Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship… We started dating at high school, went through university together, traveled together, lived together in Wellington, New York, and now Toronto. Neil works in finance for a New York-based company. Emmalee works at one of Canada’s Seven Sister law firms.
Because we were so young when we began dating, we have grown up together. We have so much respect for one another, and we compliment each other – Neil is laid back, quietly confident, a night owl, and lives life one day at a time. Emmalee is determined, a planner, an early bird, and thrives off new experiences and challenges. And somehow, it just works!
We are best friends – happiest when we are adventuring together, whether it be exploring a new city by foot, road tripping on the long, straight North American highways, or paddle-boarding on a tranquil lake in the summertime.
Tell us about your special day, was there a specific theme or style? Tell us a little about the setting, the styling and some of your favourite details…
We kept three words at the forefront of our minds during wedding planning – rustic, relaxed, romance. Because we live overseas, we hadn’t spent much time with our families and friends in the years leading up to our wedding, so our priority was to share our special day with our nearest and dearest in an intimate, relaxed setting. On our wedding day we woke up to a beautiful, warm sunrise after a week of rain. We had our photos before the ceremony in order to maximise our time with our guests.
We both don’t like fuss – we kept the details minimal and styled the venue ourselves with the help of our families. Our florist, Kerin Greville, created stunning, wild flower bouquets and arrangements in keeping with our natural, relaxed vibe. Emmalee’s brother built an archway to frame the view overlooking the river and hills in the distance. We didn’t want to do anything to detract from the natural beauty.
Tell us about your main outfits: I went dress shopping in Toronto with my mum, aunt and cousin. I had a picture in my mind of what I was looking for, and I ended up choosing the exact opposite. I said yes to the dress that made everyone smile as I walked out of the changing room, and it wasn’t until I did some research that evening that I happily discovered my Rue de Seine dress was made in New Zealand.
Neil had his suit made by Indochino. He went by himself to choose the style and details, I wanted to make sure he got exactly what he wanted. He came back to tell me he had chosen jacket lining material with cartoon speedboats on it. Typical!
What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day?The first look. Neil’s lip was quivering and I couldn’t help but laugh. We forgot we were being photographed and spied on by our wedding party. For those few moments it was just us, in awe of each other. All excited and giddy like we were teenagers again. Afterwards, our whole bridal party squeezed in to a vintage Lincoln Continental and drove to another location for photos. It was so special, joking and relaxing together with some of our favourite people in the lead up to the ceremony.
Seeing all of our friends and family’s smiling faces as I walked down the pathway to the ceremony was such a warming feeling. I’ll never forget Neil’s face – he had tears in his eyes and looked at me with so much love.
We’d just spent the last few hours taking photos together, so I thought we both had our emotions in check. It meant so much to me to see how much that moment meant to him. We ended the night dancing underneath the stars. The day was made up of hundreds of perfect moments.
Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together? We thought about how many hundred guests we could invite, we talked about eloping and considered all options in between. In the end, we did what was right for us. Don’t lose sight of what is important.
Photographer: Richard Wood | Ceremony and reception location, catering: River Room, Black Barn Vineyards | Celebrant: Jo Smith | Guitar: Wyn Drabble | Flora: The Floraliste | Cake: Mother of the Bride | Hair: The Fringe and Beyond | Makeup: Mia Dolce | Wedding dress: Rue de Seine | Shoes: Ted Baker | Headpiece: Sparrow Station | Engagement ring: Grieve Diamond Jeweller | Wedding ring: Del Leone | Groom’s suit: Indochino | Shirt: Topman | Shoes: Clarks | Wedding ring: Diamondboi | Bridesmaids’ dresses: ASOS