Pretty as a Picture

Aly Armstrong creates wedding with an enduring beauty that will still wow those who look at the photos decades from now

Text by Tara dos Santos 
Photo Courtesy of Aly Armstrong 

Luxury wedding planner Aly Armstrong has a style that’s timeless as love.“I’m not overly trendy. I like to be more simple, classic, chic,” she says.

The trending colour this year is living coral, she says, but she warns against using it too boldly in a wedding “because it’s the colour of 2019, and it might be beautiful, but five to ten years from now, one might look back on that and think, ‘I’m not happy with that choice.”

White is never going to go out of style,” she says. “Silver and gold accents will stand the test of time.” She’s inspired by Renaissance-era furniture, classic candelabras — “That [style] still is very relevant to events today and has stood the test of time for centuries.” She makes use of tapestries and rich textures like those you might find in a castle or luxury home.

Nature is also timeless. She has transformed ballrooms into gardens by bringing trees full of cherry blossoms indoors and has draped rooms with wisteria.

Vancouver’s mountain and ocean views make for great outdoor events, but the city’s rainy climate presents a challenge. It takes creativity to make a weatherproof tent beautiful. “Nothing is impossible,” she says.

She once created a garden party (she does all kinds of events, though weddings are her specialty) with a transparent tent surrounded by hedges. She hung flowers and chandeliers from custom-made structures inside.

For Armstrong, the meaning of “luxury” is the ability to create rich and unique experiences, especially with attention to all the fine details. “It’s not just monetary; it’s not just items; it’s about feeling good about what I’m surrounded with,” she says. “It isn’t necessarily the bank account that reflects the true meaning of luxury to me, rather the ability to enjoy experiences in life that truly bring happiness to me and my family.”

Armstrong, a 35-year-old mother of two, was an actress before becoming an event planner. She started acting at the age of 12, and her roles include the pink ranger in the 2005 Power Rangers Space Patrol Delta series. She studied broadcast journalism in California, and as a child thought she’d grow up to be a lawyer. But she always felt the creative urge, and she says event planning is a good way to exercise both her pragmatic and creative sides.