THE STORIES BEHIND THE EVENTS (or random things we think are cool...)

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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Back to the Barn

A few years ago, we worked on the amazing wedding of Kaleigh and Iain that took place at the family farm about 90 km from Toronto. The jaw-dropping ceremony took place at 4:30 in the afternoon, just as the fading light was streaming in through the slats in the side of the barn. Magic. So when Kaleigh's sister got married recently, we knew we had to do something different, given that a lot of the same friends and family would be in attendance. This time, the marriage itself took place at a quaint Anglican Church in a nearby village. Afterwards, guests came back to the farm where the barn played a totally different role: as host of an intimate, 4-course feast cooked up by North 44.

Celebrating the end-of summer was our goal, both in the decor and in the menu. Hundreds of battery-operated pillar candles lined the walls inside the barn (and lest you think I'm joking, I assure you, there were hundreds -- many were actually lit the day before as they were put in place; some as high as 16 feet up in the air). We couldn't risk having real candles anywhere near all that wood...

I snapped this photo of the North 44 chefs in our host's vegetable patch, picking the tomatoes that would be featured in the first course. Sometimes having the iPhone in my pocket comes in really handy...

And here are the fruits of their labours -- these tomatoes were like candy, they were so sweet and ripe. North 44 Executive Chef Sash Simpson was ecstatic with the bounty he got to create with. There really is no better a time of year for tomatoes, is there?

I thought this photo of the makeshift kitchen, tucked into the drive shed next to the barn, was fun to share... there is so much charm and history on the property that even the kitchen was cool. Take note of the overhead lamp shade -- yes, it's a metal bucket!

Finally, the view from outside while dinner was going on inside. It was actually quite chilly at this point in the evening and I begged Storey Wilkins to go outside to snap this photo. So nippy, in fact, that some guests voiced their displeasure that the big barn door was open, so Storey had to work very quickly!

I love this photo showing the light radiating from within the barn and am thrilled that it was a completely different effect from the last time we held a celebration within it's storied walls...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

99 Bottles of Veuve on the Dock

At our wedding this past weekend in Muskoka, 170 guests consumed 126 bottles of Veuve Clicquot... that has to be some kind of record, doesn't it? Fantastique!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

La Vita e Bella

Last year, we had the pleasure of coordinating the wedding for our Sunniest Bride Ever (who also happened to have one of the best "how did you meet each other?" stories we've heard): She and her fiancé literally bumped into each other on a street corner. As in, bam! When he asked why she was so happy, given that he'd almost flattened her, she replied "because life is beautiful and I'm always this way!"

So when it came time to start planning this wedding for Miss Sunshine to our dashing, charming and worldly Italian groom, it was no surprise when she chose a night in Tuscany as her inspiration. The Boiler House restaurant was filled with simple blue glazed terracotta pots filled with simple, cheery sunflowers. (Truth be told, since some of the courses were to be served family-style, there was no room on the narrow tables for anything more elaborate -- but the effect was simple and joyous). We brought in the chairs to complete the look and -voilĂ - bellissimo!

Pantry Press printed the menus on yummy, sunflower-yellow vintage paper from the 70's they had bought from a supplier years before and had had lying around the shop... I guess the colour hadn't exactly been in high demand before this bride walked in...

Elaine from The Vintage Gardener down in the Distillery District did all the floral work and managed to capture the feeling our bride was going for perfectly.

By this point in the post, it probably won't surprise you to learn that our bride's favourite drink is a Shirley Temple. What surprised us, though, was how popular the drink was with guests! Perhaps it's one of those happy-childhood-memory things that immediately takes you back to drinking 'cocktails' with your parents at Fancy Restaurants... I don't know. Regardless, we ran out several times and the bartenders scrambled to keep up with the Shirley Temple demands! Just when I think I've seen it all...
Photo credits: Storey Wilkins Photography. Brava!