1920s Wedding at La Casa Guest House
Looking for some wedding inspiration?
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.
Thanks Ellice and Congratulations again!
All of the photos featured in this post are from Ellice & Curtis’ Wedding in 2017, taken by Rozalind Ewashina Photography. Please contact her by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), phone (+1 250 574 4629) or visit her website.
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. You can also check out our 4 Reasons to have your Wedding at La Casa Guest House blog post. We look forward to helping you plan the Wedding of your dreams!
Blog Post by Hannah Poaros