Erica and Trevor had an outrageously fun Friday night wedding at Berkeley Church wedding venue Toronto.
Your lovely wedding has so many elements that reflect your and Trevor’s personality and obvious creative talents. What was the process for translating your vision of what your day should be into reality?
This was my first and only wedding so I certainly did not have a perfected formula to follow when pulling elements together. I avoided pinterest like the plague- I found it so overwhelming and in the end we wanted our day to be all our own creation. We did not necessarily have a theme to guide us, a friend of mine said about her own wedding “the theme to my wedding, is wedding” – I liked that and adopted a similar outlook. My process was simply to provide our guests with a wedding that reflected our personalities; fun, colourful, humourous with a little bit of an edge. It was important to me that there were smaller details to be found in unexpected locations (at the bar, the mantles, – even the washroom). I wanted to transform The Berkeley Church into our own space for the evening – I think we achieved this.
There are so many moving parts that make up a wedding day. What elements were of foremost importance to you?
Food, Alcohol and Music J. At the end of the day we wanted for our wedding to be a really fun party. We were there to do the mushy stuff associated with vows and ceremonies, but the big picture for us was ensuring that our friends and family left feeling like they really had a fun time. We loved our tasting at The Berkeley Church. The appetizers, entrees and midnight snacks were delicious. Three months later my grandfather is still talking about the beef rib. We ensured the bar was fully stocked and selected a DJ with similar tastes to our own (DJ Wendy) – somebody who we knew would keep guests on the dance floor and who would refuse to play the Macarena. Ensuring that we had drinks, food and tunes were definitely up there in terms of importance.
Your first look photos are so beautiful and fun, they follow a storyline as you and your bridesmaids journey out on the ttc and meet with the groom and his groomsmen in a very urban graphic setting. What was the idea behind this beautiful urban shoot?
Trevor and I live in Parkdale so this urban storyline mimics our everyday landscape. We could have had our photos taken in a beautiful garden but it would not have been an authentic marker for what our lives were like in 2015. When we look back at our photos we want them to not only remind us of our very special day, we also want to remember the neighbourhood that our first roots as a couple took seed.
It’s such a fun contrasting look to have your beautiful wedding dress and the lovely bridesmaid dresses paired with the more casual fitted jackets. How did you conceive of this snazzy modernistic look?
I decided to pair my white dress with a leather bomber. October was just starting to feel a little chilly so I knew I would need something a little extra for our outdoor shots. The leather coat added a little “bad ass” to the overall look. I’m not an overly traditional gal and I liked the irony of pairing something quite formal (like a wedding dress) with a jacket that I would also wear with jeans and sneakers. It made me feel comfortable and added a little bit of edge to the day.
As a bride you appear to be having the best time ever during the whole wedding, as well as the guests. Was this something you decided was a priority?
I did have the best time ever! So much so that a lot of our photos had to be edited out because my smile was so huge I actually looked a little strange (basically imagine the opposite of “ugly cry face”). Our goal was certainly to have a wedding day where everyone felt celebratory – but I credit the guests for really bringing that extra punch of joy. Everyone who came was excited, happy and social. It was almost as though our wedding happened on a day where everyone was simply in a really great mood!
What was the biggest challenge for you in planning your wedding?
I’m an only child and all of the ladies in my bridal party live outside of the city. Trevor and I did most of the planning and executing on our own. Our wedding was certainly a test to our organizational skills as well as our ability to keep a cool head. There were evenings where our little apartment was full of invitations, decorations, favours, take out cartons and lengthy “to-do” lists. Things got hairy on a few occasions but clear minds always prevailed and in the end we pulled it off like a couple of pros (high five husband!). The biggest challenge by far was stress management.
What were some of the best decisions you made about your wedding day that you feel were key to its full success?
We made two somewhat unconventional (and perhaps controversial) choices – A Friday wedding & No kids.
The Friday choice helped us in saving money and ensured availability from our vendors (Fridays simply aren’t as busy). It also allowed for our guests to have the full weekend to recover from the best party ever.
Although we love all of the people under 18 in our lives, we decided to not to invite young people because it meant that their parents could have a relaxed and carefree evening. This also allowed for a feeling of uncensored freedom- guests could speak freely during speeches and we could play all of the music we wanted (even those tunes that may contain course language).
I think both of these choices felt risky initially but turned out to really encourage a care free and unadulterated evening of fun.
Your menus are beautifully designed. How did you arrive at this design?
Thank you! I recently learned Photoshop and simply came up with the design through some basic “playing around”. I always enjoy seeing a menu at a wedding – it gets people excited to eat and also helps inform everyone about ingredients. For me the little gesture of a menu was simply another detail in the big picture where we could infuse a little personal character.
The bouquets and boutonnières get a chance to be highlighted in the outdoor shots on the way to the Berkeley Church. How did you choose these vivacious beauties?
I knew I wanted a bouquet that was big, luscious, pale pink, white, green with hits of chartreuse. I knew I didn’t want carnations or long stemmed roses- the rest was completely the vision of our florist, Coriander Girl. I had a few meetings with our florist to go over a few minor details but this was one vendor I knew I could trust to deliver something I would love. They put a large living succulent in the center of my bouquet – I was able to plant it and it now continues to grow in our home. This is a lovely reminder of our day.
