“It was my dream wedding.” You might think those are the bride’s words, but they’re the groom’s. Drew Shearman had always imagined his wedding day. When he met Sheila Fajardo, it didn’t take him long to figure out she was “the one.” They connected “the modern way,” says Sheila, through an online dating service, and after two weeks Drew asked Sheila to be exclusive.
A guy who knows what he wants, Drew’s intensity is part of his charm. Sheila’s first sight of him (after she kept him waiting for half an hour) was of him patiently reading a book, and “there’s something about a man with a book,” says Sheila. Especially a man who’s into both books and body ink – with tattoo sleeves, tunnel earrings and goatee, he’s earnest with an edge.
Drew, a technical writer, and Sheila, a makeup trainer, hit it off that first date, talking non-stop for more than two hours. The couple wanted the same things – from travel and dogs to never, ever camping. Within five months Drew brought up marriage and after 11 he proposed on her birthday at Tiffany & Co. “I thought we were going in to get the diamond key necklace I was totally coveting as a birthday present,” says Sheila. “Not only did he get me the necklace but when I turned around he had this beautiful diamond ring in his hands. It was totally me… vintage-looking, but modern and stylish. He proposed right in the middle of the store!”
The diamond-and-platinum circlet ring set the tone for their vintage-modern wedding 18 months later – far enough ahead for this detail-oriented couple, who handled everything themselves. Both foodies and urbanites, they decided to have it in the downtown-Vancouver ’hood of Yaletown at a favourite haunt of Drew’s, Brix & Mortar. The ceremony took place in the courtyard of the 1912 heritage brick building, followed by dinner at the restaurant. With just 70 guests, the intimate space meant they got to create that old-yet-new vibe and a more organic gathering of friends and family.
Although most of Drew’s Scottish family couldn’t make it, they incorporated some of his Orkney heritage into the day, from a bagpiper to a custom kilt made by a friend of his mother’s in Scotland. His jacket and vest were also bespoke, designed by Blair Shapera Custom Clothing in Vancouver. Drew’s cousin handcrafted a bride’s cog, a wooden drinking vessel traditionally filled with a special concoction (whiskey, ale, raw eggs… and more alcohol). “Everyone would have been hammered after one sip,” says Sheila, “so we just had it on display.”
Every detail had the couple’s custom touch, from Drew’s elephant-motif tie (the couple fosters orphaned elephants through the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust) to Sheila sourcing a handmade “here comes the bride” sign on Etsy. The purple theme was inspired by her grandmother’s vintage amethyst earrings and woven into orchid-chiffon bridesmaid dresses that mimicked the pattern of hydrangeas in the gentlemen’s boutonnieres and on the purple ombré cake.
And everything had a vintage element. Drew’s ring is an 18-karat-gold 1837 Tiffany & Co. wedding band, to which Sheila managed to add one surprising detail he wasn’t involved in – a diamond set inside. It’s his ideal ring; “Maybe I’m not like the normal guy,” Drew jokes, “the fact that I have the ring I’ve always wanted.” The couple even created an ornate, old-school wedding logo of a crowned heart and keyhole, using one of Drew’s tattoos as inspiration.
Yet all the vintage elements – antique suitcases, mirrors, lanterns, jewellery and poetry – still had a modern edge. Drew had rose-gold tunnel earrings to match Sheila’s dress (although he forgot to wear them the day of the wedding – the only thing he overlooked) and included The Flaming Lips on the playlist. And come July, for their first anniversary, they’ll be on an atypical, exotic honeymoon in Sri Lanka – a dream trip (with elephants and no camping or backpacking!) that’s been long planned and already booked, of course, by Drew.