Where do you host your wedding if you live in the Cayman Islands but have friends and family all over the world? For Leanne and Barry, the answer was Vancouver. Shares Leanne, “My mum lives in Chilliwack, so she was there to help us with all the little details. Knowing we had so many people that would be flying in, we thought it would be a great excuse for our guests to explore that beautiful side of Canada as well. Planning a wedding during the pandemic also meant uncertainty, and at the time we began planning, our borders were closed, but Canada’s were open, so we thought it might be an easier place to travel to than to the Cayman Islands. We chose our venue, Brock House, because it is absolutely gorgeous; it’s right on Jericho Beach and has a huge, beautiful property, so the views are just perfect.”
As they planned their destination wedding, Leanne and Barry focused on making sure it was easy and fun for everyone and that the people important to them played a part. They also made sure to mix in some Caribbean flavor. Says Leanne, “We made sure we had loads of our favourite music on the request list, especially some Soca for all of us who came up from the Caribbean. A funny little touch we had was a personalised “shot ski” made for us, and instead of cutting a wedding cake, Barry and I took a shot of Fireball from our shot ski. It may seem strange, but as anyone who has come to visit us in Cayman knows, our guests always end up doing a shot ski at our favourite bar as a welcome to the island.”
Leanne shares more details about their gorgeous, intimate Vancouver wedding, how she and Barry met, and where she found her Lyra gown below!
How did you and Barry meet?
“We met through our gym, F45. Barry saw me at a local beach bar and his opening line was, “You go to F45, don’t you?” The rest is history!”
How did you know Barry was “the one”?
“Barry and I chatted for a while before actually going on our first date because I had to leave the island for a huge loss in my family. He messaged me every day to check in on me. He barely knew me but showed such caring and compassion. At that point, I knew I had met a truly good person! After our first date, we had such a great time and connected so well that we were pretty much inseparable afterward.”
How did you and Barry get engaged?
“We went for a walk along the beach one Sunday morning, and as I was about to go in for a dip, he got down on one knee and popped the question!”
Tell us about your outfits! How did you choose your gown?
“I chose my gown after several appointments at various bridal boutiques in Toronto. Lea-Ann Belter Bridal was right near the end of my search, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. However, I knew right away that I was in great hands and was blown away by the quality of the dresses and service. I would definitely recommend choosing a local boutique like this one! As soon as I started trying on dresses, I was torn between two different styles. With Vanessa’s help, I narrowed it down to what I wanted, and after sleeping on it (even though I knew it was the one!) I decided to go with my dress (which is called the Lyra). I loved how delicate, soft, and elegant it was and appreciated the high-quality silk and lace. I also loved how lightweight my gown was, so it was really comfortable to wear for our entire wedding day. It really was everything I’d hoped for! Barry went for a custom suit at Indochino. He had a fabulous experience as well, with quick and helpful staff, and his suit is excellent quality and a perfect fit!”
Tell us about your day!
“We really wanted to involve people important to us, so we had my stepmum and my younger sister play and sing while signing the wedding document. We also asked one of my high school best friends to play and sing as my bridesmaids and I walked down the aisle. It was so special. It was also so wonderful to have our close friends and family be a part of our bridal party and as MCs.
We love to have fun and wanted the day to be easy and enjoyable for all, so we hosted everything at the same venue. We also wanted to make sure we had delicious food and drinks for everyone to enjoy. So we made sure we had loads of our favourite music on the request list, especially some Soca for all of us who came up from the Caribbean. A funny little touch we did was have a personalised “shot ski” made for us, and instead of cutting a wedding cake, Barry and I took a shot of Fireball from our shot ski. It may seem strange, but as anyone who has come to visit us in Cayman knows, our guests always do a shot ski at our favourite bar as a welcome to the island.”
What was your first dance song?
“Beautiful Crazy” by Luke Combs.
One detail you couldn’t live without?
“I feel like every detail played a part in making our day perfect. One of the most special things was having our friends and family all together, and that was one thing we wouldn’t have wanted to live without.”
What was the most important aspect for you in terms of planning your wedding?
“We wanted a day where everything flowed smoothly, with good food, great company, and lots of dancing.”
What was the funniest moment of your day?
“Our friends busting out some random performances as the night went on. No joke—we had a friend decide to request a song and do a hilarious dance, and other friends took over the DJ’s job for a bit by rapping or singing old-school tunes. When the music was finally over, a few guys (including the groom!) began using a decorative vase as their microphone to keep the “music” going. It was such great fun.”
What was your something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue?
“Old: My mum gave me my great-great grandmother’s love knot 22 carat gold ring. It’s gorgeous! New: My dress! Borrowed: A beautiful gold and diamond bracelet from my bridesmaid, Chelsea. Blue: Beautiful sapphire and diamond earrings that were a gift to me from Barry’s mum.”
Three words that best describe your partner:
“I would describe Barry as funny, loving, and kind. He would agree but would also say he’s shy. I disagree with that, though! He can be shy at first but is definitely not shy once he gets to know you! Barry describes me as loud, laughing, and loving.”
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
“We haven’t yet! We will be going to Croatia, though.”
Any tips for couples getting married?
“The best advice we got was to soak up every moment of your big day because it goes by quickly…keeping that in mind helped us both get the most out of our wedding day. On a practical note, get a wedding coordinator! The money we spent on ours was worth every penny (Nicola from Petite Pearl was literally the best!).”
Leanne + Barry’s Brock House Restaurant Wedding Vendors
wedding dress: Lea-Ann Belter Bridal Lyra via the flagship Toronto bridal boutique | photographer: Lauren Knuckey Photography | planner: Nicola Pyo, Petite Pearl Events | venue: Brock House Restaurant | suit: Indochino | hair and makeup: Artistry by Ksenia | florals: Budget Blooms | DJ: Musos Entertainment | decor items: Bespoke Decor | rings: Balaclava