Aussie weds in Canada’s North Bay — and a plane gets in the way

Written by Stephanie Staiger, CNN Toronto, Ontario, Canada

For most, a lakeside wedding would be pretty much the epitome of wedding bliss.

But in Toronto, choosing that location to tie the knot isn’t always easy — especially if you’re half-way around the world from your partner and don’t have easy access to an ocean, lake or mountain.

So when 53-year-old Sunu Sharma and her Australian partner Phyllis Hogg decided to have a wedding at a lake in Canada’s North Bay, the pair had to beat the long Canadian summertime blues, and find out the quickest route back to their home in Melbourne.

Hogg told CNN Travel of her speedy journey home, explaining that once she landed in Melbourne, she had no more than two hours to make the journey via a nearby highway.

“My heart sank when I started getting more and more heat in my car,” she said.

“All of the other cars were in the same rut, all trying to get to the airport, but I was still thinking ‘I really hope this work day is not quite long enough to make this trip.’ “


Eventually, Hogg made it back to the airport to catch a flight back to Melbourne that was the next available, then stuck in the airport car park for hours, feeling out of breath, watching planes fly overhead.

Hogg almost missed her connecting flight to Canada. Credit: Courtesy Rhona Waldron

“So on the carousel, I was just grinning to myself and saying ‘Let me just buy some ice cream!'” she recalled.

The next morning, they set off on a more leisurely route back to Toronto, passing through rural Ontario, Enniskillen, and rolling countryside.

Back at a lake in central Toronto, they decided to opt for a smaller ceremony, opting for a smaller gathering, with an extra rural aesthetic.

Hogg and Sharma were married at a lake in Toronto. Credit: Courtesy Rhona Waldron

“We made sure to include a ton of wildflowers, and bits of Canadian native plants, which are really uplifting and powerful. We couldn’t bring ourselves to have a large, boring wedding, so we decided to go wild with all the greenery. There are more tips and details at the site.”

The couple also relied on a modern technology, with a videographer from the North York Heritage Alliance, who was born and raised in Toronto.

“We booked her directly and she filmed it on the day — she flew in from London (England), came right in the morning, and was able to film what it was like to be at the event with us.”

A country romantic

However, just as their Caribbean trip was about to reach its climax, Hogg had a “wake up call”.

“My beautiful green eyes fell on a link in a medical pathology unit that put together the slides we see in pathology labs all over the world.”

Hogg said Hogg had a “wake up call” on the plane home from her Toronto wedding. Credit: Courtesy Rhona Waldron

That’s when Hogg got an urgent call.

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