I was never one to daydream about my wedding day, at least not in that cliche way. Yet never could I have envisioned what my experience would end up being: postponing our 100-plus person wedding, due to a worldwide pandemic, with capacity limits and dance pods pending.
I can vividly remember it all. My then-fiance (now husband), Sam, and I had just celebrated the 2020 new year as a recently engaged couple and were ambitiously starting to plan for our wedding that August.
Securing our big-ticket item, the venue, before the first lock-down was incredibly lucky, as was the generosity of a family friend who offered to be our member sponsor. Sam nor I had heard of The Garret Club before then but we knew it was the perfect place for our nuptials once we toured it—with its stucco tile and European-inspired aesthetics. In fact, it was the only place we toured. The cozy garden ultimately sold us.
My mom and I even lucked out with a day trip to Toronto that winter to shop for my wedding dress. The first dress I tried on at the quaint bridal shop, LoversLand, was the one for me. It felt like everything was falling into place. The flowers and the photographers were booked, and the save the dates were ready to be mailed.
Then March hit and everything stopped, including our wedding planning. As the gravity of the situation set in and the months of quarantine went on, we made the tough decision to postpone for another year and see what fortune it might bring. Whatever the state of the world was by then, we’d chalk it up to our wedding’s fate.
One of the silver linings was it allowed me a little more time for planning. In the pause of it all, I was able to step back and really try to envision the day and how to make our romantic Euro-garden wedding come to life. I began to draw inspiration from the natural, dreamy elegance you’d find in places like Italy, a country Sam and I have been fortunate enough to travel to and both have a heritage in.
We decided to do an Italian-inspired menu throughout the night, with The Garret Club creating custom appetizers like mini meatballs and arancini and the first course of pasta aioli for us. For dessert, we dreamed up a raspberry and Italian buttercream cake with Chrusciki Bakery.
Pending no social distancing, the tables would all be pushed together, something you often see in Italian weddings. I decided to add the sheer white ceiling drapery to our dining room to make the grand wood-paneled space feel more intimate and bring in femininity. So it didn’t feel out of place, I added the same draping element to the ceremony arch as well—it would echo the cape of my dress after all.
Custom clay table numbers and vases would help to bring the garden element indoors, along with the fruit tree branches from the florist. Lastly, we decided on our wedding song, “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers, because that is what we were manifesting it to be—and thankfully, it was.
On the only day it didn’t rain that week, after an extra year of waiting, the band stopped playing and all the polaroids and olive oil favors were taken. Every high and low was worth it, and I’d happily do it all over again to marry Sam in front of all of our closest family and friends.
Katie’s dress by Savannah Miller Bridal—the first she tried on during a day trip to Toronto with her mom—features an ethereal cape, an understated, modern nod to a veil.
Paper parasols and fans were available for guests as they entered the garden. The couple was instantly drawn to The Garret Club for their venue, with its quaint, European charm and cozy garden perfect for the ceremony.
Chrusciki Bakery created a special raspberry and Italian buttercream cake for the couple.
The small bottles of olive oil for guests to take home was one of many Italian influences that evening.
The Euro-garden inspiration set a dreamy, naturally elegant tone for the summer wedding. Muted colors paired effortlessly with an abundance of greenery and romantic drapery.
The Dream team
Who helped the couple make it happen.
Photography / Shaw Photography
Custom Pottery & Table Numbers / Peach Pit Pottery
Drapery, Linens & Chairs / Tesoro Event Rentals
Dessert / Chrusciki Bakery
Florals / Fern Croft Florals
Hair / Best Brides
Makeup / The Beauty Atelier
Engagement & wedding rings / Hart's Jewelry
Dress boutique / Lovers Land
Dress designer / Savanah Miller Bridal
Dress tailor / Made by anatomy
Suit / Riverside Men's Shop
Custom hand fans / Oh My Print Solutions
Ceremony signs & table cards / Lobobeckcreative
Welcome signs / B in a bonnet
Band / Andrew Nixon Trio