Wedding Bells Will Ring

There are a handful of events in a child’s life that can make a parent giddy with anticipation.  Marriage is one of them.

As the days tick down to son #1’s wedding in June, that’s exactly how I’m feeling, so please indulge me while I give you a sneak peek into what’s ahead.  In case you missed my post about their engagement, you can read about it here.

A few weeks ago, Gilles and I visited the wedding venue for the first time, and attended the menu sampling for the event.

1871 Berkeley Church – now a special event venue

The Berkeley Church is a heritage building with a history dating back to 1871, but it is now a special event venue.  The church itself is much too large to host our event, but its companion building across the small courtyard to the right – the Berkeley Field House – is perfect.

Once upon a time, I might have been dismayed by this rustic and eclectic venue, but over the past few years, I’ve explored enough of Toronto’s heritage buildings to have developed a boundless love for these old beauties.

I was thrilled to discover it provided many wonderful doors that added to its unique character.

Berkeley Field House
The doorway off the courtyard with a doorknob that is about knee height.

I had forgotten my camera at home, so I had to rely on my new iPhone for all these photos.

Berkeley Field House 2
The same door from the inside

The Field House is non-descript from the outside – in fact with the grand old church dominating the corner – we didn’t even notice it was there. However, the inside of the building, and it’s accompanying courtyard where the ceremony will take place, is charming.

Berkeley Field House 3

On this bitterly cold afternoon in the fading light, we had to use our imaginations to visualize the garden in spring bloom – with its tall mature trees, small creek, and 2-storey treehouse.

Of course Jordan and Dempsey had seen it when it wasn’t buried under a layer of snow and ice.  We’ve been assured it is a whimsical oasis in the heart of the city.

Berkeley Field House 5

One thing I do know for sure, the food will be amazing – a tall order when the guest list includes those who are either vegan or celiac.

Berkeley Field House 6
The doors that lead to the kitchen – where magic will happen!

As the wedding details start to trickle out, it’s becoming more real to me.  The vibe of this facility matches the “elegantly casual” event that Jordan and Dempsey are planning.

Berkeley Field House 4

I am already visualizing the gathering of our family and friends to celebrate this special day – the music, the laughter, and above all, the love and joy that comes with a wedding.

I can hardly wait.


Thursday Doors is a weekly photo feature hosted by Norm Frampton at Norm 2.0.



  1. You’ve made the anticipation palpable. *waves from the cheering section* Exciting days ahead1
    Sounds wonderful and I love how you’ve combined the lead up to the wedding and venue, and still incorporated photos of the doors. 😀


  2. This is sooooo exciting! The venue exudes character and I just love all the distressed woodwork!

    Went back to read your previous post re their engagement: I really appreciate your deep and open sharing about your worries and fears for your son. We just want the best for our children, and when they walk a difficult path, it is all the more reason to worry. Your story gives me hope that all will work out; we can only be there for them, and be the best support we can.

    And soon, you will have a wedding to dance at! Hurray!


  3. So exciting Joanne! I well remember this time of anticipation. Enjoy all of it and I love the venue they have chosen. So much character and it feel like a warm and cozy setting I the midst of the city. Congratulations again! Love the update and looking forward to more. Xo


  4. First of all huge congratulations!! Mazeltov! I feel very excited for you and love just love the venue, it has so much character and charm. And huge points for originality. Your excitement is palpable and contagious. I look forward to seeing pics of the event. So exciting!



  5. Awesome news! I just read the earlier post. Being from California, same sex marriage is nothing to be surprised about. I love the venue…so different and historic. I am so happy for you and Giles and of course for Jordan and Dempsey!


  6. It looks like they have chosen a place full of lots of character for their wedding. I love the stained glass and the weathered white entry looks so charming. I know you must be overjoyed with the anticipation of their special day!! 🙂


    • I’ve never appreciated before how significant a wedding is for the parents. It’s a point of pride that I want to share with all my family and friends. I understand now how it can become a runaway train 😉

      They have a great wedding planner – who is also a very close friend – and I’m sure it’s going to be lovely 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, how very lovely… you have guided us into a gorgeous location for such an emotional and happy event in all of your lives… Apart from the doors being just wonderful, the whole scenario is looking just amazing for the wedding. I wish you and your family a wonderful family wedding day and I do hope you will share some of it with us…It’s going to look a lot different on your son’s special day. Happy planning and don’t stress too much, it will glide into fulfillment for all!


    • Thank you so much!
      We are in fact not involved in the planning – my son and his partner definitely have this under control. Every once in a while, they give us a glimpse into what it will look like, but I’m sure it’s going to be lovely 💕


  8. What a gorgeous, unique venue! You already know you’re going to love that day in June. It’s just whip cream on the top of that pie knowing the special event will take place at this amazing building- with fabulous doors!! 💙 🚪


  9. Exciting stuff indeed. Looking forward to hearing all about it soon 😉
    I think I saw this place when I was there in Nov 2015 (?) – I remember the faded blue side door. I had not seen the inside so this was a treat. It’s just a wonderful spot for a wedding. I’m sure it’s going to be an amazing day 🙂


  10. What a fabulous joyous event to look forward to Joanne – the wedding of these two handsome young men. The choice of church is lovely and winsome. I can imagine the spring summer flowers giving that extra edge of elegance. I read your previous post of your son ‘coming out’ and was charmed. All blessings as the month comes closer! Thank you for sharing this with us 🌺


    • Thank you 🙂
      These 2 guys – and all their friends – are fun-loving people, so I’m confident it will be a memorable day … less on the serious side, and more on the laughter and fun side. I agree – it will be fabulous!


