This Beautiful Wedding in Canada Featured One Epic Cake
Ashley and Trevor
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.
The stationery—designed by Ashley in shades of burgundy, ivory, and royal blue—set the visual theme for the rest of the wedding.
The Bride's Rings
"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.
A Wild Bridal Bouquet
All Together Now
Ashley's attendants—a group of girl (and guy) friends and sisters—posed preceremony in Birds Hill Provincial Park, just outside the reception site.
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.
Flower petals underfoot and two giant urns of large arrangements adorned the ceremony site.
A Tented Reception
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.
Colorful Place Settings
The Seating Chart
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.
A Family Tradition
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.
One Special Wedding Cake
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).
More Sweet Treats
Location, Pineridge Hollow
Event planning and coordinating and officiant, Stone House Creative
Flowers, Heather Page of Academy Florist
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
Bride's gown and veil, Emily Riggs Bridal
Hair, Bob and Page
Makeup, Jessica Kmiec
Groom's suit, tie, and pocket square and other menswear, Eph Apparel
Transportation, Tony's Team Transport
Draping, Planned Perfectly