Wellington Weddings 2020

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Art of the matter THE

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Cheers TO LOVE









International LOVE TWO CULTURES+




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Your full service

You’ve set the date, booked the venue, finalized the guest list and have chosen your theme. Now it’s time to call Miriam Foell, owner of Fergies Fine Foods. She will ensure the food you serve your guests ties into your plan and budget, so the flavour of your day is as memorable as the wedding itself. “One of the things we do well is we really listen to the bride and groom and their wants, and we create something to match their vision,” Foell said, noting it’s important that the menu reflect the uniqueness of the couple. “We ask them what foods they like and we always make sure to have one of their favourite food items included in the menu that day.” Customization is the key to her business, which over the last six years has catered hundreds of weddings and is presently booking into 2020. “We truly are a niche type of caterer in this area,” Foell said, explaining that Fergies Fine Foods has a retail storefront in downtown Fergus that includes a large commercial kitchen, in-house bakery, and is professionally staffed with a head chef, bakers and pastry chefs. The location allows her experienced team to produce fresh, homemade meals and baked goods, including wedding cakes, with complete quality control. “We don’t have a cookie-cutter menu,” she said, recalling the diversity of two of her favourite recent weddings: a wedding brunch with a jazz band and a backyard wedding overlooking the Grand River. “Every menu we cater for a wedding is unique to that wedding. It’s about customization, and not everybody offers that.” Adapting menus to accommodate special dietary requests for clients is not a problem for her team. “It’s become one of our specialties,” Foell said. Careful planning and a skilled team that makes everything from scratch means clients can be assured their dietary needs are met, from glutenfree to dairy-free, allergies and more. Pride is evident in every dish her staff prepares. “Food quality is key. In every part of our business, it’s all about the food,” Foell said, adding that in a small community, reputation is everything. “We have to have exceptional food. There is no question … if we’re going to do it we need to do it well, otherwise we shouldn’t be doing it.” Building community relationships is central to Foell’s commitment to support local farmers and food producers. “We buy the best cuts of meat. We have accounts with some local organic farms, and buy eggs from a Mennonite farmer, and we buy local produce when we can,” she said. And if people question the costs of using the best cuts of meat, she reminds them, “People will not remember the $5 plate they had at a

wedding years down the road, but they’ll remember the great prime rib they had at your wedding.” But it’s about more than just good food on the plate; it’s about presentation on a grander scale. “We coordinate the food and the décor that will go along with their theme, the way the menu is presented, so everything fits with their vision for the wedding,” she said, adding she works with the venues, florists and other vendors to ensure her team fits seamlessly into the event. As a full-service catering company, she helps clients cut down on their rental expenses by including an extensive inventory of dishes, serving trays, cutlery and glassware, enough to serve up to 500 people. With delicious food comes incredible leftovers, and Foell believes nothing should be wasted. “We are a zero waste kitchen,” Foell explains. “We take the food not eaten and make up full meals in freezer containers, so the couple can then have meals later.” Sometimes leftovers are turned into breakfast buffets for guests the next day, particularly for settings like country weddings, where guests and family will gather back at the venue. “It simply goes along with the theory that we are a full-service caterer; if there is a need we will fill it.” Foell believes it’s her experience that makes her, and her team, a trusted source in many facets of the wedding, from advice throughout the planning stages, to dealing with vendors and anticipating unexpected issues that often occur at large events. Experience is the best teacher. “We look after everything that they may not have thought of because that’s our role, to serve the bride and groom and their guests,” she said. “It’s a huge honour that they trust us with this and we truly go beyond the catering role, so we’ll smooth the rough edges that might otherwise occur, and that simply comes with experience.” She adds, “It’s the reason you hire a caterer that has great experience, rather than someone who does this once in a while.” Foell has learned that quality food and dedicated, personal service is about creating community, and there is no better proof of her business success than the repeat customers, the couples whose story she continues to be a part of with baby showers, Christenings, anniversaries and more. “We become part of people’s lives as their lives progress,” she says proudly. “That’s the piece that brings me the most joy. It’s the piece that keeps me going … being connected to people in the most important times of their lives and to be there to serve and to witness."



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4 Wellington Weddings 2020



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Amberley McFadzean & Braydon Sharer GUELPH - AUGUST 24, 2019 By Kelly Waterhouse | Photography by Davide Green

6 Wellington Weddings 2020

CHEERS TO LOVE. A DREAM OUTDOOR WEDDING SET IN THE HEART OF WELLINGTON COUNTY. Amongst the apple orchard, vineyard and tall trees of Cox Creek Cellars, childhood friends Amberley McFadzean and Braydon Sharer exchanged their wedding vows in a setting that was as natural and authentic as they are together. “I’ve been in love with Braydon since I was 12 years old,” Amberley admits. They met in Grade 7 at Elora Public School and were each other’s first girlfriend/boyfriend. She admits her feelings for him never went away, though they dated other people and remained friends. It wasn’t until years later in high school that they reconnected. By then, there was no denying that they’d always known who their "person" was, and the couple began to build their future together. “Braydon proposed to me in July and we had the wedding planned by the end of September because we’ve been together so long that we both knew exactly what we wanted,” Amberley said. They knew they wanted an outdoor wedding close to their home in Guelph and their family in Elora. “Being outside just encompassed our values. Braydon and I love nature,” Amberley said. “Growing up in Elora, we hung out in parks, walked the trails and took hikes through the Elora Gorge.” The introduction to Cox Creek Cellars as a venue was a happy coincidence. “My parents went to Cox Creek to buy some wine and inquired about special events,” Amberley explained. Cox Creek Cellars is a fruit farm and winery spread out over 50 acres along Highway 6 at Wellington Road 22, north of Guelph, and features acres of fruit trees, bushes and wine grapes on the familyrun farm. Over the years, the winery has hosted many weddings and special events. The location is ideal for people coming from across Wellington County, Guelph and surrounding areas. The couple booked an appointment to see the grounds and met Jerry Trochta, who co-owns the farm with her husband Kamil. “When we arrived, Jerry was on a riding lawn mower, smiling and greeting us, and as soon as we met her, we liked her,” Amberley said. “She poured us a glass of wine and we went on a tour of the grounds. It was beautiful, with big trees and so much green space. We knew immediately this was the place. It felt like us.”

Finding a location on the farm to hold the ceremony was part of the excitement. “The one thing I was really surprised about was how many choices we had in locations to have the ceremony. You could be at the trees overlooking the vineyard, or around the apple trees, and where the orchard ends and large evergreen trees come around,” Amberley said, noting they chose to be married further down the lane, near the tall trees. “All of it felt very enclosed, like you were nowhere near town. You couldn’t hear the traffic, you couldn’t see the highway or the laneway. It felt like we [were] somewhere far away,” Amberley said. The proximity of the venue was ideal, but for the convenience of their guests, the couple arranged a shuttle to two locations in Fergus and Elora, to reduce the number of cars on site. Cox Creek also featured a loft space, above the wine retail location, with a balcony overlooking the property. Amberley and her wedding party were able to get dressed and prepare for the ceremony together there. Avery McDonald from Cut & Design Hair and Aesthetics in Fergus made sure the wedding party looked great. They enjoyed some Cox Creek wine and a charcuterie board from the Elora Mercantile. Amberley appreciated Jerry’s hosting experience and preferred list of vendors. “Jerry was fantastic, and she was on top of everything,” Amberley said. With 120 guests invited, the couple rented a tent, tables, the dance floor, lighting and dishes from Burke's Tent Rentals in Fergus. “We could get what we needed from one business and Burke’s had a lot of options that made it easy for us to plan and less to coordinate. That was fantastic for us,” she said. The couple hired Magnolia Fine Foods

and Catering Inc. out of Guelph, owned by Arvi Gosmo, to prepare a wide range of food options. “We didn’t want a formal sit-down dinner, so we went with the cocktail-style dinner serving,” Amberley said. “We wanted a menu that offered something for everyone, to be aware of food allergies and restrictions. The menu was about 40 per cent vegan too. We heard from many guests that they appreciated the variety of options.”

"Braydon proposed to me in July and we had the wedding planned by the end of September

because we’ve been together so long that we both knew exactly what we wanted..." - Amberley McFadzean

As a vegan herself, with food sensitivities, Amberley was happy to find a caterer who could easily accommodate everyone. “I didn’t want to pack a lunch to my own wedding,” she said. “You pay enough for catering so it’s important to be sure you get food that you can eat and your guests will enjoy. I wanted everyone to feel happy and comfortable.” Magnolia Caterers prepared the food off-site and delivered to the venue. “Arvi has a very calming presence about her and that made working with her really nice,” she said. Putting her own spin on the cocktail concept, Amberley decided to add some character to the night.

