DESIGN: GARDEN PARTY AT YATES CASTLE

This summer was filled with so many fabulous weddings! The last wedding I attended was in my home town of Brantford, Ontario. It was a beautiful day from the traditional church ceremony, which went on to a charming garden cocktail party before the extravagant reception. Overall, the day had elements of the past, present and future weaved throughout each event.

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During the ceremony the ushers rolled out a soft pink aisle runner with silver accents, just before the wedding party came down the aisle. I have never witnessed something like this in person before, and it is an added touch that I have only seen in the movies. I thought it was an element of classic style brought in from decades past – perhaps from the era of 1950’s Hollywood glamour.

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Shortly after the ceremony, the guests were standing outside with the bride and the groom, and there was a collection of vintage cars (provided by the father of the bride) that were lined up for the wedding party to drive off in after the ceremony was done. ¬†I thought this was such a neat idea for many reason. Firstly, it was a marked departure from the stereotypical white limo which most weddings seem to have, but also because it incorporated an element of family history and¬†heirloom. It seemed as if each car had it’s own story, and the cars well suited the various personalities of the bridal party!

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The garden cocktail party was truly one of my favourite moments from that day. It was held at the bride’s family home passed down from the bride’s grandfather called Wynarden or better known as the Yates’ Castle. This castle was built by Henry Yates who was one of the founders of the Great West Railway. When it became a success, he became very wealthy. He decided that he was going to build his dream home, a Tudor villa. This he built in 1864 and named it Wynarden. It was as fine inside as it was from the exterior, with ornate ceilings, stain glass windowns. hand carved crown mouldings, foot long baseboards, solid wood shutters, and ornate detail throughout the interior and exterior of the home in the form of moulds, sculptures, finials and trellaces. It was ahead of its time back then because it also had dumb waiters, a ventilation system, and bathrooms with hot and cold water. The locals called it Yates’ Castle.

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Just two families have owned the remarkable house called Wynarden in the past 145 years. The bride’s family (The Talos family) have been the proud owners for the last 80 years. It was such a treat to be able spend the afternoon on such historic grounds, which were located in my small hometown! I went inside the castle to take a personal tour of my own and this is what I captured with my Iphone:

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