It’s been two whole days since we last saw you, SMPers… and if you are anything like me (And I know you are!), than you are most definitely in the mood for some pretty, pretty inspiration. Well, have no fear, lovelies, because this Toronto Islands wedding by Christina Gapic Photography is about to fill your entire Monday with lovely. From the breathtaking setting to the beautiful florals by Coriander Girl to every last detail so lovingly crafted by the sweet as can be bride and groom, I am seriously smitten with each and every moment of this casual, yet elegant affair. I think a day spent wrapped up in this pretty is most definitely in order. Join me in the gallery for more!
From the Bride… Glen and I are Torontonians through and through, and even though we loved the idea of going away to get married ultimately we knew that we wanted to be home with all of our friends and family. Nevertheless we really wanted our wedding to be different – to be casual yet elegant, to embrace the outdoors and the city that we love, and most of all to be a blast – for us and for everyone who shared our day with us. In the end it was all of those things and more… the word that we heard many people use to describe the day was “magical.”
The Toronto Islands are just that – magical. Its a bit of an adventure to get there – we ended up hiring a huge boat to take everyone over to the tiny church in the woods by the water. When you are there – even though you have a perfect view of the city skyline it feels like you are miles away. That’s exactly what we wanted. All of our guests got off the boat and crammed into the tiny church. It was amazing walking in and seeing the faces of all the people we love in one room! We had a string quartet play Ben Fold’s “The Luckiest” for the Processional and “Hoppipolla” by Sigur Ros as the Recessional.
After the ceremony we didn’t want to leave our guests and go off to take pictures, so instead we planned to board the boat with everyone for an hour tour of the harbor, complete with an amazing live band, oyster shucker and incredible views of the city. It was a great chance to have a cocktail, relax and mingle with everyone. We were dropped off on another island at The Island Yacht Club for our reception. It was the perfect setting – boats and trees and a beautiful wood and glass building just for us.
It was really important for us to personalize our wedding and make our guests feel like we had really thought about them when we were planning everything. We spent almost an entire year scouring vintage stores and the Internet for old postcards from the places everyone was either from or that meant something to them. We then hung them on a clothesline as place cards for guests to use to find their seat. Then we asked them to write us a note on them and we used them as our guest book as well. We loved watching as people realized that their postcards were really about them! Even our table numbers were framed on a background of locally printed maps of the Great Lakes.
We also spent months and months collecting dozens of vintage tea tins for our centerpieces. In the end we had over 100. It was a daunting task I’m sure for our dear florist – Allison from Coriander Girl to fill each and every one with beautiful and different bouquets and then lug them all over to the island. But boy did she step up to the task. They were amazing!
As we were getting ready to sit down for a delicious steak and lobster dinner it suddenly, out of nowhere, began literally snowing cotton from the cotton trees on the island. It was a totally unplanned, completely magical moment. Everyone got up and ran outside to take it all in. Our incredible photographer Christina Gapic managed to capture it all on film and its something we will never forget. The members of the yacht club told us a few days later that it happens every year but no one ever knows the day or the time!
Another highlight was our groomsmen’s speech. They ended up surprising us with a video that they made that completely blew us, and everyone there, away. By the end of the night everyone was dancing and singing to the song when the DJ played “our” version of it.
We had a dessert table instead of a traditional cake – with custom “nautical” cupcakes with our initials, along with lobster lollipops and gummies, salt water taffy and all sorts of fun candy. The day before the wedding my wonderfully sweet bridesmaids and I spent the day making trifle in little jars to give away to guests. We called them “Nana’s Trifle” in honor of my dear 93 year old Nana and her famous recipe. The trifle even managed to match our wedding colors! Talk about serendipitous!
In the end, to be alone on a beautiful island celebrating with our closest family and friends, with the lights from the city twinkling in the distance – not to mention a cotton blizzard of our very own, was about as magical as it gets!
Wedding Photography: Christina Gapic Photography / Wedding Ceremony Location: St. Andrews-by-the-Lake / Wedding Reception Location: Island Yacht Club / Wedding Dress: Watters / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Groom’s Suit: GreenShag / Day-of Coordination: Events by One Fine Day / String Quartet: Intrada Sound / Band: Jake and the Blue Midnights / Floral Design: Coriander Girl / Cupcakes: Sugarbelle Cakes / DJ: Indie DJ