Fraser Valley is home to first pop up wedding reception

Dec 19 2017, 1:36 pm

Did you know that between 2006 and 2011, the number of common-law couples (living together for two years) increased four times more than the rise of married couples?

This might have something to do with the overwhelming checklist that comes with tying the knot: wedding dress shopping, venue hopping, photographer scouting, celebration outings, DJ selecting, invite perfecting, food tasting and floral placing. Just writing that list was exhausting!

Enter Pop Up Weddings BC, created by co-founders Holly Halter, Nicole Vanselow and Cindy Rowell.

Pop up wedding ceremonies have been trending in the United States and Australia for about five years, but a twist in this unconventional approach to matrimony is putting the Fraser Valley on the map.

“We haven’t found anyone else in the world offering a pop up reception,” Halter says over the phone. “We really wanted to do something different; we really want to offer people kind of the whole experience.”

If the phrase ‘pop up wedding’ leads you to think along the lines of elopement, think again. This Abbotsford-based company outlines three different wedding packages on their website, all of which are similar to your average wedding – other than the fact that they occur on the same day at the same location.

Pop Up Logo - Courtesy - Pop Up Wedding BC


What does a pop up wedding include?

So each package definitely includes a ceremony, flowers, the venue, all of the décor and coordinating services, including all the set up, the cleanup, a professional photographer, the catering, DJ services, live music services, a marriage commissioner.

So what’s left for the couples to coordinate?

The couple needs to take care of their marriage license and their invitations. While our catering is taking care of the liquor license, the liquor expenses are an extra additive for the couple. Oh and of course they’re definitely responsible for their dress and tux.

What I love about this idea is that you’re getting a chance to re-use the décor and wedding elements. Do you think this fits with the west coast lifestyle?

It’s definitely something that we’re marketing to the conscious brides and grooms that don’t necessarily want to deal with the excess of a full wedding day… and this our opportunity to give brides and grooms that chance to experience that full bubbles and champagne wedding without the hassle.

I am curious though, how do you make each wedding unique to each couple?

To start, we have three different packages and each couple will have a series of choices within that package. We are going to start off with a very neutral pallet; blushes, champagne colours, whites, creams, ivories. The couples will have three options of the colours they want to add into that.

Each ceremony will have an overall similar décor, but the couples will get the chance to add some of those personal touches to their ceremonies. As well, they’re going to have the option to add one element that’s special to them. That goes for the food as well.

So would you say the cost is comparable to a standard wedding?

Right now we’re not really wishing to publish any prices but I can definitely tell you a typical three tiered wedding can run up to $40 000 and ours is probably less than a third of that price because what’s happening is all these vendors are coordinating for the whole day so we’re charging our regular pricing but the couples are sharing the investment.

Pop Up Weddings BC is still seeking couples to marry this summer over the weekend of August 8 and 9. They’ve also tentatively scheduled four separate pop up weekends for 2016, which Halter says there is a demand for.

“Some couples get engaged earlier in the year and they don’t want to rush and get married in six months. Right? They want time to travel, focus on their career, or save money. Even at a reduced price, weddings are still an investment in your love story.”

For more information, visit


Written by Jen Muranetz. Follow Jen on Twitter at @jenmuranetz.

Feature image: L’Estelle Photography

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