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The Wedding Album: Lisa & Nick’s city hall ceremony and Jamie Kennedy-catered picnic reception

Lisa & Nick | August 14, 2011 | St. Lawrence Market

The Wedding Album | Lisa & Nick

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It was only fitting for illustrator Lisa Harrison, 31, and cartoonist Nick Wolfe, 32, to plan an unconventional wedding; they met when a mutual friend invited them to play cosmic minigolf. As circumstances had it, they wouldn’t see each other again until two years later at the same friend’s wedding. On that evening, the pair exchanged a few items of clothing: she wore his jacket, and he wore her scarf. They were a couple by the end of the night. It would take six years of living together with three felines before they contemplated marriage as the logical next step. “After that many years and that many cats, it had to happen,” says Lisa. No need for a proposal. “There was no moment. It was just a natural thing.” The couple decided on a small ceremony at city hall with a few family members and close friends, followed by an afternoon picnic at High Park. Jamie Kennedy came on board as the caterer and proposed a menu of classic picnic fare (barbecued chicken and devilled eggs) presented to each guest in an individual basket with handmade linen napkins and biodegradable cutlery. The planning was going swimmingly until three days before the reception. Faced with a grim weather forecast, Lisa and Nick decided to move the reception to their backup location on the second floor of the St. Lawrence Market. Still, the picnic theme endured: guests arrived in summer dresses and seersucker, and chef Kennedy went the extra mile, arriving with unexpected baskets of fresh peaches and loaves of homemade bread, still warm from the oven.

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The Wedding Album: Saira & Ian’s musical affair at the Berkeley Field House

Saira & Ian | June 11, 2011 | The Berkeley Field House

The Wedding Album | Saira & Ian

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Saira Zia, 31, and Ian Fosbery, 30, had a mutual love of music that brought them together before they even met. Saira, a fashion buyer, had seen Ian’s band, The Coast, live at the Silver Dollar Room years ago. She was playing his music on the stereo at Holt Renfrew, where she worked as a buyer, when a colleague mentioned that the guitarist was a friend from high school. In 2006, the friend brought Saira to see The Coast again and introduced the two. It turned out they had more in common: Saira and Ian had grown up down the street from each other in Etobicoke. Two years into their relationship, a job at Saks Fifth Avenue took Saira to Manhattan, and the couple moved to the Lower East Side. Ian decided to propose last fall by sneaking a ’20s deco ring on a slumbering Saira’s finger. The plan fell apart when she spent the night asleep on her left arm, so he settled for surprising her the next morning. They decided on a Toronto wedding with musical highlights. New York–based DJ Brendan Fallis was flown in to spin for the reception, and Toronto indie band Born Ruffians played as the bride walked down the aisle. “It was overcast all day, but as soon as the band started, the clouds parted and the sun came out,” says Saira. “That crazy moment brought me to tears.”

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The Wedding Album: Natalie & Nathan’s small, unfussy union at the Drake

Natalie & Nathan | August 20, 2011 | The Drake Hotel Café

The Wedding Album | Natalie & Nathan

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Natalie Sammut and Nathan Vella were 15 and 16 when they met at Waterloo Collegiate Institute. Their romance started over a shared pack of Hubba Bubba. Even though they were apart during university (Natalie went to McMaster, Nathan to Ryerson), they remained a couple and moved into an Annex apartment the day Natalie finished school. On a trip to New York in 2010 (their 15th year together), they visited a vintage jewellery store, where an art deco piece caught Natalie’s eye. “Once I saw the ring on her finger, some switch in my brain flipped,” says Nathan. A two-month wait and sleepless nights followed until he finally proposed in bed on a Sunday morning. “It was perfect,” says Natalie, “other than the part where I forgot to open the ring box.” When it came to the wedding, they opted for something true to their style: a small, unfussy affair set deep in the heart of city. “The Drake took care of everything,” she says. “It was almost too easy for us.”

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The Wedding Album: Kelly & Murray’s DIY affair at the Toronto Islands’ Gibraltar Point

Kelly & Murray | August 21, 2010 | Artscape Gibraltar Point

The Wedding Album | Kelly & Murray

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Kelly Rintoul, a 31-year-old director at Artscape, and Murray Lovett, a 33-year-old IT manager, met in 2000 under unromantic circumstances: working at Philthy McNasty’s in Waterloo. He was a student and she was home for the summer. The couple eventually settled in Toronto. In February 2010, after sending Kelly on a series of errands, Murray set up flowers, candles and a scavenger hunt. When she found all the clues, he proposed. The wedding that summer was a DIY affair. Kelly and her brigade of artist friends made the men’s ties, the cake toppers and the centrepieces. The Toronto Islands’ windswept Gibraltar Point, where Kelly directed an artists’ residency, proved a dreamy locale. “It had a destination wedding feel,” says Murray. They set up a bonfire and lingered outside until it rained and everyone was hustled indoors. “Without a/c, we were all a bit sweaty,” says Kelly. “But after a few drinks, it was great.”

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The Wedding Album: Gwendolyn & Joshua transformed the Evergreen Brick Works into a homespun country fairground

Gwendolyn & Joshua | July 3, 2011 | Evergreen Brick Works

The Wedding Album | Gwendolyn & Joshua

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“You choose a place in the same way that it chooses you,” says Joshua Kauffman about the Brick Works, where the Toronto native married Houston-born Gwendolyn Floyd. The couple, both 32 and co-founders of a design firm, were drawn by the venue’s sustainable mission and post-industrial aesthetic. To commemorate both Canada Day and the Fourth of July, they transformed the place into a homespun country fairground. The wedding incorporated elements from both Joshua’s cultural Judaism and Gwendolyn’s southern comfort. After they were married by a humanist rabbi, under a chuppah built by Joshua’s father, a klezmer band played the mezinka. Guests sipped whisky sours, ate caramel corn and, instead of a wedding cake, wailed on piñatas packed with candy, fake moustaches and toys.

