How can I have a more eco-friendly wedding?

While a truly “zerowaste wedding” doesn’t exist, there are some great things you guys can consider that will be easier on the earth. Sometimes it can be easier on your wallet, too! Read on to hear about what we thought about when we planned our wedding last June. All photos taken by the amazing Angie Choi (Eyekahfoto)

My partner, Andrew (Andy!) and I have been together for nine years now – today, June 1st, is our first wedding anniversary! I wasn’t sure I ever wanted to actually get married, as someone whose own parents were divorced. So when we had our most concrete version of The Talk and decided we wanted to get married, we also decided we wanted to partyWe got engaged back in 2017 while celebrating our six-year anniversary drinking in the postcard-perfect city of Positano. Andy actually proposed on a hike in the mountains of Montepertuso, but that’s a story for another time…

As we both love animals and nature, it was very important to us that our happy day didn’t leave an unhappy impact on the earth. Weddings can unfortunately get so wasteful and we were constantly challenged with making choices that worked for both ourselves and our conscious decision to not produce unnecessary waste, and to try to keep everything as low waste as possible. In planning this event, we were mindful of what would happen to our wedding items once the wedding was over.

 

We tried our best to intentionally choose vendors that were modelling and promoting environmental sustainability. This included our venue (Archeo), our florist (Stok Floral Design), our cake maker (Sarah Joy Sweets) and even my wedding dress designer (Abigail of Gardenia), and more! 

We researched, decided upon, and tracked our “sustainable swaps” in a spreadsheet (will link a template soon!) and we stuck to our decisions, even when the allure of Pinterest made us (well, me) really want something as silly as sparklers (which are sparkly for, what, thirty seconds, before they’re chucked in the trash – and technically should be disposed of more responsibly since they’re considered by the city to be hazardous waste…).

And while we definitely aren’t perfect and didn’t achieve a perfect zero-waste wedding (I don’t think that exists, and if it does, that’s likely not taking into consideration the people we may have the privilege of paying to create waste for us), having this spreadsheet was a good reminder of the unsustainable items and actions we were avoiding.

Maybe you’re currently asking yourself these kinds of questions, or maybe you remember the absolute nightmare of struggling with them, or maybe you’re just a cheeseball like me who grew to LOVE wedding-related details (the pretty dress! the flowers! the bowtie on the dog!). In any case, in honour of our one year anniversary we’d like to share some ideas!

When we were planning, I found it really inspiring to read about and see photos from other couples who had orchestrated their own weddings with eco-friendly practices in mind and without a planner! But I found that these were few and far between relative to the majority of wedding content I was binging, so we’d like to contribute to the eco-friendly wedding world if we could! 

There are so many ways to celebrate love coming together in a union officially labeled as a “marriage” and a wedding is just one of them. A civil ceremony, a religious ceremony, a destination wedding, signing papers with just us two and our officiant in the middle of a forest or just at their office, and probably more I’m forgetting to mention, were all alternatives we talked about at length.

The way we saw it was that we get to celebrate our love everyday, but we don’t get to celebrate the PEOPLE in our lives who mean so much to us and who have been supportive of our relationship since the very beginning. We decided if we were going to do this, let’s do it up and had a few conversations establishing our non-negotiables – the top three being:

1) our dog, Fritz, had to be able to be a part of the ceremony (of course!);
2) we had to have good food; and
3) we had to have full-blown dancing.

We also wanted an outdoor ceremony, a Saturday night and an open bar for our guests to get silly on. But the more I got invested in my research, the more it became really, really important to me (and therefor to us, as Andy was game for it after asking “OK but this won’t cost a million dollars more, right?”) to plan our wedding with the intention of not creating unnecessary waste, or engaging in actions or consumer habits that didn’t take the environment into consideration.

 

 

Regardless of the timeframe, planning a wedding can be complicated, overwhelming and – OH YEAH – expensive. But implementing a goal to be mindful of our wedding’s impact on the earth added so much extra research and consideration into what is, undeniably, already an overwhelming amount of research and consideration. 

