Oct 30, 2009
Here's a selection of the pro wedding pics we got from Emma, the amazing eye behind Barebonephoto!!
My brother walking me down the aisle:
Our handfasting ceremony:
On our way to Osgood Hall to take wedding party photos:
Our "strange" footwear: Chuck Taylor - Converse runners, and Doc Martens
The Groom and his shadow...
My favourite pic of the bunch!!
Our table settings:
Groom's Bauhaus Cake:
October 30th, 2009 came and went WAY TOO FAST...it was such an amazing day! Everything fell into place, exactly the way that we wanted it to...
I felt like a gorgeous rennaissance princess, as I married my handsome gentleman at the beautiful Historic Arts & Letters Club in Toronto. We partied the night away with 110 of our closest friends and family. I loved every minute of it!
It started off with me and my gals getting ready at the beautiful Delta Chelsea Hotel in downtown Toronto, which is right next door to The Arts & Letters Club.
My hair and make-up team were so AMAZING and fast! They are amazing, fun personalities too, who totally understood the historical yet edgy vibe I was going for.
Thanks to Daina Schreiber, Kat Marcus, and Melissa Nicholl from GLAM Studion & Gallery, we ALL looked fantastic!!
Ok, so...I'm revisiting all this after the fact, so...it'll take me a bit to remember everything, and get it all uploaded...
I knew right off the bat that I wanted to get married in the fall, as close to Halloween as possible. In the interest of making it easier for our guests with children, we decided not to choose the actual date of Halloween, so that they wouldn't have to choose between our day, and "trick or treating"...
I also wanted a strong historical masquerade theme, given the time frame, but I knew it would be tough to ensure that things didn't get "campy" and "cheesy"...we wanted a costume inspiration, but we didn't want anything too hokey.
The colour scheme was easy...red/black are out two favourite colours, and I knew I was going to be wearing gold, so that was thrown into the mix as well. We stayed pretty true to our scheme, as we even asked our guests to arrive dressed in that same colour scheme...(Which turned out awesome)
So, the goal was a lavish, historical inspired, masquerade "venetian ball" type of an evening, with a pagan "handfasting" ceremony to start the festivities...
To find just the right venue was difficult, as the banquet halls are the places that have all the deals, but, I really wanted something with history and character. The Arts & Letters Club fit the bill, on all counts...
The great hall boasts beautiful cathedral ceilings, a huge fireplace, stunning stained glass windows, and candlelight chandeliers for great ambiance.
Well, I knew I wanted a corset, and some kind of historical influence, whether it was Victorian or Elizabethan, I wasn't sure....But, I'm also an edgy, gothy, fashion professional, so I didn't want a campy silly Ren. Fair type of costumey look. I searched through a few bridal mags, and looked at some labels, but I pretty much knew I was going to need to do something custom.
My original plan was to go to Fashion Crimes on Queen West...but, they didn't really give me much customer service upon 2 meetings with them. I never saw the designer, or anyone other than the regular sales staff manning the store. Seems to me a large purchase like this should merit a slightly more tailored type of customer service. Furthermore, they were not going to allow me ANY input into what I wanted in the design.
I then met with the designer at Valencienne, but she was $1000 over my budget...and although she understood the historical influences I wanted...she did not understand the idea of marrying it with an edgy modern look as well.
Thank goodness I found Bethany!! I showed her my inspiration collage and she instantly got a feeling for what I wanted. She drew me a quick sketch on the spot, and it was perfect!
Bethany took a year (almost to the day) to create the dress (she first creates it in a muslin, then actual fabric), but she can do it in a quicker time-frame, if needed...and it was a pleasure working with her.
She even made me matching masks for me and my husband, as well as a gorgeous necklace!
Here's some pics from my final fitting:
Here are a couple pics of the mask and necklace that she also made:
My accessories (aside from Bethany's custom necklace and mask) were also special ordered...
The headress was from the US from this website:
And my shoes I had to special order from the doc marten website and have them shipped in from England...I sprayed them with a bit of gold glitter, and swapped out the plain cotton laces with ribbons, which you'll see in the pro pics when I post them...
We were going to try and do them ourselves, but we wanted gold text on black paper, and that's just not do-able on a home inkjet or laser. We needed to use thermography...Also, I wanted to have a whole "corset" theme on at least the inner envelopes, and I'm so glad I had them ordered, after seeing the final result. I would have gone absolutely CRAZY trying to install all those grommets!!
They were ordered from http://www.khromadesigns.com/
All the other stationary, I either did myself, or I ordered from moo.com which is an AMAZING website. We did little thank you tabs that we attached to our favours, with our engagement pics on one side, and we also had little trivia cards printed up by them as well (this was going to be our kissing game...we wanted no part of the clinking of glasses):
The masks were assorted, and placed on everyone's place setting, right ontop of the black napkins. I had to have them ordered from multiple online mask suppliers to get a variety at a reasonable price (some on sticks, some not, male masks, female masks, unisex masks, etc, etc...). Ultimately, we found enough of them, and they seemed to be quite the hit with the guests!
I also ordered slightly more extravegent ones for the wedding party...I'll show pics of those later.
The Wedding Party:
For the guys, including the groom, we decided to go full-on historical, and get some recreations of Victorian style suits.
At Malabar Costumers you can actually custom create to rent your garments...so, if they don't have in-stock what you are looking for, they'll create it for you.
For the Groom, we went with tails and a beautiful gold brocade vest to match my dress
For the Best Man, we went with tails as well, but with a red brocade vest (which matches the rest of the guys)
For 3 remaining Groomsmen, we went with Frockcoats with the red brocade vest
And for the groom's father, and my brother (who gave me away) we did morning coats with a less extravagent gold vest. We also got white gloves for these two, as well as the groom.
The finishing touch for the groom's outfit was a lovely silvertopped walking stick...which really suited him.
Here's a sketch of traditional Victorian tails might look like:
For the girls' dresses, we went with two different styles...and although we tried to find ones that had a distinct corset to them, it just wasn't working out, unless we got them custom as well. So, we went for dresses that were fitted and boned on top and flared out at the bottom. So, they are the same ones as shown in the inspiration pic, by Watters & Watters.
They only thing I can say about this experience is, DON'T buy from Solaia Couture in Woodbridge. They REALLY do not know the meaning of customer service, and I was so frustrated with them by the end of it, I took the dresses and ran...got them altered elsewhere...
For the flower girl, I was fortunate enough to get this through work connections, as I wanted something really unique, and again, I knew I was not going to be able to find what I wanted in a typical children's store, or even bridal shop. This dress was special ordered from LA:
I also bought little fur capelet and tea-stained it so that it wasn't stark white...looked so cute with the dress. My mother in law was also kind enough to make 5 other capes (one full-length one for me) and 4 short black ones for my girls, which I gave as part of their BM gifts.
The ringbearer wore a plain black suit with red tie, which I also got through work...and I made the ringbearer pillow myself:
For the look of the wedding, I knew I wanted something really "luxurious" looking...but, it had to be on a pretty strict budget. This was going to be a challenge...
I looked into buying bulk fabric, and buying my own linens (the venue only had white linens), but that wasn't cheap either. Luckily, I found a great company that was well priced AND they were the only ones who REALLY had the tablecloths and runners that were exactly what I was envisioning!
They were super nice, and a pleasure to deal with. The best part is, they do not require the balance of the invoice to be paid until 30 days after the wedding, which was very refreshing.
As for the flowers...luckily my hubby's aunt offered to give us our floral arrangements at cost, as part of our wedding gift. So, the only thing we had to do was provide inspiration for the vision we wanted. We decided we wanted to go with something really different and dramatic for our centerpieces, with twigs, feathers and jewels. The bouquets would be more simple with mostly roses and feathers.
This is a mock-up drawing of what the tables were supposed to look like. We gave this to the venue event planner as a visual guide for her staff...ended up being a GREAT idea!
Beside it was the original inspiration photo that started the ball rolling on most of the decor vision...
We really wanted our music to FEEL like our taste...which is geared towards the goth/alternative vibe. So, rather than try to educate your typical cheese-fest oriented wedding dj about the world of dark music, we decided to go with a dj and friend of ours, who masterminds our regular clubbing nights at various venues around Toronto.
We basically gave him our list of important songs such as processional, grand entrance, first dance (which we had a special routine for), and last song...then, we gave him a list of "Must play" and "Do not play" songs. Other than that...the rest was up to him! It was so great to have someone who we trusted to understand the feeling we wanted for the entire evening.
We ordered a typical limo for the wedding party to get to/from photos after the ceremony. We got a deal from A Celebrity Limos due to our wedding being on a Friday, which was great. But, the real show stopper was the vintage Rolls Royce that we rented from RG Collection for us, specifically. I managed to find a car that went with our EXACT COLOUR SCHEME! I was soooo excited!!
The last thing we had to do was rehearse the ceremony. It was scheduled for 2 weeks before the wedding, on Thanksgiving weekend...
Everything went well, thanks mostly to our venue Catering Manager, Sarah...she got us all organized and in-line...then it was time for the rehearsal dinner (and subsequently, the stag and stagette parties!).
We booked our dinner at Toronto's Beer Bistro...which was AWESOME! We totally recommend the place to anyone who's into yummy gourmet food (but not too high-end), and interesting beers from all around the world. Their main dining hall is lovely, but their private room (which holds up to 25) is even nicer, and you get your own dedicated wait-staff. The best part, was this was also the most reasonablly priced venue we looked at, for the rehearsal dinner, so we saved some money, yet again!
All that was left was to wait for the day to arrive!
Centerpiece and colour scheme:
Cake idea and colour scheme:
Dress design ideas: