You guys. Emily and Rob flipped the script on wedding favors. Explains Emily, “We had Willow & Stems come in for cocktail hour and set up a flower stand. Guests adorned themselves with pretty blooms in the form of boutonnieres, hair pins, corsages, and more. Everyone looked so lovely all done up with flowers all night!”
Flowers for guests! It’s genius, thoughtful, and so, so special.
That’s not the only element of Emily and Rob’s day that came from a beautiful, heartfelt place. While telling Rob about what kind of day she envisioned, he summed it all up by saying Emily wanted it to feel like the Hundred Acre Wood. And, indeed, it did. Whimsical, charming, warm and, despite the size of the guest list, intimate.
They set up a mini bakery named Ellie & Bear’s Bake Shoppe (named for Emily and Rob’s dog Ellie and Emily’s horse) from which guests could choose from among a variety of treats, including Craig’s Cookies, banana puddings, Wanda’s Pie in the Sky pies…you get the yummy picture! Sweet Ellie was with them as much as possible and served as ring bearer. After the ceremony, Rob walked her home because they live up the street!
Our sweet bride shares her proposal story, more wonderful details of their day, and how she went looking for an A-line gown and fell in love with Coco below:
How did your sweetie propose?
“Every year, Rob and I take the week off after Labour Day and head to my family cottage in Perth, Ontario. This cottage is my happy place, and that week is usually the only one each year when we are both completely relaxed. Rob proposed one night in front of a cozy fire. It was intimate, quiet, and perfect.”
How did you choose your gown?
“Lea-Ann Belter was the first shop I went to! I had heard amazing things about how customizable all the dresses were, as well as how friendly and helpful the staff was, so I was keen to visit there first. I also loved that I would be supporting a Canadian designer and a local business. I had a few dresses picked out from the website that I liked, as well as an A-line, flowy skirt shape in mind, but I was pretty open to all options. When I arrived, Vanessa made us feel so welcome and wonderful! It was so lovely to have the store to ourselves. Vanessa had me try on all sorts of different dresses to see what I felt best in. I liked my original idea of A-line and flowy—the Abigail top with the Lily skirt—but I also tried on the Coco dress and was shocked at how much I liked it! It was form fitting with a deep-V front and open back, completely different from what I had been thinking. The buttons on the back were such an elegant feature and silk crepe was so sophisticated. Since this was my first day of trying dresses, I wanted to visit a few other stores just to look at all the options. After looking around, I went back to Lea-Ann Belter and tried on my top two picks again. When I put Coco back on, I knew she was the one! I felt amazing in that dress and loved it exactly how it was, no customization needed! Vanessa was such an amazing guide throughout the process and I’m so grateful for all her help.”
Tell us about your day!
“We have a lot of family, so we knew the wedding would likely be rather large. With that in mind, we wanted it to feel as intimate and warm as possible regardless. We live in the Queen West area and we walk by The Great Hall everyday with our dog. When we got engaged and started looking for venues, it was at the top of our list. We loved it from the moment we stepped inside! The space was so elegant, so we rolled with that feeling. I also wanted the wedding to be whimsical and charming. Rob listened to me describe what I wanted and summed things up perfectly, telling me that I basically wanted it to feel like the Hundred Acre Wood—bang on! I like classic and simple colours, so we went with white florals with lots of greenery and a navy blue and white colour theme with gold accents. Lots of candles and string lights completed the cozy feel!
We kept things simple with small wedding parties—Rob’s older brother was his best man and my best friend was my maid of honour. Rob’s adorable niece and nephew were our flower children, and our dog, Ellie, was our ring bearer. We knew we wanted Ellie involved in the wedding as much as possible. She ended up spending the day with us at The Great Hall getting ready and providing hugs and cuddles. After the ceremony, the three of us took some family pictures on Queen Street before Rob popped her home for the night, just down the street.
We wanted to make sure we spent the day surrounded by friends as much as possible. My maid of honour and I, along with another close friend, got ready in the beautiful Drawing Room at The Great Hall. We had another friend from the horse world and professional in all things beauty, Jessica Moser, come down to Toronto for the morning to get us ready. More friends, Vanessa French and Justina Reinhart, were our photographers. Vanessa, Justina, and I know each other from horse riding. While they are both very successful in equine-related photography, I see a bright future in weddings ahead of them!
The florals were one of my favourite parts of designing the wedding. Carrie at Roadside Florist brought all my ideas to life! Rather than give out favours at the end of the night, we also had Willow & Stems come in for cocktail hour and set up a flower stand. Guests adorned themselves with pretty blooms in the form of boutonnieres, hair pins, corsages, and more. Everyone looked so lovely all done up with flowers all night!
The food we served was very important to us—both of us love eating, maybe a little too much. We had a Peking Duck station set up during cocktail hour, which turned out to be a huge hit with guests! The station was out of duck in less than an hour. For dinner, Daniel et Daniel were wonderful to work with and helped us to create a fun menu that reflected our different cultures and tastes. For dessert, rather than serve our small cake, we set up a little bakery—Ellie & Bear’s Bake Shoppe (named for our dog and my horse)—where guests could choose from lots of different classic bakery options, including Cinnabons, Craig’s Cookies, banana puddings, Wanda’s Pie in the Sky pies, donuts, milkshakes, and more! For late night, we ordered a ton of McDonalds and had it served on the dance floor.
We couldn’t have done any of these fun things without the support and guidance of our wedding planners, Lustre Events. Rob’s job is demanding and I would always rather be at the barn with Ellie and Bear than anywhere else, so having dedicated planners was essential. Melissa and Morgan were with us through every step and we are so grateful for all their help!”
What was your first dance song?
I love classic movies and music from the 1930s-50s. Thankfully Rob tolerates this strange passion, and so we chose Frank Sinatra’s version of “Love is Here to Stay” for our first dance.
Describe your wedding day in 5 words or less:
Warm, elegant, charming, whimsical, fun!
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
We took a few days after the wedding and drove to Montreal. It was lovely to have a carefree getaway—we basically just slept ’til noon and ate way too much! We are hoping to take a longer trip next spring, maybe to Italy. It was too much to plan the wedding and a vacation all at one time, we’ll save that to look forward to next year!