By Heather Walters
WITH the prettiest of backdrops, Kelsey Mitchell wed Kirin Solymar on a bright autumn day. In front of friends and family and in front of acres of rolling vineyards at Burning Kiln Winery, the local couple exchanged vows October 1st at 4 p.m.
Kirin Solymar grew up in Port Ryerse, attended public school in Port Dover, high school in Simcoe, and post secondary at Brock University. He returned home and accepted a position as a banking advisor with Royal Bank of Canada in Port Dover.
Kelsey Mitchell grew up in Port Dover, attended school in Port Dover, grades K through 12, followed by post secondary at Niagara College where she graduated with a degree in dental hygiene. She then returned home and accepted a position as a hygienist/clinic supervisor at Norfolk Dental Hygiene in Simcoe. That is where their story begins.
Kirin stated that looking back on their upbringing and backgrounds, it would seem impossible that the two had never met. They shared a lot of the same interests, knew a lot of the same people and yet, their first meeting was through business.
In January 2018 Kelsey shared that she had made an appointment to meet with a financial advisor to discuss mortgages – at RBC in Port Dover.
Whether by luck or divine intervention (by divine intervention she means Kirin’s manager who thought the two nice, young, single people might just hit it off and scheduled her in Kirin’s roster), she found herself across the desk from him. Both agree they instantly hit it off and that mortgage rates and financial advice quickly went out the window as they chatted about just about everything else.
A couple of days later, Kirin stated he could not stop thinking about her and mustered up the courage to call – with a few more mortgage tips – and succeeded in securing a date, this time outside the office. “After the first couple of dates,” stated Kelsey, “we were just never apart again. It was so natural and easy. It really was like love at first sight.”
In 2019, the two bought a home together and then a year later, got engaged. Kirin proposed to Kelsey during their first vacation together, on Valentine’s Day in Punta Cana on a beach. She was delighted and said yes, and then they promptly dropped the ring in the sand and spent several frantic hours searching for it. With the help of several other sun-seekers and a metal detector, the ring was eventually located and restored to its place of honour on Kelsey’s finger.
Crisis averted, the couple set a date for the nuptials only to be broadsided by the arrival of Covid. After a couple of delays and rescheduling of dates, October 1st, 2022 was set and the venue at the Burning Kiln Winery was chosen by the couple as the place to celebrate their union.
Kelsey shared that they needed a venue large enough to hold their 165 guests and because much of the ceremony could be held outdoors, Burning Kiln could accommodate them. She added she comes from a very large family (80+ immediate family) so it was impossible to keep it smaller.
Kelsey explained their ‘ring warming ceremony’ where each guest was invited to touch the rings prior to the ceremony and give them a blessing, adding that it was a nice way to include everyone. The event tent at the winery was set up beautifully for a sit down dinner catered by Devlin’s following the exhanging of vows held on the lawn in front of the vineyards. Shirley Kennedy was the officiant for the ceremony. Devlin’s also prepared and served afternoon appetizers to the guests while the bridal party posed for photos at the vineyard.
Their photographer was Ally Allison. Several local breweries/distilleries were on hand to provide refreshments and the wine was from Burning Kiln. The couple stated that it was important to them to use local vendors, products and services. The flower arrangements were created by Bobbi Jo Griffin, of Unveiled. Kirin’s talented sister Michelle Solymar made their wedding cake. Black Creek Music with DJ Jordan Gawley provided the music for the festivities and dancing.
The couple shared that after the party ended, they stayed across the road at Eco Adventures in one of the camping pods. They honeymooned in Costa Rica in November.
Originally published in the Maple Leaf’s “Wedding Stories” feature in March 2023.