Real Weddings: Hilary & Elliott

Bride and groom kiss on beach

A night out in Toronto can bring many surprises, even the possibility of a partner for life. On one serendipitous evening in a busy Chinatown restaurant, Hilary and Elliott were instantly drawn to one other. A senior graphic designer, Hilary was attracted to Elliott’s kindness to others and cheeky smile, while Elliott, a corporate communications manager, fell for her striking beauty and smile.

Flash forward to September 2012, on a private safari in Namibia. Overlooking a sunset with giraffes and zebras silhouetted in the background, Elliott proposed to Hilary. He then surprised her with a few nights in London and Paris. Following this lavish proposal, it only seemed right to celebrate their union somewhere absolutely spectacular, they chose Langosta Beach Club on Costa Rica’s picturesque Tamarindo Beach.

Costa Rica was on our bucket list of places to vacation, and we thought that having our wedding on the beach, and near the rain forest would be incredible,” they say with enthusiasm.

A delightful time in Tamarindo

As January 23, 2014 approached, Elliott and his bride-to-be had rounded up 42 of their loved ones to join them for a peach, navy and gold-clad celebration along the shores of this Central American paradise.

Hilary treasures the moment when she locked eyes with Elliott, her hubby-to-be, as she walked down the aisle on their special day.

Surprising my wife, the biggest animal lover I know, with a white horse on the beach for photos. Also, jumping into the swimming pool with most of our guests at the end of the night after an amazing and elegant dinner reception,” were some of Elliott’s best memories of the affair.

Romance is in the air

It was through the special details, brought to life with the help of their dedicated destination wedding consultant, that allowed the happy couple to reflect their unique characters and their true love. Hand-poured candle wax inside seashells were used for their fairytale dinner by candle light. Adding to the whimsy and sheer romance of this event, the best man delivered a personalized video on an iPad – pre-recorded for Hilary on her wedding day while she was getting ready with her bridesmaids – of the groom singing, You Are So Beautiful, accompanied by an acoustic guitar.

Traditions were kept when Elliott’s mother sang a solo during the ceremony. The significance of this song was that it was the same song she had sung on her daughter’s wedding day. And as far as unexpected surprises go, a collective swim in the swimming pool saw many of the guests cooling off on this warm Costa Rican evening.

The signature drink to beat was The Zavari, a martini featuring passion fruit juice, gin, soda, simple syrup, and fresh lime juice (created by their friend, Sam Zavari, who is one of Vancouver’s top sommeliers). Guests left the party with a bag of Costa Rica’s Britt coffee, and a “Hilliott” (Hilary & Elliott) Hangover kit.

Hilary and Elliott treated themselves to a memorable honeymoon in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, spent between Punto de Vista Luxury Villa and Arenas Del Mar hotel. The sky’s the limit with these globetrotting lovebirds!

Get their look

Hilary’s gown: Vera Wang.

Hilary’s shoes: Bella Belle.

Elliott’s outfit:  Custom, slim-fit suit with skinny peak lapel jacket and Magnanni dress shoes.

Type of rings:  Hilary’s ring is an 18-karat-gold ring with a cushion-cut yellow diamond and pave diamonds, and Elliott’s is a 19-karat white gold, comfort-fit band.

Jewellery: Nadri Cluster stud earrings.

Bridesmaids dresses: Custom-made from Etsy.

Groomsmen attire:  Customized ties from The Tie Bar, and Stance NBA socks.

Favours: Tiny rainforest animals with gold glitter, and personalized, heart-shaped shortbread cookies bearing a “Hilary and Elliott” monogram.

Music: DJ Doctor G.

Flowers: Peonies and orchids.

Photographer: Katie Stinnett.

Stationery/invitations: Custom-made by Hilary Walls Design.

Catering: Langosta Beach Club.

Old | New | Borrowed | Blue

Old: A Hennessey bottle was provided for guests to write love notes (in “message in a bottle” style).

New: The couple’s wedding attire.

Borrowed: The bride’s veil.

Blue: The soles of the bride’s shoes.

Tips for brides and grooms
  • Enjoy the planning process and soak in every minute of the wedding day. The wedding is about your love, not all the fluff, and remember, this is supposed to be FUN!
  • Enjoy every minute of the wedding day. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
  • The wedding video really helps tell the story of the day.
  • It was great relief having our destination wedding consultant on site to quarterback the details.

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