Jessica and Ryan wanted to share their love of reading, music, travel and the outdoors with their wedding guests. And having an “Ontario Destination Wedding” was exactly the way they wanted to do it!
Hessenland Country Inn was the perfect venue to bring all of these elements together. Hessenland is so naturally beautiful that it doesn’t take much to add to it.
BRIDE & GROOM: Ryan Chard and Jessica Leblanc
WEDDING DATE: June 25th, 2016
“We fell in love with the venue and the ability to have the ceremony and the reception at the same place. We wanted to do a destination type wedding, and Hessenland had the perfect combination of beach and the outdoors that we were looking for without expecting all of our guests to travel really far.”
PHOTOGRAPHY: Allure Photography (www.allure-photography.ca) “Shannon from Allure Photography was the second shooter at Ryan’s cousin’s wedding in 2014. We met her shortly after we got engaged and got along really well with her. She was enthusiastic and very friendly, and seemed like she was really striving to make us as happy as possible. She did an amazing job ensuring that we felt comfortable every time we met. And her attention to detail is one of our favourite things about her.”
FLORALS: The Garden Gate Gifts and Florals (www.thegardengate.ca) The bouquets were blue hydrangeas, pink peonies, peachy pink rose, white peonies, peach hypercium berries, touches of baby’s breath, pink lisanthus and touches of vine like branches and greens.
WEDDING FAVOURS: “In lieu of favours, we made donations to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (www.cnib.ca) (Ryan’s family has supported them for years in honour of his late Grandmother Dorothy Chard) and donations to the Carlos Fidani Cancer Centre (www.mhcwcancer.ca)(where my dad was receiving chemotherapy). We printed cards from Vista Print to put on the table informing our guests of this, and included a Lindor chocolate.”
BRIDESMAIDS ATTIRE & ACCESSORIE: Dessy Group (www.dessy.com) All of the girls wore the same colour and length, but they chose their own style of top. Accessories were pearl bracelets bought from Etsy.
COLOUR PALETTE: Dusty blue with peachy pink and green accents.
THEME: “Our general theme was “You and Me”. We chose this because both our first dance and the song that my dad played were titled “You and Me”. Our theme was represented with different personal touches that show our relationship and interests together. We included our love of reading with antique books as the centrepieces. Our love of music encouraged us to have friends play and sing for the ceremony and cocktail hour.”
FAV DECOR ELEMENT: “Our seating chart was an antique mirror that we decorated with calligraphy stickers with our names and the date, and printed lists of all of the tables. It was on an easel in the bar, and it fit the theme perfectly!”
DIY: “The table numbers were notebooks that I decorated with ripped up pieces of old novels that I glued on. I painted the number on each book, and we encouraged our guests to write in the books marriage advice for us for the anniversary that coincided with the table number. We found old antique books and these were stacked on the tables as the centrepieces. I found an old ladder and distressed it to display photos and flowers.”
BEST WEDDING MEMORY: “We did a first look before the ceremony so we could do pictures before and enjoy our cocktail hour. We met at the bottom of a staircase on a deck overlooking Lake Huron on the beach. Unbeknownst to me, Ryan set up signs along the path that I walked down with the most romantic messages. By the time I got to him, I was very emotional and the moment we saw each other was just perfect. Those 15 minutes that we spent by ourselves taking pictures, drinking champagne and just being together were the best 15 minutes of the entire day!”
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “My dad was diagnosed with cancer a year before we got married, and started chemotherapy treatment in April before our June wedding. He was bed-ridden up to a few hours before the ceremony. He had a few hours where he felt better and was able to walk me down the aisle, dance with me, and play 2 songs on his guitar. At the end of the day, I don’t remember that my dad was sick, I remember that he was there and we had the best time.”
ADVICE FROM ONE BRIDE TO ANOTHER: Just do you! Make sure that the day reflects you as a couple, and that you get the final say in how everything goes! And don’t forget to stop and look around during the day to take in all the details and truly enjoy every moment. If goes by so fast!