Ontario Real Wedding

Opulent Ontario Winter Wedding


September 1, 2023
Words by Kinsley Brown
Photos courtesy of Kate Mercer Photography

April and Corey, two adventurous souls, crossed paths on a Contiki trip in Peru in November 2017, and little did they know, it was the beginning of a love story that would culminate in a dreamy destination wedding in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada.

A Meeting in Peru and a Long-Distance Love

“Cory and I met in November of 2017 on a Contiki trip in Peru. Cory was on the tour with his brother and sister, and I was with one of my brothers. He caught my eye right away!” April recalls. “Cory tried to walk me home the first night out, but my brother didn’t quite clue in (or maybe he did!) and ruined the moment. It took a few more days for Cory to work up the courage to try again, but I’m sure glad he did! We dated long-distance from Maui, Hawaii to Ontario, Canada for a year after that, and the rest is history!”

A Destination Wedding to Remember

Why did April and Corey choose to have a destination wedding? “April used to be a wedding planner in Maui and got to be a part of many destination weddings. This time she decided it was her turn!”

Their choice of destination was inspired by Corey’s roots. “Cory is from the area, and it’s where we plan to settle down and build our lives together. The snowy wedding day was just an added surprise for all of our California guests (where April is originally from).”

The Perfect Venue: Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery

The couple stumbled upon their dream wedding venue in a serendipitous way. “We ordered takeout from Ravine during the pandemic and immediately fell in love with the venue. At the time, we weren’t engaged, but we kept it in the back of our minds for when the time was right. It felt like it was meant to be that Ravine recently built the perfect indoor reception location for a snowy winter wedding.”

Personal Touches and DIY Magic

April and Corey’s wedding was infused with personal touches and DIY projects. “Cory is super handy (he is a contractor by trade), so he was able to custom make our escort board and table number holders,” April says. “We also made our table numbers and all of the paper goods ourselves. The invitations were a real labor of love, but worth it in the end!”

A Unique Ceremony with Personal Vows

The couple opted for a unique ceremony that reflected their personalities. “We wrote our own ceremony and vows to ensure the wedding felt more personal. We broke tradition a bit by having the bridal party sit down, rather than stand up with us. Looking back at the video and photos, I’m so glad we did this! Dani and her team did a beautiful job with the floral backdrop for the ceremony, and the snow added some magic. Our guests were such good sports about the weather and still talk about what a beautiful ceremony it was. We might even have a photo or two of Cory’s uncle wearing ski goggles for the ceremony…”

Cherished Traditions and Something Borrowed

While April and Corey incorporated some traditions, they made sure to include sentimental elements. “We didn’t incorporate many traditions other than the something borrowed, etc. April’s mom made sure she had special pieces from her grandparents to round this out.”

Planning from Afar and Site Visits

Planning a destination wedding from afar can be a challenge, but April and Corey had a secret weapon. “Dani’s help throughout the planning process to assist with vendor selection, advice, etc., was invaluable. We were fortunate enough to do a site visit (Dani joined via Facetime!) and a tasting with April’s parents. The tasting ended up being one of our favorite wedding planning memories. Highly recommend doing a tasting with your parents if you can!”

Intimate Wedding, Memorable Moments

“Having our wedding in Canada (and at the tail end of Covid) led to a more intimate wedding overall – which we loved! We had our very closest friends and family with us and were able to spend so much more time with each person due to the intimate size of our group.”

Final Words of Wisdom

April and Corey offer some sage advice to future brides and grooms: “Don’t get hung up on the things you can’t control, like the weather. Unexpected snowstorm anyone!? Trust your amazing wedding planner. Dani had a solution for everything and made sure the day was still perfect and assured me that the snow would make for gorgeous photos. We sure think she was right!”

April and Corey’s love story is a testament to the power of destiny and the magic of love that transcends borders. Their destination wedding in Niagara-on-the-Lake was not only a celebration of their love but also a showcase of personal touches and the beauty of embracing the unexpected. It’s a story that reminds us that when love is the driving force, every moment becomes a cherished memory.

Vendors: Photographer: Kate Mercer Photography; Wedding Planner: Taryn Stark Wyant Events; Venue: Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery; Florist: Calluna & Co.; Stationery: Fonthill Paper Co.; Cupcakes: Beyond the Batter; Hair & Makeup: Honor Beauty; Gown Designer: Maggie Sottero; Groom’s Clothing Designer: Indochino

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