When a mom gets married, you know her beautiful children will be involved every step of the way! Wed in a lovely, intimate ceremony, Erika and Mark weren’t just becoming a permanent party of two—Erika’s beautiful children, Lara and Nathan, made it four. When Mark proposed on Christmas Day, he did so with their entire family around, including Lara and Nathan.
Of course, the wedding followed suit. For a lighthearted, happy day all about family and the beginning of a new life together, no place other than their own home and backyard would do for the ceremony, cocktails, and dinner. In the months leading up to their celebration, 12-year-old Lara helped Erika choose her Pippa top and Kate skirt in our flagship Toronto bridal boutique. Then, on Erika and Mark’s wedding day, she helped her mom get ready…as special as special can be, just like their wonderful celebration!
Also, Erika’s advice to other couples planning their day is SO on point…you’ll find it a few swipes below!
How did you choose your gown?
“I always loved Pippa Middleton’s wedding dress. I went in to Lea-Ann Belter with a completely open mind and was willing to try on any style. I wanted to go with what looked good and what I felt good in. My daughter, Lara (12 years old) revealed how she too loved Pippa’s wedding dress. A total surprise to me! Vanessa said that there was a design by Lea-Ann Belter called the Pippa top and the Kate skirt. I liked the idea of a skirt and top combo, being a 2nd wedding for me. It fit me like a glove. It was the first dress that I tried on. While I loved all of Lea-Ann’s dresses and was in love with all of them, the Pippa and the Kate was my ultimate pick. My girl squad’s faces said it all when I walked out!”
Tell us about your day! Did you have a theme or style in mind?
“Elegant yet informal, lighthearted and whimsical. Family only. Intimate. In the backyard at our home.“
What’s your funniest wedding day memory?
“No specific moment. Lots of laughter continuously all around.”
What was your favorite wedding day moment?
“Seeing my husband to be as I walked into our home for the ceremony. “
Describe your wedding day in 5 words or less:
“Elegant, fun, joyous, laughter, love.”
What was your something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue?
“My something new was my gorgeous Lea-Ann Belter dress! I did not have anything borrowed. My something old and something blue was my ring that belonged to my mother who is no longer with us: an aquamarine stone surrounded by diamonds. I felt she was with us in spirit.”
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
“We plan to go away to Exuma, Bahamas in December!”
Any advice for future brides/grooms?
“1) Mutual respect is so key. 2) If you disagree, strive to find common ground and to eventually agree. Conflict exists in any relationship. With us, it’s rare but constructive. We learn and grow from it. 3) Recognize the big and the little things that your partner does for you. Thank each other daily for the little things. 4) Laughter is the spice of life! “
Erika + Mark’s Toronto Backyard Wedding Vendors
wedding dress: Lea-Ann Belter Pippa top and Kate skirt via the flagship Toronto bridal boutique | photographer: Camilla Pucholt Photography | florals: Fiori Floral Designs | venue: Erika and Mark’s backyard | officiant: Wedding Heaven – Officiant, Alex Rajac| catering: Sassafraz, Santaguida Fine Foods Inc. | getting ready venue: Four Seasons Hotel Toronto | transportation: Luxe Drive car service