I don't know about you, but I just love the idea of a New Year's Eve wedding.
It's the perfect excuse to add plenty of sparkle and lots of bubbly, you'll never forget your anniversary, and you'll start married life off with a guaranteed bang.
Best of all, your guests will arrive in a ready-made mood for celebrating, which sets the tone for the perfect party atmosphere.
Still not convinced it's the date for you? Then Lisa & Thomas' gorgeous New Year's Eve wedding in Toronto will change your mind, along with their beautiful photographs by Rebecca Wagler of Wee Three Sparrows.
With a gold sequin theme that started with Lisa's cool Truvelle gown, her and Thomas' wedding was the perfect mix of fun and celebratory, while still refined and romantic.
With lots of nods to the night that was in it, the couple provided countdown cocktails, NYE party hats, alarm clock decor, and midnight treats.
But perhaps the detail that I find most inspiring is how Lisa paid tribute to her late mother. As a bride or groom looking for ideas for how to honour someone in a way that's tasteful and meaningful, but doesn't take from the happiness of the event, it can be really tricky.
I think Lisa and Thomas's ceremony gestures were so thoughtful, and definitely ideas to borrow if you're looking for something similar.
Oh and Lisa's cautionary advice for other couples, “I had to be careful however to remind myself that hours of Pinterest and blog searching is not actually planning”. Yep, I'm very much guilty of that one myself!
Wedding Day Snapshot
Our Love Story
Tom and I met at the gym.
Tom did not want to get married and let that be known early on in the relationship. I was fine with that (eventually), as he was a husband to me in every way.
Everyone said he would change his mind, but I said not this guy! He proved me wrong, much to my surprise.
He proposed while we were on a summer vacation in the Finger Lakes, on a long hike and we had stopped for a picnic lunch.
The inspiration for the wedding was our wedding date! New Year and a new life together.
Many of our guests told us how excited and happy they were to be able to get dressed up and have somewhere to go on NYE for a change.
The theme was New Year's Eve elegance with some art deco/Gatsby inspired elements that I tied in with fonts! We had a rose gold and gold sequin colour palette.
Our wedding in three words? Elegant, glamorous and intimate.
I found my photographer, Rebecca Wagler of Wee Three Sparrows online, on a wedding blog that I would spend hours searching. I was immediately drawn to her style from the wedding featured and when I looked at her work on her website.
The style had a real organic quality to it, she was able to capture very intimate moments where the bride and groom looked so natural like they didn’t know they were being photographed and the pictures really told a story.
The photos didn’t have a commercial or staged feel, but rather they were very personal and very artistic. They were very modern but yet very classic at the same time.
I loved my dress, I went outside the traditional box and wore a rose gold sequin dress, I knew as soon as I found it that it was perfect for New Year's.
I only had my sister stand for me as my Maid of Honor and let her choose whatever she felt good in.
Advice for Other Couples
I spent a great deal of time on wedding blogs sourcing vendors and getting ideas. That is how I sourced my dress and how I found my photographer and table linen vendor.
I had to be careful however to remind myself that hours of Pinterest and blog searching is not actually planning, it is easy to get caught up in endless hours of saving photos and pins, but you have to actually stop and put those ideas into action at some point.
We didn’t have a set budget we held ourselves to, but it certainly wasn’t limitless, we generally knew we didn’t want to break the bank. We were very thoughtful about each thing we spent on and what impact it would have on the day.
Given that we are a bit older and more established in our careers, we were able to have things we may not have had we been married much younger.
Many people say don’t bother with the small details, however I found that the small details did end up being noticed and I got a great deal of positive feedback on the small details, which didn’t cost a great deal and were DIY fun to work on together.
Remembering Those Not Present
Special Detail – my Mum passed away three years ago and the thought of getting married without having her there was very difficult.
I found that incorporating small touches and memories of her throughout the night really helped. I had a memory chair at the ceremony where I laid my flowers and I also had old black and white wedding photos, including of my Mum and Dad on the mantle and signing table to honor our loved ones that have gone on before us, it made us feel as if their spirits were with us.
I also played songs and had readings from my mum’s favorite artists.
We had close family overseas who couldn’t attend and so we set up an iPad so they could watch the ceremony using Facetime! It was a great way for them to sit in the front row and feel a part of things.
We had a string Trio from Strings for Wedding , which was one of my favorite elements and well worth it, it really added an air of elegance to the evening.
Processional family/bridal party: Sheep may Safely Graze by Bach.
Processional bride: Storybook Love, the wedding song from the Princess Bride.
Signing: Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen.
Recessional: Viva la Vida by Coldplay.
First Dance: What Are you Doing New Year's Eve? by Ella Fitzgerald and Rod Stewart.
We had our brothers do readings. My brother read an excerpt from Leonard Cohen “Dance Me to the End of Love”. Leonard Cohen was my Mum’s favorite artist and so we incorporated his music/poetry into the ceremony.
Tom’s brother read Shakespeare Sonnet 116.
We read our vows and selected personal readings. I read an excerpt from The Amber Spyglass by Phillip Pullman, which was so very perfect for Tom the moment I read it. Tom’s reading to me was Sonnet XVII by Pablo Neruda, our favorite poet.
We closed the ceremony with the Apache Wedding Blessing.
