We love weddings and all the fanfare around them. In fact, we love when happy couples consider La Casa Cottage Resorts for their celebrations, maybe even use La casa Mirador Guest House for the ceremony. But planning a wedding from start to finish is tough. So here are some tips and tricks to get the bachelorette party juuuuust right.
DO: Ask the bride what type of party she wants. DON’T: Hire strippers and buy penis hats for the lolz.
Every bride is different. Some people want a wild, crazy, go-all-out party weekend. On the other hand, some women prefer something quieter and more elegant. Be sure you are tailoring the bachelorette party to the specific preferences of the bride-to-be. Remember: this party is all for her.
DO: Take care to respect budgetary concerns for all guests. DON’T: Surprise people with last-minute expenses.
Respect how much money people are able or willing to spend. If you are struggling to cover even the bare necessities, consider doing a fundraiser with the bride’s extended family to cover some of the expenses. However, the cost mainly falls upon the maid of honour and the bachelorette party guests. Consider saving money ideas, like picking an “out of season” weekend, making snacks rather than buying them, and implementing BYOB. Here’s a budget spreadsheet to get you started.
DO: Plan enough activities to keep people entertained. DON’T: Over-schedule every minute of the day.
The bachelorette party should be fun for everyone. Plan enough activities to occupy a few hours a day, if it’s a multi-day event. Leave room for relaxation and conversation. You’ll want to start with games and introductions and gifts. However, as the night goes on, the schedule should loosen up a bit. Give people something to look forward to but also plenty of time to socialize and kick back.
DO: Have back-up plans in place. DON’T: Ever assume things will go 100% according to plan.
Always have a backup plan! You should always assume the best but plan for the worst. For example, maybe the restaurant you made reservations at floods unexpectedly. Seek out a few backup options (don’t book them, just know where they are and what they offer) so that you can bounce back quickly from unexpected hitches.
DO: Reserve any venues or tables way ahead of time. DON’T: Overbook your rooms or surprise venues with extra guests.
Make sure you have booked all appropriate accommodations, dinner reservations, limo pick-up or other transportation, and anything else that might need to be “held” for larger groups. Get RSVPs before booking and try not to surprise venues with additional guests. Restrictions to, say, room rental occupancy are there for a reason. You don’t want to end up with any unpleasant fines!
BONUS: Thinking of hosting your bachelorette party in the Okanagan? These accommodations are perfect for 6 to 8 guests, making them a great option for small gatherings. Consider booking two of them if you have over 10 people coming.
Newly engaged? Well, spring time has finally hit Kelowna and it’s the perfect time to take those engagement photos! Having an engagement photo shoot is such a rewarding experience for a newly engaged couple, as it allows you to relax in front of the camera (before your big day!), and spend some quality time together, whilst coming home with some awesome new photos for your memory box!
Here are what we think are the top four places to have an engagement shoot in Kelowna:
The view you get from the top of Knox mountain is gorgeous! Any photos taken here will have a backdrop of Okanagan Lake, as well as forest and mountain views! Stay at the bottom or go for a little hike to the top, either way these will be some gorgeous photos.
Imagine having a background of waterfalls and shallow pools! This location is especially gorgeous in the winter time when everything starts to freeze up. (Note:Please check if the park is open before attempting to visit the waterfalls).
This is a great place to take some photos! There is 18 trestles overlooking the canyon and 2 tunnels – these make for some beautiful, creative shots of a newly engaged couple.
Kelowna’s waterfront is one of the most popular places for photographers to take their pictures, especially if you are looking for natural beauty (the lake!) within an urban setting. It’s also close to all the restaurants and cafes in Kelowna – so make sure you treat yourself to a glass of champagne afterwards!
Looking for your Wedding Venue? Why not consider tying the knot at our La Casa Guest House? For more information on planning your wedding at La Casa, please visit our Weddings page or feel free to speak to us directly on our reservations line at +1 888 226 5566. Here are our 4 Reasons to have your Wedding at the Guest House… we look forward to helping you plan the Wedding of your dreams!
