To spite living in New Zealand, Kiyomi and Timothy decided to plan a destination wedding in Canada where Kiyomi grew up. “We both really love a good challenge,” says Timothy.
“We wanted to achieve very specific things at our wedding,” Timothy explains. “Obviously we wanted it to be the most personal, unique and amazing experience for the two of us, a day that we would never forget, but we also wanted it to be an opportunity for two families to come together as one. For the majority, this was the first time they would meet,” he adds.
“The venue was the nucleus of all our creativity and planning,” says Timothy. “Located in a remote area on Vancouver Island, our venue was home to a private, gorgeous, secluded beach and about twenty basic old logging cabins with lots of bunk beds and no televisions. This little hidden gem was a regular holiday spot for Kiyomi’s family. With such a spectacular natural setting, and holding such special place in Kiyomi’s heart, it was the obvious location for our wedding.”
Celebrations officially began a few days before the couple’s wedding day as guests began to arrive. Friends and family members were each assigned a cabin. “Guests quickly drew straws for bed selection and then went on to replace their shoes with sandals and their car keys with local craft beer,” says Timothy. “We hired kayaks and canoes for the guests to use during their stay and they were quickly out on the water slowly disappearing from view.”
When it came time for Kiyomi and Timothy to tie the knot, the couple chose a a quiet, grassy dell as their ceremony venue. Garlands hung from the surrounding trees framing an aisle strewn with rose petals. “The band, acoustic and bare-footed under the surrounding trees, kicked things off,” says Timothy. “All the children, dressed in outfits Kiyomi hand picked for each of them, formed a kid parade armed with balloons and walked the aisle first. Many even made it all the way down the aisle! It was there that Kiyomi, in her stunning grey dress, and I, in my dolphin blue Crane Brothers suit, said our vows that we wrote to each other and became husband and wife.”
The couple and their guests moved to a tented venue by the water’s edge for their reception, which featured a pastel colour palette, geometric decor details and locally-sourced food.
“Planning our wedding in a remote location of another country where everything had to be brought in was an amazing challenge for us,” Timothy admits. “Actually getting married was the easy part.”
Kiyomi Kitagawa and Timothy John Bland, September 6, 2014, Merville, British Columbia.
Photography courtesy of Ameris.
Ceremony and reception location: The Alders Beach Resort
Celebrant: Young, Hip & Married
Bridal gown: Custom dress by Jasmine’s Bridal Shop
Groom’s suit: Crane Brothers
Caterer: Tria Fine Catering
Favours: DIY welcome hampers containing snacks, bug repellant and ear plugs
Music: Towers and Trees
Hair and makeup: Suzanna Chun, The Studio
Flowers: Rook & Rose