Liz Ostil and Wes Anderson
July 22nd, 2017
The Classical Romance found in Ballet and Literature
Dusty rose, crisp navy & hints of gold and vintage ivory.
Mississauga & Vaughan, Ontario
How They Met
There was never a time when Liz did not know Wes. Both of their families attended the Queensway Baptist Church. Their families also go way back, Wes’ mom and Liz’s Auntie Nancy having been best friends from childhood. Liz told us, “He was best friends with my twin brothers, which means that our summer vacations in Muskoka often aligned. Even though we saw each other regularly we rarely talked.” Wes had put Liz into the ‘younger sister’ box, at least when they were kids. “In our mid to late teens, the interest seemed to shift from my brothers to me,” Liz explained. She quickly became smitten with Wes’ creativity, sensitivity, and mind. “On top of him being drop-dead gorgeous,” Liz added on.
And how did her brothers feel about this shift in relationships? “I heard that my brothers were not very keen on the idea of their best friend dating their sister. Now that we are older, I think that they appreciate the fact that I did them a solid and made their best friend their brother!” Also, the three still all ditch Liz for online game night.
Liz and Wes got engaged on Christmas Eve in 2015. After hearing their engagement story, we have to say, Wes did it right.
“It was Christmas Eve, 2015, and Wes and I were planning to meet up at our church’s Christmas Eve service with our families. For whatever reason that subconsciously compelled me, I felt like getting more dressed up than usual and (this is key for the panic that ensued later), decided to remove the 4-5 rings I always wore on my hands.”
Once Liz got to the service, her soon-to-be fiancé arrived a bit late. Squeezing in next to her, he sat down and held Liz’s hand. “At this point,” Liz mentioned, “Wes, right away noticing my lack of rings. He inwardly panicked because he thought someone tipped me off.”
The reality? “I knew nothing. I suspected nothing.”
After the service, the couple headed over to Wes’ family home. Liz fully planned to change into sweats, watch some Christmas movies, and call it a night. However, Wes began to put his plan into action. Just as Liz was about to go upstairs and change, Wes ‘checked his phone.’ He announced that Liz’s cousin Sarah had forgotten to give her parents some Christmas presents and asked if they could pop over to her house to pick them up. Liz still did not suspect anything because, as she said, “I was more relieved at the timing of it all because I was about to change into my stretchy pants that nobody must see.”
Popping the Question
The soon to be engaged couple got to Sarah’s house, where they happily accepted her offer to stay for hot chocolate. While Sarah was busy making drinks, she ‘suggested’ that Liz show Wes their backyard. “I happily obliged,” Liz explained, “and out we went into their beautiful backyard shaded by big, dark trees. Fairy lights made it even more magical in the nighttime. We walked up and into their rustic, wooden gazebo. It was decorated so beautifully with more lights and Christmas bows. On the far wall of the open gazebo was a sheet tied from end to end.” Liz still didn’t suspect anything.
Liz told us, “I said matter-of-factly: ‘Oh. This is where they must watch movies… I think Sarah mentioned the family watches movies outside sometimes.’ In December? As we were standing there, just taking the beauty of the night in, all of a sudden something started to play. Then a video was projected onto the sheet screen! It caught me by surprise, but even more so was what started playing.” On the screen a beautifully edited music video of Wes singing a song he had written for Liz on his guitar, all about Liz.
Liz thought it was the sweetest gift, and when the video ended, she turned to Wes who got down on one knee. Liz told us, “It felt like slow motion, Wes pulled out the tiny, little, cubed box. Inside was the most beautiful ring I had ever seen. I am pretty sure I was crying at this point while he gently asked: ‘Will you marry me?’ I was so overwhelmed with joy as I cried and said yes. The MOMENT I did say yes, these huge fireworks in the background exploded out of nowhere into the sky!”
“The whole night was just so perfectly orchestrated. From how all the people closest to me worked their magic to make our proposal magic, to the small things completely out of our control – like the random decision to not wear any rings that night, which made room for the only ring I wear today. Those candid photos of our proposal are on our bedroom wall today. We also shared our sweet music video with our guests as an introduction at our reception. I love revisiting those memories.”
For Liz and Wes, the most important part of their big day was being surrounded by friends and family. Those who had watched them grow up. Part of that meant accommodating a large guest list. The larger list ended up limiting their ceremony venue and reception choices, because of space and accessibility. The pair ended up going with Lorne Park Baptist Church for their ceremony. They were able to bring in their childhood pastor to the church and fit everyone in the pews.
When it came to reception venues, Liz told us that “Chateau Le Jardin turned out to be the event space I didn’t know I needed or wanted. I originally did not see myself getting married in a hall, but aside from Le Jardin being stunning on the inside, they could accommodate higher numbers, and negotiate already great packages.” Considering their guests still rave about the reception, the couple were thrilled with their choice.
