English Garden Minimony in a Toronto Loft
For this English garden minimony, the inspiration started with the dress! As far as planning decisions go, this one had the best ripple effect. The Needle & Thread midi dress chosen by Bride, Rhiannon, featured pastel sequin appliqués in a cheery bird and floral print. There could be no better design direction than this romantic chinoiserie muse to fill out the blank loft canvas! White Oak Flower “painted” the room with wild tangles of branches and spring blooms, the likes of which you’d find growing in a fairytale garden, and it turned out to be the perfect complement for the ornately molded white fireplace that served as the ceremony backdrop at Mint Room. Due to Covid-19 restrictions at the time, Rhiannon and Cameron needed to scale their original plans down to a guest list of 5. But as evidenced by the impeccably refined images from Kayla Yestal, the result was a beautifully meaningful celebration of this new season – a season of life, love and forever happiness.
From the bride, Rhiannon: Being a COVID bride, there were lots of parts of a traditional wedding day we had to forgo, as Ontario had restricted weddings to 10 people (vendors included) for a ceremony only.
Being forced to pair down our ‘minimony’ to just the bare minimum, we were able to focus on what truly matters. In normal times, a lot of people have the attitude that they want to skip through the ceremony as quickly as possible and get to the party, but we really focused on making our ceremony personal, celebratory, and a little bit traditional.
Unfortunately, all of our loved ones weren’t able to be there in person, however, we had guests from several continents cheering us on via Zoom. We had the best time going through our virtual guestbook the next day; we had encouraged our virtual guests to get dressed up, make a fun cocktail, and share their words of wisdom. Through all the doom & gloom going on in the world this past year, it felt hopeful to give our loved ones something to celebrate!
As the terrible Canadians we are, we were really sick of winter and wanted to bring in all the spring vibes as a symbol of this new season of life we were entering. Love was the theme of the day, and as such, we wanted to incorporate lots of soft, romantic touches for an overall fine art feel. This started with the dress.
I ended up going with a non-maternity dress from Needle & Thread with pastel sequin appliqués of florals and birds. The dress served as the inspiration for our colour palette for the day, and our florist did a phenomenal job of bringing our vision to life, even bringing in the blue sapphire tones from my Bluboho engagement ring.
While we only had 5 guests, having an invitation suite felt important to have another opportunity to incorporate pastels and romantic textures. All our attempts to channel spring were noted by Mother Nature, and we ended up having a beautiful sunny day in the middle of a cold February.
Planning a COVID wedding while navigating my first pregnancy was an emotional process, but also an opportunity to think about what really mattered to us. We started off thinking of our top priorities for where we wanted to allocate our budget, and for us, that was definitely photography & florals, as we thought they would make the biggest impact in a small space.
Whatever your budget, taking the time to talk to your partner about your vision & values is a great foundation not only for your wedding day, but for being on the same page for your marriage. Planning a wedding in a pandemic, we had vendors cancel last minute, causing lots of tears and stress!
However, I truly believe everything happens for a reason because the group of vendors that created our wedding experience truly could not have been better. Our biggest priorities in making our budget were photography and florals, and both Kayla Yestal and Jordana of White Oak Flower Co truly knocked it out of the park.
Finding vendors that understand your wedding style and can help communicate your vision through their artistic expertise is hugely important in creating an experience you look back fondly upon.
Do your research, and don’t settle on any random vendor just because of the challenges that might arise when organizing an event in a pandemic – they truly can make or break your celebration!
As someone who loves planning parties for every holiday and birthday, there’s a lot of pressure on planning a wedding – the ultimate celebration! Having a COVID wedding took a lot of the weight off my shoulders, and it was really just fun to be able to bring the Pinterest board to life.
Enjoy the process, whether it’s DIY projects to sink your teeth into, getting to know your vendors, or just spending time with your partner through the planning process. There’s been enough heartbreak through this pandemic, but even in the darkest of times, life is worth celebrating.
If you could read our minds right now, you’d see a fantasy about embellished wedding dresses in beautiful pastel hues. Can you blame us? Rhiannon’s style is the epitome of modern grace. And we do love a good unconventional approach to bridal style – more this way!
Photography: Kayla Yestal
Floral Design: White Oak Flower
Venue: Mint Room
Calligraphy: Olumis Calligraphy
Rings: Blu Boho Manly Bands
Dress BHLDN Needle and Thread