Jessica and Henry’s Etobicoke Conservatory Wedding

Wanting to focus on each other and their vows on their wedding day – without the distractions of a large crowd watching them – Jessica and Henry chose to have an intimate wedding with just 18 guests. The small guest list allowed the couple to spend less time planning their wedding and more time planning their future together, making for a relaxed and stress-free bride and groom!

Special thanks to Jonathan Kuhn for sharing their special day with us!

greenhouse garden wedding

Jessica, 26 & Henry, 26

Mississauga, ON

Wedding Date: January 24, 2015

Number of Guests: 18

Wedding Cost: under $10,000

Wedding Ceremony Location: Centennial Park Conservatory, Etobicoke, ON

Wedding Reception Location: Twin Fish, Mississauga, ON

monogrammed pillows and love sign on window seat bride and groom with dog wearing bow tie bride and groom linking arms clementines on tree bride portrait through plant leaves bride and groom in conservatory bride and groom portrait

Why did you have an intimate wedding?

We decided to have an intimate wedding because it involved less planning and was less stressful. Both of us wanted to focus on saying our vows to each other without the distractions of a large crowd watching, and an intimate wedding allowed us to enjoy our time without being nervous.

wedding dress hanging up white rose wedding bouquet and lace Tom's shoes bride getting her make-up done bride getting her hair done bride putting on earrings bride's dress being buttoned bride reading card from groom bride having her veil put on bride walking down stairs groom adjusting tie groom adjusting jacket sleeves groom tying his shoes groom looking out window bride and groom first look bride and groom first look bride and groom first look groom portrait bride portrait groom and best man portrait bride and maid of honor portrait wedding party portrait in conservatory bride and groom portrait in conservatory wedding portrait bride and groom portrait in conservatory bride looking up at groom bride and groom back to back potrait bride and groom head to head groom kissing bride's hands outdoor wedding portrait

What are some of the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?

Our biggest challenge was actually deciding whether or not to have an intimate wedding.

Centennial Conservatory wedding ceremony Centennial Conservatory wedding ceremony

What were the highlights of the ceremony?

The highlights include walking down the aisle, exchanging our vows, and having our guests involved in parts of the wedding (ie. scripture reading, song leading, greeting).

Centennial Conservatory wedding ceremony Centennial Conservatory wedding ceremony Centennial Conservatory wedding ceremony

What were the highlights of the reception?

We got to spend quality time with all of our guests and the restaurant played our favorite Christian songs throughout the reception.

bride high fiving guest bride and groom greeting guests

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

We spent less time planning the wedding, and more time planning our future together!

Chinese restaurant wedding reception

What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?

If an intimate wedding is what you want and your parents are supportive, go for it!

Chinese restaurant wedding reception


Photographer: Jonathan Kuhn Photography 

Ceremony Venue: Centennial Park Conservatory, Etobicoke, ON

Reception Venue: Twin Fish, Mississauga, ON

Make-up and Hair: Vivian Wu

Bride’s Dress: Anthropologie

Bride’s Shoes: Toms

Groom’s Suit: H&M

Groom’s Shoes: Calvin Klein

Bouquet: Weddings By Ardenian 


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The Graffiti Inspired Wedding: Street Art Chic

A graffiti inspired wedding is ideal for creative couples who are fond of color clashes, typography and street art. Even if graffiti isn’t your thing, there are also some fun touches that will make you decor stand out.

Bring back your high school notebook with a playful cake, decorated with romantic doodles.

The combination of hand-written doodles and the silhouettes work well together to create a cake that has plenty of personality.

grafitti cake

Another street art inspired cake.

graffiti cake

Love this Keith Haring inspired cake!

graffit cake

Look beyond the usual venues for a space that you can truly make your own. If you have access to an abandoned church or warehouse you can find some amazing things within them, like this graffiti wall.

Expanding your venue search can turn up some real gems. This historic venue has some edge as the graffiti is so unexpected.

street art wedding

Forget about looking for the prettiest backdrop for your photos and head outside. A wall of street art will create some memorable shots.

