Modern Wedding at Hotel Ocho | Amanda + Arthur

There is a Sisterhood of the Traveling #JustMarriedJacket, you guys. And our bride Amanda was a part of it! According to our bride, “This leather jacket goes to a different wedding every weekend (yes, like The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) and gives off good vibes for all those that wear it! All in exchange for a bottle of red wine.”

The rest of Amanda and Arthur’s wedding day was equally awesome. These two felt that since friends and family had been beside them from the beginning of their relationship, the party should be for them! Since Hotel Ocho is not only gorgeous but also allowed everyone to stay in one place from ceremony to reception to the next day, it was the perfect spot for these two to step into their next chapter together. To celebrate their Chinese heritage, they had a pre-wedding tea ceremony, a dim sum cocktail hour (we are very sorry we missed that!), and Amanda wore a red dress in place of the traditional qipao during her reception.

Get all the day’s details from Amanda below, including how she found a wedding dress that made her feel 100% right and didn’t overwhelm her 5-foot frame:

How did you choose your gown?


“When I first started looking for a wedding dress, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted. It was going to be have a really romantic feel with a flowy tulle skirt and a lace top with an open back. I went to a few other wedding dress shops and tried on the dresses in the style that I had described but nothing felt right. I was actually a bit disappointed because all the tulle skirts that I tried on seemed to overwhelm me (as I’m only 5 feet tall!). I randomly tried on a dress with a more fitted skirt and it just fit my style and what I wanted my day to feel like. The only problem was that it didn’t have any lace!

Finally, I got to Lea-Ann Belter and Vanessa took everything I asked for and put together the most wonderful combination that was customized exactly to my description. She made my vision come true and paid attention to the smallest details. One of the major reasons why I chose this dress was also the fact that Lea-Ann Belter was a Canadian designer who made the dress in Toronto—I love that our wedding was able to support local vendors.”

bride’s finery: Lea-Ann Belter Tallulah top sewn onto the Kate skirt, as well as Abby veil via the flagship Toronto bridal boutique | #TheJustMarriedJacket: Sylvia Wong | photographer:  Danijela Weddings| scroll down for full vendor list

Tell us about your day!


“The most important thing to us was to have all our friends and family present. We wanted to celebrate them rather than us as they’ve been by our side our whole relationship and we wanted to throw a big party for them.

I didn’t have a particular theme in mind, rather I wanted it feel romantic and moody hence the abundance of flowers, candles and gold accents. Our venue was a fantastic backdrop to what we had envisioned with the exposed wooden beams and brick. We fell in love with the venue because we were able to have the entire two-story place to ourselves for the night and logistically it made sense as we didn’t want our guests to travel from one place to another for the ceremony and reception.

As we are both Chinese, we incorporated bits of our culture into the day. We had a tea ceremony before the wedding ceremony with our families and I wore a red dress (but not a traditional qibao). We also had a DimSum cocktail hour which was a hit among all our guests regardless of their nationality! Lastly, Arthur and I are not religious and so we did make a decision to write our own vows. It was an incredibly special experience to express our hopes and dreams for our future and to have our guests be witness to it. We couldn’t have been happier with how the day turned out.”


What was your first dance song?


“We didn’t do a first dance, but we went a little nontraditional on the song for my walk down the aisle. My father and I walked down to a John Mayer’s cover of XO (original by Beyonce). John Mayer is the one artist that Arthur and I can agree on—we listened to his music all throughout University and attend his concerts whenever he comes into town.”


Describe your wedding day in 5 words or less:


“Relaxed, warm, intimate and romantic.”


What was your something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue?


“I didn’t ascribe to this particular tradition for the wedding. However, at my gift table, I had a photo display of two generations of our families to acknowledge our parents and grandparents. Furthermore, at the tea ceremony, both my mom and mother-in-law presented me with traditional gold jewelry which has been passed down generations in each of our families. I also wore a borrowed leather jacket during various parts of the day—#TheJustMarriedJacket. It was the coolest accessory to the dress and has the most interesting story. This leather jacket goes to a different wedding every weekend (yes, like The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) and gives off good vibes for all those that wear it! All in exchange for a bottle of red wine.”


Where did you go on your honeymoon?


“Portugal! From the old city centers, rich historical towns, to the gorgeous beaches and wine country, It was the dreamiest vacation. We went during a low-tourist season as we got married in December but the sun was shining everyday and it was the perfect way for us to unwind from the wedding. Not to mention the pastries—those were to die for! “


Any advice for future brides/grooms?


“Trust your instincts and don’t have a prolonged engagement (if possible!). I decided very early that I didn’t want to have a wedding party and I carried throughout with it even when I got funny looks or was questioned about my decision. It was something I knew would keep me up at night (the logistics, keeping everyone on the same page) and it ended up being just fine! My sister, friends and family members really stepped up with helping me set-up decor and coordination of various vendors. My sister wrote out all the acrylic signs (which my dad sourced) and my best friend made our beautiful (and delicious) cake which my florist helped to decorate with flowers. We also had Arthur’s brother and a dear friend to MC the reception. It was such a nice touch to have someone we know to tell stories about us and generally keep the night flowing.

We felt that the longer we dragged out the planning process, the more “things” we wanted to incorporate and at the end of the day we were just so happy to have those most important to us there. We picked a few things to prioritize (photography and flowers for me; food and drink for Arthur) and focused on those vendors. That way, we were to able to make them the highlight of the day. Also the fact that we were happy with things that were of value to us rather than trying to spread ourselves thin over multiple details, resulted in the wedding naturally coming together exactly how we envisioned it. With these things in mind when planning, we actually enjoyed and remembered our wedding rather than being stressed all day.”

bride’s finery: Lea-Ann Belter Tallulah top sewn onto the Kate skirt, as well as Abby veil via the flagship Toronto bridal boutique | #TheJustMarriedJacket: Sylvia Wong | photographer:  Danijela Weddings | venue: Hotel Ocho | makeup + hair: Windy Chiu | invitations: Crum and Co | wedding rings: Tiffany & Co.  | groom’s custom suit: MADE Clothing Co. | Dim Sum Cocktail Hour: Dim Sum King Seafood Restaurant | florals: Hunt and Gather | table place cards +  numbers: Fran Johnson House | videographers: Vy Van | officiant: Alex Rajak | DJ: Jstar | face paddles: Fathead | edible selfie photobooth macarons: MakeLab

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