A Garden Party Wedding in Toronto, Ontario

Heather and Martin are proof that long-distance relationships do work. “We met out east as roommates. I was there for a summer job and Martin was there for school,” Heather says. Bonding over their mutual love for cycling, the two hit it off right away. “It was a very social summer, we spent a lot of time doing things together with our other housemates,” Martin recalls. “It took us each a while to express our feelings but once we did we knew it was something special.” As summer wound down, the pair knew they wanted to remain together, despite the distance. “I was Guelph-bound for school and Martin was going to stay out east,” Heather explains. Countless phone calls and visits later; Heather and Martin got their reprieve when Martin landed a four-month co-op placement in Toronto. “We dated for five years before I asked Heather to marry me. I guess you could say I did things in reverse though,” Martin laughs. “I picked out a very simple gold band as an engagement ring because I felt that Heather might want some input on her ring.”

Knowing they wanted to tie the knot over the September long weekend so out-of-town guests could make the trek; Heather and Martin prioritized securing their wedding location. “Picking the place was easy because we knew we wanted to wed at my parents’ private residence,” Heather divulges. “My mom inherited a gorgeous property surrounded by acres of beautiful greenery—it always seemed like the perfect spot for a wedding.” With the venue picked, the two concentrated on their next biggest priority: decor. “We both have design backgrounds, me in landscape and Martin in architecture,” Heather explains. “That really helped because we wanted to style an event that was relaxed, unstructured and basically a true reflection of us as a couple.”

While most brides are running around finding the perfect outfit, Heather revealed that her main focal point was picking the right flowers. For her bouquet, she asked Becky De Oliveira of Blush and Bloom to tether together a massive cascade of wildflowers accompanied by smaller, similar arrangements for her bridesmaids. “I grew up around gardening. I started working in the industry when I was 12—and I still do. Having an atmosphere full of things that I loved was really important,” Heather shares. To show off her passion for botanicals, an abundance of flowers and trees, specifically grown for the event, were used to decorate the barn. “We had hanging plants that my mother-in-law made, and I grew purple annual grass—another type of plant that we used to decorate the ceremony area,” Heather shares.

After their “I dos” the newlyweds had dinner and speeches at a nearby tent. “Food was a huge thing for us, especially Martin—he’s such a foodie,” Heather smiles. The food was served buffet-style with a pig roast, potatoes and coleslaw from Leadbetter Meats alongside an array of appetizers, salads and desserts catered by Heather’s mom. “She volunteered her services and spent the summer perfecting the right recipes with locally sourced ingredients, like produce from Farintosh Farms,” Heather smiles. To end their evening, Heather and Martin lit a pathway of candles and tea lights back to the barn for dancing. “At the end of the day, all Martin and I really wanted was a relaxed wedding and for our guests to have a good time in a great atmosphere,” Heather smiles.

Heather Cullen & Martin Gauthier, September 1, 2012, Toronto, Ontario.

Photography courtesy of Boyfriend/Girlfriend Photography.

Ceremony and reception location: Private home north of Toronto
Bridal gown: J.Crew
Bridal party attire: Dillard’s, Monsoon, Brooks Brothers
Groom’s tux: Harry Rosen
Cake: Audric Montuno
Caterer: Leadbetter Meats (905-642-9393)
Music: Robert Macerollo (rmacerollo@hotmail.com)
Hair: Svengali Salon
Makeup: Clare Richard (647-502-4011)
Flowers: Jung Woo (416-783-3752) and Rebecca DeOliveira (416-997-4065)
Stationery: The Penny Paper Co.

See more photos from this garden party wedding in Toronto, Ontario.