Their Big Day
For the ceremony, in true dancer fashion (Liz is a lifelong ballerina), the couple chose the song “Holy (Wedding Day” by The City Harmonic. “It had timed entries, with the bride’s [entrance] being the climactic part of the song. Entering on that peak, in a church filled with loved ones from every area of your life looking back at you, while the love of your life is at the end produces the most beautiful and overwhelming feelings of awe, gratitude, love… and even humility. It was like no other feeling I had ever felt before. I got to be surrounded by the people who had laughed, prayed and championed for both Wes and me. All while we dated for ten long years. Each guest was a part of our story, and I made sure to etch those faces and feelings in my mind to remember forever.”
With all of the overwhelming emotions, Liz has to admit, “I was pretty proud of myself for not crying down the aisle… until I made eye contact with one of my cherished friends from university that I hadn’t seen in a very long time. I feel like despite time and distance; true love will always show up.”
Wes knew how important the moment was. He told us that, “I knew as I was stepping into the sanctuary and up on the stage that this was a defining once-in-my-lifetime moment. This was going to be a memory to cherish, and I had to calm my racing heart to just enjoy the moment. Everything had been rehearsed and timed, we had practiced this, it would all work, I didn’t need to worry. But, as the music swelled to the part where my bride would enter, and I’d see her for the first time in her wedding dress my mind was racing.” Wes’s thoughts right before Liz entered the church: “I hope I don’t cry, that will make her cry.”
“But when the doors opened, and I saw her there was nothing else. She was gorgeous. I think the only thing I was thinking at that point was ‘Wow!’ for one thing and, ‘She wants to be my wife, she’s going to be my wife!’
When asked about what made their day unique, Liz and Wes concluded that it was that they truly tried to honour their faith, family, and friends as much as possible. It was not just their big day, but everyone’s. “We saw our day as a celebration of our love. Love made possible because of the love friends and family freely gave along the way,” Liz explained. “I cherish that the pastor who watched Wes and I grow up as kids was also the one to marry us.” Their family was involved in many aspects of the ceremony and reception, and it was something the couple cherished.
On top of this, the couple also had little details that they felt represented who they are. When Liz asked members of her bridal party to be in the wedding, it was with a card inspired by a vintage Bolshoi Ballet cast list. And, the gifts that Wes gave to his groomsmen were hand designed wooden steins that reflect their gaming characters.
Their Favourite Parts
“All of it!” Liz told us, at first, though she did agree, “I know I can’t say that even if it’s true.” When really breaking down the day, the favourite parts of their wedding were the little moments. Opportunities where they connected with one another and those closest to them. That included walking down the aisle and right after they were married when they had just a moment to themselves. Liz explained that there was, “a split second of calm and [we] just looked at each other and said: Ah! We’re finally married!” Other highlights included getting ready with the bridal party and walking into the reception hall. For Liz, it was also dancing with her dad, who always watched her dance in recitals over the years.
Advice for Couples
“Follow your gut!” was the first thing Liz wanted couples planning their own weddings to know. “There are many vendors and many opinions. You will second guess yourself, once, twice, a thousand times. I learned eventually for my sanity to take a moment of silence, think about what my gut instinct was saying, and then staying firm to that voice.” Liz almost had a nightmare experience with one dress vendor. It was listening to her instincts that saved her from buying a dress from a vendor that ended up shut down less than eight months later.
Liz’s second piece of advice: “Don’t sweat the stuff that is out of your control. There is always something that doesn’t go according to plan, but that doesn’t mean it’s [gone] wrong. For me, I was so preoccupied with other things that I hadn’t considered rain on my wedding day. When the big day came, of course, it started to rain. It was right when pictures were going to happen.” Their photographer kept things moving, though, and took the couple back to the church for some more photos inside. They ended up being some of the couple’s favourites.
Congratulations to Liz and Wes!
See all the beautiful details and amazing photos from their gorgeous wedding below, with links to their vendors.
Photographer: VP Studios Photography
Ceremony Venue: Lorne Park Baptist Church
Reception Venue: Château Le Jardin
Bridesmaid Gowns: David’s Bridal
Groom’s Suit: Harry Rosen
Wedding planner: None! In the bride’s lovely words, “I must give a HUGE shout out to my parents, my Aunt Natalie, and my Auntie Nancy who did a lot of the day-of arrangements, as well as went zipping around to different vendors so we can do as much DIY as possible.”
Officiant: Pastor Roy Sommerville
DJ and EmCee: DJ Emporium
Aisle music: “Holy (Wedding Day)” by The City Harmonic
Music: Pre-Ceremony music was a selection of the bride’s brother’s piano compositions
Hair and makeup: Renee and Flo from Beautified by Renee
Favours: White Chocolate & Raspberry Cake-in-a-jar by Cookies, Carrots, and Chemistry
Flowers: Bouquets and boutonnieres by Floral Fetish. Centrepieces and venue flowers designed by the bride’s Aunt Natalie.