summer wedding

Kelly & Patrick Darby

MARRIED JULY 21ST, 2018


Our wedding story began back in 2013 when we were set up by my sister and brother-in-law. Patrick had been a friend of theirs since high school, but since he was a few years older than me, we had never had a chance to meet. It wasn’t until we had both graduated from university seven years later, that my sister and brother-in-law suggested to both Patrick and I, separately, that they knew we would be the perfect match. Phone numbers were exchanged, and eventually Patrick and I went out.

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With Patrick being an outdoors type and also very into sports, our first date consisted of us playing catch in a park not far from where we both lived in Woodstock. Although I was nervous, as this was our first date and sports were never really my thing, I quickly felt very comfortable with Patrick. After the park, we went out for hot chocolate, and conversation came very easy for the both of us. We talked for hours about many things, but mostly our shared love of travel. Patrick had travelled to more places around the world than I had, and I was fascinated listening to all the stories he had from his experiences. Fast forward a year later, and we were spending our first year anniversary waking up in a tent on top of a mountain in Peru. We were away together, travelling through the Western side of South America for two months. It was one of the most amazing places we’ve been to together. When we got home, everyone commented on how we must be meant for each other, since we had spent every day of the trip together and were still excited to be in each other’s company by the end of it.

We went on many more adventures together over the next few years, leading up to September 9th, 2017 – the day Patrick would ask me to marry him. That weekend, the two of us had gone up North to his parents’ cottage. We woke up early on the Saturday morning to go for a canoe and portage, over to an isolated campsite that was built by people who have cottages around the lake. This is a place we go to almost every time we are up at the cottage in the summer. It felt like just another beautiful day on the lake, so little did I know that Patrick had unlikely plans up his sleeve. We were standing on the rocks, looking out at the lake, when Patrick got down on one knee and proposed! And I of course said YES!

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It wasn’t long after the engagement that we started looking for wedding venues. My dad had suggested checking out the St. Marys Golf & Country Club because he had been there before and said it was absolutely beautiful. After visiting the venue and meeting Courtney Ordway (Special Events Manager) and Taryn Scripnick (Special Events Coordinator & Maître D’), Patrick and I knew right away that this was where we wanted to have our wedding. We fell in love with the outdoor ceremony site, as well as the Ballroom where we held our reception. Both the Ballroom and the private outdoor patio and ceremony area had a warm, intimate feeling, and we loved that both spaces allowed for versatility in creating our own vision. When it came to the planning process, we were blown away by the incredible organization skills that Courtney and the rest of the SMGCC team provided for us. Courtney made sure we kept on top of everything and made it as stress-free as possible - which was a real life saver when trying to pull all of the pieces together perfectly, yet being like most brides who have never had experience planning a wedding!

When the big day finally arrived, I couldn’t have asked for anything more amazing. I had been worried the whole week leading up to the wedding, as the weather forecast was calling for rain. Although the weather isn’t something that can be controlled, the SMGCC team helped to keep my nerves at bay by assuring me that they would do everything in their power to bring our outdoor ceremony plan to life, and that they would wait to switch to our indoor backup plan until the last possible chance. It ended up drizzling a bit right before our ceremony, but stopped just in time. During the ceremony, the sky was overcast and there was a slight coolness to the air, which was moody and romantic, and provided an unexpected relief given that out wedding was in the middle of the summer!

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We worked with many of the SMGCC recommended vendors, and they definitely did not disappoint! For our décor, we went with Kim Foster of Above & Beyond Event Design. After our first meeting, I left feeling like she knew exactly what I had envisioned our wedding to look like, and I was confident that she would make it as beautiful as I had always dreamed it could be. The style we chose was ‘Rustic Elegance,’ and our colours were gold and dusty lavender. From the raised floral centerpieces on wood casbah stands, to the candlescaping and calligraphy table numbers, to the elegant backdrop draping in the reception space and on the ceremony pergola, and even to the styled vignette in front of our harvest head table, Kim really made every detail come together perfectly. It was so easy that Kim often works with Lanny Hoare and Jay Harrison of Lyric Flowers (another SMGCC preferred vendor), who we had chosen as our florist. They worked so well together, and always seemed to know exactly what the other was thinking with the overall design.

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For our floral design, we asked for a monochromatic look of white flowers with lots of greenery, and the arrangements ended up just as beautiful as I had imagined. It seemed like there were flowers everywhere we looked! Lanny and Jay are really amazing at what they do, and made me feel like they truly cared about the important elements of our day. One of the most significant details for me was having a piece of each of my grandparents with me that day. Lanny and Jay did an amazing job of incorporating a piece of jewellery from their personal collections into my bouquet, so that I could see them as I was walking down the aisle. That’s just one of the many ways that Lyric Flowers worked to make every floral detail perfect.

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When wedding dress shopping, I fell in love with a modern high neck sheath dress from Sophie’s Gown Shoppe in London, which was made from lace and crepe fabric and designed by Stella York. The bridesmaid dresses also came from Sophie’s, and were a timeless floor length style in dusty lavender. For my shoes, I knew I wanted something classic and comfortable, but also fun. So, I purchased blue decals for the soles of my shoes (my something blue!), from a shop on Etsy, with one noting my new married name and the other noting our wedding date.

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We had Courtney Losch of Courtney Lynn Beauty do the bridal party makeup, and we worked with Shelby Reed of the Cottonwood Salon for our hair. They are both so artistic, and so easy and fun to work with. For our photos, we worked with Kelly Taylor of The Bridal Lounge Photography. Her talent, coupled with her easy-going personality made our decision easy when searching for a photographer. Our photos are now memories that we will hold onto forever. For music, we worked with Music Central Entertainment, and they kept everyone dancing and having a good time through to the end of the night.

My uncle, Randy Hicks, baked our wedding cake using his signature carrot cake recipe. He is an extraordinary baker, and we are so grateful for all of the time it took him to make it. He spent hours meticulously crafting the flowers that went on the cake and the end result was beautiful. When it came to our dinner, all of our guests raved about how great the meal of prime rib, stuffed chicken, and spinach and ricotta cannelloni was – cooked by Jason Skipper, the Executive Chef at SMGCC. The frozen lemon meringue cake was absolutely unique and delicious, and a perfect compliment to the warm summer weather.

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I feel like I can’t say enough about how great of an experience it was working with the team at SMGCC. They all work so hard to make everything flow seamlessly, from your first tour to your planning meetings, to vendor referrals, and right through the day of your wedding. It was so helpful to have someone there to help us with each step of the planning process, reminding us of details that we likely would not have thought about on our own. We would absolutely recommend St. Marys Golf & Country Club to anyone we know who is looking for a wedding venue. July 21st, 2018 will forever top the list of one of the happiest, best days of our lives. We wish we could do it all over again!


Story by Kelly Darby

Photography by The Bridal Lounge

Julie & Brian Garel

Julie & Brian Garel

MARRIED JUNE 30TH, 2018

Brian and I met almost 10 years ago on the first day of orientation, at the University of Waterloo. We were in the same orientation group, and aside from a few name games with the rest of the group, we didn’t officially meet until later in the day during a campus tour. Brian had broken his flip-flop during a really intense cheer-off earlier in the day, and was stuck at the back of the tour with one shoe. I felt bad (and also thought he was cute), so I walked slowly with him at the back of the group, and we chatted for the rest of the tour (not paying any attention to the actual tour!). Later that day (after getting lost on campus) I was talking to my friends about the cute boy I had met, and told them that I was pretty sure I had found my future husband!