This Couple’s Vintage-Vibes Wedding Will Give You All the Feels
Tara Leydon and Cale Cook’s paths first crossed back in 2009 at the birthday celebration of their mutual friend Alex. They became Facebook friends (as you did back in the aughts) and would catch up with each other annually at Alex’s birthday. A few parties passed where they didn’t see each other, but Tara was obviously on Cale’s mind as he took special notice when Facebook notified him that she had changed her profile photo. “Cale took the alert that popped up in his feed about me as a sign to text me about meeting up for a drink…and he is not a ‘sign’ kind of guy,” says Tara. “When we met up, it was like we had seen each other yesterday. There was such a fun and easy vibe between us. We learned one important thing about each other, too: We were both single.”
That was in 2016, and the couple dated for three years before they got engaged in Italy. Cale had planned the perfect proposal during a daytime exploration of the charming hilltop towns of Cinque Terre, but he didn’t realize how overrun with tourists the area would be. He decided to propose on the Via dell’Amore (a.k.a., the Lovers’ Lane trail), a beautiful pathway along the coastline between the villages of Riomaggiore and Manarola. “When we got to Riomaggiore, the trail was closed due to a landslide,” says Tara. “He ended up proposing on the private patio of our hotel room later than night, and to me it was the most perfect moment. It was just us, watching the sunset over beautiful Monterosso and drinking Prosecco.”
The couple celebrated their engagement for the next several days over the course of their Italian adventure. Upon their return home, they started to put their wedding plans together for a 2020 wedding…but of course the world had other plans. Though they wanted (and tried!) to have their wedding earlier, their dream day finally happened on August 9, 2021, at Langdon Hall Country House Hotel & Spa in Ontario, where they hosted 45 guests for their celebration.
The aesthetic for the day was English garden with a whimsical, vintage vibe, and Tara says the venue set the perfect tone for their celebration. “It was the perfect backdrop and had all the elements we were looking for. Though I like a modern mood, I wanted our wedding to have a classic, elegant and not too trendy feel. It was also important for Cale and I to have a venue we could stay at and our guests could, too. It was perfect.”
To bring the glorious garden party vision to life, Tara worked with floral designer Alex Cole from Patchouli Design. The day was brimming with roses and orchids in a dreamy neutral palette of cream, antique white and blush pink. The floral archway Cole created was a standout piece, as was Tara’s beauteous rose and orchid bouquet.
Her bouquet inspired the feeling of the centerpieces, which were the star of the couple’s reception tablescapes, and it also shaped the design direction of the wedding cake. Fresh roses and orchids were used to decorate the four-tier cake.
Tara planned all the details of the day herself, but she had the help of a very special person: Her dad, Alph Leydon. “My dad loves Say Yes to the Dress, and not only did he help me plan my wedding, but my helped me find my perfect wedding dress,” says Tara. “He is a creative director and photographer, and has been in the events industry for years. Though I loved the design and decor part of planning, all the scheduling and fine details were not my cup of tea. Luckily my dad is very detail-oriented and kept everything on track. He was the best father of the bride!”
Some of Tara and Cale’s most memorable moments included their first look, and their late-night after-party that carried on until 3:30 a.m.(!)—Tara says every guest was there until the very end. A unique part of their day was a conceptual wedding shoot they did after their ceremony. The pair travelled off-site with their wedding photographers Erin Leydon and Mitch Syer (Tara’s sister and brother-in-law) to capture some seriously retro-cool images that starred Cale’s classic 1964 Chevrolet Impala.
“This car was originally his grandpa’s and Cale really wanted to do a separate shoot with us and the car,” says Tara. “I am so glad we did this shoot and encourage couples to plan a similar type of experience if you can. It was such an incredible moment and allowed us to spend time some special time together.”
Select standouts from Tara and Cale’s big day.
Tara’s exquisite long-sleeve lace gown was the perfect complement to her romantic garden-party wedding. She accessorized her look with a sweeping tulle veil, Manolo Blahnik mules and an effortlessly glam beauty look. For the reception she switched up her look, changing into a second outfit custom-made for her by Toronto designer Tomé.
The Bespoke Matches
“My mom and dad had matches made for their wedding and I always wanted to do the same,” says Tara. “I had our matches created to look as close to my parents’ as possible.”
The Just Married Sign
“When Cale mentioned the idea of getting a ‘Just Married’ sign for the back of the car I was all in,” says Tara. ” I have always loved looking through old wedding photos and seeing that. I have to thank our florist, Alex, for helping us to make that a reality!
Tara And Cale’s Wedding Directory
Wedding dress: Justin Alexander
Party dress: Tomé Dress Salon
Shoes: Manolo Blahnik
Clutch: Bottega Veneta
Groom’s tuxedo: Harry Rosen
Makeup and hair: Alyssa Helm Beauty & Co.
Flowers: Alex Cole, Patchouli Design
Cake: The Cake Box
Stationery: Hello Gem Events
Photography: Erin Leydon and Mitch Syer, Leydon Photography
Music: It’s a String Thing; DJ Flavia Abadía
Venue: Langdon Hall Country House Hotel & Spa