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{ Reality Wedding Story } A Mount Washington Wedding Day | Danielle & Justin


FinalTWR-VI-FW2012-RWS-DanielleJustin-Pic2JULY 9th, 2011 :: Mt. Washington Alpine Resort in Vancouver Island, BC

Photography by Karen Mckinnon Photography ( | Story by

Danielle and Justin are high school sweethearts that first began dating in grade eleven. Danielle admits, “Neither Justin nor I had ever expected to fall in love with our first boyfriend/girlfriend...” After they finished high school, Danielle decided to move away, but after only a few months they both realized they really didn’t want be apart. “Our lives were just not the same without each other.”

Danielle remembers the day Justin proposed to her at home: “Justin surprised me... I walked into our room... He met me at the door with the biggest smile on his face, and asked me to marry him! Of course, I dropped everything on the floor!” Danielle had dreamt of getting married many times but after eight and a half years together, she didn’t think it would be anytime soon. “I was very, very surprised! My husband has a real sense of humor, so I remember falling to the floor and saying, ‘please don’t be joking’, while crying and shaking with excitement. We were hugging each other, both laughing/crying and so excited! He finally said to me, ‘Is that a yes then? Do you want to try on your ring?’ I was so excited I had totally forgotten about the ring! It was a great moment and we both could hardly contain our excitement.”

Danielle and Justin have really been able to grow together since they met so young. Danielle loves Justin’s sense of humour and that he always has such a positive attitude. “He has such a loving personality.” Justin says Danielle has a great sense of humour too. He loves how much she cares and puts everything she has into everything she does. 

FinalTWR-VI-FW2012-RWS-DanielleJustin-Pic4Danielle and Justin set the date for July 9th, 2011, planning for a summer wedding. “Vancouver Island is such a gorgeous place in the summer.” For their venue, the couple chose the Mt. Washington Alpine Resort ( It had everything they were looking for. “The beautiful backdrop of the mountains and trees along with the amazing trails, lakes and ponds was a combination of everything we were looking for in a location.” Danielle remembers putting a lot of time and effort into planning every detail of the wedding. “We wanted to make sure the day involved our family and friends and that we made our day about celebrating our marriage. So we wanted to plan as much as we could so that we would be able to enjoy every moment of our wedding day and take everything in.”

FinalTWR-VI-FW2012-RWS-DanielleJustin-ADVICEWhen it came to choosing a wedding photographer, friends had mentioned Karen McKinnon Photography ( to Danielle and Justin, and when they saw her work they fell in love. “Karen has such an amazing and warm personality, not to mention she is very talented, so she made us feel very comfortable and confident that everything would go great on our wedding day. Karen was not only a wonderful photographer, but she was also responsible for a lot of advice that made our day run so smoothly!... We had a large amount of family there, and Karen [with assistant photographer – Jen Dodd] made sure no one was missed... Karen and Jen were able to capture all the moments that we did not necessarily get to see, our families, and all the happiness and excitement that Justin and I were sharing. It was very hard to choose pictures as we loved them all...”

Justin and Danielle’s vision for their wedding was simple, yet elegant, and so they went with a black and white palette. “We didn’t want the wedding colours to be busy or distracting...” Danielle admits she spent  many, many hours formulating their visions, ideas, and budget. Yet, for all of Danielle’s planning, there were still some surprises when the day arrived! “We planned the wedding for July thinking that we would have the sun, but it turned out that day was warm with some sun, but there was still a lot of snow at the mountain which was very unexpected. Who would have thought snow in JULY!! Everything worked out though and the snow made for an interesting backdrop.” 

FinalTWR-VI-FW2012-RWS-DanielleJustin-Pic3Then, the  flower truck from 5th Street Florist ( broke down on the way up to the mountain. But before the florists even had time to arrange the rescue of themselves and their bride’s flowers (they say they would’ve got those flowers to their client, no matter what it took!), Danielle’s hairstylist, Megan, from Roots ( happened to drive by and see the breakdown. Unknowingly becoming one of the heroines of the day, Megan pulled over, realized the situation, loaded her car full of the flowers, and carried on to the location and to her job of glamming up the bridal party. Crisis averted!

Danielle’s bridesmaids wore stylish, one-shoulder black satin dresses. Danielle had her makeup done by freelance makeup artist, Catherine ( They carried bouquets bursting with creamy white roses and hydrangeas and, in the bridesmaids’ bouquets, dark calla lilies. Justin and his groomsmen dressed in tuxes from Black and Lee ( The outside ceremony took place at 3:30 pm, under a canopy draped in white linens. The spectacular backdrop of snow peaked mountains and blue sky provided the ultimate wedding scene. 

Justin and Danielle were fortunate to have many supportive and helpful friends. Danielle’s was able to have her best friends and younger siblings (twins) in her wedding party. “My friend, Tara, was absolutely amazing. She was there for every single moment of planning, every meeting, and she was always one step ahead of things to make sure everything went perfect for us.” Danielle was also thankful when her friend, Jennifer, was able to come all the way from Florida!

Justin, as well, had both his best friends in his party. He makes special mention of his friend, Jason, who made sure that everything really came together on the wedding day. “We were both so lucky to have all the people in our wedding party with us that day and each one of them really contributed to making our wedding day and the moments leading up to it very special.”

Following the ceremony, a reception was held in the warm, cozy Raven Lodge. “We were certainly not disappointed with the food, and there were many options, that allowed us to select something that would suit all our family and friends... We were very lucky to have a talented and generous friend (Sandy) that was able to make us a spectacular cake. She makes the most delicious and beautiful cakes as one of her many hobbies. I had fallen in love with her red velvet cake, and I could not think of any other cake that I would want on our wedding day. My husband does not have a sweet tooth, but knows I do,  so he trusted my choice of cake,” says Danielle. The cake was three square layers, each wrapped in black ribbon. 

In lieu of wedding favours, Danielle and Justin decided to donate funds in honor of family members that had passed away due to cancer. 

“Justin and I loved everything about our wedding day, even though everything didn’t always go as planned! We just loved that we could share such a special day with all our friends and family and it really was the happiest day of our lives.”  

But, wait!  It wasn’t over yet!  “Karen knew that Justin and I had wanted to have some photos by the water, but we had been unable to do so because of the snow.  So she had a session after the wedding for us, which meant the world to us! It was such a great opportunity to really capture Justin and I together because we were so much more laid back and casual -  which is very much who we are.”

Everyone had told Justin and Danielle to really enjoy every moment of the wedding because it goes by so fast. Danielle said “Were they ever right! So our advice is to soak up every moment of that day in because it really is over before you know it.” ■


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