  11. All Beautiful church and surroundings! my favorite is the stained glass doors (that will be a gorgeous backdrop for photos:) The wedding of the first one is always very special! Yes, the low knob is very noticable – for kids?


    • I hope I never get to the point where weddings fail to delight me. When it’s your own getting married, it’s even sweeter – I had no idea! 💕

      I love those stained glass doors – leading into the kitchen of all places! What a wonderful, and unusual, choice!


  12. I love it and it’s perfect, Joanne. I especially love the kitchen doors!! Wowza! Our older daughter just got engaged and they’re planning an October wedding in S. California where they both live. Exciting time ahead for both our families, eh? 🙂



  13. What a beautiful old building. Perfect background for the dream wedding of a couple in love. I am trying to make sense of the knee-high doorknob, but nothing comes to mind. Great door pictures, you should use your phone more often.


    • The knee-level doorknob had me a bit baffled too. If I had to guess, the doorknob was an overthought.

      This was actually the first time I had taken photos with this phone, which I got for Christmas. I was rather proud that (1) I didn’t drop it once, (2) there were no unexpected photos of a finger or thumb 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • I have a tendency to get my expectations up really high, and then get disappointed by the reality.
      In this case, I’ve resolved to let go of any expectations and simply enjoy whatever they have planned – and what Mother Nature chooses to toss out that day.


  14. That’s an amazing building, I love all the shabbiness and peeling paint! Such character! I look forward to seeing the garden in the summer. My step-daughter got married in a garden with a ruined folly, it was most unusual and rather charming and the weather was perfect for being outdoors. Sadly I shan’t be at my son’s wedding at the end of this month as he is having a garden wedding in New Zealand. A long way for us to go when we wouldn’t have much time with him and his family. But I shall have a little dance by myself in the kitchen 😀


    • Oh, I’m so sad for you that you are going to miss your son’s wedding!! I hope there have been arrangements made for you to be there by Skype or FaceTime?

      I’m actually not a fan of outdoor weddings. We live in Canada. The weather is always a wild card.
      … but this is who they are, and an outdoor ceremony was a non-negotiable. I was relieved to hear that the facility includes a large outdoor event tent in case of inclement weather. There is no point in me worrying about the weather. It will be what it is.


  15. The best camera is the one you have with you Joanne and you certainly made most of your iPhone. These images are beautiful and the church is gorgeous. Best of luck to the happy couple. You never know I might just be a wedding crasher 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Joanne–I can read the excitement in your words, and I am so excited for you! The venue is beautiful. What is it about old paint that excites the heck out of me? I don’t know, but I love it. This venue looks beautiful in snow–I can’t wait to see it in the spring.


  17. I like that place (I love the doors to the kitchen, oh my goodness!) and I hope the day is grand! There’s something uniquely special about the doors you’ve shared. They give the place a very warm feel.


    • Thanks Dan – that’s exactly how I felt. Even though the space was empty and stark, it seemed to have a ‘soul’.
      … and I agree about those kitchen doors! Usually kitchen doors are plain and nondescript – trying to be invisible. They went in the other direction for the nicest kitchen doors I’ve ever seen 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  18. What a unique venue, Joanne, and what a clever twist for a blog post. So many ‘upcoming wedding’ posts share only from the rehearsal party onwards. I love seeing this fabulous spot months in advance, and through your eyes. Your excitement is coming through in your post. Terrific!


    • I try to keep a wall of privacy between my family and my blog. It’s always a bit of a balancing act and sometimes – like now, I can’t resist 🙂
      Fair warning is that this likely won’t be the last one about my son’s wedding 😉


  19. What an amazing spring and summer you are going to have. 🙂 This is a very interesting building, and I can’t wait to see it when it is not under snow but trimmed out in green and colorful blooms. Exciting times for you – enjoy every moment even if a few include tears of joy. 🙂


    • Thanks Judy. I’m going to have to keep reminding myself to relax and enjoy 😉

      I really wanted to go up into the treehouse, but it was so cold, and I hadn’t dressed for slogging through the snow to get to the stairs. You can be sure it will be one of the first things I do 🙂


  20. What a Unique and charming venue – love all the original details! Having our kids grow up and surprise us with their own choices and decisions is such a special part of parenting…mazel tov!


    • You hit it square on … “surprising us with their own choices and decisions”.
      It is truly wonderful when we remember to keep our hearts and minds open 🙂

      As much as I try not to be, I’m a crier. I’m afraid I’m going to be a soggy mess.


      • There are many small details they aren’t sharing, so it will be a wonderful surprise for me – whatever they do 🙂

        We met their wedding planner, who is also a very good friend of theirs, and I have a lot of confidence in her 💕


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