This Beautiful Wedding in Canada Featured One Epic Cake

bride and groom
Photo: Brittany Mahood

... plus floral and family-centric details.

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Ashley and Trevor

bride and groom
Brittany Mahood

If, like Ashley Illchuk, you've been the creative director at a bridal magazine and you co-own a bakery managed by your husband-to-be, you've seen a wedding or two … or hundred. So while she and groom Trevor Kosowan were surrounded by inspiration daily, they resisted letting those celebrations—each beautiful, special, and distinctly someone else's—dictate their own nuptials. "We wanted our wedding to feel like us," she says, "and that wasn't easy."

Ashley and Trevor were both graphic designers when they met in 2007. She was an introvert; he was outgoing. As in so many other love stories, they started as friends. But unlike so many other love stories, when they moved in together two years later, they did so along with Ashley's twin, Jenna, who soon started a little cake business out of their Winnipeg apartment. "We had no idea Jenna's messy-apartment cake days would lead to a successful family business!" says Ashley. By 2014, she and Trevor were engaged, and Jenna Rae Cakes had grown into a storefront, with Ashley working full-time on design and baking, and Trevor overseeing daily operations.

As the couple began to plan their July 25, 2015, wedding, their vision emerged as a relaxed, romantic garden party. They decided on Pineridge Hollow, six acres of gardens just outside Winnipeg. The reception site was tented, but "we wanted to bring nature in as much as we could," Ashley says. They used an abundance of flowers and foliage, and in the heat of the day opened the tent sides to a bucolic panorama and cooling breeze. They made the day personal by honoring loved ones and including close friends in the ceremony as musicians, readers, and even the officiant.

Before about 200 guests, in a nondenominational service, Ashley and Trevor exchanged vows they'd written themselves. "I wanted to include details that our friends and families would know and inside jokes that only Ashley and I would appreciate," says Trevor. Those words had the desired effect; Ashley says the ceremony was her favorite part of the day. "It's the only thing I remember vividly." But what she knows for sure? All of it was beautiful, special, and distinctly their own.

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One-of-a-Kind Stationery

Lani Elias Fine Art Photography

The stationery—designed by Ashley in shades of burgundy, ivory, and royal blue—set the visual theme for the rest of the wedding.

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The Bride's Rings

Pastel and Pyrite Table Setting
Lani Elias Fine Art Photography

"I had been looking forward to designing my own ring since I was a young girl!" says Ashley of her engagement ring. She and Trevor met with local jeweler Epsilon for an initial plan, but Trevor took it from there to finalize the emerald-cut diamond flanked by two triangular stones in a yellow-gold band. Though Ashley knew a proposal was coming, Trevor waited seven months before actually popping the question to keep it as much of a surprise as possible. She designed the wedding band during their engagement. Fourteen baguettes—her lucky number—are set in yellow gold.

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A Wild Bridal Bouquet

Lani Elias Fine Art Photography

The bridal bouquet by Academy Florist, reflecting every shade in the wedding palette, included 'Quicksand' and garden roses, peonies, delphiniums, and foraged foliage.

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All Together Now

Lani Elias Fine Art Photography

Ashley's attendants—a group of girl (and guy) friends and sisters—posed preceremony in Birds Hill Provincial Park, just outside the reception site.

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Sisterly Love

sisters in field
Lani Elias Fine Art Photography

Ashley paused for photos with her sisters Jenna, left, and Chelsea, before the wedding. "They're some of my most treasured photos from that day," she says.

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The Boutonnieres

Lani Elias Fine Art Photography

Each boutonniere, by Academy Florist, was different but coordinating, using brambleberries—"My favorite part!" says Ashley—delphinium, astrantia, olive, and Italian pittosporum, and wrapped with silk ribbon from Silk and Willow.

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The Ceremony

outdoor ceremony
Brittany Mahood

Flower petals underfoot and two giant urns of large arrangements adorned the ceremony site.

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A Tented Reception

wedding tent
Brittany Mahood

The couple wanted an outdoor reception but couldn't count on the weather, "so we chose the next best thing and decided on Pineridge Hollow, which is a tented venue," says Ashley. Custom white draping by Planned Perfectly softened the tent, and centerpieces, garlands, and a hanging installation were comprised of blooms and foraged foliage.

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Colorful Place Settings

table and place settings
Lani Elias Fine Art Photography

Guests received customized blue paper bags in which to take home Jenna Rae Cakes treats from the dessert bar. They popped against ruby red napkins and offset the floral centerpieces that matched the bridal bouquet.

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The Seating Chart

wedding seating chart
Brittany Mahood

Ashley designed the seating chart, borrowing elements from her own invitation design. It was on display near the guest book, at the entrance to the reception.

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A Family Tradition

wedding bread
Brittany Mahood

Trevor's Aunty Ollie baked a korovai, a traditional Ukrainian wedding bread, as part of a tradition in Trevor's family. This one is topped with doves made of dough, a symbol of love and faithfulness. The florist added leaves as a decorative accent. The newlyweds shared the bread with family and friends the following day.

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One Special Wedding Cake

wedding cake
Brittany Mahood

For the cake, "Jenna knows what I like, so I completely trusted her," says Ashley. The design included Ashley's favored fondant frills and painted slivered almonds for gilded texture, as well as blueberries and sugar flowers, a nod to the garden of their "baba" (maternal grandmother).

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More Sweet Treats

Pastel and Pyrite Table Setting
Lani Elias Fine Art Photography

On-palette macarons and cake gems—truffles filled with brownie batter and cookies-and-cream cake—were offered alongside the cake.

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wedding embrace
Brittany Mahood

Location, Pineridge Hollow

Event planning and coordinating and officiant, Stone House Creative

Flowers, Heather Page of Academy Florist

Photography, Lani Elias Fine Art Photography; Brittany Mahood Photography

Videography, Dave Meisner

Stationery, Embossing Plus (foil printing); Paper Source (envelopes and paper); Papermaker (handmade paper); Nostalgic Impressions (wax seal); PaperPhine (twine); Avenue 4 Communications (flat printing)

Calligraphy, Julie Doan

Cake and desserts, Jenna Rae Cakes

Music, Jordy Heppner and Jeremy Penner (ceremony); Crystal Sound (reception)

Bride's gown and veil, Emily Riggs Bridal

Bride's accessories, Twiggs & Honey headpiece; Free People shoes; Epsilon rings; Avnis rings

Hair, Bob and Page

Makeup, Jessica Kmiec

Bridesmaids' dresses, BCBG Max Azria; Laura; Anthropologie

Groom's suit, tie, and pocket square and other menswear, Eph Apparel

Groom's accessories, Lacoste shoes; Epsilon ring

Transportation, Tony's Team Transport

Draping, Planned Perfectly

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