“To keep the wedding green, I went to thrift stores and bought 130 random mugs and set them out on a table. Everyone got to pick their favourite mugs and that was their drinking vessel for the night,” she explained. “I thought it was funny to see everyone in their wedding attire holding these mugs.” Guests appreciated the humour and filled those mugs with a selection of local beverages, including a variety of Cox Creek Cellars wines, as well as beer from the Elora Brewing Company. Thrifting décor was part of the fun for Amberley and helped keep the couple on budget. While they chose not to have a theme, she said her friends teased her that the ambiance was “Granny Goth,” which still makes her laugh. She credits Braydon’s money management for keeping the couple focused and on budget. “We held a Buck and Doe and that really helped us with money for the wedding,” she said. When it came to the engagement ring and wedding bands, Braydon created something that was both unique and personal, while being environmentally conscious. “Braydon is an environmental engineer, so he created an engagement ring with a stone that had little environmental impact,” Amberley explained. “It aligns with our values, but it also offered us a cost savings, and I love it.” The engagement ring features a lab-grown Moissanite stone, featuring the same characteristics as a diamond, with brilliant clarity and sparkle, but not harvested from the earth. The stone was set in 18 karat rose gold. Then Braydon enlisted the help of his bride-to-be’s best friend and Man of Honour, Adam Nankivell. “Braydon and Adam designed the engagement ring and the wedding band

Wellington Weddings 2020 7

and found a designer in Alberta that could make it,” Amberley said. “The wedding band, also rose gold, has a leaf-like pattern that Braydon says makes him think of me. It’s really special.” So was the dress that Amberley ordered online from her favourite boutique in Montreal. “It is my favourite store and I found the dress on their website, and I knew that was it. I sent my measurements so the dress fit me great,” she said. When it arrived she asked family friend Karen Drimmie to help her sew darker tulle on the dress to make it more suited to her personal style. “I went to Len's Mill in Guelph for the tulle and used it to create my own veil. It was relatively simple to do and cost me maybe 10 dollars,” Amberley said. For the reception, Amberley changed into a long black gown, something more comfortable for dancing. In keeping with her personal style, Amberley visualized pastel flowers with a dusting of grey, and with the help of Anna Drimmie, of Drimmie Florist in downtown Elora, she discovered Amnesia roses, a flower that appears grey, but as it blooms has hues of soft pink and lavender. “Anna was excited to use this flower in her design, because it was outside the traditional,” Amberley said, noting the flower was used in centre pieces, the groomsmen boutonnieres and the bouquets. “My mother made my bouquet and it was beautiful. It had a wild and textured look, not so condensed and unnatural. It was perfect,” Amberley said. While the bride had her own unique look, the groom did too. Braydon went to Broderick’s Apparel for Men in downtown Fergus with the goal of creating a 1920s vintage look, complete with a grey pallet and a tweed vest. The groomsmen also had a positive experience getting their suits there. “The staff at Broderick's were amazing, especially given that some members of the wedding party were out of the country, so they weren’t present for all the fittings. But their staff were so accommodating and their prices were great,” Amberley said. Elora photographer and family friend Davide Green was at the wedding to capture it all, from the first look to the reception. “I am really glad we did the first-look because, while it was great to have our family and friends around us that day ... to have that specific moment just for us and for our wedding party, it was really special,” Amberley said. And as to her designer dress, the reaction from Braydon was perfect. “He does this thing when he tries not to cry, to clench his jaw and breathe deeply, and I knew immediately, this was a good dress,” she said, smiling. Under a beautiful summer sky, Amberley and Braydon exchanged their personal vows in front of their guests. “My father and I walked down to the ceremony through the apple trees,” Amberley said, noting a string quartet performed the song, “Concerning Hobbits,” from the Lord of the Rings soundtrack. She laughs, knowing that sounds out-there, but she insists it’s a beautiful song. “Braydon and I had a circle ceremony, surrounded by everyone that we love and it was really nice to feel that love around us as we came together as husband and wife, with the trees surrounding us, our family and friends, and nature all around us. It was beautiful.” The day went off perfectly, and the couple credits the decision to hire a day-of wedding coordinator with giving them peace of mind. “We honestly didn’t think it was something we would need and then, as we got closer to the wedding, we realized there was so much going on ... we wouldn’t have time the day of to do it all,” Amberley said.

8 Wellington Weddings 2020

“Andrea of Charmed Events Design and Entertainment was awesome. She brought her assistant Nicki and they just took care of everything, so the day was seamless and there was no stress for us at all.” A perfect example of Andrea’s efficiency was her ability to repair a bridesmaid dress that ripped just before the ceremony. She also helped supply equipment for the music. “Instead of a DJ, we had one of Braydon’s friend’s band play. They’re called Booze Town. They were so much fun and read the room perfectly to keep everyone up dancing,” Amberley said.

Looking back at the images, Amberley feels Davide captured the mood and moments perfectly. “I wanted organic photos, not stale images, but more about documenting the time,” Amberley said. “So while we had the traditional posed shots of the wedding party and our family, Davide captured candid images of our guests having fun. He really captured the event in a way we’ll remember.” Cox Creek Cellars was the ideal location for this couple and their guests. “Everyone said the location was gorgeous, and so easy to get to for all our

guests,” Amberley said. Now with memories and photos to hold on to, Amberley appreciates every decision she and Braydon made to ensure their wedding represented who they are together. “There is nothing about the day that I would change. Many brides I’ve spoken to said they were too busy to eat or dance… and I made sure to take time to do both and take it all in. If there is any day you can be selfish, I think your wedding day is it.” Cheers to that!

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Sarah Krul & Tyler Hallman ARTHUR - JUNE 15, 2019 By Kelly Waterhouse Photography by Chantel Dirksen

TRUE LOVE. RELAXED VIBES. HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS. Overcast skies and rain drops didn’t dampen the spirits of Sarah Krul and Tyler Hallman on their wedding day. It didn’t faze them either. Nothing could. Ask anyone who knows this couple. They are about as relaxed as any young couple could be and they planned their wedding to be too. Surrounded by the people that matter most to them, in a place that shaped their six-year relationship, they made a conscious plan that simply focused on ensuring everyone in attendance enjoyed the event. Making a memory to last a lifetime, in the town that started it all, there was no place like home. “It was special for us to have the wedding in Arthur, especially since that’s where we met,” Sarah said, adding she and Tyler met as students at Wellington Heights Secondary School, in Mount Forest, and have been together ever since. “Arthur just always feels like home in a reliable way,” Tyler said. “If you lived there for a year, you’ll pretty much know the entire town because it’s so small. I lived in Arthur for the first 18 years of my life. It’s always home.” Sarah adds, “Everyone there is down to earth and we wanted our wedding to be down to earth. We didn’t want people to feel like they had to wear ball gowns,” Sarah said. In fact, Sarah’s wedding dress was bought locally, right off the rack at BK’s Brand Name Clothing & Gifts in Listowel for just $50. It fit her perfectly and it certainly helped with the wedding budget. That sensible practicality influenced the plans for everything related to the wedding. “We chose to focus on the things that matter, like making sure everybody has a good time,” Tyler said. Arthur was ideal for many reasons, beginning with the comfort and convenience of having the ceremony and reception in one location: Sarah’s parents’ crop farm.

“If you lived there for a year, you’ll pretty much know the entire town because it’s so small.

