Stunning bride Ruth shares her wedding story of her unique, intimate and timeless wedding with husband Paul at La Maquette wedding venue Toronto captured by The Westend Studio.
What was your original idea and inspiration for choosing La Maquette for your wedding ceremony and reception?
When we began our wedding planning journey, we knew we wanted to be able to look back at our photos and have them feel timeless. In many ways, Paul and I are a blend of traditional and modern in our likes so we wanted that to be reflected! We needed a space that would be telling of our style and personalities.
La Maquette was the first venue we went to visit, and I absolutely fell in love. I knew I didn’t want a venue that was too large, or with high ceilings. It was all too intimidating for me, so we went for intimate. The classic decor, black and white tiles, grand stairs and fireplace- we could totally envision our family and friends in the space and it almost felt like we could just be hosting a large dinner party for our nearest and dearest.
Also, out of all of the venues we visited, this was the only one that was familiar to us. We visited a few years back, for a mutual coworker’s birthday dinner. I remember there were about fifteen or sixteen of us, seated in the candle lit solarium on a weekday night. Funny story – at the time, no one in the group knew we were dating so we pretended to arrive separately and leave separately. Actually, most of the people at work only found out we were an item in 2016, the year we got engaged.
Your wedding had a unique intimate feel to it. What factors contributed to this wonderful outcome?
We wanted to keep the focus on our marriage and celebrating with those we loved the most. This also meant keeping it simple and staying true to us and what we love, and ignoring the rest.
What is the story behind your beautiful wedding dress?
Growing up, I had always envisioned myself in a classic spanish lace wedding dress. I was convinced. I was also dead wrong. They were all not me.
My search narrowed down to simple, sheath, and timeless. I was actually inspired by the gown pippa Middleton’s wore as maid of honor for her sister. I found this gem at a boutique, that unfortunately closed this past year. It was VERY me – the cap sleeves, the pearl details, even the neckline. I was also fascinated by the sequin fabric. Again, it was traditional meets modern and I loved it. I found the perfect belt online to add to it to make it complete. Also, special shoutout to my mom who made my veil herself, hand cut, hand sewn!
What advice would you give to a newly engaged couple embarking on their wedding planning journey?
I would say remember the reason why you’re doing this in the first place, and focus on that.
It’s really easy to get carried away with the party planning, the expenses, and what everyone else wants. Enjoy the process! If planning isn’t your forté, get a planner.
Another thing I would encourage is to make sure you love your vendors, their energy, and trust in their work. You’re around them all day and that affects the vibe of your wedding. Make sure it’s nothing but positive!
What are some of the advantages of having an intimate and elegant wedding ceremony?
I think the biggest advantage of having an intimate wedding was that we were surrounded by people we truly truly loved. We knew that each person who attended was there for us and there to show their love and support. It made our hearts feel so so incredibly full and we will never forget that.
The setting of La Maquette has beautiful natural light and overlooks the Toronto Sculpture Garden. How did these attributes highlight the style of your wedding?
To be honest, I know the Toronto Sculpture Gardens is what many people fall in love with, but me being a city girl and lover of interiors, I fell in love with La Maquette! Although the gardens acted as a great backdrop and contrasted well with the traditional decor of La Maquette, you just can’t beat that gorgeous staircase, those black and white tiles, and of course the solarium. ????
This was actually a huge contributing factor in our choosing La Maquette. The beauty in the solarium’s simple yet dramatic architectural detail was perfect for our vision. I am an old soul and I like old soul things.
What were some of the most important choices you made for your wedding day and what were some the best results of these choices?
Looking back, one of the best choices we made was to schedule in downtime during the day and allot more time than needed for photos. We really didn’t want to feel rushed during the day so we scheduled in plenty of time for our first look, photos, and even time for a snack before the ceremony. It also allowed for little snags along the way to not be a big deal at all. The extra time also allowed us to get some pretty cool shots in the area including some of my favourites at the local Starbucks! I mean, I’m a caffeine addict and I’m sure everyone knew it was coming.
What elements of your big day made it feel so full of love personal and unique?
I think one of the reasons it felt so personal was because we asked our family and friends to be involved. We chose friends as vendors, my mom hand wrote our seating chart, and we asked our best man and groomsman to host the night’s festivities. It was like everywhere we looked there was a little piece of us.
Your wedding portraits have such a unique beautiful romantic look to them. How did you arrive at these stylistic choices with your photographer?
Honestly, I have to credit our photographer, Johnathan Ball for that. From the moment we looked at WestEnd Studio’s portfolio, we knew we could trust his vision. We fell in love with the tone, the drama, and the way he highlights the setting of his shots – whether they were ordinary or grand.
Other than me asking for some shots at Starbucks ???? (the afternoon caffeine fix is always necessary), Johnathan pretty much took the lead on where to shoot, and how, at each site.
He has amazing creative intention but is still relaxed in his approach – the outcome was magic as you can see.
How important was it for you to have a downtown venue that allowed you to have a wide range of wedding portraits that give an urban feel?
It was truly a part of our vision to have the city as our backdrop for our wedding day. Even when choosing how to spend our time off or travelling, we usually gravitate to roaming cities versus outdoor adventures. We are just city folk and I think our wedding venue reflected that.
How did you choose the wedding professionals to work with you on your special day and what were some of the best results of the creative teamwork?
For some vendors, we knew from the get go that we would be requesting their services, and others required some research.
Our friends Shaun and Jason Colthrust of Colthrust Entertainment were one of our first calls once we booked our venue. We met them through work a few years ago and I always knew that I would be making this call once wedding planning started. They know how to set the tone with their music, and were absolutely perfect from beginning to end.
For our makeup, my girlfriend, Lily Ho was an easy choice. She was awesome in her work and even better to have with me the morning of. Dayna, from Jen Evoy Studio, I met by chance through research online and I wouldn’t have it any other way. She knew exactly what to do with my hair and was amazing with everyone else as well.
One of the reasons we were able to successfully plan our wedding in seven months was Kimberley Kwong. Also a good friend, we knew we wanted her to be a part of this. She kept us on track and used her experience in wedding planning/coordinating to ask the right questions, and execute our plans perfectly. Also, I HAVE to thank Ange Kanavas of Berkeley Events for everything she did to make our day beautiful and seamless. Her experience, kindness and warmth are invaluable and we’ll never forget that.
We met Johnathan Ball from WestEnd Studio at a wedding show, and simply liked his vibe. His work speaks for itself! For our videographers, Diogo and Renata from ITM productions shot my sister’s wedding so it was nice to have another friendly face with us that we trusted. They definitely delivered, there were a few tears looking at our teaser video.
Last but not least, we left our florals in the hands of our good friend, Hilda Suharno, of FlowersxFlour. With very little guidance, she achieved the exact look we were looking for, showing her expertise and creative talents.
Looking back, the fact that we loved and trusted all our vendors made such a huge difference in our day.
They are truly the epitome of good vibes and talent and we have absolutely no regrets!
Planner: Kimberley Kwong
Photography: WestEnd Studio
Videography: In The Moment Productions
MUA: Lily Ho Beauty
Hair: Dayna of Jen Evoy Studio