Fort Malden Wedding
January 14, 2014
North America
CasualParkSpring Weddings
According to Pantone, radiant orchid is the new color of the year, but here in wedding world, mint blue reigns supreme. And while we've seen our fair share of minty-shaded nuptials, when they're this packed with pretty, we truly can't get enough. Sarah Sousa Photography snapped a gallery of goodies and don't miss the film from the talented Chris Inch!
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From the Bride... Before deciding to tie the knot, Mike and I had been dating for thirteen years, since ninth grade in high school. We've been to many weddings and always thought that a wedding was just not for us, our families were too big to pull off the intimate affair that we would talk about whenever we would toy with the idea of actually getting married. Somehow, within the nine months that we were engaged we changed our minds, embraced the planning fully and loved every moment of it (almost every moment). Our ceremony was held at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Maidstone where Mike grew up. We chose to have our wedding reception at Fort Malden National Historic Site of Canada, although not much of risk takers with the elements, it was just too perfect a venue to pass up. Because they had, had only one other wedding there we had free reign of the grounds and literally built the wedding of our dreams together with phenomenal vendors, our amazing family members and best friends.

We decided to first start with all of the things we either loved or hated about weddings and then really focused on making it our own. We would spend nights drawing out the perfect bar area, car rides where we would quickly jot down awesome songs we'd hear and our favourite part- discussing our how all of our favourite foods could be incorporated.

Since Mike is really handy and I am mesmerized with all things beautiful on various blogs (mostly Style Me Pretty of course!), most of our wedding was do-it-yourself. With the help of our decorator, Rosemary from Soiree, we would scour the city looking for interesting things that would go with our vintage wedding vision. She shared my love of vintage finds and when I walked into her warehouse, it was like I had walked into my brain. I would send her pictures of old doors or vanities and she would help me look. Doors were used as bar tops and a vanity for our seating chart. From thrift stores to road sides, we reclaimed old pieces to make them work for the look we were trying to achieve.

We love food- and that is an understatement. We worked closely with St. Clair Centre for the Arts to develop a menu that had all of our favourites covered. We could tell them what we loved and chef Mike Jimmerfield provided us incredible options, I mean we were able to sample multiple different red velvet cake choices- multiple! Our cocktail reception included appetizers from St. Clair as well as the antipasto my grandmothers spent the fall before canning. Late night snacks after weddings are a staple for us, we each picked a favourite food and that's what we served guests that stayed late into the night- perogies from a local church and cheese burgers from McDonalds.

I really wanted to have a statement necklace. I searched high and low in stores and on websites. Then I found Marla from MRTS Jewelry. She was able to create the perfect necklace from vintage pieces she collected. She made similar 'little lady' necklaces for our flower girls and also made my sister's necklace and bracelet.

I joked that the only reason why I decided to get married in June is because peonies were in season.. that isn't exactly a lie. My part-time job before teaching was in the Sobeys flower shop so the flowers were really important to me. I worked with the most talented designers and they did an incredible job, out-doing themselves on not only the bouquets but the centrepieces as well.

The ladies and gents- we are fortunate to have a really close friend circle made up of people we grew-up with since the first grade. I have nine close friends that I couldn't chose between and without having the biggest wedding party ever, they became the unofficial 'maids' each walking down with one another holding simple babies breath bouquets right before my sisters (my two maids of honour) walked down. My sisters each had two of Mike's best friends on their arms. All of the ladies, including my sisters chose their own dresses.

Because we hate being separated from one another when one of us is standing in a wedding we didn't have a traditional head table. My sisters and their significant others as well as Mike's groomsmen and theirs all sat with us together with all my friends and their dates close by.

Friends of ours are extremely talented singer/songwriters from Essex County. Their band The Walkervilles played during our cocktail hour.
Two of our best friends sang our first dance, combining a Norah Jones and a Dave Matthew's Band song together. We couldn't decide what to do for a favour. I teach in an elementary school and we finally decided on making a donation of books to my school library so that students would have the opportunity to read the books they loved over and over again.

A few of our favourite DIY additions: the photo-op area- we had such a stunning view of the river and wanted guests to be able to take advantage of it. We also really wanted to incorporate the War of 1812 somehow. With soldier jackets and muskets on loan from the Fort, we created a funny area for guests to get goofy, take pictures and instagram them so we'd have our own album of the fun.
Cocktail hour bars- we tried to have different bar areas set up with different choice beverages as we knew we had 300 guests to serve. We wanted people to be able to grab a drink without having to wait in a line so we used wheel barrows around the grounds with non-alcoholic drinks for people to help themselves and then different bars for all alcoholic beverages.

Cigar and whiskey bar- that was all Mike, from the construction to set-up, to what was served, he had a clear vision and went with it. Soiree helped turn it into a reality on the day of our wedding and it was absolutely perfect.

Our wedding was made up all the things we loved and if we could we'd do it all over and over and over again!