It takes a village.

That was the saying I kept thinking about after Dan and Keila’s Bond Chapel & Salvage One wedding. I don’t think I have done a wedding before that had such a sense of community. From groomsmen turning dozens of heavy pews around to create the in-the-round ceremony setup to a sweet uncle driving the couple around the city in his beautiful vintage car; from aunts laying out Brazilian sweets and bem casados to talented friends creating their beautiful invitations; from friends and siblings singing and playing music during the ceremony to friends helping to arrange flowers, so many people were involved in this day. And along with that, everyone really seemed to do everything in such a truly joyful way—I don’t think I have felt a group of guests feel more excited for a wedding to be taking place!

This really was such a little dream of a wedding; Dan and Keila are a couple that were really focused on having everything at the wedding be intentional and a true reflection of them, rather than just doing what one ought to do at a wedding. Dan processed down to a beautiful rendition of the Brazilian classic, Aguas do Marco, sung by Dan’s sister with accompaniment from Keila’s brother. Keila walked down the aisle to “I Was Made to Love Her” by Stevie Wonder, a song Dan had known he wanted at the wedding for years; it was truly a magical moment, filling the room with joy and laughter rather than just reverence. They flipped half of the pews at the beautiful Bond Chapel to ensure all the guests could feel more included in the ceremony, and the ceremony included a set of very touching gifts that would help to remind them of their commitment that day.

After some pictures around the city, we headed over to Salvage One, where Keila’s uncle led all the guests in a Brazilian square dance with French directions. You can imagine how that went! 🙂 Pretty much no one had any idea what they were doing, but it completely broke the ice and was such a memorable part of the day. Upstairs, a lovely buffet was served and guests also partook in a Brazilian dessert table, filled with special sweets arranged by Keila’s aunts. Touching toasts were given on a stage, and before dancing occurred, a pinata that they had spent so long creating was hoisted to the ceiling, and guests were able to take a swing, based on how long they had been married. After that, lovely parent dances took place, followed by Dan and Keila wowing the crowd with an incredible swing dance for their first dance.

I could go on and on about this wedding and this couple. Everything was just perfect and I was so happy to be a part of such a unique and personal celebration. You can (and should) also check out the video by Joel at Studio 272 that gives a little more insight into this couple and their celebration. Many thanks, as well, to Toast and Jam for great tunes, Sarah Postma for her help on this wedding, and J&L Cateringxt for delicious food.

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