Real Weddings 2017: Inside a ceremony at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, with a lake-cruising afterparty aboard a sailboat

Real Weddings 2017: Inside a ceremony at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, with a lake-cruising afterparty aboard a sailboat

Mike and Michelle don’t quite agree on how he broke the ice. The couple met online, and Michelle claims Mike sent her a cursory “Hey, what’s up”—the dreaded, generic dating-app ice-breaker (“I would never say that,” Mike counters). Nevertheless, the two started talking, and soon found out they had tons in common: not only did both sets of parents live streets away in downtown Oakville, but Mike and Michelle worked a block away from one another in downtown Toronto. They shacked up within three months of meeting, and Mike proposed shortly after, on a trip to visit Michelle’s uncle’s Albertan ranch. The couple had recently relocated to Calgary (where they still live) after Michelle, who works for WestJet, was offered a job there, but they always knew they’d get married at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club in Toronto, where Michelle’s parents were lifelong members. “We’re a big sailing family,” she says. “My brother is getting married soon, and he had a hard time picking the venue, because I took the good one!”

Cheat sheet

Date: June 24th, 2016
Photography: ROGO Photography
Bride’s Dress: Sophia Tolli, Ethos Bridal (Calgary)
Flowers: Coriander Girl (bridal bouquet), Catherine Bond (bridemaids and tables), Christine Neilson (ceremony)
Groom’s Attire: Hugo Boss
Hair and Makeup: Fancy Face Inc. and Justin Rosseasu
Venue: Royal Canadian Yacht Club and Kajama
Caterer: Royal Canadian Yacht Club and Kajama
Cupcakes and Favours: Bobbette & Belle
Music: Lyssa Pelton and Bryan Lu
Invitations, Menu Cards, Table Numbers: Paperless Post, xoBSpoke, Oakville Blueprinting
Planner: Love Eva (Eva Molina)
Guests: 160

Michelle and Mike have a huge brood of animals in Calgary—two horses, two dogs and a cat—who were incorporated into their custom vows:

Each wedding party was six people strong. (Michelle’s best friend since high school, Grant, was her man of honour):

Michelle’s niece was one of three flower girls (Mike’s two nieces were the others):

Many of the wedding photos use the city as a backdrop, which was important to the couple, since they’d recently moved away:

One of Michelle’s bridesmaids created the floral centrepieces and accents with flowers she bought from a florist’s warehouse in Oakville. “She bought thousands of flowers for $160,” Michelle says:

The ceremony started at 11 a.m., and was followed by cocktail hour at the Yacht Club. They served Royal Whips—a RCYC classic that Michelle calls “a rum and coke on steroids”:

Michelle’s grandparents were also married on June 24. The couple displayed a framed photo of them:

This “message in a bottle” set-up allowed guests to write well-wishes and words of advice to the couple. They plan to read them all on their first anniversary:

Michelle made the place-card holders herself, using a sailing knot called a monkey’s fist:

Lunch was catered by the Yacht Club, with menus that stuck to the nautical aesthetic:

The cake from Bobbette & Belle was also on-theme. “I wish the flowers had significance,” Michelle says. “They were just pretty and blue”:

After lunch, the party moved to the deck of the Tall Ship Kajama. Guests were served a glass of champagne as soon as they stepped on board:

The couple’s first dance, which took place aboard the Kajama, was to You And Me by Dallas Green and Pink:

The Kajama has a small cannon on board that guests can fire to kick off events. Michelle did the honours—with a blow-torch:

The party on the yacht went until 7 p.m., at which point the groomsmen and bridesmaids—with Mike in tow—continued the festivities at a nearby pub (Michelle—who’d been up since the crack of dawn getting ready—retired to her hotel suite):