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Elegant Seaside Wedding in Nova Scotia

I’m ready to sail off into the sunset with this wedding, for sure! Nova Scotia is nothing but beautiful in the summer. Even in warm months, there’s a serene crispness to the air, which is perfectly matched by the floral stylings of Chelsea Lee Flowers and the bride’s simple and elegant Nicole Miller gown. So feel free to get lost at sea, or at least in the full gallery of Candace Berry‘s pictures from the day.


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Summer
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Estate

From the Bride… When Linn proposed it took us less than 2 minutes to decide where we wanted to get married. We knew that The Captain’s House in Chester was the perfect location – There’s no quainter town to host out-of-town friends and family, and with Linn growing up a few towns down the coast and my family spending our childhood summers in Chester, we knew it was the perfect spot for us. In planning for the big day we decided to drop the idea of a theme or a colour scheme. If we liked it, we did it! We wanted to host our friends and family to a memorable weekend and so many of our decisions centred around imagining what they would like and what would make the wedding fun for people. We knew that we wanted to set a relaxed, elegant tone so with that as our inspiration we set forth.

Linn is not a suit guy, so for wedding day attire he decided on a blazer and khaki’s for the boys with gingham navy ties. I wanted a dress that was comfortable and classic and so the Nicole Miller dress was an easy decision. I asked the bridesmaids to choose their own dresses within a similar colour tone, and they decided to go with variations of lace to help unify the look. My bouquet was done in soft, peachy tones to compliment the bridesmaids dresses, and the bridesmaids bouquets were all the same creamy and white tones to tie them together.

The ceremony took place out on the deck overlooking the harbour, and two of our friends played us down the isle as our guests looked on from the balcony with cocktails in hand. A bonus of getting married at the Captain’s House is that because it provides such a gorgeous backdrop we didn’t have to put a lot of effort into dressing it up or decorating it. We arranged a few bouquets around the house, strung white christmas lights in the tent and along the deck railing, and added a few touches to make the bar and dessert table look sharp. During cocktail hour a bluegrass/folk band played as canapés were passed and many of our guests played games on the lawn. To add some personal and fun touches we converted old frames and arrows into chalkboards (love the chalkboard paint), picked up some polka dot napkins at the dollar store, and brightened up the ‘dark and stormy’s’ with colourful straws.

Because the house wasn’t big enough to have a seated dinner, our guests traded in their heels for flip flops and walked up the hill, through the town to the church hall for dinner. We decided on a family style dinner which allowed for maximum guest interaction and they dined at their leisure. We also went with a caterer who focused on local ingredients and understood our vision for family style. Our table decorations had to be kept to a minimum since we needed room for platters, so we livened up the tables with a burlap runner, small vases of mixed flowers, and tea lights. To save on paper we placed a few standing menu’s on each table (printed and stamped by us) that stood up with the help of simple DIY cut cross-sections of birch logs and for the head table we used taller vases and bigger flower arrangements to set it apart from the rest. Our favourite touch was using Linn’s mom’s collection of mismatched antique dinner plates. We tied the serviettes with twine and topped them with a sprig of rosemary to hold the luggage tag name card. After dinner everyone made their way back down to the house for homemade pies and locally made ice cream. The first song was a surprise – Linn had written the song himself and a group of our friends performed it as we danced in front of a packed crowd – there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. We danced the night away to a playlist of epic dance tunes and ended it in style with late-night poutine buns.

Reflecting back, I think that we were most surprised by how much fun we had throughout the entire weekend. In planning the wedding we were so focused on making sure that everyone else was going to have fun that it didn’t occur to us how amazing the experience would be for us. It was a magical weekend made that way by our friends and family who attended. There were countless moments filled with laughs and (happy) tears that made it all so memorable. In the days leading up to the wedding our friends and family played a huge roll in helping all the details come together; from stringing up lights, to mass producing potato salad, to setting up the church hall… it truly was a ‘family style’ wedding which is all we could have ever wanted and asked for!

