Rustic Romance

A country-inspired wedding celebration

ARTHUR – Dale and Nancy Bannister were married on a bright, fall day at the end of September, 2023 at the picturesque Luso Valley Estate. 

Located on 100 acres of land in East Garafraxa, the farm property lives up to its luxurious name – Luso meaning luxury in Italian. The vibrant landscape is the ideal venue for nature lovers, featuring a large pond, lush forest and stunning sunsets. 

Luso Valley is a gated property that dates back to the 1800’s and is the perfect setting for any wedding. 

Owner Maria Pacheco has managed the property for the past three years and had it licensed for tent weddings in 2023. 

“The property is unique and just beautiful in the summer – there is a large deck that was recently redone just past where the tent is installed that overlooks a large willow tree and the water. The comments I’ve had are that it’s the most beautiful property in the area,” Pacheco said. 

“Everybody at Dale and Nancy’s wedding had a really good time and looked very happy. It was a gorgeous day, and everything worked out great for them both.” 

The decision to tie the knot at Luso Valley Estate was not arbitrary; rather, it was a thoughtful choice that reflected the couple’s shared love of the venue and the serene beauty of the countryside. 

“Dale had done some work on the property, and we knew right away it was where we wanted to get married,” Nancy said. 

The theme of the day, ‘Country Rustic,’ unfolded seamlessly across every detail, from the decor to the attire. The tables adorned in greenery exuded a down-to-earth elegance that set the stage for an enchanting celebration. It was a blend of rustic charm and elegant details, creating an ambiance that resonated with both their personalities. 

Choosing the right wedding dress is a momentous task, as it involves not only selecting a garment but capturing the essence of one’s personality and the desired ambiance of the wedding day. In Nancy’s case, “it just felt right.”

“I’m not sure exactly how I decided on my dress. I did try on a few that day and felt defeated, but it was the last dress I tried on that felt right and looked beautiful. I was comfortable and felt like myself and that is what mattered to me for our wedding day.”

The couple took on a few DIY projects and had a few signs made to welcome guests in an effort to keep their costs down.  

“It’s extremely hard to stick with a budget these days but it can be done or at least close to it. Being crafty is an easy way to keep your budget low,” Nancy said. 

“We made all the centerpieces for the tables and made all the favours for guests to take home, including jars of apple sauce with cute little tags made from our apple orchard. Dale also made the arch we got married under – it was perfect. We now have it displayed at our farm.” 

She also recommends spending the time to shop around before choosing vendors and consulting friends who have already gone through the planning process and know what to expect. 

“Talk to friends and family, whether they know someone or have used a certain company in the past, they are a great help, especially if they recently got married themselves.”

Amongst other things, Nancy kept a binder to ensure everything was organized, making sure to have all her vendors’ contracts printed off and labeled under their own section. The couple used local caterers and were sure to have the venue booked well in advance. 

“No matter how simple you try to keep things, there is still some stress that comes with planning a wedding. I think a few days before was the most stressful, but then everything fell into place,” she said. 

Dale said Nancy spearheaded most of the wedding planning, but his advice was to take time before the wedding together. The couple made a point of planning lunch dates together before the wedding to spend time discussing their wedding plans.  

When asked what about their most memorable moments from the day, the bride and groom’s responses were very much aligned. 

“When I first saw Nancy at the altar, I thought she was absolutely beautiful. We had waited a while to get married and I was so happy to finally marry the love of my life,” said Dale. 

Nancy echoed the sentiment saying, “The most memorable moment for me was getting to walk down the aisle to Dale and seeing the look on his face. The after party was great as well, with all our close friends and family there celebrating with us. The day was perfect.”

Dale added that their first dance as husband and wife was also very special. They’d had a difficult time choosing between three songs they both loved – each with a special meaning to the couple. 

“I had no idea at the time, but Nancy called the DJ company we’d hired and asked if they could mash the three songs together. It was a complete surprise to me,” he said. 

For the Bannister’s it was all about the details. Nancy and Dale are both fond of tequila rose, so they arranged to have a bottle at each table for their guests to take a shot with them during the evening.

They also had a photo booth on site which was a big hit for everyone in attendance. Beyond the formal portraits from their photographer, it added candid moments, spontaneous laughter and the genuine expressions of their guests. 

The beginning of their journey as husband and wife was marked by a sense of unity that radiated throughout the venue. It was a celebration not only of love but of the community that surrounded them. 

The beauty of Dale and Nancy’s love story lies not only in the grand moments but in the subtle, everyday gestures that define a lifelong journey together. In the embrace of Luso Valley Estate, their story found a canvas, and the colours of fall painted a picture they will cherish forever.

Advertorial Writer