Rachel and Jenn wanted a wedding day that was full of love and family! They definitely accomplished this by having tons of family around before the ceremony, a laying-on-of-hands ceremony and opting for a cocktail reception. You can see and feel the love from their day! Check it out…
Full Names: Jenn Hind and Rachel Urquhart
Wedding Date: Sunday, May 20, 2018
Ceremony & Reception Location: Revival House (revival.house)
“We were completely wowed by the venue, and then fell in love with the superb hospitality and care we received right from our first meeting with Alysha, Revival House’s wedding facilitator extraordinaire! We wanted a cocktail party reception rather than a formal dinner. Revival House was perfect for each concept, but we especially appreciated that they could accommodate our vision in a luxurious, gorgeous setting.” – J&R
Colour Palette: “None, much to the chagrin of my Matron of Honour who must have asked us 30 times to pick a colour scheme! It just wasn’t a priority. Jenn and I knew at the outset that our wedding would deviate from some of the concepts of a traditional wedding. A colour scheme was one of the things we decided to forego.” – J&R
Theme: “I don’t know if we had a theme aside from love and family – this was meant to be a day devoted to honouring the past and looking forward to the future. We packed the house with family and friends. During our ceremony, we included a laying-on-of-hands which had everyone in the room connect with us thru touch: either touching us directly, or touching someone who was touching someone (who was touching someone etc) who was touching us. We hoped to cultivate feelings of joy through love. We decided against a sit-down dinner so that our guests could mingle and connect with one another at their leisure. We hoped our wedding would be a time for making memories and celebrating the growing and merging of two families.” – J&R
Flowers: Designs by Cate in Stratford (designsbycate.ca) “We used a soft blush palette – roses, peonies, and greens.” – J&R
Décor: “Designs by Cate, again! We used twinkling lights, chiffon, loads of candles and tea lights, some sequinned table toppers for an overall feel of light and warmth.” – J&R
Fav décor element: “The venue. It’s not often that your venue provides so much of the décor, too, but Revival House ranks number one on many levels. For décor you don’t get much better than the chemistry of Revival House: Whimsy flirts with Elegance everywhere you look! Jenn is an ordained minister with the United Church of Canada and she really appreciated the melding of a modern venue with the old church vibe that was Revival House’s previous incarnation. Rachel liked that it was grand and chic and unique all at once.” – J&R
DIY: “Yes, even though we were desperate to avoid them! It was one week before the wedding and we thought we were in the clear but suddenly found ourselves scouring Dollar Stores and craft stores and a seed company! We gave our guests wildflower seeds which involved a DIY project of putting the seeds into corked beakers which we decorated with ribbon and twine and a note of thanks. Time-consuming but easy – and worth it! Rachel’s best friend Kelly, and matron of honour Patricia bought flowers the day before the wedding and created a baker’s dozen small flower arrangements for table tops. We also collected pictures of family members who are no longer with us, and put them in frames to place around the venue.” – J&R
Jenn worked with Steve at John Anthony Jewelers (johnanthonyjewellers.com) in Kitchener to design and create Rachel’s wedding band. Jenn took Steve some family heirlooms, including her grandmother’s engagement ring, and he helped her recreate a whole new piece.
Planner: “We cannot sing the praises of Alysha Devocht at Revival House enough. She helped us connect with every nearly every vendor and service provider we worked with. Her enthusiasm, knowledge and sincerity was such a guiding force for us throughout the planning and the day-of.” – J&R
Jenn’s Suit: “It was clear to both of us from the outset that Jenn would not wear a bride’s white gown on “The Big Day”. Jenn wanted to wear pants, maybe a vest. No bridal stores carry women’s suits – there are lots of bridal gowns to sample, but no bridal suits. There are lots of tux shops, but no tux shops with women’s suits for a woman’s physique. We looked. When Jenn met Tammy of Mina’s Bridal (minabridaldesign.ca) at a wedding show Revival House hosted, the two women immediately connected. Tammy got the essence of Jenn’s style and vision in mere minutes: the end result over time was a stunning, custom-made suit which fit Jenn beautifully!” – R
Rachel’s Dress: Taylor’s Bridal Boutique (taylorsbridal.com)
Invitations/stationery: minted.com (minted.com)
Cake: Kandy Cakes (facebook.com/Kandy-Cakes-)
Wedding favours: wildflower seeds for planting in our guests’ gardens.
