Set in a private garden in Pickering Ontario, this Intimate garden wedding has a romantic bohemian feel with a classy black, white, and gold color story.
Gaël and Stacy’s love story began years ago when Stacy was a guest plus-one at Gaël’s 23rd birthday party. Although they faced many obstacles, their Faith and love for God always brought them closer together and left them stronger than before.
Ultimately, nothing was going to stop this beautiful couple from starting the next phase of life together; not even COVID. Working with a team of talented vendors, including Events by Moi and Lelania Little Photography, they brought their love story of joy, peace, and harmony to life.
Other highlights of their intimate garden wedding include a custom floral arch by DesignzbyMay, a stunning customized Je Vis Bridal Trumpet dress, a show-stopping veil, and more!
Keep scrolling for more details on their love story and photographs from their intimate garden nuptials below.
- Couple: Gaël S Kombe & Stacy CS Kombe
- Occupations: Gaël is a Senior Partner Consultant for a tech company & a Recording Artist; Stacy is an Administrator and Music Director for a church ministry.
- Wedding date: May 22, 2021
- Wedding location: A private garden in Pickering, Ontario.
- Pre-wedding gifts for her bridesmaids: Stacy gave her bridesmaids a DIY gift in a small white box tied with a gold leaf ribbon and labelled with a black name tag. Inside each box was a white balloon that contained black, gold, and white confetti and a slip of paper saying “I cannot say “I Do” without you. Will you be my bridesmaid?”, a card with a personalized message on the back, a mini gold safety pin attached to a black “Pop Me” tag, a gold pen with a gem on the end, a gold bracelet personalized with their first initial for them to wear on the wedding day, and their favorite sweet treat. She created a similar box for their flower girl, as well.
- Wedding day gifts for their bridesmaids and groomsmen: Gaël gave his groomsmen gold cufflinks. Stacy gave her bridesmaids a white gift bag with gold tissue paper containing a black “Bride Squad” t-shirt with gold writing, a pack of tissues with a little surprise inside, black satin robes personalized with gold writing, black and gold earrings to wear at the wedding, and pink “Bride Squad” shades.
- Gifts for one another: Stacy gave Gaël a bathrobe customized with his initials in gold; Gaël gave Stacy white and milk chocolate covered strawberries for the hotel room after the wedding.
- Ceremony entrance song: Gaël: “Holy Acoustic” – Justin Bieber; Stacy: “Make You Feel My Love” – Shane Filan
- First dance song: “Heaven” – Pink Sweat$
Tips from the bride:
- Using a private venue saves a lot of money but can also create some uncomfortable challenges; especially under the pressure and uncertainty of something like a lock down.
- We created our own wedding website which featured the song Gaël wrote and played at our engagement.
- A good photographer AND videographer are WORTH IT! We regret not keeping our videographer to capture the day.
- Small weddings are an amazing option. They’re intimate and save a lot of money. If you want to include a larger audience because you have a big family like we did, use a live streaming service; it costs upfront but will save you tons in seats and refreshments. If you don’t want to spend on that, you can always set up a live stream yourself.
- The live stream service we used featured a short film of us and a slideshow before airing our ceremony. Everyone loved it!
- A good planner is AN AMAZING investment. Hire someone you vibe well with and cares enough to go above and beyond.
- We almost got married in August in an attempt to avoid the lock down restrictions but decided to take a leap of faith and go for our original May date. We’re so glad we did.
How they met…
The couple first met when Stacy was a plus one at Gaël’s 23rd birthday party. While they had never met before, they were instantly connected through music.
At the time, Gaël had recently picked up the guitar and he found out that Stacy was a worship leader at her church. Even though Stacy was extremely shy, Gaël convinced her to sing a song while he played his guitar.
To this day, Stacy says “it was one of the most powerful worship moments she’s ever experienced.” After their impromptu performance, the pair talked and found they had a lot in common. According to Gaël, Stacy “was so intrigued by him that she asked for his number at the end of the festivities.”
While they exchanged numbers, due to different circumstances in their lives, they drifted apart for a few years until one day, out of the blue, Stacy reached out to Gaël about a concert she was doing.
At this point, Gaël had been single for a while and developed an interest in getting to know Stacy more deeply. The two spontaneously went on their first date at Demetre’s and the rest is history!
Since Stacy and Gaël would plan alternating date nights each week, Gaël decided to use his turn as “the perfect cover up” for a surprise proposal.
He planned the proposal at the Hotel X in Toronto and told Stacy the week before to dress up because he was taking her to a nice dinner. He gave no further details beyond telling her they’d be doing a special couple’s photo-shoot session that was being offered nearby before dinner.
Of course, all of this made Stacy extremely suspicious that Gaël might be proposing. To try and throw her off, on their way to the photoshoot Gaël told her they were going to the CN tower.
He recalls, “It worked because they knew a lot of people who had been engaged at that venue and Stacy always said she never wanted to get engaged there.”
Disappointed and assuming that’s what was happening, she stopped paying attention to what was going on. But little did she know, Gaël had something special for her!
Setting the scene…
The entire proposal was set up in a private room with a view overlooking the city. Decorated with classy white and gold theme and a big light-up “Will You Marry Me” sign, it was the perfect backdrop to pop-the-question!