The hardest part was determining WHEN we wanted to get married, WHERE the wedding should take place, WHO we would be able to invite and who were the “green” vendors we could trust, WHAT did we actually need, and – the question we asked ourselves more than once throughout the planning process – WHY are we driving ourselves crazy having a wedding let alone a more eco-conscious wedding?

Read more below about the questions you may want to consider as you plan your low-waste wedding!

Questions To consider as you plan

WHEN do YOU want to get married?

For sentimental reasons, we wanted to choose a wedding date close to our May 27/28 anniversary (our first kiss was around midnight, so cheesy). That weekend happened to be Doors Open Toronto, an amazing, FREE city-wide event where a ton of businesses, buildings and organizations that are not accessible to the public throw open their doors and put on cool tours for everyone who’s interested – check it out here. However, this meant that a lot of places were booked and busy, including our original plan to have a ceremony at the beautiful outdoor gardens of Spadina Museum (a city-owned heritage site – think Canadian Great Gatsby vibes, which is completely accurate given their annual summer Gatsby Garden Party). So, we shifted our date to the closest Saturday after, which was June 1 (though this ended up being a moot point – see WHERE we actually had our wedding below).

WHAT dO YOU actually need? (“Need to have” versus “Nice to have”)

If you’re planning a wedding and you haven’t yet listened to the Bridechilla podcast then you are in for a treat. Bridechilla’s website and hilarious podcast is all about debunking wedding-related expectations and saving $$$ when it comes to this one day of your life. What do you actually need? Realistically, you just need yourself, your partner, a marriage license and someone who is actually qualified able to marry you (i.e., an officiant, a Justice of the Peace, a priest/reverend, etc.). It’s almost funny that, legally, that’s it – that’s all you need and the rest – the scrumptious cake, the beautiful paper invitations, the flowers, the sparkly rings, the outfits, all these things that have ENTIRE industries devoted to them – are all, moreorless, garnish. Or, as Bridechilla would say, everything else you don’t need can go into what she call the “f*ck it bucket”  🙂 

 Armed with this sage wisdom, we tossed away everything we thought we knew about “weddings” and came up with a list. And then, weighed that list against the overall theme of being low-waste, low-impact, environmentally conscious. The list was short and sweet, but determined everything to come, so this was the best starting point for moving forward and hatching a plan of attack.

WHO would YOU want/be able to invite?

Before you can find a venue, you need to know how many people you need to be able to fit into that venue. So, even though it could be grueling, we sat down and made a list of both of our immediate families and our closest friends we HAD to have otherwise this day wouldn’t be the same. We then asked our parents for their lists of extended family and friends they need to invite (hint – do this early! It can take a while if your mom is like my mom 🙂 )

We have a lot of couple friends and siblings who are coupled up, so that made it easy to think about tables, but we accounted for friends who we didn’t know their partner or who were casually dating someone, or newly dating someone. We also had a lot of old friends who were really big parts of different times in our life, or work friends we love who we wished we could have invited if we had space. To deal with this tricky issue, we made an unofficial rule that we weren’t inviting friends we hadn’t properly seen or spent quality time with in more than two years.

Arriving at this number range meant the difference between the “jet-setting 40-person Positano destination wedding” we’d consider for a minute and the “intimate 75 person wedding” we’d naively assumed we could narrow it down to. In the end we invited 110, had three couples RSVP no because they were living or away on vacation abroad, bringing us to 104. A medical emergency the day before meant one couple couldn’t attend, and another friend’s husband fell off a ladder and hurt his foot the day of our wedding. She showed up solo, apologizing while trying not to laugh too hard – she said he was doing something silly when he fell but was ok!

So in the end, we had 1 Maltipoo and 101 Dalmatians loved ones at our wedding – which worked out perfectly with our love of dogs. 

WHERE DO YOU WANT TO HOLD YOUR WEDDING?

 We realized we could only hold a ceremony, not a reception at Spadina Museum and we wanted an all-in-one venue to avoid travel in-between. We considered several amazing sustainable venues – such as the Kortright Centre for Conservation, Black Creek Pioneer Village (both are Toronto and Region Conservation Authority properties) and the McMichael Gallery. 

