Real Wedding Wednesday – Ashley + Michael

As promised, Ashley and Michael’s Wedding story is featured on our blog today for Real Wedding Wednesday! Ashley and Michael’s Wedding was a roller coaster of emotions!  It’s a bit long, but I can guarantee it’s well worth it!  Read below, see the pictures and watch the video below to find out what happened!

Ashley and Michael were the most organized couple ever.  Bins, labels, spreadsheets, charts, lists, they had done it all!

This wedding was bound to be gorgeous with lots of super cute DIY accents.  A Thank You Sign made by the groom’s company (Innovative Signs Vinyl Graphics), menu cards, fans and crackers were also created by them.

Ashley and Michael’s theme was the “perfect pear” and they definitely fit the bill.  Real pears adorned the head table, receiving line tables and some were cut and put into vases for the centerpieces.

Three weeks before they were set to get married the Bride’s mother fell super ill. With no warning, she was admitted into Critical Care at Oshawa General Hospital. With one week to go before the wedding she was finally out of CC, but still in the hospital trying to get better so she could see her daughter get married. Unfortunately, although she was feeling better, the mother decided it would be better if she stayed in and didn’t attend the wedding. She did not want to be the “center of attention” on her daughter’s big day.

The wedding day approached and all was good. The hall was working with us to help create the dream reception, everything was set in place.The family decided that the Mother of the Bride would be Skyped in.  An Aunt and Uncle of the bride stayed with the mother to watch the ceremony on Skype in the hospital.

On the day of the wedding the Groom had the limo stop at Oshawa General Hospital to see the Mother of the Bride.  He presented her with her corsage.  Heather (Mother of Bride) nor Ashley knew the guys were going to do this!  The groomsmen documented this in a video on an iPhone.

The wedding took place at Black Creek Pioneer Village.  It was a carefully selected venue by the bride who had always dreamed of getting married in the small chapel on site and having her reception there.

The ceremony went off without a hitch. When the bridesmaids (mostly sisters) were walking down the aisle, they winked and waved at the camera.  The mother was mentioned by the Officiant, Andrew McGregor (All Seasons Officiants).  The bride fought back tears while walking down the aisle with her Father who she high-fived once they got to the alter.  Before the ceremony started – Ashley and Michael waved and smiled to her.

The ceremony was over; the bride and groom got the reveal of the reception room.  They were in absolute love!  Everything had been pulled together by Morganley Weddings & Events team of professional wedding coordinators.  It looked exactly and ever better than they pictured it would have!  There were hundreds of mason jars around the room created the twinkle and set to make the room romantic for dinner. Centerpieces consisted of pear halves in a vase with bunches of hydrangeas, so simple, but so beautiful!

The mother of the bride was walked around the property of Black Creek Pioneer Village by webcam attached to her husband’s hand.  Guests were able to say hi to her, and she was able to experience firsthand the photos with the bridal party.

The reception started at last, bridal party entrances, first dance of the couple, speeches were well underway.  One of the bride’s older sisters gave her speech in form of a song to the tune of “American Pie” by Don McLean.  It was a story about how Ashley and Michael met and their years to come.  Ashley’s younger sister made her speech and ended it with a personal letter to Ashley and Michael from Ashley’s mom.  The DJ had everyone up on their chairs during dinner dancing – it was all set to be a fabulous night!

Once the main course was served, the power partially went out. The DJ’s speakers didn’t have enough “juice” but his laptop, lights and everything else still had power. He had to run an extension cord from the reception room to the men’s bathroom in order for them to semi-work – everything was heard, but with a bit of static.

At this time, the hall came to me and said that we would need to be evacuated in 30 minutes because the power was out and the fire department would be there soon.

I notified the bride and groom and suggested we do their cake cutting, speech and father daughter dance before we needed to evacuate.  They made their cake cutting, but could tell on their faces that something was wrong – they were trying to be happy.  We were half way through the Groom’s Speech when security from Black Creek came in and yelled at the bride and groom to get out now.  Groomsmen had to hold back Bridesmaids from hurting the guy.   All of the guests cheered and the groom finished his speech, continuing with, “we’ve had our up’s and down’s”, while glaring at the security guard.

