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Black Creek Pioneer Village | Toronto | Henry + Joanie

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Today is exactly one year since Henry and I tied the knot and truly experienced the best day of our lives!  From early morning to the wee hours of the night, we were on a roller coaster of emotions. We knew that we needed to create a wedding video that would take us on that same ride years down the line. I’m happy to say that the video turned out just the way we envisioned – already giving us that feeling of excitement to show our future kids and grandkids! I feel incredibly lucky that we to have the ability to re-live all the love and magic of the day when we’re old and grey!

If you’ve read my other blog posts, you know that I try my best to list out relevant vendors and highlight important people and key events from the big day. Since I have A LOT to write about (naturally, since it’s our own wedding), I plan on updating this blog post in a couple of weeks when I have a bit more time on my hands. Just a quick thank you now, to all those people that made the day possible – you know who you are! (And if you don’t, make sure you check back for the LONG thank you!)

I think we made people wait long enough – it just seemed fitting to post the wedding video on our first wedding anniversary! We hope you all enjoy watching it as much as we do!

Until the next post,
Joanie x

POST UPDATE: Our LONG thank you!

As promised, here is our ode to the people that made our day possible, along with other relevant highlights and tidbits from our big day! Give us a shout if you have any questions about the vendors listed below!

VENUE: Our one stipulation for a wedding venue, was that it was unique – so when we came across Black Creek Pioneer Village, we knew we found the place! I didn’t even know it was a possibility until I did some google searches and found out that they offered the space as an event venue as well (it’s a preserved Toronto village with buildings and artifacts from the 1800’s, and it operates as a tourist attraction during the day). With many of our guests travelling over from the UK and Ireland, we knew it would be a treat for them to have a true Canadian experience while attending our wedding! Guests are given the opportunity to explore the village for free during the day which is a handy bonus, especially for those coming from out of town or those with kids. It also fit hand in hand with our vintage/world theme. The charming buildings surrounding the green where we held our ceremony and the Grand Pavilion where we held our reception, was absolutely amazing. Such a perfect space to hold a photo/video shoot as well, to get some great wedding videography! The allure of the Grand Pavilion was that one side was completely open to the outdoors. All of our guests appreciated that they were shielded from the elements if necessary, but that it felt as though we were having the reception in a back garden and under the stars. Thanks to Gina Mahil, a sales executive from Black Creek, who introduced us to the space and got us started on our journey to choosing this venue!

WEDDING COORDINATOR: We need to say a huge thank you to our wedding coordinator, Alicja Michalska, from Dream Catcher Events. She was amazing from the very start when we met her at our food tasting and all the way up until the end, when the last note was played on the very last song at our reception. She bent over backwards to make our day unfold the way we dreamed of from the very beginning of our wedding planning. The day was touch and go with the weather and let’s just say, she was able to pull some strings (and work her butt off) to give us the ceremony we wanted outside, instead of on the patio under a tent. I’ve just always envisioned my ceremony on sprawling green grass underneath the open sky, and she single-handedly made it happen. I didn’t have to worry about a thing with her coordinating in the background and I totally recommend her services to anyone else that’s looking!

MC: We couldn’t have picked a better MC. Our friend Arsalaan was our first choice from the minute we started our wedding planning. He had the perfect amount of wit, humour, and organization, AND the ability to be likeable even when straddling the inappropriate line LOL! After the wedding, we received so many compliments and questions about Arsalaan, and whether he MC’ed for a living (might be something to consider!) because he was THAT good. We are incredibly grateful too that he decided to share his wedding anniversary with us! It was actually his 5 year anniversary with his lovely wife Kenda on the day of our wedding…double date anniversaries to come in the future 🙂 Thank you so much Arsalaan for setting the tone of the whole evening and really maintaining the flow necessary to make it a successful day – you’re awesome!

VIDEOGRAPHY: When we got engaged, the million dollar question was always, “who is going to film your wedding day?”. What we knew from the start of our search, was that we needed people that we could get along with first off, and second, people that we could rely on to get all the wedding cinematography we needed throughout the day/night, and flexible enough to pass on the footage so we could edit the video ourselves (this was important to us as we’ve been dreaming of producing our own wedding video ever since we got engaged!). Luckily, Stories Worth Sharing filmed our cousin’s wedding a few years back and we got to know the way they operated…super hard workers running around and making sure they got as many shots as possible. We were impressed with their heart and the fruits of their labour when we watched our cousin’s SDE at the end of the night. Wedding videographers from SWS were always in our mind from the very beginning of our search, and our meeting with Willy and Victor solidified our decision to go with them. We just got on with them so well from the very start, and we know from experience, that it’s important to feel comfortable with the people that are shooting you on your wedding day. Certainly a bunch of great guys that we’re happy we went with in the end. Thank you for making us look ‘not completely awkward’ in front of the cameras LOL! It really is true, it’s so much easier being behind the camera than in front!

PHOTOGRAPHY: We knew from the very beginning that we wanted to work with a photographer that we knew and felt comfortable with. Luckily our sister’s friend Cesar Ghisilieri from Cesar Ghisilieri Photography, was available on our big day and happy to shoot all of our shenanigans from morning until night. We really appreciated his vision and how he was so experimental with his shots. Thank you Cesar for helping us remember our big day through your eyes!

DJ: Our DJ, Sanga Genesis from OMNE Media Group, was absolutely AMAZEBALLS! He kept the whole reception pumping from the cocktail hour to the last tune played on the dancefloor at night. I’ve always known how important a good DJ is to a wedding reception, but I didn’t know exactly how much until I was planning a wedding myself. A great DJ can really set the tone needed for the evening and also maintain the mood/atmosphere couples are looking for throughout the night – luckily, DJ Sanga did that and more! From the planning stages through to the event, he was amazingly thorough and certainly lifted a good weight off of my shoulders. Totally recommend his services if you’re looking for a DJ that plays amazing tunes, who also happens to be super organized! What a combo!

HAIR: I knew before anything that I wanted to book Satine from Satine Studio. I’ve come across her and her work when filming previous client’s wedding videos, and I fell in love with her ability to style hair with such ease! When I went for my trial, I just showed her a picture and she was able to match the model’s hair exactly! I knew I had to lock her down before she got booked up (she’s super popular as I’ve mentioned in some previous blogposts, so inquire early!), and luckily I did! She does amazing make-up as well (it’s harder to find make-up artists that can work with an East Asian face, but she rocks that!). Unfortunately she was already booked with another client after me, so we couldn’t squeeze the make-up in. I decided in the end that I wanted to do my own makeup anyways, as I had some pretty bad experiences in the past getting it done professionally (definitely didn’t go to the right people!). I just wanted to feel comfortable in my own skin, so going down that route made sense for me. For others it might be too stressful worrying about makeup on the day, so in that case, definitely book in a professional! One thing I did do to help with the fact that I would be doing my own make-up, was to get some eyelash extensions beforehand. Overall, I’m super happy with how everything turned out. I came away feeling comfortable throughout the whole day and night, my hair stayed in place, and I didn’t experience raccoon eyes 🙂

JEWELLERY: Etsy is jewellery heaven for me – So many options! One thing I was on the prowl for was a backdrop necklace as I had an open V back dress. I stumbled across Jennifer Moon Bridal Etsy shop and boy I’m glad I did. Jennifer was super accommodating throughout the process and crafted something incredibly special for me, that I’m able to wear even after the wedding for any occasion. I also purchased personalised gifts for my bridesmaids (necklace and earrings), and they came out beautifully as well. Definitely recommend her services and Etsy for even more options if you’re looking for something specific that isn’t offered in her shop.

CAKE: A big shout out to my cousin Katie who made our very ‘cheeky’ wedding cake. For those of you who didn’t get a chance to see our cake topper (from behind), my hand was on Henry’s bare bum (his pants were down, but high enough to protect his modesty!). She created a delcious cake for the top tier and made mini cupcakes for the tiers below. Thanks so much again for making our silly vision come true!

COUSINS: Speaking of cousins, I need to thank all of the Fong’s and Ma’s for helping me set up and tear down on the day of the wedding, just so I didn’t have to stress. There was no question that I could count on you guys for help…unfortunately none of you had a choice when I allocated your name to a task on my wedding planning spreadsheet LOL! Special thanks to Antonella (remember Wilkin + Antonella?) for helping me take charge in the decor department and bringing my vintage/romantic/world theme to life! A lot of my decor projects were DIY and I hope to blog about it in the future to share some ideas.

TEA CEREMONY and DOOR GAMES: The tea ceremony took place underneath the patio tent at Black Creek Pioneer Village. The great thing about this venue was that we could hold all of our festivities in one place – meaning less travel for us, and less travel and confusion for our vendors and guests! A big thanks to my cousin Carmen for introducing the tea ceremony to Henry’s side of the family and explaining the traditions involved (also thanks for teaching Henry how to say ‘daddy, please drink tea’ LOL!).

