Twintage: Karen & Dan's Wedding Day

October 17, 2013

Karen & Dan's Wedding Day

Dan and I were married at Ruthven Park Historical site in Cayuga, Ontario. The venue is half an hour drive from our house and was the perfect location. Our friends described the venue as having a “Downton Abby” or “Jane Austen” feel, and I tend to agree. The park is 1500 acres of forest, wetland, meadows and overlooks the Grand River. The grounds also has a carriage house where we had our reception. Originally we wanted to have our wedding at a cottage a few hours away, but having it closer meant we could drop by our venue whenever we wanted which defiantly helped with the planning.

Our ceremony was outside on the grounds, and we really didn't have a backup plan if it rained. We took a big chance especially with the unpredictable summers in Ontario. Even though we had a rainy August we were super lucky to have one of the nicest weekends in the summer. (phew!)

Norah-Leigh was our flower girl, we joked before the wedding because we had no idea what she would do during the ceremony. The idea of her walking down the aisle and sitting quietly while we said our vows seemed impossible. Regardless we knew she would steal the show. When it was her turn to walk down aisle she grabbed my hand and waited for me and her grandfather to walk down together. This melted my heart and instantly made me feel less nervous. Once I saw Dan all my wedding jitters went out the window and I felt as if I could relax. Our ceremony was short and sweet, I walked down the aisle to “Here Comes The Sun” by the Beatles and we walked out to “Wouldn't it be nice” by the Beach Boys, played by our very talented friend Tara on keyboard.

For the bridesmaid dresses I wanted to stray away from traditions. I sent everyone a colour palette and told them to pick what ever dress they wanted (within the colour range). I wanted their dresses to express their personality, and they really turned out beautiful. I've always admired their day-to-day style, so I knew their choices from the beginning would work out lovely. Our bouquets were made during my bachelorette party, they were made out of faux flowers and dried Billy Buttons wrapped in bark and twine. 

Since our ceremony and reception were in the same place we wanted to make sure there would be activities guests could take part in while we had our pictures taken. We set up croquet, bocce ball and a badminton net. As you can see the bridal party had a little showdown, and let me tell you it's really, really hard to play badminton in a wedding dress. Dan won that round. We also set up picnic tables surrounded by string lights and blankets so people could make use of the grounds during the day and night.

Our flowers for the reception were purchased at a local flower farm, the majority of which were Zinnias. I feel in love with the colours of the flowers and the owners of the farm are pretty amazing too. We bought them by the bucket and my friends and family help set them up the day before. The napkins were wrapped with twine and Rosemary. Our favours were mason jars with Rose Of Sharon seedlings from my father-in-law's garden. So many people helped prepare for this day, which Dan and I are forever grateful for. Having my friends and family help with the setup and cleanup was very heartwarming, plus it meant getting to spend extra time with those who came from so far away.

Our dessert table was stocked with cupcakes (made by a family friend) and my mother-in-law brought Tartufo ice cream along with cookies and baked goods. 

We decided to D.J our own wedding - a DIY that was both scary and exciting. We knew we wanted to play 50's & 60's Rock & Roll, and Motown with a few of our favourite modern bands mixed in between. My music-loving hubby created the playlist a few days before the wedding. I have to admit it was a little stressful, since we couldn't blame anyone else if the music failed, but in the end it turned out really great. A few of our friends actually asked for a copy of the playlist, which was totally do-able and such a great complement. Plus we used the money saved from a hiring a DJ or band towards our honeymoon! Yay!

One of the biggest helps for Dan and I in preparing for this wedding was my sister Lisa. Every bride needs a maid of honour like her. Not only did she design our table numbers, invitations, and seating chart, she also kept me calm and was there anytime I needed her. Lisa you are amazing.

It's hard to say what my favorite part of the day was, it was such joyful experience and one of the best days of both of our lives. 

I'll blog more about the little details and some tips about having a DIY wedding on a budget later on. 

XO Karen 

Photography by Daniel Drzymalski  / Venue Ruthven Park / Table, Runners & String Light Rentals My Key Event/ Catering Sister Act Catering/ Reception Flowers Wendalane Farms / Flower Crowns Littlehoneypies /  Makeup Sasha Fevez / Hair Stacey Halliday /


  1. Looks like an amazing day. Congrats!

  2. Congratulations! Your wedding looks amazing and beautiful and like I always dreamed, how my wedding should be. Really lovely!

    1. Wow that's very sweet. I'm sure yours will be beyond lovely, thank you.

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  4. Hi! I just happened upon your vintage wedding at Ruthvyn. I have lived in Cayuga for 15 years and have never gone there...until yesterday! I'm sold! Your pictures are so lovely, it has settled my mind on choosing this venue for my wedding next year. Thank you for sharing! ~Kelly


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