A Whimsical, Rustic Wedding at Archeo in Toronto, Ontario

Colleen Tam (30 and a business manager at Royal Bank of Canada) and James Stolzel (28 and a business consultant at Royal Bank of Canada) pulled off a whimsical, garden-inspired affair at Archeo for their fall wedding in downtown Toronto, Ontario. Drawing on their love of nature, the couple worked with the florists at Coriander Girl to transform Archeo’s rustic interiors into a romantic woodland scene. Cascades of eucalyptus and lush greenery ran the lengths of the wooden farm tables, culminating in bundles of cream and blush roses, dahlias, ferns and seasonal greenery. The piece de resistance was a striking suspended arrangement that hung over the head table, cascades of dusty purple roses, vines and tealights amplifying the evening’s sense of whimsy. “It absolutely made the room,” Colleen says. Gilded chargers, silver candelabras and twinkling mercury glass accents balanced out the organic decor to create a naturally glamorous aesthetic. The celebration unfolded with a ceremony in Archeo’s outdoor courtyard. Exposed-brick walls, hanging florals, bistro lights and cobblestones provided a cozy backdrop for the proceedings. “The space honestly did not need much decorating,” Colleen says. “The one main thing we added was a beautifully handcrafted arch created by my father-in-law. The florist added blooms to one corner of the arch. On each side there were wine barrels supplied by the restaurant.” As a nod to Colleen’s Chinese heritage, the pair performed a traditional Chinese tea ceremony. “My whole immediate family flew in from Hong Kong for the wedding, which was extremely special to me,” Colleen says. After the “I dos” the couple ushered their guests inside for cocktail hour and the reception. Guests sipped on maple old-fashioneds and white cosmopolitans spiked with St-Germain while snacking on a selection of inspired hors d’oeuvres. Dinner didn’t disappoint, with Colleen and James treating guests to a mouthwatering spread of cauliflower soup, arugula and crumbled chevre salad with poached pears, Cornish hen and Alberta black angus tenderloin. Chocolate-caramel bombe put a sweet finish on dinner and got guests in the mood to hit the dance floor. Later in the evening, the couple surprised their friends and family with a doughnut station and tacos to keep the party going late into the night. A tip from Colleen: “Just be happy on the day of your wedding. I can’t stress that enough. During my entire engagement, I was worried that I would turn into a bridezilla at one point or another. But with the endless support of our families, friends and vendors, I could not have been happier throughout the day, even when things went wrong or took unexpected turns. If you go into your wedding day with the mind-set that nothing could possibly ruin it, then nothing will.” —Libby MacCarthy