Andrea & Paulo's Belfast Wedding street art photo

Give plain place cards a DIY makeover with the aid of a few bottles of spray paint. You can make them colorful with clashing tones, or add a metallic touch by opting for gold and silver paint.

Who knew that wedding shoes could be a work of art? Find these at Figgie Shoes.

For an alternative guestbook idea, have a graffiti board where your guests can leave their personal messages.


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10 Gorgeous Textured Wedding Cakes

When it comes to wedding cakes, there are a multitude of designs to choose from. Textured cakes – with ruffles, lace or pleats are a popular trend to consider. Here are ten textured cakes that we love:

1. Mini Cake 

To add some dimension to a single-layer cake, ruffles will create some extra volume and interest. Edged in gold, the metallic touch proves that small cakes still have enough impact.

small ruffled wedding cake

2. Flowers and Pearls 

These flowers are the definition of how to incorporate texture into a wedding cake. The pearls work well with the flowers too and really show how a simple white cake can be elevated.

textured cake

3. Petal Frosting 

Fondant isn’t the only way to go for cake coverings, buttercream looks just as lovely. A pink buttercream with a petal effect goes perfectly with a combination of fresh flowers. If you plan on making the cake yourself, this technique is a good one to learn if you’re not confident in rolling fondant.

pink cake ruffled

4. Intricate Design

For another take on this trend, go for a raised piped design. It gives the look of additional texture without adding too much. This is a great idea for larger cakes as the end result isn’t too overwhelming.

tiered textured cake

5. Delicate Ruffles

These delicate ruffles are very pretty and give the illusion of a layered or crepe cake. With this detailing, some pink and peach blooms are all that’s needed to complete the look.

white cake with ruffles

6. Blue Lace 

Lengths of blue lace have a vintage feel that looks striking against a traditional white cake. Another option if you wanted to cut costs on your cake, as you can add the lace to a simple design.

cake with lace details

7. Elegant Branches 

Woodland weddings filled with nature and leafy elements have so many gorgeous decor options. If you’re looking for a way to incorporate this theme into your cake, then this is such an elegant idea. The piping on the cake replicates the look of branches in a neutral way.

white woodland cake

8. All Buttercream 

This buttercream decoration has a rustic effect, perfect for an outdoor wedding when paired with wild berries and fern.

cake with berries

9. Ruffles and Glitter

Ruffles and glitter are surely a match made in heaven. Especially when it comes to cake decorations. Double the texture with alternating tiers that add both dimension and style.

cake with glitter

10. Colorful Pleats 

Isn’t this watercolor-inspired pleated cake a show stopper?


pleated cake

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Everyone knows that creating your registry is one of the best parts of wedding planning, but figuring out what to add – and what not to add – can sometimes be a daunting task. That margarita maker you’ve been eying might seem like a good idea at the time, but let’s be honest, it will probably just end up collecting dust after a few uses. Breakfast, on the other hand, is a daily occurrence and we strongly believe that breakfast in bed is the secret to a long and happy marriage. While you can’t actually add “breakfast in bed” to your registry (we wish!), you can add items that will make having breakfast in bed that much easier.

First, when it comes to breakfast, a good cup of coffee is key. The Cuisinart Single Cup Grind & Brew™ Coffeemaker grinds fresh beans each time so every single cup of coffee is the absolute best it can be. Brewing up to 16oz. at time, you never have to brew more than you need, and everyone can get the exact amount of coffee that they want.

cup of coffee

Next, the ultimate breakfast in bed consists of waffles of course. The Cuisinart 4-Slice Belgian Waffle Maker bakes deep waffles with 1 inch pockets (to hold more toppings!) and has a 5 setting browning control for customized results. We recommend giving these Apple Walnut Waffles try.

waffles with berries and ice cream

Lastly, we like a little savory with our sweet in the morning. You could always add bacon, but we like the idea of these homemade sausage patties cooked up on the Cuisinart Griddler® Deluxe. With six cooking options in one – contact grill, Panini press, full griddle, full grill, half grill, half griddle and top melt – it’s perfect for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Now, who’s hungry?

cuisinart appliances


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Cecilia and Craig’s California Redwood Forest Wedding

It was Cecilia’s dream to get married amongst the redwoods, so when she and fiancé Craig discovered Jedediah State Park (home to some of the biggest and oldest redwood trees in the world) during a trip to the Pacific Northwest, they knew they’d found their perfect wedding location. Despite the pouring rain, the couple were determined to exchange their vows outside beneath the trees and were blessed when the skies cleared just minutes  before their ceremony, allowing them to have the private and secluded ceremony they had been hoping for. Now that’s what we call serendipity!