Okay, I think it’s important for me to explain the ‘door games’ for anyone watching the video and wondering why the groomsmen, including the groom, were wearing underwear over their trousers! No, this is not a normal everyday occurrence, but rather a show of proof, that the groom is actually in love with his future bride, and will do ANYTHING to see her and be with her. That ‘anything’, was conjured up by my bridesmaids – modelling women’s panties, eating pocky sticks from each other’s mouths (until ALL the chocolate was gone), and making up a love song for the bride. I hope I’m hearing a collective ‘Ohhhhh’ out there….

HENRY’S PERFORMANCE: What a performance it was! Henry surprised every one of our guests with a love song sung completely in Cantonese! With no cue cards or help, he managed to remember all the phonetic sounds from memory. Just so you know, Henry hates singing (and is probably a little tone deaf), but he couldn’t resist the opportunity to do something completely random and far from what he would normally do, just to throw people off…and he did. Although I was certainly in the moment, I was able to look around and see the shock on everyone’s faces, including my parents! I think every Cantonese speaking person in the room was in awe LOL. Great effort babe, you really knocked it out of the park!

2nd ENTRANCE (and vintage suit): We started off our wedding video with Henry’s performance, and I’m sure people looked at his suit and wondered what decade the video was filmed in. No, it wasn’t the 70s, it was just Henry wearing the suit my dad wore on his wedding day nearly 40 years ago! We fittingly danced to Bee Gee’s Staying Alive as we returned to our reception space for our 2nd entrance. Again, it was awesome looking at all the confused faces of our guests as Henry rocked his ruffles and bell bottoms in all its glory.

RECEPTION GAMES: We played a few games throughout the night that were really funny. During wedding planning, it was important that I found some games that would really be crowd pleasers, and I think based on reactions, we did pretty well! A big thanks to my friend Pheobe (sister of Debbie + Dennis), who told me about the ‘mission impossible’ game – certainly one for us to highlight here! Basically we had to blindfold Henry who was standing opposite me, and in between Henry and I, my bridesmaids would hold a bunch of criss-crossed red yarn that looked like laser beams. I held the mic and had to tell him how to manovuere his way between the laser beams to reach me, the bride. Challenging enough right? The funny thing is, while Henry was blindfolded, my bridesmaids walked away with the red yarn, which meant no laser beams existed anymore. My instructions made Henry do some ridiculous moves to get to me and he had no idea no laser beams were there anymore until he lifted his blindfold at the end. Henry was so smug as the crowd cheered him on…until he realized the trick!

MUSIC: We knew the music for our video was going to be super important – it’s the first thing we lock down before we even begin editing. We actually thought we would have more debates over this topic, but luckily, we agreed on every single song! Each piece set the mood that we wanted to convey in the video and brilliantly highlighted key points of our day – here they are in the order that they were played in the video:

1. Paper Planes by M.I.A
2. Forrest Gump Suite by Alan Silvestri
3. Midnight City by M83
4. Aerials by Lights & Motion
5. Power by Kanye West

END CREDITS: It was important for us to highlight and thank all of the guests that made it to our wedding. This includes all the people that took the time and spent the money to travel from abroad (Ottawa, Vancouver, America, Ireland, Wales, England, and Taiwan) to share in our special day. Each and every one of our guests added something special and unique to our day, so we wanted to create a fun end credits section to thank them all! The beginning of our thank you included pics of all of our wedding guests, followed by a Guy Ritchie-styled credit to all of our immediate family members and our whole wedding party. What we wanted to do was give these people the celebrity treatment! Whether it was delivering a magnificent speech, helping with DIY projects, listening to our ideas, giving advice, or just gracing us with their beautiful faces, these people all made our day possible. Thank you once again for being our family and our friends, we feel so incredibly lucky to have you all in our lives!

There’s no better way to reminisce, than to remember those that made it all possible. Best. Day. Ever.

Until the next post,


Wedding Dress: (see my post on, ‘My Online Wedding Dress Buying Experience‘)
Chinese Dress: Pacific Mall
Evening/Party Dress: French Connection
Bridesmaid Dresses: various – each bridesmaid purchased their own with the guidelines of a colour
Groom’s Suit: Monsieur Dupont
Groomsmen Suits: various – each groomsmen wore a suit with guidelines of a colour
Groom/Groomsmen Ties and Pocket Squares: My awesome mom – she should seriously open her own Etsy shop!
Flowers: (online florist – my bouquets/centerpieces all DIY projects, but this online florist can create these for you)
Table Cloth/Chair Rentals: Chairman Mills

Published on HenjoFilms: Wedding Videography Toronto / Toronto Wedding Videographer

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