Where it All Started
This love story is a personal favourite with the Wedding Vacations by Sunwing team, as Tennille is one-half of our favourite photo team Flo Foto whose work has graced the pages of our magazine many times. Tennille and Michael, both of Sudbury Ontario, met at a local bar: Laughing Buddah. The two were enjoying a night out on the town with their friends and Michael persistently kept inviting Tennille to come join his group at their table. The two groups got to know each other over beers and chatting while Michael and Tennille started hitting it off instantly. They couldn’t wait to see each other again and made dinner date plans for the next day. As it happens with many love stories, this one began with a bit of a bump in the road because Tennille was about to move to Toronto in a couple weeks.
Both agree that they clicked instantly and thought about marriage early-on but without an immediate timeline in mind. After Tennille had made the decision to move back to Sudbury, Michael knew he was going to pop the question in the near future.
One morning before the pair were planning to visit his family, and Mike continued to pester Tennille to get ready and out of their bedroom. After leaving the room to start getting ready, she jumped back into bed and was started when Mike dropped a surprising bombshell “Tennille…I think we should stop being boyfriend and girlfriend.” While Tennille’s head began to spin with thoughts of an impending break-up she looked over to see Mike with an engagement ring.
Planning the Wedding
When they began planning the wedding, Mike mentioned standing up in a friend’s destination wedding a few years prior and shared how much he loved the experience. As a photographer with several wedding photographer friends, Tennille had seen many destination wedding photos and was drawn to the idea of having little to no extra labour required to decorate a venue that’s already picture-perfect.
To welcome friends and family that could not make it to the destination, the couple had a small ceremony in town. For the big celebration they chose the Bavaro Princess All Suites, Resort and Spa. It was within a great price point for their guests, had a beautiful beach, and the best wedding packages to fit their style.
An escape from the winter cold was just what the couple and their loved ones needed. With 28 guests in total, the wedding date was set for January 17th of 2016.
The bride-to-be started her day at the on-site spa where her hair was woven into a stunning braid. For the wedding venue, the couple chose the wedding beach gazebo, a simple but classic structure surrounded by lush foliage, palm trees, and overlooking the waves. Michael along with his groomsmen waited at the gazebo with friends and family looking on as the bridesmaids rolled up in a spacious golf cart.
Tennille was walked down the aisle by her mother and brother as her father had passed away when she was 22. A bittersweet but special moment, Michael’s fondest moment was also seeing Tennille come down the aisle towards him.
The ceremony was simple, sweet, and short, just what they had envisioned.
Following the “I do” the celebration moved to the beach where guests kicked off their shoes and got ready to party. The couple noted that the service from the resort was phenomenal from start to finish and the food and their reception in particular was one of the best meals they had in destination.
The newlyweds took to the beach for wedding photos and frolicked in the waves. The resort also had some beautiful gardens and bridges perfect for wedding party photos and romantic photos of the two. For the wedding colours they mixed hues of gold and blue for an eclectic yet glamorous look.
In the evening the bride and groom plus their friends and family danced the night away on the beach.
Wedding Day Wear
Tennille’s gown: Beilin Gown by Watters.
Tennille’s shoes: Basic white sandals and crochet footless sandals.
Tennille’s accessories: White gold Tiffany’s necklace and bracelet with sentimental value.
Michael’s attire: Navy blue pants, vest with a white shirt.
Michael’s accessories: Navy blue tie.
Flowers: Simple white flowers with green foliage.
Photographer: Stacey Lalande of Mirth Photography edited by: Tennille Heinonen of FLOFOTO.ca
Stationary and invitations: Digital invites with a fun engagement video created by Zoe Alex and Martin Wojtunik.
First Dance: Wait by M83
New & Blue
New: The wedding dress.
Tips for Brides and Grooms
“As a wedding photographer I’d recommend to brides who get wrapped up in all the details to learn to let it go on the day of the wedding. Once it’s started it will not stop for you. If you’re losing sight of your friends and family having the time over their lives over flowers or a song not starting on time, you’re missing those moments.”
“Every wedding will have something go wrong, ours included, but it’s going to be so minimal that you should always learn to laugh and power through. It will make your day unforgettable in the best way!”