How fashion girls get married: 11 of the most stylish summer weddings across Canada
If you’re of a certain age and have an Instagram account, chances are your feed has been inundated by wedding shots all summer long. More than once, I’ve asked myself, “Has everyone gotten married this summer?” And, hey, in Toronto’s fashion community, it feels like the answer is yes. Romance is in the air—the open air, that is, with most of our couples choosing outdoor settings for their big day. Without further ado, check out 11 of the most stylish weddings that took place across Canada this summer.
The couple: Lucia Graca, 34, Owner and Photographer, Analogue Gallery
Jeffrey Remedios, 40, founder of Arts & Crafts and incoming president and CEO of Universal Music Canada
How they met: Jeffrey was preparing the 10th Anniversary celebrations of his company, Arts & Crafts and wanted to throw a photo exhibition of their artists. He cold called Analogue Gallery, Lucia’s fine-art Rock & Roll Photography gallery and she answered the call.
The location: Music festivals are our happy place, and since we both work in and around music, what better place to be wed than on the most amazing music festival grounds. Recently renovated Burl’s Creek hosted three events this summer: WayHome, Boots and Hearts and our wedding.
The dress: The dress and cape were by Elizabeth Fillmore from Kleinfeld’s in Toronto. It was the third or fourth dress I tried on, then I had to try on another 100 just to be sure! My poor sister must have wanted to kill me. I wore Birks diamond earrings, necklace and bracelet, and the shoes were Valentino watercolour rockstuds. I loved the thick heal on grass, and I painted my nails to match the shoes.
Jeffrey and I also wore matching Comme des Garcons Converse for the late night party. Jeffrey wore a tux bespoke by Philip Sparks, a Lanvin Lapel Pin and Salvatore Ferragano shoes.
The couple: Mackenzie Yeates, 26, co-founder, Kotn
Benjamin Sehl, 26, co-founder, Kotn
How they met: Ben and I met at my housewarming party in New York through our mutual friend Rami, who is now our business partner and was Best Man. We’ve been together for a little over 2 years. He proposed in Sag Harbour at sunrise overlooking the marina. We both cried and called our moms.
The location: We got married at Hart House because we loved the drama and romance of the space. We’re both old souls and wanted to get married in a place that had a lot of history. Plus Ben liked that the dining room looked a little like Hogwarts. The flowers and print collateral were inspired by Victorian still life paintings with a mix of fruit, insects and lush florals.
The dress: I tried on some dresses in New York initially and everything felt like a stiff costume. Then I went to Mrs. Bridal on Davenport and the whole experience was much more relaxed and personal. My dress was by San Francisco designer Amy Kuschel and I wore cream satin Kate Spade shoes with a bow at the ankle and Dior pearl earrings. Ben wore an Armani suit and super shiny shoes from Suit Supply. My good friend Tony Pham did my hair in a perfectly messy chignon dotted with pearls and Victoria Radford made me up to look like a better version of myself.
The bridesmaids: I had six bridesmaids and my brother as my Man of Honour. Because my bridesmaids were living in Toronto, New York, London and Florida, it was a little difficult to find something that everyone was able to purchase. We ended up ordering silk fit and flare dresses in mint, blush and champagne from Weddington Way. My brother Tom wore a suit from J.Crew with pink socks to match the bridesmaid dresses. As bridesmaid gifts I made each of the girls and my brother custom black silk bomber jackets with their names embroidered in blush on the front and “For Better or Worse” across the back.
The rings: My engagement ring was custom designed by Brooklyn based designer Caitlin Mociun. Ben and I lived in Williamsburg at the time we got engaged and I loved popping into the Mociun Shop on Wythe Avenue on the weekends. My ring is a cluster of 7 asymmetrical diamonds set in yellow gold. For our bands, Ben and I made them ourselves at The Devils Workshop on Queen St. West. They’re both simple yellow gold bands, he made mine and I made his. It was an experience we will always remember!
The couple: Paige Dzenis, 31, Writer
José Lourenço, 35, Writer/Director
The location: Having outdoor space was our number one priority—we wanted nature to be the balance of the decor and the Kortright Centre is, aside from being across the street from Canada’s Wonderland, a total wonderland of green space. It was also a space that had meaning: the week after we went for a site visit, I found a mug at my parents’ house from a 1991 trip there with my Brownies troop! Originally, the entire wedding–from ceremony to late night dancing–was going to be outside, but the weather had other plans. However, the floor-to-ceiling windows and raw wood interior made it feel like we were still in nature–and the rain stopped just long enough for us to get some lovely photos among the trees.
The dress: I definitely wanted some Scarlett O’Hara vibes in my wedding dress, because when else do you get to wear something so over the top and inflated with layers upon layers of tulle and lace? At first I bought a stunning dress from Temperley. I’d been obsessing over it for months and snapped it up in a Net-A-Porter sale, but when I tried it on it just didn’t feel right. So I hit up basically every bridal store in Toronto in search of the right dress. The one I finally picked (from Ritché Bridal) I actually ended up modifying quite a bit to give it a deep, open back and delicate spaghetti straps.
The bridesmaids: We kept the wedding party small–just my sister Lauren as my maid of honour and José’s brother James as his best man. Lauren’s floor-length navy sequin gown was a total showstopper—people kept calling her Pippa Middleton (with good reason!) all night long. I did have eight of my closest girlfriends help out the day of the wedding—we did all the table flowers ourselves the morning of and got ready together–and everyone wore a floral printed dress. (Half of which were from Reformation, so they’re basically the unofficial outfitter of my unofficial bridesmaids.)
The rings: We had been talking about getting engaged for years (like, 9 years…) and a few months before it ~finally~ happened, we met with our friends at !Xam Diamonds to start custom designing a ring. Seriously, there is nothing more fun than ducking out from the office at lunch to go hold a whole bunch of diamonds and decide which one you like best. My rings are all rose gold—I like how soft it looks and that it compliments both yellow gold and silver—and it also happens to match my hair. The engagement ring is an emerald-cut diamond in a setting that was inspired by a vintage piece I found online. My wedding ring is a thin, twisted band which I paired with a smaller “spacer” band that balances the whole stack nicely. José also designed his wedding band—he had never worn jewellery before so he was very involved in the process and is now quite obsessed with the final product: it’s yellow gold and sandblasted.
The couple: Danielle Suppa, 30, freelance designer and Shop Owner/Creative Director, SOUVENIR
Mark James, 30, Manager, Live Events, Air Canada Centre
How they met: Mark and I both worked at City of Toronto day camps and programs for many years. We actually met at a children’s dance recital on a particularly balmy June evening. Mark was working parking and I was working with the dancers during the show. Apparently that neon parking vest can be quite alluring (although according to Mark he noticed me first). Mark charmed me for a few weeks when I saw him at various camp training sessions and events and I thought he was sweet and hilarious. He asked me out on a date and we’ve been together ever since. That was 11 years ago, a number which I still find incredibly hard to believe.
The dress: I ended up getting my dress from Kleinfeld’s in Toronto. It’s a Monique Lhuillier dress, from her Bliss line. As a fashion designer myself, I found it challenging to find something that appealed to both my fashion sensibilities/personal style and also my desires as a bride. Initially I was looking to buy a ready-to-wear dress from a designer I loved, but couldn’t find anything that was quite right. I didn’t try on a ton of dresses, maybe about 20 total (and some were just for fun) and of course a jumpsuit here and there. In the end, the luscious fabric, feel, silhouette and overall simplicity of my dress really sold me on it. It was incredibly comfortable but also surprisingly flattering, and I loved that it had elements of interest in the front and the back.
The rings: My engagement ring was a total surprise. I’ve never really given Mark any direction, and designers are a notoriously particular bunch, so kudos to him for giving me such a beauty. He worked with the incredibly talented Elana Ginsberg of Kvell + Co, who was my instructor for a jewellery making course I took for a few months. I actually don’t like white diamonds (on me), and luckily they chose a lovely combination of alexandrite (a magical green/blue stone) and tiny black diamonds in a geometric style. It’s such a special ring and I’m so honoured to own a piece of Elana’s work.
We wanted to keep our bands clean and simple, so I enlisted my friend Kat from Foe + Dear to make bands for both of us. I added a little rose gold stacking ring on top of my main white gold band to give me some other options depending on my mood. It means so much to me to wear something every day that was lovingly made by a friend.
The couple: Erin Seaman, 35, Photo Editor, FASHION
Chris Reynolds, 36, senior category manager, CIBC
How they met: Chris and I have been together for almost six years. We met at a mutual friends dinner party where he showed up with one of my oldest friends. It was love at first sight, we haven’t left each other’s side since.