Again the florals in the Berkeley Church have such a vibrant organic feel to them – from the bouquets on the head table to the lovely individualized potted arrangements. What was the process to reach this beautiful outcome?
Coriander Girl has blossomed from a small operation in Parkdale (our neighborhood!) to a sought after vendor, citywide. We were very lucky to have their talents on our big day. Our request for florals within the space was simply that they were plentiful. Small chair marker posies and multiple arrangements added that hit of natural colour to the space. I felt the flowers really stood out best as individual arrangements in the common areas (such as the bar and front foyer, even in the washrooms)- for this reason we opted not to use floral arrangements for the individual table centerpieces. Instead we used potted ferns grown by my generous in laws. These delicate ferns were a nice shade of green and offered something a little more casual than the classic vases.
There are selections of framed pictures that are placed in the Berkeley Church on the mantelpieces. What was your selection process like for these placements? The [Adam and Eve] picture of you and Trevor is so funny and adorable. What is the story behind this photography?
These framed pictures were actually plucked from our own living room. I really wanted to transform The Berkeley Church into an event space that echoed our own sense of style and design. I wanted it to feel residential, comfortable and maybe even a little funny. We used pictures of us taken straight from our cell phones – funny faced selfies, candid shots from parties and past Halloween shenanigans ensured that we were representing ourselves most authentically without putting on heirs or dampening the mood with too much seriousness.
The ceremony at the Berkeley Church is flooded in a soft natural light in the mezzanine. How important was this in your decision to have a daytime ceremony?
Our ceremony took place at 4pm. As it was a Friday we felt this time would allow guests to arrive at the venue without sacrificing too much of their work day (although who doesn’t appreciate a vacation day?). The beautiful and bright lighting was simply an added bonus to the logistics of our timeline. This was not planned or considered ahead of time, but it did add a lovely tranquil glow to a ceremony that already felt incredibly magical. The Berkeley church is a simply stunning venue- in my eyes it remained lovely throughout the entire evening under all lighting conditions.
Your wedding pictures are incredible. How would you describe the photography style of your wedding day and how did you communicate the desired outcome to your photographer?
Our photographers are basically famous geniuses. They were amazing, fun, creative, patient, calming and professional. We didn’t want too many “posed” shots. Our briefing before the big day was simply to capture as many candid shots as possible. We wanted our photographers to enjoy themselves as well so we gave them free reign to capture any detail of our day that they felt was interesting. We are so happy with our photos and the credit is owed solely to them!
There are just the right amounts of decor touches throughout the Berkeley Church to highlight the natural historical setting while adding beautiful little touches that communicate your lovely personal style. How did you find this balance?
When we were initially shopping for venues we found other halls and locations all had preexisting décor obstacles that would require additional work to downplay (horrendous carpets, outdated artwork, colourful wall paint). This is one of the main reasons why we were interested in The Berkeley church. The bones of the venue stand on their own as a beautiful backdrop to a very important day. The vaulted ceilings, stained glass windows, hard wood floors and rustic charisma make the space simply beautiful. Our job to make the space our own was the only design challenge; which we happily accepted. I selected framed personal images from our home, cheeky helium balloons, family heirloom tablecloths, neon signs, house plants, colourful candle holders and pretty party décor to give the space a little something extra. If time and budget were not a factor I probably would have continued to fill the space with Trevor and Erica mementos; having limitations really helped us achieve the balance, which in the end turned out to be just right.
The stunning picture of you and Trevor waking down the street, you are barefoot, he is carrying your bouquet, communicates in spades a level of comfort and happiness, to be right where you are with each other, owning your own day as well as the city. What would you title this picture and how what does it make you think of?
Awww, I love this photo as well. My feet needed a break from the heels and Trevor, being the Gentleman that he is, offered to carry my floral load while I took a short reprieve. If I were asked to name this photo I would call it “Just another day”- namely because it really reveals what our relationship is like all of the time; carefree, funny, supportive and kind. Regardless of context our relationship always follows the same easy sense of compatibility and companionship. Even on our wedding day we felt comfortable enough with one another to be ourselves and spend the day the way we wanted to.
Our wedding was probably the happiest day of my life. I’m sure every bride says this, but being surrounded by the supportive energy of all of your favourite people, the love of your life/best friend/hunk of a husband, all while looking your very best is an incomparable feeling. So happy, so satisfying, so fun and so loving.
Erica’s Custom Dress: Designed by Erica & April Clement (hand made by April Clement) http://www.aprilclement.com
Trevor’s Custom Suit: Made Clothing http://madeclothing.ca
Florist: Coriander Girl http://www.coriandergirl.com
Cake & Sweets Table: Yummy Stuff http://yummystuff.ca
Photographers: Vanessa Heins and Jess Baumung http://boyfriendgirlfriendpictures.com
DJ: Meg & Justin (aka “DJ Wendy)
Live Band: The Unbelievable Bastards
Cellist: Cole Swanson
Officiate: Erica & Trevors best friend, Tyler Mayhew
Processional song: Elephant Gun, Beirut
Recessional song: Suburbs, Arcade Fire
First Dance: Tiny Dancer, Elton John
Venue: Berkeley Church
Catering: Berkeley Catering