Ultimately we decided that the fact that this was outside of the city meant that all our guests had to travel by car to get there and likely stay overnight. The cost of emissions from traveling by car, plus the cost of having to make guests pay to drive themselves, park and stay overnight, plus the general inconvenience this caused for us, made us not go with any of these great venues. Most of Andrew’s family and my mum’s friends and family were going to be coming from outside of the city anyways but from different areas that were closer to downtown Toronto. Besides a few international treats that came all the way from California (my two brothers, my sister-in-law, my other brother’s date, and my brother’s best friend who is basically a third brother to me, plus his wife), the rest of the guests were in Toronto and could taxi, Uber, take local transit (TTC) or even walk to the venue we ended up choosing. Speaking of…

Who were our eco-friendly vendors?

See categories below for who we loved to work with to bring our low-waste wedding vision to life

CEREMONY & RECEPTION VENUE

We booked a lovely historic venue with lots of character for both our ceremony and reception. Archeo is a delightful and romantic venue nestled within the historic Distillery District in Toronto; it’s all brick walls, wooden beams, globe lights and – most important – great food. It’s a place we often walk our dog, Fritz, to, making it close to both our home and our hearts. Once upon a time this space was an old carpentry shop that was part of the Gooderham and Warts Distillery. Today, Archeo is officially a National Historic Site and is considered a part of the largest and best preserved collection of Victorian Industrial architecture. With its warm, intimate setting, dog-friendly courtyard and convenient location in the oldest part of Toronto, Archeo was the perfect place for us old souls to tie the knot surrounded by the people – and dog – that we love the most. 

 Archeo was the dreamiest wedding ceremony and reception venue we could imagine – and the venue team made our colourful, fun-filled celebration come to life! The day was wonderful and whimsical, heartfelt and free-spirited. Choosing our venue was the most important decision for having what we intended to be a low-waste wedding that would allow us to share our love with our loved ones while still supporting sustainable practices. First, Archeo is located downtown Toronto, which was nearby for most of our guests who were local. As mentioned above, it’s very transit accessible. Second, having both our ceremony and reception at the same place meant guests didn’t have to travel between multiple places, thereby reducing their transportation footprint. From our very first visit, the venue was supportive of our wishes to reduce waste. They had already eliminated disposable straws and other single-use plastics from their venue. The food was sooo delicious and they had so many menu options that it was really hard to choose from, even after we had decided not to offer any meat at our wedding! At the time we were pescatarians (now we try to stick to plant-based) and we stayed true to who we are by offering fish, vegetarian and vegan options only.

Everything was locally sourced from suppliers that are also conscious about sustainability. The venue team were truly the best. One of the nicest surprises was the venue staff waiting inside after our ceremony and when Andy and I entered; they all shouted “congratulations!” and immediately gave us cocktails. All of the staff were so lovely and efficient. The manager checked on us throughout the night with helpful updates and made us feel at ease. Our super friendly bartenders had the drinks flowing, making sure no one went thirsty. And the AV specialist was so great about figuring out all our AV needs which would have been so stressful without him.

MY WEDDING DRESS

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Abigail of Gardenia by Maureen Patricia Smith (amazing Canadian designer – was local to Toronto but has since moved outside of the city)

I first came across Maureen’s designs on Instagram and saw that she was having a pop-up event on Queen Street and it happened to be on my birthday! My mom, sister and best friend were kind enough to come with me to try on dresses. I was happy this was a sample sale because since we were trying to have a low-waste wedding, I knew I wanted a pre-existing dress, either something vintage or second-hand, and a sample gown would be perfect.

My support system encouraged me to try on this dress that was drop-dead gorgeous with these colourful embroidered flowers on it; even though I loved flowers and nature, I never thought I would wear a dress like that for my wedding. But I tried it on and that was it – everyone nodded, and my mom just kept saying “That’s your dress”. And it was!

We ended up customizing the sleeves and adding even more florals to it at a follow-up appointment in my living room, with my mom, sister and friend sat around dreaming up where to place each teensy flower cut from little scraps of fabric. Later, I asked Maureen create a custom veil to match, again using the bits and bobs of the floral fabric scraps.

