Ashley and Sheldon are both from small towns in Saskatchewan and decided to settle down in Sheldon’s hometown, Plenty where they are building a house on his family farm, with their dog Sadie. The couple enjoy travelling and actually met in Jamaica where they were both attending a mural friend’s wedding.
“That is why travelling for our wedding was always an option, and being from the Prairies we loved the idea of a mountain setting. Fernie provided the location and venue we wanted, with all the amenities and activities to keep guests entertained for a mini-vacation,” Ashley says.
As a kid, Sheldon had visited Fernie to ski and he continued this trend as an adult, enjoying snowboard and snowmobile trips with friends. Sheldon and Ashley were both interested a winter wedding in the mountains, agreeing that here is something magical about them. Elk View Lodge fit perfectly into their plans, especially as they were looking for a “do it yourself” venue. It was close enough to everything ensuring guests could easily enjoy the outdoors as well as all that the town offers.
“We had so much to do! We went snowshoeing, skiing and snowmobiling, went to Fernie Brewing Co. and checked out the Fernie distillery along with the great restaurants along the way! Us girls took a day and relaxed at Spa 901 at a private group booking. It was the most calm, relaxing day possible. Lastly we even took in some Griz Days events, which the kids loved! It was the perfect week away.”
The wedding style they went with was classic and elegant. “We used all natural colours - nudes, blush and greens, to go with our setting in the mountains. And with the lodge, we didn’t need to over decorate, just enhanced its beauty,” Ashley added.
Elk View Lodge was also a great fit for the size of the wedding. “It was a small, intimate event and we wanted everyone with us for the whole week. We could all sleep and eat in the same place. It was great the morning of the wedding as we started it off with a home-cooked breakfast for everyone staying with us at the lodge before the hair and makeup girls came up to help us get ready… all set to a hand-picked playlist of our favourite songs to get us in the mood.”
Ashley and her bridesmaids had Spa 901 and Sparrow Hair team up for hair and makeup, and Mckenzie Jesperson as a photographer. “She was prepared and easy to work with. It helped to have someone local who knew the best photos spots. I had sent a list of photos I wanted ahead of time, and she delivered. The locations were easy to get to, but also accommodated the mountain scenes I hoped for.”
The caterer was Country Encounters Catering from Coleman, and the DJ Jeremy from JAZ Audio in Cranbrook. They also worked with Patty’s Party Rentals for a few additional items they needed once here, and they appreciated her service and the ease of delivery and pickup.
Ashley, Sheldon, their dog Sadie and guests experienced their “ideal” winter wedding in Fernie last winter. Congratulations!
What is your favourite moment of your wedding day?
I would have to say our intimate, beautiful and sincere ceremony. There wasn't a dry eye in the place. Our close friend was our commissioner, so we got to write the whole ceremony ourselves, which was just so much more meaningful. It was beautiful, emotional, romantic and so much fun! There isn't a thing I would change about our wedding day!
What advice would you give those planning their own wedding day?
Honestly ask yourself what type of day you really want, and make it happen. You can't please anyone but yourself, it’s your day to do what you want. Don't stress about the little things either, because no one will know if something you planned didn't turn out. Remember the day is about you as a couple, and the people there to celebrate your love and life together!
What were some unique elements to your wedding that really stand out - things you tried to do differently?
We had a polaroid guestbook! All guests took a photo, stuck it in a book and wrote beautiful notes for us to cherish. Also, our 'first look' let us truly show our emotion and have a private moment.
We made sure to have some fun once all the serious stuff was over. Sheldon and his grooms team had a GT race to celebrate down the awesome hill right out front of the Elk View Lodge.
Lastly, we had our take part in every moment - the pictures, ceremony, and she even came out on the dance floor, because she is our family!
Photographer: Mackenzie Jesperson
Photographer: Mackenzie Jesperson