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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.
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 , 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!
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.”
“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 . “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’!”
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.
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