For me, it’s home – but for everyone else, it’s a destination wedding. There is so much advertising for Victoria – including a snappy new Tourism Victoria website – that we won’t need to tell our guests much more about where we’re demanding they travel to.
I also have to accept that Victoria is not the place it used to be. It looks like the city is actually getting more sophisticated: better restaurants, better arts and culture, and a tourism industry that is no longer based on “It’s like England – only two hours from Seattle!” The new Victoria campaign is about the city itself, as a unique place – Canada’s warmest city, charming turn-of-the-last-century buildings, a spectacular Pacific Northwest setting. Instead of being the last English colony, now it’s more about being on the edge of the wild – but still being able to match a wine (from a local winery) to the seafood. It’s weird. It’s like Victoria suddenly broke free of being British, and, instead of becoming Mini-Vancouver, like I always figured it would be, it’s become, well, just itself. The new city slogan is, “Beautiful, Charming, And Just A Little Wild.” Since one of the attributes I miss the most, and that I always considered to be paramount to Victoria is that it is on the edge of the Wild, I actually think this is a good campaign. And, as a Victorian, I’m used to mocking the city’s self-promotion more than I am agreeing with it.
Still, it helps that the city IS promoting itself, for my own purposes. Like, we’re getting married someplace that is a pain to get to – but here’s a website showing how much you’ll love it while you’re there! It’s almost like having a destination wedding – except that destination is my hometown. I got lucky. I can’t imagine how I’d justify going home to get hitched if I’d grown up someplace uglier and more practical.