A huge thank you to Dennis of Viera Photographics for being equally undeterred by the rain and capturing the couple so perfectly amidst the majestic redwood trees, and for generously sharing those photos with us today.

Oregon treehouse wedding

Cecilia, 27 & Craig, 31

Crescent City, CA

Wedding Date: September 20, 2013 (We chose the date because it’s my parents’ wedding anniversary)

Number of Guests: 9+ a Chihuahua

Wedding Cost: $12,000 including flights and hotels (treehouses, that is)

Wedding Ceremony Location: Stout Grove, Jedediah State Park, Crescent City, CA

Wedding Reception Location: Out N About Treehouses/Lily Pad, Cave Junction, OR

Oregon wilderness wedding rings on wet wood man holding large coin bride's train on the ground bride portrait bride portrait in the forest bride and groom in the forest

Why did you have an intimate wedding?

We are both pretty introverted and wanted to make sure that we were free to be ourselves and enjoy the day. I think I would have felt self-conscious having so many people watching us do this very intimate, personal, important thing. And I was worried about Craig not being the Craig I know on our wedding day. He’s super silly around me, but that goes away around people he doesn’t know well. For the same reasons, we decided to have Craig’s stepfather officiate the ceremony so that we weren’t standing up there with a person we didn’t know well. He did a great job.

white shingled house blue umbrella on wet porch groom getting ready groom portrait

What are some of the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?

Most of the challenges we faced had to do with planning a destination wedding in a rather remote area. I had my heart set on Viera Photographics so I was really lucky that they were willing to travel all the way up to the California/Oregon border, and then also travel an hour between the ceremony and reception locations.

Since it is such a remote area, it took me a long time to find a caterer. And a lot of caterers had minimums of 50 guests. Eventually, I found a personal chef who also catered events.

I also really only had one florist to choose from, but they got my bouquet just right.

chihuahua looking up at bride getting ready bride getting ready bride wearing running shoes bride in the car

Why did you chose the Redwoods?

I had a dream of getting married in the redwoods so when Craig and I took a vacation to the Pacific Northwest, we decided to take the opportunity to scope out the redwoods for possible wedding locations. Neither of us had ever seen them before. We drove South from Portland, so Jedediah State Park was our first sight of the redwoods. It houses some of the oldest and biggest Redwoods in the world so it was definitely an appropriate first experience of redwoods. As I had expected, the redwoods were truly magical. There is a profound silence that I have never heard before and the sheer size of the trees is completely humbling. There is also something symbolic about getting married underneath trees that are thousands of years old. It is basically Nature’s own version of a temple and the most spiritual place I can imagine, and, therefore, the perfect place for exchanging our eternal vows.

bride and groom walking in the woods bride and groom walking in the woods tall forest trees bride and groom in front of massive fallen tree bride and groom in forest bride and groom kissing in the forest bride and groom portrait in the woods

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?

By keeping it to immediate family only, we really eliminated any difficult decisions.

groomsmen portrait with umbrellas in the forest bride and maid of honour in the woods with umbrellas bride in the woods with umbrella

Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them?

I think some people were disappointed that they weren’t going to be at our wedding, but I had a bridal shower where I was able to celebrate with friends and family, and Craig had a bachelor party/trip with his friends.

Redwoods State Park sign bride walking with her parents to ceremony site in the forest groomwaiting for his bride in the redwoods Redwoods State Park wedding ceremony

What were the highlights of the ceremony?

We had been looking at the weather forecast the week leading up to the big day and it looked rainy. I was still hoping the forecast would change so we held out until the night before to buy any umbrellas. Sure enough, the day of our wedding, it rained. Actually, it POURED. In fact, our photographer was delayed momentarily when a tree fell over in the road. Ironically, we had picked September to get married because it was supposed to be the month with the best weather in the area – summers can be really foggy.

