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DIY Backyard Country Wedding with Rustic Charm

DIY weddings always make me completely giddy. I love unfolding all the layers of love that go into a wedding like this beauty captured by Jamie Macdonald. Because you know every pretty picture tells a story of hours of thought, so my figurative hat goes off to this adorable couple – you DIY’ed your way to quite the gorgeous fête! See it all here.

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DIYRustic

From the Bride…When my husband Blair and I first got engaged, we knew right away that we wanted an intimate wedding ceremony at Blair’s parents beautiful country home in King City, Ontario. We set out to plan our small wedding, and in the process we decided that the wedding in King City would be followed by a cocktail party at Arta Gallery in Toronto’s Distillery District. As this plan began to unfold, we found that we loved the combination of intimate backyard country wedding/chic reception in the city. As a couple who both grew up in the country and now live and work in Toronto, we found this day really suited our backgrounds and personalities. So, now I will give you the details of the day as well as the little touches we added to make our wedding an extra special autumn event for our loved ones.

Wedding and Lunch in King City – Like many, autumn is my absolute favourite time of year – I love the colours, sweater weather, thanksgiving, PIE, apple picking, apple cider, and the list goes on and on. I wanted our wedding in King to reflect all wonderful things ‘fall,’ so I spent my summer months crafting and coming up with ideas for my vision to come to fruition. Below I have listed a few of the DIY items that we came up with for the wedding.

The Ceremony: Our archway was constructed by a friend and was made of birch and covered with a beautiful garland created by our florist. This was the focal point of the ceremony and looked striking with the pathways and colourful trees in the background. Hay Bales – Though it took some time to find just the right height and type of hay (or should I say straw which is actually very different from hay, which we did not know) for our seating, we finally found a local farm that made bales suitable for seating. I covered each bale with white fabric I bought and cut from Fabricland. Confetti – On top of each bale I placed a small burlap sac (Weddingstar.com) with dried lavender (Kensington Market) for the guests to throw when we did our processional after the wedding. That was such a great moment, having lavender thrown on us and laughing with guests after the ceremony was over! I was still finding lavender in my hair on the second day of our honeymoon! Flowers-as mentioned, we had the gorgeous garland on our archway and we also put wildflowers in mason jars that I had decorated with either twine or ribbon up the aisle hanging with twine from Sheppard’s hooks (Canadian Tire). It was a great way to highlight where the aisle was in the yard and looked great next to the hay bales. Flower Girl – Our niece Avery, who is 6 months old, was our little ring bearer. We had her dressed in a white Gap dress and a sunflower headband I bought at a craft store in Leslieville in Toronto. Her mom tied our rings to her wrist (triple knotted because she was afraid they would fall off – see my struggling in picture #4, Avery did not like waiting!) and brought her up when it was time to exchange rings and vows. It was so cute and Avery’s facial expressions, as always, were priceless!

Food & Drink: The bar – We purchased apple cider from the local apple orchard (Pine Farms Orchard) across from the house in King City and I placed mason jars decorated with yellow twine and pink striped paper straws around so people would have a glass for apple cider/water/sparkling water. This was a hit with guests! I also made chalkboard signs with bar menu as well as a schedule of events for people on the bar. Beer and wine were placed in stainless steel bins so guests could grab as they wanted. We tried to keep the vibe as casual as possible!

The Lunch Table- As Blair and I are both environmentally conscious people, another theme of our wedding was ‘local’ so we attempted to have everything cooked, baked, grown and made locally (or at least within 50km of our event) whenever we could. For our place settings for lunch, we purchased apples from the Pine Farms Orchard and I printed names on a thick card stock and cut them into small leaves that were pinned onto each apple. These were placed on top of the white napkins on the plates. The tables had white table clothes with burlap runners as the base. For centrepieces I purchased a variety of white milk vases of various shapes and sizes from a Toronto vendor and we separated bushels of local wildflowers into each vase. On each side of the vases we put small mason jars that I decorated with twine and one garden rose in each. It was simple and beautiful, just like we wanted!