Chris proposed on Dec 21st deep in the snow up at our newly purchased cottage up north. We walked me out to our fire pit which overlooks the beautiful lake, got down on one knee and proposed. I had no idea he was going to, so I was really shocked. We stayed up at the cottage for the rest of the holidays, enjoying our new status, just us two.
The dress: The dress was easy. My friend Leith Clark and I sat down and went through Honor’s recent collections, and I fell in love with this look from Pre-fall 2014. It was a dream situation to have my oldest friend (and style director at Harper’s Bazaar UK) style me for my big day. I never tried on one dress until my custom made look showed up at my door.
The rings: My engagement ring is vintage from the 1920s and is an Art Deco piece with stunning filigree details that Chris found at Cythia Findlay Antiques in Toronto. Both our wedding bands are also from there. Chris knocked it out of the park with my rings, they’re so unique, I’ve never seen anything like them so it makes them all the more special
The couple: Raleigh Seldon, 24, Social Media Editor at Clique Inc. (Who What Wear, Byrdie, & MyDomaine)
Name: Corey Burgan, 29, Private Chef, Hollywood
How they met: Corey and I have been together for seven years, but long distance for four of those. We met while working at an incredible summer camp for kids with disabilities, Camp Kennebec; he was the cook and I was a counselor.
The proposal was a complete surprise to me. We were at my parents’ country house on hiking trail that leads to a waterfall, Lavender Falls. It’s something we do pretty frequently, so when he asked if I wanted to walk there it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. We took our dogs, hiked as per usual, and made it. He asked me to follow him behind the waterfall and that’s where he got down on one knee. I completely blacked out (in the I-have-no-idea-what-he-said-because-everything-went-black way). I even had to ask him if I said yes, which I did.
The location: Choosing this location was a no-brainer, it’s my parent’s country home in Creemore, Ontario. It’s kind of our family’s own sanctuary; lots of happy memories live there. It’s already in the country, literally, but I didn’t want the wedding to feel country. The concept was more city-meets-country-meets-romance-meets-nature-meets-summer, you copy?
The dress: My dress was Monique L’Huillier; it’s a trumpet silhouette with the coolest lace you’ll ever seen. It’s super intricate, but not delicate and the corset has some badass boning. I’m not dainty, so I wanted the dress to be bridal-appropriate, but not light and fluffy.
I’m extremely picky, but at the same time I know what I like and therefore want. It took two trips to New York to realize that I probably wasn’t going to find it there. I must have tried on at least 20 dresses before I found mine. It was my very first appointment to White in Toronto – I found it and fell in love with it almost immediately after trying it on. It was just my best friend, Aidan, and I. We looked at each other and she gave me the your-butt-looks-SO-good-in-this thumbs up.
The rings: My engagement ring is probably my favorite thing I’ve ever owned. It was my Nana’s and she bought it for herself—serious girl power. Now, it looks vintage and has this incredibly detailed silver setting; one I’ve never seen before. I’m more of a gold girl, so I had the band switched to gold. The silver/gold mix makes it even cooler.
My wedding band was made by Canadian jewellery designer Mark Lash. It’s a super thin band with tiny diamonds around the whole ring; also gold.
The couple: Nicki Bahrampour, 31, Retail Planner, Holt Renfrew
Paul Podvalej, 34, Engineer
How they met: We’ve been together for just over four years. We met at Camp 4 in Toronto, I was sitting at a table by myself and he sat down across from me to talk. I liked his confidence. A second after he said hello, he spilled his entire pint of beer on me and that’s how he got my number—he wanted to pay for my dry cleaning. He still won’t tell me whether that was planned! ;)
The location: There is something fantastical about an outdoor wedding. We had been to a few ourselves and it was like something in the air made people less self aware—everyone ate more, drank more and danced more. I grew up in Toronto though, and being a city girl, I didn’t want a rustic wedding. So, we tried to make it as elegant as possible with still life-like centre pieces, gold cutlery and gold-rimmed goblets instead of wine glasses. Paul’s parents have 50 acres of beautiful land in King Township surrounded by equestrian farms, so what better place could we have found?
The dress: I’m not the kind of girl that grew up dreaming about weddings, so princess-like dresses were not in my cards—I knew that much right away. I had booked appointments with all of the usual suspects; White, Kleinfelds etc. But one day my mom and I were going out for lunch and decided to stop into Felicia’s on College st., a small unassuming bridal store that’s been there for years. It was the first store we went to and the second dress I tried on. It was the lean silhouette and the intricate beading and lace on the back that really made it un-bridelike enough for me.
