Plan Your Fabulous Local Wedding

Sydney and Ali had an amazing wedding day complete with a breathtaking sunset in a vineyard! HRM Photography was there to capture all of the  love…

Bride & Groom: Sydney & Ali

Wedding Date: July 14, 2018

Ceremony & Reception Location: Dark Horse Estate Vineyard (
“We chose the Dark Horse because Sydney grew up visiting lake Huron, spending her summer days on the beach in Grand Bend, and wanted to share the soft sands, refreshing lake water, and beautiful “Ontario west coast” sunsets with all of her new extended family and friends. Ali grew up on the west coast in BC, and wanted to show his family Ontario can be just as beautiful.” – S&A

Colour Palette: “We didn’t really have one! We included everything that made us and others happy. Our families are full of gifted artists, bakers, and craftsmen and with these talents created our space. The Bridesmaids chose dresses that suited their tastes and chose colours they wanted to wear (navy, grey, floral) and the flower girls dresses were baby blue and hand-made from the Ukraine – they all felt like beautiful princesses!” – S

Theme: “We didn’t want to overpower the venue’s interior. The best part of the room was the big windows facing west to the beautiful florescent pink sunset.  We wanted to portray our love by creating a very meaningful day for all. Everything was hand-crafted, environmentally friendly, or re-useable. That was half the fun- creating our dream wedding from scratch!” – S

Flowers: “My mom is a gifted gardener and artist. She created all of our centerpieces – she hand crafted each clay pot and kilned them in the family shop. I wanted everyone to take something home to remind them of our special day, so that ended up being over 150 pots! Each pot had planted herbs, spices, or cute succulents all from my mom’s garden from the old farm house I grew up in. Everyone LOVED them!” – S

Décor: “Mark from Clock Tower Catering ( took care of our tables, everything else was put together the night before or morning of the wedding- bonus about living plants, they didn’t require a lot of maintenance and could be arranged ahead of time. My dad, brother and uncle created our backdrop with copper tubing and twinkly lights. The backdrop is now in our backyard with vines growing up them to create a privacy fence and I hand painted the canvas runner on the head table.” – S

Fav décor element: “I loved it all, but the homemade potted plants were so special.” – S

Invitations/stationery: “Ali designed them and had them printed at Costco.” – S

Cake: “We had a traditional fruit cake created at my cousin’s bakery by my mom. Everyone received a sliver wrapped up in a doily. This is then put under your pillow at night and you are to dream of the person you are going to marry! It’s such a fun tradition many of my family members have continued. Plus, my mom’s fruit cake is DELISH, and who ever says that about fruit cake?!” – S

Wedding favours: “Fruit cake, the potted plants and each guest also received a hand-written letter from us articulating fond memories and why they are so important to us as a couple, everyone still talks about the special love-filled touches.” – S&A

Groomsmen and Groom’s attire: “Ali’s suit we bought from Channers. The Groomsmen’s outfits were from banana republic. We got them pizza socks from winners and bow ties from Etsy” – S

Bridesmaids attire and accessories: “Their dresses were from David’s bridal ( in whatever design or colour they wanted. Nude shoes that they could be comfortable in and use again and their earrings were Kate Spade.” – S

Bride’s dress and accessories: “Sydney’s dress was from David’s bridal ( She wanted a dress that was eclectic, original, and also very light and flowy to survive hot humid southwestern Ontario summers! If you look closely, you can see the stamped floral design in the dress fabric, giving the dress an interesting texture. Sydney’s ceremony jewellery was pearls and gold earrings and necklace from Pakistan that was gifted to her from my extended family. Sydney’s silver ring was from a jewellery store in Grand Bend and it had our wedding coordinates stamped in silver.” – A

Hair & make-up: Hair by Christina, a friend. Makeup by Makeup by Cassidy (

Catering: Clock Tower Catering ( ” The food was absolutely delish! Mark was so accommodating with multiple dietary demands from dozens of guest’s. He was able to create a beautiful menu for every person, he even included a traditional chick pea masala curry which everyone went back for seconds!” – S

Photographer: HRM Photography ( “Many years ago (almost a decade ago!) I stumbled across a wedding picture online when I was helping a friend plan their wedding. I LOVED everything about their style- so creative, crisp clear images, soft light, and no overpowering editing showing their true talent! I found HRM Photography on social media and followed them since. When we decided on our wedding location and date (we planned our wedding in only 6 months as Sydney’s grandmother was unwell and wanted her to participate, as well as family from around the world we’re already planning on visiting Canada in the summer) we messaged HRM from our car, crossing our fingers they were available… We were in luck! Someone had cancelled July 14th and Nikki from HRM was ours! We were so lucky!!! Nikki is so level-headed, kind, cheerful, talented and experienced. She also went out of her way and helped with a few details throughout the day to make sure everything went smoothly. We could not have done it without her!! Our wish was for a beautiful Grand Bend sunset. That day called for thunderstorms. Nikki told Sydney that “good things happen to good people, you will get your sunset!” She obviously can’t control the weather, but by 4 pm there was no rain, the clouds parted, and the most phenomenal florescent sunset appeared during our speeches. We ran outside and took the most magical, breathtaking photos that capture the overwhelming feeling of love we experienced that day.” – A

Advice from one bride to another: “As soon as we got engaged we cuddled on the couch with red wine and a note pad and wrote down the very most important things for each of us individually as well as together as well as the things that were less important, and the things that were not important at all/ we could do without. This really helped us in planning our day to make sure both of us had the most important things included. This helped with not just planning, but prioritizing our budget.” – A

MORE ABOUT HRM PHOTOGRAPHY | Energy, excitement and fabulous love stories are contagious at award-winning wedding photography studio, HRM Photography (more details in their review in The Ring, here). To find out more, email HRM Photography directly using the form below. 🙂

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