This blog was originally created by Madeleine Villa.
Megan O’Kelly and Andrew Kelly decided to #DropTheO July 2018 in a stunning romantic vineyard wedding at Gracewood Estates in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The neutral-whimsical theme lent itself perfectly to our Henkaa Sakura Maxi dresses in Champagne Nude and looked incredible paired with lush greenery in the bouquets and venue space. The Kelly’s have a pretty wonderful love story - you’ll want to read this!
Can you tell us a bit about the two of you?
Andrew and I met in a charity comedy show through Players Toronto called Thrones & Recreation. It was a mix between Parks & Recreation and Game of Thrones. Andrew was cast as Ron Swanson, the mustache wearing, stone-faced, soft-hearted carpenter. I was cast as Arya Stark, the feisty little whippersnapper! An obvious match right!?
At the time I was still at The University of Toronto studying acting and he was working full time in Canadian Scripted TV Development at eOne. Both creative minds, but worlds apart. This show brought us together and presented our commonalities - we both love comedy, storytelling, singing and enjoying a pint or two (did I mention the actors drink throughout the entire show?). We also both love hockey and, at the time, our beloved Toronto Maple Leafs had made the playoffs for the first time in years and were facing off in the first round against the Boston Bruins. Yes, this was the year of the first catastrophic loss in round one, game seven, when it looked like we had them and then we totally blew up in the third period. When we were crying together on the floor at the end of it, I knew I had found a partner to I could really share life’s ups and downs with.
Since then, I have changed paths and become a holistic nutritionist as I have had to work through my own health challenges. Through my struggles with both celiac disease and Hashimoto's, Andrew has been there to support me as I healed myself with nutrition and encouraged my career change and heading back to school to pursue it. Now, I run my own nutrition business, helping women to put their autoimmune diseases into remission, just like I have. Meanwhile, Andrew is climbing the ranks at eOne and helping bring to life Canadian TV shows like Burden of Truth and Caught.
Who proposed? Can you describe the moment?
Andrew proposed in the summer of 2016. I had just finished a Contiki Tour with my sister through New Zealand. We met in Kelowna, BC for my cousin's wedding and then Andrew and I went on a road trip down the coast.
He had planned to propose to me on a remote bridge in the woods on our way to Oregon. When we got there, all paths to it were blocked off by cut down trees. Apparently, the area was owned by a lumber company and they were sick of Instagrammers coming and taking pictures. So, Andrew had to change his plan and if you know Andrew, you know he doesn’t love when his plans don’t work out. Normally, that would totally shake him, but instead, he shook it off and started thinking of plan B.
Now, since he had planned on proposing on the road to Oregon, he had it set up so that the room we were staying in would be set up with rose petals, chocolate-covered strawberries and champagne. Now that his plans had to change, he needed to find a way to make sure the room was NOT set up that way, without me overhearing the conversation. SO, Andrew claimed he really needed the bathroom and we made a stop at Subway so he could do so.
When we arrived at our hotel, a man with a curly mustache greeted us.
“Oh, you must be the Kellys! Your room is ready!”
“Um, Kelly and O’Kelly!” Andrew corrected him.
“Right. Yes. I’m sorry, sir. That’s funny! Your last name is Kelly and hers is O’Kelly! Are you sure you’re not related?”
Awkward laughter. As if we hadn’t heard that one before!
He showed us to our room. Andrew exhaled. No petals or strawberries or champagne.
This room was right on the Canon Beach so we decided to go to the beach for a walk and watch the sunset.
Andrew and I love to take photos together so he had the tripod ready to get a photo of both of us looking out at the ocean as the sun set. He directed me to stand in just the right spot and look out at the sunset while he set up the camera to self-timer. Instead, he set it to record video and got down on one knee.
I was completely shocked when I turned around and saw him and the ring. I couldn’t believe it was real. I was only 24 at the time and I felt like a child being proposed to. I totally freaked out. For real. It took me 15 minutes to say yes because I had thoughts like “but I’m still in school and I don’t know what I’m doing with my life” “what if my career takes me to another city” “am I too young”, you know, all the stuff you get in your head about when you are totally surprised by a big life decision. But that is very me, and Andrew knows that. He stuck with me. Talked me through all of my neuroses, and by the end of it he said,
“At the end of the day, do you want to be with me forever.”
“Yes but -”
“Ok, then we can either go inside right now and forget this ever happened. Or, you can ask me to get back down on my knee.”
“Ok, please get back down on your knee.”
Of course, by this time the tide had come in a bit and now he was getting down into wet sand and the waves were splashing up onto his knees but he didn’t care. He asked me again, and finally, I said yes. And we cried. And took photos. And I’ve never been happier and surer that he was my one. If you can wait 15 minutes through a bunch of babbling insecurities to get you yes, then you’re perfect for me!
Andrew went to dinner with me that night wearing my pink running shoes because he got soaked during the proposal, we drank wine called Andrew Will and at the end of the night the roses, champagne & chocolate-covered strawberries were there waiting for us.
What was the theme or look of your wedding?
The theme was sort of romance, storytelling with a little bit of a midsummer night’s dream vibe. Our tables were divided into authors we love (Austen, Dickens & Bronte) and there were all old books of theirs. It was all outside, flowers everywhere, twinkling lights in the trees and lots of love in the air.
Could you describe your day and how it came together?
Our day was perfect. With a very rocky lead up (long story short: the venue was being investigated for fire code violations and unpaid permit fees so we almost were unable to have alcohol on the premises for the day - and with big Irish & Scottish families that would NOT have gone over well), everything sorted itself out for the day of.
We had a little bit of rain during the ceremony but it just sprinkled in the most romantic way and cut the humidity after it cleared up for the rest of the day.
We feasted on gorgeous food. Our friends & family made us laugh & cry with their fabulous speeches. Our friends opened the dance floor by being our very own live band and Andrew and I sang a few meaningful selections of our own. That really got the party started before switching to an iPod. The dance floor stayed roaring all night with a few interruptions for cake cutting (which I made myself, all gluten-free & dairy-free, YUM!) and the bouquet/garter tosses. We finished off the night with our “last dance” to These Arms of Mine and sparklers to send us off into a gorgeous limo and the honeymoon suite looking over the falls in Niagara.
It was just perfect.
What was your favourite moment or most memorable detail?
My favourite moment was kissing my husband for the first time.
You know he threw a dramatic dip in there!
The most memorable moment, however, may have been when our band (filled with friends from Players) did an encore (that Andrew & I did not know about!) to Prince Ali from Aladdin. I don’t know why but that has always been one that we have had such a blast singing for jokes and whipping out at karaoke to get the bar laughing and having a good time.
Why did you choose Henkaa convertible dresses for your bridesmaids?
I chose Henkaa because I wanted my girls to look beautiful. I wanted them to have the exact same colour but be able to express themselves and wear something that they would feel good in and that would complement their own unique body types. The convertible dress was perfect for that!
Henkaa had the perfect nude/champagne colour that I was looking for to fit our neutral palette and the fabric quality was absolutely the TOPS!
Wedding Dress: Kleinfeld’s Bridal
Bridesmaids Dresses: Henkaa
Groom & Groomsmen Suits: Indochino
Florals: Bloom & Co
Photographer: Peyton Rainey Byford
Hair: Texture’s Hair Salon
Makeup: TOK Beauty
Stationary: Paula Lee Calligraphy
Decorator/ Rentals: DIY
DJ/Music: IPod & Friends