Fairy tale beginnings don’t have to involve a castle and a classic tale, but it helps! Engaged at Casa Loma, a landmark castle here in Toronto, Catherine and Chris planned a destination wedding at the Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu in La Malbaie, Quebec, inspired by Beauty and the Beast. Catharine adores the classic story, and an exhibit about the live action version of the film had been on view the day Chris asked for her hand.
Catharine found her gown while on the run—our Toronto bridal boutique happens to be on her running route. Whenever she passed the boutique, she knew it was the spot where she’d find her dress! Romantic, whimsical Provence was the very first gown she tried…and it was love at first sight.
How did your sweetie propose?
“My favourite fairytale (and Disney movie) is Beauty and the Beast. Chris has always described me as ‘strange but special’…just like Belle (ha!). Before the live-action movie was released, there was a stunning exhibit about the movie at Casa Loma (a Toronto landmark castle in the middle of the city). It was family day weekend and Chris and I were in a gallery overlooking the castle foyer and suddenly found ourselves completely alone. He knelt down and asked me if one day I’ll start a family with him. I said yes!”
How did you choose your gown?
“For years, my exercise routine involved running past the Lea Ann Belter flagship boutique on Broadview Avenue in Toronto. Literally every time I ran by the shop, I loved every dress that was in the window and I always said that one day I would go there to buy my wedding dress. The experience at the salon was like a dream…each dress was more beautiful than the next, but choosing was simple for me. I chose the first dress I tried on. I fell in love with the blush Astrid & Mercedes ‘Provence’ gown, with its layers of silk, organza, tulle, and bustier bodice cascading with blush flower petals and pearls. It felt like it was made for me. When I didn’t want to take it off, I knew I had found my dress.”
Tell me a little about your day! Did you have a theme or style in mind?
“We planned our destination wedding in just 4 months. For Canada’s 150, we thought it would be fun to do a Canadian Road Trip for our wedding. We chose the stunning Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu in La Malbaie, Quebec. The road trip was amazing; we had 75 guests coming from coast to coast of the country all taking various routes to end up in La Malbaie (about an hour northeast of Quebec City) for our Friday evening ceremony. The manoir really set the stage for our fairytale wedding. We really felt like we were in the Beast’s castle. The décor was inspired by my whimsical dress…complete with twinkling white birch trees, butterflies, and blush flower petals scattered throughout the tea salon of the manoir.”
Describe your wedding day in 5 words or less:
“A dreamy fairytale come true.”
Three words that best describe your sweetheart:
“Chris is: Genuine, Kind, Hilarious.
Catherine is: Best thing about me (he’s super cheesy/romantic like that…lol…so we’ll give him 4 words).”
Any advice for future brides/grooms?
“Have fun and enjoy every moment because it goes so fast. Also, I’d completely recommend having a bridal party of children…you’ll never have more silliness and excitement than if your bridal party is all under the age of 9! Our nieces, nephews, and godchildren were so excited on the day of the wedding that it was contagious. It was so fun and meaningful involving our youngest family members in this way. Bedtimes were definitely broken as the kids danced until 2am.”
Chris + Catherine’s Fairmont Manior Richelieu Wedding Vendors
wedding dress: Astrid & Mercedes Provence via the Lea-Ann Belter Bridal Toronto boutique | photographer: Annie Simard Photography | venue: Fairmont Le Manior Richelieu | makeup: Lesley Williams of A&L Makeup Artistry | florals: Fleur O Tandem (supplier), Bianca Tremblay (designer)