Tying the knot gives couples a chance to share their passion for one another, and for their beloved hobbies, with their friends and families. For our readers, those hobbies usually include craft beer. So, we bring you four very special weddings at four Ontario craft breweries that raise a pint to love everlasting.
Dream pandemic wedding
In the midst of the pandemic, Arnell Murrain and Youn-Sun Lee were chosen from over 100 couples to win their dream wedding. Steam Whistle teamed up with 23 industry partners to throw a gorgeous celebration for an unemployed hospitality worker, which followed all of the new COVID-19 restrictions. Arnell, a bartender at a banquet hall who is now at Teacher’s College, met Youn-Sun, a Korean language instructor, at a French language event in Toronto. Their love story won the jury over. So on August 15, 2020, their dream wedding began with a stunningly modern socially-distanced ceremony in the Steam Whistle Roundhouse and ended with an intimate dinner for ten guests from their bubble in an outdoor tent on the Locomotive Hall patio, with the CN tower as the backdrop. COVID-19 measures included digital questionnaires to pre-screen guests, temperature checks, bathroom attendants sanitizing between guests, custom masks and a live feed so that Youn-Sun’s South Korean family could share in the day.
When chefs Jessica and Nicolas Gignac tied the knot at Stack Brewing in Sudbury on June 15, 2019, they had a beer-soaked ceremony from start to finish. Fresh hop cones were woven into the flowers and chuppah, and guests showered the couple with barley instead of rice. Throughout the day guests filled their custom pint glasses with brews from the couples’ favourite local breweries: 46 North, Stack, Gateway City, and Full Beard. The Gignacs’ love for beer is more than a hobby: they launched the Food Manchu food truck outside of Full Beard Brewing in Timmins before they started working at Stack, where Nicolas is the Executive Chef. So of course, Chef Nic also infused all of the dishes on their wedding meal with different local beers.
Go beyond beer
For journalist Stephanie Hallet and actor Jon Owens, beer played more of a supporting role in their day. The L.A.-based couple flew to Stephanie’s hometown of Toronto to marry so that her grandmother could attend their ceremony on September 1st, 2019. Stephanie fell in love with Muddy York’s industrial Victorian vibe and booked it from the U.S. after owner Susan Michalek gave the couple a video tour. The casual day began with guests mingling at the bar before the ceremony, then taking their pints to the brewery’s grassy front yard where a gourmet pizza truck served personal pies. The couple hung a poster of the 1967 Supreme Court ruling Loving Vs. Virginia, a landmark civil rights decision, which overturned laws banning interracial marriage. “This was the law that makes our marriage legal,” explains Stephanie, “So we really wanted to celebrate that, and to acknowledge the history there as well as the fact that a relationship like ours was outlawed for quite some time.”
Tying the knot at an old favourite
Old Flame regulars, Stephanie Pfaff and Nicole Bird, think of the rustic, friendly brewpub as the movie set for their life together, so it was only natural that they wed at the Port Perry brewpub on September 28, 2019. “The staff are people we instantly called our friends,” says Nikki. Plus the beer is fantastic, “We love the little extra love and magic they put into it.” On the big day the ceremony was held under twinkling fairy lights between an altar fashioned from whiskey barrels. Flights of beer and pints of cider circulated all night long, then brewery plates and pretzels came out for late night snacking. When the night wound down, each guest was gifted a growler to fill up with their favourite Old Flame beer, taking a sip of the celebration home.