Girl meets boy when they are both members of their respective best friends’ wedding party. The two fall in love and then those best-newlywed-friends are in their wedding party two years later. In short, that’s the sweet story of how romance bloomed for Pamela and Bryan. “My best friend, Brittany, and Bryan’s best friend, Aaron, were getting married in Nantucket and that’s where we met,” Pamela recounts with a smile. “Bryan was just back from a year in Afghanistan with the U.S. military. We had never met before that weekend, but sparks flew. The weekend trip was extended for a few days in Cape Cod together, then Bryan spent the next month visiting me in Toronto and wooing me with surprise trips and romantic dinners.”
Bryan proposed to Pamela while the pair was visiting her hometown of Winnipeg a few days before Christmas. The couple decided the city was the perfect place for their wedding and found their dream venue in the 200-year old Fort Gibraltar. “The Fort has an incredible history and enchanting natural beauty,” Pamela says. “We found a place that perfectly captured both our personalities—I loved its sophistication and Bryan loved its natural charm.”
Rustic-meets-contemporary chic was the theme for the day and the couple created a party for their 100 guests brimming with country charm and beautiful elegance. The decor and stationery colours were crisp whites, enhanced by fresh green foliage and dark natural woods, mixed with gold. The bride and her parents crafted many of the wedding’s most gorgeous details. “I designed and created all my letterpress wedding stationery,” says Pamela. “I was in the midst of launching my own business, Pam & Paper, so it was an amazing opportunity to test some ideas and methods. I was inspired by the woodgrain of the fort walls. I used bold fonts and subtle textural impressions on the invitations to help set the theme for the wedding. The day-of pieces followed suit, incorporating laser-cut details.” Pamela’s parents crafted the altar decor—her mom is an avid gardener and her dad a carpentry enthusiast. “My dad built the structure and my mom grew the vines all summer in her garden,” Pamela says. “They actually built four altars with different vines to make sure we had the perfect one.”
Pamela had a running joke with Bryan leading up to their wedding: she was excited to marry him, but most excited to wear her dress by Canadian label Greta Constantine. The dress was the definition of a modern, sleek, non-traditional design, which Pamela adored. “It really felt like ‘my’ dress; the style was an extension of who I am. So much of my styling for the day was a spin-off of the gown design. The crew at Greta also created bespoke bridesmaid and groomsmaid dresses. Working with them was an absolute dream!”
The couple’s late-afternoon wedding kicked off with hot apple cider served to guests pre-ceremony. During the couple’s “I dos,” instead of readings they had seven special friends share their thoughts on love. “We called it the ‘Seven Sentiments of Love’ and had a variety of speakers, from my 10-year-old nephew to my grandparents, sharing words,” Pamela reminisces. “All of our guests were laughing and crying along with us.”
Between the ceremony and reception guests were entertained with music by Keith Macpherson, while consuming food and drinks or enjoying a round of hatchet throwing within the fort walls. Dinner, speeches and dancing followed, as well as a cake, and finally a late-night Scotch bar, which was the groom’s labour of love.
“I crafted every detail of the wedding, but the ‘SandBar’ was all Bryan,” Pamela says with a laugh. “He personally curated a selection of scotches, whiskies and bourbons, and created an amazing outdoor bar. Another important task he looked after was our honeymoon planning. We had a three-week adventure which started in Spain and ended in Paris—the trip was absolutely perfect!”
Pamela Ritchot and Bryan Sand, October 10, 2015, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Photography courtesy of Izabela Rachwal Photography.
Ceremony and reception venue: Fort Gibraltar
Bridal gown: Greta Constantine from Kleinfeld Hudson's Bay
Bridesmaid dresses: Greta Constantine
Flowers: Fache Florals
Stationery: Pam & Paper
Favours: Good Decade Confectionery
Ceremony music: Hesed String Quartet Cocktail music: Keith Macpherson Reception music: The Ron Paley Band with Keith Macpherson Makeup: Myüz Artistry Cake: Jenna Rae Cakes
Hair: Athena Ritchot for Botticelli Hair Salon
Custom sheepskin furs: Not Too Shaggy
Get our Newsletter
Stay up-to-date with wedding trends, deals and offers.
The LatestSee More