Ciara Watt knew she had the luck of the Irish on her side when a friend introduced her to future beau, Laurence Warriner, one night in Vancouver. After this chance meeting, the pair dined in true Vancouver style on their first date, with a romantic sunset picnic at the beach. Ciara admits she was nervous at first, but by their third date they ventured a little further abroad. Laurence “coincidentally” happened to be in San Francisco where half-Irish Ciara was performing in Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance. Laurence loved Ciara’s show and soon after, the couple began their own dance around the globe.
Two years later, Lord of the Dance led them both to Laurence’s native England, where he found a job as a videographer for the show, while Ciara worked in the company’s London office. After four years together, the globetrotting duo remembers feeling the pressure to tie the knot.“We went on a ton of European trips,” Ciara explains, “and every time we went away, people would expect us to get engaged, and they were so disappointed when we came home and we weren’t.”Laurence had a different idea, though, and on a rare weekend at home in August he put his plan in motion. After spending a sunlit day browsing vintage wares at Spitalfields Market, the couple returned home, where Laurence finally popped the question, sweeping his darling dancer off her feet for good. “My whole thing was that we’ve been travelling, but this is what every day will be like for the rest of our lives, and that’s what I want us to share,” he says.After moving back to Vancouver that February, the two were finally able to begin planning their wedding. With just seven months to go, they pledged to stay calm and DIY on. Laurence conjured up the vintage stationery designs, while Ciara looked to Etsy for Old World travel inspiration. Hailing from opposite sides of the globe, and with an equally worldly guest list, the pair wanted their day to reflect their passion for travel and their eclectic love story.In the end, the décor was as international as the guests’ backgrounds, a travel themed wedding with vintage suitcases and cameras brought home all the way from the winding streets of the London markets where the couple had wandered just hours before Laurence proposed. The event quickly became a family affair, with Ciara’s mother recruiting a team of friends to sew striking navy-blue table runners and make homemade jam for table favours. Laurence’s mother also brought in all of the family’s favourite English sweets for the candy table and hand-dried rose petals for confetti.The pieces all came together one sunny September afternoon, as 95 guests from around the globe gathered at Vancouver’s iconic Waterfall Building to watch Ciara and Laurence walk down the aisle. After the sweet ceremony, in a blur of congratulatory cheers and rose petals, the newlyweds and their wedding party were whisked around False Creek on a rented Aquabus, while their guests went on ahead to cocktail hour at Bridges Restaurant on Vancouver’s Granville Island. As Ciara recalls, “It was nice to have that cushion between the two [events], just with our closest friends. It let us take it all in a little bit.”Eventually, the stars of the show had to return to their fans, of course, but not without making a grand entrance. Each pair from the wedding party was announced by their own theme song, personally selected by Laurence. For the grand finale, Ciara and Laurence breezed into the Bridges dining room to the chorus of Chase and Status’s British dance hit “Blind Faith.” As a professional dancer, Ciara was no stranger to the crowd’s resounding applause, but for the groom, the moment was simply surreal. For one last injection of Irish spirit, Ciara took a break from her long lace gown, grabbed her sister Aisling and a troupe of friends from their Lord of the Dance days, and surprised guests with a highkicking rendition of one of their favourite show numbers.Between dances, guests dined on a crisp watermelon and feta salad, their choice of panseared halibut or beef tenderloin, and a creamy New York cheesecake with berries. This elegant feast was paired with a signature navy-blue martini, enjoyed along with the breathtaking mountain views from the restaurant’s expansive private patio.Surrounded by friends and family who had travelled from the United Kingdom and across Canada to share in their special day, it seems only fitting that for their first dance as husband and wife, Ciara and Laurence swayed to INXS’s sultry lyrics: “Two worlds collided and they could never tear us apart.”
Photographer D’Soleil Photography | Ceremony Venue The Waterfall Building | Reception Venue & Catering Bridges Restaurant | Bride’s Dress Justin Alexander 8558, from Sposa Wedding World | Bridesmaid Dresses Club Monaco | Hair Linda Palermo of DO Hair Studio 604-688-6106 | Makeup Chantale Walker of MAC Cosmetics | Groom’s OutfitBanana Republic | Bride’s ShoesNine West | Groom’s Shoes Aldo | Stationery The Printing House (printing of groom’s custom design) | Flowers Granville Island Florist | Cake Cupcakes by Laura Saunders | Disc Jockey Christian Behnke | Jewellery Grace Kelly Vintage, by Newbridge Silverware, Ireland | Bride’s Wedding Ring Dover Jewelry | Groom’s Wedding Ring Fame Diamonds | Officiant Marilyn Knipp | Transportation Classic Limousine