changing Covid protocol guidelines. Their professionalism in handling the challenging and emotional circumstances brought on by Covid was truly appreciated. To be able to trust in their organizational abilities and creative problem-solving allowed us to focus on the joy and celebration of our wedding day. It was such a gift to work with Emma and her team. We will be forever grateful!!

 

We loved getting to know Lauralyn + Martin, their families, their friends, and even their Zoom guests! They are truly a testament to that no matter where you are in the world, love always wins!

Vendors:

Photography: Luke Liable 

Videography: Lily Ventures Creative 

Venue: The Fairmont Empress 

Decor Rentals: Party Mood || Tabletop Curated Rentals || Bash Specialty || Trend Decor || Faire La Fete Linen 

Florals: Nightsong Farm 

Ceremony Music: Cello Bride 

Beauty: Artistry by Alexa 

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