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Timeless Italian Inspired Wedding

You know those weddings that are so romantic, so personal, and so memorable that you’ll recall them for years to come? Well, this Italian inspired nuptial, shot by Jasmine Star, is definitely one of those. Every elegant detail from the historic barn wood tables to the custom pergola draped with lush greens by  Jodi Leigh Designs brought a touch of Tuscany to Canada that you just have to see to believe.


From The Bride…I am a wedding photographer based out of Guelph ON and got married this past summer on July 19, 2014.

Our vision was to have a timeless wedding. No matter how many years later we looked back on it, we wanted it to still feel classic. I’m Italian and come from a strong Italian family and my husband is Canadian, however he has embraced our family traditions like they’re his own. We originally wanted to get married in Tuscany but we knew most of our family and friends would not be able to join. So we opted to have a “Tuscan elegance” wedding by bringing Tuscany to us. We wanted our family and friends to feel like they were joining us at a family dinner.

We asked our decorator and florist to incorporate as much greenery as they could. We thought plush greens and succulents, plants in their most natural state, felt like the open fields and lands of Italy. Our head table played a very special part in our day. We had the table custom made out of my husbands, late grandfather’s old barn wood. And since we wanted the wedding to feel like a “Sunday Dinner” we chose family style seating so the bridal party and my husband and I could enjoy each other’s company over the delicious meal. To complete the Tuscan feel, a custom pergola was built over the head table with greens, flowers, and chandeliers hanging from it as if we were sitting out on a Tuscan terrace.

I prepared for the day at a bed and breakfast in Guelph and my husband got ready at our home. We married in our beautiful church, Church of Our Lady and had our reception at Creelman Hall, on the University of Guelph grounds.

Photography: Jasmine Star | Floral Design: Jodi Leigh Designs | Wedding Dress: Yolan Cris | Cake: Ouderkirk & Taylor | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Macy's And Sax 5th Avenue | Hair: Becky Nickerson | DJ: Joe Barilla | Groom's Attire: Canali | Groomsmen's Attire: Zara | Bed And Breakfast: Norfolk Guest House | Bride And Grooms Shoes: Gucci | Church: Church Of Our Lady Immaculate | Hall : Creelman Hall | Makeup: Dino Dilio

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Boho Chic Toronto Wedding at the Thompson Hotel

I officially love this Bride. Not only is her wedding to her super handsome Groom stylish as all get out and filled to the brim with personality, but she also proposed! How can you not love that? She’s a girl that knows what she wants, and from the looks of all the images from Celine Kim Photography she definitely got it. See even more here.

From the Bride… Brock and I are not traditionalists by any means. In fact, I proposed to him (why should the boys have all the fun anyway?)! After we got engaged, what surprised me most was how quickly the wedding planning begins. We were asked about our wedding date the day we got engaged! It is so fun to let yourselves get swept up by everyone’s collective excitement and enthusiasm. The hardest part of wedding planning was definitely choosing the right location. I am from Montreal, Brock is from Toronto and we met in Kingston, Ontario so we knew friends and family would have to travel no matter where we chose. I began my searching in both Montreal and Toronto. I dreamed of an ultra modern wedding in an all-white loft or gallery but quickly found out that this was not the most economical decision. Being lovers of food, we looked into restaurants who held weddings but they did not feel right with our larger than expected guest list.

I had never considered a hotel for our wedding but The Thompson surprised us! The whole rustic country-wedding thing is so not us. We are both city kids and wanted to be an urban location. Nothing highlighted the beauty of the city quite like the view from The Thompson’s patio. I worried about the dark ballroom but we just could not resist having the city behind us as we exchanged our vows. I am so happy with our choice! It was so nice to have the food, drinks, linens, etc be handled by a team professionals and this allowed me to focus on the details of our day.

