Mike and Kim wanted their wedding to be intimate and romantic with only close friends and families, they decided to go with a rustic wedding style in a winery setting (it’s simple but elegant). They like outdoors a lot and we really appreciate the beauty of Mother Nature, so their decors to be as natural as possible. Their theme for the wedding is our TRAVELS, as they both love to travel around the world. Ever since they met, they’ve traveled every year to different countries, to explore different cultures, different food and appreciate all these beautiful landscapes around the world.
Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day? Did you have a specific theme, style or color palette? Did you incorporate any cultural or religious traditions in any part of your day?
Since we want our wedding to be intimate and romantic with only close friends and families, we decided to go with a rustic wedding style in a winery setting (it’s simple but elegant). We like outdoors a lot and we really appreciate the beauty of Mother Nature, so we like our decors to be as natural as possible. Plus, we saved a lot of $ on our DIY’s projects (invitations & stationaries, centerpieces, guest favors, etc.) This enabled us to really personalize our wedding.
Our theme for our wedding is our TRAVELS, as we both love to travel around the world. Ever since we met, we traveled every year to different countries, to explore different cultures, different food and appreciate all these beautiful landscapes around the world. Our wedding guests from out of town who stayed with us at the hotel near the venue were treated with a basket full of goodies that Kim and I love from around the world. For our wedding colors, we complimented each other using our favorite hues: blue and purple. During our ceremony, we worked very closely with our officiant, Tade Credgeur (a.k.a. The Marrying Lady). She helped us customize our own ceremony (which was not religious in anyway), but incorporating all the important aspects in our relationship. We honored our parents during our ceremony, and we had 8 individuals (who are very dear to us) to serve as our “Infinity8”. Each of them represented one of the pillars and the foundation of our relationship: LOVE, HAPPINESS, ROMANCE, DANCE, ADVENTURE, WELLNESS, FAMILY & FRIENDSHIP. Before our dinner reception, we offered a prayer to the Lord, for giving us such a wonderful beautiful day on our wedding, along with our families and friends.
Let’s talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception? Was any part of the decor DIY?
The venue itself is already beautiful, all we had to do, was to add our personal touches to make it more personalized. Our wedding was at Vineland Estates Winery (Vineland, ON), set in a romantic and charming carriage house. This stone building dates back to the 1850’s, and it provided us with the stunning views of the surrounding vineyards and forests. Our first DYI project was to design our wedding logo, and we worked very closely with our good friend, Ronald de Ramos, who helped us execute this design. As soon as we finalized our logo, we were able to design our own invitations, wedding programs, stationaries, decors, centerpieces, etc. Our invitations were all custom-made passports, complete with the original passport stamps from the 7 countries we have visited together over the years: Iceland, Philippines, Jamaica, San Francisco (USA), France, Mexico and Italy (each country represented a table). We had 7 tables in the venue. Each of our guests received a customized boarding pass, telling them their table (country) destination. They also received their own jams (locally made from Vineland, ON) with our personalized message to them at their tables. Each guest also had their own name tags made out of laser-cut woods to get that rustic feel with our favorite dried lavender on each plate. The centerpiece had 2 mason jars with floral arrangements (blush and white and lilac, earthy tones). They are set in a large piece of wooden slab with a picture frame (with our most memorable photo from that particular country). Also, the name of the country on top of the centerpiece is also laser cut acrylic material in gold, to match the rustic gold candle holders on the tables. We really want to make it very personal and each table had a write up on the mason jars (also on their boarding passes), why that country was memorable to us. Our guestbook was made out of wood and we had our friend, carved our logo in the middle with “Me and You…Just Us Two” written underneath for a nice finishing touch. We used a wine-picnic-basket-for 2 and we put our initials on it and turned it into our card holder. We even filled the bottom of this basket with white sands and sea shells because we love the beach so much.
What were the florals like in your wedding? Did you use flowers in any of your design elements like the bridal bouquets, centerpieces or ceremony backdrop? Did they play an important part in the overall style of your wedding?
We didn’t use that many floral decorations in our wedding (there’s a lot of greens instead of flowers). The flowers we used were mainly roses and hydrangea in blush and lilac colors. For our ceremony backdrop, we had a circle arch decorated with greens and flowers. On each side of this arch were wine barrels with some floral decorations on top. Each of our 7 tables in the reception also had floral decorations with the same theme colors found in our arch. Our Grooms’ Little Helper Girl, Chloe, and the 4 women in our “Infinity8” wore floral crowns (baby’s breath and blush colored flowers). Our moms wore orchid corsages (light purple). And our beloved dog and ring-bearer, Miko, wore a floral dog dollar. The wedding rings we bought were perfect for us, we travelled many places to find them, we even went to see what wedding rings calgary had to offer us! As you know, we do love to travel so what a better reason to go for! Anyways, for our Grooms’ Little Helper Boy, Ben, and the 4 men in our “Infinity8”, my dad, and Kim’s son (Jericho, also a ring-bearer) – all wore seeded eucalyptus boutonniere. Finally, each groom wore a succulent bouquets.
Did you personalize the day in any way (food trucks, guest entertainment etc.)? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?
