An Elegant, Modern Wedding at Charbar in Calgary, Alberta

Lauren Lee (28 and a lawyer) and Jack Hansen’s (27 and a private equity associate) summer wedding was an elegant, modern affair with subtle industrial flair. Charbar, a former mattress factory turned restaurant in Calgary, Alberta, provided endless inspiration for the day, with its lofty wood-paneled ceilings, exposed-brick walls and views of the Bow River. “We really loved the venue and wanted to utilize its natural aesthetic,” Lauren says. She and Jack were married at a nearby community church before heading to their chic waterfront venue for dinner and dancing. Giving guests a preview of the contemporary vibe of the fete to come, the pair decorated the altar with a copper arbor draped in florals and geometric lanterns filled with fairy lights. “I wasn’t keen on getting married in a church initially, but the pastor and staff were really welcoming,” Lauren says. “It was a pretty quick nondenominational ceremony, and we had a wonderful officiant. We wrote our own vows, which I think was really important. Lots of laughs and tears.” The newlyweds then joined their guests at Charbar for the reception. A great dance party was what the couple had in mind, and they delivered. The festivities kicked off with a live band, who packed the dance floor with a set list of lively tunes. Toward the end of the evening, a DJ took over, finishing the night with Lauren and Jack’s favorite pop songs. A dessert bar stacked with artisanal sweets provided a bit of extra fuel as the night went on, while Instax cameras scattered throughout the reception offered guests a fun way to capture the event. A tip from Lauren: “Spend countless hours worrying about the details. But at the end of the day, your guests really remember the energy and the experience. What they take away is the love and joy of the people around them.” —Libby MacCarthy