I felt beautiful on our wedding day but most of all, I felt like me and it ended up setting the tone for our whole wedding because of course I couldn’t keep this dress a secret from Andy! The colourful nature of the dress matched our personalities. We decided it was a sign, that after the year of sadness we had had (my dad passed away and Andy lost his aunt to cancer), that our wedding should be a bright and colourful affair since it was a happy occasion to get together with everyone we loved. And the rest flowed from that!

FRESH FLOWERS

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As nature-lovers, having gorgeous flowers at our wedding was important to us, but we also wanted to be sure we were acting as sustainably as we could. Luckily, we had a great place just a few blocks from us. Stôk Floral Design was 100% supportive of our colourful, vibrant vision and our goal to consider the environment. They made both of these things happen by sourcing us in-season, local flowers native to the area, and using minimal fresh cut blooms for beautiful, high impact.

The team was so creative and as excited to bring our floral dreams to life as we were, which made them a pleasure to work with (I even got a text from the owner, Ali, days before the wedding saying she was so excited to make our hanging floral installation, which made me so much more excited, too). We appreciated that they were transparent with their pricing, and conscious of how much we wanted to spend, even guiding us towards ways we could save by DIY-ing and thrifting elements that were easy enough for us to do and would majorly cut down costs. They knew our venue well and could easily advise on logistics like what size vases would best fit the tables and how long of a piece of copper pipe we would need to hang over our head table for the hanging installation. Their advice made it easy to DIY this element. You bet we went to Canadian Tire and walked home through downtown Toronto carrying a 12 foot copper pipe! That was a sight to behold… A man visibly drinking booze from a paper bag outside on the street even yelled “WHY??” at us as we passed, which killed us. 

As a bonus, they indulged my crazy request to let us pick through their unused floral scraps so we could press and dry these petals to use as biodegradable floral confetti! They even thoughtfully set aside extra petals from other projects so there were piles ready and waiting for us to pick up. The floral confetti photographed throughout this site is leftover confetti from them and I love being able to use it for this project!

A few days before our wedding, the weather was looking iffy for our outdoor ceremony, so I asked if it was at all possible to add two voluminous and vibrant wildflower arrangements for our ceremony, just in case we needed to move indoors. Having this rain plan I didn’t hate made me stop worrying about the weather, which was a huge change from feeling compelled to check the forecast so often. They completely delivered on this last-minute addition, which added so much by framing our aisle with these bright, cheerful blooms. We loved working with Stôk from start to finish and recommend them to everyone!

DRIED FLORALS

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There were some elements we knew we wanted to be able to keep, so we went with dried flowers from Paula Jean’s Garden. While not in Canada, Paul Jean’s custom dried flower pieces are hand-harvested on her sustainable family farm in Montana

We ordered dried floral barrettes for my hair and one for each bridesmaid, Andy’s boutonniere and a gorgeous floral crown for our dear friend Claire who was our wedding officiant. Legally, the lovely Helen Sweet of the The Bride’s Project, did our marriage paperwork minutes before our ceremony, but it was incredible to have someone who knows us so well orchestrate a personal ceremony just for us. We love you, Claire!)

 

 

 

WEDDING CAKE with EDIBLE FLORALS

We had a specific vision in mind of a colourful three-tiered cake covered with vibrant edible flower petals and Sarah of Sarah Joy Sweets 100% brought our ideal cake to life. Sarah is an independent baker who lives in Aurora but has low-cost delivery to Toronto. Sarah took the time to research and forage the right kinds of petals for our cake and hand-placed each one on it: Wild Geranium, Primroses, Apple Flowers, Yarrow Leaves, Violas, Roses, Nasturtium, Lavender, and Dianthus. The overall result was beautiful and it tasted even better!

At our initial consultation, we were impressed with all the options Sarah had available, and loved that we could mix and match. We went with the bergamot cake with lemon curd filling and buttercream icing. It was a bright citrus dream, a perfect balance of sweet buttercream, and not-too-sweet cake – it was reminiscent of a comforting cup of tea with some zippy citrus bursts. The cake itself was deliciously dense and the overall structure was well constructed. Our guests commented throughout the night how beautiful it was and how tasty, with several guests going back for multiple pieces. Overall we found Sarah to be extremely professional and a delight to work with. Highly recommend Sarah Joy Sweets!

diy signage

Trying to be eco-friendly also allowed us to get thrifty and creative, which saved us money while also having fun coming up with wacky solutions. We knew we need signage for outside our venue, so we scoured the Toronto Wedding Bunz group and bought two massive sandwich boards for $25 each from a previous bride. I sanded them, wood-stained them a deep mahogany, and then used a projector borrowed from my brother-in-law’s school to trace our names and text in a calligraphy font. Stôk added some eucalyptus to zhuzh it up and it did the trick.

