Ladurée Inspired Wedding in Winnipeg :: Sandra & Chad

Paris is such a perfectly romantic point of inspiration, and I love the way this couple drew from it to create a simply elegant wedding. The bride adores the Parisian patisserie, Ladurée, and used its pastels and sweets as further inspiration for some of their wedding details. Not to mention their incredible venue, which really set the stage for a gorgeous celebration.


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Sandra wore a classic, lace-trimmed veil and drop earrings, perfect accents for her romantic lace wedding gown.


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The Ceremony

“Our ceremony was very whimsical and it had that old word feel that we were looking for, while still capturing elements of nature. We always wanted to get married in front of an oversized old tree by the river and the Trappist Monastery Provincial Heritage Park was perfect for that. We used hanging chandeliers in the center tree and draped linen on the side of our chairs to amplify the natural beauty of our surrounding. This whimsy was enhanced by an amazing string quartet that Chad’s musical friends agreed to incorporate into our wedding. It really made everything come together and I couldn’t have imagined coming down the aisle any other way.”


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Your ceremony in three words.  Elegant, Romantic, Unique.

How did you go about planning your ceremony?  We always knew we wanted to capture an element of simplicity and incorporate a natural flare into our ceremony. We didn’t follow any templates and we enlisted the help of Amanda Douglas Events to help us create the feel we were after.

Who officiated your ceremony?  Our officiant was Matthew Liebl, a host of a local sports radio network. We knew we wanted our officiant to exude an element of “tradition” and we chose him based on his easy going personality, comfort level when it comes to public speaking, and most importantly, his deep voice.


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What was your ceremony music?  We had a string quartet play classical renditions for the processional and recessional. For the bridal song, the string quartet emulated an elegant version of the song “A Thousand Years,” which was bittersweet.

What were your vows like?  Chad and I both wrote our own vows. While we started early enough, this definitely took a bit of time to perfect. We enlisted the help of our wedding planner, at times, who provided helpful hints and guides throughout the writing process.


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What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony?  The day started off sunny but then it became a bit dreary for parts of the ceremony, especially while we were exchanging our vows. My favorite moment was during the ring exchange when I was about to place a ring on my husband’s finger and the sun decided to shine on us, at just the right moment. The timing of sunshine during our ring exchange was magical and it had everyone commenting about it afterwards – we took it as a sign of good-luck.

Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony?  The outdoor location and all the lush greenery was so beautiful already so we used minimal decorations to enhance that beauty. We dressed up our main tree (which we stood in front of) with a few large chandeliers. We also used crisp white chairs for our guests and had white linen draped on the outside edge of the chairs. The beautiful instruments of the string quartet added to this soft and simple feel.


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If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently?  I wouldn’t have worried so much about the weather, especially since it’s out of my control and because in the end, it worked out anyway.


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The Reception

“Our reception reflected an old world Parisian elegance. It was built around my favorite French patisserie, Ladurée. Every time I visited, I would purchase dessert and accessories that came in these wonderfully romantic boxes, which I collected to incorporate into the wedding as displays.”


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Why did you choose this location for your reception?  We chose this location because it is the oldest standing hotel in Winnipeg and it embodies a French flare that we were looking for: large columns, high ceilings, tall windows and rich chandeliers.

What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  We took a trip to Paris the year before our wedding, and the simple elegance of the French culture, style and architecture helped set the tone for our ceremony and wedding overall: timeless, simple, elegant. Our color palette was inspired by the pastels found in French macaron cookies, and consisted of champagne, mint, and gold for a little pizzazz. Even though we had been engaged for over two years, we only kicked the planning aspect into high gear six months prior to the wedding, and we couldn’t have done it without Amanda Douglas Events!

What type of cake or dessert did you serve?  Our cake was three tiers covered in mint green fondant, decorated with gold, ivory, and pale pink. Each tier was a different flavor, all topped off with a Ladurée figurine. We also had a dessert table in white and gold, featuring macarons and beautiful sugar cookies in the shape of the Eiffel Tower and fleur de lys, and gold chocolates and other candies.


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What was your favorite moment or part of the reception?  My favorite moment was when my dad made me a special gift that reminded me of my childhood, which he presented during his toast with my mother. He used to make wooden spoons for me to play with when I was a little girl but he hasn’t made one in over 20 years. He hand-carved a wooden spoon and presented it to me at my wedding. It was sort of our little inside joke that brought me to tears.

What was your first dance song?  Our first dance was to a song called “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz – it was perfect because the lyrics conveyed our promise to each-other.

What was your father/daughter, mother/son dance song?  We did the father-daughter and mother-son dances together to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” We wanted something a bit more cheery that would apply to the both of us so it was perfect.

Did you include any other traditions in your wedding?  Since my heritage stems back to Eastern Europe, and since our wedding theme was French, we had to think of a way to incorporate an element of my culture, while retaining our original theme. We added some folklore in a subtle way by having our emcee wear a hat and vest from traditional folklore. Also, we laid down a traditional drinking jug on the podium as an accent during speeches which worked well. It was noticeable but not disruptive. For the dancing part, we played traditional music and took part in old dances that originated thousands of years ago in former Yugoslavia that my ancestors would have danced to. Everyone joined in – even those that weren’t familiar with the music – which was really fun.

Is there anything else you’d like to share about your wedding?   The funniest moment was when our female guests played a joke on me by pretending to each have an old key to Chad’s apartment, so we had our guests return a surge of keys to the head table. That was really unique and unexpected.


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Vendor Credits

Photography: blf Studios / Event Planning & Design: Amanda Douglas Events / Reception Venue: Crystal Ballroom, Fort Garry Hotel in Winnipeg, Canada / Ceremony Venue: Trappist Monastery Provincial Heritage Park / Dress: Stella’s Bridal / Veil, Headpiece: Sara Gabriel / Tuxedo: Moores / Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal / Shoes: Holt Renfrew / Floral Design: Floral Fixx / Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas / Wedding Bands: The Diamond Gallery / Makeup: Two Chicks and a Bag of Makeup / Hair: Edward Carriere / DJ: iParty Entertainment / Videography: Michael J. Scott / Linen: The Linen Company / Cake: Chocolate Zen


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