Gail and Ben first met online, didn’t truly connect until their first date at Scottish restaurant, The Caledonian. Gail wouldn’t know until years later that Ben would propose at the same restaurant. “He got down on one knee and presented me with a ring,” Gail says, “He had designed the ring himself with a diamond from his grandmother’s engagement ring from the 1920s.”
For their wedding, the couple chose a 1950s Scottish theme. The theme was carried through the design of Gail’s wedding dress, the Rolls Royce they hired and the reception music. Additionally, Gail and Ben did a traditional Scottish handfasting at the ceremony, in which their hands were tied together with a cord, which the couple created together. “Each colour we selected had meaning: red, for love and life, blues, white and gold to represent our heritages, and then we braided them together for the ceremony,” Gail shares. The couple also wanted to honour the groom’s mother and the bride’s father who passed away. They asked the guests to wear blue, which is a colour of their country’s flags—Argentina and Scotland.
Gail’s favourite moment from the wedding was the surprise bagpiper. They played Scotland’s unofficial national anthem “Flower of Scotland,” which left the crowd in tears. “But then they followed it up with a cheeky version of Rod Stewart’s ‘Do You Think I’m Sexy’ which incited laughs from everyone,” Gail shares.
Gail’s engagement ring wasn’t the only personal touch at the wedding. Her bouquet was a recreation of her grandmother’s floral arrangement from the 1950’s. “My Gran was my favourite person in the world and she passed shortly after our son was born,” Gail says. “She only got to meet him once and I just know she would have loved to have been there to celebrate with us all.”
Gail McInnes and Ben Birnie, June 9, 2019, Toronto, Ontario.
Photography courtesy of Nick Lee.