Another very important detail was that the hotel was dog friendly so Jackson, our dog, was allowed to be a part of our day and he acted as our ring bearer!! The Thompson did a great job, we have only received positive feedback from our guests and I ended up loving the romantic look of the dark ballroom and the contrast it provided from our bright ceremony. Brock and I decided to have a wedding to be able to celebrate our love with our friends and family. It was not only our day! Throughout the planning process, we thought deeply about our guests’ experience at our wedding. We considered the weddings we had attended and discussed what we really liked and disliked as guests. This informed several major decisions. A good example was our photo slideshow. My bridesmaid, MJ, made us an amazing slideshow and we wanted to share it with everyone but there were several photos and we knew that making everyone watch the whole thing during our reception would not be fun. Let’s be honest looking at your old baby pictures is not everyone’s idea of a good time. We were lucky to have a screening room included in our wedding rental at The Thompson and so we played the slideshow in a loop in that room all night. Aside from letting everyone enjoy the slideshow at their own pace this also offered an alternate environment to our guest where they could just sit and relax. It was fun to periodically enter the screening room and see different faces in there every time!

I loved every detail of our wedding but two of my favourites were our table names and having Polaroid cameras with our guestbook. For the table names, Brock and I decided to have names of locations in our favourite films and TV shows. We worked on the list of names for weeks, researching the correct names and considering what films and TV shows to include. It was such a personal touch and really reflected our love for pop culture. For our guestbook, I had envisioned everyone signing the book and nicely leaving a cute little Polaroid of themselves next to their note but I got something way better! Thanks to our open bar, our guestbook is one of the funniest things I have ever seen and I still laugh every time I look through it. Everyone had a blast with the Polaroid cameras and I am so happy I bought way too much film to enable any late night photo inspirations. The guestbook has become the most meaningful keepsake of our day.

Finally, the best part of the wedding day was actually taking pictures alone with Brock and our photographers. I had originally not wanted a reveal and hoped to wait to see Brock until I walk down the aisle. I am so happy Celine, our amazing photographer, suggested we consider a reveal. Our reveal was one of the sweetest moments ever and getting ample time to take photos afterwards was such a gift. The wedding day itself is so crazy, I was grateful for those peaceful moments alone with Brock even though they were in front of the camera. It allowed Brock and I to connect before our vows and let us really take in what we were about to embark on together. It also helps that our photography team was calm, fun and so easy to be around. Brock and I are still over the moon about the wedding. There were so many personal touches that made the day extra special. We still talk about it often and reflect on the many great moments but the best part is hearing how much our friends and family enjoyed themselves as we really did see it as their day too.

Photography: Celine Kim Photography | Florist: Coriander Girl | Wedding Dress: White Toronto | Stationery: Chicks N' Hens | Bride's Shoes: Loeffler Randall | Hair & Makeup: Marc Anthony Salon | Groom's Attire: Got Style | Ceremony & Reception: Thompson Hotel (Toronto) | Jessica's Rings: Love & Promise

Modern, Elegant Wedding in Toronto

Wonderfully elegant, this stylish Toronto soiree plays out like the loveliest fairytales. Every detail was carefully curated by the beautiful Bride, and it’s safe to say I am head over heels for every single touch. Boyfriend Girlfriend was behind the lens to make sure we didn’t miss a single moment, and you can see them all here.


From The Bride…My husband and I were on the same page that we wanted our guests to leave our wedding exclaiming it was the best wedding they have been to. The top items on our joint priority list were delicious, gorgeous, five star restaurant quality food with a focus on local and organic ingredients. We wanted wines that highlighted Ontario’s fabulous wine country, and great music that ensured no one was left sitting! Overall we agreed we wanted a day that reflected us as a couple and the special relationships in our life. Each touch that we chose had meaning behind it.

My list of priorities was a bit longer than that…

Our ceremony was held at the University of Toronto Trinity College Chapel. We chose this venue as we met at the University and one day about two years into our relationship we were on the grounds and my husband said we should get married at a “place like this”. It was the first real discussion about marriage and that venue was obviously a shoe-in after that conversation. The ceremony incorporated poetry and writings from Victor Hugo and Beethovan and we chose couples whose relationships we admired to provide our readings during our ceremony.

