I had the pleasure of photographing Rachel & Mike’s beautiful wedding at the the Deer Lake Lodge in Lake Louise, Alberta and met an extraordinary wedding planner named Sharon Auld from Naturally Chic. The details — all hand-crafted in wood – blew my mind. I asked Sharon a few questions to help future brides who are planning their weddings in Banff or Lake Louise this year.
Q: Tell us more about your business?
Naturally Chic is a boutique wedding planning and design firm based in the beautiful Canadian
Rocky Mountains with a focus on bespoke, design and creative styling. We can handle everything from concept creation to design and planning, right through to producing the event.
We firmly believe that weddings should be personal and meaningful! We help couples determine their wedding style, define their vision and then produce weddings that are uniquely theirs. Weʼre known for creating really personalized and meaningful details for our clients. Itʼs so important to us that weddings be a reflection of the couple.
Q: Why Alberta?
We love natural, beautiful spaces and the beauty of the Rocky Mountains is unsurpassed! Many of the weddings we produce are actually in both Alberta and BC! Weʼre based in Alberta, but weʼre always open to other locations!
Q: What should couples know about getting married in the rockies before they embark
on planning their wedding?
Unless you live in the Rockies, itʼs a destination wedding for you and your guests! Destination weddings mean travel for you and your guests, and this means more planning logistics. Youʼll need to be super organized and make sure you have everything in place. You may have to scale back on what you bring out to the mountains too or source items locally so you donʼt overload your suitcase!
If your wedding is in a National Park there may be restrictions you need to be aware of. These restrictions are meant to preserve the natural beauty of the area and limit the impact of visitors to pristine areas. For example, if you are wanting an outdoor ceremony on Park land (not at a resort) you may be limited to a certain amount of guests and a standing-only ceremony. As well, you and all your guests will require a Park Pass. Itʼs a good idea to find out what these
restrictions are before getting too far along in the planning process.
If youʼre thinking you want a mountain wedding, really think about what this will mean and do your research before making too many plans. Weddings in the mountains can be an incredibly beautiful, memorable occasion, but they can be very different than a wedding in the city.
Q: What are your favourite venues in the area and why?
Iʼm a sucker for beautiful mountain lodges! Thereʼs just something so special about wood beams and cozy fireplaces set against a beautiful mountain backdrop. Emerald Lake Lodge is such an incredibly beautiful venue and one of my favorite places for weddings, but really there are so many fabulous places for a wedding in the Rockies whether you are wanting a intimate affair or a beautiful ballroom. Thereʼs something for everyone and thatʼs really what I love.
Q: What inspires you?
I am inspired by wonderful and creative people every day (like Christinaʼs beautiful
photography)! In relation to wedding design, I am inspired by the natural beauty of the outdoors and much of our design reflects that love of natural materials.
I am currently loving Scandinavian interior design as it is natural, simple and yet incredibly stylish at the same time. I love all sorts of art and design! Without meaning to sound cliche, there really is inspiration everywhere you just have to be open to see it.
Q: What do you love about weddings?
What I love most about weddings is just that is such a special time in a coupleʼs life together. Itʼs a special time with family and friends; being surrounded by all the people you love and who love you. There are defining moments in a personʼs memories and wedding is one of those times. I donʼt take it for granted and feel incredibly honored to be a part of such a special day.
Q: What advice would you give couples about choosing a wedding coordinator?
I hope that couples will look past all the pretty pictures and really connect with the wedding professionals they choose to have around them on their wedding day. Thatʼs not to say itʼs not important to connect with their work also, but for me personally, itʼs important that the client and I have a good working relationship and that they know that Iʼm really invested in their wedding day. If you surround yourself with good people and have a positive, mutually respectful relationship with them, theyʼll go the extra mile for you.