Take a glam setting like The Ritz-Carlton and add in a stunning bride and dapper groom saying “I do” and the results are pure magic. From the luxe color palette to the overflowing blooms by Stemz to the sophisticated reception/dance party. It’s classic meets romance… the perfect ballroom beauty. See it all captured by Corina V. Photography here and in the lovely film from James Frodyma below.
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From the Bride… My relationship with my groom, Adam, has been at once effortless and special from the start, and we kept that feeling at heart as we approached the wedding planning process. For me, the most important element of the wedding was the people. The man I had fallen in love with so quickly and couldn’t wait to marry, the incredible family and friends who would support and surround us on this special day, and the incredible group of professionals who managed to give this slightly high-strung bride, and her completely chilled out groom the wedding and day of our dreams.
We knew we wanted to get married in the early fall in Toronto, and I knew that I wanted no weather-related stress, so I had my heart set on an elegant indoor venue. I think my mother and I visited every venue with the capacity for our big invitation list; Adam and I both come from big, loving families with plenty of friends from near and far to join in. We finally chose the stunning and relatively new Ritz Carlton Hotel, right in the heart of downtown, whose beautiful ballroom had more than enough room for us, and whose top notch level of service would impress me, having studied hospitality management.
With our venue selected I realized I would need some professional help and promptly called the woman who became my wedding planner, Gabi Castillo. Although I had studied event management in school, I wanted to be able to pass off some of the stress and detail work, and try to really enjoy the process! Not only was Gabi an experienced and professional planner recommended by the Ritz, but she was a close family friend of my Maid of Honour. We worked amazingly together, after expressing how we pictured our wedding to look and feel, Gabi suggested the perfect vendors, helped with the overall design and kept us on track and organized. I cannot recommend hiring a professional planner enough, no matter what the scale of the wedding, the advice and support she provide was truly priceless.
Dress shopping was an adventure that started with my mother, sister-in-law, my mom and my future MIL. I tried on a number of dresses that day, including the dress that I ended up choosing, and a number more on many days to follow, but when I visited Dina Alonzi Bridal, alone with my mother, and again tried on Monique Lhuillier’s Peony dress in blush, I knew that I had found my perfect dress. A number of years ago I lost over a hundred pounds, so I wanted a dress that showed off the figure I had worked so hard for, but still felt elegant and somewhat modest, and covered the areas of my body of which I was more self-conscious. Dina and her associates did a wonderful job, from shopping to fittings to the final last minute additions of my detachable sleeves – a little detail that went a long way to me feeling my best and most confident on the wedding day. Having been a bridesmaid more than half a dozen times, I was determined to find my bridesmaids and Adam’s groomsmaid dresses that they absolutely loved. With their help, I chose Amsale chiffon gowns in their choice of two styles. My bridesmaids and bridesman wore grey, and Adam’s groomsmen and groomsmaid wore black.
When it came to choosing vendors, I was overwhelmed by the amount of incredibly talented people working in the wedding industry in Toronto. I deferred to my planner Gabi, meeting with her favourite vendors, and forming what we called my dream team. Corina of Corina V Photography was so much fun to work with, and from our first meeting I started to feel like she was a friend, and I absolutely love how she captured our day. She was fun, and even my husband who had been dreading his modeling debut loved posing for her. We weren’t sure about whether we wanted videography to start, and I’m so glad we listened to the experts and met with James of James Frodyma Wedding Films. From the moment we sat in front of our computer bawling at a stranger’s wedding video, we knew he’d be best to create ours! He was so fun to work with that day, mostly invisible but always capturing the perfect moment.
Our invitations were furnished by PaperGrafix, and working with the mother and daughter team of Nicky and Sandra was a pleasure. We found and customized my dream invitation in my theme colours of rose gold, blush and cream.
For flowers and decor, we met with Fiona from Stemz and I gave her my ideas – classic and romantic, with mixed metallics and milk glass, and she came up an absolutely stunning vision, creating the most beautiful chuppah I could imagine. The bouquets were a gorgeous soft palette of light pinks and softest blush pink tones with flowers styled in a loose natural dome shape for a modern, romantic and natural style. Beautiful Kiera garden roses, lisianthus, sweet peas, ranunculus with touches of mini phalaenopsis orchids and soft flowering vines with
foliages, created a lush garden style bouquet.
Ivy Lam did our makeup, and she is by far the most kind, sweet and funny makeup artist I have ever met. She managed to create a look for me that was at once elegant but still felt like me, which was super important. Beni Sicilia of BlowDry Lounge has been cutting my hair for more than fifteen years, and I remember joking about my wedding hairstyle when he styled me for my prom. He and Amanda styled all of our ladies to perfection, and we all loved how we looked.
We were married by the head rabbi from the synagogue where my family and I have been members since they came to Toronto, Holy Blossom Temple. Rabbi Yael Splansky was an amazing officiant and guide in the time leading up to the wedding, and I was so proud to be married by Canada’s first female head rabbi. From our pre-wedding meetings to our bedeken ceremony to our time under the chuppah, Rabbi Splansky reminded us of the true reason for our marriage and kept us grounded and inspired, and we loved how she led our ceremony, accompanied by Cantor Benjamin Maissner.
Although my groom had been pretty (completely) hands-off for most of the planning process, one of the most important elements to our day for him was the music. We are both huge music fans and travel to see our favourite bands play whenever we can. We chose the Dave Murphy Band, who had played at my own older brother’s wedding, for their professionalism, style, and most of all their ability to rock out – and play the horah! Adam was also in charge of what he and his crew would wear, and they chose gorgeous tuxedos rented from Tuxedo Royale, with gifts and accessories from Harry Rosen.
All of our food was catered in house by the Ritz Carlton, and every single bite we enjoyed was divine. Adam and I were brought a tasting of hors d’oeuvres to our Yichud Room just after the ceremony, where we spent a few minutes relaxing and toasting our marriage in private before joining the party. I told Gabi that not only did our cake need to look beautiful, but it had to taste delicious, and she once again found us the perfect vendor in Lisa Bugeja of Baked and Beloved. Inside, layers of banana cake and dulce to leche frosting alternated with white cake with raspberry frosting, and outside, Lisa used delicate and beautiful design to recreate the subtle peony pattern found on my gown. Custom cookie favours from Cookie Messenger rounded out the sweet night for us.
My day was perfect, somehow stress-free, and more fun than I ever could have imagined. It went by so quickly, and although I tried to savor every moment, watching our video and looking at our pictures have brought so many detailed memories back to us. My wedding day was perfect most of all because I got to marry my best friend – how could it get any better?
Photography: Corina V. Photography | Videography: James Frodyma | Event Planning: Gabriela Castillo Formerly Of Platinum Events | Floral Design: Stemz | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Cake: Baked & Beloved | Stationery: Papergrafix | Ceremony Venue: The Ritz-Carlton Toronto | Reception Venue: The Ritz-Carlton Toronto | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale | Makeup: Ivy Lam | Hair: Beni Sicilia - Blowdry Lounge | Band: Dave Murphy Band | Favors: The Cookie Messenger | Groom's Attire: Tuxedo Royale | Groomsmen's Attire: Tuxedo Royale | Decor: Stemz | Jewellery: Swarovski | Veil: White Toronto