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In 2018, Rachel and Michael met the modern way (a.k.a. a swipe online), but they almost missed out on meeting in person because when Rachel first messaged Michael on WhatsApp with “Hey Newmarket,” after getting his number, he thought it was spam! When they did meet, their first date (at a Brazilian Steakhouse) was, in Rachel’s words, “honest, enlightening, and hilarious” — and it had them chatting from 6 p.m. until 2 a.m.! By chance, they began working at the same company, and well, the rest is history!
A month prior to their engagement, Rachel had caught Michael visiting her parents to ask for their permission to marry her, so when they made plans to dine at their favourite place — Locale Aurora in Aurora, Ontario — she dressed up for the occasion! Michael has a history of hiding gifts in solvable cube boxes, and she had him promise not to repeat the pattern when he proposed. Of course, he did present her with the cube at their dinner, and she struggled to open it, only to find it empty. She looked up and saw Michael with a ring box in hand, honouring his promise.
Michael proposed to Rachel with a cushion-cut diamond halo ring, and she said yes!
Rachel and Michael’s original wedding date was rescheduled three times because of the pandemic. Finally, their wedding events took place in Toronto, Ontario; first, a ceremony and chic cocktail reception on September 11, 2021, at GRAYDON HALL MANOR, and second, a reception at THE GRAND LUXE EVENT BOUTIQUE on June 11, 2022. By holding the ceremony and reception on different dates, they were able to welcome family members from the United States to join in the celebrations in June. Event planning and design for the two-part wedding was provided by EVENTS BY WHIM, a company owned by one of Rachel’s high school friends.
WILD THEORY FLORAL Wild Theory Floral and Event Design has been serving the Greater Toronto Area since 1998... provided floral and decor design for both events beginning with the garden-inspired ceremony.
Part two of the couple’s celebration took place at THE GRAND LUXE EVENT BOUTIQUE on June 11, 2022. WILD THEORY FLORAL AND EVENT DESIGN “brought the outdoors in,” creating a foliage-rich indoor garden using an abundance of lush greenery and potted trees.
“I started tearing up when I walked in with Michael,” shares Rachel. “We were both in awe. It was better than my vision, and we felt transported to an enchanted garden.”
Music played an important role in celebrating the bride and groom’s respective heritages at the Caribbean-Italian wedding reception. “I was born in St. Lucia, and my parents are from Guyana, so we love to dance,” shares Rachel. “Michael is Italian, and their family also loves to party.” Family was integral to the celebration especially since Rachel’s mother’s twelve siblings were all in attendance!
Michael is a film buff, so for their entrance, the couple “danced in,” choreographed to John Travolta and Uma Thurman’s dance scene in Pulp Fiction. Their first dance was to Florence + The Machine’s cover
of “Stand by Me.” The song, originally sung by Ben E. King in 1961, was used as
a protest song during the American civil rights movement, and Rachel explains that choosing the song was significant to the couple’s joining of two cultures.
Movie songs accompanied those who gave speeches to the podium, with Rachel’s parents walking to the Imperial March from Star Wars and Michael’s parents walking to The Godfather theme.
Keeping in theme with music and dance, a fun surprise was when Rachel’s girlfriends surprised the couple with an Indo- Caribbean fusion dance, including some hip-hop.
The couple’s year-long honeymoon began the day after their ceremony, with destinations in Italy, Greece, Portugal,
the USA (with stops in Hawaii, California, and Florida for Michael’s first trip to Walt Disney World!), and finally a trip to Turkey — where they celebrated their one-year anniversary with a photoshoot while riding Cappadocia’s iconic hot air balloons.
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