Real Wedding: Natalie and Jeff, Ontario, Canada
Natalie and Jeff’s Autumnal Wedding
Ontario natives Natalie and Jeff didn’t initially connect when they met on a skiing trip in Whistler. Still, they kept in touch and saw each other at social gatherings a few times throughout the year. When Natalie learned that Jeff had become single, she called him up for a coffee date, and the rest was history. Five years later, on October 6, 2012 (Canadian Thanksgiving weekend), the pair wed on Natalie’s family farm before celebrating among vintage details, farm-to-table cuisine, and festive fall elements.
A Meaningful Venue
Not wanting to go the country club or ballroom route for their celebration, Natalie and Jeff were searching for a more personal venue when Natalie’s sister suggested Valleyview Farm, which their family owned. The pair quickly realized that the countryside spot was exactly what they wanted—unique and personal with plenty of fresh air.
A Sparkly Accent
The bride complemented her dress with a crystal J.Crew headpiece.
The Bride’s Bouquet
Natalie toted a pastel bouquet of garden roses, ranunculus, lamb’s ear, snowberries, and dusty miller, finished off with a lucky sixpence – a gift from her grandmother. “Including it meant a lot to me, as my grandmother was too ill to attend the wedding,” she said.
The Bridesmaids’ Blooms
Natalie’s 'maids carried bouquets of garden roses, spray roses, santolina, dusty miller, and snowberries.
A Dapper Dog
The First Look
Jeff stood blindfolded (as the couple’s parents and bridal party looked on) until his bride-to-be approached him and removed his blindfold for their first look. They chose to pose for portraits before the ceremony to ensure they wouldn’t miss out on mingling during cocktail hour.
A Canadian Detail
A striped blanket from Hudson’s Bay Company—one of the oldest and most iconic companies in Canada—kept the couple warm during their chilly-weather photoshoot.
A Handmade Arbor
Jeff built the ceremony arbor out of birch trees he found chopped down on the side of the road and embellished it with vintage windows. Sweet Woodruff made the lush floral garland that topped the ceremony backdrop.
It was very important to Natalie and Jeff that they recite traditional vows in front of their 30 loved ones. "We wanted to encourage our married guests in attendance to take a moment to remember the sacredness of their own wedding vows." Two of their favorite songs—"Ho Hey" by the Lumineers and "White Moth" by Xavier Rudd—played while they signed their marriage document.
A Nod to Heritage
To honor their shared Scottish heritage, the couple asked one of Natalie’s students, a talented bagpiper, to play during the processional. He also played at the end of the ceremony to welcome guests for a group photo.
White pumpkins placed throughout the space lent a festive feel to the autumnal celebration.
A Warm Welcome
Welcome signs guided guests to the reception.
Find Your Seats!
Spread Love Events hand traced the table assignments onto a large chalkboard.
Table numbers were written in French, a nod to Natalie’s profession as a language teacher.
Jeff used aged wood he had left over from a construction job to build flower boxes for the centerpieces. They were filled with hydrangeas, ranunculus, olive leaves, garden roses, and dahlias. Mercury glass vases and candles also topped tables.
On the Menu
Dinner was listed on a large chalkboard menu. The couple chose to have a traditional Thanksgiving meal option, complete with roasted turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. Natalie, a vegetarian, also made sure that there were plenty of fresh, locally grown vegetables for guests to enjoy.
A Sparkly Transition
The newlyweds wanted a distinct way to mark the end of dinner and the beginning of the dance party, so they had their emcee make an announcement asking everyone to get up and join them outside the barn, where they were given sparklers. Once everyone lined the pathway, the couple made their way to the tent and began their first dance.
The Couple’s First Dance
The pair danced to "Harvest Moon" by Neil Young. "Considering it was Thanksgiving, it seemed so appropriate," said Natalie.
Fun and Games
Jeff and Natalie cut and stained large pieces of wood to create a life-sized Jenga game for friends and family to play at the reception.
Several festive photobooth items—including confetti and a chalkboard—were on hand for guests to have fun with.
After indulging in a dessert of cupcakes, candies, and chocolates, loved ones took home goodie bags filled with s'mores ingredients.
Since Jeff is a long-time golf cart aficionado, it was fitting that the couple made their great escape on the back of a cart, which was decorated with colorful cans and ribbons.
Day-of Planning: One Fine Day
Styling and Décor: Spread Love Events
Catering: 10tation Catering
Florist: Sweet Woodruff
Calligrapher: Kelle McCarter of Designs Girl
Music: The Rockwilders (band); Jason from The Muskoka Touring Company (DJ)
Makeup: Nechia from Gee Beauty