By Stacy Wyatt, alex.canadianspecialevents.com
It was nothing less than spectacular and exactly what we would expect to experience when POP Kollaborative’s CEO Ken Kristoffersen wed his long time love Valter Maciel on December 15, 2013 at the Telus Convention Centre in Calgary, AB. The date was specifically chosen as the “Holiday Event Season” in Calgary officially ended on Saturday, December 14th. This allowed for all industry colleagues, suppliers and clients to turn the wedding party into a year-end wrap up celebration.
From the moment you stepped off the escalator, the elegance began to emerge and the excitement of what lay beyond the glowing glass and candle lit entrance way beckoned guests to want to sneak in early.
In a very unique and creative twist to space design, the entire affair took place in a glass walled foyer outside one of the convention centres main ballrooms. The room itself, awash in a palette of silvers, greens, light and glass, is long and slender and in order to create seamless flow, food stations, bars, unique and luxe seating pods were dotted from the entry way all the way to the back of the room.
The design was the brainchild of Decor & More, Canada’s most awarded decor and design firm and also close friends of the grooms. Stefani Dunn and Sara Downing, Event Designers worked round the clock to convert the space, on the heels of three massive holiday events the previous day to ensure that the room was ready for 5:30 when the who’s who of the international event world would arrive.
The couples signature VK logo, was integrated into everything from the wedding invitation to the entrance way, where it was etched into a collection of mirrors, glowing candles and glass frames. Just inside the entry the wedding ceremony and performance stage was simple and elegant and backed by a wall of colored light waves. As one continued into the room, the feeling of luxe and glamour literally came to life. Rather than the traditional plated sit down dinner and row seating, all guests were assigned elaborately designed enviroscapes for them to sit in during the ceremony and then they were encouraged to mingle throughout the evening. Rich tones of colors and crystals were showcased in small pods of loungers, high back chaises’, long family style tables and enchanting collections of unique and intimate seating areas.
The event space was designed in such a way that close and quiet conversation could exist three feet from a loud group of mingling guests and neither would notice. It was absolutely brilliant in design. The most stunning spectacle of the night was the wall of chandeliers which graced the left side of the room from entry to exit.
The hour long reception prior to the 7:00 p.m. wedding was serenaded by the soulful performance of child guitar prodigy Harry Grimwood-Knight and it went by in a blink as the fabulous guest list began to reveal itself. Notable names like Debbie Meyers – Bravo Entertainment (Dallas), Audrey Gordon – Audrey Gordon Events (Chicago), Ruth Moyte – Red Dandelion Creative (San Diego), David Merrell – An Original Occasion (Los Angeles), Stacy Wyatt – Canadian Special Events (Toronto), Leslee Bell – Decor and More (Toronto/Calgary) arrived in style. Special messages continued to arrive throughout the evening from guests unable to attend including Andrea Michaels, Extraordinary Events (Los Angeles, California) / Sally Webb, The Special Event Company (Raleigh, North Carolina) / Steve Kemble, America’s Sassiest Lifestyle Guru (Dallas, Texas).
Close family and friends came from around the world to share the special day with Ken and Valter including Valter’s sister (Rio de Janeiro,), Ken’s cousins (Drobak, Norway) and the most special guest of the evening, Ken’s 91 year old grandmother who flew in from Vancouver.
The elegant ceremony, led by hosts Robert Sharp and Jake Leiske was dotted with humor, laughter, a few happy tears, and interspersed with soulful ballads each symbolically chosen by the couple and performed to them, on stage by their favorite artists. Jake, who is also POP team member reunited with her former band Farmers Daughter for the night as a special tribute gift to the couple. Performances included:
Angela Kelman – When I Need You (Start of Ceremony)
Jenn Beaupre – A Thousand Years (Valter’s gift song to Ken)
Farmer’s Daughter – Bless The Broken Road (Ken’s gift song to Valter)
Farmer’s Daughter – Ballad of Me and You (Signing of the Marriage Certificate)
Zoe Theodorou – After the Love (Original Arrangement with Brazilian Samba influence)
Horn player and Turkish drum played all evening with the DJ.
If food could play music, this wedding would have been a virtual gastronomic symphony. All items were designed as small plates, with tasting stations, passed canapes and active stations where delicacies were prepared upon request.
Highlights of the menu included: Beef Tataki on Wonton Crisp, Eggplant Caponata on Lentil Chip, Poached Lobster accompanied by White Bean & Confit Lemon Puree and Beet Chip
Salads of BBQ Octopus with Potato and a refreshing Apple, Beet, Orange, Goat Cheese and Mint Salad
Sticky Porchetta Steamed bun with pickled watermelon and daikon
Roasted Vegetable Charcuterie with:
Eggplant, asparagus, peppers, fennel, crimini, cauliflower, rainbow carrots
Romesco, tapenade, kale dip, beef & pickle dip
Grissini, Lavash, Gluten free crisps
House prepared prosciutto: Duck, Venison, Lamb, Ostrich
Cheese: Humboldt fog, Thornloe blue, De lice De borgonge, Cave Aged Gruyere
Roasted Duck, Orange, Fennel, Oil Cured Olives
Seared Scallops, Black Truffle, Grilled King Mushrooms, Parsnip Puree
Salt Block Beef, Oxtail Ragout, Smashed Potatoes, Horseradish
Smoked dark chocolate ganache, salted caramel tart
Cherry Custard shortbread and Valter’s Dream Wedding Cake, a special gift from Ken.
Wines specially chosen for the occasion included Cakebread Cellars Sauvignon Blanc, Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay, Hartford Court Pinot Noir and Brothers in Arms No.6 Shiraz
Always a consideration at a well planned affair such as this are the little ones who, in this case, were delighted to find upon their arrival, a special gift bag for each and a creatively designed Kid’s zone set-up with crafts, conventional games, couches and Wii. 23 kids attended ranging from newborn to 11 years old.
Special touches in this deliciously grand wedding included Valter’s spectacular ring, a white and yellow gold diamond solitaire band, Ken’s ring; a white gold channel band with 5 diamonds and the couples’ magnificent matching Pal Zileri tailored suits made to order in Milan (Glen plaid in taupe and chocolate brown) through Henry Singer in Calgary, AB.
Stefani Dunn from Decor and More as lead designer, Eric Larcom, Executive Chef Marriott Hotel / Telus Convention Centre for personalizing the menu and event support, Pierre Marleau (Orange Frog Productions) , David Merrell (AOO) for Lighting, Oli Kiddell (FM Systems) for audio and Lenny Kreps, Gabriela Palacios, Don Tomie – Telus Convention Centre/Marriott for support. Photography by John Ganun and Scenario and by Leblond Studios.