I lived in Arthur for the first 18 years of my life. It's always home." - Tyler Hallman

“It was all there and we did everything in a row. We started the ceremony at 4pm, and then we did some pictures before the ceremony and some after, so nobody had to leave once they got there,” Sarah said. The property of Fred and Cindy Krul is on the outskirts of town, and features a small pond and a large, empty drive shed to comfortably seat 137 guests for dinner. For Listowel-based Joanne’s Catering, the staff could prepare the meal using the kitchen in the house and set up the buffet placement in the dining area. “It was really nice to do the wedding there. Practicality wise, it

12 Wellington Weddings 2020

just made things easy, because we could set everything up weeks beforehand and there was no rushing in and out of a venue,” Sarah said. “But it was just really nice because it felt like home too.” And when the weather interfered with the plan for the outdoor ceremony, the couple easily moved to plan B. “The weather looked threatening so we decided to have the ceremony inside the large shed area. It was big enough to fit everyone and it looked nice in there,” Tyler said. “We set it up with potted flowers and decorations.” They credit the support from friends and family for helping make the wedding a success, and keeping their family central in the planning. “They all asked what they could do to help out,” Tyler said. The couple now share three sets of parents: Sarah’s parents, plus Tyler’s blended family, which includes his mother, Lisa Beer, and his father Mike Hallman and his wife, Tracy. “We tried to make everything work so that everybody got to play a role. For instance, we made sure that both of my moms got their dance. And when they were asked to give their blessings to the marriage, all the parents said, ‘I do,’” Tyler said, adding that each parent had the opportunity to present a speech at the reception too. “It was really special for us to feel our families becoming one, because all of our families have similar values and they were all really happy that day, and that was what was really important to us . . . they want to see us together,” Sarah said. Another benefit of hosting the wedding in Arthur was the convenience it offered family and friends. “All of our family actually live really close by, the furthest distance away was Guelph or Kitchener-Waterloo and area, so very few were more than an hour away. Everyone could make it there easily,” Tyler said. “A lot of our relatives live really close together but don’t really know who each other are, and some members of our families do know each other because they do farm business together.” Long-standing friendships were key to the wedding experience too. Sarah and Tyler had five people on each side of their bridal party. Sarah’s sister Rosie was her Maid of Honour, while Tyler’s best friend Ryan Plesa took on Best Man duties. Tyler and Ryan's friendship goes back to Grade 2, and the pair shared a room in college. Capturing the essence of the day was photographer Chantel Dirksen, who grew

up in Mapleton, but now resides in GuelphEramosa. “I’ve known Chantel since kindergarten. She was my first friend at Alma Public School,” Sarah said. They too would grow up to become college roommates. “You can’t tell in Chantel’s photos, just because she’s a great photographer, but it was a really grey day,” she said. Sarah credits her friend with helping make the couple feel relaxed with being photographed, encouraging them to do a first-look photoshoot prior to the ceremony. From the groom’s perspective, the first look was special. “It was fun to capture the moment. It was great seeing Sarah for the first time on our wedding day. It’s a surprise and it’s good,” Tyler said. “It still feels good seeing her walk down the aisle to the altar too.” Chantel enjoyed capturing the day. “Knowing Sarah and Tyler as friends and being their wedding photographer was an honour and it definitely had a big impact on how I captured their day,” Chantel said. “I was not afraid to give ideas for photos, nor was I hesitant to ask them to pose in the rainy weather, because I know how adventurous, laid back and easygoing they are.” She adds, “Watching one of your childhood friends marry the man of her dreams and getting to document the day was so special and definitely an ‘all the feels’ kind of feeling. Sarah and Tyler are the sweetest pair.” While the wedding took place on the family farm, the couple made a conscious decision not to have a country-themed event, choosing instead to have a more romantic and whimsical feel to the day. “We aren’t personally farmers, so we didn’t want to make it look like we were trying to do a farm wedding,” Sarah said. Foregoing a colour or décor scheme, they kept things simple, from table accents to decorations. “We picked every colour and we chose decorations we liked,” Sarah said, noting the tables had vibrant, multi-coloured napkins. “We just wanted it to be cheerful and colourful. It was really nice on a grey day.” Tyler laughed, remarking, “We didn’t want any of the colours to feel left out.” Putting her artistic skills to use, Sarah created unique table placements. “The table numbers each had a different watercolour bird perched on the number. That’s the first thing I did for the wedding,” she said. Her talents were also evident on signs created for the corresponding seating chart, and painted signs posted throughout

Wellington Weddings 2020 13

the setting, including the design of a large photo board. Other items, such as a candelabra and accent décor pieces, were borrowed from family. “Decorations don’t need to be expensive,” she said. “We didn’t want to spend money where we didn’t have to.” With her mom’s help, they designed and hung fabric pennants as the main decoration in the drive shed. It was an inexpensive and simple decoration that suited the atmosphere they wanted to create. Even the bouquets for the wedding party were a DIY project that suited the style and simple elegance the bride wanted. “We saved a lot of money on flowers because I just ordered them bulk from Costco and we made our own bouquets,” she said. “They obviously weren’t fancy or professional looking by any means, but they looked nice to me and they fit in with our vibe.” Asked how she’d describe the “vibe” of their wedding, Sarah responds, “The vibe? Relaxed. Actually, my one friend jokingly coined it ‘eclectic bohemian,’ and I said, ‘You know what? I like it. That kind of fits.’” Sarah wanted the day to have a romantic feel, rather than a theme. “We specifically didn’t want country rustic chic, which is why we did the crazy colours and stuff like that, because although it was taking place on a farm, we didn’t want to do that sort of feel really,” Sarah explained. However, the natural backdrop of the wheat fields was part of the ambiance she wanted. “That’s important to me because that’s what my family does. I did grow up living on a farm, working the barns and all my family still work on the farms, so it’s part of me.” She added, “It was evident in the time

14 Wellington Weddings 2020

of year that we picked because the first consideration made was, are people going to be in the field, or will they have time to come to this wedding?” Tyler noted the natural scenery of the farm setting was enough, and they didn’t feel the need to add to that.

“We tried to remember that the little things are not a big deal. It’s about you being together, and your friends and your family being together.

It's not about whether the napkins matched the bridesmaid dresses." - Sarah Krul

“Not many people are going to remember the decorations after the wedding, but if they’re all having a good time, that’s what they’ll remember instead,” he said. Sarah credits Tyler’s calmness for keeping her even keeled too. “We tried to remember that the little things are not a big deal. It’s about you being together, and your friends and your family being together. It’s not about whether the napkins matched the bridesmaid dresses,” she said. Keeping it real helped keep the couple on budget and prioritize the things that mattered, which included the logistics required to have a party of this size outdoors at the farm. An essential cost was portable washroom facilities. They decided

to rent special event portable washroom trailers from Chantler’s Environmental Services in Hillsburgh. “They were great, especially when you have 137 guests using them,” Tyler said, noting that they were glad to be able to provide that kind of facility for everyone’s comfort. “They had all the features of an actual washroom and that was a nice feature. It’s definitely more expensive but it was worth it,” Sarah said. “We’ve gotten compliments on the washrooms.” Tables and a dance floor were rented from Four Seasons Party Rental Co. in Markdale. “We rented very cool cocktail tables from Pine Creek Event Rentals out of Drayton area and they looked great,” Sarah said. “But we needed a place that would rent us a dance floor without a tent and a lot of local places won’t do that. We were able to get what we needed in Markdale. We didn’t need a tent, but we did want a dance floor.” And they wanted to dance to good music, so an important cost was two key aspects of the reception. “We had an open bar and we had a DJ. That was an important cost that we did do because we wanted the music to be good,” Sarah said, confirming it was money well spent. The buffet-style meal included classic favourites: pork ribs, roast chicken, mashed potatoes and salads, with pie for dessert. Wine from Argyle Wines in Listowel was served, and local beer from Guelph’s Sleeman Breweries was on tap. “We had a comfortable smokers area set up, something you might not think of if you don’t smoke, which we don’t, but there’s always people who do, so you need to think about those people,” Sarah said. “We had it sheltered out of the rain, and

we had chairs, tables and couches in there,” Tyler said. The couple says the feedback they’ve received about their wedding is on par with their hopes: the food was good, the dancing was fun and the location was ideal. “I think the fact that we didn’t put a stamp on it, put a stamp on it for us on its own. We were told by many guests that this was the easiest and most straight-forward wedding they’ve been to and it was nice in that sense,” Tyler said. He joked, “Our wedding was Arthurthemed. You didn’t have to do much to fit in.” But their hometown proved to be an ideal location and one that they feel made the wedding run smoother. “Just being able to run into Arthur, to grab things the day before or whenever we ran out of stuff, like during the wedding we ran out of mix, so we had to send somebody into tow; it’s such a friendly town, and such an easy town to get around,” Sarah said. “And just because it’s not a huge town and doesn’t have a lot of major businesses, that doesn’t mean you can’t get what you need there.” Sarah said Foodland in Arthur saved the day several times, for last minute items and snacks. “It was a running joke with my mom. She’d walk in the doors and announce, ‘we’re back!’” Reflecting on their day, Sarah and Tyler agree that keeping their focus on what mattered most to them kept their wedding authentic. Their special day reflected who they are together, made all the more special because it was in the town that shaped who they’d become. Home. It’s where their hearts met. It’s where they officially became one. Good vibes all around.

