A stunning wedding in Downtown Toronto Berkeley Fieldhouse filled with glamour, love and tradition shared by Julie and Josh and their photographer Lydia Ivy Photography.
Looking back at your wedding ceremony which parts are the most memorable ?
If we were to choose one, it would be having the grandparents walk down the aisle as our flower girl and ring bearer. We decided not to have children attend our wedding as we wanted our parent-friends or family to be able to fully enjoy themselves without worrying about their kids being kids. The grandparents were hesitant at first, but I was adamant about them having a special moment in our ceremony and they absolutely stole the show! Grandma even practiced her petal throwing at home several times. Josh also states that the most memorable part was obviously me walking down the aisle 😂.
What were some of the most important decisions you made in your wedding planning ?
Venue decision making, we wanted a venue that was not a complete blank canvas and offered an aesthetic of its own prior to any additional decor. Furthermore, we only looked at venues that would allow us to supply our own alcohol as our guests have specific spirits they enjoy that would be difficult to have in most beverage packages. This is what made Berkeley venues so appealing.
The tea ceremony was one of the most important components of our wedding planning as it was an important cultural piece for our wedding that my parents wanted. We needed to make sure a space was available for this to take place as it was a private event reserved for family members only.
Lastly, the most difficult yet important decision was guestlist prioritization, with rules constantly changing, we needed to have several versions of guest lists made to accommodate the ever changing rules.
You have a gorgeous and creative variety of wedding portraits around in different urban locations. What inspired these choices ?
I have always been a fan of urban landscapes for photos. I feel that it helped accentuate the colour palette of the wedding party, especially the wedding dress itself. There is something about warm brick tones matched with a white dress to achieve the ultimate contrast. There is also so much texture with urban landscapes that I feel sometimes a grass and sky background cannot achieve. Our photographers Lydia and Jess did a great job at leading the way and giving us all the options we could have for our wedding photos.
What was your experience like at your intimate tea ceremony in the Berkeley church court yard ?
The tea ceremony went so smoothly, we were in awe. This was the most special moment of our day. It was the moment when both of us realized that our wedding day has finally come after rescheduling several times and that our families are officially becoming one. Many happy tears took place during this short moment as we received our blessings from each family member. We are very grateful that we were able to incorporate this so flawlessly into our jam-packed day.
Your wedding bouquet had a unique beautiful palette. How did it inform the rest of your floral design ?
After reviewing several inspirations (thank you Pinterest and Instagram!), I wanted something along the lines of a warm yet romantic palette. Toffee roses and ranunculus were at the top of my list while incorporating unique dried florals to add that extra bit of texture. Originally I planned on taking a classic approach with primarily greenery for florals but over time I felt that the warm tones better suited the romantic elegant vision I was hoping to achieve. The bouquet was one of the starting points to designing the rest of my florals. With planning a wedding in the midst of a pandemic, the florals had to be designed in a way that would work well with Berkeley fieldhouse’s outdoor and indoor space as the rules were constantly changing. This led us to creating two large pillar pieces that could be easily moved from the outdoor space post ceremony into the indoor space as our head table floral statement pieces. Two uses with one design and it worked out beautifully! Special thanks to our amazing florist Huong who made my vision come to life! The florals for the pillars were similar to the bouquet itself with added dark greenery to add the contrast to show off the flowers even more. For the bridesmaids bouquet, I wanted to do a minimalistic and simple approach and decided to do baby breaths as it gives off a cloud like appearance and I loved that. The simple bridesmaid bouquet allowed more attention to go to their dresses.
What advice would you give a newly engaged couple about planning their wedding ?
Your wedding will be Perfectly imperfect. Things may not go exactly how you imagined but it will be perfect in its own way.You will likely be stressed at some point but it will be a happy stress when you look back. Always remember at the end of the day, the wedding is about you two, don’t compromise too much for everyone else.
Your family and guests appear to be really relaxed and happy throughout your wedding day. What do you attribute to this success ?
Staying as organized as a wedding will allow, creating a simple timeline and telling family and guests to trust the process as everything will work itself out!
A big factor was this event was not only a celebration of our love but also a big reunion for many of us. There were many people we did not have a chance to see prior to the wedding due to distance, pandemic, and everything in between!
Ultimately I think we are blessed to have such amazing family and friends by our side during our long awaited big day and we all went in with positive vibes and a ready to party attitude!
How did you find your gorgeous dress and the stunning bridesmaids dresses?
When choosing my dress, I had my mind made up to only take my maid of honour with me. This allowed me to choose a dress that I felt was meant for me. My maid of honour was there to help me sort out my opinions and obviously tell me if it is truly unflattering. I wanted to be able to make the final decision on my own and then I showed my parents. I was looking for a dress that was simple and minimal with some lace, a leg slit and material that allowed for easy movement / dancing.
