Matt and Sam’s Romantic, Vibrant and Intimate Downtown wedding.
The series of photographs with your first look and walking down to the venue are stunning! The colour tone, your relaxed, beautiful poses and the unique compositions with the downtown urban Toronto backdrop. What was your experience during this and your thoughts when you saw your album?
Thank you so much but the first look and street photos were actually our plan B! Plan A was a reveal inside the hotel but we quickly realized our photo space had been double booked and had to make do with an outdoor reveal. We stayed at the St. Regis which is in the heart of downtown right at Bay and Adelaide. We had a lot of people shout out congratulations from their cars and compliment our attire as we walked around which was pretty cute. At the time, Sam was not keen to walk through a busy, dusty construction zone (she was scared of getting her dress dirty) but our photographer, Liat, was amazing and the photos turned out beautifully! She somehow managed to capture us without all of the background chaos- she’s a magician, really.
How do you feel your personalities, interests and unique love story were communicated to your family and guests through your wedding day experience?
Given our strong international ties (Matt is from Australia, Sam is from Jamaica), we wanted to choose a venue that was easily accessible for our guests who were traveling from overseas. We found that the Berkeley Fieldhouse suited the rustic aesthetic that we really liked, whilst being a relatively central location close to downtown accommodation for our visitors.
When it comes to the ceremony and reception, there were certain traditional wedding aspects that didn’t really appeal to us so we wanted to go against the grain (something our planner, Alusha, encouraged).
We both have our own unique quirks which began with the engagement ring. Sam loves pearls, so the main stone of her engagement ring is a pearl. Matt isn’t a big fan of wearing rings, so instead requested a wedding wristwatch because he never leaves the house without one. We’re both not crazy about cake, and honestly neither of us could recall ever eating the cake at a wedding, but we do love donuts. So, the decision to feature a COPS donuts stand with fresh donuts in place of a cake became a no-brainer (and a crowd favourite)..
What is the story of your beautiful wedding dress and how it fit so beautifully into the romantic, warm and elegant design of your wedding?
Sam: I personally had a hard time finding dresses I liked when searching for bridal gowns. My sister passed on a suggestion from a friend which was to try The Modern Bride in Guelph. I was browsing their social media pages and saw the “Mimosa” by Alena Leena and I instantly knew that was my dress. I can’t say I planned on the dress fitting the design of our wedding! I really just went for what I liked in both dress and décor and I guess they happened to fit together well.
What were some of your sources of inspiration when you first began communicating with your florist and your wedding planner?
We definitely had to revive our Pinterest accounts when getting our floral ideas. We looked at colour schemes and arrangements from random people’s weddings and saved our favourites. We also shamelessly scoured the Berkeley Events and Berkeley Events Blog Instagram pages to see what previous couples had done to decorate the venue and got inspiration from them as well. Our florist, Deanna Balmer (The Wild Pansy) threw a lot of ideas into the pot too. She listened to us and looked at all the elements we liked and worked her magic to come up with something we both really loved.
What advice would you give a newly engaged couple about planning a wedding that becomes a timeless meaningful day?
If you’re anything like us (clueless at planning a wedding), hiring a planner is a must! Also, even if it’s not your thing, dedicate a good amount of time to look at other people’s weddings whether on social media or albums from friends and family. Really take the time to research what you like/want early on.
It was also important for us to share our ideas with one another, and decide on the areas that we were happy to commandeer individually. Divvying up the tasks helped us break up the hectic nature of planning a wedding and made everything feel less stressful.
You stepped out between the ceremony and the reception during dinner for a beautiful series of portraits on queen street. What were some of the benefits of this choice?
This was actually a suggestion by our photographer and it was a brilliant one!
Because our first look happened prior to the ceremony, it was good to take a moment and get some personal shots as a married couple. We were fortunate that there was not much traffic on Queen St and were able to get some amazing photos that live on our favourites list. It also gave us a little break and some quiet time from everything going on inside the venue which is much needed on such a busy day.
Planner: Alusha Domanska A Lush Affair
Photographer: Liat Aharoni Photographer
Florist: The Wild Pansy
Venue: Berkeley Fieldhouse
DJ: Gerald from Dj Floh Back
Bride hair and bridal party hair and makeup: ES Bridal
Bride makeup: Joan Huang A Glow By Joan
Officiant: Gregory Hines from My Wedding Officiant
Wedding “cake”: COPS donuts