When wardrobe stylist Olivia Bannock left Toronto and ventured to New York City, her longtime friend Jenna helped her acclimate to the new city. Olivia and Jenna knew each other from their summer camp days in Canada. They kept in touch as Jenna went to Dartmouth University and amassed a group of friends that she wanted to introduce to Olivia.
One of these friends, Jack Barrett, was hosting a party and extended the invite to “the group of Canadians” Jenna told him about. As soon as Olivia met Jack outside of his apartment on Broome Street, she was smitten. A few weeks later, they would have their first date. Olivia showed up ten minutes early, and Jack arrived forty minutes late. But once they had both arrived, they never left each other’s side and dated for six years.
During the pandemic, the couple moved from their West Village apartment and now call Venice Beach their home. At a socially distanced Memorial Day Weekend barbeque at Jack’s grandparents’ home, Jack implored Olivia to follow him to the backyard bench. “Do you know the story behind this bench?” Jack asked. Completely unaware of the event that was unfolding before her, Olivia insisted that she knew the story and did not need to hear it again. Jack persisted, though, and said, “This is the bench that my grandfather proposed to my grandmother on nearly sixty years ago, and today it is the bench I am proposing to you on.”
Olivia burst into joyous tears, while Jack’s grandfather applauded. The rest of Jack’s family was inside, waiting with champagne. Olivia’s family in Canada Zoomed into the celebration.
The ideal wedding venue would be a destination that both Jack’s American family and friends and Olivia’s Canadian family and friends could visit. The hiking, fishing, and golf club that Jack’s family has frequented for four generations is roughly two hours from the Canadian border.
Built in 1887, the club is situated in the Adirondacks and possesses a whimsical Wes Anderson charm. “The club and its surroundings are naturally so beautiful, so aesthetically, I wanted to highlight that but also transform what was there,” Olivia explains. “My color story was pink, blues, purples, and greens. Jove Meyer, my planner and designer, and I loved the idea of mono-foliage and used that theme throughout the wedding. For example, all the purple flowers lined the aisle, while the flower arch was all pink.”
Hudson Botanica brought a variety of flowers that were placed throughout the venue. This not only looked beautiful but also attracted the most welcome wedding crashers to the ceremony—flower-grazing butterflies.
Originally planned for June 18, 2021, the couple pushed the event to September 25, 2021 because of COVID-related concerns. “I know how fortunate we are that we only had to move it once,” Olivia notes. “It truly worked out so magically.”
One of Olivia’s favorite parts of the planning process was searching for her bridal looks. She booked three consecutive weekends of appointments in NYC with Jack’s grandmother and a friend in tow to each one. “Somehow, the best was saved for last,” Olivia shares. She found “the dress” at Oscar de la Renta. “Once my mom was crying over Zoom, I knew we had found the one.”
Olivia paired the gown with vintage glass hair clips from Happy Isles Salon as her “something old.” Meanwhile, her tulle Jimmy Choo heels were her “something new;” her grandmother’s earrings were a sparkling “something borrowed;” and her mom’s emerald tennis bracelet served as a “something blue.”
A devoted fan of both Happy Isles Salon and owner Lily Kaiser, Olivia was all too excited to finally shop through the bridal white section of the store. Lily even smiled and said, “This has been a long time coming!” A white moire silk dress with rhinestones beckoned to Olivia. “Lily came up with the brilliant idea of raising the hemline of the dress to make it a mini while keeping the outer skirt long,” Olivia recalls. “I love vintage, and decided to go overkill with costume jewelry that I had been collecting over the years: rhinestone and pearl earrings from A Current Affair, a rhinestone buckle bracelet from The Cat’s Meow in Toronto, and sparkly Miu Miu heels.” She finished the look with a feathery white blazer from LAPOINTE. This was a fashionable and smart choice, considering the temperature drop later that evening.
