Love can come at you sideways, as in Laila and Gerry’s case. The day they met started out typically for these two lawyers…until they found themselves working on the same side of a mediation. That moment was the spark which over the course of ten years grew into a full-blown romance—after business hours, of course!
After a sweet engagement in the middle of the pandemic, they set about planning their wedding, which, for Laila and Gerry, was about everyone having fun and really, really good food. Explains Laila, “Due to restrictions, we hadn’t been able to socialize or see friends or family for over a year. Because of that, it was important to us that our wedding was a real party and focused on a celebration of being together. We had a four-course, locally sourced meal created by Bruce wine bar. We had loot bags for guests filled with candles, lavender sachets, beer, and candies—all sourced locally.”
It all happened on a property with a log cabin Gerry had purchased years before the world was introduced to COVID-19. During the pandemic, it was a place the two visited often, and when restrictions eased enough that the two could get married outdoors, they knew the cabin was the perfect place to exchange vows and officially join their two families.
Get more details about their day (including her custom Lea-Ann Belter gown and those fabulous Hermés scarf-inspired bridesmaid outfits!) and excellent planning tips from Laila below.
How did you guys meet?
“Gerry and I met almost ten years ago. We are both lawyers and met while on a mediation. We were on the same side—I was representing the insurance company and he was defense counsel for our insured wealth management advisor.”
Get more details about their day (including those fabulous Hermés scarf- inspired bridesmaid outfits!) and excellent planning tips from Laila below.
How did you get engaged?
“In the middle of the pandemic, restrictions lifted briefly here in Toronto, so Gerry and I slipped off for a romantic weekend in Quebec at Le Château Montebello. Gerry said, “What do you think would make our lives even better?” As I was thinking, he pulled out a ring and said “Will you marry me????”
Tell us about your outfits!
“This is a second marriage for us both, and I’d often drive past the Lea-Ann Belter shop when it was on Queen Street and tell myself that if I got married again, I’d get a Lea-Ann Belter! So when Gerry and I got engaged, I went straight there and worked with Vanessa, who was fantastic! I’d initially envisioned myself in a modern two-piece. Vanessa helped me try on lots of combinations, none of them seemed right. Then we tried the Onyx, which was stunning, and I would have worn it if we had been planning a nighttime wedding in the city! However, we were planning an outdoorsy wedding with a tent in the country. But I was in love with Onyx’s top—it was exactly what I’d pictured! Vanessa then showed me what the Onyx top and a fitted skirt would look like, and it was perfect.
Gerry looks great in a skinny suit and wore a favourite Theory suit.
As far as my bridesmaids, I gifted them all with an Hermés scarf that they could choose themselves and any way they wanted. Some of them wore their scarf as a top, some as a belt and one as a hairband! They all looked fabulous!”
Why did you decide to get married where you did?
“Years ago, Gerry had purchased a property with a log cabin outside of the city. We enjoyed it so much more together during the pandemic as a respite from the city. We got married once restrictions lifted enough to have an outdoor wedding with our closest friends and our immediate family and children.”
What was the most important aspect for you, in terms of planning your wedding?
“Making sure everyone had fun! Due to restrictions, we hadn’t been able to socialize or see friends or family for over a year. Because of that, it was important to us that our wedding was a real party and focused on a celebration of being together. We had a four-course, locally sourced meal created by Bruce wine bar. We had loot bags for guests filled with candles, lavender sachets, beer and candies—all sourced locally.”
Any tips for other couples getting married?
“Food is so important! What I mean by that is, you should serve the food you love and is authentic to you! So whether that’s BBQ, dim sum, or French cuisine, that’s what you should serve guests—if it comes from something you love, the food feels more from the heart. We had a locally sourced 4-course meal and ended with an ice cream truck, everything cookies, and pecan butter tarts.
Also, if your wedding is outside, think about your shoes. My aisle was the lawn and I quickly realized high heels would not work—they’d sink with every step. I considered platforms or wedges, but they didn’t seem elegant enough for the dress. I wound up going down the aisle barefoot and borrowed flats from one of my bridesmaids!”
Laila + Gerry’s Intimate Outdoor Wedding Vendors
wedding dress: custom Lea-Ann Belter gown via the flagship Toronto bridal boutique | photographer: Visual Roots Photography | wedding planner: Amanda Jerome Events | caterer: Bruce Wine Bar | flowers: Collingwood Flowers | hair: Urban Hair Spa | makeup: Makeup by Lee