Kate and Pete brought the Canadian wilderness into the modern industrial space of Airship37 wedding venue Toronto for a stylish graphically inspired wedding.
Your wedding at Airship37 had such a magical outdoor feeling to it. It was such s stylized look. What was your inspiration for the look of this?
Matt and I both spent a lot of our childhood outside, and more recently, on the dock together at my family cottage in Algonquin Park. We played with the idea of doing the wedding there, but the logistics were too much. So instead, we wanted to infuse our urban wedding with as much Canadian wilderness as possible. We spray-painted plastic versions of the iconic animals of the Park – wolves, bears, moose, beaver and deer – had a giant moose pinata, and our guest book was a collection of postcards from Algonquin, Muskoka and other natural locales. We even made our own ring box out of a piece of birch found at the cottage.
You chose an industrial downtown space for your wedding at a venue. What were the elements that drew you to the space ?
We loved all the unique details in the Gooderham Lounge, like the astroturf, the Airstream and the bus. It is industrial and modern while having a lot of vintage charm, which we felt reflected our style. It felt exactly like what we were aiming for with the wedding: elements both modern and vintage, quirky and whimsical, with a few unexpected touches.
The wedding decor and set up was so perfectly fitted to the venue. The choices of decor added highlighted the natural elements such as the chandelier and Gooderham antique sign. The balance between the beautiful elements and the existing venue was perfect. How did you achieve this?
We worked hard to edit ourselves, knowing that the venue already had so much going on. You mention the chandelier and the sign, and there are a ton of textures and materials in the small space of the Lounge. We had planned a few things that we ended up nixing, including 50 pinecones that we foraged, cleaned and painted neon pink! We visualized a lot, took lots of pictures, and I even mocked up a to-scale floor plan to help get a feel for the space. In the end, we worked within the realities of the venue, and weren’t scared to scrap ideas that didn’t feel right.
The ceremony was framed in the entrance to the Gooderham Lounge and it was such a success. It was striking, and original at the same time. How did you arrive at this decision?
I was just really struck by the beauty of that old door when we first visited the venue. I had been loving pictures I had seen of ceremonies in outdoor spaces, and with all types of frames, garlands and backdrops. So it just seemed like the perfect spot. I hid myself away from the guests in the Hanger beforehand, and my Dad walked me out onto the patio, down the steps and to where Matt was waiting under the garland. It was nice to be able to walk down the aisle, albeit an unconventional one.
The whole wedding is so graphically beautiful – the colours, the choice of decor and the placement. Do you and your husband have a background in design?
Matt works in advertising, so he has a good eye and great taste, and I am a Graphic Designer. I designed the printed elements, including the invitations, menus, and place cards. I left the graphic design until the very end, so it was easy to incorporate it into the decor. I limited the imagery to the abstracted antlers and focused mainly on combining complementary typefaces on kraft paper. The idea was to have a simple design which worked across different mediums, hung together cohesively, and didn’t compete with the larger moves we were doing elsewhere.
All the wonderfully classic fun games and activities were at your wedding. Yo had a pinata, bubbles, and dress-up. What was the idea behind such a fun addition to your wedding and how did it go?
It was all inspired by photo booths, which are becoming commonplace at weddings. They are always fun, but I felt like we wanted to do something a little different. We knew for a while that we wanted a pinata, so it was easy to combine the ideas, and fill the pinata with all the hilarious fun things you would at a photo booth, like silly sunglasses and tiny hats. After we busted open the pinata, which literally exploded open with confetti, it was like the whole party was dressed up for a silly photo, and it flipped the collective switch in everyone from lovely wedding to serious party time.
Ping pong ohh my how fun! What did the ping pong add to the wedding and whose idea was it? Most importantly who beat who, bride or groom?
Matt and I went to Spin to play ping pong on our second date, so it seemed fitting that we have it at the wedding. Airship37 actually owns tables, so we didn’t have to rent them which was great. And just like on our second date, Matt showed no mercy and totally beat me.
What word best describes your wedding experience?
