Lauren and Dan wanted a wedding that embraced a relaxed country feel with polished images from Nancy of Mango Studios. This easily translated into a simple yet sophisticated wedding on their family farm in Ravenna, Ontario, with what easily has to be the most gorgeous first look I’ve ever seen. The image of bride Lauren framed in the ivy archway as she waits for her soon-to-be husband will long be a favorite of mine!
From the bride, Lauren: When we started planning our wedding, we wanted it to be not just a celebration of a new bond being formed, but of our relationship over the last eight years. We wanted every detail of our wedding to reflect what we value: our love for each other, our families, and our friends who have helped us grow together. Most importantly we wanted to celebrate the good times past, present, and yet to come.
Our farm is a very special place to us and we knew from the start that we always wanted to get married there. The idea of inviting our guests into our home, using food from local vendors, and building a vintage country theme all spoke to the value we give to togetherness, community, and simplicity. We kept our decor minimal in order to let the setting speak for itself. We tried to incorporate the natural beauty of the property as much as possible, with our ceremony overlooking the valley in our west-facing field, and restoring the old barn ruin to host the cocktails. Dinner was served family-style on long, wooden harvest tables, lined with burlap runners, vintage mason jars, and bud vases filled with succulents and flowers. The best pies anyone will ever eat are made at the local country market around the corner, which we served buffet style, along with other family desserts made by our mothers. As a token of our appreciation, we made jelly as our favours using the crab apples and grapes we grow on our property.
The look we were going for was vintage country. We didn’t have a colour scheme, per se, but we incorporated hints of blue, gray, and neutral colours into our decor. Our wedding was entirely DIY: as a token of appreciation for our guests, we made jelly using the crab apples and grapes we grow on our property with hand-printed labels, our mothers baked family recipes to serve on our sweets table for dessert, Dan worked for over a year restoring the old barn ruin where we hosted the cocktail reception after the ceremony, Dan built the canopy under which we had the ceremony, I wrote the names on our reclaimed window seating chart (the window was a rental), my sister made the bunting that hung behind the chairs for our ceremony, my sister made my pearl bracelets, we picked and framed our family photos, and I sourced all the materials for our decor.
Any advice for brides planning their weddings now?
1. If the venue you choose does not have a coordinator, hire one for the day of the wedding so you don’t have to worry about all the little details.
2. Have a vision for the style and feel you would like for your wedding. This helps when you need to make decisions regarding decor and creates a unified look to your wedding.
3. Choose DIY projects that you know are within your capabilities, and give yourself lots of time to do them. Choose DIY projects that you will enjoy doing for minimal stress.
4. Prioritize where you want to spend your money when budgeting. For us, good food was really important and so was good music, so we spent more money on our caterer and a band for live entertainment.
Processional: “A Case of You,” Joni Mitchell
Recessional: “I Will,” The Beatles
We did not have first dances or specific songs we wanted played. We just wanted the band to play what they loved so we could boogie on down!
Wedding Location: Ravenna, Ontario, Canada / Wedding Photographer: Mango Studios / Wedding Venue: Private Residence / Wedding Coordinator: Cindy Johnson of Platinum Events Group / Wedding Flowers: Pink Twig / Wedding Dress: Jenny Yoo / Bride’s Shoes: Celebration Shoes, Yorkville / Makeup: Noelle Banting / Groom’s Suit: Ted’s Style Shop / Wedding Caterer: Oliver & Bonacini / Desserts: Ravenna Country Market / Rentals: Happenings Party Rentals / Vintage Decor Rentals: Hazlitt Vintage Rentals / Wedding Music: Shugga / Wedding Invitations: Laine Groenweg / Transportation: Parkview Transit (705.444.0355)