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PLANNING THE DETAILS
                           BASICS I  BASICS II  |  SPECIFICS I  |  SPECIFICS II                      

INTRODUCTION   |  DATE  |  VENUE
 
 

Previous visitors to this site will noticed that we have now added follow ups to our planning so they can see how things actually turned out.  Guests’ enjoyment was our overriding priority and we seem to have succeeded spectacularly.  Many veteran wedding guests said it was the best they had ever been to which is actually ironic considering we purposefully avoided setting that as our goal. 

We have no doubt that this section will never be read from beginning to end by anyone but us at those times when we feel like reminiscing!  However, just by surfing from topic to topic, engaged couples planning a similarly themed wedding can benefit from our specific experiences.  On a more universal scale, this can also be a perfect introduction for any engaged couple just starting to plan their wedding.  On one hand, it will eliminate any notion that even a modest size wedding can be pulled together in a short time with little effort.  But at the same time, it's a far less intimidating introduction to wedding planning than the one we had.  We were overwhelmed when we first discovered that bookstores had entire sections devoted to the subject and that professional wedding web sites were equally voluminous.  This section is proof that if you break your planning down into little chunks it all becomes quite manageable!   (If potential planners want to get right to the heart of the matter they should jump to the TIPS section of this site, where the results of our planning have been boiled down to key lessons.)  

Note: this is by no means meant to be a complete guide to planning a wedding - it is only an enhancement to the excellent resources widely available such as the books and websites we've listed in REFERRALS.  Also, people looking for information specifically related to planning same-sex ceremonies should go to the similarly titled section as the following pages relate only to universal wedding planning topics.  To see how the overall wedding day unfolded, check out THE WEDDING section.

_________________________

Emily Post’s Wedding Planner lists the five “Big Decisions” to be made as soon as you become engaged: When, How, How Much, Who, Where.  This section describes how we came to make those primary choices as well as the many secondary ones which fell out of them.  Each topic also gives the results of our decisions as a helpful guide for those considering similar ideas.  

 


  THE DATE

Despite the urge to get married as soon as possible, we set to thinking about the most site_inspection001b_75kb_650pixelswide.jpg (75672 bytes)fundamental factor in answering the When question: the season.  Choosing a time of year was simple because neither of us liked Toronto’s sticky, humid summers while both of us loved Ontario’s crisp, colourful autumns.  We figured that Canadian Thanksgiving would be an ideal time due to the long weekend but had no problem moving the date back a week when we found that out our desired venue was already booked that Saturday.  (Many  wedding guides suggest you can save a lot of money by holding your ceremony outside of the weekend to avoid peak booking times but who the hell wants to throw the biggest party of their life on a work night?)   

- THE RESULTS -

The only small disappointment was the fall colours, or lack thereof to be more precise.  We knew that althoughwedding_party_walk.jpg (91572 bytes) you can't predict exactly when the colours will peak each fall, you can be guaranteed that at least there will be lots of them.  Wrong.  The summer that year was unusually dry and we got a rude lesson in plant biology when we learned that dry summers cause leaves to turn brown and fall off early in autumn!  While you can see from the wedding pictures that the foliage was hardly brown or bare, it was a little disappointing that it wasn't equal to the beauty seen in the photos from the previous fall (see picture above and below).  However, the fact that this was the biggest "disappointment" for us only goes to show how spectacularly well everything went!

(In another little twist that proves you can never really predict mother nature, we made all sorts of preparations for a chilly autumn day in the church.  Instead, that October was so unseasonably warm that guests were fanning themselves throughout the ceremony!)

VENUE

The answer to Where came just as easily.  Since there was no way to truly experience the glory of autumn in the middle of a major urban center, we would have to find some place outside of the city where nature was much more abundant.  We actually had an extraordinarily romantic time exploring small town Ontario the fall we were engaged – places like Paris and Cambridge as well as more traditional wedding sites such as Kleinberg’s McMichael Gallery and Doctor’s House.  But we discovered that these towns couldn’t provide both the rustic ceremony and cosmopolitan after-party settings that we wanted.  The distance from Toronto made transportation a problem as well, as many of Peter’s guests were bona fide urbanites and didn't own cars.  

Church exteriorPeter had never forgotten his childhood impression of Black Creek Pioneer Village as being a lushly wooded place out of time. He figured its rural feel and easily accessible location might make a good combination for a wedding backdrop so we decided to check it out.  It was Brandon’s first visit to the park and he was just as amazed as Peter had first been.  We fell in love with the site when we rounded a corner and saw Fisherville Church nestled amongst sun-specked amber foliage.  And it’s interior turned out to be just as quaint, especially with its old fashioned boxed pews.

Half Way House exteriorAs for the reception, although Black Creek offered fully equipped banquet facilities in their Visitor Centre, that building's modern style lacked the charm of the village.  Luckily we did not require the amount of space normally needed for receptions because ours would not include after-dinner entertainment.   This left us free to book The Half Way House, the village's rustic 1850’s inn complete with a working restaurant.  

- THE RESULTS -

We couldn't have asked for a better location.  The wedding pictures are a testament to how rustic the whole day felt.  Even better, we hadn't realized that the majority of our guests had037(C23)millportrait.jpg (893007 bytes) not been to the village since they were children - if at all - so it made their experience all that much more unique and enjoyable!  We certainly got to know the site well as we visited it at least once a season while making preparations for the wedding.  The staff may have thought we were a little crazy measuring the restaurant and videotaping the chapel but they were always very accommodating and some even treated us as friends.  Those visits were always a welcome trip for us. 

However, we were very lucky that an oversight didn't spoil the whole event.  We had avoided an outdoor wedding specifically so that the day would not be contingent on a force over which we had no control (a wise move, we might add).   But what we didn't 144l(L36).jpg (150312 bytes)realize until the actual day was that a venue can be outdoors even if the actual ceremony isn't!  While we had had the foresight to arrange for guests to have a dry place to wait between the ceremony and the reception should there be rain, we definitely underestimated the potential impact of walking even short distances in areas of the village that did not have boardwalks.  As it turned out, it rained the day before and after but thankfully it was sunny on the day of the wedding because high heels and mud roads would not have mixed well (no, we're not talking about the grooms).   As one guest commented, Brandon's mother must have been smiling down on us from heaven that day! 

For more details on planning a (gay) wedding at Black Creek see Black Creek Pioneer Village Wedding Planning.

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Page last updated October 06, 2013