Warning! This is extremely long blog post of Alice & Mads Royal Canadian Yacht Club wedding on Toronto Island so hope you love wedding pics, also it has a ton of golden reading material from our couple. Enjoy!
Upon reflecting on organizing our very international wedding I do not think it was really any more challenging than doing it from Toronto. What was really important to us was to make all of our friends and family welcome, no matter where they travelled from. For us, this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to have all of our nearest and dearest from all over the world in one place to celebrate us. We had friends in attendance from 4 continents, and travelling as far as Melbourne and Cape Town. We estimate that we had about 30 Norwegians and an additional 20 from other countries. Travel and all of the places that we’ve lived were a very important theme throughout the planning and execution of the day.
Since we live in Oslo, Norway there were some minor challenges when organizing our wedding. When we embarked on the initial planning stages of our wedding my mom and sister were happy to make suggestions and visit venues for us. In the end we ended up at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club on Toronto Island. For me, this was my dream venue and somewhere that I had always dreamed of getting married. The venue itself is gorgeous, but the whole experience from taking the boat to the island and the most incredible backdrop of Toronto is something truly unique. This gave a special added extra not only to our international visitors but to many Torontonians who had never been to the Island. We were even treated to a thunderstorm during dinner!
We had to book many of our vendors sight unseen. Given that wedding season in Toronto books up very quickly and very far in advance we did not want to risk missing out on our first choice vendors. Thankfully, every single one of our vendors delivered beyond our expectations. Mads and I planned a whirlwind wedding planning trip in February before the big day, every single day was booked with appointments relating to the wedding including: cake tastings, wedding tastings, meeting the florist, our photographers and lastly meeting our wonderful Minister, Rev. Dr. Malcolm Sinclair from the Metropolitan United Church. He was a very easy choice for us as he had married my sister only a few years previous. He styled his speech around or main passion, travel. Specifically he quoted the poem “Ithaca” by C.P. Cavafy which reads “As you set out for Ithaka hope the voyage is a long one, full of adventure, full of discovery.” These are words which the two of us will carry with us for the rest of our lives.
There is more good stuff from Alice & Mads RCYC wedding just scroll to the bottom.
For Mads and I South Africa plays a very special part in our lives. It was the first time we lived together and began to plan our lives with a longer term outlook. We both studied there for our Masters degrees at the University of Stellenbosch. All of our stationary was designed by Jolindi Van der Merwe who owns Chystalace Wedding Stationary in Pretoria, this was our first nod to our special time in South Africa. On the big day I had a King Protea flower in the middle of my bouquet, this is the national flower of South Africa, and one which makes a big statement. John from Garden’s Path Floral Design was more than happy to incorporate the nods to South Africa and cheery lemon theme from our stationary into the floral design of the day.
Playing on the international theme of our wedding the dock at the RCYC was decked out in alternating Norwegian and Canadian flags. When arriving at the club to get ready in the morning it was a really special moment for both Mads and I, signifying our union. Instead of having table numbers we decided to have table names of some our favourite vacation destinations and places that we’ve lived. This was accompanied by the one DIY element of our day, a map with photos of us in those destinations. We wanted our friends from all over the world to mingle so we spent quite a while planning out our tables. We seated friends similar interests and professions together and didn’t seat couples beside each other so that everyone was forced to interact with each other. This ended up being a great decision and many people left the night with new friends. Scandinavian wedding receptions are different than a Canadian reception. Normally they have approximately 10 speeches from both family and friends (this can make the dinner a bit lengthy). In the end we had five speeches which were all hilarious and had the entire room cracking up! Our non-Scandinavian guests were also in for some fun surprises along the way. In Scandinavia if people start clinking their glass it means the bride and groom need to stand on a chair and kiss, similarly if the guests stomp their feet the bride and groom need to get under the table to kiss. Lastly, if the bride or the groom uses the washroom all the ladies line up to give the groom a kiss or the men line up to give the bride a kiss. This was a big hit and was so wonderful to get everyone participating in these traditions.
Is there anything we would change? I wouldn’t change anything in terms of logistics. All of our vendors were incredible, I would also encourage a photobooth. People who hadn’t met before were queueing up to take silly pictures with each other and it provided a great way for people to get to know each other. Seeing all of the photos after the fact was such a treat. Also, having an on the day wedding coordinator is worth their weight in gold. This was perhaps the best investment of the day! Ours was there the entire time and helped us with everything, from setting the place cards to giving us the cues to walk down the aisle. He was incredible.
The one thing that Mads and I would change would be not to stress as much and worry less. We were so nervous in the lead up and on the day, but everything works itself out. We had the most amazing support system in our wedding party and our families that there was absolutely nothing we should have been worried about. Everyone is there to celebrate you and will help you wherever possible!
It was really a special day for us. We are still getting compliments about uniqueness of our day. We know that it was special, but it is wonderful to hear how special it was to all of our family and friends, especially those who travelled to be with us.
We’d like to give a huge thank you to our amazing photographers who truly captured the magic of the day!
Alice & Mads
Our vendors were:
Venue: Royal Canadian Yacht Club
Cake: Wedding Cake Shoppe
Flowers: Garden’s Path Floral Design
Stationary: Chrystalace Wedding Stationary
Hair and Makeup: Windy Chiu
Groom’s Ring: Uwe Koetter (Cape Town)
Engagement Rings: Annoushka (London)
Wedding Bands: Dear Rae (Cape Town)
Dress: Atelier Pronovias (Bought in Oslo, Kristin’s Brudesalong)
Shoes: Paul Andrew/ Charlotte Olympia (The Room, Toronto)
Tuxedo: Oscar Jacobsen (Bought in Oslo)
Day of Coordination: Michael Muir
DJ: Maren from Dailed in DJs
Music : – Anna of the North – Us ( iTunes )