Our wedding was not something extravagant so we didn’t have any big items such as food trucks or photo booths or entertainment. Having lots of photographs for the wedding was something that was really important for us. When we visited a friends wedding who used www.olgatopchii.com as their photographer, we knew picking a good photographer would be really important. All we ever wanted was to celebrate our very special day in the most intimate way with our close friends and families. The focus of this wedding was us two, and the love we have for another. So instead of fireworks or live bands, we really took the time as a newlywed couple to interact with every single one of our 54 guests. One of our favorite parts of our wedding was the formation of our “Infinity8” during our vows. We wrote our own vows to each other. Usually in weddings, you see the couples tied together in a knot or covered together with a veil to symbolize their union. For our wedding, we didn’t have a Best Man or Grooms Maids, we didn’t have a cord or candles lit together to unite us, but we have the “Inifinity8” – these are 8 of our very close friends and family members (each representing the pillars of our relationship: LOVE, HAPPINESS, ROMANCE, DANCE, ADVENTURE, WELLNESS, FAMILY and FRIENDSHIP). These 8 individuals formed the INFINITY symbol with Kim and me in the middle – while we say our vows to each other. Our drone shot during this moment was breathtaking. Also, our “First Dance” as a newlywed couple, was one of our favorite moments too. Kim and I danced to “Amazed” by Lonestar. Back when we were still dating (we were not “out” to everyone). So our friends had no idea that Kim and I were dating. One night, we went out with our friends to a karaoke night, and they made Kim sing on stage. Kim sang “Amazed” and although no one knew, he sang the song for me (as we secretly glanced at each other during that moment). After this, we knew that it’s our song. And although I didn’t get the chance to dance with Kim on stage as he sang “Amazed” on that karaoke night, we got the dance the same song in front of our families and friends on our wedding day.
Let’s talk fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day look? Describe the looks in detail.
Kim and I had our suits custom-made for us. We went to Surmesur and we selected the fabrics together for our 3-piece suits (the buttons, the pockets, the linings, and all the secret messages to each other – hidden inside our suits/vests). We didn’t want matching suits; instead, we picked our own suits that represent our own personal style and our favorite color. Kim likes blue and I like purple. These 2 colors compliment each other very well. During our fittings, we were always in separate rooms and so we have never really seen it on each other until the day of our wedding during our “First Look”. As finishing touches, we had matching feather bowties and dark brown shoes. We even had vines silhouettes designed on the side of our hair.
How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.
We first met back in summer of 2010 at work at the Toronto East General Hospital. I was working as a resource nurse in mental health when a patient coded. I went upstairs to respirology floor where Kim was working to grab some IV supplies. Although it was very rushed, we had a quick glance at each other. I guess you can say that there was a spark between us two. Right after that evening, I was so eager to be assigned to Kim’s unit just to see him again. By fall of 2010, I took a nursing job and started working in respirology floor and I got to work with Kim a lot more.
I proposed to Kim during our trip to the Philippines. On January 7th 2016, on top of Mount Taraw Cliff, El Nido (Palawan), I asked Kim to marry me. I planned everything and the day went very well. At the break of dawn, we climbed the highest peak of Mount Taraw Cliff. After reaching the highest peak of El Nido, overlooking the many islands of Palawan, I proposed to Kim at sunrise. Kim had absolutely no idea at all and he was so surprised to see me go down on one knee and asked him to marry me. After our slow descent from the top of the cliff, we went back to our seaside cottage to update our families and friends back home in Canada. That afternoon, we had lunch at Nacpan Beach and took a long stroll along the beach and went skinny dipping in the ocean. After all, we were the only ones on this long stretch of white sand beach and crystal clear turquoise water. Before the sun goes down, we hiked this hill beside the beach and watched the most amazing sunset we have ever seen. You can watch the video here: https://youtu.be/01GB3N5xg6A
You can also watch our “Save the Date” video here filmed in Iceland: https://youtu.be/VStLZZhAbn0
What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?
The most anticipated part of our wedding was our our “First Look”. We spent a whole year planning this wedding (full of ups and downs), but we waited our whole loves to find each other and be in that special moment with our families and friends. As I walked down the stairs, I couldn’t fight back the tears. I was so overwhelmed with so much joy. It was the happiest day of our lives. Kim and I decided not to see each other the morning of our wedding (as we both got ready separately). Although, we picked the fabrics and the buttons and the finishes of our custom-made suits, we actually have not seen it on each other. So seeing each other for the first time was the best moment of our wedding. I can hardly walk as I go down the stairs. Kim really helped me relax a bit more before we finally walk together down the aisle. All of our struggles, all of our worries and challenges, all of these didn’t matter anymore. It was that moment: “Me and You, Just Us Two” (also engraved inside our wedding rings) > the best moment of our wedding.
Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you’d like to share with other couples planning their day?
Stay true to yourselves. In planning our wedding, we used social media a lot and numerous online blogs to get ideas and inspirations for our own wedding. This can be overwhelming as there’s a lot of information out there. Oftentimes, you get this pressure to copy what the other couples did and do certain things at your wedding because it “looked amazing” online. Sometimes, you may even feel like you gotta do better! Also, due to frustrations and time-constraints, you may feel like you gotta do what you gotta do, because you had enough. When you get to this stage, you need to stop and ask yourselves: “is this us?”. You still gotta do YOU! No matter how much you try to control things and pressure yourselves to do things in a certain way, there are things that we can’t control and all we have to do is to accept them and embrace them as they happen (and this applies to our lives in general). Love all the imperfections of your perfect day, as these are the things that you will remember the most. Our wedding may not be perfect for some people, but it is perfect for us. Regardless of whatever happened that day, at the end of the day, I say to my husband: “it’s me and you, just us two” – and that is what really matters!