Ashley and Scott dreamed of a winter fairytale wedding. Having selected the rare date of February 29th, all the details seemed to magically fall into place. From a castle ceremony to a beautiful snowy day for photos, they were able to celebrate their love with family and friends…
Married couple: Ashley Ross & Scott Stegelmeier
Wedding Date: February 29, 2020
Ceremony & Reception Location: Ceremony – Dundurn Castle and Reception – Carmen’s Banquet Centre – ” We initially looked at many different venue options before we selected Dundurn Castle for the ceremony and Carmen’s for the reception. We live together in Waterloo, whereas our parents live in Muskoka and Niagara Falls. We visited locations in each area as well as ones that would be midway points. Dundurn Castle was suggested to us by several friends as the museum has beautiful architecture. I had originally visited it on a school trip with my MOH in elementary school. When we visited our eventual chosen venues, they just felt perfect. We could both envision getting married in Dundurn Castle’s coach house. Standing under the arbour gave us butterflies that no other location did. In both cases we also really liked the professionalism of the vendors. Tim and Mark from Heritage Weddings really helped us personalize the ceremony, while Andi and Karen were phenomenal at helping us plan the long list of details needed to host a reception. Everyone made the process easy and enjoyable, and we can’t recommend them enough. After the wedding day was over we both felt that each venue was even better than we had even initially envisioned. Expectations were exceeded on all fronts.” – A
Catering: “We both love good food, so we were thrilled that Carmen’s had many options to choose from to design the menu. We were able to include culinary elements from all branches of our heritage. We served curried sweet potatoes as a nod to the delicious curry dishes from Scott’s mom’s British Guiana heritage. Our wedding cake was black forest and represented his dad’s German background. The dessert after the main course was trifle, as a nod to my British heritage, whereas the late-night poutine buffet was pure Canadiana.” – A
Colour Palette: “Red, black and white” – A&S
Theme: “We envisioned an elegant winter fairy tale theme. Both of us enjoy fantasy so we incorporated elements from some of our favorite stories throughout the day. The jewelry, signs, and music were some examples of references we included. The ceremony venue, colour scheme, and dress helped to convey the theme.” – A
Flowers: “We purchased the flowers in bulk from Lilies White (https://lilieswhite.com/). They have an excellent DIY program where you can select the flowers and they will help you with the design. My cascading bouquet was made from roses paired with ivy, snapdragons, and ranunculus. The bridesmaid bouquets were white with a splash of red and included carnations, hyacinths (they smell lovely!), cremons, salal greenery, ivy, and roses. The boutonnieres were made with roses. Scott’s Gramma Jackie and Aunt Kelly did an amazing job putting the flowers together.” – A
Décor: “The majority of the decorations were included at Dundurn Castle and Carmen’s Banquet Centre. We added the red floral arrangements at Dundurn with the white aisle runner and red petals. Carmen’s did the entire table setup including the centrepieces. Scott is busy designing robots as a mechanical engineer and I am completing a Ph.D. in cancer research, so it was important to us to work with venues that were able to help us with the decorations.” – A
Favourite décor element: “We loved how Carmen’s setup the tables for the reception including the elaborate head table design. We also were enamoured with the red floral bouquets Aunt Kelly put together for our ceremony.” – A
DIY: “Aunt Kelly and Gramma made the flowers, which was an immense amount of work and they turned out beautiful. Our bridesmaids Shannon and Meaghan are both artists and they hand drew the calligraphy for all of our signs.” – A&S
Wedding favours: “We made hot chocolate wedding favours that said “To have and to hold, in case you get cold”. It used about 15kg of hot chocolate to make them and our family formed a big assembly line on the Family Day long weekend to help us put them together.” – A
Groomsmen and Groom’s attire: “Scott’s tux and the groomsmen’s suits are all from Stars Men’s Shop in Waterloo. Jenn helped us to put together a sharp black, red, and white ensemble.” – A
Bridesmaids attire and accessories: “The bridesmaid dresses were from David’s Bridal in Cambridge. The girls brought their own footwear and jewelry for the day.” – A
Bride’s dress and accessories:
“Something old: My baby bonnet was saved for 27 years and became my bridal handkerchief.
