We are going on five years together, and the time has truly flown. We met at General Mills Canada in 2016, when we were both working there. Neither one of us was looking for a relationship. Nicole was an intern on a 4-week rotation at the company, and Bibiana was a research scientist with the nutrition team.
We were supposed to have an introductory meeting on the first week of Nicole’s internship, but Bibiana kept pushing it out because she was “too busy” to meet with an intern. When we finally did have that meeting, Bibiana showed up nearly half an hour late. She swung the door open, saw Nicole’s big blue eyes across the room, and instantly regretted postponing the meeting for so long.
It took another year for the universe to merge our paths together, but when it finally did, everything clicked. To the point that it’s difficult to remember life before we met.
Tell us about the proposal.
Coming back from a trip to Bali in 2018, in the middle of a long flight, Bibiana made a promise to herself that she was going to ask Nicole to marry her before the new year. She was old-fashioned about things and sought approval from both her parents and Nicole’s mother before proposing (she got a big thumbs-up all around, thankfully). Given Nicole’s love of Christmas, Bibiana wanted to propose in December and make a big, sappy scene at home with gifts and a Christmas tree.
On the big day (December 15th, 2019), the dogs and the cat wore little custom white shirts that said “Will you marry mommy?”, and Bibiana made a Christmas-themed breakfast for Nicole and placed the engagement ring in the hands of a tiny felt mouse that was hiding among the logs of their fireplace.
After waking up, Nicole came downstairs from the bedroom and saw Bibiana. Looking unusually nervous, wearing a white t-shirt with the word “Yes?” written on it. She wasn’t too sure what was happening until she saw the shirt on one of the dogs. Happy tears ensued, and the answer was yes – but wait, where was the ring?! Nicole had completely forgotten about it, and Bibiana made her go on a scavenger hunt to find it.
Thankfully it didn’t take long. Upon retrieving it from the hands of the little felt mouse, Nicole got to wear her own white t-shirt. This one with the word “Yes!” written on it. Since the middle of the night, Bibiana had been up customizing the shirts and getting everything ready. She had bought an extra shirt and planned to write “No!!” on it, but decided against it at the last minute because she thought it might be a bad omen. So the plain white shirt is still in a drawer, awaiting the perfect opportunity for customization.
What was the inspiration behind the theme of your wedding?
Nicole was the creative visionary for the wedding. She would endlessly look through Instagram and Pinterest accounts to gather inspiration, being drawn to neutral colours and a rustic yet elegant style. We loved the idea of ivory and black for us, as it was a nod to traditionalism that acknowledged our non-traditional same-sex wedding. The deckled paper table number and place cards, semi-naked cake, and minimalist greenery with eucalyptus and subtle white flowers complemented the venue’s wooden and darker interior accents.
Did you undertake any DIY projects for the big day?
We wanted to incorporate a few elements of personal artistry into the wedding. With her fine art skills, Bibiana did all of the calligraphy, including the place cards, table numbers, and Order of Events mirror. Nicole sourced and painted the Welcome and Order of Events frames, created the table seating assignment champagne flags, and crafted the bar menus.
Talk to us about your experience finding the perfect outfits.
We both had a general idea of the type of outfit we wanted to wear from the beginning. Nicole was drawn to the traditional, white, A-line gown style, while Bibiana knew she wanted to wear a jumpsuit. She wanted her dress to surprise Bibiana on the big day, so she ventured out with her mom and sister. Nicole began her journey to find a dress eleven months before their wedding, visiting six bridal stores in the Toronto area. After finding a top contender at store number five, something kept telling her to check one last shop, and there she tried on a gown that was a show stopper. She, her mother, and sister all agreed that it was the one, and without hesitation, she purchased it.
Bibiana’s quest for a jumpsuit was less straightforward. We quickly discovered that bridal jumpsuits are harder to come by than expected. Who would have thought?! With the comfort and style they offer, one would think they would be a hot commodity – but no. After Nicole, more of the wedding planner reached out to many bridal shops to inquire about jumpsuit selection. Bibiana visited a couple of stores and bought a white jumpsuit that she felt would do the job. Then, just about one month before the wedding, when Nicole went for her final dress fitting, she asked to see Bibiana’s outfit. She held the stark white jumpsuit beside her dress and was horrified to realize that the two outfits did not complement one another.
