French-Inspired Tented Wedding at the Bride's Family Vacation Home

Kallen and Tom

Photographed by: Joel & JustynaLocation: Rivière-du-Loup, Quebec, Canada

Many years ago, Kallen Knetzger’s father attended a wedding of one of his best friends from college in La Malbaie, Quebec. He fell in love with the area and bought a second home in the town for his family to enjoy. Another college friend would visit as well, before buying his own vacation house just a few miles away. The two families became very close, spending the summers together as they grew up. In 2013, one of these family friends suggested that her cousin, Tom Klein, would be a good match for Kallen.

The two had a blind date back home in New York City. “I remember being nervous because he was even more handsome than I expected,” Kallen admits. Though they dated for several years before getting engaged, it wasn’t long before Tom knew she was The One. “I think I knew from our first date,” he admits. After getting advice from his married friends and talking to Kallen’s sister, Tom went with his instincts to purchase a ring he thought his sweetheart would love. During another summer in La Malbaie, Tom suggested he and his beloved have a glass of wine at an overlook about two miles into the woods – even though it was raining. “I was suspicious something was up since Tom wouldn’t be the first person to volunteer to take a jaunt through the woods in the pouring rain,” Kallen shares. They braved the weather to enjoy the view, some wine, a cheese board, and Tom’s romantic proposal.

Much like their engagement, the wedding was held at the Knetzger family home in La Malbaie on a rainy day. Though the weather unfortunately delayed the start time of the nuptials, the couple was able to look on the bright side. “[It] meant a prolonged cocktail hour and a very enthusiastic audience at the ceremony,” laughs Tom. Adding to the personal aspects of the big day was the choice of officiant: the father of the bride’s best friend and the groom’s uncle, Dr. Robert Verklin. “We wanted someone who was very important to both of us, who wholeheartedly believed in the sanctity of marriage, and who could bring an aspect of faith to the proceedings. Robert, ‘Verks’ as I know him, checked every box,” affirms Kallen. “It was made more special by the fact that his daughter is the one who set us up.”

Since Quebec is a French-speaking province in Canada, the color scheme of the day was inspired by the French countryside. Being based both in Quebec and the States, KA Mariage was the perfect wedding-planning team to help bring the pair’s vision to life. The tented reception featured centerpieces comprised of blooms in peach, white, and blue with sage green foliage, all displayed in azure and alabaster vases. Additional personal touches were included due to DIY projects the bride and her mother undertook in the days leading up to the big day. They designed the handmade menus on each table, and Kallen also painted the escort cards. The sister of the bride joined in to help prepare the welcome bags.

Following their first dance, where out of the corner of her eye the bride noticed her darling nieces watching intently, Kallen and Tom were delighted to spend the next several hours dancing with their nearest and dearest. “I felt strongly about having a live band, but we also knew we wanted the party to go late, so it worked out that our band provided both live entertainment and a late-night DJ we could extend by the hour,” explains the groom. Thanks to the addition of the DJ, they were able to keep the celebration going until 4AM!

Despite the less-than-perfect weather, the newlyweds were more than happy with their big day – although Tom does note he wishes they bought more umbrellas. “Things that don’t go as planned can sometimes make the greatest memories,” he adds. Kallen agrees, “I think all of the hiccups only added to the magic of the day.”

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