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Brittany Stevenson and Jeffrey Callaghan met in 2008, while living in Montreal. They became lovebirds and sealed the deal with a May 19, 2013, wedding, highlighting both the old charm of Toronto and its downtown scene. With a ceremony in the Casa Loma castle and a reception in the Drake Hotel, the pair celebrated their affection for one another and the things that make their hearts swell, like the scents of flowers, good food, and special memories.
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A Castle to Wed In
The couple wanted to get married in a light-filled venue, so it was fate that the conservatory of Casa Loma, a majestic old home in Toronto, was available for their Sunday morning nuptials.
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A Blush Bouquet
Brittany carried a bouquet of ranunculus, peonies, and succulents.
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The Engagement Ring
Jeffrey designed Brittany’s timeless engagement ring. The six-prong setting is inspired by a honeycomb’s hexagonal shape and his nickname for his sweetheart; he calls her “Bee.” As for its box? It’s an antique, with a velvet interior, from the 1800s.
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The Ceremony Décor
With elaborate plasterwork, marble floors, and an Italian stained-glass dome, the conservatory didn’t need much except for flowers. Todd Kjargaard of Jackie O enhanced the space with potted lavender (the bride’s favorite scent and a reminder of the lavender field in which Jeffrey proposed) along the aisle, and an arch of branches and blooming cotton.
Chairs were set up in a semicircular pattern to give the room a cozy feel.
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The Ceremony Program
Like the rest of the stationery, the programs were designed by Aprile Elcich. This trifold piece introduced the bridal party with illustrations of each person.
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Walking with Dad
Brittany’s father, Jade, escorted her down the aisle to “I See You Everywhere” by Pierre Aviat. The song played during Chanel’s Paris-Moscou pre-fall 2009 runway show, and Brittany instantly knew she wanted it to be a part of her ceremony.
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Approximately a hundred loved ones gathered for the 11 A.M. service. For Jeffrey, the best moment was seeing his bride for the first time as she walked down the aisle. For Brittany, a favorite moment was when everyone cheered at the end and hearing the joy echo through the room.
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A New Heirloom
During a portion of the ceremony, Jeffrey and Brittany were seated on an ottoman atop a rug from Brittany’s mother. The floor-covering now lives under the dining table in the pair’s home.
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All in the Family
The couple used the mother-of-the-bride’s bible during the ceremony.
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A Room of Their Own
Since Jeffrey and Brittany had a morning ceremony and didn’t do a first look, they had some time together (and for the cameras) in the library of Casa Loma, where they posed for a few portraits and shared a dance.
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Jeffrey donned a Burberry London tuxedo for the big day. His bride chose a Vera Wang gown and veil and Tiffany & Co. pearls. Brittany actually gave Jeffrey a sneak peek at her gown earlier that day, via a note with a piece of lace from the gown fastened to it. She also gave him a little something to accessorize with—an embroidered pocket square with an Edward Lear quote on it: “And hand in hand on the edge of the sand they danced by the light of the moon.”
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The Little Ones
Jeffrey’s nephew Judah and Brittany’s cousin McCartney were two of the three children in the wedding party. McCartney and her fellow flower girl wore tulle dresses by Marley Ocean.
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After the ceremony, Brittany swapped her veil and headpiece for a floral crown. “It was a must,” she says of the hair topper. It was also a nod to the line in their first dance song: “With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.”
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Riding in Style
The bride and her mother arrived to the ceremony in a 1950s Rolls-Royce. Following the service, the newlyweds rode in the same vintage car before joining their guests downtown at the reception.
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Even though it wasn’t a seated dinner, the couple wanted to have a head table as a home base. To decorate the table, they chose a fabric depicting a map of the world in a slightly desaturated palette, and succulents, roses, and peonies.
During the reception, which took place in the dining room of the Drake Hotel, guests helped themselves to two stations of food and a selection of passed plates, such as fancy frites with truffle pecorino and garlic butter. The soundtrack to the remake of The Great Gatsby played, and added to the vintage-inspired atmosphere.
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A Bit of Love
Vintage marquee lights that Brittany had in her apartment were placed in front of the head table.
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The First Dance
“After the Storm” by Mumford & Sons played while the couple shared their first dance as husband and wife.
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Cakes on Display
Wanting the cakes to be a feature at the reception, the couple had them displayed on a rolling cart in the center of the dance floor until after they did the ceremonial cake-cutting.
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The newlyweds cut into the red velvet cake with cream cheese buttercream, made by Cake Opera Co. There was also a vegan chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and fresh raspberries, as well as a banana cake with salted caramel and milk chocolate ganache.
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Photography: Elizabeth Messina
Ceremony Location: Casa Loma
Reception Location and Catering: The Drake Hotel
Event Planning: Lisa Garofalo of Bliss Events
Videography: Modern 8 Films
Stationery: Aprile Elcich
Calligraphy: Barbara Kua of The Lettering Studio
Cake: Cake Opera Co.
Music: DJ Dougie Boom
Hair: Sheri Stroh
Babysitters: Little Party-Goers
Fascinator: Jane Taylor Millinery