We had come all the way from Denver to get married in the redwoods so there was no way we were going to get married indoors. We had spent the day before picking out the perfect spot in the woods where we would have the ceremony. It was off the path enough that we would have some privacy, but it meant a bit of hiking. When we woke up to the rain, we decided we would have to abandon that plan and go with a spot that was easier to get to.

We discussed a new spot that we thought we remembered, and then crossed our fingers that we were thinking of the same place. It was the prettiest location we had seen and sort of had a natural aisle to walk up. We had initially decided against it because there was a lot of foot traffic nearby and we wanted some privacy.  Since it was pouring, however, we decided that getting to the location quickly trumped privacy.

We arrived to find the grove completely vacant so we ended up getting the best location along with complete privacy. Stout Grove is the most popular grove in the park so it was unreal having it entirely to ourselves.

And then minutes before the ceremony, the rain stopped! We were able to have the ceremony without umbrellas, which was really quite a miracle given how hard it had been raining all day.

Redwoods State Park wedding ceremony tearful groom during ceremony Redwoods State Park wedding ceremony father of the bride holding chihuahua during ceremony officiant flipping coin bride and groom first kiss Redwoods State Park wedding ceremony

What were the highlights of the reception?

The rain had really delayed things so we ended up being a full hour late to our reception (which was really just a dinner). I called our caterer to let her know and she was so understanding. I am forever grateful for her reaction because I was already quite stressed about it. She was so gracious.

Anyway, we arrived at the Treehouse resort and made it over to the Lily Pad, which is a private treehouse a mile away from the main resort. We had kept the location of the reception secret from our family, so it was a lot of fun to pull up to the treehouses and see their reactions.

Our caterer and her daughter had decorated an outdoor picnic area for us. I had given her a few photos for inspiration, and she completely blew me away. It was the most beautiful thing to see and it felt so special to be surprised. On top of that, our dinner was one of the best meals we’ve ever had.

father of the bride pouring champagne in the woods champagne toast in the woods bride and groom portrait under umbrella in the woods

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

I think we were able to enjoy ourselves a lot more. We didn’t have to spread ourselves thin talking with hundreds of guests like we’ve seen at some weddings. It felt much more like our day instead of putting on a show for guests.

It also allowed us to spend a lot less money and afford a lot more. We spent a lot less than the average wedding, but were able to afford top-notch photographers and filet mignon for dinner. And it was a vacation for our whole family.

out'n'about treehouse sign treehouse wedding reception set-up candlelit table setting hanging floral centerpiece chalkboard wedding sign treehouse wedding reception

What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?

If you are like us and think you would enjoy yourselves more with a smaller guest list, go for it. It’s such an important and personal day and I think couples deserve to have a wedding that they can actually enjoy. For some couples that means a huge party with tons of friends and dancing. For us, it meant just our immediate family, ancient trees, and a magical dinner. Oh, and a rainstorm apparently.

treehouse wedding reception


Wedding Dress: Little White Dress (Denver, CO).

Groom’s Clothes: Express

Photography: Viera Photographics – Dennis was amazing. Not only are our photographs beautiful, but Dennis himself really added a lot to our day. He was, after all, 1 of 12 humans present! He was so positive and even made me feel better about the rain. I think he said something like, “OK. Let’s do this!” He also loaded up his own car when we ran out room in our rental cars and helped us transport things from the ceremony to the reception.

Catering: Judy Hardy, Rogue Valley Personal Chef – I can’t say enough wonderful things about Judy and her daughter.

Flowers: Redwood Gardens Florist

Accommodations: Out N’ About Treehouse Resort – Our family stayed here in four different treehouse on the property. They also have ziplines and horseback riding.

Reception Venue: The Lily Pad – This treehouse is located on Sandy Lily’s personal property. We were able to return for our 1-year wedding anniversary as well. Sandy is straight out of the pages of a novel. She has a long braid that reaches down her back and a gentle dog that is part wolf. A very magical place.

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