Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft

Love Story

It's not your typical tale - it began in a McDonald's, of all places! In a moment of playful humor, Sarah boldly proclaimed to Nathan that they were “dating and thinking of wedding bells soon”. Little did they know that this lighthearted joke would one day become a beautiful reality.

For the past 12 years, Sarah and Nathan have journeyed together through the highs and lows, weaving a tapestry of cherished memories. They have explored the world hand-in-hand, venturing to over 25 countries, and immersing themselves in new cultures. Their love for travel knows no bounds, always embracing spontaneity, booking last-minute flights, and chasing after trains. Their adventurous spirits have become the foundation of their relationship.

When Nathan and Sarah were still friends, they made little paper rings for each other. Nathan cherished that little ring and, 12 years later, surprised her with it during the proposal. How romantic is that?

“It felt straight out of a Disney movie. Nathan reserved the entire Villa just for us. He took my hand and brought me up to the balcony under the arches. That's where he got down on one (and then the other one),” recalls Sarah, “I said YES to a lifetime of making memories, I said YES to booking last minute flights, I said YES to chasing trains, I said YES to living this fairytale together, I said YES to staying up all night laughing, I said YES to adventure, I said YES to fun, I said YES to living a life in colour together.”

Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo

Their wedding took a year and a half to plan, and every second was worth it. They had 41 guests, closest friends, and family, to celebrate the big day with them.

Sarah says, "I always dreamed of getting married under a willow tree. We found the perfect willow tree across the country in BC and decided to take that as the perfect sign to do a destination wedding there."

When asked about the moments they will definitely remember, the bride shares, “Right before dinner, Nathan and I got to go on the terrace and see the dinner set up for the first time, it was just the two of us, and the song "You are in love" by Taylor Swift was playing and everything was so beautiful and perfect. And I was just screaming and running around and Nathan and I were spinning around and it was just magical. I wish I could relive that moment or bottle that moment up.”

Morning details

Their big day kicked off with the most elegant invites from Empress Stationary. Sarah's engagement ring? A custom piece of art from Halifax. And that special touch? “I had my grandmother's cross on my bouquet.”

Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo

Bride getting ready

"I got a custom Martina Liana wedding dress, from the store that I work at Chester & Felicity," Sarah beams. "My mom, Nathan's mom, Nathan's sister, and one of my best friends Chelsea flew in from Ottawa to come to my appointment. All my girls from Chester were there and one of my best friends Katie from Halifax all came to support me at my bridal appointment. The Chester girls brought in some dresses I had never seen before for the appointment, but I had my heart set on the one I chose. And I still love that dress more than anything in the world."

Expressing eternal gratitude to their florist, Sarah screamed with excitement, “I LOVEEEEE MY FLORIST!!! She went above and beyond for us. We talked to so many florists who told me my vision was impossible. and Justyna Floral made my dreams come true. I went with mostly white and cream florals with touches of blush.”

Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo

Groom getting ready

Nathan got ready at the Van Dusen Botanical Gardens, wearing a sleek tuxedo from Duggers. His groomsmen were there, hyping him up for the big moment. They shared a lot of laughs and a bit of nervous excitement.

Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo

Ceremony

Their first look was traditional, with Sarah walking down the aisle. "I had a million first thoughts when your walk/music first started: about how surreal it was that it was finally real and excitement that the moment was actually happening. When I first saw you, my first thought was I couldn't believe how impossibly lucky I am to have you, and how impossibly beautiful you looked," Nathan recalls, his voice filled with emotion

Sarah's eyes light up as she says, "It was the best moment of my life. So happy that everything came together so perfectly and he looked so handsome. And I was so excited to finally marry my best friend."

Their ceremony at Van Dusen Botanical Gardens was everything they dreamed of. Walking down the aisle to 'I See the Light' from Tangled was like a scene from a movie. “Nathan did a reading from Boy Meets World," which added to the whole atmosphere.

Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo

Photoshoot after the ceremony

"We had a photoshoot in the mountains a few days after the wedding," Sarah says.

Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo

Wedding Venue & Decor

Their color palette was “cream and blush," says Sarah. "The willow tree, Hycroft is an old manor with a beautiful terrace that gives the vibe of a castle.” Every detail felt like it was straight from a storybook.

Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo

Reception

Their first dance was to 'God Gave Me You' by Blake Shelton. The night was filled with joy, from spicy margs to their beautiful wedding cake by Oh Sweet Day.

Sarah concludes, "I had such an incredible experience with every single one of our vendors, everyone seemed so excited to be a part of that day."

Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Under the Willow Tree: The Magical Journey of Sarah & Nathan at Van Dusen Botanical Garden and Hycroft photo
Wedding Team
  • Photographer Blush Wedding
  • Video @deardarlingfilms
  • Venue Van Dusen Botanical Garden
  • Venue Hycroft Manor
  • Florist @justynafloral
  • Hair @hairbytaylorbartel
  • Makeup @jezzkov
  • Rentals @siecollectionyvr
  • Music @timelessmusic.entertainment @jzecrew
  • Day of coordinator @ericavanwyk12
  • Dress @chesterandfelicity
  • Robe @wlegacydesigns
  • Cake @oh_sweet_day @elenahonch.wed
  • Officiant @vanofficiant

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