Jillian + Graham's White Oaks Niagara Summer Wedding


It's been a while since these fingers of mine hit the keys to share a wedding day story, but as this week kicks off wedding season in my world, it feels like a good day to take a trip down memory lane. With the help of Nataschia Wielink's lovely images, I'm honoured and overjoyed to tell the story of Jillian + Graham's wedding celebration last September.

Jillian was my hands on bride from start to finish -- a dream to work with on all levels, she was organized, had a vision and was blessed with great taste. Because we began our planning journey with a clear direction and theme, curating our team to help us pull together all the details happened very naturally. I think that's the most beautiful thing about choosing to marry in Niagara: there is a talented vendor to suit almost every style, need, service and budget, which makes the process more streamlined and efficient. Two words that are music to a planner's ears.

On top of Jillian having some of the prettiest bridal details to complete her look, Graham and his groomsmen were equally on point The combination of the girls in blush chiffon convertible gowns, and the boys in navy suits tailored to fit each of them like a dream; seriously, nothing is better than a crew of groomsmen who look like they walked out of a Tom Ford catalogue.

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The couple quickly shared a sweet First Look in the gardens at White Oaks, providing ample time before the ceremony to pile into a party bus and make their way to a lakeside vineyard for lots of wedding party portraits. Niagara, you do it every time.

As if I had placed an order with the weather man himself, we were graced with warm sunshine, blue skies and puffy white clouds -- the kind of day all brides and grooms pray for on their wedding day. Fresh florals made an appearance in almost every corner, from their insanely beautiful ceremony canopy that was made on-site by Lush Florals, to the apothecary bottle display we used as a fun alternative for the seating arrangement, which also made for a tasteful nod to Jillian's career as a pharmacist. It's those personal touches that get me every time!

Many of the handmade touches were personally created by Jill + Graham, like their wood + glass table numbers that Jill calligraphed herself and made such an impact on the tables, and all their signage in gold trimmed frames. Elegant details with a hint of modern design -- it's a combo I have come to like a lot, and it worked so well on their day and in the ballroom at White Oaks.

As the planning moved along and we neared the wedding date, Jillian asked me something all wedding planners dream their couples will ask of them: to take over the design reigns and execute something special. Together we determined a budget for the surprise, and I ran like the wind. With the help of Christina at Gala Decor and Melanie of Lush, we planned a sweetheart space for Jillian + Graham that was something right out of The Bachelor. Candles on candles, florals dripping from the table, warm light sparkled from chandeliers, and soft ivory drapery created a private canopy for our couple, and I was giddy with excitement to get to show them their reception space and surprise in an untouched, just-for-them state.

To this day I look back on Jillian + Graham's wedding with such fondness. They made my job as a planner one that confirms in my heart why I love what I get to do for a living, and the friendships made will no doubt last a lifetime. Wishing them nothing but happy days!

Location: White Oaks Resort & Spa | Planning, Coordination + Styling: Amanda Cowley Events | Photography: Nataschia Wielink | Floral:  | Linens + Decor: Gala Decor | Beauty: Allure Hair & Makeup | Cinematography: Truth + Tales | Stationery: Defining Moments | Entertainment: Liquid Entertainment | Rental Decor: Events by TnT | Cake: Sweet Celebrations | Transportation: Dynasty Limousine