Ashlyn + Darren’s Hatley Castle Fusion Wedding!

By Marley Poniedzielnik


Ashlyn and Darren’s wedding day was a combination of so many things that we love: colour, elegance, a beautiful West Coast view, a historic landmark, and two families with two cultures coming together as one! Our awesome couple wanted to infuse traditional Indian and Chinese elements into their ceremony and reception while embracing the beauty of Hatley Castle.

Ashlyn, Darren, and almost all of their guests traveled from Alberta to celebrate here in Victoria so we wanted to make their weekend as unforgettable and beautiful as possible!

If you have a few minutes to spare, we suggest starting with one of our favourite wedding films EVER. Cassie O’Neil abolsutely blew it out of the water with this gorgeous film for Ashlyn and Darren. Having been at the wedding and also having watched this video many (many!) times, trust us when we say, this film truly captures the beauty, fun, and incredible energy that was felt all weekend long! Once you’ve really immersed yourself in the film, you’ll be ready for a series of beautiful images captured by Heather of Tulle & Tweed Photography! Check out the celebration below!



Ashlyn and Darren’s Wedding Weekend Celebrations started off with a traditional Indian Mehndi party, but with a flare – the addition of the traditional Chinese Tea Ceremony to honour Darren’s family’s traditions!

Mehndi, or henna, is an ancient form of body art, originating in India and across South Asia and the Middle East. Traditionally these celebrations take place at the bride’s family’s home but many couples choose to do this at a venue, which was the case for Ashlyn and Darren and their families! Usually this celebration takes place a day or two before the wedding and this is because it is traditionally said that the darker the henna art is the happier the bride and groom’s marriage will be!

Traditionally the Mehndi party is very focused on the bride however Darren was included in the ceremony and we loved how Ashlyn and Darren made the celebration their own by including the Chinese Tea Ceremony with their family members in the events of the day!



Ashlyn got ready at a hotel nearby Hatley Castle. She wore a stunning traditional Indian gown that she purchased off the rack from Vivah in Surrey. Her gown tied in the shades of blush, gold, and maroon and perfectly matched Darren’s traditional Indian suit!



Ashlyn and Darren decided to have their first look at Saxe Point in Esquimalt. There they found the perfect location in the forest, overlooking the ocean. Truly the perfect West Coast location. They both looked stunning and couldn’t wait to get the day started.



Before heading to the ceremony, a VERY important pit stop was in order.



Over at Hatley Castle, lead planner Anouk, and the team from Trend Decor were busy at work! We only had two hours to build a custom Mandap, transform the terrace and Italian gardens into a cozy cocktail reception lounge area, and decorate the castle for the dinner reception and dance party!



The Mandap is the alter for the Hindu ceremony and therefore the focus of the event. We wanted it to be a functional where the different ceremony rituals can take place, but also tie into the rest of the decor for the day.  The hanging wicker lanterns with ribbons from Trend Decor, lush greenery from Platinum Floral Designs, and tones of blush and emerald made it stand out against the beautiful backdrop of Hatley Castle.



Soon enough it was time for the ceremony to begin. Guests took their seats enjoying the late August heat and taking in the colourful gardens. Ashlyn was stunning as she walked down the aisle to meet Darren at the Mandap.



There are so many meaningful traditions in an Indian wedding ceremony, and Ashlyn and Darren lovingly moved through the events, each witnessed by their family and friends.



Soon enough, they were husband and wife!



The party moved into the Italian Garden for cocktails and canapes! The terrace transformed into a comfortable lounge area and even Ashlyn and Darren transformed into their second look of the night!



The Hatley Castle dining room was a mix of round tables and one long King’s style head table. The use of colour really brightened up the room. Pink florals, blue linens, coral candles, and elements of amber and orange creative a cohesive West Coast inspired colourful look and was perfectly executed by the Trend Decor team!



The rest of the night was spent eating, mingling, and of course, DANCING!



We felt so lucky that Ashlyn and Darren trusted us to execute their vision, blending two cultures together and creating the best day ever! Happy one year anniversary to Ashlyn and Darren, and their new baby girl, Eliza! xo



Photography: Tulle and Tweed Photography

Videography: Cassie O’Neil

Catering: Truffles

Decor + Design: Trend Decor Event Design

Florals: Platinum Floral Designs

DJ: Hi Way Productions/DJ Pro

Mandap Draping: Designer Weddings

Mandap Frame: PDS Woodwork

Dessert: Cake by Taryn 

Beauty: Bee Makeup + Artistry by Alexa