Caitlynne Medrek & Jordan Charette
Caitlynne works as a professional princess and so badly dreamed of a forest wedding that would make her and her guests feel like true royalty. She wanted her guests to feel as if they stepped into a fairy tale storybook surrounded by moss and ferns and vintage vignettes. However, when COVID threw a wrench in the plans and the couple could no longer travel outside their hometown, Caitlynne had to find a venue that captured the essence of fairy tale magic without the wedding being able to take place in the forests of British Columbia.
Instead, she found The Orchard, a new restaurant in Calgary decorated with lush and long pathos plants draped among gold chandeliers. The vibe of the restaurant screamed fairytale magic and hadn’t been host to any weddings yet – making it a unique and magical location for a whimsical wedding. Caitlynne and her now husband, Jordan, wanted to ensure that even though they were going to have a fairy tale wedding, it didn’t feel like a day at Caitlynne’s work, so the after party had to be the opposite of the wedding venue.
Caitlynne shares all the details below.
Where was the after-party? We chose Snapfoto Club, a professional instagram studio with numerous vignettes and sets to take hundreds of memorable photos in front of. We wanted our guests to leave with memories of their night, not just with memories of how the bride and groom wanted the day to go! Everyone left the wedding with thousands of memorable photos unique to our wedding! Altogether, we created two incredibly unique and standout experiences for our guests to enjoy. Did I mention our wedding had a name? Charettefest!
What was the theme vibe? We started planning based off our wedding hashtag and wedding name: ‘Charettefest’ (Jordan’s last name is Charette!) and we tried to do our best to ensure the wedding felt like a full-day whimsical festival! We choose big, bright oversized flower bouquets, much like our personalities. We went with neon signs for our decor and centrepieces, including one in hot pink for our arch that said “CHARETTEFEST”. We wanted romance with out it being taken too seriously. I even had my bridesmaids improvise my vows with giant Caitlynne and Jordan cut out faces! We believe you can have fun in everything you do, even the serious moments. And our vibes and theme was just that. Very much a reflection on our personalities, our passions, our jobs, and our effervescent energy.
What did you splurge on? Our biggest and best investment for Charettefest was our photographer, she knocked it so beyond the park that we didn’t have words. We lost a lot of deposits on our original wedding, so we tried to keep Charettefest 2.0 within a small budget. The one thing we knew we had to splurge on was our photographer. I discovered her at the virtual bridal expo and instantly became enamoured with her work and her art, this then lead me to find a location that Jordan and I could go to – in the middle of the day – to really showcase her style.
Did you do a lot of DIY? Aside from Photography, hair and makeup and groom’s morning shave, our wedding was entirely DIY! From our signature cocktail posters, to name tags and seating charts, to my copper arch, giant flower bouquets and boutonnières, everything was DIY. I wanted to be the princess I am at work, without feeling like I was at work. Cue giant flowers, big neon signs, big pageant hair, and Hollywood glamour makeup. I looked all over for photos to inspire me and had a hard time finding anything that was close to what I imagined in my head – so you could say Pinterest was my “anti-inspo”. I’m sure everyone around me thought I was crazy and had no idea what the vision was, but they all trusted me, and it came together so flawlessly in the end – even after four sittings of trying to figure out the bouquets!!
How did the planning work? Really, I had two weddings being planned in my head: the original outdoor wedding and then the Charettefest. All in all, I took about a year to fully plan and bring it to life, but it was ultimately the final month that it all came together. It’s one thing to have all the pieces, but another thing entirely to have them all come together and work! The bridesmaids dresses were the hardest part to plan, I wanted each bridesmaid to have a dress as unique and beautiful as they are.
Due to COVID, my work in September was slow. And even though I ran two summer camps in August, I was able to make time for one piece a day – be it boutonnières, head piece, arch or hanging photos on a wicker privacy screen with fishing wire!
Advice for future couples? Don’t let the drama that comes with weddings get to you. It was all be worth it when the day comes! Stay true to you and your vision, and don’t feel like you need to do anything by the book. It’s your day! Make your wedding you!
Reception venue: Orchard Restaurant, Calgary
Photography: Sofia Katherine
Lighting assistant: Dylan Foster
Portrait location: Telus Spark Science Centre
After-party: SNAP Foto Club
Wedding dress: Ethos Bridal Group
Makeup: Smak Studios
Hair: French Braiding
Suit: Weddings by Eph Apparel
Mobile barber: Lyndon Byrd
See more real weddings here!