Brooke grew up in Whitehorse, Yukon and David grew up in Sherwood Park, Alberta.
We met in the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program at the University of Toronto. Each semester, the class of 250+ students is divided into groups of five people each and these groups were expected to complete a series of assignments together. On a cold January 2012 day at Hart House on the U of T campus, we sat down in a cavernous grey-stone hall to meet our new group members for the first time. The sorting hat had placed us in the same group!
Over the next few months, we spent a lot of time together while completing group work, sharing the same goofy sense of humour and introverted personalities. The class project we did together in our "Integrative Thinking Practicum" won the year-end competition judged by the Dean of the school. We both remember listening to Ray LaMontagne's "You Are The Best Thing" in a study room the night before the competition, as a quiet unspoken moment between them. This later became our wedding song.
The summer after the first school-year, we started dating.
Since then we've been inseparable, and are frequently referred to as "Bronson" (Brooke + Benson) by our old classmates. We endured a long distance relationship for a year and a half post-graduation while David worked in Edmonton and Brooke was in Toronto, and we reunited in January 2015 in Calgary, where we currently live.
David proposed on a warm fall Sunday in October 2016. The proposal happened on a bench on Prince's Island Park in downtown Calgary, underneath golden leaves.
We both really wanted to get married in the mountains. We happened to hear about Sky Bistro after checking about a dozen other venues, and immediately fell in love with the space. It has that rare blend of a very nice formal dining space mixed with spectacular outdoor views - a rare combination.
~ Brooke & David
Favourite Parts of the Wedding Day
- The views from the outdoor terrace at the Banff Gondola were stunning. It felt great to see our guests enjoying themselves while looking out over Banff and the surrounding mountains. Our July 15 wedding was actually the day before the wildfire smoke arrived to smother Banff for weeks, and during the ceremony you could see the first wisps of smoke curling their way into the valley. By the end of the night, the sun was hitting the smoke and creating beautiful red and pink skies, which created some awesome pictures!
- The officiant for the day was one of my best friends that I had known since I was three years old, and who had later become good friends with Brooke. It added a personal touch that we were both looking for.
- I had our officiant pull a surprise move during the ceremony. Back in the MBA program, I wrote Brooke a letter one month after we started dating, saying I was going to marry her one day. The officiant pulled the letter out of his jacket pocket and surprised Brooke with that. I gave the letter to Brooke back at the hotel at the end of the night to read.
- The highlight of the night for many of our friends was the 3-hour music set played by SideOne, possibly the world's best wedding band. We set up a corner of the restaurant for their stage, with floor-to-ceiling windows behind them showing the setting sun. The band was full of energy, and at one point during the Isley Brothers' "Shout", had the entire room lying on the floor (with the lead singer lying in the middle) ready to jump up! They also played "You Are The Best Thing" as our first dance, which had special significance from our time in the MBA program.
- We wanted our speeches to be short and sweet. A highlight was listening to both of our normally serious moms deliver heartfelt speeches while choking up.
- Seeing Brooke in her beautiful dress!
- Getting married in the mountains was really special. I grew up in Yukon and always spent a lot of time camping and hiking outdoors, so having an outdoor ceremony surrounded by trees and nature was really important to me.
- Getting ready the morning of the wedding with my sisters, our Moms, and my best friends from home was a really fun way to start the day.
- Sneaking off with our photographer before and during the wedding created special quiet moments for just us in the midst of a busy day. We took our portraits in advance of the ceremony and went adventuring with our photographer to some unique locations around Banff. During the reception, we also stepped out to take pictures together. It was nice to have a few private moments together in between all the events of the day.
- Our wedding really brought together friends and family from all different parts of our life. We invited 80 people and had childhood friends, university friends, work friends, and family we hadn't seen in years. It was amazing to be able to bring everyone together in one place.
- The band brought the party. They had an amazing energy and an incredible song selection that kept the dancefloor packed all night.