Roaring 20s Great Gatsby Wedding | Chatham, ON | Dylan & Sandra Photography

Details upon details, is the only way I can describe Adam and Nicole’s wedding. So much so it was tough to pick a selection for this post! This Roaring 20s Great Gatsby wedding is full of the theme that no one could have missed it! Starting with wedding preparations at the retro suites hotel (which I was at a couple of weeks ago and my whole mind was blown!), and ending the reception at the Armoury, this vintage wedding is truly a celebration of love, details and style.

About the Roaring 20s Great Gatsby Wedding

Nicole and I [Adam] share a lot of common interests (we have ordered the same thing at restaurants on many occasions), but the biggest one would have to be our love of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic story, The Great Gatsby; so, it was pretty easy for the two of us to agree on an overall theme for our big day. Apart from the book itself, we wanted to ensure that the spirit of the Roaring 20s was made obvious from every aspect. From the delicate lace on the tablecloths to the vibrant splashes of gold and silver around the hall, the entire reception felt like being at one of Jay Gatsby’s notorious parties.

How did you meet?

“We met online, like most people today. I [Adam] was finishing my Master’s degree in Music at Western University in London, and Nicole was working in Chatham. After my last exam, I was planning to take the train back home to Windsor for the summer, and so I proposed that we meet up in Chatham for coffee. As excited as we were, the concern with meeting someone online in person was very real for the both of us. While Nicole was more concerned that I may not be the person I had lead her to believe (a very reasonable concern), I was just worried about Nicole being taller than me (side note – I’m not very tall). Fortunately for us, however, we were both proven wrong, which lead to us spending more and more time together (side note – I’m a solid inch taller than Nicole).”

What is your proposal story?

“We got engaged on April Fool’s Day (no, seriously). Truth be told, this was not how I [Adam] had originally intended on proposing to Nicole; in fact, I told myself that morning that I would never propose to Nicole on April Fool’s Day (any other day would be fine, but not that day). Nicole and I had come from London to purchase her engagement ring (yes, Nicole knew exactly what kind of ring she was getting, but that’s only because she has such good taste). Originally, I had told Nicole that I was going to keep the ring in a safety-deposit box back home in Windsor before we left later that night for London. All of that quickly changed, however, once I had the ring in my possession. Now that I had the ring, all I could think about was that I wanted to propose to Nicole and that I wanted to do it that very day.

After making it back to London that night, I had asked Nicole to go for a walk downtown at Victoria Park – all the while, she had no idea that I still had the ring with me. When the moment was right, I got down on one knee and proposed to Nicole (spoiler alert – she said yes). As excited as she was, Nicole couldn’t help but bring up the fact that I had told her earlier that day that I was going to keep the ring in Windsor. With a smile on my face, I looked to my at-the-time future wife and said, “April Fool’s!” (Ah! Romance.)”

Tell us about your attire choices.

“I think it would be unfair to discuss our attire choices without focussing on Nicole’s wedding dress. While living in Chatham at the time, Nicole – along with both our mothers – went to a bridal-gown mark-down event hosted at the Retro Suites Hotel, which is actually where a number of us stayed the night of the wedding (what a coincidence). Nicole was very clear on what she had in mind for her dress, that is without spilling the beans to me [Adam], but can you blame her? Unfortunately, she left the event empty handed, or so she thought. After leaving the event, Nicole discovered that there was a separate bridal boutique inside the Retro Suites Hotel and decided to give them a shot. When she explained to the salesperson what she had in mind, the salesperson said to her very confidently, “I know what you want. You want Tilda.” As it turns out, Tilda was actually the name of the dress, and while I thought it was pretty odd to give a dress a name, Nicole and Tilda became best of friends instantly. According to Nicole, not only did she and our mothers cry, but so did the salesperson when Nicole put on the dress for the very first time. Even though I only got to see Nicole and Tilda together once, I have no problem admitting that I cried, as well.”

What was the most important to the two of you while planning? Was there anything that you chose to splurge on or skip?

