"September 17th – a day worthy enough to be a Gord Downie lyric… We merged family and friends from city and country and celebrated the past 8 years of our relationship. Our wedding vision was focused on family and honouring our parents. The country setting in Norfolk county where generations of Sheppards and Robinsons were born and raised was very fitting to capture the family charm.
The Bride: I spent the night before the wedding and got ready the day-of at Culverdene B&B, one of the first houses in Simcoe, ON. My hairstylists were cousin; Ashley LaPlante and long-time friend Robin Bokla. My make-up artist was Samantha Compton. While getting ready I surprised my mother, father and sister with brass compasses, engraved with the GPS coordinates for our childhood home.
My dress was designed by Lowan Pope (Toronto, ON). Using 80 year-old lace the dress was created with the intention of a new take on an old world design. The bride’s accessories kept with the day’s overall theme; carefully sought, repurposed and storied. Andrew and I exchanged gifts on the morning of the wedding; Andrew was surprised with a gold pinky ring and I with a vintage emerald necklace.
The Groom: I spent the night before the wedding with my closest family and friends at the Long Point Eco Tourism “glamping” site in Norfolk, ON. This is where many out of town family and friends (including Heather and I) spent the wedding night. Think MASH tents meet luxurious safari tents. All with heat, running water and warm showers under the stars!
On the morning of the wedding the boys and I enjoyed sandwiches from the Burning Kiln winery, across the street from the Glamping site. While getting ready I surprised my Best Man with an etched whiskey decanter. Indochino designed my suit. My watch was an old gift from Heather, from Cynthia Findlay Antiques.
We decided to get married inside the church at Cranberry Creek Gardens because we love the space. It evokes a Little House on the Prairie meets Anne of Green Gables vibe-which pretty much sums up the décor inspiration for the day. Even before we found out it would be pouring rain on the day of our wedding we knew we wanted to say our vows inside the church. The thunderclaps and flickering candles really made for the perfect ceremony.
Ryerse Garden Gallery provided all of the trees inside and the ivy was hand-grown by Heather’s parents. Music throughout the entire day (and late into the evening) was compliments of the Toronto Jazz Collective. Heather’s long time friend Tamille Richardson officiated the ceremony and we wrote our own vows to one another. That was by far a highlight of the day - sharing these promises in front of the people who mean the most to us in the world.
The original goal was to have a cocktail party in the gardens outside of the church. When the weather did not cooperate, we held a champagne toast inside- immediately after being pronounced husband and wife. Our loved ones made it happen seamlessly; within moments everyone had a drink in hand. It was a very special way to celebrate with those we love most, moments after sharing our vows. During couple photos we remembered that during the wedding planning we had decided to get one another’s rings engraved as a surprise on the day of. We had forgotten to peak during the ceremony so while having our photos taken we were able to finally see what message the other had inscribed on our ring!
We held our reception at the Olde Town Hall in Waterford, ON. The venue is a pillar for arts in the rural community and maintains a level of history and Victorian charm unmatched in the county. Our goal for the dinner was simple; to make our guests feel like they were at a dinner party at our home. Table decor was designed by Knots and Pipes. Brass candlestick holders sourced from Value Village and Sally Ann stores across south western Ontario served as centerpieces. Metres upon metres of ivy, (both home grown and from Ryerse Garden Gallery), were utilized in lieu of any table flowers. The Combine (Simcoe, ON) catered the delicious family-style meal. Their mantra is farm to table all the way and they did not disappoint. As favours, guests were invited to fill up a paper“shopping” bag with produce before heading home for the evening, all locally grown in Norfolk County.
Speeches shared by our family and friends made us realize how lucky we are. Our Masters of Ceremony “The Nora’s” killed in facilitating an evening reflective of us. We successfully merged our Toronto and Norfolk roots into a day that represented where we came from and where we are going, together."