She is 43, with 5-year-old twin girls and she spent most of her adult life in Sydney, Australia. Her fiance was 34, settled in Ottawa, Canada. She had been waiting for him to propose. He had his own engagement and his own thing to take care of — a sister’s wedding, in January.
They met for the first time in Toronto, met in the lobby of the hotel where they worked, where they chatted pleasantly, and settled on the subject of marriage in about five minutes.
They said yes. They were married in January.
Between the time they got engaged and the time they got married, she became pregnant again, another birth. One of the twins was born. They named her Chloe.
“I’ve been patient,” Léveille Hearn told me.
Five years later, she and Ryan started looking for a different way to spend their next years: back in Canada, where they had roots. So they decided to live back in Ottawa, where her daughters and fiance were all still based. And that’s where he proposed.
Now they’re back in Toronto. The girls are teenagers, and Chloe is starting her own girlhood adventures. But he remains in Ottawa. He’s 44, with a toddler.
Ryan is back in the work force and working for a real estate company. He had been planning to buy the townhouse they were living in and move back to Toronto, but as he looked at possible offers, he saw a different opportunity. He knew there had been a listing in Chelsea, a neighborhood on the Toronto waterfront. It was $935,000. It’s waterfront, too, he knew.
That fell in his laps. He put his wife on the phone. It was July 26. They needed to get back to Toronto for the listing. It was almost time. They got on the airplane within a week.
She hadn’t been expecting it, but to get out of Toronto, to be closer to her family, that was important. A contract worked out later.
They bought a townhouse in a waterfront neighborhood just outside of Toronto. They already had room to decorate the living room and dining room. To get the kids out of the bedrooms and start playing, they decided to extend the dining room into their small family room.
They brought over a table and chairs. They bought a couple of plates, a glass pitcher with a vintage rosé in it, a bucket of cutlery. They designed the table chairs to be in profile, not up the sides. They were formal. They were elegant.
The backyard was secluded, quiet. It was a pair of trees and a little steep, so they had to lay down the sod and plant the trees themselves. Then they worked with a contractor to raise up a small deck, made for seasonal entertaining.
They painted the wooding in rose. Their invitations were the same. They didn’t want the type of decorations they used to buy for weddings back in Sydney. They had gotten the idea from another wedding, one in a pheasant habitat in Sydney.
“We found this cake cart, and we just put our wedding photos on it,” she told me.
The tables, the couples around the table, the table dress, the balloons, the decorations — they all came from Léveille’s sister’s wedding in Toronto.
If there was a wedding here, it might have gone over better, they decided. Léveille’s sister’s wedding was held in Toronto’s Harris Park.
Even here, they talked about that wedding and compared notes. The party went on until 3 a.m. The couple had planned to have two weddings. They had actually planned to throw one. But with the six kids they had — four boys and a girl — they had each said yes to one.