Pamela Martinez in conversation about planning her and her husband Eugene’s 1871 Berkeley Church wedding.
What was the best part of your wedding day experience?
It’s so difficult to pinpoint the best part of my wedding day. The whole day was a dream and I wish I could relive it all! But I must say, our ceremony space turned out better than I envisioned – with the light peering through the stained glass windows and the romantic semi-circle of garland, florals, lanterns and candles. It provided a perfect ambiance for our ceremony and vows.
What is the story behind your beautiful dress?
My mom and sister came dress shopping with me. I had envisioned myself in a long sleeve dress, but after several bridal appointments, a consultant at Kleinfelds pulled out my beautiful Maggie Sottero dress and I knew it was the one! It had the most beautiful lace and was so comfortable. I also loved the low back and long train.
What were some of the best decisions you made in planning your wedding and how did they materialize on the big day?
One of the best decisions we made was our venue. We loved the Berkeley Church and how much character it has. We were able to take advantage of all three levels of the Church including the courtyard. We had so many compliments from our guests of how awesome and different our venue was. Also, having Jennifer and Jenna of The Event Room there to co-ordinate our special day was so helpful in allowing us to be stress-free and able to enjoy the day!
How did you incorporate all the traditions and customs that are important to you into your wedding day?
As my husband is of Chinese decent, it was very important for us to incorporate a traditional tea ceremony on our wedding day. We were able to have our families take part in the tea ceremony just before our actual ceremony. We also had the traditional father/daughter dance and a non-traditional mother/son dance to a medley of popular songs, which was a surprise for me as well!
Your wedding album has beautiful and stunning day of wedding portraits from around the Berkeley Church. What was the process for achieving these beautiful photographs?
Rebecca of Wee Three Sparrows was our photographer and she was amazing! Aside from a few specific photos I wanted, we just explored the many areas of the venue and were able to get some beautiful shots. I love how the Berkeley Church has so many different rooms, which gave us a great variety of backdrops to create our wedding portraits.
What advice would you give a newly engaged couple?
My advice would be to try to enjoy the planning process as much as possible. I would suggest booking vendors and venue as soon as possible, and then slowly work on the smaller details over the course of your engagement so that it doesn’t become too stressful towards the end. Expect that things will not go as planned on your wedding day, but your guests won’t even notice! Following the advice of Jenna and Jennifer, take 5 minutes to yourselves after your ceremony to regroup and have a special moment as husband and wife!
What was the inspiration for having the long communal wedding tables at the wedding reception and what did you like about this choice?
I knew that I wanted to incorporate garland and lots of candles down the centre of the tables, so choosing the long communal wedding tables was something I didn’t want to compromise on. I love how seamless the design of the tables, decor and place settings turned out. In my opinion, this style of seating also allows for guests to interact more easily with each other.
What were some of the ways you kept the wedding design so beautifully thematically integrated and balanced?
I spent a lot of time deciding on every single detail of my wedding design. I tried to create a very romantic atmosphere, and the Berkeley Church was the perfect background for my vision. I choose soft, pale colours as reflected in the flowers and the bridesmaids dresses, and also incorporated gold accents for a vintage feel. Of course, tons of candles, twinkle lights and stage lighting were key to providing the perfect atmosphere. There were many things I was able to DIY such as our wooden table numbers, loose leaf tea favours, and menu cards. Also, our seating chart was completed using a gold mirror I owned, and The Event Room’s calligraphy – and it turned out amazing!
How would you describe the floral design for your wedding and how wa the result so successful ?
I would say my floral design would be described as soft and rustic. I wanted tons of lush, green garland I worked with Alexandra of Forever Wildfield who was able to make my vision come to life! She was able to provide budget friendly options while still providing the look and feel I wanted. I was especially happy with our ceremony flowers. I wanted to stay away from the typical ceremony flowers and do something a bit different. I loved how romantic and earthy the semi-circle of flowers and garland surrounded my husband and I. It was a perfect compliment to the beautiful stained glass windows.
Venue : Berkeley church
Photographer : Wee Three Sparrows
Decor & Styling : Pamela Martinez
Wedding day Co-ordination & Signage : The Event Room
Florals : Forever Wildfield