Ashley and Yiannis were a duo for seven years before he proposed on St. Patrick’s Day. “I was finishing my MBA at Ivey Business School at Western University, and he came to visit to celebrate our seven-year anniversary,” Ashley shares. “He walked through the door with champagne, shouting, ‘Happy anniversary!’” When Ashley turned around to open the champers, she found Yiannis down on one knee. “It was a very private moment and simply romantic.”
Fast-forward 18 months to their wedding day, a celebration they wanted to be uniquely “them.” Since they both have a deep appreciation for great wine, a vineyard in the Niagara-on-the-Lake region was the perfect venue.“We have been to vineyards in France and Italy, and we wanted to replicate the natural, romantic atmosphere for our wedding,” Ashley says. “Once we found our location, we wanted to ensure we showcased its natural beauty, which became the incredible backdrop for our ceremony and dinner reception.”
With this in mind, the couple kept the decor elegant and classic with a punch of colour. Ashley chose a dreamy blush pink Maggie Sottero gown, and her bridesmaids complemented her beautifully in classic black dresses. The celebration’s lush florals—from bouquets to centrepieces—featured blush and white mixed with peach and coral blooms. “These shades are so summery, bright and vibrant, which made them the perfect accent colours for the day,” Ashley notes. “We also incorporated them into our stationery and felt the subtle hints of colour throughout the venue really enhanced its natural beauty.”
It’s said that rain on your wedding day brings good fortune to the newlyweds, and, in Ashley and Yiannis’ case, there were buckets full of luck falling just as the pair said “I do.” A light rain misted down on Ashley when she began her walk down the aisle, and as soon as she made it underneath the tented ceremony area, the heavens unleashed.
“We had torrential rain and thunder during our ceremony and a double rainbow afterward,” Ashley says with a smile. “We wrote our ceremony and vows personally and kept all the details a secret from everyone, which made it incredibly authentic, romantic and sentimental. It was definitely our favourite moment of the day.”
Post-ceremony, the couple’s 320 guests enjoyed dinner and dancing underneath the many twinkling chandeliers in the tent. The dinner menu was a brilliant blend of the couple’s two cultures: Italian and Greek. “Acclaimed chef Mark Picone personally designed the menu to respect both our cultures while incorporating seasonal Niagara foods into the mix,” Ashley says. “On the day of, chef Marc Lyons, executive chef from Queen’s Landing, executed the menu perfectly.”
For Ashley and Yiannis’ first dance, they chose “Sideways” by Citizen Cope, featuring Carlos Santana. “It’s very untraditional but extremely meaningful to us,” Ashley says. This kicked the celebration into high gear, but there were a few unexpected pauses on the dance floor, thanks to a power outage caused by the rain. “Our DJ’s breaker tripped twice because the grass was wet,” Ashley recalls. “The best thing was that when the lights and music shut down, our guests didn’t stop singing or dancing. It was so loud it was as though nothing had even happened.”
Ashley Clerici and Yiannis Soumalias, August 1, 2015, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.
Photography courtesy of Jean-Marc Robin of Ikonica.
Wedding planner: Lexington and Co.
Music: DJ Mike Vibe
Flowers: Forget Me Not Flowers
Stationery: So Pretty In Print
Officiant: Ceremonies to Remember
Videographer: IMAGES Film + Video
Decor and rentals: Simply Beautiful
Catering: Vintage Hotels Sweet table and wedding cake: Criveller Cakes
Hair: Dorissa Cervan Makeup: Marissa Schwartz
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