Disclaimer: We did knock over an entire can of wood varnish on our tile floor two days before our wedding, so that was great. Pro tip: acetone nail polish remover leaves no trace behind if you scrub for hours on end…

second-hand vases & picture frames

We knew we also needed some simple bud vases for our minimal fresh-cut blooms. We found our perfectly imperfect random assortment of different bud vases on Instagram! We bought them from a wedding planner who was clearing out her studio and she was selling them for $1 per piece

For our table “numbers” we instead chose to do our favourite movies because we met working part-time at a movie theatre. Andy’s sister gifted us the frames she had used from her wedding four years prior and we spray painted them from gold to copper. Andy designed and printed each table “movie”, along with our other stationary (see below!). We also borrowed the card box from his sis. Thanks Danielle & Andrew!

I also was able to resell these items on Bunz afterwards, which kept them out of the cycle of waste, stopped another bride from having to buy new, and put money back in my pocket!

INVITATIONS, SEATING CHART, TABLE “MOVIES”, PLACE CARDS, MENU CARDS, LUKE’S DINER “NO CELLPHONES” sign, PROGRAM, photo props & stickers

Andy is a graphic designer for a children’s book publishing company. For all of our stationary, from our invites to our seating chart and everything in between, he designed our colourful, whimsical watercolour paper elements himself. We printed almost everything on our home Epson printer. We were kindly gifted cream cardstock from my sister and her friends who had a printing business and paper that wasn’t going to be used (thanks, sis!). This was super time-consuming though, especially when we had a few invites get returned to us because we’d been given some old addresses. Putting envelope liners for our invites and making an 8-page mini program for our ceremony were the most grueling. But I swear, he did this stuff on his own so he can’t blame me for how long they took.

He also designed some stickers with our dog’s face to seal the glassine baggies we put the floral confetti in. Those and the seating chart had to be printed on Vistaprint. We printed our guest book on Artifact Uprising using our engagement photos taken by Eyekahfoto

Photo with Luke’s sign is from my iPhone; other photos are Eyekahfoto.

 

GROOMSMEN

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Trying to have an environmentally conscious wedding had so many other benefits. For example, we got to reuse or refuse a lot of unnecessary things we didn’t need – like new suits for the groomsmen. Fun fact: Andrew and three of the five groomsmen wore the same grey suits they had worn for three other weddings!

The groomsmen were gifted items from Texas-based Fox & Brie. The owner, Jess, makes custom ties, bowties and pocket squares out of salvaged deadstock fabric! We commissioned her to create a different coloured tie for each of our five groomsmen, for Andy, and for his dad and my step-dad. 

She also created their floral print pocket squares and a teeny dog bowtie in the same floral fabric for our dog, Fritz, to wear during the ceremony! Fritz’s suit was from Amazon – it was $16 versus the $200+ options I was getting quoted from tailors and Etsy. You can’t win ’em all. 

BRIDAL PARTY

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I gave each friend a colour – 6 in total – and a length and material, and then unleashed them to choose their own dresses in a style and at a price point that would suit them. Each colour was one that was represented in the embroidered flowers on my dress, so I started thinking of them as my wildflower bridesmaids. I encouraged them to borrow from a friend, raid their mom’s closet, or shop vintage, but they ended up finding their dresses from different new retailers like The Reformation, Etsy, ASOS, Nordstrom and Lulus. They looked beautiful. When the whole wedding party got together with the boys they were like our very own Power Rangers squad.

I gifted them getting ready robes from Wedding Star. Honestly, I can’t find anything about their sustainability policies so I doubt this was an eco-friendly purchase. But it was the very first thing I bought for the wedding because I wanted to use them as “ask” gifts… before realizing that gifting something to wear for a wedding two years away wasn’t a smart idea, so I gifted them the day before instead.

