Nina and Christian wanted an intimate wedding. They had just 40 guests meaning they could have a small ceremony and a non-traditional reception at East Thirty Six, a restaurant in Toronto.
“It was very important to us to have an extremely intimate wedding full of love, that personified who we are as people and told our story”, said the bride. “We really appreciate antiques and music from the 1920s (and cocktails!) so it seemed perfect to have a wedding inspired by those times. We heard from our guests that they were amazed by the small things and all the attention to detail. We wanted each and every person there to feel special and that we appreciated their presence. We even had an actor dressed in a zoot suit to greet guests as they arrived. There wasn’t really any part of the day that followed the traditional wedding route. We had no bridal party and little formality during the ceremony.”
“We wanted to pay homage to the Prohibition era without taking on some of the more elaborate features of, say, a Gatsby-inspired wedding”, she continued. “Our vibe was grittier for the reception; the restaurant is quite dark and has some beautiful interior design elements. We used empty liquor bottles as vases, vintage teacups to serve cocktails in, and there wasn’t a feather or diamond decoration in sight!”
“Contrasting, we wanted the ceremony space to feel like a 1920s salon, bright and airy with palms adorning the tables and flowers everywhere. We also just wanted to take elements from the era without having a costume party so guests didn’t feel pressure to buy something they’d never wear again. Some of them had fun with it still!”
“We did lots of DIY including all the flowers, the pocket squares, the cake, the headdresses and all the ceremony décor. We love personalising gifts and cards on special occasions so poured our hearts into the design of the wedding. Our biggest expense, without a doubt, was food. We could have spent a lot less with only having 40 guests, but it was extremely important to us to have our guests treated like kings and queens. We had hors d’oeuvres at the ceremony, again at the reception, and then a beautiful three-course meal (followed by poutine at midnight!) It was also important to us to have the cocktails flowing so we had an open bar.”
“One of our best spends was on our day-of wedding planner, Laura. She was a steal for how much she worked, but this was an expense some people might question when we thought it was absolutely priceless. My advice for all couples would be to hire a planner! Even though our wedding was tiny and we did a lot of DIY, our planner was indispensable in the timing, flow, structure and details of our day. You won’t have to worry about a single thing on the day and s/he will make sure you have details covered you didn’t even think existed!”