“One of the most important aspects of our wedding for us was to ensure that the theme of the Roaring 20s and The Great Gatsby was clear to our guests, and not to brag about it, but I think we did a pretty good job. For us, this really came down to the smallest details possible, like the themed signs throughout the dessert table and bar, the vintage typewriter and my [Adam’s] first-edition copy of The Great Gatsby at our sign-in table, and – most importantly – the wedding photos of our parents, grandparents, and even great grandparents (Nicole was able to go back almost six generations on her father’s side). While we didn’t necessarily splurge on any of these smaller details, we certainly think they made a great impact.”

What were your favorite parts of the day? (memories and stories)

“It’s safe to say that some of our most favourite parts about the day boil down to the memories we made with people we know and love. Nicole and I [Adam] are very close to our families, and we truly believe that good things happen when family comes together. Even our vendors – our photographers, videographers, etc. – we consider to be a part of our family now, because they only wanted the best for us on our big day. Just as well, we appreciate now more than ever that it gets harder and harder to make time for family when everyone has their own personal lives and matters to attend to, which is why we were so grateful for everyone simply for their time and for sharing in our day together; if you ask us, that’s worth more than any money envelope, bottle of wine, or kitchen appliance.”

Please describe any DIY, handmade, or personal details.

Earlier this past summer, Nicole’s paternal grandfather passed away after a very brief but equally difficult bout with cancer. Nicole has always been very close with her grandparents (even great grandparents), so she wanted to make sure that they were a significant part of the day, even if they couldn’t be there in person. Nicole ended up pinning a locket-sized pendant with a picture of her grandfather to her bouquet, so that she could walk down the aisle with both her father and grandfather. In addition, all of our aisle arrangements at the church featured a portrait of some of the most significant people in our lives who have passed, including three of my [Adam’s] grandparents and Nicole’s baby nephew.

Did you include any family heirlooms or special traditions?

“Nicole and I [Adam] had talked about me wearing an antique pocket watch for the big day. Despite our best efforts and Nicole’s eye for antiques, we were pretty unsuccessful with finding one. Having mentioned the idea to my parents, my Dad suggested that I talk to my Nonno (paternal grandfather in Italian). It turns out that his father (my great grandfather) had given my Nonno his old pocket watch before my Nonno moved to Canada. I understood that this watch had a lot of sentimental value, so I only asked to borrow it for the big day. My Nonno, however, insisted that I keep it and one day pass it on to my next-of-kin. 

Nicole and I had a hard time thinking of an alternative to the traditional glass-clinking gimmick for our reception. Originally, we wanted to have some sort of green light, like the one from The Great Gatsby, that guests could flicker on & off if they wanted us to kiss, but that idea quickly became too technical (and expensive). Nicole’s Mom had suggested having the guests partake in an Embury-family tradition, Holy Board. Originally invented by Nicole’s paternal great grandfather, Holy Board is a game similar to horseshoes or corn hole where you compete to see who can sink one or all of their three washers into one or all of the holes on the opponent’s board. Everyone loved it, especially the kids.”

Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?

“A wedding can be as big or small, as traditional or classic, as extravagant or as simple as you want it to be. With so much to plan and so many moving parts for the day of, there’s bound to be some bumps in the road. What matters more than anything, however, is that you never forget that you are marrying your best friend, your soulmate, and your partner for life. No rainy day, Getting to spend that day and the rest of your life with the one you love most will always trump any rain clouds, minor mishaps, or overzealous party guests that may come.”

Photography: Dylan & Sandra Photography | Ceremony Venue: St. Joseph Parish | Reception Venue: Chatham Armoury | Floral: Syd Kemsley Floral Inc. | Videography: Mel’s Videography | Hair: Iron Willow Hair Studio | Makeup: Dani Lynn Artistry | DJ: Just Grin Productions | Venue: Retro Suites Hotel | Linens: To Suit Your Fancy | Bakery: Maple City Bakery | Calligraphy: Gail’s Flowers & Event Decor | Wedding Dress: Enchantment Bridal Shop | Groom’s Attire: Moore’s Clothing for Men | Bride’s Shoes: Hudson’s Bay Company | Bridesmaid Dresses: His and Hers Bridal Windsor | Veil: His and Hers Bridal Windsor | Headpiece: Etsy | Submitted via: Matchology

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