If there’s one thing everyone learned at Saturday’s Marry Me, Halifax wedding, it’s that many hands make light work.
From the early-morning hours, decorators, vendors and set-up crews worked busily to prepare the elegant Compass Room at Casino Nova Scotia for Michelle LeBlanc and Tony Wood’s dream wedding.
Since winning the $20,000 wedding, the Amherst couple has been travelling back and forth to Halifax to work with all of the generous local supporters, and everyone pitched in happily to see the big day to fruition.
Golden harp and flute melodies, performed by Saeed, welcomed the bride as she clutched her dad’s arm on the way down the aisle. Tony’s emotions were evident when he first laid eyes on Michelle. She was radiant in her Sottero & Midgley gown and sparkling tiara.
Maid of Honour and daughter of the bride Ashley Bickerton and bridesmaids Jodie Wood, Karin Reid-LeBlanc and Lisa Gottschalk were elegant in custom-designed ocean blue and ivory gowns created by Marie MacMullan. Best man Dan MacDonald and groomsmen, Jordan Lorette, Dave MacLeod and Jon Chandler looked sharp in black tuxedos.
About 120 guests seated in elegant white chairs with ocean-blue sashes formed a circle around the bride and groom. Tony and Michelle exchanged vows and rings at the centre of the round room with officient Josephine Egan making it all official.
The couple’s one-year-old daughter Anna caused a few laughs when she latched on to her mom’s veil, pausing the ceremony to avoid a near wardrobe malfunction.
Bright blue beta fish in individual crystal bowls, all situated in groups of four to represent the family — Michelle, Tony, and daughters Ashley and Anna — and lots of candle light created an intimate atmosphere.
Photographer Tarrah Mills captured the day’s special moments, from the bridal party getting dressed to the couple’s first dance as husband and wife to Garth Brook’s To Make You Feel My Love.
Mahoganey Marcial, owner of Events Specialists, and her assistant Megan MacKeigan kept every detail in check, while Wild Lupin Video husband and wife team Brian and Kelly Cottam got the whole event on tape.
A faithful online voter stopped by before the ceremony to offer her best wishes.
“I figured since I helped them pick everything out, I should drop off a gift,” Gloria Holloway said.
She was among dozens of readers who stopped by throughout the evening to catch a glimpse of the bride and groom.
“It’s her! It’s her!” one woman said when Michelle snuck out to the washroom during the reception. Being the ever-graceful bride, she happily greeted and hugged the voters and invited them to take a peek inside the Compass Room.
Heartfelt speeches at the reception didn’t leave a dry eye in the room. Ashley paid tribute to the happy couple in a moving speech.
“Last year was really bad,” the 13-year-old said, referring to her mother’s battle with cancer. “But Tony was always there for me and Anna … If I had to pick anyone in the world to be my step-dad, I’d choose you.”
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