In comes my now husband, Aaron. Aaron and I met through a mutual friend, and we went on our first date on August 5, 2014 (which ended up being the day we got married on 3 years later!). The wedding bells started ringing when Aaron proposed on the beach in Hawaii. He buried treasure boxes in the sand all over the island of Waikiki that I had to find. Each one contained special photos/notes and gave clues to the next box. The final step of the treasure hunt was an engagement box. It felt like a dream come true…and also made me really impressed with his planning/sand burying skills. He was a keeper in every way!
We decided almost immediately that we would get married at the lakeside venue, the Harbour Banquet Center in Oakville, Ontario. We wanted good views, a big enough space for 200 people (that still felt intimate), and a venue that my family operated so we could work alongside a great team with great food that we trusted. We are huge foodies, so wanted a big focus on that. In terms of decor and design, we wanted a simple, classic vibe with modern punches here and there. We went with a clean white and gold palette with greenery. Being by the water, we did subtle hints of blue on our invites, place cards, the groom’s suit, and two of my maids of honor dresses. Aaron works in interior design and renovations, so he had some ideas as well to add to the table. He created a custom backdrop for our photobooth, created our seating chart which we called “Our Favorite People”, and did all the acrylic signage.
In addition to the decor, we wanted to incorporate as many personal touches as we could, and one of the biggest ones (and my favorite) was doing a balloon release in honor of my father who passed away just before Aaron and I met. Our officiant (Aaron’s uncle) opened our ceremony with a special mention of our beloved ones who have passed away, specifically my dad. My “Bridetourage” walked down the aisle with balloons for us all to release. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” was being played by the violinist as the balloons released and when the tears were the heaviest in the room.
On a lighter note, we also incorporated our French Bulldog Finn into our day. He wore a little tux collar and posed for photos. We didn’t trust him enough to be our ring bearer (he’s naughty), so we left the rings with Aaron’s brother and best man. We did however name one of our signature cocktails after him – “Finn’s Frenchie 75” and named one of the other ones after our niece Paloma, “Infinity Paloma”. Other personal touches included using View Finders (a favorite thing from our childhood) to showcase baby photos/photos of us, personalized aprons with our wedding logo, and had our favorite guilty pleasures McDonalds and Momofuku Crack Pie served on trays as late night snacks!
The night, as they all say, went by in a flash, but it was magical nonetheless. We felt like we were living in a fairy tale every single second of the day, and there were so many special moments that it was hard to pick a favorite. From getting ready with my girls, to walking down the aisle with my mom, to driving into our first look in Aaron’s dad’s vintage bug, each piece completed the day. Seeing Aaron at the end of the aisle made me the most emotional and the most happy, and I knew how happy my dad would have been that I was marrying a man like him. It was our version of the best day ever.