The Okanagan is known for being one of the hottest places in Canada, but that doesn’t mean you have to host your Okanagan Wedding in the summer! Winter can be equally as glorious – imagine snow-capped mountains with the cool blue hues of the lake as the backdrop of your wedding photos – need we say more? Here are some tips for planning the BEST winter wedding at La Casa’s Guest House:
Have perfect winter accessories to keep you warm –
Accessories for cold weather don’t have to be boring! Think velvet jackets, faux fur capes, and luxury mittens! You may even want to opt for long-sleeved wedding and bridesmaids’ dresses to keep the number of accessories down. Remember to think about your guests too – let them know what the weather will be like, and perhaps provide blankets, hand warmers or scarves as wedding favours. Inside the Guest House is heated – but we’re sure both you and your guests will want to have a play in the snow!
Keep the ceremony and reception in the Guest House –
The beauty of the Guest House is that you can kill two birds with one stone. Avoid your guests having to walk or drive in the snow and pick the Guest House for both your ceremony and reception! Have your ceremony on the terrace if you want part of your wedding to be outdoors, and then head inside to the ballroom or the Grand Suite for the reception. Your guests will thank you for keeping everything in close proximity!
Pick a warm colour scheme –
Play around with your colours; it doesn’t have to be just red and green! Why not go for some dark blue and silver shades for a sparkly, night-time feel? Or perhaps combine deep plum shades with soft greens to create a stylish, chic colour palette.
Set up a hot drink station –
Winter weddings provide the perfect excuse to serve your favourite drinks – everything from hot chocolate to warm cider and mulled wine! Not only will these stop your guests from feeling chilly, it’ll also make it feel like it’s Christmas all over again.
Prepare for snow –
Heaps of fresh snow may well look stunning in your wedding photos, but bear in mind the logistics that come with this cool weather! It’s almost guaranteed to snow during the winter in Kelowna so make sure you have a change of shoes with you (don’t let those designer heels get ruined!). AND no one wants to be shoveling snow all day but if you need to do this during your stay, rest assured that there will be a shovel and salt provided at the property!
Time your photos when the sun is up –
Bear in mind that the winter months have very short windows of daylight when planning your photo session. Low lighting can be a challenge outside and inside, so opt for a morning ceremony – that way you will have plenty of time to take your photos before it gets dark!
Wedding Photographer of the Month – Introducing Ivenkaye Photographics
This month we bring you some wedding inspiration! Check out these awesome images from Ivenkaye Photographics as well as an interview with the Photographer himself. We think our Guest House is a pretty beautiful location – read on to see why we’re not the only ones that think so…
So first off – how did you get into Wedding Photography & what do you love about it?
I photographed my first wedding when I was applying to photography school and needed a way to pay for my gear. My camera failed halfway through the ceremony and I finished shooting the wedding day on film. Although I loved it, it was a nerve wracking experience, and I didn’t photograph another one until three years later. I was drawn back to the Wedding Industry because of the realization that my images were making a significant difference in people’s lives.
In 2009 I began my own Wedding Photography Business, Ivenkayephotographics, and when I made the move to the Okanagan a year later, the Wedding Community here was still in it’s early stages. Now it is a huge community which really contributes to a diverse environment for people to come here and to get married. The reason I choose Wedding Photography is the people that I get to meet and the experiences are always so amazing. You are with a couple, who are in love, for a whole day, capturing their cherished memories for them, and taking part in the beginning of their lives together. Wedding days are a challenge too, very candid, very spontaneous and truthful and I really enjoy taking on that challenge to capture it all. It’s very important to be present and to be watchful and I thrive under those kind of conditions. It really brings out my creativity.
There are so many different styles of Wedding Photography. How would you explain your approach to clients?
I would describe it first as clean and storytelling. From a technical standpoint I began learning photography with film and through my editing and composition I always use that as a beginning point, to create true and beautiful photographs, capturing detail and nuance. For me, storytelling moments are the most important because they capture true emotions.Those are the photographs that will take you back to the moment because of their truthfulness. That’s why I always gift engagement sessions to my couples. It’s important to know them, to experience them in front of a camera and for them to know how I work. That way, on the big day, they can relax and be themselves and experience the day without distraction and I am able to do my very best work for them.