The groom sported a fitted Tom Ford suit, and Olivia adds that he looked “incredibly handsome.” The best detail of his outfit, though, were the accessories. “My brother was one of his groomsmen and surprised him with a bowtie from my late grandfather that we affectionately called ‘Buzz,'” Olivia shares. “He died at the age of 100 at the beginning of 2020 and played a huge part in my life. I know he was a big fan of Jack too.”
The bride and groom had 16 wedding party members—each. The groomsmen donned black-tie attire, while Olivia’s bridesmaids selected their own dresses in either pink, blue, purple, or green and carried a complementary bouquet. “My flower girl was one of my bridesmaid’s daughters, Charlotte. Her mother, Raluca, and I came up with the idea of using the excess fabric of both of our dresses to make her wedding looks,” Olivia dishes. Using leftover material from Olivia’s after-party dress and Raluca’s gown, they fashioned Charlotte’s outfit. “She looked adorable and absolutely stole everyone’s hearts.”
For the first look, Jack and Olivia arrived at the club’s lake separately. Olivia rode in a school bus wearing a robe and carrying her dress over her shoulder. “On the way down,” she remembers, “I got to spy on everyone playing tennis, golf, and lawn bowling. It made me so happy to see my guests participating in all the club has to offer.”
She used the boathouse to change and thankfully saw two friends along the way. “It was serendipitous that they were there because I needed the help to get into my dress,” Olivia says. “They were my ‘fairy godmothers’ in that moment, fixing my dress, putting on my shoes, and helping me with my veil. I actually can’t believe I thought I could have done it myself!”
On September 25, 2021, Olivia walked down the aisle with her parents on either side of her. Picturesque and breathtaking, the ceremony took place on the top of the 4th tee box that overlooks Giant Mountain. Jack’s godfather officiated. It was only then that the couple revealed to their guests that they had eloped at this very club the summer before and were already married.
In the middle of the opening remarks, Jack’s face turned ashen. He realized he left the wedding bands in the cabin! Naturally, Olivia was prepared. “At the start of my vows, I reassured him over the microphone that I would always be there for him and that I gave the rings to my brother, who was standing in line behind him,” Olivia remembers. “It was the humor we needed to shake off the nerves of reading our written vows out loud.”
Pronounced husband and wife again, the newlyweds walked back down the aisle to “You’ve Got the Love” by Florence and the Machine. Everyone adjourned to cocktail hour. The event’s centerpiece was the round bar and giant canoe stocked with ice and seafood.
The entire wedding took place outside, while dinner was under a tent adjacent to the clubhouse. Inside the tent, the mono-foliage continued where each table, from flowers to napkins, had been decorated in either pinks, blues, or purples. The tent poles were decorated with branches to emphasize the greenery.
The father of the bride started off the speeches by welcoming everyone to the Adirondacks. “It was not an easy place to get to, especially since the border was still closed for Canadians via car. This meant that everyone had to fly to New York, then drive four hours back towards the Canadian border,” Olivia says. The speeches alone were worth the trek, though. Olivia’s brother’s toast was a particular highlight for the bride. “I was so overwhelmed that I broke down in tears after his remarks,” she shares. He made a joke about her 16-person bridal party, divulging that Olivia “brings home best friends like stray cats.” Olivia chuckles, “I thought the tent was going to blow over from laughter.”
After speeches, everyone was ready to groove to the musical stylings of The Collective. “My mom was having the time of her life dancing,” Olivia smiles. “By the end of the evening, my face was so flushed from laughing with friends.”
After the couple cut their flourless chocolate cake, they turned to the dance floor and swayed to “Sweet Virginia” by The Rolling Stones. Olivia and her father danced to Van Morrison’s “Have I Told You Lately (That I Love You),” but she concedes that Jack and his grandmother stole the show with their dance to “What a Wonderful World” by Stevie Wonder. There was not a dry eye in the tent.
Jack and Olivia left the reception with a sparkler exit. A bonfire burned underneath the crystal clear starry night sky, and the bar stayed open late into the evening. As she reminisces over this day, Olivia shares, “I remember going to bed thinking that my face hurt from smiling.”
Video: Hello Super Studios