Laura and Calder

Couple’s Wedding Story:

Laura and Calder met in a very unique way – which isn’t that surprising for two artists (he a sculptor and she a painter). In fact, the day they met she was presenting him with an award. Laura had just begun working as the curator at a gallery in Halifax, NS Canada and that very night they were having an event to celebrate new artists – Calder was the recipient of the gallery’s emerging artist award. After presenting the award and briefly chatting, their interactions were limited to emails and Calder dropping off sculptures at the gallery. Until a chance encounter on one sunny, summer afternoon that led to a blossoming relationship. One move, two years and a trip to favourite spot to watch the water at 1000 Islands later, Calder followed his 104-year-old Grandma Gloria’s advice and, “Gave her the diamond.” Laura gleefully said “yes” and the wedding planning began.

Laura made a few trips home to Canada’s East Coast from Ottawa, Ontario to go dress shopping and was quite certain she should settle on an A-line gown – although she was adamantly against lace and tulle… Initially. After three unsuccessful trips to bridal boutiques, she began to lose hope but it was renewed after visiting her family friend’s bridal store. She had tried on one gown before that seemed promising but wanted to be sure. With her family beside her, she tried on the gown again and low and behold, tears came from her father and sweet smiles from her sister and Mother and it was the winner. They topped it off with a delicate silk-tulle veil – simply perfect for the upcoming nuptials. Calder, however, was very certain of the custom-tailored Indochino charcoal suit he wanted – including shirt and all three pieces. (Laura provided the tie and pocket square)

June 15th, 2019, was an incredibly beautiful day – no clouds in the sky and a gentle breeze in the air. Laura and her 6 bridesmaids flown in from all points of the globe and delicately decorated in Swarovski crystal bracelets and earrings and adorned in custom-made, dusty blue tulle floor length gowns, got coiffured and beautified at her family home. Meanwhile, Calder and his four groomsmen, dressed in three piece charcoal suits, silver ties and funky “art socks” he had carefully handpicked for them, prepped in town at the nearby Marriott Hotel. Some were still working off their rehearsal dinner night reverie from the Atlantic Canadian lobster boil Laura and Calder held at her family’s cottage in the beachside town of Shediac. The couple wanted their wedding to exude warmth and personalization – ushering in the early summer. To reflect this, the bouquets and arrangements contained a combination of white roses and spray roles, white lilacs, lilies of the valley, white pieris, white Lisianthus, white wax flowers, eucalyptus and Italian ruscus. Blue Thistle was added as a touch of blue to the bouquets and arrangements and completed the very romantic, English-country wedding feel. In Laura’s bouquet, she carried a gold locket with forget-me-nots and a wedding image of her mother’s parents to have them with her on the big day.

The couple decided to honour their parents and have a wedding in Laura’s family church, St. John’s United in her Hometown of Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. Moncton was the perfect meeting point for guests as most were travelling between Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Ontario. Being of different faiths, the couple worked closely with the minister to develop a program that included nods to both religions (Protestant-United and Roman Catholic) as well as messages of welcome for everyone of any faith, lifestyle – making sure everyone felt safe and loved. The ceremony featured two readings as well as original instrumental organ compositions of some of their favourite songs alongside traditional hymns. (If you haven’t heard of Coldplay’s Paradise on the Organ, I highly recommend it!) The church was adorned with arrangements as well as eucalyptus garland and pew markers accented with white flowers.

Due to the sheer size of Laura and Calder’s families, the wedding reception was adults only with 156 guests in attendance. The location, St. James Gate Restaurant at the Fox Creek Golf Course, was an “L” shaped location with a beautiful fireplace and excellent wine selection and food. Calder and Laura organized the tables into places they had travelled including anecdotes as part of the table markers. While the wedding party were taking photos for 1/2 of cocktail hour at the local Victoria Park, the rest of the guests munched on hors-d’oeuvres, oysters and were offered the couple’s specialty 1920’s style drink, “The Happy Couple” or put their drink tickets to good use. The room, lit by the setting sun, was sprinkled with candles and shelves filled with framed photos of their family and friends on their wedding days – just to make it that much more intimate.

Once guests were seated and the wedding party announced, the happy couple sat beneath a beautifully decorated fireplace at a sweetheart table, letting the wedding party sit with their partners and friends. Family was at the forefront of this evening – with every consideration taken to put their guests and family at ease. The night kicked off with the wine flowing, music playing and many a story and speech – artfully navigated by Calder and Laura’s “Firefighter” MCs (actual professional firefighters – her brother-in-law and close friend). In lieu of favours, Calder and Laura made charitable donations in the names of their guests to organizations close to them: a local women’s shelter for Single Mothers (Calder was raised in a single parent home), the local SPCA (animal shelter) and two university scholarships – one in memory of Calder’s best friend and cousin and one in memory of Laura’s grandfather. The couple also made sure everyone got home safely – offering taxi chits to prevent people from drinking and driving (thankfully, Laura’s father picked up the tab and had a rather big bill!). There was laughter, a Best Man speech that had people roaring from their seats, a very enthusiastic MOH speech complete with childhood dance video and accompanying dance by Bride and MCs followed by a heartfelt and tearful thanks from the couple… And then came the dancing. We opened the dance floor with Calder and Laura’s waltz to their favourite song covered by Peter Gabriel – the Book of Love followed by the child-parents dance to “God only knows” by the Beach Boys. Shortly thereafter, the dance floor exploded with Ibiza’s “DJ Bones” spinning the iconic song by local legends The Rankin Family and their hit “Mull River Shuffle.” There was not one person in their seat. The day was perfect, the ceremony went just right and everyone danced into the night – it was definitely a night to remember!

B – Rev. Aaron Billard
Pianist & Organist: Toto Phi
Church & Venue flowers & arrangements: Lillian McMullin
All printed materials : Laura and Calder

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Wedding Location:

Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

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