Just as Ashley was about to start her speech, I had a Fire Chief telling me we needed to evacuate now, that the transformer had caught on fire and the building could combust at any minute.

Unfortunately (and I hope it’s something I never need to do again), I had to interrupt the Bride who was 2 lines into her speech and calmly say, “Ashley, we need to go now. We need to evacuate. We are under strict orders by the Fire Chief, I’m so sorry, but we need to go now…” (You can see her face in the video below when I was telling her this…)

Everyone started to evacuate.  Guests were instructed to grab a gift and take it outside.  Male guests and groomsmen were told to stay behind to help the DJ carry anything upstairs.  Morganley Weddings & Events gathered important wedding items and packed them in boxes to be carried upstairs.  One of the bride’s sisters grabbed the 3 tier cake to carry upstairs and outside.  The cake was set on a bench outside, with a single piece cut out of it by the bride and groom.

Walking outside was like walking into a Wedding Planners Nightmare.  Gifts were scattered all over the parking lot along with the DJs equipment.

The Toronto Fire Department and Toronto Hydro were already outside, with their sirens and lights on.

The videographer, Thomas K Weddings, started to take videos of everyone outside, it looked like a news station doing a report for the 11:00 news.

Here we were 100 people in the parking lot… A groomsmen had brought his guitar, which was previously used in the bridesmaids song speech.  The bridal party and guests started singing. What else could they do?

At one point the groom started to play “Grow Old With You” by Adam Sandler on the guitar while the bride sang the lyrics.  At the very end of the video you will hear her say “Build you a fire if the furnace breaks…or transformer!” leaving everyone in roaring laughter.

After being left with no answer or solutions by Black Creek, after an hour and a half we were able to go to the back patio.  The DJ hooked up a makeshift DJ system with one speaker and a laptop.  About 70% of the guests stayed to continue the party with the bride and groom.

When I was walking to the patio, I was walking with the bride’s father; he asked me, “So what’s going to happen now?”  I told him not to worry, that we would get everything sorted out, just try to enjoy the rest of what’s left of the night.  He asked, “Can I please just dance with my daughter?” This brought tears to my eyes.  I informed the DJ that the Father of the Bride would like to dance with his daughter, and they had the most memorable dance.  I will never forget the moment or the song they danced to “I Loved Her First” by Heartland.

My assistant and I served Ginger Ale and water (it was the only thing the hall offered us).  We cut the damaged and melting cake with a rubber mixing spatula – you can imagine how neat those slices were – served on Styrofoam plates with plastic spoons, not even a fork!

This was the hardest wedding I’ve ever had to get through.  As if the bride and groom weren’t handed enough with the mother in hospital, they had to deal with a horror of a night.   They handled it like troopers.

If it wasn’t for the DJ who told me “I’ll go wherever they want to go”, this party would have been over by 9:30pm. The DJ had the dance floor on the patio packed from 11pm-1am and everyone sang and danced the night away.

Even though their perfect wedding was cut short by unforeseen circumstances, this couple handled it like champions. They made the best of what was handed to them.

The bride kept saying to me and messaged me the next morning, “That’s fine, don’t worry! It was out of anyone’s control. But we’re having another reception, and you and your girls will be there and so will my mom!”

The bride and groom later had a “Wedding Reception Version 2.0” in December of the same year.  The bride’s mother was able to attend, a DJ was hired, catering ordered, and they were able to have their friends and family over to celebrate their love for each other.

Their video can be seen below post

Wedding Coordinator: Morganley Weddings & Events
Photographer: Winding Violets
Videographer: Thomas K Weddings
DJ: Maximum Entertainment
Musicians for Ceremony: Apollo Strings Duo
Florist: The Little Flower Shop
Cake: I-Cakes
Limo: Lux Limo
Officiant: All Seasons Wedding Officiants