Tell us a little about yourselves!
Mike and I first crossed paths back in 2013. I was on a date at a local brewery and the most handsome man I ever laid eyes on was our server and brought us our ‘flight of beers’. A couple months later, I ran into that charming server (Mike!) on a night at a cowboy bar. We dated for a few months. I thought Mike was the coolest guy I’d ever met. He made the best espresso, played Paul Simon on the guitar and loved live music as much as me. Things fizzled after a few months. Fast forward 5 years and I’m walking on a busy street downtown and I see that smile again. The rest is history. The second time around with Mike, I was a single mum to my little girl, Catherine. Mike and Catherine hit it off immediately. My heart explodes when we are all together. We live in Toronto with our spirited little girl and two very big dogs, Bernie and June. Mike and I love belting out John Prine and other favourites on road trips, we live for lake swimming in the summer and making each other laugh. Mike is a carpenter and I work in commercial real estate development. We are currently renovating our rowhouse in Toronto together.
Why did you decide to get married where you did?
We married at our country home in Northumberland County’s rolling hills. Mike and I did a crazy thing and bought this little farmhouse outside the city during the pandemic, having only been dating (for the second time) for a few months. I grew up in downtown Toronto and spent summers at my grandparent’s rustic farmhouse on Cape Breton Island. Mike grew up in the country with the forest in his backyard. We are based in the city, but our farmhouse is our happy place. We rent Warkworth Farmhouse out on airbnb, which is a fun way to share this special place in the countryside and help us afford a second home. We did not have a budget for a tent, generator, or wedding planner so that meant keeping our wedding intimate, which worked well because we were in the middle of the pandemic. We planned on having our reception outside, but it was raining on and off all day. At the eleventh hour we managed to rearrange all of furniture to fit our dinner tables inside. It ended up being the perfect spot for an intimate sunset dinner. We had a local caterer make some salads and a local smokehouse do bbq ribs, fried chicken and brisket platters. Our mums made our wedding cake and pies for our friends and family.
How many guests did you have?
We had 25 guests. It felt like the right number where we could safely celebrate amidst the pandemic and comfortably host at home. We have a big group of friends and extended family we would have loved to include on our wedding day. That said, we love an excuse to party and we hope to celebrate with a big party sometime in the future!
Tell us about your outfits.
Catherine and I both wanted to wear white dresses to marry Mike. I stumbled across this beautiful cream empire waist Cecilie Bahnsen dress online and had to have it. I kept my jewellery, hair and make up simple. Mike is a casual guy and he wanted a tailored suit from Suit Supply with a crisp white shirt and Common Projects sneakers.
What was the most important aspect for you, in terms of planning your wedding?
We wanted our wedding to feel like our life together – unfussy, but magical, light-hearted, and full of love.
Were there any elements that were important for you to incorporate?
I walked down the aisle with Catherine in my arms to one of our favourite John Prine songs, In Spite of Ourselves. My eldest sister married us with our closest friends and family together in a little spot in the countryside that means so much to us.
Any tips for couples getting married, particularly during the pandemic?
Don’t wait. My dad passed away from Lymphoma very suddenly at the beginning of the pandemic. My only sadness about our wedding day was that my dad wasn’t there to celebrate with us. This is your love story. Focus on what is the most meaningful to you and your partner and forget the rest. Your wedding does not have to be the first or last party of your life. Take some of the pressure off and have fun!
Are there any vendors that you would like to tell us a little more about?
We absolutely loved our vendors. We were on a tight budget, so we splurged on a few of the most important aspects for us and then did everything else ourselves with a ton of help from our friends and family. Our photographer, Barb Simkova from Simkova Studios, first and foremost, is phenomenal. We scheduled our date around when my brother could safely travel home from California and Barb’s availability. Barb has this incredible way of slowing time so you can enjoy every moment of your day. We had so much fun drinking champagne during portraits together. Barb helped us find vendors during the planning stages and even help set up for our reception. Oh, and her images are spectacular!! Our florist, Deanna at The Wild Pansy, set up our ceremony florals in the pouring rain and then came inside and did the most beautiful arrangement over our mantel for our reception. I will swoon over my wedding flowers forever. My hair and make-up artist, Amybeth at Bespoke Beauty, has the loveliest demeanour and masters the art of fresh and undone editorial beauty. I wanted a bright lip for my wedding day and she suggested Hermès orange and it was perfection.
Photographer : Barb Simkova from Simkova Studios @bsimkova | Ceremony + Reception Location : Warkworth Farmhouse @warkworthfarmhouse | Celebrant : Sarah’s sister | Flora : Deanna Balmer at The Wild Pansy @the_wildpansy | HMUA : Amybeth at Bespoke Beauty @bespokebeautyinc | Cake : Made by Sarah and Mike's mothers | Dishes : Plate Occasions @plateoccasions | Furniture : Divine Furniture Rental Rental @divinefurniturerental | Name Place Cards : Jenny Zeng @thejadecalico | Sarah's Dress Cecilie Bahnsen @ceciliebahnsen | Mike’s Suit : Suit Supply @suitsupply | Engagement + Wedding Rings : FTJCo Fine Jewellery @ftjco | Sarah's Shoes : Loeffler Randall @loefflerrandall | Mike’s Shoes : Common Projects @commonprojects | Sarah’s Earrings : Wolf Circus Jewelry @wolf_circus | Sarah’s Lipstick : Hermès @hermes | Catherine’s Dress : Noralee @shop_noralee