Photography: Candace Berry | Floral Design: Chelsea Lee Flowers | Floral Design: Chelsea Lee Flowers | Ceremony Venue: Captain's House | Shoes: Kate Spade | Shoes: Kate Spade | Jewelry: The Vault | Jewelry: The Vault | Caterer: Local Source | Caterer: Local Source | Makeup Artist: Naphtali Carleton | Dress Designer: Nicole Miller | Dress Designer: Nicole Miller | Equipment Rental: MacFarlands | Equipment Rentals: MacFarlands | Makeup: Naphtali Carleton | Venue: Captain's House

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Nova Scotia Wedding from Chloe O’Brien Photography

Now, this is a wedding with depth. I’ve looked through this gallery quite a few times and I am still finding more and more lovely details in every photograph from Chloe O’Brien Photography. The Louisbourg Playhouse, the bouquets from Lotherington’s Flowers, and that darling cake from Mimi’s Cakes and Bakes all made for a wedding so full of love and beauty. Click here for every detail.

Click here for the FULL wedding!

From the Bride… Colin yelled his proposal to me over the roar of an airplane engine in August 2011. I said “yes” at 10,000 feet in the air, and we jumped with my new ring snugly on my finger! We set the date for August 25, giving us a whole year to make plans. We discussed the kind of wedding we both wanted and nailed down a few of the main details together. After that, Colin was happy to hand over the brainstorming to me, and I was happy to hand over the “chores,” such as emailing, researching and inquiring, to my patient fiancé! During that year I used Evernote and Style Me Pretty constantly, finding inspiration and tweaking ideas to make them my own. When I went shopping for a wedding dress, I tried “the one” on first and then none after could compare. It was the dress that actually inspired my love of lace and its presence in our wedding.

We really wanted our day to be a collaboration of special elements of our past, with as many details as we could fit in. I’ve always had a fascination with “the olden days” and my grandparents’ lives and stories. I raided my beloved grandparents’ attic and barn, pulling out furniture and props that we are now using in our home! We also kept our eyes open at yard sales and second-hand shops for old vases, books, and furniture. Our families were convinced we would be making a big trip to the landfill after the wedding, but I know a treasure when I find one! When planning the formalities of our day, we decided to drop any traditions that didn’t mean something to us. This actually made our decisions easier because we didn’t have to do something “just because.” The ceremony was special; my father married us, and we wrote our own vows and surprised each other with them. Instead of a best man and maid of honor, Colin had four “men of honor” stand with him, and I had nine “ladies of honor,” sisters and friends, stand with me. Colin found our ceremony venue, the Louisbourg Playhouse, online, and after seeing it in person, we fell in love with the theatre seating around the stage. We knew we wanted a relaxed reception where people could sit around and chat, so we booked a summer camp and turned it into a venue! Our caterer put on a big BBQ, and the food was amazing! Instead of assigned seating, we set up tables inside, placed some smaller tables on the lawn and spread blankets on the ground for people to eat picnic-style.

We are both very close to our families, and they were a huge part of the preparations. My dad and others spent hours cleaning up the camp property, creating our photo booth, constructing the multi-directional arrow and fixing up old furniture. For our invitations, we sent our guests a picture of us holding up a sign with our website address on it. When they arrived on the site there was a video of us holding up signs with all the details. (The video was lovingly shot by my younger brother.) ;) All the invitations, envelopes and programs were hand-made, were all put together by hand, the ceremony backdrop was cut and strung together, and even the aisle-runner was specially created by my sisters to fit into the Playhouse aisle! My talented friend Katie, of Polka Dot Soup, made all of the boutonnières, corsages and bunting signs and helped me plan the decor. She put everything together at the ceremony and reception sites, allowing me to relax and leave it in her capable hands. We are so thankful for the help from family and friends to pull everything together leading up to and on the big day. We were also very lucky to have my friend Chloe O’Brien photograph our wedding incredibly, and Joey MacDonald did an excellent job capturing our day on video! I remember stopping and looking around at various points in the day and thinking, “This is just what I pictured, except better!” Now that it’s all over, I think back to our wedding and thank the Lord for how smoothly everything went. No, it wasn’t perfect – it never can be!  But it was our day — the day we were surrounded by our favorite people as we became husband and wife — and that is really all that matters!

