While actor Noah Reid already walked down the aisle once this year as character Patrick on the Emmy-nominated sitcom Schitt's Creek, he made his way to the altar in real life to say "I do" to fiancée Clare Stone, a psychiatric nurse and researcher, on July 25, 2020. Although the casual affair barred little similarity to Noah's on-screen vows, the couple does have Schitt's Creek to thank for their wedding theme: The day was inspired by their trip to Tuscany after the series wrapped last summer.
"We wanted our wedding to feel like a laid-back, outdoor dinner party at a Tuscan villa," says Clare. "We throw a lot of dinner parties and enjoy nothing more than sitting across from our friends eating beautiful food, drinking beautiful wine, and laughing late into the night."
For the couple, there was no better location than Noah's family home on Lake Huron, which his parents purchased the year he was born, to gather with guests and do just that. Not only was the property an "oasis" for Noah all his life, but the site was also where the pair first said, "I love you." Rather than working with a wedding planner, Noah and Clare undertook the responsibilities and tapped friends and family to help out. "Every single person who attended our wedding did something for it," adds the bride. "People landscaped, made place cards, raked the beach, created playlists, led our ceremony...the list goes on."
However, COVID-19 was "definitely a bit of a curveball" in their plans, admits Noah. After much thought, the couple took social distancing precautions into consideration and forged ahead with a "miniature version" of their original plans, inviting just 25 guests to join them for a night on Lake Huron.
"Every day we were questioning what was safe, what was do-able, what would change, whether it was worth it. It just felt like it was our time to get married, though, and we kept coming back to that," Noah explains. "The day that we uninvited so many of our close friends and family members was probably the hardest of them all. Next year, if restrictions allow it, we’ll host a big backyard party to celebrate our one-year anniversary."
Keep reading for all the details on Noah and Clare's lakeside micro wedding, which included a surprise serenade from the groom (he is a musician, too!) and plenty of DIY projects by the bride and her mother. While different than their original plans, every aspect of the celebration was personal and unique—just as the couple had hoped.
Noah's sister Thea, an artist and printmaker, designed the couple's wedding invitations, which featured a recreation of a picture the pair took while vacationing early in their relationship. "I’ve always loved that photo. We’re just being ridiculous and having a great time together, so it was very cool to see it translated into the emblem of our wedding," Noah adds.
Every time I put it on, I feel a little bit taller and a whole lot classier, and never more than that night.
When Noah purchased his Gucci tuxedo a few years ago, he had two intentions: Find a suit for award shows thanks to Schitt's Creek and for his upcoming wedding! "Every time I put it on, I feel a little bit taller and a whole lot classier, and never more than that night," he shares. For the wedding, Noah completed his look with a classic black bow tie. "I tied my own bow tie and got it on the second try, so I’m pretty proud of myself," he admits. "I also enjoyed partying late into the night with an untied bow tie, smoking a cigar, and feeling like Frank Sinatra."
There’s something so powerful about feeling like yourself on your wedding day.
"I love it because it’s an upscale and more glamorous version of the types of things I typically wear," says Clare of her minimalist Alexandra Grecco crepe silk gown. To create the illusion of a slip dress, she added thin, delicate straps—a task that was completed mere minutes before the ceremony began. She adds, "There’s something so powerful about feeling like yourself on your wedding day."
Despite finding her wedding gown months before the big day, Clare's actual dress didn't arrive until three weeks before the nuptials. "In the meantime, I’d purchased about ten white dresses from Zara that I tried to convince myself I would be easy going enough to wear in a pinch," she says of her back-up plan. Her effortless bridal look was topped off with a custom tulle veil, minimal gold jewelry, and natural makeup by her sister.
When it came to the color scheme, Clare found inspiration in Lake Huron sunsets and opted for a warm palette of pink, orange, and yellow hues. Her flower of choice? Ranunculus! "It’s this delicate, sensual flower with a petal structure that goes on and on, hopefully like our marriage," she says. Every floral arrangement was made with the help of her mother with one exception: the bridal bouquet, a task Clare took on herself that morning. "I felt so proud of what I had created," she shares.
"It never felt right to me to choose what my sister and girlfriends would wear," Clare says of her bridesmaids. Rather, she asked her bridal party to "wear something in a color from the sunset," which resulted in "a killer combination of dresses in different shades of pink." The bride adds, "Their look reflected the individualized and authentic nature of the wedding."
As soon as we saw each other for the first time on our wedding day, the stress all melted away and we felt pure, unadulterated joy for the rest of the night.
While it was a hectic morning finalizing last-minute details, the couple says their emotional first look eased all their worries. "As soon as we saw each other for the first time on our wedding day, the stress all melted away and we felt pure, unadulterated joy for the rest of the night," they agree.
The couple first met on the set of Canadian police drama Rookie Blue in 2012. "We were guest stars on an episode where Noah played Wyatt, the unruly and outraged boyfriend of my character, Stella, the daughter of a powerful criminal," recalls the bride. Shortly after, Clare left acting to study science at the University of Toronto and their romantic relationship began, ultimately leading to a Christmas morning proposal in 2018.
"When we first started planning, we made a commitment to one another that we would try as hard as we could to enjoy the process, and I’d say we were doing pretty well until COVID hit," explains Noah.
Even without the pressure of planning an event mid-pandemic, the couple admits that wedding planning can be a difficult task. "It’s no secret that planning a wedding is hard. I think if nothing else, we want to remind other couples that it’s okay not to enjoy every moment of the process," they share. "There is immense societal pressure for everything to be glamorous and photogenic, and the reality is often messy, rushed, and emotionally chaotic. What’s important, at the end of the day, is that you’re in it together and that you continue to choose to do it together."
