Ashley came to our Toronto bridal boutique a year into her dress search with her wedding day five months away. One look at Ashley’s dress Pinterest board and Vanessa, our wonderful Bridal Specialist, knew exactly what was needed: a custom designed gown. Thus came to be Ashley’s magnificent (and so chic) bridal gown and fab-u-lous cape. You see, our girl was not so much inspired by bridal gowns as she was the red carpet. And it shows.
Also, that sleekly stellar gown and cape combo go perfectly with the rest of her and Roberto’s wedding day at Chateau Le Parc, whose modern, elegant style was as timeless as it was breathtaking.
Get all the details from our lovely bride:
How did your sweetie propose?
“It was a long day with a lot of mishaps. As Rob would say, the higher powers were not cooperating! After 4 attempts that day, he finally gave up on the super romantic setting but was determined he would propose. So, on the way to the car after having dinner at El Catrin as I was rumbling through my purse to look for keys, I looked up and he was on one knee. I started to cry and just nodded my head I never really said yes.”
How did you choose your gown?
“I was looking for a dress for almost a year. I knew what I didn’t want . . .no beading, no lace, no mermaid, yet I wanted something fashion forward as well as simple but dramatic. I also had the weather challenge that came with an Oct 28th wedding. Over the course of my search, I think I visited Kleinfelds 7 times and White 3 times. Five months away from the wedding, I swear I had tried on 100 dresses and visited over 30 bridal boutiques. Still had no dress and very limited choices!
One Friday I was driving through the east end of Toronto and came across Lea-Ann’s store. I don’t know what I was expecting. I was greeted by Vanessa and explained to her my frustration. I showed her my inspiration board on Pinterest and she was quick to point out something I never noticed; the majority of my inspiration images were not wedding dresses. It was at this point that she mentioned a custom dress. I believe Lea- Ann was out of town that Friday, but Vanessa agreed to call me back when Lea-Ann was in town so we can discuss creating something together. And that’s how it all began.
My Pinterest board included some of the following images:
-Katy Perry 2017 Grammy performance
-Taraji Henson 2016 Golden Globes red carpet
-Karlie Kloss 2017 Oscar red carpet
-Gwyneth Paltrow 2012 Oscars red carpet”
Tell us about your day! Did you have a theme or style in mind?
“Modern Classic. I hired Melissa Baum for the wedding planning and styling, and told her I didn’t want to be too modern so that I would look back and regret choices but I also told her that she had all control and I didn’t want to be involved in the planning or styling. On the day I walked into my reception and was overcome.
My husband and I have large European family (Portuguese/Italian) and we were against a large wedding, however when we ran the numbers and realized there was no way we could have a small wedding. Still, we were going to make it our own and modernize the big European wedding. To us, this meant no bridal party. Instead, my closest girlfriends all wore black and were free to do whatever they wanted (I’ve been in a lot of bridal parties and don’t know how anyone has fun getting up at 4 am for hair and makeup schedules) and had them involved in other ways like reading at the church. Since Rob and I had no bridal party, our brothers were our witnesses and our godchildren walked down the aisle before me. We also had no receiving line. Instead, we started the night by welcoming our guests with a toast and thanking them for all their support over the years. Finally, in place of a head table, we sat with our parents, siblings, and grandparents.”
What’s your funniest wedding day memory?
“My best friend Marta Tryshak somehow convinced the team at Chateau Le Parc to have pickle backs at the bar. Pickle juice and whiskey is not exactly a black tie cocktail, but it was hilarious to see my grandfather and father-in-law join in on the fun.”
What was your favorite wedding day moment?
“I think the day overall. Just feeling the love and knowing that 310 people are here to have fun and celebrate with you.”
Describe your wedding day in 5 words or less:
“Beyond what I ever expected.”
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
“Grand Velas Cabo San Lucas.”
Any advice for future brides/grooms?
“Do your portraits alone, you might want to include parents, bridal party, etc. but take that 1 hour just to take it all in with your new husband/wife.”
Ashley + Roberto’s Chateau Le Parc Wedding Vendors
wedding dress + cape: custom Lea-Ann Belter Bridal via the Toronto bridal boutique | photographer: Barb Simkova for Tara Mcmullen Photo | planning: Melissa Baum Events | hair: Allison Kam | makeup: Dawna Boot | florals: Stemz | ceremony venue: Our Lady of Sorrows Roman Catholic Church | reception venue: Chateau Le Parc