Old-world glam Wedding at Hycroft Manor and Shaughnessy Restaurant
James and Kristine’s wedding at Hycroft Manor was a dream come true for the couple, who wanted a classic, romantic and intimate wedding – à la the dream-worthy weddings in Vogue magazine that had always captivated Kristine.
For any couple searching for a heritage house wedding venue in Vancouver, Hycroft Manor ticks all the boxes. The Edwardian mansion dates back to the early 1900s (more on that later!), and any wedding at Hycroft Manor reflects this rich history through an amazing sense of elegance and grandeur imparted to the occasion by this beautiful Vancouver events venue. The gorgeous gardens and terrace were perfect for James and Kristine’s intimate wedding ceremony – but the green conservatory, with floor-to-ceiling emerald-green tiles and exquisite stained glass windows, was a favourite spot for us as we explored Hycroft Manor while photographing the bride and groom.
Amazingly, Kristine had seen an image of Hycroft Manor on Pinterest years before meeting James and was struck by its beautiful terrace with high pillars facing a garden. She was shocked to discover that the location of that building was so close to home, and kept it mind for her future “Vogue” wedding in Vancouver. So, when she and James came to view Hycroft Manor as a wedding venue, it didn’t take long to decide know that this was exactly where they wanted to have the ceremony for their wedding! And, as a perfect contrast, the couple chose the relaxed but elegance ambiance of the Shaughnessy Restaurant as the venue for their intimate Vancouver wedding reception.
Scroll down for more on the history of Hycroft and Kristine’s wedding day inspo…
The history of Hycroft Manor
Owned by the University Women’s Club of Vancouver (UWVC), Hycroft Manor in the heart of Shaughnessy is a “home away from home” for members and guests – with its original interior, terrace, and walled garden beautifully preserved.
Hycroft Manor was first built for Alexander Duncan McRae – a leading businessman and politician in Western Canada – and construction of the Thomas Hooper-designed building started in 1909 and finished in 1911. In addition to the present house and coach house, there were also stables, a swimming pool, an Italian garden, a tea house, pergolas, statuary, and a children’s playhouse. Hycroft soon became the centre of Vancouver’s social scene with legendary parties and New Year’s Eve masquerade balls.
In 1942, during the Second World War, the McRae family had grown and left. Hycroft was donated to the Federal Government for one dollar for use as a convalescent hospital for war veterans. Then, in 1962, the five-acre property was subdivided and the stables were demolished. The UWCV bought part of the estate and spent five years restoring it. After being empty and unheated for two years, raccoons had taken up residence and the house interior was a mess. The grass was waist high and blackberry vines were growing through the walls. The beautiful heritage house wedding venue and amazing gardens at Hycroft today reflect the incredible work of Club members since 1963.
Q&A with the bride
Page & Holmes: Tell us how the overall look and feel of your wedding came together?
I have always been in awe of the incredible weddings in Vogue, but I wanted to capture the essence of it on a much smaller scale. Classic, romantic and intimate. The color palette consisted of mainly white, soft champagne-gold accents, and touches of soft green. Hydrangeas were the focal element of our floral arrangements, [with] roses secondary, baby’s breath, silver dollar and seeded eucalyptus for the texture. Chiavari chairs, gold vintage tableware and warm candle lights. And lastly, to top it off, a playlist of old classics, my favourite. These were the key elements to the design of our intimate Vogue-inspired wedding.
Page & Holmes: What drew you to pick your venue and the location of your wedding?
I’ve always been a fan of European architecture. There is so much thought and effort put in. Years before James and I met, I remember seeing an image of a beautiful terrace with high pillars facing a garden as I scoured Pinterest designing my pre-empted non-existent wedding. I thought it would be such a beautiful place to have a ceremony. As I investigated deeper, I found out that the location of that building was here in Vancouver. I was shocked. There aren’t many, if any, buildings that look like that in the city. I kept it in my memory box through the years.
Wedding planning started and it was time to view some wedding locations. I had my ace card ready and the location of that image from years ago was at the very top of my list. James and I made an appointment for a viewing. To say the least, I was very excited.
We took a winding, hidden road on the brow of a hill in Shaughnessy and turned to the front gates of the Hycroft Manor. It felt a little bit like arriving at a secret garden mansion like in the old-time movies. We were kindly given a tour of the entire manor. The Hycroft Manor is a 107-year-old Edwardian mansion. It is grand in scale both outside and in. Straight from the front entrance of the manor we walked right to the terrace with grand iconic columns and adjacent to it was a Juliet balcony and a beautiful garden.
On the inside were rich wood panels, marble mantles, and Italian tilework beneath ornate gold chandeliers in bedrooms, dressing rooms, and solarium upon solarium. From the wallpaper to the curtains to the beautiful gardens, each part of the Hycroft has a story. As the tour ended and we stepped outside, James and I looked at each other and knew immediately that this was exactly where we wanted to have the ceremony for our wedding.
For our reception, I wanted a contrast from our ceremony. From cool marble mantles to warm wooden pillars. A relaxing ambiance and elegance. We found a spot that offered exactly those two things, along with charming modern vistas that made it the perfect setting for our dreamy reception. The Shaughnessy Restaurant reflected old-world charm. It had three locations within its restaurant to accommodate a wedding, but what caught my eye was the big, open wooden terrace that overlooked the beautiful Vandusen Gardens. The terrace perfectly complemented the all white and soft champagne design that I had in mind. Votive and floating candles at every table, double taper vases with big, white, blooming floral arrangements for the centerpieces, vintage gold tableware, white drapery and gold Chiavari chairs were the elements of our reception.
The head table had a bit of a special touch: a low floral arrangement that consisted of the same white blooms that we had sprinkled throughout the wedding, but with stems of hanging white Phalaenopsis orchids spread out over the front. The wedding was engulfed with white flowers and warm candlelight. It was absolutely the perfect dreamy wedding I hoped for.
Page & Holmes: Tell us about your wedding day fashion and beauty looks. Did you have a style inspiration?
As cliches go, I knew one thing: this was the only time in my life where I could dress as a princess. I wanted something feminine and delicate. My wedding dress featured crystal- and pearl-beaded, embroidered lace appliqués on a soft net A-line silhouette with a satin waistband. Accompanied by a three-meter cathedral wedding veil with comb white lace edge and ivory appliques. My dark, long hair was styled in big, soft curls and parted to the side. I wore stud earrings, a diamond tennis bracelet my mother wonderfully gifted me on the day of the wedding, and a handmade stunning pair of wedding flats, adorned with gorgeous silver-toned rhinestones. My makeup was soft, dewy, youthful and glowy. I felt exactly like I’d wished for; a princess on my wedding day.
Page & Holmes: What was the most memorable part of the day?
We had our wedding in the middle of the pandemic. Having the opportunity to make our wedding happen amidst it all and being able to share it with our closest friends and family made our entire day incredibly special. It also helped that the sun decided to come out for us that day in the middle of a rainy week! Every single minute was memorable and we will cherish it for the rest of our lives.
For more “garden glamour” take a look at Mac and Kelly’s wedding
THESE AMAZING VANCOUVER WEDDING VENDORS MADE JAME’S AND KRISTINE’S DAY POSSIBLE: