It was pretty obvious from her bridal shower brunch that Steph of SS LIFE + STYLE’s wedding was going to be incredible. And sure enough, this blogger-turned-bride pulled in all right vendors – Ryan Ray Photography, Melissa Andre Events and Sweet Woodruff, just to name a few – to marry her love, Neal with the celebration of their dreams. Scroll below for a glimpse into their heart behind the day.
“We chose each other every day since our
first date and 8 years later we walked down the
aisle to choose each other once more.”
“We believe the meaning of marriage goes beyond a
beautiful wedding, and it is by grace that we were
standing there that day. It was important for us
to carry this throughout all of our details.”
“Neal and I had a moment looking around at
everyone having a great time on the dance floor
and so much gratitude came over us.”
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From the Bride…Neal and I met the summer after we graduated high school. We were turning 18, and off in two different directions. He was off to St. Catherine’s to study accounting, and I stayed in the city to pursue a career in fashion. This is the part where most young love fizzles out and they meet someone new, but from the day we met, we knew we were in it for the long haul. We chose each other every day since our first date and 8 years later we walked down the aisle to choose each other once more. Coming from different cultural backgrounds, we had our challenges along the way, but our newfound faith brought us closer and gave us strength to overcome them. We got baptized together, and Neal went above and beyond during a gorgeous sunset in Santorini, Greece last summer, proposing on the rooftop of a church asking me for forever. I delightfully said, “YES!”
Our wedding took place on Sunday July 3, 2016 in a beautiful historic castle called Casa Loma, located in the middle of our city of Toronto, Canada. We thought an evening ceremony would be romantic on the weekend of our first date anniversary. The castle had a beautiful conservatory; with stained church windows gorgeous light poured into, and we knew it would be perfect for our ceremony. Our faith is one of the most important things to us, and we really wanted that to be present on our wedding day. We believe the meaning of marriage goes beyond a beautiful wedding, and it is by grace that we were standing there that day. It was important for us to carry this throughout all of our details. We were married in front of a large white wooden cross my father built for us, which was such a special part of our ceremony. We weren’t married in a church, but we felt the presence of God in that room and having our Pastor officiate, surrounded by all of our family and friends we love so dearly.
Neal and I love the classics, and thought it would be fun to ask our wedding party and all of our guests to dress in black or white. It felt silly at first to give a dress code, but in the end everyone had so much fun with it and the photographs of everyone together looked absolutely gorgeous! It tied in to our black and white palette perfectly.
Neal wore an incredible Tom Ford tuxedo, with our wedding date and his full name stitched inside the jacket. It’s not everyday you get to wear a Tom Ford tux, and he was absolutely beaming from the moment he put it on.
My dress was an adventure! I knew I wanted full-length sleeves and a deep-V scalloped open back. Locating this dress of my dreams I had pinned over and over presented some challenges. That’s when I put my fashion background to use and decided to customize a simple strapless dress I found at a bridal shop in Toronto. I knew it would be original and one of a kind and that made me excited to start the process. Many fittings and customization appointments later, my dress came to life. I was so happy with how it turned out and being able to be apart of the creation, picking out lace, creating the sleeves etc. Was definitely special.
When it came to our bridal party, we just wanted to have our two closest childhood friends up there with us. They have stood by us from the very beginning of our relationship and it was really special to keep it small and intimate, like the rest of our wedding. Our niece and nephews were our flower girl and ring boys – the cutest trio! The Ring Boys wore little tuxedos, and our flower girl dawned a gorgeous flower crown created by Sweet Woodruff and a J. Crew diuponi silk dress with ballet flats.
My maid of honour, Paulina wore a gorgeous Badgley Mischka floor-length gown with a delicate train. I wanted her to have a revealing deep-V back to match my wedding gown, and I love that hers had an oversized bow to punctuate it! It was simple, classic and absolutely elegant. Neal’s Best Man Andrew got a custom tuxedo made tailored to him from Harry Rosen here in Toronto. He also got a custom monogrammed stitching on the inside of his jacket.
We had candles created by Kayla Bombardier for our giveaways customized with a bible verse we included in all of our wedding stationery: We Love Because He First Loved Us 1 JOHN 4:19. We also gave away custom matchboxes in black and white.
After the ceremony, we went out into the garden with our photographer Ryan Ray to capture family photos and our wedding portraits. He was so incredible to work with, his love for people shines through his work. We flew Ryan in from Dallas, Texas and got even more acquainted with him when he did our Newlyweds shoot at home three days before we were married. We weren’t living together at the time, so playing house for the shoot was the best way to get warmed up for wedding weekend!
During our wedding portraits, our guests enjoyed hors d’ouvres and a signature cocktail on the terrace of the castle with a performance by a violinist, which was brought in by our DJ, Bello Sound. Following cocktail hour and portraits, our guests were brought into the Library for the reception to commence. We entered and had our first dance to Justin Timberlake’s “Until The End of Time.” Anyone who knows my husband, knows how much he loves JT. We loved this song from the start of our relationship, so it just seemed perfect for our first dance.
After dinner, we cut our delicious red velvet cake, sipped champagne and made our way to the dance floor for traditional Macedonian dancing, Bollywood jams and all of our favorite old school and current hits. We had the best time dancing with all of our guests. Neal and I had a moment looking around at everyone having a great time on the dance floor and so much gratitude came over us. We are so thankful to this day for everyone involved who came together for us, and loved on us all throughout our relationship and our wedding day, both guests and vendors. We feel immensely blessed and these beautiful photographs will always remind us of how good God is.
Photography: Ryan Ray Photography | Cinematography: Goody Cambay Cinema | Coordination: Melissa Andre Events | Floral Design: Sweet Woodruff | Wedding Dress: Becker's Bridal | Cake: The Wedding Cake Shoppe | Invitations: Paper & Poste | Bride's Shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Badgley Mischka | Makeup: Debbie Sioutis | Hair: Kelly Araujo | Medulla & Co | DJ: Bello Sound | Groom's Attire: Tom Ford | Venue: Casa Loma | Best Man's Attire: Harry Rosen | Bride: Stephanie Sterjovski | Candle Giveaways: Bombardier Designs | Ceremony Cross: Father of Bride | Groom's Shoes: Harry Rosen | Menus + Programs: Minted | Ring Box: The Mrs Box | Seating Chart: Post Calligraphy