featured: jennifer and jay's distillery district wedding on wedloft

I'm very happy to share that Jennifer and Jay's Distillery District wedding has been featured on Wedloft this week. Theirs was definitely one of the most special weddings I've been able to photograph, with loads of personal touches, killer styling and so much love. Head over to Wedloft to see more!

Jennifer was kind enough to share these amazing details about her wedding experience, and I thought you guys might like to hear a wedding story straight from the bride herself! There are lots of great tips for those of you planning now. Thank you, Jennifer!

My husband Jay and I are high school sweethearts, we met at the age of 15, through a friend, over ICQ, embarrassingly enough and been together ever since. He is my first, only and great love, and the most irrationally and adorably carefree human being ever, which just happens to be my opposite.

The day was inspired by the venue, in its elegant rustic charm and the combination of the old world meets modern. We sought inspiration from all the things we love: fashion— I adore Kate Spade and was inspired by bright pops of colour, which we then tied into the custom made hankies, and the flowers; music—Jay loves hip hop and so our DJ had crates and crates of old vinyl’s and played lots of original hip hop samples; books—I read a book called the Night Circus and that in a way inspired the black and white stripes.

Because I absolutely love the movie Big Fish, Jay indulged me and we had pie pop favours with “made in the Town of Spectre” printed on the labels. The first line of our vows was actually from the movie too, Jay surprised me with it when we were writing them together.

Something that was very special to me was in some way including my pup Cassidy. As I couldn’t have him at the venue I made him a polka dot satin bowtie and lined our ring box with the same fabric, it was our way of having him right by our side during our vows.

Also so many friends were involved in making our big day perfect. Our dear friend Mary created the food truck tickets, inspired by our invitations, she also made the slide show. Our friend Steve made acoustic arrangements of our favourite songs for our ceremony, and our friend Jennie made custom hankies.

Lastly, my mum surprised Jay and I with a little book of polaroids taken by my nephew at the wedding. There were some lovely, funny and outright inappropriate messages and snapshots of our nearest and dearest family and friends. It is something we will cherish forever!

In terms of stand-out vendors, our guests loved the late-night food truck, Blue Donkey Streatery. There is definitely something pretty cool about eating curbside cuisine all dressed up (in a wedding dress and tuxedo in particular), not to mention the menu was playful and delicious featuring feta fries with tzaziki, pita strips with nutella and peanut butter and souvlaki skewers. We also loved our invitations. Cheer Up Press did an amazing job. We wanted kraft paper, stripes and modern, it’s a tall order, but when we found these we were beyond pleased. They were so fantastic!

As an event planner I take inspiration from any and all things, but certainly the usual suspects— blogs, wedding magazines, Etsy is an amazing source, Pinterest is an absolute godsend. I also follow amazing event designers on Instagram and read their blogs, such as Hey Gorgeous and Lovely Little Details. These ladies are amazingly talented floral designers, event planners and generally super stylish.

For us, going the DIY route wasn’t really about saving money or having a rustic look, but rather it was about making our day personal. And I absolutely love crafts! I made all my chalkboards, some from old frames, others from picture frames. Chalkboard paint is a godsend! The chalk art was all my own, after a lot of practice and very dry hands, I got pretty good! We had brightly coloured flags that served double duty as a program, and I designed, printed, hand cut, painted, glued and tied each and every one. I also designed, printed and hand cut all the mad libs which served as our guest book. Those were worth every paper cut. Jay and I read them the day after the wedding and had so many laughs. The gold dipped feathers used as place cards were very messy to make, but I loved the result.

Our favourite memories of the day: Jay and I escaped for a few minutes right after the ceremony and it was such a special moment and about the only moment in time when I felt like time wasn’t going double speed and we had a few minutes together as newlyweds.

At a later point, out at our food truck, a stranger walked up and kissed me on the cheek, shook Jays hand and gave a heartfelt congratulations to us, he said he saw us earlier taking pictures and wanted to wish us well, it was so sweet and really stayed with me. When we got back from our honeymoon I was cleaning our wedding mess and was putting my dress away and found a $50 bill and a note written on a receipt saying “Here is a little something to get you started. Congratulations! - a friendly stranger”

I don’t know if it was from that guy, but I sure hope it was, life really is beautiful and, and I am extra happy my wedding dress had pockets!

Some advice for brides in the planning process now: Being engaged is amazing, there are so many exciting events and it’s just a beautiful time to really connect with your fiancé and don’t let planning get in the way of that. Enjoy it, I sure did! I am not saying don’t sweat the small stuff, because to me it’s all in the details, but just cherish the time with your girls, the heartfelt advice from family. The genuine excitement everyone has for you both is so lovely, it should serve as a constant reminder of why you are planning this big day. Also, follow your gut and don’t constantly second guess yourself!