How do you create an intimate atmosphere when you’ve invited 300 guests? Follow Laura and Ilan’s lead and choose a modern space, fill it with warm details, and let love take care of the rest.
Engaged at Laura’s cottage down at the docks (more on that from our bride in a bit), these two wove the same romantic, cozy feel into their wedding day at York Mills Gallery.
Our Toronto bride had been on the hunt for a gown with oodles of lace, but, unable to commit to any of them, she slipped on something completely different—our Marigold gown—and fell in love. In a nod to her love of lace, she chose our Carrie jacket for their ceremony.
How did your sweetie propose?
“My happy place has always been my cottage. The lake, the trees—the most comfortable couches in the world! It was just the two of us up there that day. We woke up and he had suggested a walk to the rapids/waterfall nearby. I didn’t think much of it as it was something we did often. We packed up hot chocolate/coffee and walked to the rapids. On our way back he said, “Let’s go sit on the dock and finish our drinks.” As we walked down the stairs I began to see a small table set up on the dock…then I saw rose petals, then I saw bunches of flowers, candles and champagne. While standing on the dock looking out at the lake, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. We popped the champagne and celebrated. The entire thing had been captured by a photographer standing on the land. But it wasn’t over yet…he knew how important family was to me, so after a few more minutes, lots of happy tears and sips of champagne, he told me to turn around. There was all of our family! My parents, his parents, his siblings all together. We all stayed at the cottage for the weekend celebrating the exciting news.”
How did you choose your gown?
“I was 7 months away from my wedding. I had already tried on dresses (3 months before) and thought I had found one that I loved but when it came time to purchasing it, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t commit and that left me upset and annoyed. I was back at it after a few months break and was still looking for the lace gown I had envisioned. I was shopping with just my mom and we had already been to 3 stores and over 30 dresses with no luck. I would find something wrong with everything I put on. Finally, I put on this very simple silk gown—not a stitch of lace on it. The second I turned around in the mirror and saw myself in the dress, I burst into tears. I had not had this type of reaction to anything else. I looked at my mom and she was crying, too. There was no need for other dresses.”
Tell us about your day! Did you have a theme or style in mind?
“We have a big family, but I had always envisioned a small intimate garden wedding. We wanted to create a cozy intimate feeling—only for 300 people. We used deep red, navy and lots of greenery with accent white blooms. Long tapered candles to make the room feel cozy.”
What’s your funniest wedding day memory?
“I tend to get a little nervous in front of crowds, so when our officiant asked us to sign our marriage contract, I grabbed the pen and signed. Turns out that I signed on the line that said “groom” forcing my husband to sign the line that says “bride.” The officiant laughed and whispered to me, ‘What’s a title anyways?’ ”
What was your favorite wedding day moment?
“The first kiss at the ceremony.”
Describe your wedding day in 5 words or less:
– Fun Party
– Dream come true
– BEST DAY EVER!!!
What was your something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue?
Old – My mother’s garter
New – My dress
Borrowed – My mother’s jewelry
Blue – My bouquet ribbons/mother’s garter
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
“We are going to Africa in January, so after the wedding we did a “Mini-Moon” in Prince Edward County. It’s an area East of the Toronto with lots of wineries and amazing food. We stayed right on the water in a private cabin watching the sun set and drinking local wine.”
Any advice for future brides/grooms?
“The stress will all be worth it—so if you can, try to keep calm and remember what it is all about…. you are marrying your love. Everything else is bonus!”
Laura + Ilan’s York Mills Gallery Wedding Vendors
wedding dress: Lea-Ann Belter Marigold + Carrie jacket | photographer: Barb Simkova of Tara McMullin Photography | wedding planning: Lustre Events | make up: Renata De Thomasis | hair: Leah Woods | florals: Bloom & Co | band: Soul Power – Legacy Band | venue: York Mills Gallery