Dwayne John from My Wedding Officiant share Krzysztof and Dileshni’s wedding vision and how he helped make it such a memorable day.
What is your process for getting to know your couples and start to plan with them their big day?
Prior to the wedding day I conduct several meetings with the couple; the first of which is what I call a meet and greet. It is an informal meeting where I sit and have coffee or a light meal with the couple. During this meeting we chat about their how their relationship evolved. I ask questions about each of them individually and I share details about myself. The meeting is usually held in person but may at times be over Skype or some other online platform. The time spent with the couple allows me to be connected to their journey. I get a sense of where they have been in the past and where they want to go in the future.
Although the meeting is casual, my agenda is to listen and understand the couple so that I can inject a personal touch to their ceremony by way of humour or some memorable activity that represents them. The second meeting is called the planning meeting. It is a formal meeting that is done anywhere between 30 to 15 days before the ceremony. During this hour long meeting I do a detailed review of all the elements the bride and groom would like to have in ceremony. This meeting is to make sure that I understand their vision for the ceremony. By the end of the meeting there is absolute certainty that we are all on the same page about how the ceremony will go. In some cases, I also conduct the wedding rehearsal some days before the big day. The rehearsal helps the couple to see how their vision for the ceremony will play out.
How would you describe the wedding ceremony of Dileshni and Krzysztof and what choices do you feel they made that really added to the experience?
Dileshni and Krzysztof’s wedding ceremony was a beautiful display of the blending of two hearts from two distinct cultures.
Everything was perfect from the venue, to the array of culture that could be seen by the use of the ornate traditional dress that Delishni wore, and the processional of Sri Lankan drummers and dancers that preceded her. Having their 160-pound English Mastiff (Izzy) participate in the wedding gave the ceremony a casual and naturally inviting feeling.
What three words would you use to describe the wedding ceremony of Dileshni and Krzysztof?
Cultural, unique, serene
Are you a cat or dog person?
I am very much a dog person.
What was the inspiration for you to become a wedding officiant and how has the experience evolved for you?
I was a professional wedding emcee for over 10 years before I became an officiant. One day while I was emceeing a wedding a well-known officiant in the industry suggested that I would be good at officiating wedding ceremonies. I resisted the idea for about two years after that because I really enjoyed emceeing wedding receptions. Several other individuals I met in the industry also thought that I would be great at officiating because of my fine attention to detail and ability engage an audience. I reluctantly decided to go through the training and licensing requirements. I was petrified when I did my first two weddings, but I got so many compliments by the attendants of those weddings that it seemed to be the right fit. Since then,
I have been very active as an officiant. I love officiating weddings. I get the unique opportunity to help make one of the most memorable days in the lives of couples a reality.
Berkeley Fieldhouse has an outdoor space for wedding ceremonies and the reception is adjacent in the Fieldhouse. How does this influence the experience of the wedding?
The Berkely Fieldhouse is one of those venues that are reminiscent of a garden paradise and perfect place for love to flourish. The reception area is hardly noticeable when you are in the garden courtyard. Having the reception adjacent to the garden setting made for a fast and easy transition to the wedding reception dining experience.
How do stay informed and aware about your clients preferred wedding practices?
I keep an open line of communication with my couples. Between the initial meeting and the final planning meeting couples are very busy planning their wedding. I usually ask that they send a message about any questions they have before it slips their mind. All document correspondence is done over email or in person so that there is a clear record of expectations. I have quite a bit of experience conducting weddings of various cultures. I have learned many wedding traditions over the years.
I stay informed about various wedding practices that a couple may be advised on or desire to have incorporated in their wedding by: reading wedding industry publications, attending wedding trade shows, yearly seminars, as well as conferring with the other officiants and planners in the My Wedding Officiant team.
In conversation with Jenny from Three Lights Events on her unique planning style.
How would you describe your planning style and what has influenced you the most in how you set priorities with your couples for their day?
My planning style is fun, chill, and authentic. When it comes down to it, a wedding is about coming together with a community to celebrate a beautiful partnership, and I want to make sure everyone has a killer time doing it!
I focus on getting to the heart of what’s important for my clients, and strive to ensure we never lose sight of the initial priorities we set (even though they may shift a hundred times).
What was the first thing you and Dileshni and Krzysztof decided together for their wedding day?
The first thing we decided together was that they were getting married in October; just three months away! It was incredibly important to them that they had a venue with outdoor space, and options for people to escape the hustle and bustle when needed. With those key pieces, I was able to start venue hunting and everything fell into place from there!
What were your different roles you played in helping Dileshni and Krzysztof manifest their big day?
Dee and Krzy hired me for Full Planning + Design, so I played every role under the sun: researcher, designer, admin taskmaster, to-do list nagger, vendor coordinator, mediator, secret-keeper, compromiser…I even stayed up late into the night drying citrus in my oven for a centrepiece test. My favourite thing about working with my Full Planning clients is having my hands in every part of a wedding and working a ton of different roles. It keeps life interesting!
Tell me about their dog !!!!
Izzy the giant sweetheart! She’s huge, she’s cuddly, and she was the slobberiest dog of honour I have ever worked with!
When clients want to have a dog in their wedding, we make sure there are a few people involved and a solid plan around it; it’s important to hire someone to bring the pup to the ceremony and take the pup home, and I also try to get the dog to the venue early so they can sniff around and get comfortable. It’s an extra element to consider, but always makes for a great photo and a wonderful walk down the aisle.
What did you like best about the Berkeley Fieldhouse and how did you work with those qualities ?
This was my first wedding at the Berkeley Fieldhouse and it quickly became one of my favourite venues in the city. From a logistical perspective, it’s a dream: plenty of space to move guests between ceremony/cocktail hour/dinner/dancing, lots of different rooms for the wedding party to hide in, and great corners to make small lounge areas for guests.
Aesthetically, you can’t beat the look/feel of the indoor space combined with the outdoor area that somehow feels miles away from Toronto (even though it’s two steps away from Queen Street). Plus: there’s a treehouse! We had traditional Sri Lankan drummers and dancers to kick off the ceremony, and the venue offered a perfect route for the performance — we hid them away so guests couldn’t see, and they drummed and danced across the river and down the aisle. It was an awesome start to a wicked ceremony.
What three words best describe the wedding style that came across when everything was set and ready to go?
Just three words?! I’d say three words that best describe the style of this wedding were: nature, food, and culture.
What was your process for helping the couple include elements in their celebration that reflected their customs and personalities?
From the get-go, this wedding was going to be a fusion of Sri Lankan (bride) and Polish (groom) customs, and I spent a good amount of time talking with the couple to learn as much as I could about which elements were important to include, and how we could work to appease both families. It was very important to me that both families felt included, so we incorporated a few elements of each culture throughout the night. We had Sri Lankan drummers/dancers to kick off the ceremony and dinner, Polish candies as favours, Sri Lankan mutton rolls during cocktail hour, Polish doughnuts for late-night snack…and a lot of very good vodka to keep people happy. Every now and then the DJ would throw in traditional songs that got one family or the other on the dance floor, and overall everyone had an awesome time. Sri Lanka and Poland aren’t the closest in culture, but it was a ton of fun highlighting the great (and delicious) parts of both.
Photographer: Life By Selena