Brittany and Rudy met at overnight summer camp as nine-year-olds (how adorable is that?!), and spent the next 20 summers together as campers and then as staff. But it wasn’t until they were in the camp’s leadership program together that they really connected. Brittany explained it this way: “Summer camp…encourages you to be the silliest and most authentic versions of yourself. Rudy and I got to know each other very quickly.” Over time, their friendship flourished into a romance—one that felt natural and right.
Needless to say, since camp was such an important part of their lives, their wedding day would reflect that, starting with a camp-related proposal (more on that in a moment) and the fact that they found their venue, The Argonaut Rowing Club, while paddling Lake Ontario for a camp fundraiser!
From Brittany, who looked a dream in her customized Astrid & Mercedes Rapture gown:
How did you guys meet?
“The details of how we officially met are a bit hazy. Both of our respective parents packed us up and sent us off to the same overnight summer camp when we were 9 years old. Unbeknownst to anyone at the time, that decision would lead to us spending the next 20 summers together as campers and staff. While we knew of each other, it wasn’t until we were in the same leadership program at the camp that we became fast friends. At this point I also learned that the guy I knew as “Rudy” was really named “Geoff,” and that “Rudy” was just a nickname given to him by a camp friend (I’ll always call him Rudy). Over time our friendship evolved into a relationship, the transition was so gradual we don’t actually know when we started officially “dating.” We were sure of it one day when Rudy mentioned that a friend asked if we were dating and he responded, “Yes.” He confirmed with me if he had answered correctly. He had. We continued working at the summer camp until recently, and are still involved helping out when we can. Funnily enough one of my closest camp friends is marrying Rudy’s brother next fall. So needless to say, sending us off to camp worked out really well for us.”
How did you know Rudy was “the one”?
“Summer camp was a pretty special place for us, not only was it where we met each other and our closest friends; but it’s special because it encourages you to be the silliest and most authentic versions of yourself. Rudy and I got to know each other very quickly, without any awkward first dates or small talk. We both talk about how we instantly connected with one another. Our relationship as friends and partners was always easy. Simply, we were just always happiest when we were together, and tackling “life” was just more enjoyable together. However, it was after spending 4 months travelling the world together that we knew, undoubtedly, that we were meant to be together.”
How did your sweetie propose?
“Each year, before moving up to camp, Rudy and I would spend our last weekend in the city planning a surprise day for each other. This became known as “Date Day.”
The day started by loading our two dogs, Reggie and Lucy, into our car and driving to a mystery location. We arrived at a nearby provincial park for a hike. During our hike, Rudy recalls me saying, “this day cannot get any better!” When we eventually found a place to eat, Rudy had packed a picnic for us, he placed his bag on the table and insisted that I unpack the food. I started pulling out some of our favourite foods, and eventually came across a brown paper bag with a small box inside—the ring! It was perfect. He had even worked with a jeweler to design a custom ring.”
How did you choose your gown?
“On my first visit to Lea-Ann Belter I fell in love with the Enchanting gown, I was convinced it was the one. It was flowy, and unique with the soft swiss dot pattern. I planned a second visit so I could bring a few more family and friends to see the dress, and to make the purchase. By chance, and perhaps some luck, the new Astrid & Mercedes line was in the flagship store for a short window of time. Vanessa expertly picked out a few dresses from the line to try on, along with the Enchanting gown. As soon as I put on the Rapture gown I was amazed at how light and comfortable it was. When I stepped out, my family burst into tears. Vanessa suggested a few custom touches, including modifying the neckline, helping to create the perfect dress for me, I was sold! It was unlike any dress I had tried on. (But I’ll always hold a special spot in my heart for the Enchanting dress too!) Every time I went for a fitting I fell more and more in love with the dress. I still think about it every day.”
Tell us about your day!
“We found our venue while paddling Lake Ontario for a camp fundraiser. The Argonaut Rowing Club had been set up for a wedding, and we were intrigued. When we toured the venue we booked it on the spot. The simple but beautiful space was perfect. Its stone fire place reminded us of our summer camp, and the view of the lake was breathtaking.
Our day was flawless, to the credit of our amazing vendors and our team of friends who helped to put everything together. Our friends built our arbor, designed our signage, decorated the venue and spent the night before putting together our centrepieces! This made the space feel extra special.
We really wanted our wedding to feel relaxed, and we looked for ways to make it as “us” as possible. For example, our officiant suggested writing our vows as a conversation. We took turns sharing things we appreciated about each other and our relationship, as well as our promises to one another. The rest of the ceremony and reception carried a really light and laid-back energy. I giggled throughout the entire ceremony. While we didn’t really intend to bring too much of our summer camp history into the day, it naturally found its way in. We refurbished two paddles from the camp as a decoration, and our friends re-wrote a reading from the last night of camp which they surprised us with during our ceremony.
We also prioritized finding incredible food and a great band. People were still hanging around long after the music stopped, no one wanted to leave!”
What was your first dance song?
“Praise You, by Fat Boy Slim. I’ve always found this song to be really fun, I think I first suggested it as a joke, but then could not get over how perfect it was for us. We put together a dance for the first few bars of music, then invited everyone else to come dance with us. It was a great way to kick off the night.”
Describe your wedding day in 5 words or fewer:
“SO. MUCH. FUN!”
What was the funniest moment of your day?
“We got married outdoors on a dock, during the ceremony a party boat passed by and began “wooing” and cheering us on—we happily joined in!”
What was your something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue?
“I didn’t really follow this tradition but my “something borrowed” was the veil. I borrowed it from my friend who bought it from Lea-Ann Belter a few years earlier for her wedding. We are now passing on the veil to another friend, one of my bridesmaids, for her wedding in September 2020—she also bought her gown from Lea-Ann Belter!!”
Three words that best describe your partner (you or both of you can answer!):
“Rudy is calm, intuitive and loving.
Brittany is compassionate, driven and generous.”
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
“We went to Northern Italy. We wanted a destination that had great food, an easy pace, and beautiful sites. Rudy had a work trip in China shortly after, so I tagged along and we counted that as a second honeymoon!”
Any advice for future brides/grooms?
“Neither of us were very precious about the details, we really embraced the idea that when you are surrounded by all of the people you love nothing else really matters. We focused on picking vendors we loved. Having a great team that you trust allows you to focus on just enjoying yourself throughout the whole process. Not having set expectations made making decisions together really easy.”
Brittany + Rudy’s Argonaut Rowing Club Wedding Vendors
wedding dress: customized Astrid & Mercedes Rapture gown via the flagship Toronto bridal boutique | photography: Jennifer van Son | catering: Gusto54 | make-up: Natalie Kaine | hair: Civello Salon | venue: Argonaut Rowing Club | florals: Sweet Gale Garden | officiant: Helen Sweet | rings: Fair Trade Jewelry Co | band: The Intensions!