a celebration begins
Wendy and Paul were engaged on New Year’s Day 2009. “We were home alone, enjoying a quiet morning together at my husband’s Boston country home. Paul asked me to sit with him in the living room. Then he handed me a beautifully wrapped box (well a box within a box, actually) and inside the inner-most box, was the most beautiful ring I had ever seen. He asked me to marry him and I said YES! We started the celebrating with a bottle of 1999 vintage Dom Perignon and haven’t stopped since!” recalls Wendy.
The couple exchanged marriage vows on October 31, 2009 during a sunset ceremony at Canoe Restaurant.
Wendy chose an ivory tulle gown with an encrusted bodice and whimsical skirt by Monique Lhuillier that she describes as, “nothing short of spectacular!” She wore a rabbit fur stole fastened with a large antique crystal brooch and carried a Judith Leiber crystal evening clutch. Paul wore a black tuxedo with a satin lapel by Isaia. Genevieve Bismonte from Quince Flowers created the monochromatic florals ranging from red to deep burgundy tones. Wendy’s bouquet was comprised of black baccarat roses, mini burgundy calla lilies, chocolate cosmos and branch orchids.
“Our ceremony at Canoe was in the side private dining room which is a beautiful wood paneled room with ceiling to floor windows overlooking Lake Ontario. We had beautiful upholstered seats for the guests which gave it a very plush feel. Our only addition to the room decor was large candle stands and very tall glass vases filled with river rocks and opulent orchid branches positioned on either side of us during the ceremony,” remembers Wendy.
heritage meets hallowe’en
After the ceremony the room at Canoe transformed into an elegant black tie affair for Wendy, Paul and their eighty-eight guests. The couple, both of Italian heritage, decided on 'Venetian Masquerade' as their design theme for the reception. The concept was perfectly fitting as the wedding fell on Hallowe’en. The venue—already enveloped in rich colours of burgundy, brown and gold was further enhanced by bright white linens topped with tall vases of red branch orchids. The orchids were alternated with clusters of roses and stephanotis in square glass vases. Hundreds of votive candles lit up the room with a warm glow.
Beautiful stationery also played a key role in enhancing the Venetian theme. Wendy went to The Stationery Shoppe at William Ashley to choose her ‘Vettore’ Venetian style invitations and day-of stationery by Smock. The place cards, menus and seating chart were all hand-calligraphed by Diane Iannuzziello, of Calligraphy by Diane in espresso coloured ink and letterpressed onto heavy ivory bamboo paper.
We sourced beautiful hand-made Italian masks from Mask Italia. The owner imports her masks from Venice and Florence. The masks were amazing and we gave these to our guests as favors.
The cake was created by Alexandria Pellegrino of Cake Opera Co. “It was really more of a sculpture than a cake,” remembers Wendy.
a sumptuous success
During the reception, a five course meal was served to the eighty-eight guests. “The menu that Canoe worked with me to create was amazing. We had a five course meal including a prosciutto arugula salad, a wild mushroom papardelle dish, bison and sablefish, an artisanal cheese course and their signature fireweed butter tarts. They also helped us pair the wines beautifully. Guests raved and raved about the food,” recalls Wendy.
The guest book table displayed more sumptuous stationery. A calligraphed message from Wendy and Paul was imprinted on a placard of their Vettore stationery, thanking guests for attending the wedding and asking them to complete the cards with marriage advice for the newlyweds. Wendy also worked with the owner of Paper Marche who designed a custom label for welcome bags to match the Venetian invitation motif. “We also used these bags at the wedding for our guests to take home their Hallowe’en candy since we had set up at an elaborate “trick or treat” candy bar at the reception.”
Overall, the day was truly magical. “All of our guests felt as if they were part of something truly special.” The couple honeymooned in Montecido, California at San Ysidro Ranch and now reside in Toronto.
Veil from White Toronto, Judith Leiber clutch, hair accessories from Vera Wang Boutique
& Linda Penwarden
Oscar de la Renta from White Toronto
Groom Formal Wear:
William Ashley, Smock, Calligraphy by Diane
Cake Opera Co.
Julia Seager Scott, Charlotte Knight, Maximum DJ
Make-up Artist & Hair Stylist: