Charming Church Ceremony + Romantic Ballroom Reception in Quebec

Mylène and Mathieu

Photographed by: Magnolia StudioLocation: Rivière-du-Loup, Quebec, Canada

When Mathieu Boucher heard the sound of high heels entering the wine store where he worked as a student, he had no idea his life would be forever changed. “I am always mesmerized by that sound, so I looked to see who it was,” he remembers of the moment he first laid eyes on Mylène Bertrand. A few weeks later, she went back to the store to visit her friend – Mathieu’s coworker – again, but they still did not speak. “That particular friend was very critical about every guy I met, but he told me I should give him a chance,” affirms Mylène, who attempted to lurk on his online profile but ended up sending a friend request by mistake. “I never really believed that it was accidental,” smiles Mathieu. “We started a conversation that has never ended since that day.”

During Mylène’s final year of residency, the duo took a trip to Toronto to celebrate her birthday; however, Mathieu had a special surprise in store. Before dinner one evening, he presented his beloved with a classic gold solitaire engagement ring – “just like I had always wanted,” notes Mylène, who happily accepted the proposal. Since the bride-to-be had picked her wedding planner before she was even engaged, coordinating the nuptials started right away. “I saw pictures online of a very beautiful wedding planned by Kim Ahonoukoun of KA Mariage, and I told Mathieu: ‘If we ever get married, I want this woman to plan the evening,’” she professes.

As both the bride and groom reside in Quebec, Canada, they wanted the locale of their celebration to be central for their families while also providing a destination-wedding feel for the weekend. With their event designer already selected, choosing a venue was made much simpler, as she recommended a nearby property that features gorgeous views and plenty of activities for attendees. “I think that the energy and happiness of our guests were in great part due to our venue,” says Mathieu. “We chose a more remote location, which ensured that everyone who chose to come really wanted to be there.”

The late-summer weather was absolutely perfect as friends and family gathered at a picturesque church for the ceremony. Small arrangements of ivory dendrobium orchids decorated pews and white cherry blossoms adorned both sides of the red-carpet aisleway. Loved ones watched in awe as the bride glided through the doors wearing an exquisite beaded ball gown with an illusion V-neckline and cap sleeves from Kleinfeld Bridal. She carried a bouquet of roses in pale pink accented with vanilla orchids as she made her way down the aisle to the sounds of a string quartet. At last, Mylène joined her bridesmaids, who wore ebony cocktail dresses, and her groom at the altar where the couple shared personalized vows during the Catholic service.

Following the heartfelt vow exchange, guests convened at the hotel for the ballroom soirée. “We wanted people to be as comfortable and pampered as they could be,” muses the bride, so they made sure to offer flats for women wearing high heels, in-room babysitters for small children, and midnight snacks such as a poutine bar. As attendees entered the space, they were met with beautiful décor in a color palette selected by the groom: black and gold with a touch of white. Once the main hues were chosen, the couple set out to design the details of their special day, which were largely inspired by the shimmering heels worn by the bride. Mylène’s footwear not only helped her find her dream dress, but the ornamental patterns of her ensemble were used as inspiration for the romantic black-and-gold invitation suite and paper goods designed by Ceci New York, which then influenced the elegant details of the reception.

Round tables were covered with embellished linens and towering arrangements of either white dendrobium orchids or cherry blossoms resting atop glass vessels wrapped with lace. Candleholders placed on round mirrors in the center of each tablescape allowed the flickering candlelight to provide a warm ambience. Each guest’s place setting featured an ornate golden charger plate, which complemented the gilt flatware and table numbers in bullion-hued frames. A live band serenaded guests with amorous tunes, oldies classics, and ballads by crooners such as Frank Sinatra. “We wanted a ‘big band’ experience,” shares the groom. “It was a real highlight and people adored them.”

Following the sit-down dinner service, attendees savored slices of a five-layer confection, which was decorated with gold elements, ivory and blush sugar roses and orchids, and the couple’s custom monogram. At 11PM, revelers were ushered to the terrace to view a mesmerizing firework show over the Saint Lawrence River, and after, a DJ provided entertainment as the newlyweds and their loved ones danced until 4AM. “It was a big success as we had to literally drag people off of the dance floor when the night ended,” laughs the bride. Mathieu confirms: “We were very grateful for everything – especially the reaction of our guests and all the happiness that was everywhere.”

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