Susan and Alan share a passion for the outdoors: Alan loves fishing and boating, while Susan enjoys camping and serenading on the lake in their canoe. The north is their getaway from two busy careers in the city. During the summer and autumn months, Susan, Alan, and their friends have ventured into the woods and streams of Algonquin Provincial Park, Georgian Lake and other beautiful inlets around Ontario. They love it so much that even their engagement photography and bacherlorette celebration were planned north of Toronto.
Susan also has a heart of gold — she cares deeply for her family, her friends, her colleagues and patients. Their wedding was truly a way of saying thank you and to share their love and blessings with everyone. As such, we created a sophisticated boxed invitation suite that began with a quiet and humble cover in navy blue with two canoe paddles pressed in gold. These represented the journey that they have travelled together to get to where their are now. As guests opened the box, inside was an exquisite letterpress piece that was drawn by hand before it was letterpress printed onto cotton paper. The art featured the lovely birch forest and a riverbend, where Susan and Alan took their engagement photographs. In the foreground, there is a canoe floating empty of its passengers. The couple has docked and come onto shore to wander, holding hands as they stroll in amongst the trees. A meaningful phrase graces the bottom of the page, “Your love and friendship have helped us become who we are.” It emphasizes life as a journey, and a path that they have walked with not only each other, but with many wonderful people. On the reverse, the text is presented in a lovely wood-cut styled font that is both classic and rustic at once. In a pencil sketch, we also created a refreshing wood-inspired image of leaves adorning a double happiness symbol, which is an imperative part of any Chinese wedding invitation.
After family photographs in the morning, the bridal party and happy couple headed to the Sunnybrook Stables — previously a part of the Sunnybrook Farms. Fields of green with weathered architecture and charming rustic barns with haystacks became the backdrop for their wedding photographs. Susan is also an animal-lover. At the stables, she and Alan had an opportunity to share a wedding portrait with a majestic horse.
The wedding took place at the Vaughan Estate of the Estates of Sunnybrook, on the campus of Sunnybrook Health Centre. The Vaughan Estate, originally known as Donningvale, was built in 1931. It was a family home for John James Vaughan, who at the time, served as the Vice President of the Timothy Eaton Company. The house was designed by architects Burden and Gouinlock in a simple Elizabethan style; typical of a large country manor. The home was magnificently designed, with large fireplaces, intricate cornice moldings, carved plaster ceilings, and leaded casement windows with gracefully curved handles. The grandeur continued through beautiful walkouts onto a series of tiered patios, gardens and stone pathways, overlooking their extensive grounds and the Don River Ravine. This property was particularly meaningful to Susan and Alan because it brought together many things they are passionate about: healthcare, history, and nature. Their ceremony was held outdoors, in the courtyard between the Vaughan Estates and Mclean House.
Dinner was served inside after a light-hearted cocktail hour. Guests poured into the cozy foyer and autographed a wooden canoe in lieu of a traditional guest book. We also created some mini canoe-shaped place cards — their whimsical spirit balanced by restrained tones of navy, gold, and cream and classic typography in all-caps and wood cut style. The table numbers were printed to the “ends” of each canoe, like a boat number that would normally appear in real life. The placecards sat in a bed of moss and succulents — an ode to all their beloved friends and species in nature.
The favours were put together by the bride herself — she boxed and tied a lovely branch to each. Inside each box was a small fishing rod that was intricately made. The entire wedding was full of details and special touches, true to the bride’s loving personality. Perhaps the most touching moment, second only to the words that Susan and Alan uttered to their excited and overjoyed parents, was when Susan’s father stood up and sang a friendship song native to his hometown. He received a standing ovation and his big and bright eyes, which closely resemble his daughters, were gleaming with joy. Susan and Alan danced the night away, and also treated their guests to a buffet of hand picked desserts and decadent wedding cakes.
The journey does not stop here — we look forward to hearing about their adventures as they continue to paddle… gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily — life is but a dream.
Photography: Ikonica Images
Stationery Design & Production: PALETTERA
Florals: Fete Boutique
Make up & Hair: Satine Studio
Venue: The Estates of Sunnybrook, Vaughan Estates