HAIR

 My mum, my sister and I have been going to Eve, owner of The Living Room for almost a decade. On the day of our wedding, she closed down her salon just for us, made us mimosas, and put on some tunes. Her team, including her own daughter who was in for the day just to help out, did a beautiful job on everyone’s hair. Her husband is also a jeweller and he created my engagement ring with Andy and both of our wedding bands. 

The Living Room is a Living Proof-verified salon, meaning they exclusively carry Living Proof products. Living Proof has a sustainability mandate and a partnership with TerraCycle, which is a step in the right direction.

 

MAKEUP

As soon as we got engaged, I knew I wanted our friend Bianca Colangelo as my makeup artist for my engagement photos and wedding day. Andy and I have known Bianca for years. She’s a professional makeup artist with experience in special fx makeup for film. Back when she was in training Andy and I used to sub in as her models – once she made me into a half-robot woman, and Andy into someone who was frozen to death in a horror movie. She is talented! While I didn’t go the half-robot route for this day, there was no one else I’d trust for my wedding day makeup. I was laughing so much I’d be crying and Bianca’s makeup outlasted the rollercoaster of emotions.

WEDDING GIFTS

We wanted to thank our wedding party with gifts that would be useful. As a gift, in addition to the robes, a necklace, and some candy, I gifted my bridesmaids their hair appointments. They had the option to also get their makeup done by Bianca if they wanted to, and we had a group discount. For the groomsmen, in addition to the pocket squares, ties and socks, Andy got each of them tasty craft beer and a customized beer stein that was made from recycled baseball bats from Lumberland Co.

Andy also created our “ask” cards for our wedding party. The girls had personalized cards. For the guys, he did custom labels on things he knew each of the guys liked with a play on what they liked- a beer label, a chocolate bar, etc. My older brother discovered Harry Potter later in life (like last year), loves it, and so Andy made him a Harry Potter chocolate bar. He was very pleased with it.

 

WEDDING FAVOURS

If you haven’t tried treats from Roselle Desserts then you are definitely missing out. We tried to make Roselle’s famous caramels packageable without plastic as favours for our guests. Stephanie, who co-owns Roselle with her husband, reached out personally to explain why they couldn’t do biodegradable packaging for the caramels, but suggested their best-selling cookies instead. They were a hit, and not a single cookie was left at the end. We used their glassine bags with their logo and taped them shut with one of the Fritz stickers Andy made. I definitely recommend edible favors in low-waste packaging!

Roselle was also where we had our “first look” photos before our ceremony. We had Fritz and Earl Grey frozen yogurt with all the fixin’s and it was a really nice way to start the celebration.

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WEDDING REGISTRY

We had lived together for a while, so we didn’t need home stuff you traditionally find on a registry. We set-up a Honeyfund which lets guests contribute to your honeymoon. It’s customizable so you can include transportation like airfare, rental cars, or beer and winery tours, horsebackriding, canoeing Lake Louise like we did, or whatever you plan to do!

We also did set up a small home registry at The Bay at my mum’s request because she felt that was traditional. The Bay has some great sustainablyfocused brands so that worked out well. We also only put on items we knew we would use, and at various price points so guests have lots of choice. We use our lemon juicer multiple times a day, every single day so a registry was worth it for that alone!

RECEPTION MUSIC

Years ago we worked alongside a seriously cool person named Maddy Wilde who became our friend. Today, her band Rapport is signed to Arbutus Records and is making waves in Toronto’s indie music scene. Maddy was also one of the first people Andy had confided in when he started crushing on me, and Maddy was always secretly rooting for us to get together. It was beyond incredible to have her and her bandmates Kurt, Mike and special guest Paul learn all our favourite 70s, 80s, 90s, and early ‘00s songs. They kept the dance floor spinning all night long. At one point, one of Andrew’s cousin’s – a stoic engineer – turned to him and asked, “Is this Mazzy Star?” and when Andrew confirmed it was, he got this huge grin on his face and squeezed his wife a little closer during their slow dance. It was so lovely to see so many people reveling in music that made them nostalgic for the early days of their own love lives. That’s what good music should do!

You can listen to Rapport on Spotify , Bandcamp and follow their hilarious Instagram.

