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Real Weddings

True Love, True Luxury: Andrea & John Paul

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        Prince Charming Proposes

On the fifth year anniversary of their first date, Andrea and John Paul were married. They were engaged after a fun proposal that took place in Niagara Falls, where Andrea bartended at the time. She would carpool from Toronto with Mike, a coworker. The night of her engagement, Mike convinced her to make a detour at a hotel before going to work by saying that a t-shirt designer was in town (staying at the hotel) and he wanted to check out some new designs for an upcoming event.

“We were both searching for the room and when we came upon it the door was ajar. When I opened the door, I saw John Paul dressed up in a suit, down on one knee and holding a ring box—I was so stunned! I slowly walked in the room and put down my bags and walked towards him with my hands over my mouth. When I got to him, he told me how much he loved me and how he has known for such a long time that he wanted to marry me, and then asked me to be his wife!

He was smart enough to catch the whole proposal on video, and it makes me cry every time I watch it.

Once we were both a bit more composed, John Paul told me that he had made reservations for us at the Watermark on top of the Hilton. He was completely prepared for the evening and had packed two dresses for me to choose from and a clutch. He even went to Shoppers and bought all of my toiletries as well as a new pair of black pumps so I wouldn’t notice them missing from home. He also brought champagne glasses from home, a bottle of Dom Perignon and red roses. It was a perfect evening. We went for dinner where our table overlooked the falls and a beautiful fireworks show. I spent half of dinner staring at my hand and crying as I called my parents and our friends to tell them the good news! After dinner we stopped in at Dragonfly as everyone including my manager was in on the surprise and celebrated with them. We finished off the night with some fun in the casino. It was an amazing night!”

        Designer Inspiration

Andrea and John Paul were married on October 23, 2010 at the Fermenting Cellar. Melissa Andre of Melissa Andre Events was instrumental in helping give the couple the wedding of their dreams. Melissa is also a hair and makeup artist and personally styled the bride on the day of the wedding.

Andrea wore ‘Flora’–an haute couture Ines Di Santo gown that featured silk peonies hand-painted with pastel pink and green, with pearls in the centre. The dress instantly became the jumping off point for the wedding design and decor—although it was a challenge for Andrea to keep the reason for the inspiration a secret without giving away too much of her dress details to John Paul during the planning process!

“John Paul realized why both floral elements and the colour vanilla were so important when he finally saw my dress. Flora is so romantic and soft so we knew that all the design elements and colours had to complement the over-all look of the dress. I am known to love gorgeous dresses and to always be overdressed at every occasion, and what better place to do so than at your own wedding. I also wanted my guests to share in my love of dressing to the nines so we did make the wedding a formal affair,” explains Andrea.

All three of the bridesmaids wore formal black satin gowns from BCBG.

Roxy Zapala of Flower Parade created lush bouquets for Andrea and her bridesmaids to carry down the aisle. Andrea carried an opulent collection of roses, stephanotis, ranunculus, and cymbidium orchids, all in the muted shades of peach and vanilla, and wrapped with a peach satin ribbon. The three attendants each carried a rich bouquet of peach and vanilla garden roses accented by white ranunculus and green hydrangea blossoms.

        A Glowing Reception

The ceremony and reception took place at the Fermenting Cellar in Toronto’s Distillery District. Andrea and JP purposely chose a non-religious venue so they could personalize every line of their own ceremony.

“I fell in love with the song “Marry Me” by Amanda Marshall and knew that it had to be the song I was going to walk down the aisle to. My dad knew how important that song was for the perfect entrance, and that we had to get the timing just right to end up at the altar just before the chorus came in. At the rehearsal he walked me down the aisle at least ten times so he could get the timing right. And the day of the wedding, it was perfect!”

Immediately following the ceremony, the guests were treated to a cocktail hour with delicacies from Encore Catering. The venue glowed from every corner with hundreds of candles and amber ambient light washing up against the limestone walls. “There were candles on every single unused surface to create the romantic glow. They were in the window ledges, lining the aisle, hanging from trees, and covering all tables,” recalls Andrea.

The escort table also incorporated candlelight. “We printed each guest’s name and table number on Japanese paper and wrapped them around individual glass votive candles, secured with a black satin ribbon. We then designed a custom table top (later used to serve our delicious plated wedding cake for the guests) from an eight foot piece of mirror which was bordered by large oversized ivory peonies, green cymbidium orchids, and pale orange garden rose heads
encased in glass.

When we lined all 100 candles on the table, all of the names had a warm glow. Our guests were then able to pick up their candle from the table and take it with them to their seat, adding even more candlelight to the reception. We really wanted to create interest in a typical wedding element. Whereas a placecard table can look very standard, we wanted to bring an element of luxe to it,” recalls Andrea.

Each guest received a mini champagne bottle. A custom label created by the bride was lovingly placed on each of the 180 bottles for the toast to the happy couple. Two straws were tied with ribbon to each bottle, one black and one green to match the menus at each setting designed by Natalie Trudel of Pulp and Pearl.

“To see the whole room warmly lit with amber lighting and hundreds of candles glowing, it was breathtaking. The cutest part was that none of the guests wanted to enter the room; they all stood there admiring the room and reaching for their cameras to take pictures of the space before being seated. It was an amazing feeling to have our guests appreciate the beauty of the reception and I knew at that moment all of the hard work was completely worth it!” –Andrea

        The End

Guests dined on a decadent four-course meal catered by Encore Catering. Allyson Meredith and Sara Bell of Bobbette and Belle created a beautiful four-tier cake adorned with mini sugar flowers that they hand-painted to mimic the look of the peonies in Andrea’s gown. Three large sugar peonies were placed on the top tier and had edible pearls in the centre, which matched the inside of the flowers on the dress. Andrea and John Paul used the same knife that her parents used to cut their wedding cake decades before.

One of the most fun aspects of the night was provided by Smilebooth by Mango Studios. Guests could choose fun props and pose for candids. The results? A great keepsake for Andrea and John Paul.

The couple honeymooned with a spectacular trip to Thailand. “We decided on Thailand for its exotic landscape, amazing food and generous people. We wanted to spend time really traveling and exploring different parts of the country and to be able to relax and enjoy the beaches at the end. We were there for three weeks and it was absolutely amazing, we would love to go back again!”

The couple now reside in Oakville where Andrea is a real estate agent and John Paul is a chartered accountant.



       Andrea & John Paul’s Dream Team

Photographer: Mo Govindji & Nancy Da Costa, MANGO Studios; Sought after internationally for being incredibly unique and creative. They are a team of artists who aim to illustrate the pure love and joy in the moments they capture. Their beautiful downtown gallery showcase’s their latest hand bound books and fine art prints. Visit

Location: Toronto, Ontario  |  Venue: Fermenting Cellar  |  Gown Boutique: Veronica Di Santo Atelier  |  Gown Designer:
Ines Di Santo  |  Fine Jewellery: Raffi Jewelers  |  Shoes: Valentino  |  Bridesmaids: BCBG  |  Groom Formal Wear:
Quattro Clothiers  |  Wedding Planner + Decor + Make up & Hair: Melissa Andre, Melissa Andre Events
Invitations/Stationery: Pulp & Pearl  |  Floral: Flower Parade  |  Tableware + Glassware + Flatware + Linens + Ghost Chairs: Chairman Mills  |  Chandeliers: 3Events  |  Lounge furniture + Bars: Fermenting Cellar  |  Catering: Encore Catering  |  Cake: Bobbette & Belle  |  Photobooth: Smilebooth

For Andrea & John Pauls’s full vendor list and more images click here




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