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So what does a jewelry designer wear to her own wedding?

Posted on August 29, 2014 by Christi York | 0 comments

Picture by Thomas Boyd

So I got hitched about 7 months ago. The quick backstory; I've never been married, never had kids, and met my husband when I was 42. He was 45, never been married, and never had kids as well. When you meet someone in your mid 40s and you know you want to be together, you don't mess around. We got married after 2 years together, on the second anniversary of our first date. 

We both agreed we wanted our celebration to be about the two of us joining together in a marriage, not about having a huge wedding and therefore we wanted a low-key, small event. 

We also both wanted to keep the event personal. Once I started the ball rolling on the classic cake, flowers, etc decisions, I realized that I had a huge pool of talent to draw from. People I know personally, local artisans who I have done markets and shows with for years! Our goal became to keep it as handmade and local as possible.

Once I had the dress colour nailed down (more on that later) I wanted to coordinate the flowers. I have a background as a floral designer, so this one was close to my heart. Years ago, I did an ethical trade show and I was set up next to Olla Flowers. I was really impressed with their dedication to sustainable and locally grown foliage and flowers, so I knew I wanted to work with them. They created some lovely, low centrepieces that were the perfect colours. We chose separate little square containers so we could give them away to our local guest at the end of the evening. And a simple hand held bouquet for moi.

Picture by Thomas Boyd

Picture by John McDermott

Martin (the mister) is a photographer, so he called up a friend who lives in Oregon to be the "official" wedding photographer. In addition, one of the other wedding guests in attendance was an award winning photographer. Let's just say it was a very well documented event.

Next decision; wedding favours. Because we got married at the "Top of Vancouver" revolving restaurant, which is quite a landmark here, we were initially thinking of getting some cute, kitchy snowglobes featuring this distinctive building in the skyline. But after thinking about if for a bit, it really didn't fit in with our "local artisan" theme at all (cheap, overseas mass-production). So we decided to go with gifts of a small woodblock print of our cat, Theo. It might seem an odd choice at first. But our cat is very much a part of our family - and one of our best friends (and wedding guest), Kris Brownlee (A Cagey Bee), had painted a portrait based on Theo a few years ago. She creates these resin coated woodblocks by hand and was also able to create a personalized paper description which was glued on the backsides of the artwork. She even specially wrapped them with vintage button finish. Such a nice touch and a perfect fit with our theme.

Since the mister is British, we did a second celebration luncheon in Nottingham after we wed. We took the Theo woodblock prints to England to give to our guests, and the photo above was taken there. Sure comes in  handy when your husband has a plethora of talented photographer friends from around the globe to choose from!




 handmade wedding vancouverCake? Who do I know who makes cake? Ah, yes! The Bake Sale, of course! I fell in love with their salted chocolate caramel cupcakes while selling at Got Craft a few years back. Martin and I both decided you could not possibly ask for a better flavour - so we had a salted caramel wedding cake. (With unicorns on top... long story). People are still talking about how good that cake was.


Whoah, wait, what about the dress?! I did the rounds of a few of the wedding shops and was sorely disappointed. I am not a meringue-floofy-white wedding dress type of lady. I didn't know exactly what I wanted, but I was leaning more towards what a typical bridesmaid dress would be - I wanted pattern & colour. Also, I had about a month to find a dress, so it was most definitely going to be "off the rack". Then I remembered Ric Yuenn. When I worked part time at Dream Clothing in Gastown, Ric had some of his dresses in the shop. His own shop was just a few doors down from Dream and he's been in business there for 20 years. I went to his shop and he picked out about 6 dresses in different style for me to try on. Some of them I never would have tried out, but damn he has a good eye! When I spotted the embroidered aubergine fabric of the dress I finally chose, I sucked in my breath - I LOVE this colour! It fit almost perfectly, Ric just took in the pencil skirt style at the sides a bit. And we added a light lavender wrap on top in case I got chilly. 

As for the groom, well men's choices always seem to be a bit more limited than ladies in the fashion department. Even if we knew any local, bespoke tailors, there was simply not enough time to get anyone to actually make him a suit. So we took a swatch of my dress fabric and went shopping. Luckily my man is one of those guys who knows what he wants when it comes to a suit (which was great because I had zero idea). He ended up purchasing a lovely suit at The Bay by British designer Ted Baker. Then we matched up a coordinating dress shirt and the he picked the perfect pocket square. Et voila!

Picture by Thomas Boyd

I may be a jewelry designer, but I'm no metalsmith. For our wedding rings, we turned to Jürgen Schönheit - a master goldsmith who has a studio on Granville Island for over 20 years, and, who happened to be our neighbour!

Here is Jürgen melting down the gold for our wedding rings.

Picture by Martin Gisborne

As forhandmade wedding vancouver jewelry my own jewelry - I left it to the last minute because I knew I could whip something up after all the other details were in place. Once I had the dress figured out, I knew I didn't want to wear any jewelry that was too "statement" because it would compete with the dress. So I kept it simple. I remembered some chandelier glass chain I had picked up in a vintage New York warehouse last year. The glass is lustrous and luminous - literally made to catch the light and shine. My dress had a retro vibe so I made a classic double strand necklace that would be undramatic and simply shine.

 For earrings, I chose some of my favourite vintage Swarovski "experimental" crystals. Very special crystals of which only 200 beads of this exact style and finish were ever made. They have an incredible fire, lustre and and an amazing multi-colour range -  they go with everything. (Pictures by me).

handmade wedding vancouver jewelry earrings

A sweet added bonus was seeing some of my lady-friends had specifically worn pieces of jewelry that I had created for them. (Aw!) Kellie had added a personal touch to her chalkboard locket necklace by hand lettering our wedding date and names onto it (very first photo, above). And Kris wore her linotype necklace with her initial "k" on it. 

Picture by Thomas Boyd

The afternoon/evening went great - we got insanely lucky with the weather (considering it was January in Vancouver) and found ourselves saying "I do" perfectly timed with a glorious sunset overlooking the city. Good times.

 Picture by Thomas Boyd
Olla Flowers
The Bake Sale
A Cagey Bee
Jürgen Schönheit
Thomas Boyd
John McDermott
Edmond Terakopian

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