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When we say it is a fun wedding, it is definitely a fun one.  After planning and coordinating so many weddings, we have high expectations and set the bar high.  This cottage wedding took place at Stirling’s parents’ property, where he grew up in and spent many summer weekends there with Tina.  They spent a year preparing for this big day, from leveling the grounds, cutting down trees,  building their own bar and all the signages.  Everything little detail was made by the couple.  If you are to combine your last names after marriage, how do you decide whose last name goes first? Tina and Stirling left it with their guests to make a vote and we had tons of fun counting the ballots.  The night ended with dancing under the stars and making smores with the campfire.

 

Photos are beautifully captured by Jennifer Van Son

 

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Toronto is full of beautiful wedding venues to suit every bridal style, with so many options and some great hidden gems. Graydon Hall is the perfect example of a hidden gem, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city’s core and providing a serene location for a wedding. It’s convenient location, being central and close to major highways, and peaceful garden draw in many weddings throughout the year.

 

Olivia and Richard were looking for a venue with scenic spring views, and with great food. Both the bride and groom are foodies, and wanted to be sure their guests had the best food at their wedding. Graydon Hall is known for its catering, and that coupled with the romantic gardens made it the perfect venue for them.

They had a Spring wedding, and with the venue and food confidently selected, the design and decor were next on the priority list. Like most couples seeking design inspiration, Olivia and Richard took to Pinterest and Instagram to get a feel for what type of options they had. They wanted a romantic spring wedding with lots of natural touches.

For a colour scheme, they chose delicately light and pastel colours to compliment the spring fresh garden at Graydon Hall. Floral design, done by Hunt & Gather, showcased the natural element of spring with lush greenery and perfectly bloomed flowers. The bridal bouquets were grand, with plenty of substance that provided a full, natural look to the bridal party.

In the hall itself, the head table was lined with a variety of flowers and cascading with greenery to support the natural spring look. On guest tables, the florals dominated the centerpieces to reinforce that greenery, and to once again provide an outdoor feel to an indoor wedding. The floral arrangements were placed in a romantic fold vase that peaked out from beneath without overwhelming the piece.

Aside from the floral focused centerpieces, the guest tables had simple and bold table numbers on similar gold holders. The wedding favours, done by the Kitten and Bear, were placed at the tables.

The night before the wedding day, it rained in typical Spring fashion. Due to the wet grass, we were forced to bring the ceremony indoors. Luckily, Graydon Hall has a great indoor space for ceremonies in the Coach Room, which contains ample natural light and delicate outdoor paintings to reinforce the feeling of an outdoor ceremony indoors.

To add a personal touch to the most personal day, a bubble tea station was made available to guests at the end of the evening. Richard proposed to Olivia over bubble tea one night, and they wanted to incorporate that into their wedding day. The also had beautiful details added throughout their wedding. The placeholder cards were origami, and all of the name cards/table numbers were beautifully done in calligraphy.


The whole wedding was a reflection of the Spring, with luscious floral arrangements, delicate colour schemes and lots of natural sunlight to mark a new beginning into marriage for Olivia and Richard.

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Leslie and Matthew’s wedding is very special to us and is one of our favourite weddings in 2017.  Not only because of their story, it is also one of more challenging weddings that we’ve planned.  Leslie and Matthew had known each other since kindergarten in Calgary, but in grade 2, Leslie moved to Toronto while Matthew stayed in Calgary.  They both went to the same university at different times and destiny brought them together in Toronto a few years ago and they have been together ever since.   How cute is that!

We took their love story as an inspiration and used that as an illustration on their invitation and wedding day stationery.

Here are a few get ready photos from the morning of the wedding.

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The wedding ceremony took place at the St. James Cathedral Centre where the couple tied the knot under the cherry blossom trees.

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The reception took place at Dragonboat Fusion Cuisine, one of the best Chinese restaurant in Toronto.  Leslie is a foodie and she wanted the best Chinese banquet for her wedding.  We took on the challenge to transform the restaurant so that they can have the best of both worlds.  If you have ever dined at a Chinese restaurant, you probably know that there is very little downtime between dim sum hours and dinner.  Most dim sum ends at 3:00pm or some even 4:00pm.  We don’t do that many Chinese restaurant weddings, but we definitely know the tips and tricks on how to transform the space in a very short amount of time.

 

Most of the restaurants have a lot of decoration. Sometimes, it’s overwhelming.  To transform the look into something more bridal, the easiest way is to cover the walls with drapes. Even so, it comes with a challenge.  Draping the walls during day time is impossible due to the dim sum service.  It took a lot of negotiation with the venue to let us to start draping the night prior.  We were on site to coordinate and facilitate issues between the restaurant staff and our decor team.  Although, most restaurants also do wedding banquets, the kind of setup that we did is not common to them.

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We also re-designed the floor plan.  Most restaurants have a “stage” for the head table, and it may not be the most ideal location for head tables at times.  For this wedding, the stage is located at the farthest end of the restaurant and it is hard to be seen when you first walk in.  Head table is the focal point of the reception space and it is where most of the decor budget goes to.  Relocating the head table allowed us to create a wow factor as guests can see it as they walk in to the venue.

Linens and chair covers played an important role in adding an elegant look to the venue.  If budget allows, upgrade to chivari chairs or other fancier chairs.  It will elevate the look of your event.  For this wedding, there wasn’t any storage space at the restaurant to store their own chairs and we had to go with chair covers.  Some venues may charge a removal fee for their chairs or a fee to remove their existing chair covers.  There are a few styles of chair covers and make sure that the size you are getting fits the venue’s chairs.

I hope you enjoyed our journey of how we transformed a Chinese restaurant for a wedding reception. Photos were beautifully captured by Joee Wong.  Floral design by Sara Baig Designs.

 

xo

 

Carmen

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