Fashion was another one of my priorities, again I craved simplicity and elegance as my daily fashion sense is quite tailored. My dress was a simple sheath style gown from Nicole Miller with a cutout back. I wore a birdcage veil for the ceremony and cocktails and changed to a vintage brooch with feathers attached that I purchased in Paris. My clutch was vintage inspired which I purchased in Paris as well. My shoes were Manolo Blahnik-my favourite shoe designer. I incorporated some sentimental touches into my ensemble, my earrings were borrowed from my mom, and tied around my bouquet was my grandfather’s ID bracelet, whom I was named after. It ensured he was part of my special day as well. My bridesmaids wore classic cream one shoulder dresses which highlighted their gorgeous figures and put the focus on them as well as they are such special girls in my life. Our two ring bearers were in Burberry shorts with crisp white dress shirts and bow ties. Their look was finished off with deck shoes! Groom and groomsmen were in simple black tuxedos finished off with vintage pocket watches.

Having been to countless weddings that were dripping with crystals and rhinestones I craved a simple and elegant reception that showcased not one the beauty of the venue and its surroundings, but also the beauty of our guests. I went with a cream and white palette to complement the streamlined decor of the venue. Our flowers were long and linear to not only complement the length of the venue and our market tables, but to ensure maximum “chatability” for our guests. My husband and I have a love for beautiful architecture and the Philippe Starck ghost chairs in cream were the perfect complement to the table settings. Of course with the emphasis on modern, streamlined items we needed to infuse some vintage flair. We attached vintage skeleton keys to each guest’s seating card tied with a variety of cream ribbons.

Our cocktail hour was designed to be fun and reflective of us as a couple. We incorporated appetizers from both of our cultures, my husband being Armenian we had falafel and spinach pastries, and myself being Italian and Ukranian we incorporated arancini, caprese skewers, and pierogies. We love oysters so we had to have an oyster shucker as well, and in lieu of a signature cocktail we went with classic champagne! Lastly, we had an all-white candy bar as we both have a bit of a sweet tooth! My husband loves jazz and our DJ ensured the best jazz music was played during the cocktail hour.

Our meal was focused on local and organic ingredients, and we chose a caterer who shared our vision and was also ethical. All of the food that is leftover is donated to a homeless shelter. Keeping with our strong sense of charity, in lieu of party favours we made a donation to the Canadian Cancer Society and Heart and Stroke Foundation in honour of our grandparents who were not able to share the day with us.

Our dinner consisted of a beet, arugula and orange segment salad, truffled mushroom risotto, beef tenderloin, arctic char and vegetarian strudel. Our cake designer designed a gorgeous salted caramel wedding cake for us.

Dancing was the highlight of the night. We wanted a different first dance that started the night off with a bang and our first dance was a hustle to Barry White’s “My Everything” which was the first song we danced to when we were dating.

Our DJ did an exceptional job keeping our guests dancing. To quote my father in law he was “tearing up the dance floor!”.

The next morning we hosted a brunch at La Societe, a french restaurant near the venue which we love. We then packed up and headed off to our honeymoon in Tahiti and Bora Bora.

Our day was filled with love and fun, the speeches were heartfelt, and one guest said they could feel the love in the room. Reflecting on the day it not only was about the love we had for each other, we were surrounded by those we loved the most. We kept our wedding on the smaller side to ensure we could spend quality time with each and every one of our guests, being able to do that, made us feel relaxed and that it truly was a celebration.

Photography: Boyfriend Girlfriend | Cake: Koko's Cakes | Shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jacob Clothing | Catering: 10tation Event Catering | Hair: Backstage Hair | DJ: Michael Coombs | Groom's Attire: Vera Wang Black | Bride's Dress: Nicole Miller | Brunch: La Societe | Flower: Sweet Woodruff | Groomsmen Attire: Vera Wang Black | Makeup: Madison Beauty Studio | Royal Conservatory Of Music: Royal Conservatory Of Music | Trinity College: Chapel

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