Tom and Hannah met on the ski hill through Fernie Winter Sports School, where they both worked as ski instructors. “We started hanging out and skiing together, and despite being a lot more experienced than me, Tom was happy to go at my pace, even on powder days…that’s when we knew it was love,” says Hannah.
Both Hannah and Tom are from the UK originally, but Tommade Canada his home ten years ago, and has been living in Fernie for the last six. “I came out to do a ski season, thinking I’d only be visiting for six months before moving on to the next adventure. Fernie and Tom stole my heart, and it wasn’t long before I started flying back to Canada in between uni and work. I’m currently at med school in the UK, so we arranged our wedding to mark the end of my academic year and the start of living together in the town we’ve chosen to call home. Guess it’s true what they say – come for winter and stay for summer!”
Hannah did the majority of the planning, which was a bit challenging being in the UK, but everyone she dealt with in Fernie made the process a lot easier.
“We used Elk View Lodge as our venue, Kyle Hamilton for photography, Crumbs for our cake, Fernie Brewing Company for the beer, The Tipple for wine and spirits, Beanpod for chocolates, Lizard Creek Lodge for catering and servers, Patti’s Rentals for linens and décor and DJ Geoff for music in the evening. Our commissioner was Lynn Rogers, who was absolutely incredible. We also think a special mention is hugely deserved to Jeff Steirt – he sang at our wedding and reception. His professionalism, caring attitude and amazing performance; everyone at the wedding was on their feetand his closing song of ACDC was a favourite moment for both Tom and I.”
Tom and Hannah wanted the wedding to showcase the best of Fernie while keeping British elements throughout. The wedding spanned the weekend, with people arriving Friday and those from out of town staying at Elk View Lodge, where they hosted40 guests.
“Saturday, we went to Silver Springs and FBC, before having a relaxed dinner in the evening. Our wedding day on Sunday saw a further 30 guests arrive to the Lodge in the afternoon.We had our ceremony on the lawn in beautiful weather, with the ski hill and the Three Sisters as our backdrop,” Hannah tells me.“Throughout the weekend we tried to blend Fernie and London – we had Fernie beers and BC wines, with London gin and tonic. We had a British hymnsung at the ceremony, with readings from North American authors. Our table names were Fernie ski runs (which are actually perfect for a wedding – Knot Chutes, Diamond Back, Heartland, etc.) and the cake was the traditional British Victoria Sponge, but with a handmade wooden ski themed cake topper. It was little details like this that gave our wedding a really personal and intimate feel.”
It was the best weekend of our lives and we couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful wedding. It was a mix of luck (like the weather!) and hard work, but it was worth every moment spent in the planning, and we are so thankful for all the services and people in Fernie, as well as the beauty of the town, that made it such an incredible weekend.
Why did you choose to get married in Fernie?
Personally, my favourite moment of the wedding was the speeches. We decided to not have formal ones, but instead had two of our friends MC the night, asking people throughout dinner to share funny stories about Tom and I, or how they knew us. This meant that we had a wonderful collection of stories from friends and family, from the UK and Canada, in a beautifully authentic and natural way
Personally, my favourite moment of the wedding was the speeches. We decided to not have formal ones, but instead had two of our friends MC the night, asking people throughout dinner to share funny stories about Tom and I, or how they knew us. This meant that we had a wonderful collection of stories from friends and family, from the UK and Canada, in a beautifully authentic and natural way.
What advice would you give those planning their own wedding day?
It’ll be okay. It can seem incredibly stressful, and there will be details that you sweat for hours over that people might not even notice, but as long as everyone is having a good time (which they will!) then it doesn’t matter. I would also like to pass on advice given to me by my best friend – take a moment every now and then to just take a mental snapshot; absorb what’s going on and commit it to memory. It will fly by and I’m so grateful that I have distinct moments that are ingrained in my memory.
Photographer: Kyle Hamilton Photography