DJ: “Rob Wigan, co-owner of Revival House, and professional DJ. Rob was instrumental in helping us lay out the itinerary of our wedding, and in facilitating our rehearsal.” – J&R
Hair & make-up: Amy Bridger (hair) & Caleigh Wallace Brophy (make-up). “Rachel loved working with both of these women!” – J
Photographer: Brian Limoyo (brianlimoyoweddings.com) “Brian impressed us from the beginning. We met him at every wedding show we attended, he always remembered us, and we found it easy to chat with him about all kinds of things. As a lesbian couple, it was important to us to look for someone who had experience shooting LGBTQ weddings for many reasons. We went to three wedding shows in Waterloo over 18 months, and found it challenging to find a photographer with the experience we sought. Brian didn’t have that experience but he declared a real desire to gain it. Brian was willing to admit the things he didn’t know even though his body of work proves he knows a heck of a lot. We were impressed with him as an artist initially, and as we worked with him we learned he is a pretty impressive human being too! He consistently demonstrated integrity in his willingness to learn, and a real commitment to capturing the essence of who we were. He asked great questions, took note of ideas and concerns we felt were unique to us as two women, and eased any reluctance we felt about spending time in front of a camera. We loved that his work showed us to ourselves; he captured the devotion we feel for one another.” – J&R
Biggest Challenge: “The biggest challenge was planning the wedding, period! We were clueless about every single thing at the outset: size, style, location, “vibe”: we had no idea! Neither of us ever really expected to get married and now we had to plan a wedding! My advice to anyone going into wedding planning blind is: 1. lean on friends and family with experience planning a wedding, and 2. hit up all the wedding shows in your area for ideas and the opportunity to connect with a multitude of service providers all in one place.” – J&R
Fav wedding memory: “Standing in front of our friends and family at the beginning of the ceremony – all the planning, the to-do lists, the phone calls, the budgeting, the decisions, the arrangements and appointments were all behind us! Yay! As we stood there, the importance of the moment hit us both. We smiled through lots of tears, ready to enjoy the party we’d planned, and the life we were creating together for all our days to come.” – J&R
Any advice for couples planning their wedding? “Play to your strengths as a couple. For instance, Rachel is more of a planner. And Jenn is more of a worker bee! Rachel researched and coordinated a lot of moving pieces and gave Jenn tasks which she completed promptly and reliably. Above all, whatever it looks like in each couple’s relationship: work together, laugh together, laugh often, and don’t lose your love for one another in the chaos of the planning. It will feel chaotic and stressful and never-ending at times – you’ll look back and laugh so you may as well laugh now, too, while you’re planning it. Lean on friends and family when they offer to help. Set time aside every day in the month leading up to the wedding to not talk about the wedding. It’s harder than you think, but very necessary!” – J&R
Anything else you’d like to add?
“Much of this industry is steeped in a long and rich tradition involving one man and one woman. We weren’t surprised when our being two brides, and no groom caused minor confusion and moments of awkwardness for ourselves and for others. Aspects of the wedding process better acquainted with accommodating couples of the opposite sex felt daunting and frustrating from time to time. Jenn and I were comfortable establishing our needs and maintaining our priorities but sometimes it felt like we were trying to participate in something that didn’t quite have room for us as we are. We know not everyone cares about this, but some will – on our journey, many did.
Ultimately, Jenn and I believe it’s an extremely exciting time for anyone in the wedding industry to stand out and help forge new ground with LGBTQ couples who want to tie the knot! There’s no template for gender-fluid, non-binary, non-hetero weddings which means we can achieve something new and meaningful if we (LGBTQ and allies) are ready to work together for it. We had a beautiful wedding: it was a dream come true, made real, made for life – and we wish the same for everyone.” – R
MORE ABOUT BRIAN LIMOYO PHOTOGRAPHY | Fine art meets photojournalism: Kitchener-Waterloo’s Brian Limoyo Photography (brianlimoyoweddings.com) tells a couple’s love story through his lens (more details in their review in The Ring, here). To find out more, email Brian Limoyo directly using the form below. 🙂