With changing mandates and restrictions due to the pandemic, deciding on a guest list can become a challenging and often heartbreaking process. As difficult of a decision as it was, Brittany and Calvin had to carry out their wedding with fewer loved ones in attendance and focus instead on the positives. A gothic revival mansion, a whimsical ceremony in the garden, a gorgeous tented reception, a romantic old-world theme, and opulent blooms—everything about their intimate Victorian wedding was so dreamy!
Set on the grounds of the Merrill House under the shade of tall trees, the couple said their “I dos” surrounded by lush and artful florals in shades of lavender, violet, and blue. To add to the whimsical aesthetic, they also provided musical instruments and floral confetti for guests to use to celebrate their special day. Gilded details and soft candlelight complemented the impressive floral arrangements by Pollen Nation, while the floating floral clouds created a dreamy focal point for their tented reception.
With the expert help of their planner Tami Varma and a talented vendor team, their wedding was the coming together of their loved ones, and their wedding vision. Scroll through for garden wedding ideas to inspire your big day–as beautifully captured by Junebug members Joel and Justyna.
Brittany and Calvin
The Merrill House, Ontario, Canada
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How The Intimate Victorian Wedding Came To Be
When we started the wedding planning process, we decided that the music, food, and overall experience were the most essential. When coming up with the overall look, we decided modern traditional with hints of whimsy was the ultimate vibe of our wedding. After selecting our venue, The Merrill House, we were inspired by the classic and artistic interior finishes. We wanted to portray a similar style to our wedding day. Our planner, Tami Varma, executed this flawlessly. Between the florals, furniture selection, food menu, and not to mention the wide array of live entertainment—a 90s Hip Hop and R&B cover band, DJ, and harpist—we had our perfect day.
Classic Wedding Fashion That Matched Their Wedding Aesthetic
We wanted our wedding attire to be timeless but with modern elements. My Rita Vinieris gown was exactly that. Because of the small guest list, I decided to go with a more eclectic approach to the bridesmaid dresses. I actually didn’t even see them all together until the day of the wedding. They looked so amazing. Calvin looked very handsome in his classic Indochino tux, and the groomsmen all wore matching charcoal suits. For my hair, I opted for a clean wave that was styled to show off my beautiful Christie Nicolaides statement rose quartz earrings. My makeup was also kept very natural.
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Personalizing The Ceremony With Secret Vows & Musical Instruments
Before the ceremony, Cal and I exchanged letters—we preferred to keep our vows between each other. We wanted the ceremony to be short and sweet, and Craig (our officiant) nailed it. We also provided musical instruments and floral confetti for each attending guest to use post-nuptials.
Why Hiring A Wedding Planner Was The Best Decision They Made
Our advice is to hire a planner. Regardless of how big or small your wedding budget is, having a planner made the entire day and experience so turnkey. Because of COVID, we had to cut our guest list by more than half. Although we were disappointed not to have everyone attend, we were able to spend the entire weekend and catch up with our immediate family and closest friends. It was truly so special.
Working Seamlessly With Junebug Members Joel And Justyna
We gave Joel and Justyna complete artistic control, and we are so thankful we did. The photos turned out so much better than what we expected. They knew exactly what, when, and how to capture (especially two humans who don’t exactly know what to do with their hands). They are a beautiful couple that shed their love into their art.
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The pandemic forced a lot of couples around the world to adjust their wedding plans or change up the venue. And although Brittany and Calvin’s guest list may have been smaller, they took the opportunity to spend the entire weekend catching up with their closest loved ones. Thanks to their rockstar vendor team, they pulled off a fun and unforgettable event that deserves a toast.
Congratulations to the happy couple on their warm and intimate Victorian wedding. And special thanks to Junebug members Joel and Justyna for capturing and sharing this memorable celebration. To see more of their work, check out their profile in our directory of talented photographers from around the world.