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Real Weddings

Toronto

A Fairytale Garden Wedding with Breathtaking Custom Floral Arches

Photography By 515 Photo Co.
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Melissa Martino returned home from her first year at Queen’s University and explained to her sister that she wanted to “enjoy the summer, single, and not worry about men or dating.” Ironically, that same afternoon, her sister invited her to St. Phillips bakery in Woodbridge, Ontario, where they’d both worked during high school, to introduce Melissa to two new friends—one of which was Gianfranco Fuoco.

“When we first met, I was drawn to his infectious smile and personality and knew we would get along well as friends,” shares Melissa. She and Gianfranco quickly grew close, and it wasn’t long before they made their relationship official.

Gianfranco took the opportunity to plan a special celebration for the couple’s fifth anniversary when restrictions on outdoor activities were lifted in June 2020. The morning of, he picked Melissa up (with her favorite Starbucks iced coffee in hand!) and drove them to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg, Ontario. The couple had walked the trails of the land many times during their first weeks of dating and had returned to the museum throughout their relationship, making it a sentimental place perfect for the proposal!

Gianfranco carried a picnic basket with him, leading Melissa to a beautiful location in the grass amongst the trees. Thinking they would be enjoying a breakfast picnic together, she was surprised when he laid out a blanket and unpacked the only remaining content of the basket – a ring box! A “socially-distanced” photographer was hired by Gianfranco to secretly capture the moment. He had also invited their parents and siblings to wait nearby to celebrate afterward.


Gianfranco collaborated with GENTE JEWELLERY LTD. to create the engagement ring, based on photos Melissa had shown him of what would be her “dream ring.”
The wedding invitations were enclosed in shimmering champagne-colored hardcover folios, blind debossed with the couple’s monogram, and accented with gold-foiled lettering. All stationery, including the wedding invitations, menus, table numbers, seating chart, and signage design, was provided by SO PRETTY IN PRINT.

 


Melissa wore a gown by LEE PETRA GREBENAU, with customizations by retailer POWDER BRIDE and a headpiece and earrings from TARA FAVA JEWELLERY. Melissa’s AMINA MUADDI heels resembled Cinderella’s glass slippers.

On the morning of the wedding, Melissa’s dad surprised her with a custom monogrammed bottle of Louis XIII Cognac by Remy Martin, which he used for a special toast with all of the guests who had been invited to the family home for pre-ceremony celebrations.
Gianfranco wore CANALI formalwear from HARRY ROSEN to the ceremony before changing into another suit for the reception. His nonna Virginia had passed away three months prior to the wedding, so he kept a piece of her jewelry tucked into the inner pocket of each jacket, close by his heart.

Melissa Martino and Gianfranco Fuoco were married on June 4, 2022, in Vaughan, Ontario. The ceremony was held at St. Peter’s Catholic Church, the same church where Gianfranco’s parents were married years earlier. A fairytale garden-themed wedding reception followed at CHATEAU LE PARC. Event planning and design were provided by SINCERELY YOURS EVENTS Full-service Event Planning & Design More | Message , with floral and event design by RACHEL A. CLINGEN WEDDING & EVENT DESIGN. The overall design was a creative collaboration between the two companies.

Following the bride’s family tradition, the day started with a pre-ceremony celebration, complete with live entertainment, to welcome guests at Melissa’s parents’ house. This was an opportunity for all to mingle, enjoy refreshments and get a first look at the bride in her wedding dress!


Melissa’s little nieces, the flower girls, were pulled down the aisle in a custom wagon (covered in flowers) built especially for the ceremony. “They were the cutest addition!” she remembers.

The courtyard of CHATEAU LE PARC was transformed for the cocktail hour, with guests enjoying signature cocktails. The pre-dinner menu included an an oyster bar, a sushi station (with a live Chef!) and a burrata bar with cheese and charcuterie. The cocktail space featured custom graphics by EVENT GRAFFITI and signage from SO PRETTY IN PRINT. When the cocktail hour ended, guests were invited into the reception space via a “reveal wall” created by EVENTURE DESIGN, who provided all draping for the event.

RACHEL A. CLINGEN WEDDING & EVENT DESIGN collaborated with BB BLANC to create the structures that would become six breathtaking custom floral arches for the reception, each measuring a staggering fourteen- by-twenty-two feet, decorated with thousands of hand-placed blooms! This installation was the first of its kind for both companies. In addition, a series of custom-made oversized urns were also placed between the dining tables for a unique design.

“Walking into the reception space for our room reveal is a moment and feeling I will never forget,” says Melissa. “I felt I had been transported to a magical secret garden.”

