Toddler in tow, a Toronto couple wing their way to Prince Edward County for a bird-themed wedding


They say opposites attract, but for sociology PhD candidates Sébastien Parker and Cinthya Guzman, the similarities were impossible to ignore. “Some people are like, ‘I could never (be with) someone in the same discipline as me,’” Guzman says. “But it’s actually amazing. When I got into this relationship, it was just everything I didn’t realize that I needed.”

Parker feels, well, similarly. “We love everyday routine and the little things,” Parker says. “We felt like we weren’t just trying to (get to know) one another, but like we were best friends.”

It was a chance meeting that changed everything. Following a fresh breakup in 2017, Cinthya stopped by the University of Toronto to inform her sociology professor that she’d be stepping back from her studies when, minutes into their conversation, she walked Parker, a fellow grad student. When the two were told that they would not be partnering that semester, Parker brought a finger to her eye and pretended to draw a tear. “At that point, I was completely red in the face,” she recalls. “Sébastien’s hitting on me in front of everybody!”

The couple's son, Émile, nearly two years old, presented his parents with their wedding bands, and they walked down the aisle with him.

“I think it’s possible there were other people there, but I only had eyes for Cinthya,” Parker says. “You get that feeling that you can’t quite explain – you don’t know why you’re so attracted to a person.” After a month of dating, he asked her to make it official with a scavenger hunt around the city, starting at the professor’s office where they first met and winding its way to a downtown restaurant where Parker stood, holding a single rose and a letter asking , “Will you be mine?”

Soon after, the pair moved in together, and a couple years later welcomed a son, Émile. Parker picked Guzman’s first Mother’s Day to pop the question. “Sébastien said to me, ‘Sleep in. Just enjoy the morning and relax,’” she says. “Then when I woke up and went to Emile’s room, he was on one knee and said, ‘I just want nothing more than to be your husband. Will you marry me?’ It was perfect.”

They held the wedding on Sept. 25, 2021, in an outdoor ceremony at the Drake Devonshire Hotel in Prince Edward County, where they had their first vacation as a family. Since the theme was the sociologist axiom “birds of a feather flock together,” they filled the venue with brass birds and bird-oriented signage.

The afternoon’s forecast called for near-certain showers, but when it unexpectedly shifted to bright, clear skies, Guzman suspected a kind of heavenly intervention. Just days before, the couple’s wedding planner had urged them to create a rain strategy and, after finalizing the details, Guzman felt an overwhelming sense of her beloved grandmother’s presence de ella. “She had passed away a couple months before we got married,” she says. “It was like, 100 per cent – ​​my grandmother is with me.” So, when her de ella walked down the aisle – set to an instrumental version of the National’s “Nobody Else Will Be There” – was met with serene beach waves and the sun in full force, “the moment stopped,” Guzman remembers. “My grandmother did this.”

Bird origami and locally made candles greeted guests at their tables.

Guzman was also thrilled that her best friend had been declared cancer-free just one week before the wedding and was able to perform her maid-of-honour duties. “We ended up thanking every single person personally,” Guzman says of the couple’s wedding speeches, “and when I spoke about my friend de ella, everyone started crying because they knew how important it was for her to be there.”

Parker’s vows included a retelling of eight memorable experiences throughout their relationship, from building a household full of love to experiencing life to its fullest. “I didn’t have to think about it much, it was easy to be inspired by Cinthya,” he recalls. “I could write vows yearly – it’s no problem.”

With the bride and groom in tears during the ceremony, Émile, then almost two, rushed to the altar to comfort his parents and later presented them with their wedding bands. Arms linked and baby in tow, they ended the ceremony walking out to Aloe Blacc’s “All Love Everything.”

The couple held an intimate reception dinner with tables featuring origami cranes and candles from local maker Spè that smelled like “The County,” so guests could remember their time spent there. They capped off the evening with dancing, doing their first spin on the floor to “Higher Love” by James Vincent McMorrow – their new life together taking wing, at last.

THE DETAILS

Photographer cait lavoie

Florist Floralora Flowers

cake designer Buffy Cole

wedding favors spè candles

official Mara Young

DJ mike kutz

Wedding gown boutique Modern Bride

Wedding gown designer anais anette

Groom’s suit: Harry Rosen

wedding bands Serli & Siroan

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