Tess and Ben's wedding took place in one of the most stylish Instagram locations — Lune 1860. Concept decor (the main focus of the banquet was a chandelier decorated with flowers), simple and elegant outfits of the bride and groom, film photography and an intimate atmosphere. We asked Tess about all the details of the celebration, as well as her love story with Ben.
Tell us a little about yourselves.
Ben and I first met in the ninth grade (he was actually my first boyfriend - and first kiss). While we ended up going our separate ways, we constantly stayed in touch, and ultimately found our way back to each other in our final year of university. We lived roughly four hours apart but made the trip to be with each other every weekend that year. We said “I love you” after two weeks, and quickly knew this was a forever thing.
What do you do for a living and for fun?
Currently, I work as a photographer, and Ben is the CTO of a tech company. In our spare time, I love to bake and Ben plays guitar and piano.
What was the concept behind your wedding and how did you find your inspiration?
We originally wanted to get married in Tuscany, surrounded by vineyards and rolling hills. When starting the planning process, we quickly realized we cared more about the people than the location. We decided to find a venue within driving distance so that our family and friends would be able to celebrate with us. While we ended up staying in Canada, our vision was rooted in that European feel. I find most of my inspiration on social media and like to extrapolate larger projects from nuance and small details. This method has guided most of my photography career and it was natural to apply this to planning our special day.
Where was your wedding? Why did you choose this venue?
Our wedding was at Lune 1860 in Goderich, Ontario. I stumbled upon the venue shortly after Ben and I had gotten engaged. Lune hadn’t been completed yet, but after meeting Lisa (Lune’s owner and a creative visionary) I trusted her entirely. We signed the contract hoping it would be the venue we dreamed of, it absolutely surpassed our expectations. We wanted our guests to feel as if they’d been transported to the European countryside, and Lune 1860 did just that.
How many guests did you have?
We had 65 guests, and it was truly a perfect amount. The day didn’t feel overwhelming, and we were able to genuinely connect with each of our guests. It was a beautiful, intimate celebration with our closest family and friends.
Tell us about your outfits.
I had a hard time finding a wedding dress that I was completely in love with. I knew I wanted something simple, and, though I didn’t expect to become enamored with a dress that had short sleeves, I loved it and felt so beautiful in it. The dress was from Pronovias and I wish I could wear it to work. My veil was a gift from my aunt Jackie and is from Alexander Greco. Since its initial use at our wedding, the veil has become a family heirloom, with both my sister and Ben’s sister wearing it for their weddings. My sister hand-embroidered our initials and wedding dates on the edge, and I love to think of our future children continuing this tradition. My second dress was from Cecilie Bahnsen. I knew I wanted a short dress to move around and dance in and had always loved Cecilie’s work. I kept my veil on to maintain the bridal feel. My shoes are from a beautiful Swedish shoe designer Sania D’mina — slingbacks covered in tiny, little baby pearls. I also wore a Cartier Tank Solo (gifted by Ben on the morning of our wedding). Ben’s suit was custom-made by Indochino, and his shoes are monk straps by Tom Ford. Ben wore a Rolex Day-Date (gifted by his parents on the morning of our wedding — can you tell we are a watch family?) We love a classic black suit with a bowtie.
What was your first dance song?
Our first dance song was Sparks by Coldplay. Break-up songs are often magical wedding songs.
What flowers did you choose for the bride's bouquet and why?
Our flowers were done by Lauren from Coyote Flowers (who I am absolutely in love with). We became good friends throughout the process, as she had designed the florals for our backyard wedding the year before (we had done a small celebration during the pandemic). I knew I wanted something airy, sprawling, and unique. Lauren ran with our vision and produced wonders. One of my favorite requests I made was to match the bridesmaid’s bouquets to their dress colors and I absolutely loved how that turned out.
What was your wedding cake like? And where did you order it?
Again, I wanted something non-traditional. I had seen this photo of a couple getting married in Italy with a chocolate cake surrounded by fruit and knew I wanted to use that as inspiration. I told our baker that I wanted simple chocolate layer cakes with whip cream and berries. We got multiple small 9-inch cakes — I thought that we were going to have so much extra but the cake was so good it didn’t last long. I remember Ben and me trying to find a slice to eat ourselves because everyone had eaten it! I guess that’s what you want.
Are there any vendors that you would like to tell us a little more about?
Our lovely jewelry designer, Oremme. Ben and I wanted classic gold bands with a vintage feel. We have the same wedding band, which is so special — I love the connection I feel with our matching bands. His has a small “T” engraved on the inside and I have a small “B” as well as the year we were married. Simplicity.