The bridesmaids: My bridesmaids all wore different dresses from ASOS Bridesmaid collection and the groomsmen all wore different suits in a range of blues. Neither of us wanted our wedding party to look like our cult following, we wanted a variety of style that reflected each person’s taste.
The rings: A few months before Paul and I got engaged, he took me to Tiffany’s at least once every two weeks. We’d look at the rings, he’d ask me to pick my favourite and then nothing would happen! So, when I was having a bad day and he gave me the best pep talk I’ve ever heard and then took out that infamous box, I knew right away. It’s an emerald cut diamond that looks like glass with a very thin diamond halo, understated but beautiful, exactly what I wanted. Our wedding bands reflect both of our minimal aesthetics. All from Tiffany’s, I decided on two stacked Metro diamond bands one in yellow gold and the other in white and he chose the Lucida 2mm band.
The couple: Bryanna Brown, 30, Social Media Freelancer
Shayne Collier, 28, Owner of Contracting Company Mortise and Tenon
How they met: Shayne and I met on a co-ed softball team called the Thunderbears. We’ve been together for almost six years! His proposal plan included a romantic picnic last summer in High Park. We celebrated immediately after with all of our friends on Toronto Island and started a huge dance party on the ferry ride home.
The location: We celebrated our entire wedding at the Alton Mill Arts Centre in Caledon. Our venue was very versatile for space. My bridesmaid and florist Amira Shabason who works at Coriander Girl designed our entire colour scheme which featured loads of berry tones and a ton of brass, which I am still addicted to hunting for. I cleared out all of the garage sales and thrift stores on a regular basis in the hunt for centre pieces.
The dress: I found my dress in the wee hours of Black Friday on Reformation.com. I had it tailored perfectly by Silhouette Tailoring on Dundas and it was finished in the nick of time. I wanted a dress I could move in, didn’t break the bank, and was environmentally friendly.
The bridesmaids: Our bridal party was on the big side, with eight bridesmaids and eight groomsmen, all close friends who helped us plan our wedding. Having creative friends makes for a great wedding! I had my bridesmaids wear varying shades of blush and pink, and Shayne had his groomsmen wear grey tailored suits.
The rings: Shayne had my engagement ring designed by Sin Kim at Made You Look. He knew that I wanted something a little bit different and picked out a beautiful blue sapphire. For our wedding bands I was excited to find an eye-shaped eternity band by Michael Hill. Shayne’s ring is a dual coloured classic men’s wedding ring from Michael Hill as well.
How they met: I first saw Seth in Vancouver at a bar in Gastown. I spent my whole night working different tactics to get him to notice me. I finally gave it a rest and left to wait for a cab home. Of course when you stop trying, it happens; he walked past with his friends, turned around and smiled at me. I tried to keep my cool, but the biggest smile came across my face. I told everyone about him the next day and impatiently waited until I saw him again. That was 10 years ago!
The location: We decided during dinner on the night of our engagement (March 29th) that we didn’t want a long engagement. We picked August 22nd and honestly, I started planning the very next day. I quickly realized that to organize a wedding in four months has it’s limitations—most venues were already booked. Seth really wanted to keep it simple and he suggested my parent’s backyard in Calgary, looking out on the river. Their home feels so peaceful; we knew it would be the perfect backdrop.
I asked my parents right away, and my dad instantly had multiple bulldozers at work building out the perfect venue. So much for “keeping it simple”.
As for concept, we wanted it to feel natural, refined, but not too stuffy. We chose white garden roses, harvest tables with antique gold flatware and mix matched crystal vases and tumblers for the candles. Collecting the crystal was my mom’s only duty and it took her the entire four months to collect over 250 pieces. It all really came together with the expertise of our entire team involved: Our Daily Brett for catering and event co-ordination, Esme for floral arrangements & decor and our great friend Jennilee Marigomen for photographing the night.
The dress: The weekend after the engagement my sister and mom flew out to Toronto to start the search! I had managed to get us back-to-back appointments at almost every bridal shop in the city, and a few non-bridal spots too. I had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted & what I knew Seth would like to see me in. It had to be simple—when I told him I was going dress shopping his exact words were “why don’t you just get a white Celine suit?” We did try that route but couldn’t find anything quite right.
