Victoria and her team are known for making brides look and feel special. From the initial meeting, clients feel like they are at home at Radford, which is why we get the pleasure of being apart of so many major life events.
Erin Bennett is a close friend of Victoria and a long time Rad client. We've had the enjoyment of accompanying her for every aspect of her wedding, and just recently her baby shower. Allow her to walk you through the moment that changed her life forever.
Hi! I’m Erin. Two summer's ago I got engaged to my boyfriend Winston. In June, Winston bought a business – an exciting opportunity with one small catch.. it was in Kingston, Ontario. In the space of a month we sold our condo, bought a house, I quit my job and we relocated our whole life to K-town. Oh, and just because we didn’t have enough going on already, we brought home our new French Bulldog puppy, Archie, a whole six days after moving in!
About a month later, Winston woke me up on a beautiful Friday morning and told me he was going to make us french toast. This isn’t our typical weekday breakfast, but this day was special – it was my birthday and he had taken the day off so we could spend a long weekend with my family at my parents’ home. To be totally honest, I was hoping we could skip the whole sit-down breakfast so we could hit the road, but I didn’t want to upset the plans he had made for my birthday.. and, really, who can pass up french toast with a mimosa?
Before we ate, Winston brought me to the front room of our new home - a place that had quickly become a favourite of ours in the morning because of its eastern exposure. As we sat with the sun streaming in, I opened my gifts. I had recently gotten back into playing tennis and Winston had chosen that as a theme – he gave me new sunglasses, a tennis outfit and some private lessons at the neighbourhood club. I was thrilled, but Winston said he felt it wasn’t that romantic because he had usually gotten me jewelry on special occasions. I assured him that I loved my gifts and that he didn’t ALWAYS have to get me jewelry (though it is always welcome and much appreciated).
It was at that moment that Winston reached into the pocket of his jeans and when he pulled his hand back out he was holding a ring. Then he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. OMFG.
Those who know me, know that ‘subdued’ and ‘calm’ are not words to describe my reactions to anything. So, as soon as I realized what was happening, I started crying uncontrollably. Not just happy tears streaming down my face.. it was gulping-for-air-ugly-Kim Kardashian-crying.
We both knew right away that we wanted a late summer or early fall wedding, but the venue was a completely different story. In the coming days and weeks we batted around what felt like endless ideas. Did we want to get married in Toronto or plan a destination wedding? We love Chicago – wouldn’t it be amazing? How about Boston? Waaaaait a minute, Nantucket! So many great ideas, but at the end of the day we kept coming back to Toronto. After all, it was the city we had both called home for so long.
“Rustic Elegance” was the vibe we were looking for. A look that had character and class – elegant, but not ornate. We thought this would be easy to find in Toronto, but quickly learned otherwise. Over the course of two months, we saw what felt like every venue in Toronto that might work - from low-key galleries and lofts to larger, more formal event spaces. If the venue was rough and bare, we imagined it filled with elegant decor. If it was more ornate we envisioned infusing a rustic feel to balance it out.
Time and again we walked away feeling like we could make each place work, but nothing ever felt ‘right’…until we saw the loft at Andrew Richard Designs. The white, airy space is essentially a blank canvas waiting for whatever vision you may have. It has big industrial windows and a gorgeous outdoor garden – particularly unique given its downtown location. Perhaps most attractive of all was the fact that neither Winston nor I could think of anyone who had gotten married at ARD. I immediately had the events coordinator send me a contract and after reviewing it I sat down with Winston to look it over and finalize our game plan. We were just about to sign the agreement when he looked at me and said: “Don’t kill me, but what do you think about getting married in Italy?!”
Watch back to see how the wedding of the year unfolded, and how Erin managed to plan an international ceremony.