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Inside Kate Schipper and Richard Luft's Pre-Pandemic Wedding


This is What a Pre-Pandemic Wedding Looked Like

Inside Kate Schipper and Richard Luft's Pre-Pandemic Wedding


Richard Luft likes the movies. A lot. So much so that on his first date with Kate Schipper, he served just one thing: popcorn. Technically, it wasn’t really the couple’s first date. Having been matched not once but twice on Bumble, Rich and Katie decided it was time to meet. By chance, they both realized they were attending the same art exhibit the night before their scheduled first date. After catching each other’s eye for the first time, and feeling slightly awkward given they had arrived with other friends, Katie mustered up her courage and made her way across the room to meet Rich. After a few minutes, they decided that a "pre-date" was in order. Or, as they say in the movies, a prequel.

Photography by Lori Waltenbury

Though they knew their first date was planned for the next evening, Rich and Katie decided to leave the exhibit and walked to nearby DaiLo for a glass of wine. “The first thing I noticed about Katie,” explains Rich, “was her remarkable laugh. She has a great sense of humour,” he adds, “but she doesn’t laugh at all my jokes – only the good ones.” As for Katie, who is naturally more reserved, the evening was a perfect way to ease into the couple’s first date. The next night, with loads of popcorn made with Rich’s movie-theatre-quality machine and a great bottle of wine, the couple spent the evening getting to know each other. "It was natural and easy from the very start," explains Katie.

The early months of dating were a joy for the couple. Katie, who describes herself as a little on the shy side, remembers being relaxed and very much herself around Rich. “I wanted to know his opinion about everything,” she says of the former lawyer, now a partner at McKinsey & Company. Similarly, Rich was excited to learn as much as he could about Katie and was particularly interested in her incredible design sensibility (having worked for a few designers, Katie is about to venture out on her own).

Rich worked with Montreal jeweller Gloria Bass to find the perfect ring for Katie.

With a deep sense of curiosity about the other, the two recognized many shared interests and values, such as preferring to stay in versus going out for dinner, skiing and spending time with family. Where their interests differ, they are committed to supporting the other. “We remain individuals, but feel stronger as a team,” explains Rich. “In the end, what binds us is our love of family and our shared philosophy of enjoying the important things in life while doing our best not to sweat the small stuff.”

Over the next few years, the couple — who both knew early on that they'd be together long-term — grew closer. After considering proposing to Katie during a 2019 trip to Portugal for a friend’s wedding, Rich decided to hold off  for a less obvious opportunity. On a fall weekend getaway to Niagara soon after returning from Portugal, Rich brought Katie to the renowned Pearl Morissette restaurant. With his love of movies never far from his thoughts, Rich created a proposal trailer for Katie, which greeted the couple on a projector as they entered the restaurant's bar.

Katie — who prefers not to be the centre of attention — envisioned a small and intimate restaurant wedding. But given that Rich comes from a big family, they had to compromise. Not wanting a formal or traditional venue, they settled on The Globe and Mail Centre, a rooftop venue in downtown Toronto with a spectacular view of the city and lake. With more luck on their side, the weather held, a crucial factor given that over 50% of their guests flew in from out of town (half of Katie’s family lives in Los Angeles).

Working with Kiera Caruso Events and Lauren Sellen of Coyote Flowers, the couple created an intimate and romantic space for their guests with moody floral tones of blush, peach and burgundy displayed in different vessels. The overall result was an elegant but not overly formal setting.

Rich wore a bespoke tux by Alfred Sung. Katie's dress is from Powder.

“Being surrounded by people that love and support us was the highlight of our wedding,” recalls Katie. Between the laughter and tears generated by incredible speeches, guests dined on braised short ribs, whipped garlic potatoes, torched crème brûlée donuts and mini pavlovas. Rich convinced an old friend — whose band Pudding is known for its soul-meets-funk sound — to make an exception and play (the band doesn't do weddings), further cementing the couple's desire for an intimate and fun celebration.

Right after the wedding, the couple took a mini-moon to Jamaica’s GoldenEye resort and had planned on a longer honeymoon to New Zealand later in 2020. With the pandemic putting those plans on hold, the couple happily turned to a more important matter at hand: they were expecting.

Katie and Rich rode out this past year's multiple lockdowns at home, happily preparing for the arrival of Jonah, who was born in January. The self-declared homebodies are exactly where they want to be, and look forward to post-pandemic entertaining — family-style — using their wedding gifts from HG. In the movies, they call that a happy ending.

Kate + Richard's favourite gifts


“I love how this pattern is integrated; I love that there's no seam in the handle.”


“We use our linen napkins every day, and love the way they feel in your hand – smooth but substantial.”

“It's such an upgrade.”