Ela Kowalewska and Martin Aldorsson had an instant connection when they met by chance at a restaurant in London, England. After a few months of long-distance dating, Martin moved to Toronto to be with Ela. Soon after they became business partners: together the two founded Ela, a line of sophisticated handbags. Naturally, the next step in this duo’s relationship was becoming life partners—and they did just that in a country wedding inspired by the south of France.
The details of the celebration fell into place quite easily. For the wedding Ela wore a dress that was already hanging in her closet. While living in London, before meeting her husband-to-be, Ela bought the ivory Jasmine Di Milo gown for a charity ball. “The dress was modern but it had a warm, vintage touch,” Ela notes. “When the wedding plans were coming together I couldn’t find a dress that was really me. I remembered I had this incredible dress that Martin had never seen me in, so it was a pretty easy decision,” she explains. To offset the simplicity of her dress, Ela carried an oversized bouquet of ivory, soft pink and champagne roses. The bouquet was pulled together with a blush pink sash tied into an elegant bow.
Another easy decision was the location of the wedding: Ela’s parents’ country home in Cambridge, Ontario. “It was personal to both of us, and intimate yet spacious enough to accommodate all of the different aspects of the wedding,” Ela attests. The scenic setting boasts mature trees and a sprawling organic garden where Ela’s mother grows her own produce. It was perfect for entertaining the couple’s 70 guests, who flew in from Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States.
To create an ambience consistent with the south of France, the duo incorporated soft, elegant shades of blush pink, ivory and grey. French lavender, which is thought to bring good luck in marriage, was also an important element: indeed, guests tossed dried lavender in lieu of traditional confetti. Homespun touches—such as a harvest oak table made by Ela’s dad, which was topped with local organic vegetables, artisanal cheeses, baguettes and jars of pickled peppers from Ela’s mom’s garden—added to the intimate feel of the evening. Liquor was served from decanters labelled with tea-stained tags and placed in oversized wicker baskets, and burlap was wrapped around tent posts and used to display the seating cards. All the decor elements created a simple, rustic and uplifting atmosphere.
One particularly amazing moment for Ela and Martin was the lighting of the wish lanterns. “After dessert all the guests lit up the sky with lanterns. It was a moment of reflection and calm before everyone hit the dance floor,” Ela reminisces. The pathways and dance floor were surrounded by hundreds of candles and tiki oil lamps allowing the guests to celebrate beneath the stars.
The best surprise of the day for Ela was when Martin, who was in a boy band in his native Sweden, surprised her with his rendition of “Fly Me to the Moon” in Frank Sinatra’s style!
The couple says, “The day and evening still feels like a bit of a dream,” one they were happy to have spent with their family and friends in their own little piece of France
Ela Kowalewska and Martin Aldorsson, July 21, 2012, Cambridge, Ontario.
Ceremony location: St. Aloysius Roman Catholic Church
Bridal gown: Jasmine Di Milo from Harrods
Cake: Marzena's Cakes Caterer: À la Carte
Flowers: From the Potting Shed
Groom's attire: Hugo Boss at Holt Renfrew
Hair & makeup: Mar Gordon
See more photos from this gorgeous, country wedding in Cambridge, Ontario.
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