Michelle & Onofrio true love. true luxury.
Michelle and Onofrio were ‘digitally introduced’ through a mutual friend and started text-messaging before meeting in person for the first time. “Every time a text arrived, I felt a little extra pounding of my heart knowing it would be some beautiful or funny reflection about the world from Michelle,” says Onofrio. A few weeks later, the two had their first official date and immediately knew they were destined to be together.
“It was a perfect summer evening. I remember seeing Ono for the first time—my heart fluttered and I was filled with excitement,” says Michelle. “We walked and talked and everything felt so very comfortable and natural. I knew this was the man I wanted to spend forever and a day with. Eventually, we found a quiet little café where we sat down. The sun was setting, the moon was in the sky and we lost track of all time. We found out that we lived in the same neighborhood, shopped at the same grocery stores and frequented the same coffee shop. I knew I was going to marry Ono after our first date!
Onofrio was equally as smitten. “I remember gazing into Michelle’s eyes for the first time; feeling the world float, as if being in her presence made me aware of the slow, yet steady rotation of the world. It was as if fate had just opened up the doorway for me to walk through to find her.”
The instant mutual connection led to a whirlwind romance that culminated with an October proposal (only a few months after that fateful first date), and a wedding date was set for September 8, 2012.
With just under a year to plan the wedding, the couple enlisted the help of event planner Karen Jacobs of KAREN JACOBS CONSULTING INC. to help them plan a day that would represent a melding of their cultures: Japanese, Italian and Croatian. The common thread that would tie their multicultural celebration together would be music. “Music was prevalent throughout our entire wedding day. It followed us everywhere and was central to every decision in the planning process,” says Michelle.
Michelle wore a gown and veil by Sarah Houston from SARAH HOUSTON BRIDAL COUTURE in Toronto. She was adorned with earrings and a bridal comb from the designer as well. Her hair was styled by SHAZAM HAIR STUDIO and Suzanne Cyr of PRETTIFACE provided her makeup.
For rings, both Michelle and Onofrio went with timeless bands from TIFFANY & CO. Michelle also wore a pendant and two bracelets from the famed jewellery store. One of the bracelets was a one-of-a-kind diamond and blue sapphire piece from the Tiffany Blue Book Collection.
The bridesmaids wore Belsoie gowns from DIVA BRIDAL BOUTIQUE in cobalt blue.
Onofrio decided on a Tom Ford made-to-measure tuxedo from HARRY ROSEN. His vest and shirt were Harry Rosen Bespoke by Nello Sansone, and his tie was by Dion, both were from Harry Rosen. Onofrio’s shirt was embroidered with the couple’s initials (and subsequently their nickname) “MOOP.”
SMUDGE DESIGNS created the custom wedding invitations.
The wedding ceremony and reception took place at BELLVUE MANOR. Michelle & Onofrio’s floral designer, Frank Rea of FORGET ME NOT FLOWERS, created displays that wowed guests from ceremony to reception along with furniture from CONTEMPORARY FURNITURE RENTALS and draping from EVENTURE DESIGN. “The expanse of white rows of chairs in the ceremony space was breathtaking and stunning,” recalls the groom. A white program and lyric sheet to Amazing Grace was neatly placed on each chair for every guest. With three officiants (one of whom married Michelle’s parents 34 years earlier) and live music woven throughout, the ceremony was one that Michelle describes as “truly celestial.”
“As we had hoped, the entire wedding was one delicious and uplifting surprise after another, opening pathways to curiosity, wonder and experiences to be stored and relived in memory.” – Onofrio
Karen Jacobs, planner and event designer, worked with Frank Rea of Forget Me Not Flowers to continue the “white and pure” decor theme into the reception. An all-white lounge in the foyer featured beautiful white borne sofas and other elegant furniture provided by Contemporary Furniture Rentals.
FEAST OF WHITE
The beautiful atmosphere also featured all-white food stations, a dazzling white dance-floor by DANCE FLOOR DECOR, all-white furniture, white table linens and even a three-level white acrylic stage for the fourteen-piece MONTREAL RHAPSODY ORCHESTRA.
Even the staff at Bellvue Manor were thoughtfully included in the festivities. “All of the waiters and waitresses were presented with elegant ivory ties to make them feel special and part of our celebration. The staff was truly amazing!” says Michelle.
Bellvue Manor catered a sumptuous four-course dinner. A few hours later, guests were treated to a second feast. The late night delicacies included a whole roasted pig (CROATIA MEATS & DELI), platters of delicious sweet cakes, cookies, cupcakes, “all the macaroons one could dream of” (BOBBETTE & BELLE) and fresh lobster (Bellvue Manor). There were also Japanese desserts to choose from (SUSHI MARCHE).
The bride and groom personally designed their day-of stationery components such as personal wedding stamps, favor tags, menus and cocktail signs. They also created over 350 origami crane escort cards using authentic Japanese paper.
Just as they wished, music was prevalent throughout Michelle and Onofrio’s entire wedding. In addition to the orchestra, musical entertainment included a five-member Croatian band, a string quartet, Japanese taiko drummers and world-renowned soprano soloist Tammy Short (who sang during the ceremony with an encore performance after dinner).
“Ono and I love dancing so we had no problem opening up the dance floor and getting things started!” says Michelle.
Michelle and Ono even ensured that their female guests were provided with flip flops so that they could remove their heels and dance comfortably!
DESIGNED TO WOW
The red-velvet flavoured wedding cake was a BOBBETTE & BELLE creation that stood almost 5-feet tall and consisted of 18 individual tiers of cake including the base. The cake design was inspired by Michelle’s wedding dress, as well as the silver and crystal details in the wedding decor. The flowers, which ensconced the lower tiers and the top of the cake, were exact replicas of the flowers used at the wedding. Bobbette & Belle also created confections for the sweet table displays that included Croatian pastries and biscotti cookies. The sweets were presented on plexiglass risers, crystal bowls and silver platters provided by Forget Me Not Flowers.
ICING ON THE CAKE
The musical highlight for the couple was the surprise appearance of a Croatian Tambura group. The performance was particularly emotional and personal as one of the members of the band was the bride’s own mother!
The only (painful) hiccup of the day was Onofrio’s stumble on the dance-floor causing him to break his foot early in the night. That said, the fall didn’t stop the couple from enjoying themselves and most guests were blissfully unaware of the incident! Onofrio says, “We kept icing and elevating my foot under the head table every now and then, and after a few minutes I would go right back out onto the dance-floor for more dancing and fun! Everything went perfectly. We wouldn’t change a thing. Not even the broken foot.”
Instead of traditional gifts, Michelle and Onofrio presented their guests with a small token—a boxed set of Godiva truffles. They also made a donation to SICKKIDS HOSPITAL in Toronto.
The couple honeymooned in the Hawaiian islands (where Onofrio swam with an aircast!). The newlyweds reside in Toronto where Michelle is a dentist and Onofrio is a software consultant.