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Inside James Sheriff and Laurence Trottier's Quebec City Wedding

Inside James Sheriff and Laurence Trottier's Quebec City Wedding

A cross-cultural 'histoire d'amour'

When James Sheriff asked Laurence Trottier to trade a rock for some wheat on the popular online game Settlers of Catan, he didn’t realize he had just met his future wife. The two, who decided to put down their devices and meet in person, first set eyes on each other in 2015 at Toronto’s Tequila Bookworm. They had planned to meet for a drink but ended up spending the entire evening together.

James’ first impression of the French-Canadian beauty before him? “An A-type energizer bunny,” adding that she's “so much fun to be around.” On her end, Laurence was immediately drawn to James’ quiet confidence and presence: “I loved his calm, cool and confident personality,” she explains. “For me, James is both mysterious yet approachable, both interesting and interested.”​
ABOVE: The bride’s Sottero Midgley dress is from Avenue 22 Bridal. Laurence says "it felt like a t-shirt over a ballgown.”   
On a trip to Vancouver Island - where James’ oldest friend Dan had moved to set up his own farm - the couple went hiking with Dan and his wife and son. Upon arriving at the famous Kinsol Trestle, a century-old wooden railway bridge that crosses the Koksilah River and one of the highest in the world, Laurence turned around after peering over the bridge to find James on one knee. Dan, a great photographer, was on hand to capture the moment. “I had no makeup on, and certainly wasn’t dressed for the occasion,” recalls Laurence. “All I thought was, ‘Oh God, the photos!'” Despite not being camera-ready for her surprise engagement pictures, she was overjoyed and the couple began planning their wedding.

A native of Quebec City, Laurence wanted to get married in her hometown, and was encouraged to do so by James’ family. They were married at L’Amerique Française, a historic church that has been converted into an event space. The marriage was highly personal as the couple asked the groom's close family friend - who had already married several family members - to officiate. Though deeply honoured, the Delaware-based anglophone was faced with a language barrier and some anxiety, given the bride’s mother spoke very little English. He decided to lean in, and with the help of a French tutor, began to learn French.

ABOVE: The streets of Quebec City, and the event venue itself, were a stunning backdrop for the formal event.

ABOVE: The groom chose a Lanvin tux from Toronto’s Nicholas boutique, and wore it with Salvatore Ferragamo shoes. James stands beside his mother, Kathy Anderson.

The ceremony ended up being bilingual, and post-dinner speeches were delivered in both French and English. Friends and family spoke about how even though language barriers and cultural dissimilarities presented some initial stress for the couple, it ended up making their bond even stronger. In fact, both James and Laurence were touched at just how warm and welcoming both families were and how it made their union even more joyous.

No strangers to contrast, the couple strove for a natural yet luxe vibe for their formal Quebec City wedding, with the goal of bringing the outside in. With the help of KA Mariage wedding planners,  they chose vibrant jewel colours as a guide for everything from bridesmaids dresses, flowers and décor. Laurence even ordered in matching floral robes for her bridesmaids. One of the most striking features were the cherry blossom trees that flanked the altar.

In addition to being blown away by the evening's speeches, there were many highlights throughout the evening, included a Hora, organized by James' Jewish best friend's mother. No one on Laurence's side of the family had ever experienced one, but everyone participated, and Laurence describes the experience as "having never felt so alive". The group celebrated into the early hours of the morning, enjoying a chaotic and fun night that included a custom ice sculpture for shots, lots of dancing and a fun-filled blending of language, culture and tradition that they both describe as "beyond words."

The newlyweds took a Mini Moon at the Four Seasons Surfside in North Miami following the wedding. They're also planning two longer trips to Hong Kong and Japan, as well as a safari in Tanzania. When not working, James, who works with a digital buying company, and Laurence, who works in the Cannabis industry, entertain regularly, preferring casual, family-style meals, and serving up James' famous Manhattans.