Elegant Outdoor Wedding | Graydon Hall Manor, Toronto, ON | Samantha Ong Photography

I love a good all-through outdoor wedding. By that, I mean where both the ceremony and reception are outdoor and done perfectly. That’s pretty much Brian and Lesley’s elegant outdoor wedding that was held at Graydon Hall Manor.

How did you meet?

“Brian and I have been together since October 2012 and we were initially “long-distance” as I was in Kingston for medical school and he was in Mississauga. When I was offered a residency position in Toronto, we were finally able to be together.”

What is your proposal story?

“Dec 17, 2015 – Brian told me that we were going somewhere nice for our 3 year anniversary dinner. I was actually post-call that day after working 24 hours on medicine call. I spent the day sleeping and somewhat anticipating that he would propose that night. I dressed up and spent more time putting makeup on (I don’t wear a lot of makeup on a daily basis).

We went to Scaramouche that night and at every course, I wondered if he would pop the question. By the time the bill came, nothing had happened. I wasn’t that disappointed because deep down I knew that Brian is not the type of person to propose in public.

When we arrived back home, he told me he had to do some work so I got ready for bed. I removed all my makeup and changed into my PJs. When I came out of the washroom, he was nowhere to be found. He wasn’t working on his laptop or watching TV. When I finally found him (he had been hiding), he was down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I said yes!”

Elegant Outdoor Wedding | Graydon Hall Manor – Toronto, ON.

“Our wedding was at Graydon Hall Manor. If I had to use words to describe the wedding, they would be: romantic, garden, intimate  Why we chose this venue: – a beautiful garden for outdoor ceremony/reception – intimate feel – no other weddings at the same time – excellent reputation – excellent food – amazing photos from previous weddings 

The ceremony was outdoors at Graydon Hall Manor. We wanted our guests to feel like they were taken away from the hustle and bustle of Toronto into a romantic garden paradise. Our officiant read the poem “I carry your heart with me” by e.e. cummings. The poem has always been meaningful to us.

We said personal vows and exchanged rings before signing the marriage certificate with “A Whole New World” playing in the background. We are huge Disney fans and our wedding hashtag was “AWholeNguyenWorld”.  

Brian and I love food and we appreciate all the details that chefs put into preparing meals. This was one of the reasons why we chose Graydon Hall Manor for its excellent reputation in the catering aspect. We had a seated 3-course dinner. It started with a ricotta gnocchi appetizer (we thought about skipping the salad just for one night). This was followed by a choice of black cod, beef tenderloin, cornish hen or lasagna. The sweet ending was a filo baked pear. 

Appetizers:  Ricotta gnocchi tossed with fresh sage, lemon and butter finished with aged Reggiano parmesan  

Entrées:   1) Roasted cornish hen stuffed with rice, mushrooms and herbs accompanied by roasted shallots, beets, & steamed haricots verts  2) Beef duo ~ tenderloin and braised, served with cabernet jus potato galette, creamed corn and cauliflower croquette  3) Black cod glazed with miso and maple on Japonaise rice cake with sun-dried tomato aioli served with marinated baby cucumber and steamed Chinese broccoli   4)  Freeform lasagna with garlicky spinach and tomatoes topped with panko-crusted eggplant and basil Dessert.”

Dessert: Filo baked pear, crème anglaise, blackcurrant sorbet.”

Tell us about your attire choices.

“I wore a red lace cheongsam in the morning for my tea ceremony. Katie (holliexkate on etsy) created my custom gown and it made me feel so beautiful. I hope there will be another occasion to wear it again!  My Pronovias wedding gown from Blu Ivory Bridal. I loved the lace, sweetheart neckline and the long train. I felt like a princess! I added on my own crystal belt to add more sparkle to the dress.”

What were your favorite parts of the day? (memories and stories)

“1) Exchanging our vows: I remember how nervous I was in anticipation of speaking. I kept telling myself inside not to cry and I actually made it through my vows without shedding a tear. All I could do was smile because it was truly such a beautiful moment. I was able to see all my friends and family who had travelled far and wide to be present and Brian was standing in front of me speaking beautiful words.  

2) Our first dance: We danced under the stars on the terrace with our family and friends surrounding us holding sparklers. All I could remember was feeling present in the moment with Brian feeling loved.  

3) Listening to my father speak: I was so proud of my dad while he was making his speech. English is not his first language and he is not an emotive kind of guy on a day to day basis. However, his speech was so meaningful and eloquent and I know how much time it took for him to prepare something like that.”

Tell us about your wedding flowers.

“Flower 597 provided the bouquets, centrepieces and ceremony arrangements for our wedding. I gave them my wedding colours and what types of flowers I liked and they created beautiful arrangements for us. They complemented the venue and our dresses so well. All our guests were so impressed and all the centrepieces were taken home to enjoy by the end of the night. They were also so pleasant to work with and wonderful people. I dried my bouquet and it is still sitting in my home!”

Please describe any DIY, handmade, or personal details.

“During the ceremony and cocktail hour, we hired a string quartet from GTA Strings to play outdoors. Maximum DJ took care of our dinner and reception music. Our first dance was so magical. It was outdoors, under the stars, surrounded by our beloved friends and family who were holding sparklers. Samantha Ong managed our photo booth with lots of fun props.   “How Would You Feel” by Ed Sheeran.  We were trying to find a first dance song that was not overly played or too sappy. Luckily Ed Sheeran had recently come out with his new album. We were sitting at home listening to the entire album and this song came on. The melody and lyrics were so beautiful and reminded me of the first time Brian told me he loved me. “

Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?

“I am very detail-oriented and sometimes got caught up in small details that didn’t matter in the end. Make sure you take time during your wedding day and remember how you felt at that moment. The day goes by so quickly. Make sure you invest in a great photographer and videographer to help capture the day as well.”

Vendors

Photography: Samantha Ong Photography | Ceremony Venue: Graydon Hall Manor | Reception Venue: Graydon Hall Manor | Event Planning: BLoved Events | Floral: Flower 597 | Wedding Cake: Sweet Invitation | Hair: Uno Jo | Makeup: Judy Lim Makeup | Officiant: Ministers for Wedding | DJ: Maximum DJ | Wedding Dress: Pronovias | Bridal Boutique: Blu Ivory Bridal | Submitted via: Matchology

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