Aisling Fitzpatrick & Peter Reardon
Aisling and Peter had to postpone their wedding date more than a couple times, but when the day did arrive, it was a beautiful, intimate affair. Aisling shares all the details below.
Tell us a bit about your love story:
Pete and I met in Ottawa where we both completed our residency training.
We both attended a house party hosted by a mutual friend the evening before our residency training began in Ottawa (Pete in Emergency Medicine and Critical Care Medicine, and me in Plastic Surgery). We both have a memory of talking to each other at the kitchen sink in the party, and instantly felt a connection from there. Pete proposed in our final year of residency training on a rooftop balcony that he had covered in candles and roses and lights and Champagne. He had my sister in on the plan and she captured the proposal on film. I was completely surprised! It was very very special!
What were your original plans for your wedding day? Something bigger?
We had originally planned a very big celebration with approximately 200 guests (and 14 groomsmen/bridesmaids) with a reception planned at Graydon Hall Manor and a big cocktail reception on the evening prior to the wedding. Pete and I have been in school/training for so long that we have been fortunate to build a big group of close friends, and have very fun and social families. My family is from Ireland while Pete’s family is spread out across Canada and the United States, which was an added challenge for wedding planning in the midst of the COVID19 pandemic.
We actually delayed the wedding five different times before moving forward with our little micro wedding on December 5!
When you had to change your plans, how did you feel before and after?
We had a hard time with changing the plans and shifting gears to a smaller wedding plan initially. Our extended families are from other countries/provinces, and learning that we couldn’t have them at our wedding was tough. Our family and friends were very understanding and supportive of us moving forward with the wedding, which really helped. We also did some small things like setting up a livestream of the wedding ceremony for friends and family to watch, and delivering gifts and handwritten letters to our groomsmen and bridesmaids the week before the wedding so that they still felt included on the day.
We always heard from friends and family that the wedding day passes by in a blur and that we wouldn’t have time to spend with one another or with our closest family and friends. While there were parts of the micro wedding planning that were difficult (i.e. the micro guest list), the most amazing part of having a tiny wedding was that there was the same overwhelming feeling of love and support from friends and family wishing us well from across the globe. With fewer people at our celebration, we were able to be very present in each moment as the day unfolded. We were able to spend a lot of quality time with each other and with our immediate family members, and that was really special and meaningful to us. The micro wedding definitely felt like a real wedding and at the end of the day, we would not change the experience that we had on that day.
Will you be having a larger celebration next year?
We would love to have an excuse to bring our families and friends together for a big celebration in the next year or so! I think that everyone is ready for a big celebration when the pandemic finally wraps up! The focus at a second celebration will definitely be on our guests and spending quality time with the people who we love and haven’t been able to see for so long!
What was your favourite part of the day?
Ais: Getting ready in the morning with my Mom and sister was really fun and special and felt really surreal. The moment when my Dad saw me in my dress for the first time was also an unforgettable moment. Seeing Pete at the top of the aisle and seeing the emotion on his face when he saw me in my dress was also something that I will never forget. The feeling of love around us as we move forward into married life together was also so incredible. We really loved every moment of the wedding day!
Pete: My favourite memory is seeing Aisling walk into the church for the first time. The morning was filled with so much anticipation, excitement, and happiness. I just couldn’t wait to see her. I had made some guesses in my head, but I truly had no idea what her dress would actually look like. When she came through the doors at the back of the church, she completely took my breath away. It was such a perfect moment.
What will guests remember most?
At the end of the night, my Dad led everyone in a ‘tour of Scotland’ i.e. a whiskey tasting, which actually lasted until around 5am. I think that it might have been one of the biggest highlights of the ‘reception’!
What advice can you give to couples planning a wedding?
I am naturally very detail-oriented, and had planned a lot of small touches and details that, at the end of the day, were not the most memorable parts of the wedding day. Planning the details is really fun, but that is one part of a micro wedding that doesn’t make a lot of sense to put energy into. When coordinating and re-coordinating the small things is becoming stressful, it’s probably best to let them go. All of the forever memories of the day came from small moments throughout the day and interactions with people that really could never have been planned. No matter what happens, a wedding is such a fun, memorable and special day!
Number of guests: 10
Ceremony/reception location: Ceremony: St. Basils Catholic Parish, Toronto; Reception: Our apartment (Toronto)
Dress designer: Pnina Tornai
Suit designer: Garrison Bespoke
Photographer: 515 Photo Company
Flowers: Weddings by Ardenian
Cake: Dolce Vita Cakes
Shoes: Christian Louboutin
Hair: Silvana from Jen Evoy Makeup Studio
Makeup: Aurora from Jen Evoy Makeup Studio
Videography: Kismet Creative (Watch the video here!)
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