From the Bride...We both have an immense appreciation for the aesthetics of the past, and that played heavily into the vision of our day. Working with a relatively tight time constraint (we were engaged just six months) and a very tight budget, we talked through what elements were especially important to us. Quickly we discovered the essence of what truly mattered for our wedding day. We wanted to celebrate with our friends and family in a comfortable environment we described as "rustic elegance". Both classy and classic. We tried to remove the barriers that keep many brides and grooms from spending time with their guests.
From that basic premise, I took the reins of our aesthetics. After investigating several "rustic" venues we kept comparing everything to Willowbank, a beautiful historic estate on the Niagara River, which also happens to be where I attend school. Built in 1836 for an influential family, Willowbank is a Greek Revival estate built of cut limestone. After falling into disrepair in the late 20th century, a generous philanthropist saved the building and made it the home of a school for heritage conservation. What really spoke to us was the balance between the apparent glory of what Willowbank once had contrasted with its present partially decayed state. The stories told in the open walls and many layers of wallpaper and paint felt like the perfect setting to begin our journey together.
With that decision made Willowbank became the perfect venue for our wedding reception and everything else fell in to place. Vintage looks from a modern perspective. Nothing needed to be perfect - instead we focused our energy on making sure everyone (ourselves included) would have a great time celebrating our special day.
To make the evening social, we opted for passed hors d’oeurves and food stations instead of a traditional banquet dinner. This was ideal for our venue as people could enjoy the beautiful grounds, spend time closer to the live music on the porch or find a place to sit inside the house. We wanted to be sure the beauty of the estate was highlighted so we decorated very little - using ivory linens on high top tables and flowers in jars and vases my sisters, mom and I collected. We chose white roses (the first flowers Adam had given me), peach roses (which my mom carried on her wedding day) and queen anne’s lace (which I always loved picking from the side of the road when I was little). It couldn’t have been better that the day of the wedding the front lawn at Willowbank was filled with queen anne’s lace.
Adam and I both have lost grandparents to Alzheimer’s - Adam’s Papa (Pepper) and my Granny (Jessie). We wanted to do something small to remember them during our day so I embroidered Papa onto Adam’s tie and I carried my Granny’s locket in my bouquet.
With Willowbank filled with all our loved ones to support us as we begin our married life, it felt like being at home. I could not have dreamed of a more perfect day.
Wedding Photography: White Photographie / Floral Design: Regal Florist / Invitations: The Bride & Groom / Live Music: Krista Blondin / Wedding Dress: San Patrick via Promises and Lace / Bridesmaid Dresses: Alfred Angelo / Suits: Their Own / Hair + Make-up: Textures / Wedding Cake: Willow Cakes and Pastry / Ceremony Venue: St. Patrick Catholic Church, Niagara Falls / Reception Venue: Willowbank