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Real Weddings


A Pink and Gold Two-Part Wedding in Toronto, Ontario

Photography By AGI Studio
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It was love at first sight in September 2002 when tenth grader Jameelah met eleventh grader Michael at Cardinal Leger Secondary School in Brampton, Ontario. Over that year, the pair quickly became inseparable and experienced many “firsts” together, including their first kiss, first relationship, first true love, and… their first heartbreak. Unfortunately, Michael broke up with Jameelah at the end of the school year based on advice from well-intended “elders” who thought the young couple could benefit from some time apart. Sadly, they did go their separate ways, and over a decade passed without communication. The silence was partly due to pride and because life had taken them in different directions, including failed relationships, careers, and even children. 

Thirteen years later, fate and intuition intervened when a then-single Michael had a vivid dream about his long-lost first love. Taking advice from a friend, he reached out to Jameelah via Instagram even though he wasn’t social media savvy. Ironically, Jameelah had tried to connect with Michael three years earlier on the same platform, but when she didn’t get a follow back, she unfollowed and once again moved on with her life. Sparked by this new “DM,” they began to chat and discovered they lived less than a kilometre apart. Eventually, they arranged to meet for a casual walk; however, that night, Michael was hit by a taxi while riding his bike home from a volleyball game! Luckily, he sustained zero injuries but had to show up to the big reunion in gym clothes looking dishevelled! Despite it all, they walked and talked for hours catching up on the past decade, yet when Michael asked Jameelah for her number, she refused! “I told him no, as I was interested in someone else and did not want to lead him on,” she recalls. 

Michael was crushed but respected her wishes. Yet, he kept dreaming about her (including one particular dream of the pair reaching the top of a hill together in an “ancient” place), so he refused to give up. Eventually, he convinced Jameelah to meet up again. This time she gave him her number, and the rest is history. 

Their engagement took place in Athens, Greece, during a trip to celebrate Jameelah’s 32nd birthday. Ultimately, one of Michael’s many dreams came true both literally and figuratively when he proposed to the love of his life on Fillipappou Hill overlooking the ancient Acropolis. He even arranged for photographers to capture the moment Jameelah said, “Yes!”

The couple’s wedding ceremony took place on August 13, 2021, but due to Covid restrictions, the reception took place almost a year later on May 6, 2022. Event planning services were provided by Aisha Munier, a childhood neighbour of Jameelah’s and an event planner at Petals & Pearls. “Aisha was hired for partial planning, but she was with me every step of the way. Covid caused us to reschedule three times. But, she stuck it out for two whole years,” notes Jameelah.

See Jameelah and Michael’s wedding in the Summer/Fall 2022 Toronto Edition of WedLuxe Magazine!

Jameelah’s “morning robe” was custom-made by African designer VTABi. The bride wore a pair of pearl and crystal-embellished shoes by Mach and Mach.

Wedding invitations by Ivorie Paperie.

Jameelah’s ceremony gown was designed by Berta, and purchased from White Toronto. The dress originally had a plunging neckline, but Jameelah had custom alterations to build up the neck and closed the plunge, making it slightly more modest for church. 
The bridesmaids wore custom-made dresses designed by Jameelah and made by a family friend. Michael wore a custom suit by Eaden Myles. 
Our ceremony vows were beautiful. The world stopped.

- Jameelah Hayden-James, Bride

Jameelah had once pictured herself having a simple “barefoot on the beach” kind of wedding, yet once she knew Michael’s dream was to have a traditional ceremony in a church with a larger wedding party, she ran with his vision and took it to the next level. 
Before their wedding day, Pastor Frankie Lazarus asked Jameelah and Michael to write out the top ten things they each loved about the other. Then, he read the answers aloud to them for the first time at the ceremony. Another unique aspect of the ceremony was when the whole bridal party vowed to support the couple throughout their marriage journey. 
Befitting Michael’s love of history, the couple chose Metropolitan United Church, a historic church with a rich history for their wedding ceremony location. 
Although the ceremony and reception were held almost a full year apart, the “Blush in the City” design theme was consistent for both events yet interpreted differently by two different florists. Flowers Time provided the floral design for the wedding ceremony, while Henna Florist handled the reception.

The black seating chart from Decor & Fiesta mimicked the architectural arches of the venue. Text was designed by Polka Dot Paper Shop, with gold vinyl applied from Event Graffiti.
For the reception, Jameelah wore a gown with removable balloon sleeves by Galia Lahav from Anjolique Bridal & Formal.
Love wins all the time. If something is truly yours, it will come back to you. It may sound cliché, but it is the truth.

- Jameelah Hayden-James, Bride

Menus were designed by The Polka Dot Paper Shop.
The reception was held in the Grand Banking Hall at One King West, where the bride loved the architecture and ambiance. “Moody, sultry, and sexy with lots of VIBES!” is how Jameelah describes the overall feeling of the evening. 
Reception floral decor and event design was provided by Henna Florist with design assistance from Petals & Pearls. Furniture rentals were provided by Detailz Couture Event Rentals, with linen rentals from Chair Decor. Tableware and napkins were rented from Simply Beautiful Décor.

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