Something new: I found the dress at The Ring Wedding Expo. It was actually the first dress that I tried on. My MOH Andrea likes to say that it was divine intervention from my mom that let me find the perfect dress after the first try.
Something borrowed: My bridesmaid Zahra lent me the beautiful ornate necklace.
Something blue: The sapphire on my engagement ring. The tartan: I purchased the garter on the banks of Loch Ness.
Additionally, my dad’s tie and my shawl are the Ross clan tartan. I bought them from a kiltmaker when I was on a trip to Edinburgh, Scotland.” – A
Alterations: “Taylor Williams altered my wedding dress. I love the bustle that she added to help me dance the night away. Her home studio is in Brantford and she was so energetic and fun to work with.” – A
Hair & make-up: “Niki Cooper from Niki Beauty & Angelina Fitzhenry from Angelina’s Beauty Bar did our makeup and hair respectively. They are masters of their trade and made us feel like models! They both made the morning of the wedding a relaxing and fun experience.” – A
Nails: Luxe Nail Bar in Uptown Waterloo. “My bridesmaids and I went to this luxurious nail salon the day before the wedding. We had a lot of fun getting pampered there and selected a sparkly rose gold colour palette for our nails.” – A
Engagement Ring: Frank’s Jewellers. “They helped us to create a custom engagement ring. My ring is a merger between my grandma and mother’s rings, with a sapphire added in between. It is a three-generational ring that has a lot of sentimental meaning to us.” – A&S
Photographer: “We met Jacqueline Loft from Simply Wedding Photography at The Ring Wedding Expo at Bingeman’s in KW. Her enthusiasm and skill really stood out to us. We loved that she had a detailed plan for building the family photos so that no one was missed. She was a pleasure to work with throughout the entire process. On the day of the wedding, we worked with both her and Paula. They were amazing and so much fun; even our guests were raving about them before they even saw the photos. Our favourite part was the first look in front of the castle. We cherished having a quiet moment to see each other before the ceremony began. We’ve been together for almost 9 years, and that last moment together before marriage really took our breath away.” – A&S
Biggest wedding challenge: “One of the biggest factors we put thought into was the logistics of a winter wedding. You need to remember a plethora of extra items such as hand warmers, boots for the bridesmaids, and mittens to ensure everyone is somewhat comfortable for outdoor photos. Even then, despite our best efforts, an hour and a half in -5°C weather still left everyone shivering (thank you wedding party we appreciate you so much). The first look was also very helpful because it meant we captured the majority of our photos while there was still daylight. It created a more pleasant day for our guests as they could immediately go to the cocktail hour after the ceremony.” – A&S
Fav wedding memory: “We really enjoyed our first dance. We have been swing dancing for years together, so with the help of our bridesmaid Meaghan we choreographed a swing dance to “Be My Forever”. We enjoyed being able to put on a show for our friends and family and to put our mutual hobby to good use.” – A&S
Advice from one couple to another: “We would suggest leaving ample time to plan the wedding to reduce stress levels. We were engaged for almost 2 years, so we had time to focus on a single task and conduct thorough research on every detail. Additionally, Excel spreadsheets are your best friend for organizing everything from your budget to the thank you notes and timeline. ” – A&S
Anything else you’d like to add? “One of my favourite details was including my deceased mom, Heather in various aspects of the wedding. We made her a corsage and saved a front-row seat for her beside my dad. She loved Princess Diana, so we gave her the same royal treatment of a reserved front-row seat that Diana received when her sons were married. We wrapped the bouquets in lace from the hem of her wedding dress.” – A
“On a fun note, we were married on the leap year. February 29 is only on a Saturday once every 28 years. We can’t wait to say “Happy first-year anniversary dear, but my goodness it has felt like four years!” – A&S
MORE ABOUT SIMPLY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY | Simply Wedding Photography (simplyweddingphotography.ca) creates wedding photography as unique as you are (more details in their review in The Ring, here). To find out more, email Simply Wedding Photography directly using the form below. 🙂