Living in BC, you must know that there is an array of beautiful locations in the area. Why do you think a couple should use the Okanagan – and more specifically, Kelowna – as their wedding destination?
I think that the area we live in is so diverse it would appeal to everyone. We have a beautiful lake and epic mountains, beaches and hikes, wineries and tap houses, and a host of incredible venues. Also the community here, the Wedding Industry Community, honestly is hard working and invested in making this area the very best for visiting couples. Standards here are incredibly high and we all diligently strive to meet them.
You’ve taken Wedding Photos at La Casa Guest House before. Was there anything that surprised you about the property? Anything that made you love shooting there?
It’s off the beaten track, private, and in a beautiful area. You get a true sense of the beauty of the area and the grandeur of B.C, while having all the comforts you would experience in the city limits. The drive from Kelowna to La Casa Guest House is an experience all it’s own and builds anticipation as you weave through the gorgeous scenery. You get the impression that you are traveling to somewhere truly special.
If you had to use five words to describe the venue, what would they be?
These photos you have here; what made this wedding special?
Robyn and Curtis have an incredibly supportive and joyful group of family and friends that was an honor to be a part of. I remember that taking candids at their wedding was very easy; everyone was so at ease and happy to be with each other, as if they were in the comfort of their own homes. I couldn’t help but be uplifted by the experience on a personal level, and I could honestly say I left the wedding that night, after saying my goodbyes, with a little bit of reluctance, sad to have the experience come to an end.
Do you have any advice for couples planning their wedding at La Casa?
Plan ahead with cooler supplies; mid-day beer runs are not that easy. If you are planning a summer wedding, keep an eye on the forecast, and maybe bring some parasols for the ceremony. The Okanagan can get quite warm mid-day! And the photos will look great.
And lastly, what is the best way for potential clients to get in contact with you?
We spoke to Ellice Whitford, who hosted her wedding at the Guest House in 2017, about the wedding planning process, inspiration behind the theme and how she chose the Okanagan and La Casa as the venue.
How did you decide on a Vacation Rental style wedding?
“Our decision to have a house rental wedding, in place of a typical outdoor ceremony/banquet hall setting was based on a wedding I was maid of honour for a few years before. A good friend had rented a beautiful ocean front house on Vancouver Island and the whole process of set up, the intimate/private setting for the ceremony and reception, and having all of the wedding party and immediate family staying together all weekend in one place made such perfect sense. It gave us so much more time to spend together, instead of constantly trying to round everyone up and meet at certain locations. At the time I didn’t know what area we would get married ourselves, but knew a vacation rental was the only way to do it.”
Why did you choose La Casa’s Guest House as your venue?
“As soon as Curt and I got engaged I started researching large house rentals in the Okanagan area to host our wedding weekend. La Casa Resort’s Guest House had absolutely everything we were looking for. With a lot of family and friends traveling long distances we didn’t want to put them in a boring hotel, and instead encouraged everyone to group together and rent the chalets they have available. Almost our entire guest list (of about 110) stayed on site, with only a few people deciding to camp at nearby Fintry Provincial Park instead.
We told everyone in advance we would be staying for three nights and encouraged everyone to make a holiday out of it, getting a chance to partake in the wedding festivities, but also enjoy a few days with the great amenities in the area. La Casa’s Guest House is perched high on a hill with the most beautiful panoramic view of Okanagan Lake, which made for a breathtaking backdrop for our patio ceremony and reception. Our guests appreciated the large outdoor pools, hiking trails and water front access. It made visiting for our two families a breeze, which was extra special because although being together for nine years, our families had yet to meet each other.”
How did the Roaring 20s theme come about?
“I don’t recall when we first decided on a 20’s theme. We both knew that we didn’t want a tradition, drawn out, all day wedding. Getting engaged much later than most of our friends, we had attended more burlap, country chic weddings than we could count.