There were a couple front-runners during the process, but when I tried on the Reem Acra dress at White I lit up. I felt happy, beautiful and comfortable. It wasn’t too much—just the right amount of “bridal” that I knew Seth could handle.
The rings: Seth’s mom offered him his Baba’s engagement ring a couple years back and kept reminding him about it too. It’s from the 1930s, a gold band with a pearl in the centre and diamonds on either side with a slightly Art Deco feel. I fell in love right away and it suits me perfectly. The difficult part was finding something that complimented it just right. We needed a curved wedding band and most stores had recently stop making them outside of custom but Tiffany’s had one left in stock and when we put them on together we were all a bit blown away, they were literally the perfect match!
The couple: Megan Elizabeth Loach, 30, Marketing and Vendor Relations Manager The Room, Hudson’s Bay.
Mitchell Alexander Tomulka 31, Assistant Vice President Commercial Financing, First National.
How they met: Mitch and I have been together for eight years. We started to date after University when I attended his birthday party he hosts in Muskoka on the August long weekend. We had met in high school through a close friend of mine whose older brother is Mitch’s best friend, however Mitch would tease me whenever I was over and I thought he was just rude. Ten years later, I accepted a last minute invite to his birthday and we’ve been together since.
The location: The concept was South of France inspired—elegant, with a classic feel and focus on great food and wine. We both have large families and needed a relatively large venue. On a whim we stopped in to see Casa Loma and it was perfect, a classic beautiful venue centrally located and easy for guests. We pulled in a touch of a French feel with lavender lemonade, floral, and a vanilla bean lavender creme brulee.
The dress: I wore Pronovias Atelier for the ceremony and it was exactly the opposite of what I had in mind, strapless and volume! However on a trip to New York a year before the wedding I tried on the ball gown skirt with a serious train and it stayed in the back of my mind (later brought in by Kleinfeld’s at Hudson’s Bay). I had continued to hunt for lace, a sleeve, open back and something less traditional. One of my absolute favourite designers we carry at The Room is Erdem. While searching online, I found a stunning lace gown he showed in the Spring collection and connected with his office to see if they could make it in white. They were wonderful and worked to have it completed on a fairly tight turnaround. So it was the best of both worlds! A ten foot train for the church and gorgeous lace Erdem for the reception.
The rings: Our rings were all created by a custom jeweler. Mitch designed the princess cut engagement ring surrounded by pave diamonds, based on a square ring I’ve been wearing since I was 25. The band is princess cut diamonds. Mitch’s band is white gold.
The couple: Kristina Flynn, 31, Senior Consultant, Sport & Recreation, The 519
Erin O’Brien, 33, Public Relations Supervisor, WINNERS Marshalls
How they met: Tina and I met four years ago this summer at a wedding. Although I had no idea what that we would one day get married (in fact, I never wanted to get married), I knew there was something special about her the moment we met. In June 2014, she surprised me one Friday night after work with a quaint dinner in the backyard where she popped the question and filmed the whole thing on a GoPro. From there we went downtown to celebrate – where she revealed a surprise engagement party with all of our friends at a karaoke bar (my favourite, her least favourite).
The location: After getting engaged in our backyard last summer we really wanted an outdoor wedding. Our theme was an elevated backyard party and, given that both of our jobs involve event planning, our take was to treat it like an event, not a wedding. We chose Kurtz Orchards in Niagara-on-the-Lake for it’s incredible landscape and Tuscan feel.
The dress: Two brides are trickier than one! Especially when we both have specific styles that, in this case, needed to complement one another. We both wanted gowns over traditional wedding dresses and in the end we both lucked out on our first try using our go-to designer retailers. Tina went with an Adam Lippes crepe, ivory, racerback gown with unique tassel detail. I fell hard for a blush silk Acne Studios number that was classic in the front but had a whole lot of dramatic draping down the back. With my fashion background it didn’t take me long to convince Tina that second dresses to party and dance in were a necessity. She picked up a white Sass & Bide piqué and embroidered tulle maxi, while I went for a clean-cut, ivory Topshop middy.
The rings: I have always been a huge fan of Frank Gehry’s collection for Tiffany & Co. so when it was announced in February, 2014 that it was being discontinued, we scooped up my rings right away. We both went with simple, yet chic, engagement rings and bands. Mine are both square Frank Gehry bands in mixed metals, one with a tiny row of diamonds and Tina’s are the similarly mixed metals, but circular and from the Tiffany & Co. core collection.