2018 Esprit Award Series: Best Wedding
Thursday, August 22, 2019
The ILEA Esprit Awards program is a dynamic industry awards program, attracting an exceptional range, depth and quality of entries from all areas of live and special events. The 2018 Esprit Awards Gala was held at ILEA Live on Friday, 17 August 2018, in Denver. There were 36 different categories and over 45 winners. For the past year, ILEA Experience has been showcasing these recipients and their award-winning events.
The 2019 Esprit Award nominees were announced in May of this year, and the recipients were announced at the 2019 annual event in Minneapolis. Take a look at the recipients and their outstanding events here.
Best Wedding (under $75,000 USD)
Capturing Romance in Lake Louise
Recipient: Amy Nelson, Lynn Fletcher Weddings
This international couple wanted a stunning wedding with world-class impact, and with the couple being half a world from one another, and from their dream wedding location in Lake Louise, during the planning, it required exceptional management of the unique challenges presented by long distance planning to make their dreams a reality. With the groom working in Toronto and the bride stationed in Shanghai, as well as family who wanted to be very involved in the planning but who did not speak English, every conversation or decision to be made required logistical strategy to manage time zones for conversations, technology connectivity for Skype calls, email communications drafted in a way that could help to mitigate language barriers and the larger and most important task of keeping the couple aligned, connected, positive and productive despite the stress inherent in planning a wedding this way. Although the wedding itself was small in size, just 37 people in attendance, the complexities of travel and transport, translation and communication, and the additional attention to every detail that an event of this intimate size creates, the task of planning remained significant. Cultural expectations and sensibilities had to be considered at all stages of the planning, both those of the bride and groom, but also of the more traditional parents. Additionally, the level of detail and specificity inherent in the couples’ personalities, most specifically the groom, meant no assumptions could be made, even around the most common and traditional elements of the wedding planning process. We weren’t just tasked with producing a perfect wedding, we were also enlisted to plan, manage and deliver a high value production including multiple photo and video shoots over three days involving multiple locations, wardrobe changes, helicopters and ground transport.
Best Wedding ($75,000 - $150,000 USD)
Boho Meets Soho
Recipient: Kristin Banta, Kristin Banta Events
Reflective of the couple’s love for the Soho House, their passion for yoga and their bohemian spirit, this intimate wedding at Ojai Valley Inn and Spa featured a palette of white with greenery complemented by pops of apricot and turquoise, textures of wood and brass and muted patterned sarongs. Starting with a spiritual ceremony on the 17th hole overlooking the Topatopa Mountains, guests then journeyed to the back garden of Casa Elar for cocktail hour to enjoy Ojai's infamous spiritual “Pink Moment” wherein the mountains emit a magical amaranthine glow, followed by a romantic al fresco poolside dinner. The night culminated with an after party at the Big Red Barn, featuring a special unplugged performance by a known reggae band which took place from an MTV-inspired “musician’s lounge.”
Best Wedding (Over $150,000 USD)
Recipient: Lynn Fletcher, CSEP, Lynn Fletcher Weddings
With billowing chiffon, abundant florals, sumptuous furniture and rose-gold gilded details, this exquisite wedding on the shores of Lake Okanagan was inarguably opulent. But at its heart, this celebration was all about home and the bond of family. The planning process itself needed to be an exceptional experience. The family is well known for hosting grand events and had 225 VIP guests to impress. No detail was overlooked in making sure every guest was welcomed as family and partied well into the wee hours of the morning. Creativity was required to accommodate a large guest list on property, set abundant catering offerings and mitigate traffic and noise restrictions, as well as load-in/out challenges of a residential community. Every area of the property was used and transformed (sometimes twice during the evening) to accommodate the guest movement and programming elements. The yacht club was rented next door and a gap in the fence was cut out among the trees for guests to arrive through. To begin, guests were whisked to the lakeside “backyard” … a floor was built over the pool in order to merge and house a variety of seating styles and layouts over what would become the dancefloor later in the evening. After the ceremony, all guests were whisked to the street side of the property for speeches and a mobile feast strewn along the winding drive. Catering was staged in the garage behind a draped wall while seating, bars and food stations were peppered through the space. A banquet tablescaped area around the beloved Buddha statue accommodated the bride’s dream of having this formal component to her wedding despite its nontraditional location. Once dinner was over on the street side, guests were invited back to the lakeside where the area had been transformed to reveal yet more food, opulent lighting in the tent and a dance band to rival any in the country set on 12-foot scaffolding built on the beach just off the property line.
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