Calamity ensued, but Bibiana told Nicole not to worry in her calm, optimistic, and reassuring way, told Nicole not to worry. We would just head to Saks Fifth Avenue in downtown Toronto, we would find a lovely, basic black jumpsuit, and it would be great! Sure enough, later that day, we headed to Saks. Miraculously, right from the get-go, an excellent sales associate brought out the perfect off-the-shoulder black jumpsuit. Bibiana fell in love with everything about it. This was yet another instance in our relationship where things have had a way of working out. We are finally beginning to learn that we need to get out of the way and let the universe do its work.
Talk to us about the big day!
Our wedding day was magical. We have different stances when it comes to weddings. Nicole grew up dreaming about a big white wedding, while Bibiana never gave wedding gowns and receptions a second thought. Somehow, we managed to have a day that meant so much to both of us.
The beautifully quiet outdoors and rustic feeling of the event made Bibiana and her family feel entirely comfortable. Still, the stylish lines of the venue, lovely floral arrangements and formal approach to the ceremony, vows, and speeches went above and beyond Nicole’s dreams.
We spent the nights before the wedding apart – Nicole with her mother, Bibiana with her parents. Waking up on the big day, we both had a strange combination of jitters and certainty. We thought we would cry as we saw each other wearing our outfits, and especially reading our vows – but we didn’t. Everything was so incredibly joyful. We sat together at a table for two at the reception, looking out at all of our loved ones. In retrospect, sitting alone as a couple was a fantastic decision. We had ample opportunity to mingle with all of our guests, but our little table was our oasis and we got to experience everything as if on an extraordinary date.
What are your favorite moments?
From beginning to end, our wedding day was absolutely magical. We both felt like we were on cloud nine and couldn’t stop smiling all day. Telling one another just how lucky we were.
The first of two favourite moments of the day was our first look. After not seeing each other since the night before, we couldn’t wait to share our overwhelming excitement and have a special moment where it was just the two of us (and, of course, our photographer) to connect. We were so giddy yet calm, which we feel comes through perfectly in the first look photos.
Our other favourite moment was the ceremony itself. We felt so grateful to be among our closest friends and family (both in-person and via Zoom!) as we read our vows, which we see as the foundation of our marriage. Time seemed to stop as we gazed into each other’s eyes in front of the officiant. After that, nothing else existed – just us and the beautiful outdoors.
What does marriage mean to you?
Marriage is a partnership, first and foremost. We have agreed to be partners in crime for life (and beyond!). We are willing to compromise the sharp highs of our individuality for the harmony of our whole. It’s OK for one of us to play second fiddle to the other occasionally. As the opportunities ahead present themselves, but our little team is our priority.
We are so much happier and kinder now than before we met. Because we feel so fortunate to be married, we hope to give back to the world in every way possible. Times will get tough, but making our partnership and giving back our two priorities will hopefully always help us find our way back to us.
Advice for other couples planning a wedding?
Planning a wedding is fun, special, stressful and exhilarating all at once. It is very easy to get caught up in the details leading up to the big day.
But it is important to step back and remember what the wedding is really all about.
You can control some elements, like the music and table settings, and others that, regardless of how hard you try, will take a course of their own – for example, the weather. While it may not seem like it at the time of planning, the unexpected events end up being the most memorable.
When it comes to the wedding day, it was a wonderful feeling to let go of trying to control the outcome and just enjoy the moment.
A wedding is the start of a lifetime together; life is unpredictable, so it is very fitting that a wedding should be beautifully unexpected as well!
Photography by BKH Photo
Accessories The Loved One
Cake Warrior Cakes
Ceremony Venue The Ivy Lea Club
Dress Boutiques Pearl Bridal House, Saks Fifth Avenue
Dress Designers Jenny Yoo Collection, Chiara Boni La Petite Robe
Engagement & Wedding Rings FTJCo Fine Jewellery
Entertainment AA DJs
Florist Primrose & Willow
Hair Liz Wing
Makeup Kalon by Kristin
Robes Le Rose Stories
Shoes Grace Loves Lace
Vow Booklets Paula Lee Calligraphy
Wedding Party Outfits AMSALE