How did you meet?
(Ashley): I planned a surprise 30th birthday party at a local Toronto venue for my brother in January 2009 and on the invite list was his friend of 3 years, Julian. On the evening of the party ‘fate came knocking.’ We finally met. (Julian): “I had my eye on this beautiful blonde the whole night and finally I got the courage to ask her brother if he could introduce us.” (Ashley): “We spent the entire night chatting and had an immediate connection. We went on our first date the following week and the rest is history.”
Having grown-up in Winnipeg, Ashley had never been to Niagara Falls. Julian knew Ashley had always wanted to visit Niagara to experience the beautiful falls and knew that this was the place he would propose. One Friday in early February 2010, Julian surprised Ashley with a weekend get-away to Niagara Falls. On the Saturday morning, Julian took Ashley on a romantic walk to the waterfalls as tiny, perfect snowflakes fell from the sky. As they reached the picturesque view of the falls, Julian reached into his pocket and pulled out the ring of Ashley’s dreams and asked her to be his bride!
Was there a specific theme or mood you were trying to to achieve on your wedding day?
(Ashley): We wanted to it be quite dramatic, filled with glamour, opulence and elegance. The King Edward Hotel has a very ‘grande’ feeling due to its beautiful architecture. It is the oldest hotel still in operation in Toronto, built in 1903. We wanted to incorporate some of Julian’s Persian heritage so we focused on deep red and gold tones. I LOVE flowers … absolutely love them, especially red roses and peonies.”
What was your favourite design detail?
(Ashley): “The moment I stepped foot into the ceremony ballroom, I was in absolute awe. Trees draped with crystals and hundreds of red mokara orchids framed the front of the ceremony to create an archway as my parents and I started our walk down the aisle. The aisle runner was lined with a carpet of red rose petals and featured a hand-painted monogram. We got married under a Chuppah dressed with sheer white draping and a stunning crystal chandelier hanging above. Matching trees draped with crystals and red orchids framed the Chuppah, making it feel very intimate and romantic as we exchanged our vows.”
“With canopies draped in rich tones of gold fabrics, the entire Pall Court area of the hotel was transformed into a ‘Sultan’s Tent.’ Guests enjoyed adorning themselves with themed jewellery as they gathered to take group photos on a custom day bed made with luxurious red and gold lace fabrics and monogrammed pillows. Large, ornate Moroccan gold lanterns, filled with gold candles and red rose petals, framed the foot of the day bed and ottomans. Tables overflowing with exotic fruits and nuts completed the transformation. Our guests are still talking about how much fun they had with their friends, and making new friends, while snapping photos and enjoying the Sultan’s Tent Nut Bar.” – Ashley
The reception featured dramatic colors and elegance with the added fun of the Sultan’s Tent and Cigar Room. The head table and cake table featured 18 feet of dark red floral garlands. Centerpieces featured lush arrangements of dark red roses and peonies (Ashley’s two favourite types of blooms).
Who was your favourite wedding vendor, and why?
(Ashley): “Anne Anderson, our full service wedding planner and event designer! She truly made our wedding day the best day that we could EVER ask for. Her attention to detail, creativity, impeccable organization, her ability to understand our needs, patience and determined focus to make our wedding so special was more than we imagined.”
The cake was dressed with gold fondant and carefully crafted red roses, peonies & crystal accents and a monogrammed emblem by Cake Opera Co.
Photographer: Michael Grills of Ikonica
Venue: Le Meridien King Edward Hotel, Toronto
Event Planner (Full service coordination): Anne Anderson Events Inc.
Wedding Gown: Ines Di Santo
Bridesmaids Dresses: Bill Levkoff
Rings: Simon Imports Ltd.
Formal Wear: Hugo Boss
Makeup and Hair: Jackie Gideon, Jackie Gideon Beauty Bar
Stationery: Pantry Press Inc.
Floral: Royal Orchid Florist
Cake: Cake Opera Co.
Event Design & Decor: Anne Anderson Events Inc.
Entertainment: Live band-Lady Kane, Harpist-Sandra Fann, Pianist-Carol Olson
Honeymoon: The Regent Palms Hotel, Turks and Caicos