Our design theme was based on a modern, romantic, whimsical, fairytale garden. We wanted it to feel like our guests had been transported to a secret garden in a fairytale world.

- Melissa, Bride

“Melissa and Gianfranco’s wedding was one-of-a kind in design. It is unlike anything we have ever put into motion,” says event planner Michelle Cundari of SINCERELY YOURS EVENTS Full-service Event Planning & Design More | Message . “We wanted people to enter the reception and feel as though they were in a space unlike any they had dined in before that evening. Hence, why the seating chart said ‘your best seat yet’!”


SO PRETTY IN PRINT provided all stationery for the wedding and designed the couple’s monogram that was used as a graphic design element throughout.

For the reception, Gianfranco changed into a second custom suit from KING & BAY. The metallic Jacquard smoking jacket and white dress shirt with black Swarovski crystal closures allowed Gianfranco to make a bold fashion statement for the party, and matched his bright personality. The bride and groom each sparkled all night long!

In lieu of a traditional wedding cake, a croquembouche made from 250 vanilla cream puffs sat atop a hand-painted cake tier, decorated with fresh flowers and a pink ribbon.

CHATEAU LE PARC provided an elevated reception dining experience, serving bone-in filet mignon and family-favourite wines.

 


The couple worked closely with MIXOLOGY MATT who crafted a menu of four specialty cocktails. A Tequila sour with elderflower (“The Bride’s Blooming Tequila”), a smoky old fashioned (“The Groom’s Steamy Staple”), a raspberry mojito (the “Mint to Be”), and a chocolate espresso martini (the “I Do Brew”), were served all night long.
Cognac, Scotch, Tequila, and cigars were also available, with the Cognac bar as a tribute to Gianfranco’s late Nonna Virginia. “She loved a good glass of Cognac and any excuse to laugh, celebrate and be amongst family and friends,” shares Melissa. “We truly felt that Nonna Virginia was there celebrating with us on our special day.”

After indulging in late night treats that included burgers and fries, (served in custom monogrammed packaging!), guests were invited to take home the reception table floral arrangements. “We loved our floral garden so much that we wanted each guest to be able to take a piece of it home to enjoy!” shares Melissa.

The couple traveled to various locations in Hawaii and California for their nearly three week-long honeymoon.

Featured Glitterati Members

Event Planning + Design Sincerely Yours Events

Stationery So Pretty In Print

Fashion Harry Rosen

Fashion KING & BAY

Event Flooring Event Graffiti

Floral and Event Design Rachel A. Clingen Wedding & Event Design

CREDITS

Photography @515photoco, Bride @melissaafuoco, Groom @gfuoco309, Event Planning and Design @sincerelyyoursevents, Floral and Event Design @rachelaclingen, Ceremony at St. Peter’s Catholic Church, Officiated by Father Mike, Cocktail Hour and Reception Location, Food and Beverages @chateau.le.parc, Stationery @soprettyinprint, Custom Wedding Cards Exchanged Between Bride and Groom @whitedovedesign, Engagement Ring and Bride’s Tennis Bracelet @gentejewellery, Wedding Dress Designer @leegrebenau, Veil and Wedding Dress Customizations and Retailer @powder_bride, Bride’s Jewellery @tarafavajewellery, @aaron_daniel_jewellery, Bride, Mother of The Bride and Maid of Honour’s Hair and Makeup @fancyfaceinc, Bridesmaids Hair Styling @looksbyd, Bridesmaids Makeup Application @makeupbystephaniez, Groom’s Morning Suit @canali from @harryroseninc, Groom’s Tuxedo, Dress Shirt and Tie @harryroseninc, Groom’s Shoes and Cufflinks @ferragamo, Groom’s Reception Formalwear @mykingandbay, Maid of Honor Gown @designsbyimad, Bridesmaid Gowns @pearlbridalhouse, Groomsmen’s Formalwear @isarti.italian.menswear, Mixologist and Bartender @mixology_matt, Pre-Wedding At-Home Catering at Bride’s House @leatcatering, Late Night Station @mcdonaldscanada, Croquembouche Wedding Cake and Plated Desserts @nadiaandco, Lighting and AV, Trussing, and Rigging @bbblancevents, Draping @eventuredesign, Furniture Rentals @divinefurniturerental, @detailzfurniturerentals, Dance Floor Vinyl, Seating Chart Printing, and Bar Graphics @eventgraffiti, Linen Napkins @simplybeautifuldecor, Place Settings @splendidsettings, Pre-Party Entertainment at Bride’s House @claudiosantaluce, @coppolacarlo, Reception MC, Band and DJ @saturdaynightjive, Cinematography @corinnemcdonaldfilms
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