The ceremony took place on the shores of Lake Huron underneath a floral-covered arch. The couple kept the décor minimal, using the winding beach staircase as the aisle and simple harvest benches for seating as to not take away from the natural beauty of the venue. "Lake Huron is unique in that it seems like there is nothing on the other side of the horizon; it just goes on and on," offers Clare. "It’s transcendent."
Clare made her way to the beach hand-in-hand with her parents and sister. "It was my family who walked with me; my sister and maid of honor Julia holding my veil so it didn’t get caught on any branches, and my mum and dad trailing behind us excitedly," she recalls. "It was a special moment for the four of us. Once we got to the bottom, I walked confidently to the altar myself instead of being 'given away.'"
Meanwhile, Noah surprised Clare by singing "The Book of Love" by Magnetic Fields. He performed the tune with a 1987 Manzer guitar—a wedding gift from his parents—while guests sang along simple harmonies. "I had trouble making it all the way through or carrying the tune once I saw Clare, but it felt very special," the groom remembers.
Once at the altar, Noah and Clare played a quick round of "Rock, Paper, Scissors" to decide who would recite their vows last. Clare won.
"Going last was a mistake. Noah’s a beautiful songwriter and a tough act to follow. You’ve never seen people cry like they did when Noah read his vows," she says. "I elected to go the comedic route, likening our love—and my commitment to him to the relationship between beloved Toronto Raptors, Kyle Lowry, and Demar Derozan. It broke the ice for sure. So his [vows] made people cry, mine made people laugh, it all evened out."
While comedic, Clare's vows still made Noah tear up. "I cried through both of them," he admits. "I’m very emotional about the Raptors."
It was important for both of us to speak in our own words about the love we have for each other and the commitment we were making to each other, with our families and closest people present to witness it.
The couple very much planned their lakefront ceremony, with Noah saying, "We most definitely [wrote our own vows]. It was important for both of us to speak in our own words about the love we have for each other and the commitment we were making to each other, with our families and closest people present to witness it." In fact, he says they skipped over traditional language in favor of more "honest and personal" expressions.
That said, not everything went as planned on the big day—when it came time to exchange rings, there were no bands to trade! "One of my all-time favorite memories of the wedding was the moment that my sister realized she had forgotten the rings back up at the house and had to sprint up the long set of beach stairs to get them," Clare recalls. "It was very in keeping with the tone of the ceremony, not too serious or staid, emotional and joyful, unrehearsed and unpredictable."
Much of the couple's personal ceremony reflected Clare's British heritage. Her grandfather, who was unable to fly in for the wedding, chose both the Bible verses and traditional English hymn (which was sung by three friends!) used in the ceremony. "Though neither Noah nor I are religious, it felt like a nice connection to the traditions of the generations before us," adds the bride.
The marriage was marked with a kiss, Champagne toast, and a petal toss—another British wedding tradition.
Before heading to their outdoor reception, the newlyweds and their guests stayed on the beach for a few more glasses of bubbly while Clare's hand-curated playlist—titled "Post-Ceremony Love Bangers"—played. "[The playlist] is maybe my life’s best work," she adds with a laugh. "I should make it public."
Once the beach party concluded, cocktail hour commenced on the property's lawn with an array of natural wine from Montreal graciously brought by a friend, Emilie. As Emilie spoke about the producers of the wines, Noah walked around "displaying the bottles like an increasingly disgruntled Vana White," as Clare puts it. Their friend even brought a sword to saber Champagne! "It was a real hit, and by the end of the night, almost every guest had sabered something," recalls the bride. "Who knew swords were such an essential wedding accessory? "
While the couple originally envisioned a dinner al fresco, they decided to err on the safe side, opting for a clear-top tent covered in lights instead.
With the bride and groom at the head, each guest sat at one large wooden table decorated with a runner of Italian Ruscus and white ranunculus. Votive candles were placed in dozens of glass jars that the couple collected over the past year and the place cards featured hand-pressed flowers made by a dear friend of Clare.
Clare's father was tasked with creating the perfect playlist ("Think Louis Prima and Andrea Bocelli," she says) to accompany the Italian meal of grilled mortadella with red pepper jelly, beef tenderloin, Ontario peach and burrata salad, and radicchio risotto.
The bride, however, took over DJ duties when the dancing portion of the evening began. The newlyweds chose "Have I Told You Lately" by Van Morrison for their first dance, and other hits of the night included Justin Timberlake's "Señorita" and Noah's "Got You." "One of my favorite moments was when the men and women stood on opposite sides of the dance floor singing and dancing Justin Timberlake’s 'Señorita,'" Clare recalls. "Playing Noah’s song “Got You” and everyone doing the dance my sister and I made for his music video was a pretty fantastic moment too."
The newlyweds stayed on the same shore of Lake Huron for their honeymoon, celebrating with friends for a few days before having the home to themselves for a few more. "Noah and I stayed up for a week on our own, admiring our wedding bands in the water and trying out the 'husband' and 'wife' titles," Clare recalls. "It was blissful."
Veil Amanda Salmon
Hair Ana Sorys
Makeup Julia Stone
Engagement Ring BluBoho
Wedding Bands Attic
Invitations Thea Reid
Catering Alida Solomon of Tutti Matti
Rentals NJS Design
Photography Inna Yasinska