Trisha and Alex had just reached the top of a treacherous six-hour hike up Mauna Kea volcano in Hawaii when they stopped to take in the view. “I asked Alex to take a photo of me facing the sun,” Trisha recalls. “He was taking forever, but when I turned around to yell at him, I found him on his knee holding out a ring!” Trisha describes the moment as the biggest surprise of her life. “We had never discussed marriage in our 11 years together,” she remarks. “Not even once!”
As hiking enthusiasts, Trisha and Alex knew they wanted an outdoor ceremony in the mountains. The couple decided on a destination wedding in Banff because of its breathtaking scenery that would make for great wedding photography. “One of our photos was taken on a giant rock on a glacier lake,” the couple explains. “Our photographer actually carried some of us over the freezing cold water!” As winter had come early in Banff, the couple offered their guests blankets to keep them warm while they recited their vows.
Following the outdoor ceremony, the newlyweds hosted their indoor reception at the Mount Norquay ski lodge. “We wanted our reception to look like a forest, so we brought nature indoors with greenery crowding the room and hanging from the ceiling,” Trisha explains. “The venue had natural light, wooden beams and a nice fireplace which made it so cozy,” the bride says. When the reception began, an elk dropped by the entrance stairs to the venue. “Our guests gathered at the window of the room to watch the unexpected guest outside,” Trisha recalls. “We were all so happy and amused.”
Being a cake artist, Trisha had high expectations for her wedding cake. Ultimately, the bride decided to make the black and gold, mountain-themed cake herself. “I had it driven across the country to Banff, and displayed it on a swing we made, suspended from the ceiling beams,” Trisha says.
The outdoorsy couple’s wedding ended with a late night s’mores bar. “We spend our summers camping with our friends, so making s’mores outside at night just felt so natural to us.”
Trisha Medina and Alex Tarnawski, September 14, 2018, Banff, Alberta.
Photography courtesy of ENV Photography.
Ceremony venue: Tunnel Mountain Meadow
Reception venue & Caterer: Mount Norquay
Wedding planner: Julie of Rocky Mountain Weddings
Wedding dress: Mira Zwillinger
Groom’s tux: Hugo Boss
Bridesmaid dresses: Vera Wang
Groomsmen’s attire: Hudson’s Bay
Flowers: Willow Flower Co.
Ring: Diamond Boi
Cake: Rococoa Butter
Table signs: Next Gen Displays
Calligraphy: Crafta Boutique
Music: Russell Kennedy of Your Black and White
Hair & Makeup: Lilies and Lace Beauty Co.
Favours: Rocky Mountain Soap Company