Meet Sarah and David, the lovely couple, whose September 12th, 2020 wedding was beyond beautiful at their family cottage on Clear Lake in the Kawarthas. No detail was left out, from the ring, to the quilt, and all the local vendors in the Kawartha Lakes!

Clear and Stony Lake Wedding

 Sarah Schmied – grew up in Mississauga, triplet with two brothers, she went to Queen’s, work as an Environmental Planner on infrastructure projects throughout Ontario. David Pal – grew up in Etobicoke, youngest of three boys, went to Western, works as an Account Executive selling enterprise software. These two love birds met 6 year ago and the sparks have been flying ever since!

The Engagement

Sunset and champagne engagement session on clear lake

On a rainy day in Bon Echo Provincial Park on a fall camping trip, David popped the question with a beautiful ring in hand! “The weather was calling for rain all weekend but David insisted we still go on this trip. After a cozy Friday evening by the fire under the stars and then a night in our tent in a provincial downpour, we got up and were determined to make the most of our weekend away. Went on a canoe ride and then hiked up the Mazinaw Rock. We were totally drenched but the park was so quiet and peaceful and the view with the fall colours starting to change was beautiful. Little did I know that David was carrying around a ring and a bottle of champagne! When we got to the top of the hike, David kept saying we needed to keep looking around, I guess he was finding the perfect spot, and then told me to go look out at the view, and I turned around and he was holding the ring! That day when we got back to our site after the hike (early afternoon), we got back to our completely soaked tent and decided to pack up and drive two hours back to the cottage. We got cozy with some champagne, a fire and called all our family and close friends! It was the best day ever. We have made so many great memories on rainy days. Somehow our best times have been when we’ve just gone exploring in the rain so I think the fact that it was raining made it perfectly us.”


Sarah’s engagement ring is a beautiful 3 diamond eye catcher! You know by by looking at it there has to be a story :). The centre diamond is actually the diamond from Sarah’s mother’s engagement ring. David asked her parents that summer in August when we took a family trip out to Kelowna and they gave him her ring to use, she also gave him a ring from her grandmother which had a smaller diamond which is now one of the two side stones. David’s sister-in-law, Kim, owns a family owned Jewellery Store (Liberal Jewellery) and she specializes in engagement rings. She worked with David to use the two family stones and design the ring. It is so perfect and I love how both of our families were involved, since family is so important to both of us. Kim kept it a secret from everyone, including her husband – David’s brother! 

Engagement ring created by Liberal Jewelry


Sarah and David nailed the Garden party/Cottage vibe. They kept it a very family oriented celebration in their favourite place, the cottage. “The cottage has been so important to both of us throughout our relationship, where we have spent a lot of our summers and where I have really gotten to know David’s family and friends, and where my family and friends have visited. It was just the perfect setting. It was something we were really only able to make possible since we could only do a smaller celebration because of COVID. Although we wish we could have had more of our family and friends involved, with the crazy year that 2020 was, we felt so fortunate to even be celebrating with just our immediate families and bridal party.” 

Garden Style Wedding at cottage in Ontario
Wedding Ceremony on Clear Lake


The Scottish Traditions Sarah and David incorporated, were a parent’s dreams come true. “David’s mother is from Scotland and has always talked about how she would love one of her three sons to get married in a kilt. Well David is the youngest of three and the last to get married. I loved the idea and we thought the cottage atmosphere would be perfect for this. We kept it a surprise from his mom and David’s brothers decided to join in and wear one as well. The three men looked so handsome, and we even got our 5-year old Nephew in one! The day of the wedding Mary executed this surprise SO well! I watched from the bedroom window with my girlfriends and my family watched from the deck as Mary suggested taking some photos of David’s parents alone. During this we could see David walking across the lawn and they had no idea. Then all of a sudden his mom turned around and David, looking dashing I must say, was standing there in the Scottish National Tartan. A few minutes later she turned around and there were David’s brothers and nephew all in the Flower of Scotland tartans. Lots of tears were shed and it was absolutely perfect. All of us girls were crying upstairs and I just couldn’t wait to have my first look with David and hug my handsome husband to be!”

To further incorporate the scottish tradition, their neighbour plays the bagpipes and piped Sarah in as she walked down the aisle and then piped us out when we were announced Husband and Wife. They also “Payed the piper” with a shot of scotch during our cocktail hour. 


All of their dances were out on the lawn during cocktail hour wanting to keep the vibe light and enjoy the evening before dinner: 

“David and I danced to Deeper than the Holler by Randy Travis which is one of our favourites to dance to. We both love country music, when we started dating went to numerous concerns in the summer together and it was just perfect. We had Mary’s sister Melissa Payne play live music during cocktail hour and she sang this for our first dance.   


cottage wedding table setting
wedding table setting on clear lake
lemonade stand at ontario wedding
Ontario wedding lemonade stand

During cocktail hour since we the event was on their family property, they were able to incorporate some fun touches, Sarah’s girlfriends made signage for around the property (including for some tents that some of our guests were sleeping in), and they had a fun activity for their 3-year old niece and 5-year old nephew so they set-up a lemonade stand. 

“David and I really enjoy cooking together and wanted to make food a big part of our day. We had a family friend who is a chef cook for us and he shucked oysters on the lawn during cocktail hour. He also made a giant paella for dinner on a 36 inch paella pan which was a site to see! “

We had a late night bonfire after dinner with sparklers and danced until 3 am. 

Sarah David said the best part of their day: “ALL OF IT. How do I pick. I loved the ceremony of course, seeing my HUSBAND look so good in his kilt, getting ready with my girlfriends! The extended cocktail hour was on the lawn with a view of the lake on a perfect September day. Seeing all my family and friends mingling and enjoying the music, the food and the drinks was more than I could ever ask for. “

“One part of the day which was less traditional and not something that Mary was a part of, was the morning of the wedding. I woke up very early, before the sun rose because I just couldn’t stop thinking about everything about the day to come. We were both at the cottage, staying there with both of our families who spent the full day with us on the Friday by the water. David was also awake and we decided to sneak down to the dock to watch the sunrise just the two of us. It was the most peaceful morning, we knew it was going to be a beautiful day. We just talked about what we were excited about and enjoyed the moment together before kicking off the festivities. 

We love the Kawarthas and trying to support small local businesses we tried our best to use local vendors. We were a bit late in the game to planning so some locals were scooped up (hair and makeup) but we were so happy with everyone we used! 

Melissa Payne – Live music for cocktail hour / Videography – LOVE that Melissa was Mary’s twin sister (especially since I’m a triplet I love the idea of them working together). We knew right away when this idea came up talking to Mary that she would be a perfect fit for our day.”

Annimations MkUp – Hair and Makeup for the bride and all the ladies (

Classic Flowers in Lakefield – Bride Bouquet / Boutonniere, flower girl bouquet, some table decor (

Create Shade – Tent rental, tent lighting, tables / chairs, bar rental, two wine barrels used to mark our “alter” : 

Denise Waldron – Officiant ( )

Glassware Rental – Jack and the Box Party Rentals Peterborough (

Kilt rentals – William Glen & Son Toronto (

Wedding dress – Ferre Sposa Toronto (

Rings – Liberal Jewellery Toronto (

The Journal

Kawartha Lakes Cottage Wedding on Clear Lake


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