Wellington Weddings 2020 15

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Marden Community Centre Located in the picturesque setting of Marden Park, located approximately five minutes north of Guelph. This quaint hall offers tables and chairs, kitchen and bar for up to 100 guests. The adjacent garden area is a perfect spot for an elegant outdoor wedding. 7368 Wellington Road 30, Guelph N1H 6J2

Rockmosa Older Adults Centre

Located in Rockwood this venue is ideal for baby or bridal showers. Rental can accommodate up to 30 guests. Amenities include: small kitchenette (fridge, stove, dishwasher, microwave), fireplace Conveniently located in the Rockwood Community Library and adjacent to the Rockmosa Enabling Garden. 122 Rockmosa Drive, Rockwood N0B 2K0

Both Rockwood and Marden Community Centres are available at reasonable rates for Weddings, Anniversary Parties and Showers. All our facilities are fully accessible. For more information please contact Kristen Parks and Recreation Administrative Assistant Guelph/Eramosa Township PO BOX 700 Rockwood, ON N0B 2K0 8348 Wellington Rd. 124 519-856-9596 X 113 kchiasson@get.on.ca www.get.on.ca 16 Wellington Weddings 2020

Rockmosa Community Centre

Located in the village of Rockwood. Decorated in neutral colours this room can accommodate up to 300 guests for any event. Amenities include tables, chairs, full preparation food kitchen, bar, walk in fridge. 110 Rockmosa Drive, Rockwood N0B 2K0



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Wellington Weddings 2020 17

Shannon Curran & Tim Hitchcock FERGUS - FEBRUARY 8, 2019

By Kelly Waterhouse | Photography by Helen Michel and Drew Mochrie

18 Wellington Weddings 2020

LOVE ON THE ROCKS. A VERY CANADIAN PROPOSAL, AND A VERY FERGUS ONE, TOO! Some men buy their fiancé a big diamond, a spectacular stone that makes a grand gesture of forever love. When Tim Hitchcock proposed to his long time girlfriend Shannon Curran, he bought her a giant stone. Actually, he bought her two. The result? One of the most Canadian engagement stories ever. If you are familiar with the phrase, “hurry hard,” you’ll understand that Tim did just that in a mad rush to pull off the proposal of the season - the curling season that is. Despite a snow storm, delivery delays, a competition with a competitive girlfriend and a secret that took a community of curlers to pull off, he really hit the button. The date was Feb. 8, 2019. The location was the Fergus Curling Club. The event was the annual Sweetheart Bonspiel. And the surprise was all for Shannon. “I envisioned this being the best way to propose to her,” Tim said. “Shannon’s very competitive at curling and we spend a lot of time at the Fergus Curling Club. We practically live there. The people at the club are like a second family to us.” Shannon agrees. “We have our own family, and our curling family.” The pair had dated for 14 years, and had been members of the Fergus Curling Club for almost a decade. Curling is their sport of choice and the pair admit they are very competitive. Shannon had competed at the provincial level, representing Team Smeltzer, made up of women competitors from the club. “We call a different game strategy and we can get frustrated with each other,” Tim admits. “And we don’t play on the same team,” Shannon said. Feeling right at home made the club the right spot to pop the question, but the addition of the annual Valentine’s Sweetheart Bonspiel made it all the more perfect. It’s a couples’ tournament, and they never miss it. But first Tim needed the rocks: one for her finger and one for the ice. He started to plan the proposal in December, trying to visualize how to make the perfect play to sweep Shannon off her feet (not literally, of course). “Shannon had sketches of the ring she wanted and I wanted to ensure the perfect design for her, but we’d just moved in together and I had to search the apartment to find the sketches,” he said. It took some time.

She wanted a pear-shaped diamond to be the central focus of the engagement ring, so Tim went to Ron Wilkin Jewellers in Fergus and met with jewelery designer and fellow curler Paul Brinkman. Time was of the essence. Paul knew exactly the cut to look for and designed the ring to Tim’s specifications. But as the Christmas holidays had just ended, pear-shaped diamonds were sold out. The diamond had to be ordered. Paul had three weeks to secure it.

“Here I am white-knuckling it through an ice storm,

lying to her two days before I propose." - Tim Hitchcock

“Lisa Beirnes (at Ron Wilkins Jewellers), ordered the ring. It was due on Feb. 6. Due to circumstances beyond their control, the engagement ring did not arrive until Feb. 8, the day of the big event. “Thanks to Lisa, I had a back-up ring, just in case,” Tim said. The other rock, a curling stone, had to be ordered from Canada Curling Stone, just

outside of London, Ontario. “I chose a blue handle, Shannon’s favourite colour, and I had the handle engraved with the date of the event, the words “Sweetheart Bonspiel” and “Shannon, will you marry me?” The rock was to arrive the week prior to the bonspiel, but an unforeseen issue held that up. It wasn’t ready until Feb. 7, which also happened to be the day of an epic ice storm across southern Ontario. “I didn’t tell Shannon I was taking the day off work, and she never calls me during the day, but on this day of all days she called me to make sure I got to work okay,” he said laughing. “Here I am white-knuckling it through an ice storm, lying to her two days before I propose.” Shannon was oblivious to his efforts. She recalls, “I had no idea he was stressed about this at all.” Tim had no choice but to make the trip, because in order to have the curling rock ready for Friday’s game, it needed to be acclimatized to the ice rink’s temperature for a 24-hour period to reach the same temperature or colder than the ice surface, or it would ruin the sheet of ice. As Tim planned to actually play the rock in the Friday night game as part of his proposal, he needed it game ready. If that wasn’t stressful enough, Tim had to rush home through the ice storm to get to the Fergus Curling Club to meet Andy Maine, the resident ice maker, so Andy

could hide the new curling rock because, to further complicate matters, Tim and Shannon both curl on Thursday nights. No pressure. “Andy buried the rock in a patch of snow,” Tim explained. It was hidden from sight. There were many other factors that needed to come together, beginning with keeping a secret in a small club in a small town, where not only do they know many people, but Shannon is the owner of Sew What?, a seamstress business in downtown Fergus. “I knew I could let a few people in on my plan and then surprise the rest of them,” Tim said. He started with Sweetheart Bonspiel convenors Jennifer and Jeff Gleva. “I asked for some special requirements. Our teammates for the bonspiel was Shannon and Jason Carney, who were in on this, but I wanted us to play against our old friends Tania Elliott and Scott Hall, because they needed to be aware that I would be changing curling rocks,” Tim said. “I also requested we be on an inside sheet of ice, because I wanted our family and friends to be able to watch us from behind the glass in the clubroom.” Jennifer said she and her spouse, Jeff, were thrilled to be a part of this special moment. The Sweetheart Bonspiel is played over two days. The proceeds go to support the club. That means corporate sponsors support the event in various ways,

Wellington Weddings 2020 19

including sponsoring a sheet of ice. For this event, Shannon’s business sponsored sheet 8. (Note: Fergus Curling Club is the longest continuous curling club, founded in 1834. The sheets are numbered 1-8-3-4 in honour of that tradition). “Tim asked that they be on sheet 8 for the proposal and Jeff coordinated that,” Jennifer said. Tim took the Friday off work and went to the club early that day so he could practice throwing the rock without an audience. Andy was prepping the ice and they met with Jeff and Jennifer to go over the final plans. “So basically what I had set up with Andy was, at a certain point in the game, I would look up at the glass and lock eyes with him, and he would come out,” Tim said, explaining they would pretend that one of the curling rocks had an issue with the handle and needed to be swapped out, for the new, engraved curling rock. But there was one more hurdle to overcome. How would Tim get their family to the club without alerting them to the surprise? And how would he explain their attendance without arising suspicion in Shannon? The proposal was a surprise to Shannon’s parents, Kevin and Dorothy, as well as her little sister, Kaytelyn. “There was a band playing at the club that night and I’d arranged for both families to be there. To stop her from thinking anything was weird, I told Shannon everyone had come to see the band,” Tim said. It was plausible. The explanation worked. Friday night, the Sweetheart Bonspiel was going smoothly. Shannon had taken her last shot in the last game of the night. “We were winning by a lot, I can’t remember the score,” Shannon said. “And all I kept thinking is, ‘I want to win this game because I wanted to sleep in on Saturday

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20 Wellington Weddings 2020

morning,’ so if we won, we’d get a later time for the Saturday game, and we were winning.” It was time. Tim’s turn. “We play six ends in this tournament. It’s the very last, final shot,” Tim said, noting that they were playing with red rocks, while their opponents were shooting yellow.

“We rang a bell and I hollered at everybody to watch

a sweetheart moment that was about to happen on the ice." - Jennifer Gleva, Bonspiel convenor

“Everything went off without a hitch,” Tim said. He and Shannon discussed the set-up for his final shot, where he wanted the rock to land, and she stayed at the end waiting to for the play. “I asked her for a kiss before I went back to my end of the rink." That request was atypical of Tim.

Shannon said it caught her off guard. “I thought, ‘what does he want a kiss for? This is weird.’ And I remember thinking, ‘ just throw your rock because I want to win this game,’” she said, laughing at the memory. On his way to his end of the ice, Tim told teammates the Carneys, whose job it was to sweep the rock into place, how he wanted them to do it, so it would land in the perfect position. “I said, I don’t care if you have to kick it, stop it, burn the rock, push it – do whatever you have to do to have the rock stop right in front of Shannon,” Tim said. Tim went to the hack, to get ready to throw the 8th game rock, but he stopped. He called Andy over and they had a conversation about the red rock, pretending the handle was loose. “I’m at the other end of the rink, so I can’t hear them and I have no idea what’s wrong,” Shannon explained. Andy removed the rock, making it look like he was going to fix it. He replaced it with the blue curling rock. Meanwhile, Jennifer made an announcement to the spectators and participants who were in the clubhouse. “We rang a bell and I hollered at everybody to watch a sweetheart moment that was about to happen on the ice,” Jennifer said. Jennifer and Shannon’s sister escorted Shannon’s parents Kevin and Dorothy to the glass, without telling them what was about to happen. The clubhouse got quiet as people gathered to the glass, unbeknownst to Shannon, who had her back to the clubhouse windows. “As Tim got in the hack and spun the rock, I saw that the rock is the wrong colour,” Shannon said. “While he was shooting, as the rock is coming towards me, I am asking Tania, our opponent, ‘why is this rock blue?’

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Tania said, ‘I don’t know.’” Tim laughed, “She had no idea why there is a blue rock on the sheet.” Then their opponents, Scott and Tania, who should have been actively participating in the play of that final game rock, stopped at the hog line, at the glass side of the rink, which isn’t how their positions are to be played in curling. Shannon didn’t know they were getting into position to watch the blue rock head straight to her, so they could witness her reaction. “Tim was sliding, Shannon and Jason were sweeping, the blue rock is coming towards me and then, Shannon and Jason moved off to the side,” Shannon said. Tim landed the shot of a lifetime. “The rock tapped one rock and rolled right in front of her, and spun so that it was exactly how it was meant to be,” he said. Shannon looked down at the rock to see the inscription. “Tim knelt down in front of me, pulled out the ring and said, ‘Will you marry me?’” Shannon recalls, laughing at her shocked response. But the answer was a very quick yes. She had to take her gloves off to put the

ring on, and she knelt down to him to share a kiss. Everyone on the ice had stopped playing to watch, and they broke out in applause. Then Shannon turned to see the whole curling club watching from behind the glass. “Then it was the loudest room imaginable so they could hear us through the glass as we celebrated with them. It was definitely a really joyous and exciting moment for everyone,” Jennifer said. Shannon’s sister rushed out to the ice to hug her. “There was lots of hugs,” Shannon said. “I hugged Andy and said, ‘you little bugger.’" She laughs. Tim said after the excitement subsided, he went into the club house and apologized to Kevin for not asking his permission to marry Shannon. “I told him I wanted it to be a surprise, and he said, ‘Well, I’m pretty surprised,’” Tim said. Shannon’s family enjoyed the moment. Shannon admits she never expected such a grand gesture from Tim, but the significance of the moment was as

memorable as the location. “The curling club is where we’ve spent most of our time together, and this is something we enjoy doing together. It’s pretty cool that he chose this way to propose,” she said. Tim was definitely on the button with his one shot to get it right. “I thought it was important to propose at the club because of our connection to curling for so long, and I thought it was important for Shannon to have her family and friends and curling family there,” he said. And to make this story just a little more Canadian, a fellow curler recorded the proposal on video and it went viral. A photo of the special moment was aired on TSN (The Sports Network) after the bronze medal game of The Brier, the annual Canadian men’s curling championship. Clearly, two rocks are better than one. Nice, eh? Tim and Shannon are planning a wedding in August 2020. And of course, they’ll be sharing a sheet of ice for many years to come.


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Wellington Weddings 2020 23

Sunni Vann & Matt Irish ELORA - AUGUST 31, 2019

By Kelly Waterhouse | Photography by Lucy Doan

THE ART OF THE MATTER. MAKING HISTORY AT THE ELORA CENTRE FOR THE ARTS Elora holds a special place in the heart of Sunni Vann, and on the day she married the love of her life, Matt Irish, of Toronto, she knew that her hometown was the ideal location to gather family and friends in a place that meant so much to her, to both of them. “I always kind of felt like there were just so many people in Elora who are a part of my life so strongly, like that town and its personality kind of just always felt like a community to grow up alongside of,” Sunni said. “Especially with my mom being so

24 Wellington Weddings 2020

involved in the community. There were always other local folks coming in and out of our lives. So many of the business owners in town knew me by my name and had seen me grow up. I guess those streets just told the story of my childhood.” That inspired the couple to incorporate the village into every aspect of their wedding weekend, from the church to the reception to the accommodations, to the events surrounding the big day, in a way that supported local businesses and allowed guests to explore the uniqueness and hospitality of her hometown. “There were so many great places, small little spots for people to stay through Airbnb or supporting local bed and breakfasts,” Sunni explained, adding she and Matt booked The Mercantile Manor,

"It was the best place I could have possibly chosen because right away I found the dress." - Sunni Vann just two blocks from the location of their wedding. “There were so many places to choose from. A lot of my other friends and family members kept bumping into each other on all the streets around town throughout the weekend because all their Airbnbs and bed and breakfasts were so close.” One major purchase was made in nearby Fergus; Sunni’s wedding gown was purchased at Lidia’s Brides. “It was the best place I could have possibly chosen because right away, I found

the dress,” Sunni said, admitting she’d had no luck finding a dress in Toronto. Lidia’s Brides is a family-run business in downtown Fergus. There Sunni met mother-daughter team Renata and Megan. “The two of them are just absolute sweethearts, they were so accommodating. They have such a gorgeous selection that Megan chooses. And the house is just gorgeous too,” Sunni said. “They even had champagne when I finally chose the dress. I really felt like they were invested in me and my day and my happiness.” Finding a dress outside the city was the right move for Sunni, and making the decision to get married in Elora was too. Financially, it was practical compared to venues and accommodations in Toronto or beyond. It also met their personal mandate to consciously plan their wedding to be environmentally sensitive. “I really wanted the wedding to have as low of an environmental impact as possible, to keep that footprint small. And so I figured with so many different accommodation options available close to where we wanted to get married, that meant a lot of people staying in town for the weekend would be able to walk everywhere, so cutting down those emissions a little bit as well,” Sunni said. Sunni and Matt were married in Knox Presbyterian Church in Elora. The grand historic church, a landmark in the village with its large steeple and green roof, is centred in the roundabout of Melville and Church Streets, just east of the downtown. The church is the place of worship for Sunni’s mother, Randi Vann. With little décor required, she went to

Little Tree Garden Market in Fergus to purchase pots of echinacea and dalias to decorate the church. After the ceremony, her mother was able to plant them in her garden. It was a great cost savings for floral decor. “It was just absolutely beautiful,” Sunni said, reflecting on the day. Across the street from Knox Presbyterian Church stands another prominent heritage building: the Elora Centre for the Arts. The former public school has evolved into a space that fosters community through artistic expression. Among other offices, the building is also home to the Elora Environment Centre, where Sunni worked for a time after graduating university. “The arts centre has always been a place that has been so close to my heart. I started volunteering there as a kid … way back when we were first setting up the space to become the arts centre. And then over the years, just helping out with all sorts of little events,” Sunni said. “My mom and I have always gone to so many of their art openings, events like Art in The Yard, all of that. We’ve always been a part of this place.” She adds that when she and Matt became a couple, he too found ways to get involved with the arts centre. “At one point they were hosting a fundraiser with an art auction, and so we were kind of like the Vanna Whites of the event, holding up these beautiful art pieces,” she recalls. “Matt wore a tiara that a local artist had made. It was a riot.” Thus, it was a perfect coincidence that Sunni and Matt were the first wedding reception to take place at the arts centre

Wellington Weddings 2020 25

since the Elora Centre for the Arts decided to open its doors as a wedding venue in 2019. Executive director Lianne Carter said the decision was based on the art centre’s desire to provide the community with a space that would accommodate special event hosting, most notably a very unique wedding venue. “We’ve definitely had a lot of inquiries over the years,” Lianne said, noting the board of directors for the Elora Centre for the Arts wanted to ensure it had the capacity, in terms of infrastructure and staffing, to meet the needs of such events. Creating an opportunity to open the centre in a way that is affordable to couples and beneficial to the centre was important.

“It’s a lovely building, with the lovely backdrop of art on the walls. A wedding here is a beautiful idea.

If you want a unique and creative, intimate venue..." - Lianne Carter, executive director, Elora Centre for the Arts

“With a wedding, we view it as 100 more people that wouldn’t have otherwise seen the artists that we’re featuring, in a setting that’s not the norm. So we see it as a great opportunity to bring the community in, for one reason, but they also get exposed to art and the creative people in our community.” The Elora Centre for the Arts features two art galleries, the larger Minarovich Gallery and the adjoining Harris Gallery. It also offers a small servery kitchen for a caterer’s prep area, and features a large outdoor area with space for a large tent, and a bonfire pit that allows people to gather into the night. The space allows couples to be flexible in the kind of atmosphere they want to create, from a sitdown meal to a cocktail atmosphere, and a space for dancing, indoors or out. “It’s a stone historic landmark in downtown Elora that has two acres of greenspace to it … It’s a lovely building, with the lovely backdrop of art on the walls. A wedding here is a beautiful idea. If you want a unique and creative, intimate venue, I think it’s the perfect choice,” Lianne

26 Wellington Weddings 2020

said, adding the arts centre lends itself to traditional and non-traditional weddings. “It depends how formal or informal a couple wants to be,” she said. “The type of person who wants to have their wedding at an offbeat place like in an art gallery are generally people who want to do things a bit differently. “ In order to keep the venue as an affordable option for weddings, Lianne notes the venue is not a turn-key operation. Couples pay a flat rate and take the space from 5pm on the Friday evening to set up the gallery or yard space as they wish, and then have the facility until noon on the Sunday. While art centre staff help coordinate some of the logistics and provide couples with a list of preferred vendors, ultimately set-up and clean-up are the couple’s responsibility. “Brides like Sunni are okay with that. It was important to her to have a unique and intimate experience for her family and friends,” Lianne said. It was the perfect place for Sunni and Matt to host their wedding reception, and not just for the sentimentality of the building. “So many reception venues are crazy expensive, but the arts centre was super well priced. And then I knew that money was going to a cause that I so deeply believed in as well. It’s really important to me, ” Sunni said. “And plus, the building itself is just so unique, with gorgeous high ceilings, all of the bright windows. And I loved as well that there would be art on the wall during the reception … And there was just the most incredible exhibition on at

that time, hanging on the walls around us, and the lighting was gorgeous, which made it so special.” Matt noticed that after dinner, guests wandered around the gallery to enjoy the exhibition. It created an opportunity for people who didn’t know one another to start conversations and it became a community builder. Sunni and Matt chose Savoy Culinary to cater the dinner. “One of the reasons we chose them was I had heard great things about Chef Brodie already, but I also went back to the environmental footprint idea. I really wanted to serve food that was local and seasonal, wherever possible,” Sunni said. “So it was just amazing what he whipped up, an incredible menu that really highlighted the glory of the harvest of that time of year. It was amazing.” Savoy Culinary handled all the rentals too, from dishes to tables and more. Sunni said it was incredibly helpful. Chef Brodie’s team drew up a list of all the equipment they thought the event would require and sent it to her to alter as she saw fit, and then they arranged for the delivery and pick-up to coincide with the art centre’s hours, which had to fall outside the public gallery hours. “I ordered a bunch of extra glassware that we rented through Savoy, and then I had compostable cups as a backup just in case. We had Savoy composting as well. That was important to me,” Sunni said. Using an art gallery as a backdrop cut down on the need to decorate the facility too, leaving the main décor as the table

centerpieces, tablecloths and layout. Sunni and Matt used both gallery spaces. A formal dinner seated 92 guests in the Minarovich Gallery, as per their wish to have everyone dine together. They rented harvest tables and a few smaller tables to accommodate everyone. “My mom organized all the flowers through her Mennonite friends, all of them grown at their local farm. I just kind of gave them free reign, so whatever was in season was perfect for me. They did my bridal bouquets, as well as all the flowers for the tables,” Sunni said, remarking that her mother searched in second-hand stores for months in search of vases with a blue and white colour scheme. The Harris Gallery featured the bar and dance floor area. In lieu of a DJ, friends supplied a playlist and they rented a sound system. “We got a keg from the Elora Brewing Company which was such a smash hit with the guests,” Sunni said. Sunni credits Elora Centre for the Arts staff Kim Blair and Lianne Carter for their support. “They were so professional and thoughtful and kind and were on top of everything … Honestly, they were such a dream. I would not have changed anything,” she said. “It was special for me just to be able to continue my relationship with the arts centre. It was an absolute honour to get to be the first wedding there and I’m so excited for all of the future couples that will get to celebrate there too.” A unique venue for intimate weddings in the heart of the village, open all year, the Elora Centre for the Arts is already booking into 2021.

Wellington Weddings 2020 27

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INTIMATE |UNIQUE | Affordable Host your one-of-a-kind wedding at The Elora Centre for the Arts in beautiful historic Elora. Steps from the Grand River, this 2-acre park-like location is a creative and affordable canvas to create the wedding masterpiece that fits your dreams, and budget. For more information and full brochure please visit our website ecfta.ca 28 Wellington Weddings 2020



Southern Belles Catering


formerly Scarlett’s Restaurant Operated by Wendy & Fred Gottmers We prepare and serve elegant formal dinners, hors d’oeuvres & luncheons. Menus tailored to fit your budget. Catering Since 1987. Call Wendy at 519.824.8763 or email: southernbellesbelwood@gmail.com

Family owned and operated Wide variety of kits to choose from Ready in only 4-6 weeks Full Service or “Delivery-only”

the grape house inc. 226.383.5383 184 St Andrew St W, Fergus | www.the-grape-house.com

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165 Inkerman St. W., Listowel | 519.291.4111

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Wedding Cakes | Cupcakes | French Macaron | Squares Wellington Weddings 2020 29

Lesley-Anne Davis & Andrew McDonald FERGUS - JUNE 22, 2019

By Aryn Strickland | Photography by Kelsie Kathleen Photo & Cinema

30 Wellington Weddings 2020

TRADITIONAL MEETS PERSONAL For some brides picking a wedding venue and a date are two of the more difficult decisions to make. But LesleyAnne Davis’ dream of getting married in a Catholic church made her wedding to Andrew McDonald a whole lot easier to plan. Moving to Fergus in 2017, Lesley-Anne and Andrew quickly joined the parish of St. Joseph Catholic Church, a large, bright new building on St. David Street North, perfect to house their 111 wedding guests. The parish priest, Father Ken Miskiewicz, picked June 22 for the couple and suddenly, “We said okay, we will work with it. It gave us our starting point,” said Andrew. Only a block from the couple’s house, the church made a lot of practical sense. As a venue, the couple could not have been happier. “It’s a beautiful church. It’s a newer building so there is a lot of wood. There is a lot of stained glass and they have a vaulted ceiling that has a skylight so there is a lot of natural light which made it really nice,” said Lesley-Anne. “It’s air conditioned which was big for me; it’s big for the older people that come; it’s awesome,” added Andrew. While the couple was limited with how much they could decorate the ceremony venue, with the help of florists from WR Designs at the The Flower Co in Fergus, Lesley-Anne and Andrew were able to add some personal touches. “Usually for the church…it’s not supposed to be too showy, so we had the alter with a few [flowers] and the tabernacle with a few [flowers] and that was kind of it,” said Lesley-Anne. “We kept it simple.” All of the flowers in the bouquets were among those that Lesley-Anne grows in her own garden, including peonies and old English roses. One flower in particular took on a more poignant and symbolic meaning for the couple. Purple roses were used to signify Lesley-Anne’s late mother Marie Davis. Her father Kevin Davis carried the rose in and out of the church. “I wanted to have something to denote that she was thought of. We just wanted

to honour her kind of quietly on our own,” said Lesley-Anne. She and Andrew honoured LesleyAnne’s mother through other small touches as well. The couple had a memory table constructed in remembrance of her and other family members that had passed away. Lesley-Anne wore her mother’s anniversary band as part of her wedding band set from Ron Wilkin Jewellers, Fergus. She also wore her mother’s single pearl necklace that both her mother and sister wore on their wedding days. These subtle but personal elements were in tune with the couple’s approach and theme for the day. “It goes with the whole theme of the wedding. We didn’t want a big flashy wedding. We wanted something that was traditional but still themed and everything went with just a really nice flow,” said Andrew. The couple’s theme - simple elegance with an artistic feel - helped the couple establish a unique approach to their wedding and to prioritize their planning. “I know that they all say ... you should have this budget and figure it all out ahead of time, but that wasn’t really how I work. I just paid for things as I went a long,” explained Lesley-Anne. She and Andrew did not have an overall budget for their big day, instead taking it one wedding item at a time. The couple focused their funds on larger ‘must haves’ first, like the reception at Ariss Valley Golf and Country Club, entertainment, including a DJ and photobooth, and local photographer Kelsie Kathleen Photo & Cinema based in Erin. “Kelsie was really down to earth and wanted to meet and she kept up with emails and when we met her, we really liked her; we did an engagement session,” said Lesley-Anne. In fact, for Lesley-Anne, taking photos was one of her favourite parts of the whole day. “I enjoyed taking the pictures. The wedding ceremony was the most important part but then once that is done you can relax a little bit, so when we went to take the pictures it was nice to go off with the bridal party because we had a lot of fun taking pictures and laughing and joking,” she said. “I am a talker so I was gone talking to everybody. Overall, I can’t really pick a favourite moment,” said Andrew.

“I wanted to have something to denote that she was thought of.

We just wanted to honour her kind of quietly on our own." - Lesley-Anne Davis

Wellington Weddings 2020 31

Through taking the time to design and make the wedding invitations and other essentials herself, Lesley-Anne said she also enjoyed the lead up to the wedding. “I have my degree in fine art and it was nice to be able to incorporate it and do it ... because I wanted it to look a certain way,” she said. Lesley-Anne made the wedding invitations, which featured a custom wax seal, digital artwork and handwritten calligraphy, and handmade place cards. She also made abstract-design table numbers and signage using acrylic paint on clear Plexiglas with handwritten calligraphy. In the place of a guestbook, wedding guests signed the branches of Lesley-Anne’s

32 Wellington Weddings 2020

painting of two birch trees on canvas. “It was just a lot of time but I think it helped me to kind of prepare for the wedding because when you are doing it you feel like you are more a part of it,” she said. “I really love doing it so I spent every night from 6pm until midnight working on them because I wanted to do it.” “It was incredible to a simple person like me. I can’t draw a line with a straight ruler so anything she does is just wow,” said Andrew. Lesley-Anne and Andrew’s guests liked the DIY features so much that some of them took the number cards and other signage home with them as keepsakes, which the couple had not expected.

However, Lesley-Anne warned against picking DIY as a money-saving option. Buying all of the supplies she said can really add up. “I didn’t do DIY to save money, I just did it because I really enjoy doing it,” said LesleyAnne. “I think overall we were really happy ... I know people have regrets, but I don’t think we had any. We enjoyed ourselves, we had a good time and from what our feedback was, everyone else seemed to have a good time,” said Lesley-Anne. “We never had negative feedback which is good,” Andrew said with a laugh.




519.843.7161 228 St. Andrew St. W., Fergus wrdesigns@wightman.ca

Wellington Weddings 2020 33

Our hall offers... Seating for 200 • Full Bar Kitchen • Catering Services Air Conditioning Wheel Chair Accessibility

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For further info or to book the hall, please call Barb Loughran at 519.323.1590 Barb can assist you with all your needs

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Wellington Weddings 2020 35


Rini was raised in Yogyakarta, a city on the Indonesian island of Java. Her family is Muslim.

When a Canadian living in Australia fell in love with an Indonesian living in Singapore, time zones and long distances did not interfere with what was meant to be. It made for two very unique weddings, too. Keith Barney grew up in Elora, but is now a faculty member at Australian National University in Canberra. Rini Astuti is a research fellow at the Asia Research Institute of the National University of Singapore. “Well there has been some geographical distances to surmount in our courtship!” Keith said. “We were introduced in mid2017 through a mutual Canadian friend who lives in Melbourne. After lots of time talking on Skype, we needed to decide upon a place for our first date. So we picked Bali, Indonesia, neutral territory for both of us.” When the pair married, they decided to honour both their religious and cultural traditions with two weddings in their respective native lands. “Since I come from such a large family, and since it would have been difficult to fly Rini’s entire village over to Canada, in the end we arrived at just having two events in two countries,” Keith said.

“To have [a] wedding celebration in Yogyakarta was very important to fulfil our social responsibility,” Rini explained. “In Java’s society, [a] wedding celebration is seen as a way of not only sharing our happy moment, but also to express our gratitude to the community for their collective services in raising me up.” The day prior to the wedding, the couple met with a group of elder men from Rini’s

36 Wellington Weddings 2020

childhood neighbourhood in a traditional Javanese seated gathering called a “selamatan.” Women from the community helped Rini’s mother prepare food for the event. “There I provided a dowry to Rini’s mother and her younger brother, as Rini’s father sadly passed away the year before our wedding,” Keith said. For the outdoor wedding, Rini’s family hired a local Javanese shaman to repeat chants to ensure no rain would fall on their ceremony. “Our Yogyakarta wedding had both an Islamic component, or “akad,” starting at about 4pm, followed by a traditional Javanese component, “adat,” which was around 6pm,” Keith said. “As the akad ceremony was getting underway, some dark clouds were forming and a few drops were falling from the sky. But the rain actually held off. $80 well spent?!” The Islamic component of the ceremony was led by a Sufi minister (Imam). “During the adat ceremony, Rini and I had to follow a detailed protocol. First, with the guests standing around us, we walked slowly together, with flowers between our fingers, and then gently threw flowers at each other’s chests, symbolizing our first meeting. Then Rini had to wash my feet with perfumed and flowered water,”

Keith explains. “We then walked up to a centre stage, following a man dressed as a traditional guard from the Yogyakarta Sultan’s palace (because for that day we were a sultan and sultana). I poured a ceremonial container of rice and coins onto Rini’s lap, (symbolizing wealth and fertility), and provided her with rice to eat (symbolising care and provision). Then we both had to bow and touch the knees of Rini’s mother, and my older sister, [Brenda Schepper], who were also seated on the stage, to request their blessings. All this had to be done very slowly and formally, like a slow moving performance or dance.” About 80 people were present for the wedding ceremony, but approximately 500 people took part in the evening celebrations, which Rini said was small by Indonesian standards. “The majority come for a congratulatory handshake and greeting, making a small donation in an envelope, and then they enjoyed a buffet meal before departing. It was a lot of greetings and smiles! Everyone was so warm and welcoming,” Keith recalled. “Then, continuing with the performativity of the wedding, it was time for some comic relief – why not, send in the clowns?!” he jokes. “The role of the Javanese clowns was to provide some light relief after the closely scripted ceremony, and to dispel any lingering evil spirits that might be hiding in the corners seeking to disturb the betrothed couple.” For Keith, the experience was incredible and certainly different from the wedding he would plan in Canada. “I really enjoyed the Javanese wedding and find the entire place fascinating. My university colleagues who study Indonesia

claim that, even amongst other complex Asian societies, Javanese culture and society is endlessly nuanced, multi-layered, and intriguing,” he said. “Meanwhile, EloraFergus culture can be a bit complicated too, but back home of course it helps to pull up a chair, pour a cold beer, and share a good yarn. And it’s always best to start with a discussion of how the Toronto Maple Leafs are doing this year.”

