Stylized Wedding at RiverCross Ranch

April 8/2016 By: Kolby Meyers

We love a good styled shoot but this one makes us want to jump in our cars and head to the nearest ranch! This stunning shoot by CBA member Boutiq weddings & events is just too stunning for us not to share. What a simple yet stunning setting that we are just in love with!

Enjoy this beautiful shoot!

Here is a look at our stylized wedding at RiverCross Ranch. Introducing our lovely bride, Tara wearing a beautiful gown from Novia Mia, a stunning head piece created especially for this shoot by Capelio and her jewelry is from Blackburn Jewellers and Stella and Dot. Tara is holding a bouquet designed by Flowers by Janie. Tara’s makeup was done my Emily Satnik Makeup Artist and her hair was styled by Shauna Mohaney.

And our handsome groom, Mark who is wearing casual yet elegant clothes from Espy and a boutonniere designed by Flowers by Janie.

The ceremony decor was by one of the fields on the ranch, decorated with white fabric to add softness  to the gate and the chandelier added some elegance to the atmosphere. The seating were hay bales covered with horse blankets and adorned with lanterns.

It was a beautiful day and we all really enjoyed working with Tara and Mark. A special thank you to Angela of AJ Photography who came down from Edmonton to photograph our creations and, to RiverCross Ranch for opening their house to us and for being so welcoming. And, of course, to all the amazing vendors who helped make our ideas into a reality. Amazing memories!



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Chair Flair

RiverCross Ranch

AJ Photography

Blackburn Jewellers

Modern Pulp Design Studio

Novia Mia


Flowers by Janie

Emily Satnik Makeup Artist


Sheena Mohaney/Hair

Cakes in Vogue

Vintage Loved

Great Events

CBA Vendor Series – Summer 2014: Shannon Valente Weddings

Summer is officially over, and wedding season has begun to wind down. Many of our vendors have worked long days, sacrificing time with their families and friends, missing out on summer vacations, barbecues and lazy days by the pool, all to make a living doing what they love.

Over the next month the CBA is going to be focusing on some of our most passionate Calgary wedding vendors and what they’ve been up to this summer! Last week we spoke to Tara Whittaker of Tara Whittaker Photography. Next up: Calgary Wedding Planner Shannon Valente of Shannon Valente Weddings.

CBA: Can you tell us a little bit about what you have been up to this summer? What were some of the highlights? 

Shannon: We had an amazing summer at Shannon Valente Weddings. Lots of fun couples this year that took us all over Calgary, Heritage Park, Devonian Gardens, the mountains, we even had a circus wedding! I have also been busy working on a DIY wedding workshop with two of my favourite wedding vendors, coming November 8th.


Photo credits: Lysha and Shaun wedding – Anna Michalska Photography


CBA: As a wedding planner, you give up so much every summer to plan other people’s dream wedding’s. What makes it all worthwhile?

Shannon: Knowing I helped to make to make an already special day that much more special. Each couple I work with is so unique and means so much to me. I love watching the day unfold through their eyes and the joy it brings. It’s crazy but even after 8 years of doing weddings I still get misty eyed, I just love them.


CBA: Can you give a few tips to recently engaged couples that are currently on the lookout for a planner?

Shannon: Don’t just base your decision on price, choose a planner that meshes well with your personalities and style, you will be spending a lot of time together, it’s an important day and an important decision, so find someone that you love!

Even if you can’t (or think you can’t) afford a planner, at the very least hire someone for day of coordination (it’s one of our specialties!). You don’t want to have to worry about all the little things on your big day and you certainly don’t want to have to put your friends and family to work. So many couples tell me, after the fact, that they couldn’t have done it without me. The truth is you don’t ‘need’ a wedding coordinator/planner to get married but you sure will enjoy the process and your day WAY more if you do! And Isn’t that what it’s all about?


CBA: What’s your 2015 season looking like so far? Do you still have openings?

Shannon: 2015 is stacking up to be a fantastic year! I’ve come up with some super fun themes for some of our couples that I can’t wait to share. August and September are proving to be our busiest months again in 2015, we still have availability for full planning in the other summer months, later fall and winter and quite a few wedding day coordination spots available.


Why You Need to Hire A Wedding Planner – A Recently Married Girl’s Perspective

I know that we’re always going on about how you should hire a wedding planner, and that some of you still aren’t convinced. That’s why I’ve decided to share my own first-hand experience with you.

I got married on July 5th in the Okanagan and let me tell you, if I didn’t have a planner the day would have been a disaster (and I’m sure I don’t even know half the things that she had to deal with). As someone who loves weddings and works in the industry, I put a lot of thought and detail into our special day. Details are great, but they mean that there is also a LOT of work to do in order to pull everything off. I would have been stressed from the get-go. Our florist was WAY behind schedule (I’m talking mid-photos pre-ceremony and we still had no bouquets or boutonnieres). We also had a complicated floral arch piece that needed to be set up prior to the ceremony which didn’t arrive until about an hour before. And this is just one example. This day was a full-on production.


Nicole with her assistant at one of my favourite Created Lovely Weddings, featured in Style Me Pretty Magazine

While we were shooting our first look and couple photos, (I was in complete relaxation mode this whole time, without a worry in the world), I remember glancing down the row of trees in the orchard and seeing our planner’s assistant sprinting across the lawn at full speed. I also remember that as I casually strolled into the ceremony with a nice subtle tan, I stopped to speak to our planner who was looking a little frazzled and exhausted (in a very professional and cute way of course), and who, after bringing me sunscreen and water throughout the day, had forgotten to put any on herself and was completely sunburnt. I remember thinking man these girls work HARD! while feeling more than a little guilty that they were working their butts off while I had the time of my life.

Our planner Nicole Sihlis of Created Lovely Events is truly amazing at what she does. Every person at our wedding was impressed with her work. I’ve never seen groomsmen listen so intently to someone. She had an authority, without being pushy (which is impressive, considering she’s so tiny). Not only was she great at organizing everything and making sure the day went smoothly, she ran the entire rehearsal – and let me tell you – the girl knows her stuff. Bouquets to the belly button, no gum, ties straight, groomsmen’s hands left over right (NO hands in pockets!), bridesmaids on the left, groomsmen on the right. I’ve been to rehearsals without a planner and not only were they unorganized, no one really knew what they were supposed to do. With a wedding party of 17 (3 flower girls, 6 groomsmen, 6 bridemaids and 1 bride and groom), things would have been chaos without Nicole.


This photo (taken by family) brought a smile to my face. Look at those handsome groomsmen with their matching hands 😉 I told you Nicole had authority!

After my experience I will recommend hiring a planner to every single person I know. Nicole wasn’t just around on the day to take over and relieve my stress, she was there whenever I had a question. Our wedding (with 125 guests) was below the average Canadian budget of $32,000, yet we still managed to hire a planner for day-of coordination. If you think they’re too expensive, trust me, it’s the best money you will ever spend. As a bride you take all of the time to plan this amazing day, spending thousands of dollars on everything – it doesn’t make sense to skip on a planner who will make sure that everything falls into place and goes the way you want it to. It would be like putting on a big theatre production without hiring a stage manager!

I would like to finish by thanking Nicole and her team for doing an absolutely wonderful job. They made my wedding dreams come true and the only thing I had to complain about all day or night was my  incredibly sore feet from dancing too hard. It was truly the perfect day and we couldn’t have done it without them. Take my word for it. HIRE A PLANNER.