Lunch – Playing With Fire, a Toronto based company, did our catering for the lunch. Head chef, Jenna Wilson, created a beautiful autumn menu with fresh candied local beets and goat cheese, wild orzo salad, Prosciutto wrapped pork tenderloin, roasted sweet potato and a crowd favourite, squash gnocchi! This amazing buffet lunch was a big highlight of the day for our guests and us as we sat warm and toasty under the tent on a chilly (and cloudy, but no rain!) autumn day.

Dessert – Emily Smith-Clipperton, owner of Cupcake Cassidy’s, is a beyond talented baker based out of her country farm in Caledon, Ontario. Nearly all of Emily’s ingredients are made, grown and produced on her property, and you can really tell when you taste her desserts. For our lunch, Emily made individually sized pumpkin and apple pies with cute, handmade tags for each one. For our party in Toronto, she made her ‘cupcakes in a jar,’ a crowd hit. This take home was a detail people are still talking about as they loved that they were able to take these delicious, layered treats home to enjoy that night, and for many, the next morning for breakfast. Why not!?

Music is important to both Blair and myself. We met at a friends concert in Toronto and our favourite times are spent going to concerts and discovering new bands together. Of course, music was also very important at our wedding. Blair’s brother in law, a professional musician and music teacher, played his acoustic guitar while guests were entering and after our ceremony, creating a relaxed vibe for our guests. My friend from high school, Mark, played the bagpipes as the bridesmaids and myself walked down the aisle. It was a tribute to my late father, a man proud of his Scottish heritage. In the downtime while we were taking pictures guest enjoyed bocce ball, the guitar music and life sized jenga!

Wedding Reception – After spending a wonderful and intimate afternoon in King City, we loaded everyone onto a limo bus and headed for the Distillery District. We were so excited to see all of our family and friends and dance, eat and chat the night away! We decided against a sit down meal, and opted instead for a cocktail reception with delicious hors’ dourves done by Toben Food by Design, a Toronto based catering company. Toben created a delicious and filling menu, our favourites including truffled mac n’ cheese, handmade butternut squash ravioli, chicken steam buns, crispy fried fish tacos, and tequila lime roasted garlic shrimp. It was all soooo good!

The real highlight of our night however was the speeches; crying, laughing, multimedia, and a song sang to myself by Blair with guitar accompaniment. It was truly amazing, and we spent the rest of the night dancing and beaming from ear to ear!

 

Photographer: Jamie Macdonald | Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero | Bridesmaid Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Wedding Coordinator: Stacey Gemmill | Catering-Cocktail Party: Toben | Catering-Lunch: Jenna | Cocktail Party: Arta Gallery | Desserts: Emily Smith-Clipperton | Reception Rentals: Event | Rentals: Totally Covered

Jenny Yoo is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. Jenny Yoo is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Jenny Yoo

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Classic Outdoor Wedding at Atlantis Pavilions

The beauty that is contained in this wedding is an absolute conundrum. It’s so huge, and so all encompassing, it’s a total mystery to me how it is all in one sweet wedding. But that it was, and thanks to Love Madly, we have it in both still and moving picture form!



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Pavillion

From Love Madly… Joanna & Dennis are two incredible individuals. They are both beautiful (inside and out), passionate, career-driven professionals who also happen to both be doctors. Their August 4, 2013 wedding story was simply amazing. With an outdoor ceremony planned at Hart House, inside a gorgeous stone walled courtyard at the University of Toronto, we had all prayed for a perfect-weather day! I joked with Jo that her bridesmaids all looked as though they had gone through a rigorous screening process similar to the Bachelorette … how else could one find 9 bridesmaids and 2 maids of honour that are ALL stunning ? The entire wedding party was super awesome and we had a really great time! Monika and her entire dream team from MakeUp Worx were there bright and early, we absolutely loved both of Jo’s bridal looks – one for daytime and another for evening. Jackie from Jackie Penner Events was such a pleasure to work with. She kept everyone on schedule and truly created a dream wedding day for Jo and Dennis. Their cake from The Luvvly Cake Co. was a classic simple design and matched their decor perfectly. Their Same Day Edit shown on the huge screen at Atlantis Pavilions was a surprise that was truly enjoyed by everyone!

