Compiled by Pam Dillon and Photos by Stephanie Beach Photography
Since Kristen was a little girl, she knew she wanted a fall wedding. That wish came true October 7, 2017, when she and Chris celebrated their special day at The Lodge at Strathmere. “Surreal,” is the word she uses, describing her wedding as “an exceptional experience where the love and energy [were] so intense and wonderful that we felt so alive and connected on completely new levels.”
This amazing milestone all started, prosaically enough, with a chance meeting in the workplace. It happened in 2012, when Kris-ten was an IBM consultant. She was tasked with showing Chris, an employee of the Department of National Defence, a new computer program. “Chris would ‘pretend’ to need help quite often,” she recalls. However, it was Kristen who made the first move; she asked him out for coffee. Something clicked. They dated for a couple of years and then, one beautiful snowy December night, he took her out for a fancy dinner in the ByWard Market. After dinner they took a stroll downtown, where the thousands of colourful holiday lights weren’t all that dazzled. Chris had a sparkler in his pocket; in Major’s Hill Park under a Christmas tree, he popped the question.
“We then spent the night clinking champagne glasses!”
Since the couple wanted to get married at Strathmere, a popular wedding locale set on a scenic 200-acre property in North Gower, they reserved it “a good year and half before the date.” While Kris-ten notes the venue handled a lot of the work involved in organizing things, “all of the small things I had envisioned for the day took about eight to 10 months leading up to the event.”
Her dress, an Allure Romance design, was found at Alliance Bridal in Moose Creek. “It was completely different than the dress I thought I’d wear,” she admits, “but the lady at the store convinced me to try it on and I fell in love and bought it that day.” She was particularly delighted by the gown’s dusty rose underlay. “That made the dress all the more special.” The belt, however, had to go.
“They re-did it based on a vision that I had.” Since the bride wanted fresh flowers in her hair, she went light on accessories, wearing drop pearls from Michael Hill.
The wedding colours she chose were wine red and gold, and she used fall accents to style the décor in the historic Lodge, a 150-year-old barn featuring original beams, three fireplaces, cathedral ceilings, and an open loft. Kristen says the food and the overall service were as remarkable as the setting itself. “Strathmere essentially took care of everything.” She’s also very appreciative of the professionals from Flowers Talk Tivoli, who brought her vision for the flowers to life. “They did an amazing job.”
But personal TLC made the occasion especially meaningful. Support and loving contributions from friends and family “really helped make our day as special as it could possibly have been,” the bride notes. Speeches by family members were particularly memorable, and Kristen will never forget walking down the aisle towards Chris, and their first dance under the stars.