Melissa Rotella was born in Fernie, BC and has fond memories of growing up here. With her family still living in Fernie, and it so close to her heart it was not a difficult decision for her and her fiancé Simon to choose it as their wedding destination. Even though the couple resides in Auckland, New Zealand.
They choose the Fernie Seniors Centre for both the ceremony and reception with 80 guests, and hired Magical Transformations (the dynamic duo of Susan Teslak and Donna Lee Clusiault) to decorate the space. “This worked great for us, as it was a destination wedding and we couldn’t bring decorations with us,” Melissa says. They gave them a rough outline of what they were after, and let them have creative license. The idea was for the scenery to be the “décor” and with Susan and Donna Lee’s guidance they went with a winter theme with hints of coppers and greens, natural wood and soft lighting. “The result was much better than we could have every done on our own, we were very pleased,” she adds.
Melissa admits that as a mountain girl, she is not big on dressing up so chose a simple and elegant dress and avoided “poofs and frills.” She found the perfect dress at a local wedding dress shop near their home in Auckland. “It fit my personality and complimented our décor… and it fit in my carry-on suitcase!” she says. For hair and makeup, she went with No. 3 and once again, gave them creative license and loved the result.
The couple were married in front of the large windows at the Seniors Centre overlooking the beautiful historic buildings of the City Hall and Courthouse. “It was a beautiful sunny winter’s day, the sun was filtering onto us through the windows and we were able to look up at the mountains during the ceremony,” Melissa remembers.
Melissa and Simon chose Kristy Ingram to cater their event, whom they highly recommend. They went for buffet style dining and had many compliments on the food, the wedding cake, and the professional and friendly staff.
For music, they went with DJ Jeff McRae. “He was given the difficult task of playing music for a wide variety of tastes, and he nailed it,” they say. He even surprised them with some old Italian classic polkas that had the older generations on the dance floor.
Their photographer was Randi of Red Flannel Photography, and they were very happy with the results. As they did not have a traditional wedding party they kept the focus of the wedding to family and had photos taken during the ceremony and with family members at the venue right after. They then left with Randi for an intimate photo session around Fernie as the sun was setting. “It was probably one of my favourite parts of our wedding. She captured our love and personalities in the photos, framed against the most amazing backdrops that she scouted out beforehand,” Melissa says.
The majority of guests were local Fernie residents, but the few that travelled from afar were taken aback by the charm and beauty of Fernie. Simon’s parents are actually planning on coming back, “when it’s a little warmer.”
Overall, Melissa and Simon say their wedding was a magical time and exactly what they were hoping for.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO GET MARRIED IN FERNIE?
It’s where I grew up and is a special place for me and Simon.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MOMENT OF YOUR WEDDING DAY?
That’s a hard one, I’d have to say reciting our vows in front of our families with the sun streaming in through the windows, with the mountains covered in snow in the background.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE THOSE PLANNING THEIR OWN WEDDING DAY?
At the end of the day it’s all about you and your partner and your family sharing the happiest day of your life. Don’t get too caught up in the little things, they won’t be what matters when you look back.
WHAT WERE SOME UNIQUE ELEMENTS TO YOUR WEDDING THAT REALLY STAND OUT - THINGS YOU TRIED TO DO DIFFERENTLY?
We didn’t have a wedding party which really helped bring the focus of the day to ‘us’ and our families and gave us more time to enjoy the moment.
Photographer: Red Flannel Photography
Photographer: Red Flannel Photography