Claire Leger and Aryam Zubizareta-Perez’s love story would make even the most skeptical adversaries of love blush.
Like the plot of a cheesy rom-com, their story begins with two unsuspecting lovers. Neither Claire nor Aryam were looking for anything serious when they met through a mutual friend in the summer of 2016. Then, the plot thickened. After three months of dating, Aryam invited Claire to the annual Great Potato Weigh-Off and Pie Auction in Seaforth.
“We’re walking to the community hall, on this road, and he straight-up old-school asked me to be his girlfriend,” Claire recalls. “Under a big harvest moon—it was so romantic. I was like ‘Is this my real life?’”
Claire immediately fell for the man’s respect and kindness.
“I hadn’t been asked in that way before—which I thought was just so charming and so sweet and considerate, too.”
Months later, after moving in with each other, Aryam came home with a pizza box.
“He opened the box, took out these drawings and he was like, ‘So, I think we should design your engagement ring together,’” Claire recalls. Aryam had been pursing a goldsmith apprenticeship and wanted to put his skills to the test to make his fiancé-to-be the perfect ring. Three months later he proposed in their home with a teardrop-cut aquamarine on a yellow gold band.
The pair meticulously planned every wedding detail themselves: the location, decor, guest list, music. Aryam made pulled pork sandwiches, Claire put together the flower arrangements and her sister—seven months pregnant at the time—baked and decorated the cake.
The St. Mary’s Boat Club looked like a scene from A Midsummer Night’s Dream; fresh flowers and potted plants, soft, ethereal drapery and a tree in the centre of the room. “The room was vibrating with love all day,” Claire says.
The ceremony was a brief but emotional affair, officiated by a close friend. Friends serenaded the couple down the aisle with a rendition of “I Want To Your Hand” by The Beatles. They recited their vows to each other—line by line—in Spanish and English.
The most memorable part, they say, was completely unexpected.
“Around 9 o’clock, somebody got on the mic and said ‘OK, everybody to the deck!’ And friends of ours had taken a barge into the Northwest Arm and had a massive fireworks display planned,” says Claire.
“It was the best day ever,” Aryam adds. “Walking around and seeing 80 of the best people in your life in the same room was just amazing.”
Decor: Tablecloths from MacFarlands, all other decor items made/thrifted/designed by the bride and friends
Cake: made by the Maid of Honour, bride’s sister
Flowers: flowers from Humble Burdock Farms, styled by the bridal party
Makeup: Interlude Spa
Engagement ring: custom made by the groom
Music: Rachael Delano, Jack Bennet, Zoe Leger, Jeremy Arsenault, Son Latino
Photographer: Sydney MacLennan Photography
Wedding Venue: St. Mary’s Boat Club
Bridal Earrings & Hairpins: Mignonne