Spring wedding at The Fairmont Palliser Calgary

This shoot at The Fairmont Palliser Calgary is all about celebrating the arrival of spring.  This winter here in Calgary has us all yearning to see the first daffodils show their tiny, yellow faces.  It was a pleasure to collaborate on the design of this project.  Sharon Auld of Naturally Chic took the lead and Sarah Mayerson put her floral stamp on it.  Ever since Sharon won the Vintage Decor Challenge at Vintage Wedding Showcase, I’ve been dying to work with her.  This was my own little dream team.

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Fairmont Palliser Calgary

The inspiration for this shoot began with the location, the Oval Room at The Fairmont Palliser Hotel.  The Fairmont Palliser is Calgary’s oldest and most grand hotel and is a piece of Alberta history.  We loved the Edwardian style of the Oval Room with its marble pillars, large windows and gold detailing.  In spite of the grandeur of the room, its working fireplace makes it intimate and cozy.


Our décor had a lighthearted elegance, blending contemporary and vintage elements in a soft, natural palette.  The centerpieces were loose and organic with lots of greenery. Sarah used shades of ivory, soft yellow and ‘barely there’ pink for the blooms.  She suspended wreaths of seeded eucalyptus, Italian ruscus and weeping podocarpus from delicate ribbons over the table for a romantic, garden feel.

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In keeping with the setting, the dinnerware was vintage Limoges china, flowered with pale pink and blue petals, and rimmed with gold.  To make it more modern and interesting, Sharon created custom wood place card holders, cut in geometric shapes and painted in pastel hues.  For chairs, she included a blend of white, pink and natural chiavari chairs and a few mid-century modern pieces as well.

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Sharon used a truly unique medium for the invitations and menus by engraving delicate, white, wood veneer.  Note how the wood grain makes a subtle appearance amidst the gold lettering.  She didn’t stop there; she created several laser-cut, wooden details, including “bride” and “groom” banners that hung from the chairs.  Freestanding signage (also created by Sharon) marked the way to the celebration.

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The mantle of the fireplace was embellished with loose swag and contrasted by graphic, wood panels and pastel bunting.  The geometric panels were more of Sharon’s custom creations.  White, painted stumps flanked the fireplace and added an organic touch.


Every wedding has to have something sweet and so we included fun and youthful ideas for a spring reception.  The showpiece was a floral cake creation by the talented team at The Fairmont Palliser.  Pink lemonade was served in a pretty glass vessel and placed on a wooden block.  For the adults, pink sparkling wine glasses, rimmed with gold sugar were served on a gold tray, with spring blooms spilling over.   I’m sure the younger crowd wouldn’t pass up ice cream cones.

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Sharon arranged for a tulip favor station to serve two purposes.  Not only did it look fresh and pretty, but also guests could take home a bundle of tulips or bulbs as they left for the evening.   What says spring more than tulips?

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We mustn’t forget the bride and groom.  Our breathtaking bride Clare McConnell, wore an ultra-feminine, Reem Acra gown from Ette.  Her hair was adorned with a vintage bracelet and fell in romantic wisps.  The Oval Room definitely called for a tuxedo and how handsome is Marc in attire from Cameo & Cufflinks?

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The Fairmont Palliser Calgary Photographs:  Tara Whittaker Photography  

Venue:  The Fairmont Palliser Calgary

Concept & Design:  Sharon Auld of Naturally Chic  & Tara Whittaker

Wood veneer stationary: Naturally Chic

Laser cut wood details: Naturally Chic

Floral Design:  Sarah Mayerson Design 

Natural Chiavari Chairs:  Great Events Group 

Linens:  Celebration Creation 

Wedding Cake:  Pastry team at The Fairmont Palliser Calgary

Wedding Gown:  Reem Acra from Ette 

Hair and make-up stylist:  Erica from Artists Within 

Shoes:  Nine West Canada 

Groom’s Tuxedo:  Cameo & Cufflinks

Big thanks to our beautiful bride and groom, Clare McConnell & Marc Morin.  

Thanks to my Pops for helping out that day and for making multiple Starbucks runs.



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