East & West Unite on Cape Breton Island

At Sea and be Scene we celebrate the 4 Atlantic Provinces and throughout the month of February we’ll be sharing some truly lovely stories that do just that – from couples who chose this special part of the world for their special day.

This wedding story comes from Gail (Antle) and Erick Benner – a couple who met out west and travelled east for a Cape Breton celebration of love - with family and friends! SABS


East & West Unite on Cape Breton Island 

Gail & Erick Bennerby Gail Benner

I always knew that I would be married on Cape Breton Island... my home!  

When I met Erick (who was born and raised in Calgary), and we began talking about "when we get married", I told him that if he was going to ask me to marry him, he had to know that we would be getting married in Sydney... and 6 months ago, on August 21, 2010, at St. Anthony Daniel Parish in Sydney, we celebrated our marriage surrounded by our family and friends!

Gail & Erick 2Although I have been in Alberta for 10 1/2 years now, Cape Breton will always be HOME!  

There is something special about "the Island" which is difficult to put into words... the scenery, the music, the culture, the hospitality, the people!  And there was no question that I wanted to share all that is wonderful about Cape Breton with Erick's family, most of whom had never had the opportunity to visit Canada's East Coast.

Gail & Erick Rehearsal

Our wedding weekend kicked off with the rehearsal party, hosted by Erick's parents, Wayne and Lene Benner, from Calgary and his Uncle Neil and Auntie Marg Benner from William's Lake, BC.  The party was held at Garden Cabins in Sydney Forks with an "east meets west" theme, complete with PEI muscles and Alberta Bison burgers.  We had a wonderful time relaxing together and enjoying a beautiful, warm Cape Breton evening.

The beautiful wedding ceremony, dinner and reception were held in the church I grew up attending with my family, St. Anthony Daniel Parish, in Sydney. Fr. Donald MacGillivray, a long-time family friend, officiated, while my sister Karen Filek, and Erick's best friend Trevor Patterson stood by our sides as our official wedding party."

Gail Benner 6After visiting with our wedding guests outside of the church, we met our photographer at Wentworth Park for our wedding photos.  As anyone from Sydney knows, Wentworth Park is busy on Saturdays during "wedding season", so we had a number of our photos taken across the street from the park in front of a beautiful, pale yellow, thatched-roof cottage.  It provided a gorgeous backdrop for the photos.  I also requested that my photos have water in the background, so our photographer's keen eye brought us to the harbour front area of downtown for some additional photos.  She had a fantastic, creative eye and I think the photos speak for themselves!!!

And Mother Nature did her best to hold true to the old saying "just wait 5 minutes and the weather will change", as all of us East Coasters know is very true... heavy rain in the morning, sunshine on the way to the church, cloudy and overcast for photo time, rain on our way to the hotel at the end of the night... Good thing we packed umbrellas!!!

Gail Benner 12Family and friends from all over the country helped to make our Cape Breton wedding the party we wanted it to be, as well as a day we will never forget.  From British Columbia to Alberta to Ontario to the Maritimes (and even Michigan), we can never truly put into words how wonderful and memorable our wedding day was for us! GB

Gail & Erick 3SABS About the Couple

Gail & Erick live in New Sarepta, AB and despite being in the midst of MAJOR house renovations - they are "happier than the day they wed!"

Erick is an electrician/project superintendent and Gail is a substitute teacher.





For more wedding stories from Nova Scotia...

just click on the pics

.Dina Bartolacci and Matt Seely Wedding


  1. Nice - lovely story and great pictures!

    Comment by stephen — February 18, 2011 @ 2:01 pm

  2. Beautiful story, beautiful couple..xox

    Comment by Jo-lene — February 18, 2011 @ 2:08 pm

  3. Lovely story - and we had such a great time sharing your wedding and Cape Breton with you.

    Comment by Laureen & Jim — February 21, 2011 @ 1:28 pm

  4. So nice Gail!!

    Comment by Tammy MacSween — February 21, 2011 @ 2:32 pm

  5. Reads and looks like every girls dream! Congratulations

    Comment by Sharon[Benner]Strachan — February 21, 2011 @ 6:35 pm

  6. Your story and pictures are wonderful Gail. It was fun to read it all like a magazine article. Well Done!

    Comment by Else Floyd — February 21, 2011 @ 11:27 pm

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