When they arrived to the hotel, they were escorted to the floor of the private room by a staff member who had helped set everything up earlier that day.
As Stacy exited the elevator with Gaël, she grew suspicious as they began walking down the hallway towards where the couple’s photo-shoot was being hosted. Then, in the distance, a song Gaël had written for her began playing.
Stacy remembers “slowing down and starting to get nervous, no longer thinking clearly.” When she finally reached the door and saw the bright “Will You Marry Me” sign it took a minute to fully dawn on her what was happening.
Her best-friend and a photographer (also a friend of theirs) was there capturing the moment. Stacy actually became so overwhelmed that she walked back down the hallway. Gaël ran after her to bring her back in; he took her by the hand and walked her back down the hallway to the center of the room where he said his “love-speech”, got down on one knee, and popped the question! Of course, she said yes!
Then he played a slideshow and a video of friends and family congratulating them on their engagement as they ate chocolate covered strawberries and drank champagne around a romantically prepared table.
Later on, the last surprise of the night was a full course dinner at the hotel’s restaurant where a small group of their closest friends and family waited to congratulate them in person and celebrate.
They describe their wedding style as a “Classy yet romantic bohemian theme with white, black, and gold colors.”
Stacy looked absolutely stunning in an ivory trumpet lace wedding dress featuring scalloped long sleeves, a wide peep hole back detail, and a gorgeous scalloped lace train. She accessorized with a sparkly cathedral veil with lace lining along the edges and donned a sparkly pair of Christian Louboutin Follies Strass 85 Rete/Glitter/Mini/Specchio heels. Silver crystal chandelier drop earrings, a handmade crystal rhinestone headpiece, and a gold and silver bracelet (gifted to her by her mother on the day of her wedding to match the one she was wearing) added extra glam to her wedding day look.
Gaël wore a handsome ivory tuxedo blazer with a white tuxedo shirt and a black bow tie with gold details. To accentuate his look, he added a black vest, a crisp pair of black dress pants, and black Dandelion Christian Louboutin loafers. A gold watch and silver and gold cufflinks completed his wedding day attire.
Bride’s shopping experience…
For Stacy, finding a dress during the second wave of the pandemic was especially challenging because “everywhere was closed!”
She admits, “I tried an online wedding dress business but for a particular person like myself who’s all about the details… there just wasn’t enough time to satisfactorily go through the process.”
So, she “ended up having to rely on the few boutiques that were secretly taking appointments and was only able to have [her] mom, sister, and niece (who was an exception because she’s a child) attend.”
With the entire wedding shopping experience affected by COVID, Stacy says, “it was nice to still get some of the normal experience with trying on different gowns and looking for that “yes” moment.”
However, there were some little details, like having to wear a mask while looking in the mirror and trying on dresses, “that kind of sucked.” However, in the 3-4 days after she left the last boutique, she finally decided on her dress.
“I ended up seriously customizing it. It was scary not truly knowing what it would look like in the end, but I’m so glad I made that call. For almost everything else, we honestly did a lot of ordering online. Thank God for Etsy and Amazon!”
Groom’s shopping experience…
Gaël’s shopping experience was both exciting and nerve racking.
“I knew the pressure was on to look my best for one of the best upcoming days of my life,” he says. “[And] I wanted to wear black at first, however Stacy convinced me that white would look better. When I bought into that vision it became very easy for me to draw inspiration from Pinterest. I took in some of the outfits and added my own twist to what I was seeing.”
Once he decided on his suit, he found a talented tailor through a family members referral. “The tailor caught my vision and knew exactly what I wanted! Everything else just fell into place….”.
Mr. & Mrs…
Because of pandemic, the couple had to altar their reception plans, which included taking out cultural elements.
“We had planned to have more cultural practices highlighted in our reception, but because of the COVID restrictions at that time, we weren’t able to have a full reception like we originally wanted and planned for.”
Best memory from their wedding…
“Exchanging our vows and saying I do at the altar. Hands down.”
Advice for other engaged couples…
Planning a wedding during COVID was not an easy experience; however, Gaël and Stacy persevered through all the uncertainty and hardships through their dedication and love for one another.
Their advice for other engaged couples is to remember what’s important. For them, that was: “we love each other and we are finally getting married.”
They also maintained their faith and “confidence in God’s ability to work it all out for [them].” Because of this, they were able to “handle everything with clarity, patience, and peace.”
“We also tried, as much as possible, to be present in each moment and not to make hasty decisions out of fear or anxiety.”
Looking for more intimate garden wedding inspiration?
- Planner: Events by Moi
- Floral Designer/Decor: Designz by May
- Caterer: DunnBerrys Catering; Ma Yves
- Cake Designer: Cakes by Mavis
- Photographer: Lelania Little Photography
- Video/Livestream: Dream Streams
- Invitation Designer: Donna’s Designs
- Ceremony Band: Shaloma & Sathiya Sam
- Harpist: Nicole Lancaster
- Beauty: Adorea Beauty
- Makeup artist: Philippa Toronto
- Dress: Je Vis Bridal
- Hair: Hair by Malina; Arthur Hair Bridal
- Earrings: Emmett and Clyde
- Submitted via: Two Bright Lights