We had booked another venue and then we were informed that they wouldn’t be able to honor the booking as they had sold the venue! It left us not much time to find a new venue and on NYE!
I’m so glad the first one didn’t work out, as I loved the second venue we found and it really suited a New Year’s Eve theme much better than the first, with the high ceilings and chandeliers and large windows and dance space.
In hindsight I had settled on the first venue thinking I wouldn’t have been able to afford anything like the one we ended up with, especially on NYE!
My goal was to avoid a commercial banquet hall feel. The Rosewater Supper Club had so many unique elements and a variety of spaces for us to utilize.
It was a big plus that I could have the ceremony and the reception in the same place. The cocktail lounge downstairs from the ceremony and reception space was really elegant and our allowed our guests to mingle while they flipped the room after the ceremony.
The reception space had a lounge area with a fireplace and couches made for such a cozy and welcoming space, and an outdoor space with a fire pit.
Added bonus was that the venue was just steps away from our hotel so we could all walk home at the end of the night and avoid having to navigate cab rides on a NYE in the city.
We were pleasantly surprised that we could afford the venue/food/drink and on NYE!
It was really reasonable for all that it included, and we weren’t charged a premium for NYE which we expected would be the case.
The lesson we learned is don’t assume the venue you want isn’t attainable. Also, finding a venue which had character helped with overall décor, as I didn’t need to add much more with the existing chandeliers, high ceilings, large windows and crown moulding.
The venue had some décor left up from Christmas around the windows that was perfect.
I spent a bit more on flowers than I thought I would, but I love flowers and so allowed myself to enjoy that part of it as I thought I’d regret it if I didn’t. The florist also provided items like the glass votives for the table and the hurricane lamps lighting the aisle.
The florist had the great idea to use the reception table centrepieces for also decorating the ceremony using acrylic pedestals and they stayed to flip the room.
The hurricane lamps lighting the aisle for the ceremony were also moved for décor elsewhere during the reception so I really saved by using the same elements for both the ceremony and reception.
The centrepieces also made lovely gifts for special people to take away at the end of the night.
I found that small budget items really can make a big impact, like my glittered gold canvases I found at Homesense, and the sequin table covers which was able to get custom made to rent at a really reasonable cost.
These small elements made big impact and I didn’t need a whole lot more. I also wasn’t afraid and mixing and matching colors and elements (gold and rose gold) so it wasn’t so uniform.
We also were very selective about our guest list as we wanted it to be intimate, while still feeling like a big splash out party.
It is easy to get carried away and want everyone you know there, but I really wanted our guests to feel special and allowed us to afford full dinner and drinks.
My bouquet was my favorite flower, white peonies, with some Italian ruscus, and I had the idea to use gold and rose gold sprayed greens and glittered berzelia berries and some rose gold seeded eucalyptus and silver dollar eucalyptus to soften the bouquet, it was hand-tied with a long gold ribbon.
The centrepieces were rose gold mercury vases with white hydrangea, tibet white roses, quicksand roses, sahara roses, some white peonies, Italian ruscus, with gold glittered berzelia berries and rose gold sprayed loose seeded eucalyptus.
Grooms flower was white spray rose cluster with some gold berzelia and rose gold seeded eucalyptus and a touch of Italian ruscus tied with gold ribbon.
The Decor & Details
Everything was inspired by my rose gold dress and the NYE theme which were the inspiration for the feel of the wedding.
I incorporated rose gold and gold elements with mercury glass votives and hurricane lamps lining the aisle and gold glittered embellished party crackers at each seat.
I had gold sequin canvases with fun sayings on them which Tom made easels for and we made the specialty NYE drink menus for the bar.
We also had a table of NYE party favors and hats.
The venue had some décor left up from Christmas around the windows that was perfect, with gold and green, not too Christmassy but more winter themed.
We had signature New Year’s Eve cocktails, Countdown Cocktail, Midnight Madras & Resolution Rum Punch.
Instead of wedding cake we had gourmet wedding doughnuts with a special “cake topper” doughnut and “midnight kisses” (large gold Hershey kisses).
We decided not to take our honeymoon right after the wedding and are still planning it!
We were quite happy to come home after the wedding and had a long weekend to have some quiet down time and reflect on the wedding and open our cards and gifts.
It is nice to continue to have something to look forward to and something to continue to have a project to work on together.
We found it too much to put attention to planning a honeymoon and the wedding at once and postponing until the spring allows us to recoup and save a bit more for a 2 week honeymoon.
I think my dress was very me, I could go outside the box and a little non-traditional given it was NYE, and it became the inspiration for a lot of my other décor and theme.
One of my favorite moments was our first dance. We took dance lessons and had a choreographed number which no one knew about. We really nailed it on the day of; I was worried as I hadn’t been able to practice in the dress beforehand, but it couldn’t have gone more perfect.
We had our guests on their feet and cheering it felt so amazing.
Also the clock striking midnight and everyone singing Old Lang Syne was so memorable, it felt like the moment was in slow motion.
Now that's the best way I can think of to ring in the new year! What a gorgeous wedding – and all those sequins, how fabulous! I'm in love with Lisa's fur cover-up for the outdoor shots too.
Thanks so much to Rebecca Wagler of Wee Three Sparrows, and our NYE newlyweds, Lisa & Thomas for sharing their romantic New Year's Eve wedding with us.
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