Who wouldn’t want to get married in a ‘glass treehouse,’ as this couple’s wedding planner, Karina Lemke Events, described this stunning venue The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto! With floor to ceiling windows and a mix of old and modern architecture, you feel like you are sitting in the trees as you celebrate your new last name. Add in an array of white and green florals by Cool, Green and Shady and you have yourself what I like to call a little bit of magic. Take a look below and see all that Corina V. Photography captured for these college sweethearts special day!
From the Bride…
How we met & The Proposal:
John and I were neighbors on a small street at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and we were both lucky enough to apply for and win student homes next to each other. I was 19 and John was 22 when we met. I lived with my girlfriends in the house and John lived with a bunch of his guy friends. One the first day of class in 2009, my housemates and I were hanging out on our front porch when John and some of his housemates noticed us and came over to introduce themselves and hang out. We all hung out a lot during that school year at each others’ homes. Our relationship started off as “just friends” but after a year realized that we cared about each other more deeply. We dated for 7+ years before John got a job offer in California in 2018. Shortly after he got the job offer, he organized a long weekend trip away to Paris. After we checked into the hotel, John suggested we go for a walk to the Eiffel Tower. It took almost 20 minutes to walk there, during which time we had talked about our relationship and reminisced about the places we’d traveled to together and the memorable experiences we had together. Once we got to the Champ de Mars, John found a quiet spot and got down on one knee and proposed to me! We spent the next few days celebrating in Paris!
We wanted our wedding to feel classic and elegant, and we knew we wanted to have it in the downtown Toronto area, to make it easily accessible to our Toronto-based guests and to give our out-of-town guests a great impression of the city. The weather in Toronto is variable, so we wanted to avoid the stress of worrying about bad weather. At the same time, we didn’t want to feel ‘boxed in’ at an indoor wedding venue. All of the details fell into place when we chose our venue, the Royal Conservatory of Music, with its blend of old and modern architecture including massive floor to ceiling windows, which brought in a ton of light and the greenery from the outside. The venue is stunning and dramatic by itself, and we wanted everything to feel cohesive in the space, which informed our choice of light and neutral decor including the chairs, linens, flowers, and greenery.
The best part of the day was by far having so many of our friends and family join us from all over Canada and the United States to celebrate our marriage in our home city of Toronto, the place where we spent so many years growing our relationship. Since moving to California, we feel very nostalgic for Toronto. On the day-of, we really ‘felt the love’ from the city walking around the busy streets to take photos around the many architectural sites in the area. The buzz of that Saturday afternoon was palpable, which made us so excited to greet our guests that evening. Lastly, reflecting on how the day went, we feel such joy and relief that everything went so smoothly. Stepping into the venue and hearing the classical musicians and seeing the ceremony and reception set-up was incredible. Any Wedding Planning stress was minimized because there was such an incredible team of vendors who gave us confidence that everything would work out and sure enough, the day was more perfect than we could have imagined in big part thanks to them.
From Karina Lemke Events…One of my personal favorite locations, the Royal Conservatory Of Music on Bloor Street was the venue that Ariane & John decided on for their Wedding – I often describe it to clients as ‘getting married in a perfect, glass treehouse.’ The floor to ceiling windows give the clean lines and contemporary feel that Ariane was drawn to, however, having the stunning tree canopy from Philosopher’s walk provide natures very own backdrop means that the venue remains pretty unaffected by weather. Quite simply, this is a location that is pretty light, bright and spectacular regardless of Mother Nature’s Mood.
The other little feature that sealed the deal was that the guest entry for this venue has little glass performance boxes where we can position a live musician to welcome arriving guests to the wedding. My favorite plan is to position a cellist and once suggested, Ariane’s face began to glow… I had no idea that she herself played cello! Music often factors heavily into weddings at this venue – it is after all the site of our country’s most important music school and the exquisite concert space, Koerner Hall .
If I had a favorite moment from this wedding, it would be Ariane confidently descending the magnificent staircase into her wedding to the hauntingly beautiful “Gabriel’s Oboe” – I do weddings each weekend and it is so special when they bring me to tears – this one certainly did.
Once we had the perfect location, we started to fill in the pieces. This is a location where less is more and it is truly most beautiful when you keep things clean, light and let the surroundings make the statement.
Ariane liked the idea of mixed metallics so we used a very naturally textured grey linen called Aluminium from Around the Table, to contrast it, we used a very contemporary flatware suite in brushed gold. We used the simple and clean-lined Sommelier Glassware, we used Gold band china and Gold Band Glass Chargers.
For Chairs, Ariane liked the natural look of the limewash farmhouse – we used these for the ceremony and then had the set moved to the dinner space so we only needed to rent in a single set. The chairs had a very natural look without it looking too country.
For a floor plan – we have the luxury of creating any floor plan that we might want. I suggested a combination of long and round tables to support the eclectic feel that we were going for. The mix of table styles works really well as the longer ones are a hit with the younger set, the older folks are more comfortable with a more traditional round dining table.
For flowers – we opted for greens and whites with lots of candles. Cool Green & Shady is one of my very favorite venues. They have lots of experience working at the RCM and I knew without a shadow of a doubt that they would be able to create a stunning tablescape using an eclectic mix or brushed gold and silver vessels and candles. The wedding design was a blend of clean contemporary lines and warm natural elements. Gold and Silver, Modern and vintage,
One of my other favorite little details that the couple chose was to select a simple, single-tier cake from their favorite Toronto Bakery (Delysees.) The couple now resides in California but when they lived in the city, this beautiful bakery was their usual go-to and it seemed only fitting to incorporate this detail into their wedding day plans. It was simple, clean-lined and perfectly ‘them’.
In my opinion, we eat with our eyes first, and I thought it was so important to serve a meal that was not only delicious but was artfully curated. Couture Cuisine did a wonderful job with the catering! Each canape, each course was a little work of art and complimented the day so well. The couple lives in California – food and wine are a bit of a religion and Couture, as they always do craft the most beautiful meal.
From Cool, Green & Shady…The florals were to have a light and airy feeling that portrayed a classic polished inner-city garden party. The bride loved the feel of bright florals in the venue space so we kept everything neutral with only white and green hues being used. The flowers consisted of local white ranunculus, lisianthus, and anemone paired with dark green viney smilax, imported Tibet white roses, astrantia, and touches of silver dollar eucalyptus.
From Corina V. Photography…Ariane & John have a natural elegance about them and I wanted to capture that and their personalities in their Wedding Photos. I made sure to have their First Look surrounded by nature along the Philosopher’s Walk path and also asked them to take a stroll along Bloor Street so we could capture the amazing architecture of the Royal Conservatory of Music as well as the modern style of the Royal Ontario Museum and then the Club Monaco store with their classical columns so we would get a beautiful variety of moods in their photos. The Planner and Floral Designer did an amazing job of selecting the perfect flowers and décor pieces to make the Reception look so timeless and fresh and with my natural-light style of photography it all really worked out splendidly. I love it when the Couple chooses a color scheme and the décor is consistent with it and really creates a lovely and cohesive feeling throughout the day. I asked Ariane if she could request a few loose flowers from her Floral Designer so that I could incorporate them into the flat-lays that I created with one of my styling boards for their wedding invitation suite and rings and other details. Overall it was a very special wedding to photograph and Ariane & John are a very special couple!
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Photographer: Corina V Photography | Planner : Karina Lemke | Florist: Cool, Green & Shady | Wedding Gown: Rime Arodaky | Cake: Delysees | Invitations: Silverplate Press | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Park and Fifth Co. | Catering: Couture Cuisine | Make Up: Alisa Lyons | Hair: Salon Corbo | DJ: Impact DJ | Groom's Attire: Ermenegildo Zegna | Groomsmen's Attire: Freeman Formal | Officiant: Sarah Bunnett-Gibson | Venue: Royal Conservatory of Music | Favours: Elephants Adopted At (to Fit With Travel Theme) | Musicians: Wellington Music