Andrew & Greg: A spring wedding in Toronto
After meeting in Sydney over 6 years ago, Andrew and Greg married in an intimate, heartfelt ceremony in their new home city of Toronto, Canada.
Andrew and Greg's wedding truly reflected the love they both have for their friends and family and they made this the central focus of their wedding day.
Location Toronto, Canada | Photographer Kimon Kaketsis
Firstly, how did the two of you meet?
We met in Sydney in March of 2012 through mutual friends. Technically the first time we saw each other was through the sweaty haze of the Royal Hall of Industries at the Mardi Gras after party, but the first time we spoke was at a friend’s pool party. Andrew had moved to Sydney from Toronto, Canada a few months prior on a (somewhat) sabbatical, and Greg had moved to Sydney in 2008 via Wollongong from the tiny New South Wales town of Blayney.
Tell us a little about your relationship...
Our relationship began with one huge hurdle—Andrew was flying back to Canada on June 3, 2012, and had no immediate plans to return to Sydney. Since neither of us were interested in a long distance relationship, our relationship began with an expiry date. We were totally and utterly obsessed and in love with each other, so ending our relationship was easier said than done. After spending six long and challenging months apart, Andrew moved back to Sydney so we could be together forever.
Apart from the long-distance hurdle, we were both fortunate to have very supportive family, friends and colleagues. Everyone was so welcoming and loving, and we quickly became essential members of each other’s families. Our parents and siblings were all overjoyed when we told them we were engaged and played a central role in our wedding.
So, who proposed?
Andrew proposed the day after we had moved into our house in Toronto’s east end. After an exhausting day of unpacking, we treated ourselves to a romantic dinner on nearby Queen Street to celebrate buying our first home. We walked home holding hands and sat in our den upstairs marvelling at how lucky we were. Andrew said he had a gift for Greg, and pulled out a red chocolate rose - we had each jokingly, and coincidentally, given each other a chocolate rose on our first Valentine’s Day together. Greg saw the rose and said to him sarcastically “Maybe you should get down on one knee...” which Andrew did, and then proceeded to pull an engagement ring out of his back pocket and present it to Greg. It was a perfect moment...
When did you get married?
Our Toronto wedding was on Saturday, May 27 , 2016. It was a beautiful spring day at the end of a very long, cold winter.
Andrew and Greg's story continues below >
Was there a theme to your wedding?
We decided to have an intimate cocktail celebration where friends and family could enjoy themselves, eat great food, drink, and dance. We started the night with a brief ceremony that involved our families, then moved on to the celebration. We wanted it to be casual enough to be largely stress-free, but include traditions that were important to our families and us. We surprised our guests during our first dance with monogrammed superhero capes that everyone wore for the remainder of the night. We thought it really represented our relationship — we have a lot of fun together.
What was the primary influence behind your wedding?
We have a bit of a reputation for having a very active social life and wanted to be able to include as many friends as possible in our special day. There is something very special about seeing people from totally different parts of your life interacting and having fun, and that’s really the energy we wanted to create at our wedding.
Where did the majority of your wedding inspiration come from?
We both did a lot of online research for the look and feel of the wedding, we had a Pinterest page for colour inspirations, we used the venue as inspiration for the flow of the event, and we discussed with each other at length the elements we thought would be most important to include.
How did you choose your suppliers?
We were extremely lucky to have friends who helped us out in every aspect of our wedding. Our photographer, Kimon Kaketsis, is a good friend and an incredibly talented photographer and we were lucky that he was free the day of our wedding. The venue, Peter Pan Bistro, is owned by a friend who handled all of the food, alcohol and furniture. The audio equipment was organised by our friend Justin, who is a wedding DJ, and he along with our friends Ben and Michal, took care of the music, with Michal also playing the trumpet for our entrances. Another generous friend, Emily, who acted as our wedding planner, organises large-scale events for work and was able to coordinate the decorations and was a lifesaver running the schedule on the day.
Tell us a little about your overall wedding planning experience in regards to being a same-sex couple in a predominantly ‘Bride & Groom’ saturated industry?
We were incredibly fortunate to have a strong network of allies/friends who helped bring our dream wedding to life. Everyone who we worked with had previously dealt with same-sex weddings, or were more than excited to be. Gay marriage has been legal in Canada for over a decade, so most people are accustomed to same-sex weddings in Toronto.
Did you find it difficult to translate more common traditions into a ‘same-sex’ wedding?
We decided that we didn’t want to have a wedding party—how could we choose between all of our friends and siblings? Instead, we walked each other down the aisle, holding hands. The ceremony was very much about our values, our family and our friends. We had already been legally married in Hawaii, so for our Toronto wedding we officiated the ceremony ourselves. We chose a few traditions that we thought were important, such as reading our vows, and wrote a wedding script that was authentic to us - instead of having an officiant saying ‘you may now kiss the bride,” Andrew said ‘I may now kiss the Greg.’
What was the most difficult thing about planning your wedding?
Coordinating our out-of-town guests was the most challenging part of our wedding. We had forty-two people fly in from other countries and cities for the weekend, so we had to plan other activities for them on the day before and after the wedding. Dealing with guests’ food preferences was also daunting, but our venue was incredible at providing different food options and coordinating the logistics on the night.
Any advice for other same-sex couples planning their day and finding it difficult to navigate the journey?
Make your wedding as stress-free as possible and don’t lose focus of the things that actually make it an important day. For us, it was having all of our friends and family from every part of our lives interacting, dancing, and having a great time together. Use the resources you already have, and don’t feel pressured to spend a lot of money to make your wedding day special or memorable. At the end of the day everyone is there to celebrate your love.