The picturesque Toronto Islands is the setting for today’s Minted Real Wedding, where Diane Carvalho and Kaelem Cahill exchanged vows in a charming historic church amid a downpour (so romantic!) before their 150 guests.
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Bride and groom: Diane Carvalho and Kaelem Cahill
Based in: Toronto, Ontario
Wedding date: July 27, 2013
Ceremony location: St. Andrews Church, Toronto Islands
Reception location: Artscape Gibraltar Point, Toronto Islands
Number of guests: 150
Minted wedding invitation: “Chalkboard” by Alethea & Ruth
Florist: Peter Pauls Flowers
Wedding planner: Ellie Martires from Laura & Co. Events
Photographer: Tara McMullen Photography
How did you and Kaelem meet?
At a bar initially. But our friends started dating and we both became friends throughout the year and started dating a year later.
Tell us about the proposal!
Valentine’s Day while ice skating at Mel Lastman Square in Toronto, with U2’s “With or Without You” playing in the background.
How did you find your wedding venue?
The Toronto Islands is one of our favourite places in the city. It’s a short boat ride away from the city and feels like you’re in the North, away from all of the hustle and bustle. We had private boats for the bridal party and we rented a private charter boat to bring all of our guests to the island. We also had a late-night boat party on Lake Ontario after the reception.
Click through to see more details from Diane and Kaelem’s beautiful wedding…
Who made your wedding dress?
Elizabeth Fillmore. I found it at the first gown shop I visited—I tried this one on after trying on six other dresses. I slept on it and bought it the next day.
How did you hear about Minted, and how did you choose your wedding invitation?
I found the site online while shopping for wedding invitations. We chose the design (“Chalkboard” by Alethea & Ruth) for its classic, rustic look. We also mailed guests a custom map of the island that we had designed to look like a treasure map.
What were some of your fondest memories from the day?
The rain. It actually rained really hard during the ceremony, which made everyone else on the island kind of disappear. So when the ceremony ended, it felt like we had the entire island to ourselves, it was magical.
What were some of your favorite wedding-day details?
We made the escort cards ourselves and they featured a photo of each guest. And we also made the reception table centerpiece—they were terrariums which we also gave to each guest as a wedding favour. It was an important personal piece of our relationship that we wanted to share with our guests.
Did you incorporate any special traditions into the wedding day?
To honor Kaelem’s heritage, we did the traditional Irish hand-fasting ceremony, where the bride’s and groom’s arms are tied together to symbolize unity. For my Portuguese heritage, we did a traditional pig roast.
Did you have an after-party?
Yes, on our private boat. We partied until 4 a.m., cruising the lake with the city lights behind us. It was amazing!
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Turkey and Iceland. Two spots we both wanted to visit together.
Any advice for brides who are starting to plan their wedding?
Plan but plan loosely. Nothing goes perfectly. Do as much as you can a month before the wedding day so you’re relaxed and can enjoy every second of the day. Because it’s only one day, but that day will give you memories to last for a lifetime.
More Minted Real Weddings:
• Megan & Leo at Carondelet House, Los Angeles
• Leah & Mike at Los Poblanos, Albuquerque, NM
• Grace & Michael at Reif Estate Winery, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
• Julia & Deric at Escala, Seattle
• Shelby & Douglas at Castle Hill, Keswick, VA