I’m such a huge fan of people who do weddings the way they want vs. the way history has told us they need to be done. Laurel and Victor’s Hotel Ocho wedding was 100% them from start to finish! I have so much respect and love for these two; this day was absolute perfection. I asked Laurel & Victor to tell me about their story and their day in their own words. Check out more about their big day below!
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We met at a friend’s party when we were both living in Montreal, where we lived together for almost four years. We moved together to Toronto (my hometown) in 2016, after I sponsored Victor for permanent residency–having to file a bunch of paperwork about your relationship moves everything forward pretty quickly.
Victor proposed on a work trip back to Montreal, in front of our friend’s former apartment where we first met. It was raining and someone was standing in the doorway of the building, so we hid under a typical Montreal spiral staircase.
We decided we wanted a full-blown wedding (rather than a smaller, quieter gathering) as an excuse to celebrate and bring our loved ones all together. That informed all of our decisions, by focusing on what everyone would enjoy, and what would make us feel connected to everyone. We really tried to focus on having a party and a celebration first, and a wedding second. There’s a lot of waste or single-use items out there, so we also really wanted things made of natural or recyclable materials, wherever possible. Ultimately the thing we wanted to be able to keep was beautiful photos (thank you!!!).
We were incredibly lucky to have talented friends and family who could help us so much. My dad built our wedding arch and the 8 foot tall photo boards, and my aunt did my flowers, the arch decoration, and all the table flowers. We were already asking friends to provide a fair amount of work (including our desserts, setting everything up on the day of, and so on) we decided to forego having a proper wedding party to not ask too much of them. All of their work was voluntary and everything they did made it so much more special
We are so happy we decided to get ready together. It made logistics and organizing everything on the day so much easier. I understand why couples want to make that part of the day a magical moment, but I knew Victor is the best person to keep me calm. For the same reason, we decided to walk in together. Nothing else made sense for us.
In the end, it shocks people, but our wedding was not that stressful. We ran out of things to prepare a few days in advance, and then on the day of had a lot of time to just… hang out. That was great. Probably not achievable for everyone, but my advice would be to reduce the number of vendors you’re coordinating–get a venue that will take care of things, and if you have friends and family offering to help, take them at their word and let them do their work. Probably also starting off with two relatively low key families helps in the first place.
Flowers: Lucy Gorman https://www.informalflowers.com
Decor: Father of the Bride
Makeup: Shawna Hardwick (https://litwithin.ca)
Dress: Truvelle (via The Bride’s Project)
Alterations: Champagne & Cupcakes
Hotel Ocho Wedding | Toronto Wedding Photography | Downtown Wedding Inspiration