Afiya & Chris true love. true luxury.
Afiya and Chris first crossed paths in 2010 on an evening when Afiya had reluctantly agreed to accompany some friends to a jazz bar. That same night, Chris was having a business meeting at the same venue.
“From far across the loud and crowded room, our eyes met and locked for longer than a moment… we were introduced and the courtship began and continues to this day,” reflects Afiya.
The proposal came at the end of an enchanted evening spent at the Children’s Aid Foundation’s annual Teddy Bear Affair gala. At the end of the night, Chris had arranged for their driver to stop at a beautiful and picturesque location along the waterfront. “As we sat under the clear night sky and the light of a million stars, Chris got down on one knee and asked, ‘Afiya… will you marry me?’ Shocked and surprised, in a voice barely audible, I said, ‘yes!’”
One of the first event professionals that the couple hired for their wedding was floral and event designer Rachel Clingen of RACHEL A. CLINGEN WEDDING & EVENT DESIGN. Rachel then introduced the couple to Laura Atendido of LAURA & CO. EVENTS who they hired to provide full-service planning and design assistance for the celebration.
After our initial consultation, Chris and I immediately felt like Laura was the perfect planner for us. She was in tune with our vision and immediately gave us a sense of calmness. She worked closely with Rachel to plan and design the modern, luxurious affair of our dreams.”
The ceremony and reception took place on June 22, 2013 at the MILLER LASH HOUSE.
Deborah Lau-Yu of PALETTERA CUSTOM CORRESPONDENCES designed all of the stationery for the occasion.
Afiya wore a custom gown designed by KEO, a UK based designer. “I spent a number of years in the fashion industry as a model,” explains Afiya. “KEO was one of my favourite designers in the UK, so it felt natural to have her design my dream wedding dress. I wanted something romantic and fairytale-like with lots of movement.”
The bridesmaids wore strapless chiffon dresses from DAVID’S BRIDAL.
The groom’s formal wear was from RALPH LAUREN. Afiya’s hair was styled by Dee Daly and her makeup was by David Goveia, both from JUDY INC.
Rachel A. Clingen Wedding & Event Design provided full-service design and floral for the entire day. Working closely with event planner Laura Atendido, Rachel carried Afiya and Chris’s love of lavender throughout every aspect of the wedding, starting with Afiya’s bouquet. Rachel also created stunning yet masculine dried lavender bundles for Chris and his groomsmen to wear as boutonnières.
The couple originally planned to have an outdoor ceremony on the grounds of the Miller Lash Estate, but on the day of the wedding they had to move the ceremony into a tent due to rain. Although it was a last minute change of plan, the couple loved the final outcome.
PALETTERA Custom Correspondences created fan-shaped programs that allowed guests to cool off during the ceremony.
The ceremony was personalized with meaningful readings from Afiya and Chris’s closest family and friends along with a symbolic sand ceremony.
Jill Barry from DANCE FLOOR DECOR took the stunning lavender emblem created by PALETTERA Custom Correspondences and used this as the focal point on a custom vinyl floor treatment.
LADY BE GOOD, led by lead singer Kat Langdon, provided the live soundtrack for the ceremony. “One of my favourite parts of the day was walking down the aisle to Kat’s rendition of ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love.’ Our recessional selection of ‘One Love/People Get Ready’ by Bob Marley was also a perfect fit for us!”
The guest list included high-profile athletes, designers and television personalities. Baseball legend Joe Carter, a dear friend and mentor of Chris, served as a groomsmen and was one of the couple’s witnesses. L.A. based fashion and lifestyle designer Nikki Chu and her partner Dolvett Quince, a trainer on the NBC show “The Biggest Loser,” were also in attendance.
After the ceremony, guests were able to enjoy an outdoor cocktail lounge where modern lounge furniture allowed attendees to sit back and enjoy a cocktail among the scenic grounds of the Miller Lash House. Wedding planner Laura Atendido designed a lavender lemonade that was served chilled in sleek champagne flutes and garnished with dried lavender. “Summer lanterns and lavender blooms, brought warmth and beauty to this area,” remembers Afiya.
FLORAL AT RECEPTION
A dinner reception followed (in the tent) where the white and lavender palette created a fresh, modern ambience. Afiya and Chris sat at a modern lucite head table accented with beautiful flowers. The table was positioned under a custom draped canopy with a softly-lit crystal chandelier suspended above the couple. One of Afiya’s favourite design details was the personalized place settings created for each guest that included individual menus with hand-tied lavender accents on every plate.
“Our head table was breathtaking. Rachel created a luxurious hedge loaded with lavender and white stock and accented with my favourite flower—lavender, of course!” –Afiya
The wedding was catered by 10TATION EVENT CATERING. It was important for Afiya and Chris to have a dinner menu symbolic of their Caribbean roots. “We worked closely with Frank Cugliari of 10tation Event Catering to design the perfect ensemble of culinary excellence.” The menu included roasted corn fritters with tamarind sauce, sweet potato cakes with peach chutney, jerked rubbed chicken with pineapple mojo, traditional rice and peas, fried plantains, and ‘mac n’ cheese’ pie.
To complete the meal, guests were treated to a mango parfait that was topped with a pistachio sugar glass.
Christina Wong from TRUFFLE TORONTO designed the couple’s wedding cake and accompanying sweet table. “My favourite part of the cake table was the bite-sized lavender-themed treats. The detail and artistry left guests speechless!” says Afiya.
Comedian Marc Trinidad was the master of ceremonies for the evening, while lady be good provided live music for the event. “Seeing as we met at a Jazz bar, it seemed fitting to incorporate live Jazz into our wedding,” says Afiya.
Award-winning DJ Dave Campbell, ensured the dance floor was packed all night long.
The couple honeymooned at the SABI SABI PRIVATE GAME RESERVE in South Africa.