As for the bridesmaids, I wanted to pick a dress that offered flexibility to accommodate various body shapes/sizes. I decided to choose infinity dresses and let my girls design their own dress to best suit their personal style. Luckily for me, the girls trusted me enough to pick out the colours as I knew I wanted different colours for every bridesmaid, I chose various warm tones that I felt would suit each one of my bridesmaids as I wanted them to feel their best on our big day.
You as a couple decided to write each other letters to read before the wedding ceremony . How did this impact your day ?
Instead of doing vows, we decided a letter pre-ceremony was more our style and intimate. It started the spark of us realizing our day has finally come after waiting 1194 days! We both reminisced on how much time has gone by and how many milestones and memories we have shared together. It was a very sweet moment for the both of us and we were excited as we knew shortly after we would finally do our first look. We are both not very expressive with words which made this moment all the more special. The letters definitely help set the tone for something that was 10 years in the making. The letter started our day with excitement and happy butterflies.
There is an unhurried, present quality of the getting ready portraits where each moment seems important. How was this achieved ?
The secret was having 2 hair and 2 makeup artists, this allowed all of us to have a restful sleep without a super early morning wake up. There was not a single moment of stressed or rushed feeling for us. I even went for a walk to get the girls coffee in the morning and we snacked and chatted all morning. It also helped that one of the makeup artists is a very good friend of mine and everyone who was helping us get ready was so easy going. It set up an awesome vibe in the room while getting ready. One of my bridesmaids had prepared snacks for us while waiting to get done up and we were all there to help one another out when it came to finally figuring out the tricky infinity dresses which caused so much laughter. Ultimately there was not a single moment of stress in the morning that led to such a relaxing and unforgettable wedding morning. Lydia and Jess were able to capture such storytelling moments that we are so grateful for!
What were some of your biggest sources of inspiration for your wedding day ?
I assume like most, pinterest, instagram, and inspiration from other weddings were my biggest sources. We kept searching until we found something that defines the both of us. Many of our guests have told me that the wedding describes our style and aesthetic. Even down to the music they were not surprised as my choices for the ceremony were very much us!
What surprised you the most on your wedding day?
We were so surprised at how much we loved the tea ceremony event, we honestly did not know what to expect. I loved being in a red wedding dress for the event and sharing that moment with our family. We weren’t sure if we would be able to incorporate our tea ceremony within our jam packed day but are so glad we were able to make it happen. Overall we were very happy about how smooth everything went and could not have asked for better weather, company, and day!
Questions with Lydia Ivy Photography:
Having travelled extensively working how does experience affect the ways in which you see wedding days ?
I think that the most important part of being a wedding photographer is to intuitively understand people’s emotions and anticipate them. Traveling, especially alone to very remote places of the world has allowed me to step back and observe human connection in different contexts.
What lasting impressions do you have from photographing this beautiful day?
Have your grandma and grandpa involved in your actual ceremony – they were Julie and Josh’s flower girl and flower boy and it was beyond beautiful! Grandma was feisty with her flower throwing – it was incredible! She even threw flowers mid ceremony – go grandma!
What were some of the cultural customs Julie and Josh had as part of their day and how did you best capture the essence of it ?
The tea ceremony! Julie ended up changing at Berkeley into her red dress for the tea ceremony and it was the perfect pop of colour in the courtyard against the moss covered wall.
What did Julie and Josh express as their most important elements for their day and how did this inform your process ?
Julie and Josh expressed how important it was to be present on their day and truly interact with their friends and family. They also wanted to honour their cultural traditions by having a tea ceremony before with their immediate family. I loved this part of the day because it was a real moment where Julie and Josh could express their love for their immediate family.
How would you describe the wedding style Julie and josh chose and how did it shape the mood of the album you shot ?
I think the best way to describe this is documentary style photography – or ‘candid shots’ – letting the day unfold as it was meant to be and chronicling each moment as if it meant everything – for example the way Josh’s grandma held Julie’s face congratulating her, the way Josh reached for Julie’s hand in the uber, the way her friends effortlessly stepped in and held the tea for them, everyone singing their hearts out during karaoke, all these little moments create photos that actually fill your heart with love when you look at them.
Who were all your wedding vendors
Photographer : Lydia Ivy Photography
Officiant @townrituals – Stephanie Town _ Town Rituals
Venue : Berkeley Fieldhouse
Hair Lune Beauty Boutique specifically hair artist @natski _scissor_hands
Make up – Tammy @__tsquared
Dj – Off Nights Media
Menswear – Josephs Clothiers
Jewellery – Swarovski
Flowers – Maison De Ace
Planners Ashley Van Dorp
The Andorre House – Getting Ready