Wedding Photography: Chloe O’Brien Photography / Ceremony: Louisbourg Playhouse in Louisbourg, Nova Scotia / Bouquets: Lotherington’s Flowers / Décor & Boutonnieres: Katie MacLennan of Polka Dot Soup / Wedding Cinematography: Ultra Videography / Catering: TR-Y-O Custom Catering / Wedding Cake: Mimi’s Cakes and Bakes / Wedding Dress: Winchester’s / Bride’s Shoes: Le Chateau / Bride’s Veil: Light in the Box / Hair + Makeup: Revive Hair Studio / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Sears / Bridesmaids’ Shoes: Payless / Men’s Attire: Tip Top Tailors + Gap / Groom’s Shoes: Call It Spring

Circus Inspired Wedding Photo Shoot by Chloe O’Brien Photography

This circus-inspired wedding photo shoot by  Chloe O’Brien Photography has me wanting to shout my love and adoration from the tippity top of the big tent!  If you are a circus-loving, vintage-admiring, DIY-digging bride or groom you are going to seriously fall in love with all the pretty inspiration packed into this entire shoot.  And all of it so easy to recreate!  We love that!  See every last detail in the full gallery!

Click here for the FULL photo shoot!

From Chloe O’Brien PhotographyThis one is all about the power of DIY! With the shoot, I wanted to create almost all of the elements myself using a weapon every bride should be armed with: Pinterest. The color orange and vintage details were my starting point, and from there I wanted to use a combination of each with gold accents to tell the story of the contemporary circus bride and groom in a historic local setting. I had a wonderful creative team here in Halifax who were generous enough to contribute time and products to the shoot, and from there I filled in the details.

Armed with burlap, soft creamy tulle, days of combing thrift stores for vintage broaches and buttons, a funky printed orange cotton blend from a local fabric store and the inspiration of the internet, I went to work. I chopped two table runners, hot glued and sewed little bags with pretty gold buttons, and wrapped a tall glass vase with the burlap. The burlap bags became fun entertainment favors, if you will, of gold, spray-painted monkeys-in-a-barrel. The table runners served to cover the main table and the tasty bar of sweet & salty treats. The orange printed fabric was cut down to the section that was all a gorgeous antique vibrant orange and became a hand-sewn DIY bow tie for the “groom”and the handle ribbon wrap of the “bride’s” bouquet to tie in both elements. Hot glue was quickly becoming my best friend.The bridal bouquet — you guessed it — was DIY. Hand-sewn satin roses, tufts of unfinished ivory linen and an abundance of vintage buttons and brooches for a long-lasting keepsake. The description tags, menus and name cards were inspired by the lovely invitation Duly Noted created but again were DIY. The name card holders were another DIY project — plastic circus animal toys spray-painted gold. An antique typewriter, hand-carved elephants, vintage frames, old top hat and antique dishes served to bring all the decor together. The cake was a masterpiece by Misty with a DIY spray-painted cake topper. Here in the Canadian Atlantic, the sea is ever prominent and so the menu was oysters, lobster and a red velvet cheesecake dessert to highlight famed local cuisine. To not let “the circus” overpower the beauty of the models and and the roughness of some of the DIY elements, more subtle indicators, such as the magic act of pulling the bunny out of the hat, were added as opposed to bright tents and an in-your-face theme. The typography, popcorn, peanuts and candy apples touched on this as well. Of course to finish off the wedding of the circus bride and groom, you need to have your first dance with the circus slowly moving around you. Enter performers from Atlantic Cirque.

Photography: Chloe O’Brien Photography / Venue: The Dalhousie University Club in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada / Floral Design, Favors, Table Runners + Bow Tie: DIY / Invitations: Duly Noted Stationery / Wedding Cake: Mimi’s Cakes & Bakes / Cheesecake: Sweet Hereafter / Circus Performers: Atlantic Cirque / Rentals: MacFarlands / Wedding Dress: Mori Lee via Winchester’s Bridal & Formals / Shoes: Steve Madden / Suit: Moores / Hair + Makeup: Meg Ryan