Wonderful, Warm Distillery District Wedding | Vanessa + Rouzbeh

We love all our brides. We really do. But Vanessa is extra special to us because she’s the Bridal Specialist at our flagship Toronto bridal boutique! She helps our brides, manages our shop, and is an integral part of the Lea-Ann Belter team. So, when she got engaged (In Amsterdam! On New Year’s Eve!), we were beside ourselves.

Vanessa and Rouzbeh’s story began when Vanessa was searching for an apartment in Toronto with her stepdad. One of the places they looked at happened to be Rouzbeh’s apartment. When they met, Vanessa’s stepdad (he’s the dapper gent wearing a kilt!) knew right then and there that there was something between them. But it wasn’t until later when Vanessa ran into Rouzbeh whilst having a peek at yet another apartment in the same building that they exchanged numbers.

Talk about kismet!

Wearing their wedding day finery, these two took pictures together allover Toronto—at their condo, Alexander Muir Memorial Gardens, the Distillery District (where they wed), and the apartment building where they first met. When you scroll through the pics, look for signage that says Pall Mall at the entrance (which might be hard to do as you’ll be distracted by their adorable pup, Lucas)—that’s the place!

While floating around the Distillery District on cloud nine, two little twin girls spotted  Vanessa and Rouzbeh and came running up—they thought our wonderful bride was a princess! After giving them a few of the flowers from her bouquet, Vanessa and Rouzbeh were off to Archeo to celebrate.

P.S. Before you dive into their fun, elegant, spontaneous, and joyful day, we’d just like to point out how cute Rouzbeh and Vanessa’s dad are together…check the shot where they’re giving each other The Look. You’ll know what we mean when you see it!


From Vanessa, whose wedding advice you’ll soon read is spot on:


How did you guys meet?


“Rouzbeh and I met one afternoon when I was apartment hunting in the city with my stepdad. His place was the last one I saw that day, and our encounter was extremely brief. I didn’t think we would ever cross paths again, much to my stepdad’s dismay. He was the one who planted the seed that he saw ‘sparks’ between us! As fate would have it, Rouzbeh and I ran into each other a week later. I was at the same building looking at other apartments, and Rouzbeh happened to pass by. We were chatting for a bit when unexpectedly the building manager suggested that we exchange numbers. We both immediately blushed, and I thought, what’s to lose? So we obliged, and that night chatted on the phone for hours. Our first date was a week later, and everything just felt so right, almost serendipitous.”

bride’s finery: customized Lea-Ann Belter Maxine, customized Astrid & Mercedes Joy and customized Ava veil | photographer: Lula King Photography | scroll down for full vendor list

How did your sweetie propose?


“It was New Year’s Eve, and we were in Amsterdam visiting my mom and stepdad. All of us were at dinner, and throughout the night Rouzbeh was quiet and kept going out for ‘air,’ which was not like him. I could tell he was up to something because he was acting super nervous and kept looking for someone during dinner. At this point, I was secretly hoping that he was going to propose. Little did I know he was planning the proposal with the restaurant manager. Restaurants in Amsterdam are not as familiar with proposals, so when the champagne came out, the staff were super emotional and so excited to witness the proposal. When we saw the ring in the champagne flute, my mom and stepdad reacted before I could say anything and answered, “Yes! You can marry my daughter!” I of course said yes, and we celebrated the night away watching the fireworks and dancing with the locals in the town square.”


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

“Something new: my two gowns.
Something old + borrowed: my mom’s diamond tennis bracelet.
Something blue: my aquamarine engagement ring.”


What was your first dance song?

“We were not planning on doing a first dance as our goal was to host a fun party with no speeches or anything traditional. A group of Rouzbeh’s friends had secretly asked the DJ to play a traditional Persian first dance song, so when the music changed during the first course of dinner, our friends called Rouzbeh and I to the dance floor.

Once everyone caught on as to what was happening, they got up and circled around us. Rouzbeh and I, as shy as we are when dancing, just went along with it. My dad later took over so that he could sneak in a father-daughter dance, which made it that much more special. It was the best, most unexpected moment, and one that everyone still keeps talking about.”


What was the funniest moment of your day?

“When our guests started clinking their glasses for Rouzbeh and I to kiss, my dad got up before we did and kissed his wife in front of everyone (much to her embarrassment). Everyone laughed and it set the tone for how much fun and easy going the night was going to be.”


Any advice for future brides/grooms?

“The best advice I have is actually that which a client of mine shared with me: trust that everything would work out the way it needed. Go to sleep knowing that you are going to marry your best friend, and that you will be surrounded by so much love on the day. Many things will be unexpected, and if you go along with the flow, no one will ever think that something went differently than you had planned. For Rouzbeh and I, we had experienced a few of our hurricane vases exploding at our guest tables that were holding tapered candles. Instead of being upset, we yelled ‘Opa!’ and everyone laughed. Not long after, people forgot this had happened. Instead, everyone noticed how much fun we were having, and that is what stood out the most throughout the entire night.”

Vanessa + Rouzbeh’s Distillery District Wedding Vendors

. bride’s finery: customized Lea-Ann Belter Maxine, customized Astrid & Mercedes Joy and customized Ava veil | photographer: Lula King Photography | day of coordination: Paperback Events |  venue: Archeo | hair + makeup: Dawna Boot Makeup | florals + candles: May Flowers and House of G. Canton |   invitations + menus: Citrus Press Co. | seating chart + tile place cards: The Lettering Studio | ring box: The Mrs Box | groom’s attire: Strellson | bride’s earrings: Olive & Piper | rings: Blu Boho

Were you a Lea-Ann Belter bride? We’d love to see your pictures and share your story! Email Jessica@Lea-AnnBelter.com.