Sunshine Ranch wedding bridal party

Sunshine Ranch wedding in Horsefly: Minette + Florian

I had to wait to blog these photos from Minette and Florian’s Sunshine Ranch wedding in Horsefly for so long! The reason being this beautiful feature in Rocky Mountain Bride magazine. But now the waiting is over and I’m sharing it all!  😉

For our first meeting we met Minette and Florian in North Vancouver. They told us all about their vision for their wedding in Horsefly, BC near Williams Lake. The wedding venue was Florian’s childhood home: a ranch owned and operated by his parents who moved to Horsefly, BC from Switzerland in the early 90’s. The officially named Sunshine Ranch had already hosted several weddings (including the wedding ceremonies and festivities of Florian’s siblings) and the couple decided to continue the tradition. And to balance things out, they opted to have their engagement in Minette’s childhood environment: the Deep Cove area of North Vancouver.

Because of the distance between Vancouver and Horsefly, Jelger and I drove to the Sunshine Ranch two days in advance of the wedding. It turned out to be the best decision, because it was during the peak of the raging BC forest fires. Despite the many road closures and the Williams Lake area being surrounded by wildfires, Minette remained impressively calm. She posted frequent updates to her wedding website and kindly informed the guests on the best routes to reach the ranch, and ensured that it was perfectly fine. We got there safe and sound without too much delay, and were even surprised to find the air quality in Horsefly significantly better than in Vancouver. The smoky scenery did create some epic scenes though, check out this blog post to get a better idea.

Nothing was going to stop this wedding. Even when the forest fires urged Minette and Florian to change a few plans, they proved their resourcefulness time and time again. First, when the catering company informed them it couldn’t reach the ranch, Florian’s family took over and supplied all the food required straight from their own stock. And I do mean everything: meats, produce, bread… It was all there and best of all: homemade! Next the horse carriage turned out unavailable. No problem, some people got on the phone and Minette’s entrance to the wedding ceremony was fixed in no time. And even the smoky air made place for a beautiful clear blue sky on the day of the wedding. Amazing!

During the morning of the wedding day Minette and Florian got ready in rather different ways, haha. I enjoyed seeing Jelger’s photos afterwards. The guys had gone down to the river behind the ranch, to wash and shave in nature’s bathroom. Imagine that when getting married in the city! Meanwhile Minette and the girls had a chilled out morning in a nearby house from a dear family friend. And the house was extra special, because Minette and Florian are planning on buying it!

The first look took place in the backyard of their future home. Yay for first looks! I’m a big fan of them, maybe because we did one ourselves ;). Afterwards we strolled around the property and took fun bridal party and couple photos until it was time for the ceremony. I should mention that Minette and Florian and his family built the amazing aspen tree wedding arch on the ceremony site just for this wedding!

Once Minette and Florian had officially become husband and wife, the bridal party hopped on a bunch of motorcycles and cruised through the ranch lands. It looked like it came straight out of a movie.

For the cocktail hour the couple provided lawn games and the guests more than happily tried them out. Perhaps thanks to the lack of cellphone reception (therefore also no data). While challenging at first (definitely for me), it surprised me how much this helped everyone to stay present in the moment. For me it was a great “phone detox” experience.

Next, the reception started with the bridal party entering accompanied by the sound of rattling antlers. Speaking of antlers, the couple had decorated the entire venue with greenery and antlers, which they supplied themselves together with their friends. Minette, who’s an avid hunter, even got Jelger excited and shortly after our trip he applied for his hunting license. I believe it’s incredibly humbling to hunt for your own meat with respect for the animal. But I digress.

After the first speeches, we sneaked Minette and Florian out for a few sunset portraits. And our luck with the weather had persisted and treated us to gorgeous golden light. Additionally, it gave the couple a quick break from the festivities.

After the final heartfelt speeches, an epic dance party broke out. Jelger and I even joined in and partied until the wee hours, after we’d put our camera gear away of course. 😉

Minette and Florian, you guys shared so much with us and we’ll be forever grateful to have met you and to have been part of your day!

We can’t wait to come and visit you in your new home. <3


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