A CASUAL YET ELEGANT WEDDING IN AN ART GALLERY
Alli has been planning weddings in Winnipeg and Toronto for almost a decade and the Winnipeg Art Gallery is one of her favourite venues in the city. When Daniel proposed they knew that was going to be their wedding venue without question.
“We wanted a location that was easily accessible for our guests in a central location, (over a third were from out of town and staying in downtown hotels) and we loved the aged limestone flooring and walls and super high ceilings the main floor provided along with lots of space for us to run away and take photos (they have a gorgeous roof top) and a special space for our private registry signing earlier in the day.” Alli began.
“The venue also has this grand staircase and we wanted that to be our path down the aisle. The venue felt intimate but also gave our guests lots of room to breathe and mingle. We were also looking for the perfect place to have a quick ceremony, run bar service for cocktails, run food stations and have lots of room for dancing!”
“We wanted less emphasis on a stuffy, long ceremony and more emphasis on a super fun celebration with our nearest and dearest so the wedding was planned with a vision of casual elegance.” she continued.
“Daniel and I love jokes, comedies, terrible reality TV and most of all we never take ourselves too seriously and we wanted our wedding filled with humour! We had food stations running all evening (featuring our favorites tacos and prime rib) so guests could help themselves to a nibble when they wanted to and for dessert, we picked 3 of our favorite cakes (banana, chocolate and shmoo torte) instead of a traditional wedding cake. We also had custom cocktail napkins all over the venue with fun facts about us as a couple or common phrases we exchange on a daily basis. Our ceremony was a solid 4 minutes long (LOL) more to share our vows with one another in front of our guests and it was cut especially short because we had a private signing earlier in the day with our parents and sisters who also doubled as our wedding party. Daniel and I are very private so we read letters aloud to one another at our first look as well.”
“Our sisters emceed the night with loads of humour and laughs and a few impromptu speeches by our parents before we broke into a choreographed first dance to the beatles ‘in my life’ – a classic from Dan’s favorite group! We nixed guest signing, allowed guests to sit wherever they wanted, asked our sisters to wear their favorite bright coloured dresses and forgo bouquet/garter, cake cutting or anything too ‘traditional’ so the evening didn’t feel ‘scheduled’ and guests were free to simply have fun. Our biggest priority was to ensure our guests had as much food and alcohol as they could handle and that they danced up a storm with our band.”
Allison actually booked the wedding date around our band’s availability!
“They had played during a gala I organized years prior and had a ton of 90’s pop in their repertoire so she was pretty obsessed with them.” Alli told us.
As a wedding planner Allison felt she needed a coordinator to take care of her and Daniel in the same manner She takes care of her brides.
“Emily from feast and festivities handled all the details leading up to our wedding day and we knew she would be perfect as we had the chance to collaborate on a few weddings in recent years.”
Allison wanted the rest of the vendor team to be small beans, high quality type vendors and she always encourages her brides to consider local, small business wedding experts on their wedding day (since she is one of those as well)!
“Our florist Lauren from Stonehouse weddings is so creative and amazing with texture and colour and as a small business owner we respect her tremendously.”
Allison found stationery designer Vanessa at a local wedding show (it was her first year in business)!
“She designed the floral motif and all calligraphy pieces you see in the photos and she is incredibly talented!”
Allison really enjoys reading blogs like Twinkle Twinkle Little Party and Oh Happy Day plus Lauren Conrad for cute (yet achievable and elevated) DIY, so it’s no surprise that they included a number of handmade touches on the day.
“We sprayed votives to combine the gold and glass look and I printed the floral motif and attached it as a decal on the bar as well as in the geo boxes on the sweet table. Emily also hand sewed and stitched the white linen with ‘2018’ for the glass breaking ritual at the end of our ceremony. It is a keepsake we will treasure forever! ”
“The rest we left to the professionals including the ceremony/sweet table installations. Lauren to designed and build two floor standing floral pieces (one shorter my 5’1 height) and one taller for Daniel (6’2 height) and have them arc towards each other as if they were kissing! It framed us during the ceremony and then later at night for the sweet table display! Lauren built the installations with floral foam and lots of chicken wire and they looked amazing!”
“We were engaged in February 2017 and got married 14 months later on April 28, 2018. Considering our busy work schedules (Alli in wedding planning and Daniel manufacturing sales), getting married in the more common summer months was not a possibility. The window was spring or fall and we chose the former to align better with the bright and colourful spring theme!”Alli explained.
“We also wanted the ‘flow’ of the day to be much different than a typical wedding timeline so on the wedding day we planned to start the morning together, enjoying breakfast before separating to get ready. We had a private first look and enjoyed candid shots walking around downtown before heading to the venue for a private signing with our parents and sisters. We called the ceremony later at 6PM because we wanted the brief ceremony to flow right into cocktails, dinner and lots of dancing and feel a like an extended, casual dinner! We danced the night away while our vendor dream team handled the behind the scenes work!”
“I wish we didn’t stress as much about the guest list as we originally did.” She added.
“We love children but we didn’t love the idea of having them at our wedding and we were worried that guests wouldn’t understand or misinterpret our messaging on the invites and our request to keep our wedding adults only. In the end everyone respected our wishes and had a great night away from their little ones!”
” My best advice for other couples who are planning a wedding – don’t feel like you have to do something at your wedding for the sake of doing it or because you have seen it at every other wedding, (ie – cake cutting). I promise guests appreciate making a wedding uniquely yours and removing some of the otherwise traditional formalities. You will be more comfortable and your guests will have more fun!”
Venue: Winnipeg Art Gallery | Planning and Design: Alli Mae Fresh Events| | Coordination: Feast and Festivities | Catering: Storm Catering | Photographer: Megan Steen Photography | Videographer: Dean Rover Films | Florals: Stonehouse Weddings | Chairs + Linens: Planned Perfectly | Draping + Bar Rentals: Creating A Scene | Lighting: Event Light | Band: Big City All Star Band | Officiant: Colleen Olafson Weddings | Gluten Free Cupcakes: Cocoabeans | Cakes: Baked Expectations | Hair: Hair By Nadine | Makeup: Justine Barry Artistry | Invitations: Sendsational Cards | Day of Stationery + Calligraphy: Vanessa Penner Calligraphy and Design | Gown: Essence of Australia – Bliss Bridal Boutique | Groom Suit: Blair Shapera Custom Clothing |