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The Wedding Album: John & Sarah, two college co-eds who met, and were married, on the U of T campus

John & Sarah | June 4, 2011 | Rosewater

The Wedding Album | John & Sarah

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Sarah Hugh, 27, and John Ye, 26, met as U of T undergrads at a post-exam party John was hosting in 2003. “Sarah claims that she crashed the party, but she actually was invited,” he says. They spent the whole night laughing and talking and continued to do so through the winter school break. By the time they headed back to class in the new year, they were inseparable. John went on to pursue his CFA, while Sarah enrolled in U of T’s medical school to study otolaryngology. On the last day of a really tough second year for Sarah, John skipped work and raced home to cook her a gourmet meal. “I was going to wait until after dinner to propose, but as soon as Sarah got home I was so excited I just blurted it out.” Surprised, Sarah forgot to say yes, but the planning wheels had already begun to spin. The ceremony was held at the couple’s parish, St. Thomas Aquinas. “I’ve always loved the cozy atmosphere of the church,” says Sarah. It was also across from Robarts Library, on the familiar collegiate ground where their romance first bloomed.

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The Wedding Album: Alison & Tyler’s picturesque rustic and rural nuptials

Alison & Tyler | August 6, 2011 | Frankford, Ontario

The Wedding Album | Alison & Tyler

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Alison Westlake, a 32-year-old starving actress, was lounging around Poor John’s Café when she met Tyler Hogan, a 27-year-old waiter, struggling musician and vintage toy collector. “He claims to have purposely screwed up my order just so we could talk longer,” she says. After six months of flirtation and many nights of drinks at Mitzi’s, they moved in together. “When love is this easy, there isn’t anything to think about,” she says. In their crazy first year together, Alison opened her antique and flower shop, Coriander Girl. On the weekends, they visited her mom’s farm in Frankford, Ontario, near Prince Edward County; their favourite place to stay became the historic Merrill Inn in Picton. One summer’s day, the couple took a walk through downtown Picton and happened upon Arnie’s Muffler and General Repair, which had six rabbits running around out front. “We’re total rabbit lovers, so it was just the sign Tyler was waiting for to propose.” He presented a ring on the spot. As for the wedding venue, Alison’s mom’s farm was a natural choice: “I used to roam the fields as an angst-ridden teen. Those were my Anne of Green Gables years.”

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Weddings 2012: Jesse Brown’s story of 21st-century matchmaking (offline)

I Married Mo Pete

We were set up by my friend Sheila, who didn’t think it was wise for me to make romantic decisions for myself anymore.

“You’re terrible at this. I liked your last girlfriend very much, but nobody except you thought it was a good match.” She rapidly itemized my relationships over the past five years as a series of vain blunders and self-deceptions. Her accuracy enraged me, but I surrendered. My romantic life, I told her, was in her hands.

Still, I was embarrassed about having to resort to a blind date and leery of putting myself in the hands of a matchmaker. “I’m not a matchmaker,” Sheila corrected me. “I’m a curator.”

There was something to this; Sheila could be trusted not to fob off some lonely, homely girlfriend on me. She would act as my agent alone, combing through her extensive file of personal contacts. First came her questionnaire, administered verbally over cheap Ethiopian food.

“Younger or older?”

“I’ve never really thought about that. Most guys would say younger, I guess, but I find being looked up to really unsexy. I’d be fine with either.”

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Weddings 2012: three refined suits that look great next to white

Weddings 2012 | Grooming Guide | Three Suits

City Hall
Wedding

The no-fuss urban wedding calls for mod tailoring and casual accessories

Country
Wedding

Vintagey details for a do up north or in the middle of nowhere

Formal
Wedding

The prescribed classics for the major, six-figure blowout

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Weddings 2012: Four of the most unexpected, highly exotic and hopelessly romantic honeymoon destinations


Weddings 2012 | Honeymoons

PETRA/WADI RUM,
Jordan
For sand dunes, castles and hillsides

ROVANIEMI,
Finland

For snowbound chic

RAJASTHAN,
India

For heavenly luxury

SABA,
Caribbean

For total seclusion

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Weddings 2012: an affordable red, white and sparkling that will pair perfectly with hors d’oeuvres, dinner and dessert

Weddings 2012 | Toast points

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Weddings 2012: DIY decorations and party favours

How six Toronto couples made their big day more memorable and less expensive

Weddings 2012 | The Personal Touch

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Weddings 2012: six original party favours that will delight even the most swag-fatigued guest

Six original party favours that will delight even the most swag-fatigued guest

Weddings 2012 | Party Favours

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Weddings 2012: a doggie tux so your cute and cuddly canine pal can walk down the aisle too

Weddings 2012 | Puppy Love

Usually, it’s the job of a crinoline-clad three-year-old holding a basket of rose petals to hail the bride’s walk down the aisle. But lately, pet-loving couples have been opting for a different opening salvo of nuptial cuteness. Enter your faithful friend, wearing a one-piece tuxedo, complete with tails at the tail, accented with a rhinestone-encrusted detail. $50. Pink Paw, Yorkdale Mall, 416-789-2223.

(Image: Christopher Stevenson)

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Weddings 2012: decadent accessories for the bride who wants everything

From boleros to clutches to lacy unmentionables

Weddings 2012 | Accessories

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