Photography: Love Madly | Cinematography: Love Madly | Ceremony Location: Hart House | Reception Location: Atlantis Pavilions | DJ: Maximum Music DJ Service | Officiant: Sarah Bunnett-Gibson | Cake Design: The Luvvly Cake Co. | Florals: Opening Night Flowers | Groom Prep: Radisson Admiral Hotel | Limousine Service: Total Eclipse Limo | Make Up And Hair Design: Makeup Worx | Wedding Planning And Coordination: Jackie Penner Events

Love Madly Wedding Films + Photo is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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Caledon, Ontario Canada Garden Wedding

A gorgeous celebration of love and family, this garden soiree captured by Joseph + Jaime couldn’t be more lovely if it tried. It’s the type of wedding that wraps you up in love from the very first moment and squeezes you tight until the very last. It will leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside, so trust me when I say getting lost in this gallery is one fabulous way to spend your day. 

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Summer

From the Bride… I can’t count how many times during the planning process someone told me “it’s your day.” Although it’s a lovely sentiment, Kirk and I saw it differently. For us, the wedding wasn’t only about celebrating our love for each other, but our love and respect for all the people who had supported us along the way. So ultimately, the vision for the wedding didn’t start with a theme or a colour palette – it started with a feeling. “Intimate, honest”.

Since Kirk is in law school and I work for a non-profit we were short on time and money, and neither of us had the stomach for a long engagement. We set a date eight months down the line and got to work planning. The mantra was to keep it simple and trust our guts. We booked the first venue we looked at because it felt right, and decided to have the ceremony in Kirk’s grandparents stunning English garden. After those two big decisions, everything else came together with minimal fuss or tears and, in the end, we couldn’t be happier with the vendors we chose.

Predictably, by the time the wedding day came around I was a ball of nerves, but to quote my brother “the wedding went off like gangbusters.” Our friends and family literally made our wedding day. They arranged reception flowers, baked the cake, designed our invitations, set up sound equipment, balanced precariously on ladders to tie up twinkle lights, and even drove me around at 7am the morning of the wedding, trying to find an ATM open so I could pay the make-up artist.

It meant so much to us that our favourite people were involved, adding their own special touches, and becoming an integral part of the day, the way we had hoped.

Some of our favourite details:
The gold gilded frames my brother turned into whimsical works of art, the vintage apothecary bottles we dug out of Kirk’s farmhouse attic, the best man playing me down the aisle to Pachelbel’s Canon in D on acoustic guitar, my oldest brother delivering a beautiful, soul shaking reading of a “letter from John Stienbeck to his son,” laughing uncontrollably during our first dance (The Zombies, This Will Be Our Year), the heartfelt speeches from our parents, and calling my dad the next morning to find out he had lost his voice from singing and dancing the night before!

The wedding was so special and we feel blessed to have this day full of incredible memories and stunning photos to look back on for the rest of our lives. In the end, we actually had to kick people out and we departed with a convoy of our friends in their wedding finery, laughing and marching down the empty country roads to the Inn for an after party.

Photography: Joseph + Jaime | Wedding Dress: After Six | Floral Design: Sweet Woodruff | Invitations: Cameron North | Reception Venue: Alton Mill | Bride's Shoes: 'Vintage' Gap | Bridesmaids' Dresses: The Dessy Group | Catering: Gourmandissimo | Groom's Attire: Lab From Got Style | Groom's Shoes: Johnston + Murphy | Hair + Makeup: Blush Pretty

Alfred Sung, Dessy Collection and Dessy Flower Girls are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.