We kept all parts of a wedding we cherished, and cut everything we didn’t. A night ceremony and reception was much more romantic and we thought a theme would encourage everyone to dress up and played into the late night vibe we were going for. There is something so special about the Roaring 20’s, with the flapper dresses, all the gold décor and the flowing champagne. We thought with the limited décor we intended to bring that having everyone dress up would really add to the 20’s vibe. Taking out the formal sit-down dinner, cake cutting, and invitations extended to children gave us a lot of freedom to plan the evening we really wanted, and mix things up for our guests who likely had been to as many similar weddings as we had.”
And how did you set up the wedding for this fabulous theme?
“Instead of a large banquet hall with round tables with a big buffet we opted for small cocktail style tables, shared lounge seating and hand delivered canapes instead. With lots of room to mingle, people conversed and moved around a lot, using the whole space instead of being put in a chair for the majority of the night. We used the main floor of the house for the bulk of this event, with an elevator opening up into the decorated space. The doors would open and our guests were transformed back in time (at least that is what we were going for!). We went with classic sheer draping over the doorways (the main floor of this house has two large glass garage doors that open the living room onto the 2400 square foot patio).
Curtis has brought my plans of 20’s style art deco backdrops to life and had constructed large frameworks, we had these up to cover a large bookcase, have a backdrop for our MC and his microphone and to block the open kitchen to the dance floor (aka the living room). Black pipe and drape blocked off behind the DJ and created a ‘backstage’ for the moved furniture. It was all easy to set up and looked fantastic. My family helped our immensely with set up and take down, with the creation of our pre-ceremony cheese trays and our small, beautiful decorative cake and dessert table. White ostrich feathers, vintage glass bottles and wedding photos of our grandparents and other extended family were placed strategically around the space to complete the vibe. My aunt shipped out my great grandpa’s typewriter earlier in the year, and we were able to incorporate this into our signing ‘table’ desk, with a beautiful Ella Fitzgerald quote in it.”
What was your ceremony like?
We opted out of setting up seats for everyone during the ceremony, as we intended to keep it very short and wanted everyone to fill in the isle and stand close while we shared our intimate vows. Aside from a few seats for Grandma, we were able to have everyone at eye level, taking in the moment with us. We also insisted on people keeping their phone/cameras away until after the ceremony, which really gave us some fantastic photos looking back into our friends and family from behind Curt and I as we said ‘I Do’. Keeping everyone in the present moment really meant a lot to us, we didn’t want to be looking into the crowd and not see their faces.
And then what happened?
After everyone had mingled and had a chance to eat we moved downstairs to the massive 150-seat theatre in the floor below. This gave everyone a few minutes off their feet to listen to speeches, and gave the wait staff a chance to tidy up the cocktail hour and have the dessert table set up. It also made for a fantastic group photo with its lush red velvet seats. Once returning upstairs darkness had arrived and we had everyone hold sparklers on the patio as we took our first dance to, Stevie Nicks- Leather and Lace. Although this isn’t a 20’s song, it is an absolute favourite of my husbands and the perfect song to dance to.
It all sounds wonderful! Was the Guest House everything you hoped for in a venue?
La Casa was a perfect venue to play out our dream cocktail style wedding. With a private master suite, separate from the rest of the house on the penthouse floor (with its own hot tub!) we felt like we were being whisked away to a private oasis after the reception, while still sharing the space with our immediate family and wedding party. It also gave my two bridesmaids and I a private space to get ready, with a large balcony and self-contained suite, including kitchen and full bathroom. The bunkhouse was great to separate everyone and gave lots of space for people over the weekend. The large bathrooms with multiple stalls on the main floor made it easy for guests to powder their noses, and use the facilities without having a line, or use a port-a-potty.
I could not be happier with the way our 1920’s wedding played out at La Casa Resort. This property gave us the flexibility to develop our evening the way we wanted, and the creative control to have the night tailored to our specific needs. Friends and family gave rave reviews about their chalet rentals, and enjoyed being close together throughout the weekend.