Cassie & Jay

Date: September 7, 2013
Venue:  Nottawa Private Property
Caterer: The Best Local Restaurants!
Love & Inspiration Photography

Cassie & I met working as servers in 2005. Her natural charm, outgoing personality (and blonde hair) quickly got her invites to after work soirees. Our friendship started there.The rapid pace, nightly pressure, long hours, and the general unpredictability of the service industry help to forge fast friendships; the kind that last a lifetime.

Over time, Cassie and I found ourselves part of a core of four friends from work who held the strongest bond. The “Fantastic Four” battled on the front lines of the service industry, spending our off time together doing anything from cooking gourmet dinners to camping around Ontario. Two of the FF quickly became amorous which Cassie and I were both excited to witness.  I’ll always remember Jenn saying, “Now we just have to get you two to fall in love!” It seemed so far fetched at the time; we were going in the same direction but on seemingly separate paths. As Jenn and Rob adventured in travelling, Cassie and I shared one-on-one time and realized that maybe there was more to us than merely mutual wing-men.

I surreptitiously bought a ring that Cassie fell in love with in a small tourist trap jewellery store in Sucre, Bolivia while we were backpacking South America. I knew that somewhere along our excursion I was going to propose and wanted a “travel-ring” ready when the moment presented itself. A month later we were living in Tarija, Bolivia in a 7 bedroom palatial villa looking over a 6 acre vineyard. I came up with an idea to have Cassie host a video touring the estate to share with our family back home.It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon and as we approached the vineyard I knew the time had come. Mentally going over my game plan overnight had not prepared me for the emotional tremors I was experiencing as we scraped along the rough cobblestones towards the rustic gateway. With the ring in my pocket, I followed Cassie into a vineyard vista with the Andes Mountains in the distance.Just as I was about to place the camera down and surprise my wife to be, the camera screen went black, save for one message, “MEMORY CARD FULL”!!Urgh… Attempting to maintain my casual demeanor while my heart was pumping out of my chest proved to be very difficult… deep breaths, smiling’s my favourite… A quick card change and the tour continued back into the villa towards the black slate ball room where Cas and I had many private concerts via iPod speakers while dancing to avoid diving bats. While Cas was spinning around in the centre of the room, to present it in the grandest fashion, I set the camera down and approached her with nervous steps. It was there in the center of our world that I knelt down and asked for her hand. She squealed, shook, laughed, cried and said YES!


We still had a few months on the road to brainstorm our perfect day and we both knew it had to include live music, great food and diverse drinks. Choosing the venue was the easiest decision of all! With Cas’s Dad having 2 acres of property we knew we could put together a wedding that would be large enough to welcome everyone we wanted and include the country beauty that we both feel most comfortable in.


After setting the wedding date (the 1 year anniversary of our South American departure), the first thing Cas did from a dodgy dial up internet café in rural Bolivia was book the band! Upon returning home, inspired by local food festivals, we utilized our connections in the local F&B scene and coaxed our favourite Chefs to present their wares cooked on open fires surrounding a central dance floor. Along with an ice filled canoe offering an array of craft beers, the selection of wines we chose were somewhat off the wall and included little known grapes that were sure to excite the oenophiles in the crowd and possibly expand the horizons of others. To be married outside, in a field, surrounded by nature’s beauty in a place on this world we both love, surrounded by everyone important to us was our most important factor.


When it came to the planning, Cassie did it all. Together, we met with Chefs, planned the menus, scoured the LCBO for wines to find unique selections we both enjoyed and purchase tents for the event. However, the day couldn’t have come together without the many family members who took on making it a day of our dreams as a personal hobby!


The day before the wedding I felt calm, content and hopeful.The day of the wedding I felt stressed, overjoyed and elation that was bordering on euphoria.

The day after the wedding I felt loved, mentally exhausted and wholly supported.


Easily, our favourite part of the day was sharing our big day with everyone in our life that is important to us along with feeling as though we had a license to speak to them with pure honesty and elation, conversations punctuated with love.


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