There are some weddings where I can just feel the love through the computer screen, and this Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery captured by Afterglow Images is totally one of them. It’s laid back, but lovely and filled with so much heart I could squeal, so every single image sitting in this gallery is basically the best. See them all here.
From the Bride…My husband and I are just about the most laid back people you could ever meet. We met 10 years ago, in Minneapolis at a Prince concert, and have lived together happily ever since.. obviously not in a rush for The Big Day! After he popped the question at one of our favourite pubs, three pints in on St. Patrick’s Day, we set our wedding date for the next September and tried not to think about the details; only knowing that we wanted something small, at a winery in the beautiful Niagara-on-the-Lake area we often visit together and is so special to us.
Ravine was the first place we checked out and it was love at first sight. We went to two other winery appointments that day but couldn’t get our minds off of Ravine. It was rustic and laid back, oozing natural charm, and they were the only ones willing to accommodate one of the most important wedding details for us: A custom beer selection!
Eventually, everything else fell into place. I didn’t want to modify on Ravine’s rustic look too much. They had gorgeous harvest tables available and the dinner tent came with branches full of twinkling lights. I knew of a quaint little flower shop called Coriander Girl in the west end of the city, and put my trust in their immense talent to do whatever they wanted for the wedding. As long as I had a few Juliet roses, I was happy! My father, mother and I spent weekends leading up to the wedding doing DIY decor projects and the time together was lovely. As a graduate of culinary school, cooking is kind of my thing, and I made the favours, preserved bourbon cherries, out of the fruits of my mother-in-law’s backyard tree. We also made a donation on behalf of each guest to Blood Services Canada, an organization close to our hearts.
My absolute favourite design element are the table numbers, which I tasked my Portuguese mother-in-law to hunt for on her summer trip home to the Azores. I am obsessed with Portuguese tiles, or “azulejos”, and I was going to hand paint the table numbers onto some decorative tiles but my mother-in-law came back with the already hand painted beauties that you see in the photos. They could not be more perfect.
I didn’t want a bridal party – my best friend simply knew she would be my maid of honour, and my husband’s daughter would be his best woman – and I just let everyone wear whatever they would be most happy with on the day of the wedding. Girlfriends thought I was kind of crazy to put so much trust in this system, but I just knew it would all come together at the end of the day, and it did. Everyone looked fantastic and, best of all, comfortable in their own garment selections.
Our ceremony was supposed to be out in the vineyard, but Mother Nature had other plans for us as it poured rain all day. Rain was the absolute worst case scenario, given the outdoor wedding we had anticipated, but the backup site ended up taking place in Ravine’s gorgeous wine cellar and our guests couldn’t stop talking about how it was one of the most intimate and moving wedding ceremonies they had ever seen. (It probably helped that we kept it short and sweet, and had a glass of wine in everyone’s hand within a minute of our kiss!) We walked down the aisle with my uncle playing a beautiful acoustic rendition of Johnny Cash’s “Walk the Line”, and exchanged vows in the candlelight next to Ravine’s glass encased charcuterie curing room and cases upon cases of wine; there just couldn’t have been a more Us way to get hitched.
The clouds parted at cocktail hour and sunlight streamed into the dinner tent just in time for our first dance. The night is all a blur at this point; I simply remember crying at speeches and dancing the night away with family and friends (to lots of Prince, of course!). We eschewed the tradition of cake cutting and, instead, carved a suckling pig for a late night snack – it was the hit of the party! (I apologized to our vegetarian photographers profusely). The weather stayed blissfully clear well past midnight, and an impromptu acoustic singalong by the campfire intimately closed out the best day of our lives.
Photographer: Afterglow Images | Flowers: Coriander Girl | Dress: Love Yu | Stationery: Bride | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Catering: Ravine Vineyard | Hair & Makeup: Allure Hair and Makeup | Groom's Suit: Hugo Boss Red Label | Officiant: Reverend Deborah | Best Woman's Dress: Mendocino | Bride's Belt: Something Ivory | Bride's Ring: Kate Szabone | Decor: Bride & Father DIY | Favours: Bride & Donation to Blood Services Canada | Groom's Shoes: Johnston & Murphy | Maid of Honour's Dress: Vintage | Vineyard: Ravine Vineyard