Real Weddings: Heather & John

Happy couple after destination wedding.

The crops of Caledon now yield more than just delicious, fresh produce, but also a relationship that has grown and flourished into a joyous labour of love. This is the story of Heather and John.

After meeting on campus while attending college in Long Island, New York, the two instantly fell in love. As they both exchanged sparkling smiles, this blue-eyed Canadian boy knew that he wanted to spend more time with this blushing brunette from New York.

One crisp winter day in February, after engaging in outdoor activities at Blue Mountain in Collingwood, Ontario, followed by a romantic dinner in the Village, the pair returned to John’s family chalet, where he lit a fire, and they enjoyed some wine.

“He made sure that the music was ‘just right,’ then suddenly dropped down on one knee and proposed.  He presented me with a beautiful box and the most amazing engagement ring I have ever seen! It was the happiest surprise of my life,” Heather remembers.

A unique spectacle of love and life

“We decided to choose a destination wedding because we wanted to be married without having to choose either ‘home’ location. Having a wedding in a warm and exotic place would provide everyone with a wonderful vacation experience during the winter season.  It was perfect,” the twosome explains.

The shores of Costa Rica’s Guanacaste region would see this couple saying, “I do,” with 70 of their closest family and friends in a soft pink and grey-tinted celebration. The duo wanted to share something new and unique with their loved ones, and the luscious landscapes and exotic culture of Costa Rica fit the bill.

On the morning of their wedding, as the aroma of white and pink roses and ginger lilies filled the air, Heather fondly recalls John’s sister handing her a letter.

“I opened it just before walking down the aisle. I will remember and treasure that touching letter for the rest of my life,” she says.

John’s most memorable moment was seeing his bride walking down the aisle to meet him in her gorgeous Kleinfeld’s gown, and a spectacular wedding bouquet.

This husband and wife got a kick out of the other activities that were going on in parallel to this celebration, “The children at our wedding got together as a group and decided to have their own party.  They collected and threw most of the napkins onto the dance floor.  Then they rearranged all of the chairs. Apparently, fun was had by all,” they chuckle.

With a stand-out wedding cake, an awe-inspiring fireworks show, and picture-perfect first dance to A Thousand Years by Christina Perri, this was a festivity they would never forget.

Among the special details that went into making this seaside celebration at the Riu Palace Costa Rica a hit, were the bridal party gifts that saw their leading ladies receive silver bracelets and purple silk robes, and the main men with monogrammed flasks. The other guests were treated to beach-themed wine stoppers to match the signature drink, Sea Breeze.

Every tiny to titanic detail went into making this day a true success, and the couple were thankful that they had the assistance of their wedding consultant, “An extra ‘thank you’ to Antoinette, who stayed in constant contact with us throughout the planning process and was incredibly helpful – and patient – each step of the way.”

Heather and John plan to take their honeymoon in Australia and the Fiji Islands.

Get their look

Heather’s gown: Augusta Jones from Kleinfeld’s, New York.

Heather’s shoes: Jimmy Choo.

John’s outfit: Vera Wang.

Type of rings: A Tiffany engagement and wedding band for the bride, and Peoples Jewellers wedding band for the groom.

Jewellery: Crystal earrings from Kleinfeld.

Bridesmaids dresses: J. Crew.

Groomsmen attire: Vera Wang.

Photographer: Jenn Kavanagh Photography.

Hair: Beauty salon at Riu Palace Costa Rica.

Makeup: DIY – the bride.

Stationery and invitations:

Tips for brides and grooms
  • Always communicate.
  • Treat each other with respect and have patience, every day.

See your wedding photos splashed on! Submit your destination wedding photos to the Wedding Vacations Photo Contest on our Facebook page for your chance to win a romantic trip for two o Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall in sunny Montego Bay, Jamaica! You could also be featured in an upcoming issue of Wedding Vacations magazine