CEREMONY MUSIC

We loved being able to incorporate so many other people into our ceremony besides our wedding party. Two of my sister’s high school students who have an ensemble called Flutes on the Wall played the flute and keyboard for before and after the ceremony (the learned the Frasier theme song for us!) and did an amazing job.  And I’ll never forget what it felt like to have my mum walk me down the aisle while my friend Hannah sang “My Favourite Book” by Stars, a song we love – and the huge hug my mum gave Andy at the end.

PHOTOGRAPHER

Last but definitely not least – all these wedding photos were taken by our amazing photographer. Angie Choi, founder of Eyekahfoto. We are so grateful to Angie (and her second shooter, the wonderful Emma Kreiner) for putting in so much attention to detail on our wedding day. Angie and Emma hustled around the whole day to take so many vivid, creative and wonderfully candid shots. We got to relive our entire wedding day because of Angie’s incredibly thoughtful eye, and we got to see so many quick moments that we would have otherwise missed on the big day, like our guests snuggling up to their partners at heartfelt moments during the ceremony, and everyone’s reactions to speeches during the reception, including ourselves in all stages from dying of laughter to wiping away tears.

The photos are gorgeously lit and brimming with a warmth that we felt on the day but can be hard to document on film, and she absolutely nailed it. We love that we have so many natural photos of our family and loved ones somehow all looking like movie stars and being fully in the moment. We received so many photos (more than 3x what our contract had stipulated) and it is such a challenge to choose favourites because they’re all so good!

We wanted our day to be a personal, thoughtful and meaningful celebration of love with our nearest and dearest and she managed to catch all of that. We are floored. We are so happy we found her and and trusted Eyekahfoto with our wedding day. Angie is an absolute gem and pleasure to work with. Hire her immediately if she’s still available for your date!

NOTE: Currently photographers in Ontario are not able to get back to work. Please follow Angie’s Instagram for updates on how this situation is affecting our creative community.

She has also started a brilliant Face Time Portrait series wherein 80% of the donations received go towards feeding a hungry family in Toronto. Knowing that she is someone who wants to help her community in whatever way she can even when she is facing loss of work and income makes me so inspired and happy to know her. Hire her! Do a FaceTime Portrait! 🙂

BONUS from iphone photos – sparkly vintage reception dress

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After our first dance, I changed out of my wedding dress into a sparkly short beaded gown that was my Mum’s from the late seventies so I could really dance. This was after Angie and Emma were off-duty so we please excuse the grainy photos, most of them taken on the dancefloor so they’re pretty blurry.  I had actually worn this same dress to my Gr. 11 prom and always loved it.

It was so nice to spend time with my Mum leading up to the wedding as we worked with a local designer at Serge Jevaguine  to fix-up the dress, as over the years a lot of the beading had come loose. It was beautifully restored and I danced all night in that dress until the lights came up. It was unbelievable to get to wear my mom’s vintage dress on this special day.

BONUS from 2 iphone photos + 1 pro. photo – #TheJustMarried jacket

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Since it’s always a little chilly at night at the end of May/early June I knew I’d need a jacket for the evening. When I discovered Sylvia Wong’s #TheJustMarriedJacket I thought it would be a perfect way to have something fun for photos that would keep me warm without having to worry about never wearing it again or buying something. The “Sisterhood of the Traveling Leather Jacket” is a leather jacket that Sylvia, owner of Via Calligraphy, created to wear for her own wedding back in 2016. Since then, she’s lent this jacket out to 100+ brides who have also worn this on their wedding day! You pick up the jacket locally in Toronto on a Wednesday and keep it until the following Tuesday – all in exchange for a bottle of red wine.

I love that this personal DIY has turned into a thriving example of community while promoting sustainable fashion. It felt special to wear the jacket, especially at 2:30am after the wedding, just Andy and I as we walked the few blocks to the Fairmont Royal York where we spent our wedding night. It also meant anyone who saw us knew we were #justmarried – strangers yelled congratulations and honked their horns at us, which was also just very sweet. 

There are definiely some things I’m forgetting but I wanted to share this on our actual anniversary so I’ll leave it for now. For more, follow me on Instagram <3