Fun. It was our main guiding principle while we planned the wedding, and it informed almost all of our decisions. We really focused on details that would engage our guests and give people something to do, and I think all the little activities and special moments combined beautifully to make it a down-right fun party.
What was your biggest challenge in the process of planning your wedding?
The hardest part was making the first decision. Once we had the venue, the wilderness theme, the palette, everything became easy, but it took a lot of ideas, discussion and debate to get there. I struggled with how everything – the dress, my hair, the decor, the flowers – would fit together, as I was the only person coordinating between all the disparate vendors. But once we made the first big decision, it influenced the second and the third, and each decision got easier. We focused on making the wedding a party we would love and did whatever felt right in our guts, and everything came together in the end.
How did you chose your florals and plant decor?
We worked with Adam and Davis at Crown Flora Studio. We wanted the flowers to reflect the wilderness theme, and their rustic wild style fit so perfectly. I decided early on that we wanted lots of greenery with pops of intense pink. The rest, I pretty much left up to Adam. I respect and admire his work, and totally trusted him to do his thing.
Who was your photographer? What qualities do you like about the style of the pictures from your wedding?
Our wedding photographer was the absolutely amazing Lee Weston. I can’t say enough good things about her. She was great at making herself invisible to capture candid moments, while being able to rally our unruly friends for beautifully composed group shots. She has the perfect eye and a great personality to match. I really wanted our first look to be somewhere filled with trees, and Lee suggested Cherry Beach, which was perfect. It was really private in amongst the trees, and the light turned out beautifully. We did the rest of the pictures at Airship37. Lee was really great at pulling Matt and I away for mini-shoots throughout the night, which gave us a wide range of shots in lots of different places.
Your wedding dress was stunning. It had such a beautiful cut and in the photographs you had a great sense of how the dress moved. How did this all come about?
The dress was challenging. Everyone says that when you try on The One, you will just know, but I never had that experience. I tried on over fifty dresses- everything from ball gowns to vintage. In the end, the one I wore was everything I was looking for – vintage-inspired, full of lace, and the overlay made it feel unique. Matt was a great help in choosing the dress, and I doubt I ever would have settled on one without his help.
How did you choose your menu and what was the biggest hit with the guests?
We wanted something delicious, but knew that our guests ranged from unadventurous palettes to straight-up foodies. We chose the Cornish Game Hen and the Braised Short Rib, both unintimidating meat-and-potatoes style meal with sophisticated flavours that appealed to all types of eaters. As for what was everyone’s favourite, it’s really hard to say! We got so many compliments on the meal. My personal favourite was the bourbon vanilla creme brulee, and since I was the bride, I got to eat two.
What was the best decision you made for your wedding?
My choice of groom, of course! Second to that, we knew early on that we would prefer a small group of people we adore, rather than a large group of acquaintances. We had a pretty small guest list, which was initially challenging to edit, but really paid off in the end.
What was on your playlist and how did you decide what was on it?
We wanted music that was upbeat and would appeal to all of our guests. We had a vintage cocktail playlist for drinks, full of cute ‘50s and ‘60s songs. During dinner, we played funky bossanova instrumentals, which kept the energy up without overpowering conversation. And we chose great songs for our special moments. I walked down the aisle to Cicada and Gulls by Feist; we first danced to Alexi Murdoch’s All of my Days; my dad and I danced to Everyday by Buddy Holly and as soon as we kissed at the end the Ceremony, the music kicked off with Home, by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes.
As a couple what did you learn in the process of planning your wedding that you will take with you?
We learned a lot about our communication styles. Often, we would agree on an idea, and then come to realize later that we were both envisioning totally different things. I found that if we could express our ideas visually, that really helped, so I was always sure to accompany my ideas with images so Matt could see what I meant.
If you were to get married all over again to each other in ten years what would your wedding be like?
I can honestly say that I would do it the same way all over again. Maybe I would wear a more comfortable dress next time, but the night was absolutely everything I had envisioned.
Photographer: Lee Weston
Graphic Design: Kate Peer Design
Flowers: Crown Flora Studio
Catering: Berkeley Catering