These well-travelled newlyweds met in Spain, live in the UK and had a fabulous Canadian wedding. Our WED2B Real Weddings feature reveals more…

Gillian and Luke kissing and embracing outside their wedding venue

Gillian and Luke met when they were both living in Granada, Spain. “I was working as a language assistant (I’m from Canada and he's from the UK),” says Gillian.

“We met during orientation and hit it off right away, quickly becoming close friends."

"Our first date was a beautiful day spent wandering the streets of Granada, enjoying lots of drinks and tapas. Talking to Luke was just so easy. I loved hearing his take on things and we had so much in common, especially our love for languages - we both studied French and Spanish. I knew right away that he was special.”

Gillian's wedding dress hanging up on the morning of their wedding. Gillian being helped into her wedding dress by her mum.

A proposal on Dartmoor

The couple had been together for three and a half years when Luke proposed on July 31st 2021. “I hoped that it was going to happen soon but was so caught off guard,” says Gillian. “We had just moved down to Devon from Birmingham and went for an early morning walk on Dartmoor. I complained the whole way up to the beacon (the top of a massive hill) because my bad knee was playing up."

"Needless to say, I was in complete shock when I got to the top and turned around to find him on one knee.

I sobbed my eyes out.

The phrase ‘over the moon’ doesn't even scratch the surface of how I felt. He even had his sister hide in the bushes to take sneaky photos. I couldn't wait to tell my parents but they were fast asleep because of the five-hour time difference!”

Gillian with her 6 bridesmaids on the morning of their wedding in their bridal robes

Shopping for the dress

“Being new to the UK, I had no idea where to go to find the perfect dress,” says Gillian. “However, after asking around, almost everyone said to check out WED2B. So, I took the train to Exeter from Ivybridge with my soon-to-be mother and sister-in-law and we had the best experience. Everyone was so friendly and the lovely woman helping us picked out the most gorgeous dresses for me to try. I loved every single one.”

Gillian and Luke standing together during their wedding ceremony with their bridesmaids, flowergirls and groomsmen standing around them

“Believe it or not, I chose Minnie, the very first dress I tried on,” says Gillian.

“I loved the detail and how sparkly it was with all of the embroidery and sequins. "

It was also very comfortable. You could just slip it on so easily and I knew it was ‘The One’. I also bought a Mermaid underskirt and Willa veil.” (For similar styles try Iana, Coreena or Ffion)

A delightful Canadian wedding

The couple had a Canadian wedding on August 19th in Sombra, Ontario. “We had a beautiful venue on the St Clair River,” says Gillian. “We didn’t see it until just before the wedding, as we live in the UK. Luckily, it was even better than we expected. I'm going to be honest, it was quite difficult planning a wedding from the UK. We were so grateful to have my family take lots of photos and videos to help us make the tough decisions. They ultimately chose the venue for us!”

Gillian and Luke kissing after their vows and celebrating becoming a married couple

The big day

“The day was absolutely perfect but, as everyone says, it flew by!” says Gillian.

“I woke up in a cute Airbnb near the venue with my bridesmaids and my mom. We sat around and drank lots of coffee together on the patio before the hair and makeup team arrived. It was surprisingly very relaxed! The weather was hot and humid - about 30℃ - but beautiful and sunny all day.”

Gillian and Luke posing with their bridal party and groomsmen

“My dad walked me down the aisle to 'All You Need is Love’ by the Beatles. Our ceremony was next to the river under a gazebo. It was a mix of modern and traditional readings and we played lots of 70s love songs before and afterwards. The most special moment was seeing each other for the first time, me in my dress and Luke in his kilt. We both cried, a lot.”

Gillian and Luke kissing with their bridal party and groomsmen

The afterparty…

“Following the ceremony, we had everyone file past Luke's cousin and wave/say hello to Luke's grandparents in the UK, who were on Skype,” says Gillian. “Then we all gathered behind the gazebo for a massive group shot. Following the photo, everyone had a drink and some delicious canapés and then people milled around and played garden games.”

“Our first dance song was ‘Have I Told You Lately’ by Rod Stewart,” says Gillian. “It's always been our song. We also did the Canadian tradition of having a father/daughter and mother/son dance, too.”

Close up image of Gillian and Luke's centre pieces and table numbers for their wedding tables

A mix of tartan and neutrals

“Our wedding theme was Luke's family tartan mixed with neutral, hessian decor,” says Gillian. “The bridesmaids wore a beautiful soft mint colour that tied in well with the tartan and there were tartan bunting and ribbon decorations. We really enjoyed making some of our decorations, like the personalised post box for cards.”

“Dinner was a sit-down meal with one of the best cuts of beef I've had in a long time,” says Gillian. “Our cake was a simple naked cake, decorated with tartan ribbon and a cute little ‘Mr and Mrs’ cake topper.”

Gillian and Luke smiling at one another and a back view of the couple walking away with Gillian taking a glance back at the camera

“My favourite thing was our favours, which were personalised stemless wine glasses in little boxes. They said 'All You Need is Love' with our names and wedding date underneath in gold writing. Luckily, our guests remembered to bring them home and will hopefully use them for years to come. Our DJ was fantastic and our guests enjoyed trying our drink recommendation at the bar, which was a classic Canadian caesar cocktail.”

The best bits…

“The most memorable moments were seeing Luke for the first time, the beautiful speeches (including an impromptu speech in Spanish from a close friend in Spain) and dancing/chatting the night away,” says Gillian. “It was also really special to see our worlds colliding, with friends and family from different parts of the world meeting and getting to know each other."

"It feels surreal to have everyone you love in the same place at the same time."

"I loved every minute of the day.”

Gillian and Lukes table settings for their wedding reception and the couple embracing on a jetty by the water.

My top tips…

“Everyone warned me that the day would fly by and they are absolutely right,” says Gillian.

“So, don't sweat the small stuff and just enjoy every minute."

"Try to escape for a few minutes with your new husband/wife and also don't forget to break your shoes in before the big day!”

Gillian and Luke performing a slow dance during their wedding with their foreheads touching

Gillian and Luke’s ’s Dream Team

Photographer: Melissa Kerry

Canadian wedding venue: Bogey's Inn & Venue, Sombra, Ontario

Wedding dresses Exeter: WED2B

Florist & Decor: Emma Mallon at Save the Date

Cake: Isn't Life Sweet

Caterer: Joe Paquette 

Bar: Bar10 

DJ: Kevin D'Arcy 

Hair & Makeup: Sara Hatcher at Beauty Matched Studios

If you would like us to feature your big day, like this lovely Canadian wedding, then please click here to share your story and photos with us and we’ll be in touch. Your nearest WED2B is closer than you think, click here for your nearest store and here for what to expect when you visit.