‘To raise a child,
who is comfortable enough to leave you,
means you have done your job.
They are not ours to keep, but to teach how to soar on their own.’
Event Planning by Alicia Keats | Event Photography by Yaletown Photography
Last year, we had the honour of planning a family ceremony that marked the transition of the children leaving the family home by celebrating their past and their future. This one of a kind event took place at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia in the Spanish Ballroom, Janice and her three children, Emily, Taylor, and Aaron, enjoyed an extravagant evening with their most important people.
To set the stage for the evening, guests began the evening by being escorted into the ballroom for the Family Ceremony. I decided that a circular ceremony would be fitting for the celebration, so that Janice and her children would be surrounded on all sides by their loved ones during the ceremony. Marcia from Modern Celebrant created a personalized ceremony that was filled with personal meaning. Flowerz created four ‘entrances’ to the circle where each family member would make their entrance. The circle was also representative of a nest, as the ceremony marked the transition of Janices’s ‘little birds’ leaving the nest and going on to their next chapter of their lives. The colour scheme of red, black, and gold were not only expressive of the joy, strength, richness, and love that Janice and her family share for each other and those in their lives but also of their bold sparkly personalities.
In addition to programs, created by Love by Phoebe, set on each chair explaining the ceremony, each guest was given a feather – a symbol of transition. At the end of the ceremony, guests were asked to place their feathers into a clear vase to send their love and good wishes to the family. Janice would keep this vase in their family home as a reminder of the love and support surrounding the family as they move into this next chapter of their relationship with one another.
Proceeding the ceremony, guests moved into the foyer for cocktail hour. Reminiscent of the hotel’s beginnings in the roaring 1920’s, Janice wanted the cocktail hour to be glamorous and incorporate Art Deco touches. Set at the entrance to the foyer, guests signed a framed collage of pictures of the family printed in black and white. As the music from the Company B Jazz Band filled the room, guests socialized while resting their cocktails on hi top tables dressed in gold sequin linen or while seated on circular black velvet couches. The circular bar was placed in the centre of the room set against a gold and black geometric back drop that beckoned back to the luxurious, decorative, and progressive style that was and is Art Deco. From the décor by Koncept to the beauty of the historic Rosewood Hotel Georgia, every detail was thought out to carry on a timeless aesthetic. During the cocktail hour, guests visited Adam and Kev’s Portrait Guest Book station. Koncept created a ‘living room’ set for the portrait station and hung actual childhood photos of Janice’s children on the backdrop. It was a sweet touch to bring Janice’s living room to the Hotel Georgia.
While the cocktail hour was in progress, the Spanish Ballroom was reset for dinner and the afterparty. Each of the long tables had a luxurious cushioned chair with red and gold damask fabric at the head to call attention to the idea of the family dining table. Tables were set with black velvet linen punctuated by gold ‘reef’ chargers, red satin napkins, tall floral arrangements in silver vases and a plethora of pillar candles on silver and gold antiqued holders.
As huge animal lover and advocate (and vegan herself), it was important to Janice that the evening be vegan. Hotel Georgia worked with us to create a yummy custom menu to make any meat eating person consider veganism. Janice spoiled her guests with personalized gifts on each place setting. After heartfelt speeches and happy tears, the guests enjoyed the rest of their evening dancing on a custom dance floor to the music by DJ Pri and relaxing in the lounge eating vegan treats and cookies created by Letterpress Bakery that were decorated with things that the family held dear such as Harry Potter and their family pug. The vegan poutine bar was also not to be missed. After dancing and celebrating into the early hours of the morning, the guests made their way upstairs for an informal sleep over. The evening truly encapsulated Janice’s motto – ‘Celebrating beauty – in all its forms – is what makes life worth living.’ Thank you to Jayna Marie for hair and make up and Alison at Manuel Mendoza for the custom dresses for Janice and Taylor. It was an honour to work with her in bringing her vision to life and to see the love and support around this family as they celebrated the start of the next chapter in their lives.