MARRIED JUNE 11TH, 2016
Danielle: They say ‘distance makes the heart grow fonder’ and this is how I would describe how our love story began. Dan and I originally met in high school, but it wasn’t until after we returned home from college when we really connected. In 2010, we started unofficially ‘dating’ for a few months, and then I took off to live in Australia for a year. We kept in touch throughout the early months of my trip, and sure enough, Dan ended up flying halfway across the world to visit me for a few weeks during the Christmas holidays. When I returned home from Australia later that year, we picked things up right where we left them.
Dan: Danielle and I planned a trip to visit some friends out West, in Calgary, for September 2015. Picturing a proposal in front of the Canadian Rockies, I knew that this trip would be the perfect time to ask Danielle to marry me. So, three weeks prior to the trip, I went out and purchased her engagement ring. I had no game plan determined of exactly when or where I was going to propose, so the best thing I could do was to play it by ear.
And yet, even though I had no solid plan set, I was pretty nervous when I almost let the Duty Officers at London International Airport decide our fate. I had placed the ring in one of the pouches in my backpack, and as we were heading through security, ironically, I was selected for a random screening. After being scanned from head to toe and passing with flying colours, I thought the worst was over. However, the Officer decided to do a thorough check of my backpack. My heart literally dropped. I was thinking to myself: “Here we go. This is how it’s going to go down. I am going to propose in front of two Officers and five travelers, who we’ll never see again.” Thankfully, they didn’t actually take anything out of my bag and let me go on my way to board the plane. Crisis adverted.
On the third day of our trip, we made it to Lake Louise in the middle of a snowstorm. Knowing this would probably be my best chance at nailing this proposal, I convinced Danielle to do a grueling three-kilometer uphill hike, on the side of the lake. Once we got to the top, we were exhausted. Danielle made it clear that her feet hurt too much from all of the walking, and that we should head back down. Doing what any good husband-to-be would do, I simply ignored her wishes and kept walking to a more secluded area - knowing full well she would follow me once she lost sight. With a few extra minutes on hand, and with the mountains as my backdrop, I pulled out the ring, got on one knee, and proposed to the love of my life. Needless to say, she instantly forgot about how much her feet hurt.
Danielle: When it came time to choose our wedding venue, we didn’t have to look far before we chose the St. Marys Golf & Country Club. Dan and I are both from small towns with many married friends, so we wanted to choose a place that made us feel like it was our own – like our wedding was different from all the other weddings we had been to. We searched around, but nothing ever felt quite right. It was my sister and her boyfriend (who live in St. Marys) that suggested the St. Marys Country Club to us, and after touring their venue, we knew right away that this spot was exactly what we were looking for.
The process of choosing vendors was exceptionally easy because we trusted the opinion and expertise of Ashton, the Country Club’s Wedding Planner. For photography, we chose Sean Camp of Lucid Musings, and we couldn’t be happier with the fun-loving photos he took for us. Lanny Hoare and Jay Harrison of Lyric Flowers were responsible for our beautiful flowers, and our decorating was done by the wonderfully talented Kim Foster of Above and Beyond. Payton Sedley of Lipstick Lounge – who is incredible and who is also local to St. Marys – did all of the girls’ makeup! My unbelieveably talented friend Val Gordon of Valley Cakes (located in Thamesford, Ontario) did our cake and cupcakes. Even our wedding favours were local – chocolates from The Chocolate Factory, located in St. Marys. Then there was my dream wedding dress, which was designed by Casablanca, and which I purchased from Sew Stylish Wedding Works in Ingersoll.
As we expected, when our wedding day arrived, it was perfect from start to finish. The day began with Dan and his Groomsmen golfing, while me and and my Bridesmaids got ready in the amazing Bridal Suite at the Country Club. Taking Ashton’s suggestion of doing a first look and most of our photos before the ceremony, we were able to fully enjoy cocktail hour with our guests. As a result, the vibe of the whole day was relaxed and fun, which is exactly what Dan and I had envisioned. We did not have one thing to stress about on our day, because any minor issue was immediately taken care of by the helpful St. Marys staff. Not to mention the small details that really stood out to us - like the fact that the St. Marys team even sourced in the Polish beer that Dan and his family enjoy.
From the moment we booked our wedding, Ashton was my go to girl. I am not an organized person, but she kept me calm throughout the planning process, and helped me with anything that I needed. Shaina, our Maitre D’, was such a wonderful help with keeping things running smoothly on the day of. I only wish I was half as organized as both of these girls. Chef Jason did an incredible job with the menu, and we had so many compliments from all our guests about how much they enjoyed the food.
Dan: We cannot say enough about how helpful, professional and friendly everyone on the St. Marys team was. It was all so perfect that we both wish we could relive the day over and over – and even our guests say the same. We were so thankful to have spent the day with our family and friends, in such a fun, relaxed and happy environment. And of course, it was amazing to finally marry my best friend.
Danielle: Our wedding day was the most AMAZING DAY! I still can't get over how wonderfully things went all day long, and how many compliments we continue to receive from our family and friends. Thank you to everyone at the St. Marys Golf & Country Club for helping make our dreams come true – we could not have done it without you!
Story by Danielle & Dan Bialas
Photography by Lucid Musings