“ “In Java’s society, [a] wedding celebration is seen as a way of not only sharing our happy moment,

but also to express our gratitude to the community ..." - Rini Astuti

All kidding aside, Keith said the plans for the legal Canadian wedding were kept simple, with a more intimate gathering of 70 people. He credits the help of his seven sisters (he is one of 10 children) with helping make the event a success. Plans included a full ceremony officiated by his family’s former Guelph Dutch Reformed Church Minister Henry DeKorte, who came out of retirement. The wedding was held at the Wellington County Museum and Archives, with the ceremony held inside the

heritage barn. “It was really nice having the wedding at the Aboyne Hall at the Wellington County Museum and Archives. All the staff there were very helpful and everything went smoothly. Meanwhile, the wooden structure of the heritage barn produces a beautiful warm light during the daytime, making for a glowing and atmospheric setting for a wedding ceremony,” Keith said. Forgoing the traditional evening reception, Keith chose a luncheon and more relaxed gathering. “I thought I would avoid a big dance party, and just have a nice intimate afternoon lunch with some good food, good wine, good music, a hometown setting, and a toast with a glass of scotch to cap it off. Since Rini did not have any close friends who could travel all the way from Asia, we avoided having a bridal party, and just kept it to the two of us,” Keith said. But friends were still an important part of the day, as Keith reunited with childhood friends, some going back as far as kindergarten at Ponsonby Public School through to Centre Wellington District High School (CWDHS).

Wellington Weddings 2020 37

“I contacted my old band-mate from the CWDHS Fergus High Concert Band, community musician Brent Rowan and hired his jazz quartet to play some great old time jazz music from the 1930s and 1940s for the reception,” Keith said. Catering the event was Miriam Foell and the crew at Fergies Fine Foods. “Everyone commented on what a terrific meal and service Miriam provided,” he said. Adding his character to the event, Keith brought a little Australian flavour to the wedding too. “Since it is my Sunday night tradition in

Canberra to enjoy an ounce of scotch and a square of chocolate, that had to get in there too,” Keith said. “The after-dinner scotch was Macallan Amber. The chocolate came from I Love Chocolate in Fergus.” The museum was a the ideal landmark location for Keith and Rini, offering an intimate location with a sense of community roots and traditions important to Keith’s family. He adds, “It really helped Rini to understand the sort of place where I come from, and my ‘agrarian roots’ in southern Ontario.”

Experiencing a different culture and a new country, Rini made the most of her Canadian experience. “I really enjoyed the intimate setting of the Elora-Fergus wedding reception. I met with Keith’s friends and had conversations about the time when Keith and they were growing up in Guelph,” Rini said. “I also enjoyed the time I spent camping for five days with Keith’s family; that’s when I saw a black bear for the first time! We also went for a short getaway to a cottage on Lake Farquhar. We went canoeing around the lake every day during our stay. Canada


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has a very pristine and beautiful landscape and Canadians like to enjoy nature.” Now that the couple have settled in Canberra, Australia, they know their future will continue to be one of learning about each other’s traditions and cultures, and each other. Their weddings are a celebration of who they were and who they will become. “There was some expense, time and energy for organizing a double wedding. But in the end it’s about having a fun and memorable day; recognizing the importance of formal ceremony, roots, religion, tradition; expressing the marital vows; and cultivating social ties and familial connections,” Keith said.

Wedding Favours

unique to you

519.843.7906 | 227 St. Andrew St. W., Fergus


A NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE located on Wellington Road 18 between Fergus and Elora

T 519.846.0916 x 5221 Toll Free 1.800.663.0750 x 5221 www.wellington.ca/museum The Wellington County Museum and Archives is the perfect location for any event; your wedding, reunion, birthday party, shower, celebration of life, or business meeting.

Official Mark of The Corporation of the County of Wellington

Alternate formats available upon request.

Wellington Weddings 2020 39




“I do �

Whatever the occasion ... we have the hall for you. weddings | anniversaries birthdays | stag & does

The Township of Centre Wellington offers

Civil Marriage Ceremonies in our council chambers or ask us about outdoor options for your ceremony.

Centre Wellington Sportsplex Photo by Cobblestone Creations

To start planning your special day, or to obtain a marriage licence, please visit centrewellington.ca T: 519.846.9691 x 242 E: lmiller@centrewellington.ca

Elora Community Centre

Belwood Hall

Fergus Grand Theatre

Seating from 100 to 400

Facility Bookings - Parks & Recreation Main Office 550 Belsyde Ave. Fergus, ON N1M 2W5 Contact: Facility Booking Coordinator E: parks@centrewellington.ca T: 519.846.9691 Ext. 326 F: 519.843.2565

View our facilities brochure online: centrewellington.ca

40 Wellington Weddings 2020




right at home

65 years, In business for over

Love is an adventure. It begins here. Create a wedding people will remember. Choose an authentic destination no one will forget. Gather your friends and family for an intimate weekend-long wedding celebration in the tranquility of the great outdoors, with all the comforts of home, and a little adventure too. Nestled on eight sprawling acres in the countryside, just minutes north of downtown Fergus and Elora, sits a country property that offers everything you need to create your wedding, your way. The venue features a selection of outdoor ceremony and photograph spaces, a 1,400-square-foot barn, ideal for a dance floor, and an 1,100-squarefoot building that seats fits up to 120 people without a tent. One location. One amazing weekend. Follow the winding tree-lined driveway to a heritage homestead with a beautifully restored

let our experienced staff take care of your reception! 135 Ferguson St., Guelph 519.821.1110 | icclub@sentex.ca

Specializing in Hairstyles for Weddings and Special Events Available for in or out of the salon convenience on your special day. 24 Wellington St. S., Drayton Visit cornerkrestsalon.com

farmhouse, (circa. 1860), centered in colourful gardens, set privately in amongst pine trees. Immersed in the natural forest are twelve modern glamping yurts, charmingly furnished with double and twin pine beds, set with Canadian-made Douglas mattresses for ultimate comfort. With accommodations for 28, including 4 in the farmhouse, invite the people closest to you to enjoy a retreat experience. Glamping guests will be impressed by the pristine washroom facilities, a modern trailer with four private bathrooms, complete with full-sized showers. Wedding bookings are from Friday evening to Sunday morning. What you do within that time is up to you! For adventure seekers, book a kayak or bike adventure for your guests during their stay. Your wedding will truly be an experience. Love’s greatest adventure begins here.


Family owned & operated for over 30 years!


e ti s r a P Pl

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ckmaggs@gmail.com www.ckmaggsadventures.com Photos by @judyber

Wellington Weddings 2020 41

We hope you’ve enjoyed our fifth edition of

Wellington Weddings as much as we’ve enjoyed piecing it together.

One of the great experiences of a passion project like this is our ability to seek out interesting stories that begin and end with the celebration of love. It’s a wonderful thing to build an entire magazine with such a positive purpose. Our goal is to inspire you on your own journey to plan your dream wedding day

your way. What we enjoy most about these stories is that every couple has found a way to make sure they include time-honoured traditions while ensuring their personal touches make the day unique to them. Like a wedding, bringing together the stories for our fifth edition of Wellington Weddings takes a lot of support and coordination. We are grateful to the couples who allowed us to share their personal wedding day and engagement stories. Their diverse experiences make for great lessons for others in terms of budget, venues and vendors and, as we often find, new and unique ways to save money and spare the environment at the same time. We respect how individual each of these weddings were and how willing they were to share their ideas. Looking back on their special day, what rises to the forefront of their memories are the values they share and the moments that touched their hearts.

As wonderful as the stories are, we give full credit to the wedding photographers who willingly shared their artwork, allowing us to celebrate in the visual splendour of these weddings. They capture in images what we could never say in words. We are also grateful to our advertisers from every corner of Wellington County and beyond. Wellington Weddings proudly showcases local businesses with services geared to everything you need to plan the perfect wedding day. You don’t need to travel far to find the venues, vendors and services you need. We know nothing beats smalltown service. You’ll discover that throughout the stories here. Shopping local saved couples time and money and gave them a confidence that they were dealing with people who were truly invested in the success of their wedding day. There really is no place like home. Kelly Waterhouse

42 Wellington Weddings 2020

Designed by

Mark Muller


• • •


• •



VISIT US AND BROWSE THE DIVERSE SELECTION OF UNIQUE DECOR ITEMS 180 St. Andrew Street W., Fergus I cocooninteriors.ca I 519.843.1739

Wellington Weddings 2020 43


Find the ring that speaks to you.

109 St Andrew St W. FERGUS ronwilkinjewellers.com 519.843.1225