Honouring First Nations culture

Brady and Alexandra tie the knot at the SLCC

Steeped in history and culture, the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre (SLCC) is one of Whistler’s most unique wedding venues. For Brady and Alexandra Smith planning their wedding  at the cultural centre was the first step, the second was ensuring their wedding celebration honoured First Nations culture.

“As CEO of the SLCC, it was really important for us to show support for our team so we chose to get married at the cultural centre,” Brady said.

The ceremony took place outside on the facility’s 7,000 sq. ft. deck, which floats into the forest, allowing guests a view of Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. Hydrangeas and white touches created an elegant modern decor for the intimate ceremony.

“Our ceremony incorporated everything we love as a couple from the mountain backdrop to the First Nations culture,” Brady said. “I told myself I wouldn’t blubber like a child and of course I did the moment I saw Allie coming down the aisle.”

The black tie event incorporated many pieces of First Nations culture including the post-ceremony champagne toast. Every glass of champagne was poured on top of a Xusum berry, a traditional First Nations berry used to celebrate and mark milestones.

After a few moments of mingling, the wedding party boarded a party bus along with photographer Alaina Michelle of Hera Films. As long-time Whistler locals, the couple took photos at meaningful locations important to their relationship.

“We went to Starbucks because it was a place where we both realized there was a spark between us,” Alexandra said. “We also went to a beautiful spot over Green Lake.”

Channeling the beauty and spirit of the Sea to Sky, the couple’s reception took place in the cultural centre’s Great Hall. White hydrangeas and silver sequined table clothes created a black tie atmosphere. Guests mingled among the stand-up food stations featuring an array of stunning First Nations-inspired food.

“Our favourite way to celebrate is to eat and drink and we wanted our wedding to have a very formal cocktail reception feel,” Alexandra said. “We wanted an elegant party where people could talk and mingle without being stuck in one spot the whole time.”

The canapés and hors d’oeuvres featured a gorgeous array of Seawise seafood, including authentic salmon cakes complimented with bannock, bison and venison. Brady said it was the perfect mix of high-end, healthy hors d’oeuvres.

“We kept all of the First Nations museum decor so we had this amazing culture entwined in our celebration. Members of the Squamish and Lil’wat First Nations served as our team and it was a proud moment because they did an absolutely fantastic job,” Brady said. “We’d like to see more weddings at the cultural centre with our in-house catering.”

Every wedding has its moments and for Alexandra it was her mom’s speech. As a child when she wondered what her adult life would be like, Alexandra’s mom would look at her and sing Doris Day’s famous song, “Whatever Will Be, Will Be.”

Decades later, she sang the same song as her speech. The future is not ours to see, but if their wedding is any indication, Brady and Alexandra’s days ahead will be full of love. Que sera, sera.

-BY: KIM VANLOCHEM