This Monday morning seems like the perfect time for a HUGE cup of steaming hot coffee (or two or three) and a good dose of whimsy. We're huge fans of both so this Toronto wedding photographed by Claudia Hung is right up our Style Me Pretty alley. This beauty is jam-packed with loads of cute DIY tidbits and hot bridal fashion that has us saying yes, yes! to the dress. Welcome to Monday morning loves. Take a sip of that coffee and prepare to get lost for a moment in this AH-DOR-ABLE wedding. Psst...lest you forgot, there's even more of this cute day in the gallery.
This all began when Ray proposed to me in Copenhagen back in January 2009. Although we decided to take some time to plan our wedding and set the big day for September 2010, I immediately began researching and gathering ideas for our wedding. We wanted to have a wedding that truly reflects who we are - simple and natural. Since we decided to go without a wedding planner, many of our friends and family members kindly offered to assist us in our wedding preparation. My Maid of Honour, Sandy, even created an in-depth cost/benefit analysis for hosting our wedding in Hong Kong (our hometown), Bali (for destination wedding), and Toronto (our adopted hometown)! After some careful deliberation, we finally settled on having an outdoor wedding at the Miller Lash House in Toronto. After we decided on our location, we needed to finalize on a theme to ensure that everything will tie together in one coherent theme. This was a very important and difficult part of the process since we liked many different ideas; yet, those ideas didn't always go together. For example, I wanted something funny while Ray wanted something more elegant and graceful. We also wanted to incorporate some traditional elements to pay respects to our Chinese heritage; but at the same time, our Canadian values also played a huge part in shaping our identities and we wanted to incorporate some modern elements to reflect our lifestyle as well. In the end, we decided to host both our wedding ceremony and dinner reception outdoors at the Miller Lash House, where Asian hors d'oeuvres and traditional banquet-style Chinese food will be served. The venue itself - which encompassed a historical stone building rooted in the Arts & Crafts era with a spacious tented patio area surrounded by a lush forest, vibrant garden, quietly flowing stream, and grassy green fields - was so breathtaking to begin with that we were able to keep everything simple, yet elegant.
With lots of helpful advice from my bridesmaid, Leanne, we decided to go with a cozy wedding that was full of warmth, with a hint of vintage. To communicate the theme for our wedding, Leanne designed our save-the-date, website, and our invitations in different styles, as well as coordinated all the different decor elements. Considered that we have limited resources and a long wish list, we had to prioritize our wants and needs. While capturing our wedding day in both video and photographs is usually a given in our culture, we decided to allocate our "event recording" budget to photography alone after meeting with our Photographer Claudia. Her portfolio is amazing and she delivered what we wanted (if not above and beyond what we expected)! Claudia and her team captured our day so beautifully. Other amazing vendors also helped make our day smooth sailing. In spite of the late-summer temperature that was close to freezing at night time (welcome to Canada), our caterer and his team served our 10-course meal hot and yummy! The wedding cake was the best strawberry shortcake (Ray's favourite) we had and the dessert table looked as amazing as it tasted! The lighting and sound system from mom's friend was impressive and made the venue looked even more amazing than we imagined. We even received compliment after compliment for our music selection that day - thanks to our volunteer and friend-turned-DJ Bau! Our volunteer floor manager, Ivy, ensured the party flowed flawlessly and smoothed out all the hiccups without us even knowing!
While the gorgeous venue, delicious food, beautiful Erin at Vera Wang, and stylish chucks are elements of our unforgettable wedding, the many DIY projects we decided to take on are nearest and dearest to our hearts. Our lovely friends filled 40 something vintage China tea cups and saucers with fresh flowers, wrapped many many hard cover books with craft paper, and created stand-up letters in vintage-inspired fabrics as our table numbers, which was part of the centrepiece. My father-in-law found us some tree stumps to create two rustic cake stands; our friends constructed a 4ft x 4ft blackboard as our seating plan; my dad created the bunting as our gallant for the ceremony; my aunt sewed us the ring pillow with our favourite fabric, and me + ray made homemade jams as our wedding favours etc. We couldn't account how much time we spent on creating these unique and individual elements for our wedding, but when they all come together on the wedding day, they created a wonderful picture that we have envisioned all along! The day was perfect for us and the memory will last a life time. We have some of our most important friends and family in attendance and everybody seemed to have a great time. As we walk down the aisle on this late-summer afternoon, we saw the smile on our guest’s faces and we know that they are all very happy for us; and when we sat with our dearest friends at the head table, we knew all the work we put in together, was well worth it, and the two of us will never trade the experience away.
Photography: Claudia Hung / Venue: Miller Lash House / Marriage officiant: Victor Li / Wedding dress: Vera Wang, style: Erin / Make-up artist: Raybe / Stationery: Leanne, bridesmaid / caterer: Jacky Young of Grand Catering / Wedding Cake and dessert table: La Bamboche / Florist: Karen Lao of Eternity Floral Design / Rentals: Exclusive Affair / Sound System and Lighting: Tommy So of Soho