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Real Wedding | Rachel + Matthew

Tell us a little about yourselves!

We were both competitive figure skaters and first met over 10 years ago when we paired up as ice dance partners. Our partnership started at the rink, but very quickly grew beyond that and we have been together ever since. We retired from the sport due to injury about a year after we started dating and have since spent the last decade hand in hand through life's adventures. We now live in Toronto with our dog, Marley, and cat, Tiger.

Why did you decide to get married where you did?

We got engaged on a trip to Napa Valley in 2019, with Matt proposing on a hike overlooking the Pacific ocean. We played with the idea of a destination wedding in wine country, but when we started the planning process it just didn’t feel right. Rachel’s Mom suggested we check out Langdon Hall, just outside Toronto, and we completely fell in love with it (even when seeing it for the first time in the middle of a snow storm!). The property is stunning and brought everything we wanted to the table - a destination feel without being too out of the way, the possibility of an al fresco setup, gorgeous greenery and gardens, and impeccable farm-to-table food which was super important to us.

We originally booked Langdon Hall for August 2020, but with the pandemic had to postpone not once but twice into 2022! The team was so accommodating (shoutout to Emily!) and supported us every step of the way. When we finally arrived on the property for our big day in July, we felt like we were being welcomed back by friends.

How many guests did you have?

We kept things a little more intimate and had 65 guests.

Tell us about your outfits.

Rachel: While I didn’t have a super clear vision of the kind of dress I would wear on my wedding day, I knew what I didn’t want: something too traditional, fussy, or delicate. Andrea, Myra and the team at White Toronto knew exactly what I was going for and made finding my outfit such an amazing experience. The Rasario dress I chose totally hit the nail on the head. I loved the minimalist yet architectural statement the dress made, and how it struck a balance between timeless and modern with the detachable watteau train detail. I felt like Superwoman meets Audrey Hepburn with my watteau cape on!

With the dress being more architectural, I was able to play with my accessories as well. I loved my pearl headpiece from Keren Wolf, which I felt was really current while still keeping with that classic inspiration. For my veil, I initially had to be convinced to try one on because I didn’t want to be too traditional, but in the end my veil became one of my favourite aspects of my outfit. My Mom has an amazing sense of style and was pretty instrumental in choosing my accessories - I owe her one!

Matt - After hearing nothing but good things, I went with a custom suit from Garrison Bespoke. I wanted to stay classic without going black - the three-piece blue suit with some cross-hatching details in the fabric did just that. We also customized the lining of my jacket to be the ivy outfield wall from Wrigley Field - it was the best way to bring in my hometown of Chicago and pay homage to our first date watching the Cubs beat the White Sox!

What was the most important aspect for you, in terms of planning your wedding?

We really wanted to have a celebration that felt as intimate as a backyard dinner party, but still elevated and special especially after postponing so many times during the pandemic. Having amazing food was an integral part of that vision, and is how we landed on Langdon Hall as our venue. We also leaned into that intimate vibe by emceeing the wedding ourselves and it was one of the best decisions we made - we loved feeling like we were really hosting all of our guests. Our planner, Lexi Haslam of Lexington and Co., was instrumental in making this vision come to life, not sure what we would have done without her!

Were there any elements that were important for you to incorporate?

Rachel - My Dad passed away very suddenly in 2018 and it was important to me to have reminders of how he was with me throughout our day. We used fabric from one of his old ties around my bouquet and my Mom gifted Matt a pair of my Dad’s cufflinks, which he wore with his custom suit. I think the most special moment though was the custom ring I had made. My Dad always wore this beautiful gold signet ring with his initials that his Dad had made for him. I worked with Elisabetta Marella from BREADXCircus to recreate a version of this ring that I wore to walk down the aisle, so he could hold my hand in spirit while my Mom was by my side in person. It was subtle, but was one of the most meaningful details of our ceremony and I am forever grateful to Elisabetta for her work on the piece.

Another important element for us was our ceremony. We had actually eloped back in 2020 when we realized we would have to postpone our bigger wedding due to the pandemic. For our 2022 celebration, we still wanted to have a ceremony with all our friends and family in attendance and it was important to us that our celebrant was someone who knew us well and could really speak to us as a couple. Having our amazing friend Mike serve in that role - he dubbed himself our “faux-fficient”! - was one of the best decisions we made. We’ve known each other for 16 years (and he’s known Matt and I as a couple for almost the entire time we’ve been together), so he was able to make the ceremony incredibly personal. It was perfect.

Matt - We love our animals and they’ve been with us from the beginning of our relationship - Rach adopted Marley as a puppy from the Humane Society in 2012 and I rescued Tiger (found abandoned on a golf course) the same year. It was important for us to find a way to integrate them into our day and Rach had the idea to customize our cocktails for them. We had 'The Marley' (a margarita) and 'The

Tiger' (a paper plane) available for our cocktail hour with the best sketches from Statue Rue to bring this to life in our bar signage. We loved it!

Any tips for couples getting married?

There will be a lot of expectations and a lot of opinions - don’t forget that this is about celebrating the love that you and your partner know best. Let that shine through. Don’t be afraid to combine the unexpected and be unique! Our wedding ended up being a little bit of a study in contrasts and bringing in all these different aspects is what made it very us. And on a practical note - break in your shoes before the big day!

Are there any vendors that you would like to tell us a little more about?

Rachel - Our photographer, Alix Gould, was one of our constants as we navigated postponing our wedding twice and we can’t imagine anyone else having been by our side to capture our special moments. She made us feel so comfortable and brought out our best selves from behind the lens. Forever grateful to her!

Also our florist, Sarah Levine of Rosehill Blooms - she is simply amazing. The ceiling installations she designed were the showstopper for our reception.

I was also thrilled that longtime family friend and makeup guru Grace Lee, and her amazing colleague and hairstylist Kristjan Hayden, were able to glam up me, my Mom, and my Bride’s Women. They are both such pros and helped everyone feel amazing.

Matt - I am really into vinyl and we loved being able to work that into our big day with amazing music from our vinyl disc jockey, the Record Collective. The setup and vinyls were a hit for our guests. Mike created the most amazing ambiance during dinner and energy for the dance floor!

We also loved working with our videographer, Henjo Films - Henry made us feel so comfortable and managed to be everywhere all at once to capture all the best moments.

We loved everyone we worked with and couldn’t recommend them enough!

Photographer : Alix Gould @alix.gould | Videographer : Henjo Films @henjofilms | Ceremony + Reception Location : Langdon Hall @langdonhall | Celebrant : Entertainment : Record Collective @recordcollectiveto | Styling + Planning : Lexington and Co. @lexingtonandco | Flora : Rosehill Blooms @rosehillblooms | Makeup : Grace Lee @graceleebeauty | Hair : Kristjan Hayden @hairbykristjan | Cake : Gallz Provisions @gallzprovisions | Stationery : Polka Dot Paper Shop | Bar Signage : Statue Rue @statuerue | Rachel's Gown : Rasario @rasario.bridal from White Toronto @whitetoronto | Matt's Suit : Garrison Bespoke @garrisonbespoke | Engagement + Wedding Rings : BREADXCircus @shopbreadandcircus | Shoes : Jimmy Choo @jimmychoo | Headpiece : Keren Wolf @kerenwolf


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