It was a beautiful spring day in Vancouver when Tara Mackay met Ash Shahrokhi for the first time. She was instantly drawn in by his confidence and masculinity, while he was captured by her laughter and eyes. They had been living in the same apartment complex when they bumped into each other, and both say it was love at first sight.
Jokingly, the first words Ash said to Tara were, “Will you marry me?” Even though she didn’t say “yes” right away – he would have to take her on a date first – that was the beginning of their relationship.
“TYING THE KNOT IN FRONT OF ALL OUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY WAS SUCH A SPECIAL MOMENT”
A little over a year later, Ash took Tara up in a helicopter ride flying through the Lions peaks along the North Shore Mountains of Vancouver, British Columbia. There, he asked for the second time, “Will you marry me?” This time, Tara happily exclaimed, “Yes!”
While the wedding planning process was an exciting journey for the couple, the big day arrived quickly. Tara woke up in her childhood bedroom of her parents’ house, jumping out of bed as if she were a kid on Christmas morning.
The weather was typical for Vancouver in September – rainy and windy – but it didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits. Bridesmaids soon started arriving to have their hair and makeup done, wearing matching robes and sipping champagne before heading to the ceremony at St. John’s Church.
“Tying the knot in front of all our friends and family was such a special moment,” Tara reflects. “I wouldn’t be telling the truth if I didn’t say it was a bit stressful having all the attention on us in a room you could hear a pin drop, but we did it!”
Almost miraculously, as the newlyweds were walking out of the church, the clouds parted and the sun came out. The following reception was held at an estate overlooking the Fraser River, Pacific Ocean, and the Vancouver Airport. Guests enjoyed cocktails and appetizers on the patio until waiters individually escorted everyone to their tables for dinner.
“The inspiration behind this meal was a return to retro-classic elegance,” explains caterer, Donna Wadsworth. “Think ‘French Bistro’ – abundant, hearty, and down-to-earth. They wanted food that was recognizable and approachable.”
The multi-course menu included a tomato shortcake, French greens salad with goat’s cheese, Dover sole, beef tenderloin, wild mushroom stuffed chicken, and a stunning parade of individual wedding cakes for each table. During the celebrations, guests were also surrounded by an elegant reception space with careful attention to detail.
“This day was about love, family, sophistication and elegance,” says wedding planner and designer, Philip Coppieters. “The color scheme showcased the richness and refinement of the setting. Cool shades of white and subtle bursts of color were used to enhance, rather than overshadow the old-world venue.”
Flowers were mindfully selected and grouped into harmonious arrangements, and exquisite draping provided a delicate, yet dramatic effect. “Both Ash and I could not have done it without our amazing team behind us,” says the bride. “We want to thank all of you for making it such a positive and hassle-free day.”
Ceremony Location: St. John’s Vancouver, Vancouver, Canada: Reception Location: Private Estate, Vancouver, Canada: Event Design and Planner: Living Design Decor, Vancouver, Canada
Floral Design: Flowers By Jean at Southland Farm Market, Vancouver, Canada
Wedding Dress: Zuhair Murad: Groom’s Attire: Harry Rosen: Bride’s Jewelry: Jim Turner Fine Gems, Vancouver, Canada; Rentals: Pedersen’s Event Rentals Vancouver, Canada; Tent: Phoenix Tent & Event Solutions, Vancouver, Canada; Chairs: Eclat Decor Vancouver, Canada; Caterer: Savoury City Catering, Vancouver, Canada; Cake: Cake By Nicole McEachnie Vancouver, Canada