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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.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
ChapelSchool

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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Garden Inspired Estate Wedding

I mean, there’s a ton of fabulous in the details of this next wedding, but I CANNOT get past that Amsale gown! The embroidered full skirt is a major statement in itself, but on a stunning bride and set against a bloom-filled design of lush greens by Ellyn Lilly? The whole look is one that surely belongs on SMP. So without further ado, I give you the gorgeous gallery from Mango Studios and wedding film by faithbooth!

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Seasons
Summer
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Estate

From the Bride… From the moment we visited the venue, we both fell in love with the property for it’s lush green outdoor space and it’s charming interior. It was an easy decision selecting the Vaughn House at the Estates of Sunnybrook as the venue was beautiful to begin with and it gave us the opportunity to add decor where it was meaningful.

The night before the wedding day I stayed at the Four Season Toronto Hotel because the suites are spacious and large in size, light and airy feeling and not to mention the hotel was designed by my firm Yabu Pushelberg. I was so excited for the big day I actually couldn’t fall asleep.

The morning of the wedding, I jumped out of bed and was filled with excitement and couldn’t wait to start the day! I had my hair and make up done while listening to music and sipping on Starbucks. The first part of the morning was very intimate with just my mom and my sister in the suite and then the girls joined a few hours later to kick start the photography and videography. As I was getting ready, a few sentimental parts of my wedding day was definitely putting on my “something old”. Among a few friends we started a tradition where a vintage handkerchief is passed down from one bride to the next, each bride hand sews in their initials and wedding date and wears it on their day. My “something new” and my “something borrowed” were both things I shared with my best friend. I wore new wedding accessories that I purchased while going together to a Sparkle Event at Pearl Bridal House and the beautiful pair of earrings that I wore were the same pair my best friend wore on her wedding day. My mom wore navy and she was my “something blue” as the day wouldn’t have been complete without having her with me.

I still remember the day I asked my girls will you be my bridesmaids (www.stylemepretty.com/canada-weddings/ontario/toronto/2014/02/27/6-ways-to-ask-your-bridesmaids). Having each and every single one of them stand next to me as Gabe and I exchange our vows to each other couldn’t be more meaningful. My thank you gifts were pretty individually wrapped boxes with matching bracelets and pearl earrings. Gabe gave all his groomsmen black ties, striped socks and personalized engraved flasks. Gabe and I also exchanged wedding cards and wedding gifts on our day. I barely made it through reading his card to me and I was pleasantly surprised with a beautiful clutch. As part of Asian tradition, I surprised Gabe with a timeless watch as his main gift paired with cuff links.

The most memorable part of our day would have to be the exchanging of our vows. With family coming into town from the west coast and having to do a lot of entertaining before the day; we both snuck away to write our promises to each other. I definitely would have to say I felt very emotional during my part but I lost composure when Gabe read out his vows to me. I purchased matching Rifle Paper Co. floral notebooks for us to write in as we wanted to have our vows in a safe place for us to look back to in future years.

With my love for the natural beauty and elegance of greens and blooms, I knew that they would play a huge part of our wedding day. There was a perfect harmony in the loose composition of the floral bouquets and centrepieces paired with blush and gold accents that set the tone for our romantic and timeless wedding look. To add glimmer to the ballroom we rented gold chiavari chairs, added gold-framed table numbers and filled the room with whimsical floral arrangements in mercury glass vases. The absolutely delicious wedding cake and sweets on the dessert table showcased intricate sugared floral detailing that also tied the theme of our wedding together.

The DRESS was everything and more then what I dreamt of when I was a little girl. While in New York for business, I was able to arrange my first bridal appointment. I tried on four dresses but definitely saved the best for last as I knew it was the one. Although I left New York that same day empty handed, right after landing in Toronto, I called local bridal shops to see who carried Amsale Blue Label dresses. Pearl Bridal House opened their boutique on a Sunday just for me and I purchased my dress that day. It was meant to be. The cupcake silhouette and hand-sewn textured flowers is a perfect match to my girlie personality and the dress alone truly, truly completed the look for the entire day.

Photography: Mango Studios | Videography: Faithbooth | Floral Design: Ellyn Lilly | Wedding Gown: Amsale | Bridesmaids Dresses: Ann Taylor | Bridal Boutique: Pearl Bridal House | Bridal Shoes: Stuart Weitzman | Bridal Veil And Accessories: Pearl Bridal House | Cake & Sweets: Truffle Cake & Pastry | Chair Rentals: Chair-man Mills Inc. | Event Planning & Design: Lisa Ho Studio | Graphic Design : Lisa Ho Studio | Groom Cuff Links: Cartier (Gift From Bride) | Groom Custom Made Shirt: Made Clothing Co. | Groom Shoes: Prada | Groom Tux: Hugo Boss | Groom Watch: IWC (Gift From Bride) | Notebook For Vows: Rifle Paper Co. | Sweets Table Design: : Lisa Ho Studio | Wedding Venue: The Estates Of Sunnybrook

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Whimsical Toronto Restaurant Wedding

Set on the very first day of summer, this wedding is a exactly the fun themed, flower-filled celebration you’d imagine. It’s sort of botanical chic meets casual whimsy, and the handmade herb potted favors are like icing on the cake. Flowers Time whipped together the gorgeous bloomage, and you can see it all from Olive Photography right here. 

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Restaurant
Styles
Whimsical

From the Bride… We chose June 21st as our wedding date because it’s the first day of summer and the longest day of the year. We love the summer months in Canada, especially when the sun stays out past 9pm, so the fact that the Solstice fell on a Saturday worked out perfectly. We wanted a theme that straddled spring and summer since it was going to be on a transitional day, so we decided on shabby chic because the muted but colourful palate let us have a lot of colours – blush, cream, mint, lavender, peach with gold accents – instead of the traditional two colour scheme. Shabby chic really reflects our personal style as well which is a mix of traditional/vintage with modern finishes, so we knew that all our attire and other details would work together.

We did a lot of DIY projects that incorporated our theme – the biggest undertaking was the potted herb favours that doubled as place cards. We white-washed the terracotta pots, found a large variety of herbs, potted them, added ribbons in our colour theme to each one and then topped them with scalloped flags with names hand-written by the mother of the bride. Not only did the favours double as place cards, but they also added even more greenery to the table to make it feel very summery. We also made our own table numbers that carried through the floral shabby chic theme. We love to go to antique markets so the last time we were at the Aberfoyle Antique Market we picked up some vintage botanical prints and popped them into some white frames and added numbers with a glass writing marker in an art deco font.

We knew that while we were putting together all these details that would bring the theme across once guests arrived, the invitation is the first piece that they get and that would really set the tone for what guests expect. We worked with a fantastic graphic designer and told her our vision and a lot about the wedding and she came up with a beautiful design for the invitations that we were able to carry through to all the stationary like the menus and the programs.

We decided early-on that the dance party for the reception was one of the most important parts for us – we really wanted to make sure that our family as well as our friends all had a great time – so finding the right DJ was really important and pretty difficult. Unless you see a DJ at a wedding, you don’t really have an idea of what they’re like. Reviews are helpful but everyone’s taste in music is different, so one person’s perfect DJ might be someone else’s dud. Our friend recommended our DJ and after meeting him, we realized he was perfect. The party lasted until the end of the night with people cheering for “One more song” at the end – which he complied with and played The Beatles’ ‘Hey Jude’ and made the perfect ending to the perfect day.

Top 5 Pieces of Advice to Engaged Couples Planning their Wedding:

1) First and foremost, start with a theme or an overall look and feel for your day. Everything else – venue, attire, decor, music, flowers – will flow out of having a strong overall vision for what you want your wedding to look like. Pinterest and wedding blogs are a great place to get inspiration for what you want and identify the things you’re not as into. They’re also a great place for finding vendors and venues – we found our venue and photographer from wedding blogs and we’re thrilled with how they worked out.

2) You don’t necessarily have to go through traditional wedding stores for every detail of the wedding. We did really well finding decor at Target and Staples, attire details online at places like The TieBar and Etsy, and finding the bridesmaid’s dresses at Urban Outfitters. It’s a great way to save on your budget and also make sure that you’re details are one of a kind. Finding a great vendor on Etsy is great if you want something a little different too because they’ll often work with you to create something custom. The groom and groomsmen’s pocket squares are a great example – I sent her a picture of the ties and bow tie and she sent me photos of fabric options to choose from. They turned out perfect and it was also nice to know that they’re a really special takeaway for the guys that they can’t get anywhere else.

3) Go with your gut. There were lots of traditional details we weren’t sure about like whether to have a bouquet toss or having the wedding party announced coming into the reception – neither of which we ended up doing. Every time we were asked about those details, we just went back to what we were picturing for the day and decided to do that, regardless of what the norm was. This is also true of decor and all the little details. I really wanted gold Chivari chairs to make the “gold” accent in our theme pop. The venue came with silver chairs and a lot of people thought I wouldn’t end up caring about the chairs but I stuck to my guns and I think they made the look of the whole dining room pop and tied the theme together. A bonus is that we were able to use them for the ceremony as well, so that looked great in pictures as well.

4) Do anything that you can do ahead of time as early as possible. I was really lucky to be able to take the week before the wedding off from work, and I don’t know how I would have got everything finished if I hadn’t. All the little things add up and it was a lot of late nights the week before getting everything done. We definitely would have tried to do more in the week’s leading up to the wedding instead of leaving it to the last week. Writing out a decor plan on how you want things set up on the day of the wedding will help to map out what needs to be done and makes it much easier to delegate tasks to your wedding party and family. Don’t forget to enjoy yourself through it all – play music, have a glass of wine, work outside if the weather’s nice – we enjoyed doing all the pieces because we had fun along the way.

5) Lastly, but probably most importantly, get a wedding day-of coordinator. Even if you’re doing the planning yourself, get someone to help you on the day-of. You want to be able to enjoy the day and a coordinator can set up your decor, make sure all your vendors arrive, ensure the venue is set up according to your floor plans and make sure everyone in your wedding parties arrive on time and are positioned properly. I work in Public Relations and plan and execute a lot of events, and I still couldn’t have pulled off the wedding without Fidan and her Designed Dream team running the show. The peace of mind is worth it but having the perfect wedding day is the cherry on top.

Photography: Olive Photography | Flowers: Flowers Time | Wedding Dress: Watters Bridal | Cake: Swirls Cupcakes | Bride's Shoes: Kate Spade | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Urban Outfitters | DJ: Indie Wedding DJ | Groom's Attire: Burberry | Groom's Shoes: Johnston & Murphy | 'Love Is Sweet' Banner: BHLDN | Bride's Clutch: Club Monaco | Bride's Headband: Urban Outfitters | Bride's Veil: Kiss Design House On Etsy | Bridesmaids' Clutches: J. Crew | Chairs : Majestic Chair Boutique | Coordination And Design Consulting: Designed Dream Wedding Planning | Getting Ready Rompers: Target | Groom & Groomsmen Socks: The Gap | Groomsmen Tie Bar: The Tie Bar | Groomsmen's Bowties And Ties: J. Crew | Groomsmen's Pocket Squares: Hillanddale On Etsy | Invitations, Menus, Programs, Photo Guest Book Stationery: Lauren Potosky - Freelance Designer Via The Papery | Photo Guest Book Camera: Polaroid Z2300 Digital Instant Print | Seating Chart Chalkboards: Staples | Table Confetti: ElfSTUDIOS On Etsy | Table Number Botanical Prints: Aberfoyle Antique Market | Table Numbers Frames: Dollarama | Venue: Caffino Ristorante

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here