How’s this for on-point wedding planning advice from our bride Laura?
“Don’t be afraid to make the day your own! Whether that’s creating your custom gown at Lea-Ann Belter, challenging traditions such as a first dance, or creating your own personal touches to make the day as much a reflection of you and your partner as you can!”
This approach to wedding planning was reflected in every moment of Laura and Chris’s day. Not just through the venue, Lora Bay, where her parents live, but also through the décor and flow. Laura baked alllll the treats on their dessert table, made thank-you cookies for guests, and, together with her dad, built the ceremony arch. Laura and Chris aren’t big on being the center of attention, so they tossed out the idea of a first dance altogether!
When it came to her wedding gown, Laura went her own way, as well. After searching fruitlessly for the perfect, non-blingy, silk crepe gown with some lace, she decided to take a chance and visit us at our Toronto bridal boutique. There, she worked with Vanessa to create her gown, which ended up being the inspiration behind one of our Wandering Star collection gowns, Isadora!
Read more about how these two met, got engaged, and wed from Laura:
How did you guys meet?
“Chris and I met working at American Express about 6 or 7 years ago. We were in the same department for a couple of years and worked very closely together on a project in 2014. Still, it wasn’t until we started playing intermural sports and going out with our mutual friends from work that we secretly started dating in 2015.”
How did you know he/she was “the one”?
“Very early on in our relationship, Chris and I won an award and subsequent trip to New York for a project we worked on together. We decided to travel down to NYC early and spend the weekend just the two of us before our colleagues joined us. It was a make or break trip for us so early into our relationship, and needless to say, the weekend was a great success. We spent the weekend exploring our favourite places in the city from the High Line to Central Park, having drinks with friends, and indulging in delicious meals all around the city. Chris says this was the weekend he knew I was ‘the one’ so New York has always held a special place in our hearts.”
How did your sweetie propose?
“Over the years we’ve travelled to New York a few times for work or to visit friends, so when I had a work trip to NYC around Chris’ birthday in May 2018, I brought him down with me to spend the weekend. We stayed in the same hotel as our first weekend in NYC together, and at the end of a long day exploring the city, we made our way over to the High Line—the most memorable place for both of us from our first weekend in New York together. Overlooking the Hudson on the High Line, Chris got down on one knee and proposed.”
How did you choose your gown?
“I knew exactly what I wanted in a gown—simple, fitted, zero glitter or bling, a crepe skirt, and some lace, but not too much—but I couldn’t find it. Not on Pinterest, bridal websites, or even after going to every bridal boutique in Toronto and trying on over 100 gowns. There was always something that could not be altered on a dress that made it a deal-breaker for me. I even asked if I could cut off all the sequins myself on a gown (I was very firm on the no glitter/bling) as the designer would not make the dress without them! While I did know someone who got a custom Lea-Ann Belter gown in the past, I knew very little about the process at Lea-Ann’s Toronto boutique. It was the first time I wasn’t told ‘no’ when I asked about making changes or alterations to the gowns I tried on. Vanessa was by far the most informative bridal consultant I worked with in the city, and I was so happy with the gown we created—it was exactly what I was looking for from the beginning.”
Tell us about your day!
“We wanted to get married at a place that was meaningful to us and had an outdoor space; Lora Bay in Thornbury, Ontario where my parents live had both of these elements and was a beautiful backdrop for our wedding day. Including meaningful touches extended beyond the venue, and I created as much myself for the wedding day as I could. This included all the décor and signs, baking every treat on our dessert table, thank you cookies for all our guests, and even building the wedding arch for our ceremony with my dad.”
What was your first dance song?
“We didn’t have one! Neither of us enjoys being the center of attention, so an entire day of that was already a lot to handle. We didn’t feel like we needed that first dance moment, or a grand entrance, with everyone watching. We still found plenty of opportunities to dance together all night surrounded by friends and family, which is much more our style.”
What was the funniest moment of your day?
“Luckily, this was a funny moment that only a few people knew about; Chris had his fly down during the entire ceremony! Our photographer quietly told me as I was signing our wedding registry. I thought she was joking and just trying to get me to laugh for a photo. Much to my horror, she was telling the truth, and one of his groomsmen quickly told Chris the same and addressed the situation. It was a nice comedic break for us, although I’m still not going to let him live it down!”
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
“We delayed our honeymoon until about 6 months after the wedding and recently got back! We travelled for three weeks visiting Sri Lanka and the Maldives. It was a beautiful combination of adventure and relaxation enjoying the culture, beaches, and hill country in Sri Lanka and ending the trip in an overwater villa in the Maldives.”
wedding dress: Lea-Ann Belter Isadora from our flagship Toronto bridal boutique | photographer: Corynn Fowler Photography | venue: Lora Bay Golf and Country Club | officiant: Scott Holmes, Celebrating Life | hair: The Parlour, Stephanie | makeup: Makeup by Lee | florals: Ashley Elaine Florals | DJ: Joe Scully | band: Switchbeat | stationary: Elena’s Little Shoppe