This stunning wedding was held at The Liberty Grand in downtown Toronto where we have shot on two other occasions in the past – Natalie + Emil and Kaushalya + Aravinda. This wedding day was so jam-packed with action that we knew we had enough footage to really make something unique for the couple. With so much footage, it can be daunting figuring out where to start with the editing process. There were so many moments where Joanie turned to me and said she was finding it so hard to pick what audio to use as we had so much to work with. As tricky as this part was, it was also nice to know that she had all the material needed to make a special video.
Elmira was born and raised in Iran and John’s parents are Lebanese so they decided to embrace both cultures and make sure everyone from both families felt included. They had both a Christian and Persian wedding ceremony in the same day! The Christian ceremony was held at the breathtaking St. Anne’s Anglican Church and the Persian ceremony was held in the beautiful Courtyard of The Liberty Grand. Both locations provided a very scenic backdrop for each ceremony. We have to give a specific shoutout to the choir from the church as they were amazing – we literally had goosebumps as they sang for Elmira as she walked down the aisle!
John and Elmira met at YorkU. They were co-ops working downtown and ended up in the same working group which helped give them a lot of time together to get to know each other. When we first met with them it was clear that John was obsessed with Aerial videography so we knew we had to try our very best to get a few drone shots where possible. The drone shots also helped show off some of the Fall colors which is Elmira’s favourite season and the reason they had their wedding in October. They went with Fall colors for their decor to give everything a rustic feel.
A lot of things stick out about this wedding, so we could go on for a while. But I’m going to cut straight to their first dance. Doing choreographed dances can be tricky. We have seen a lot over the years (including, Shane + Ashley’s dance). It’s one of those things that you have to go all in on and nail it, to make it really work. And this is exactly what John and Elmira did! Elmira loves dancing and used to do it back in Iran. The dance was a real treat for all the guests and the couple didn’t look nervous or anything. They looked like they really enjoyed it and nailed it at the same time! A wedding videographer’s dream!
Here’s a few notes about John’s proposal from the bride herself:
John knew that Lake Louise is one of my favorite places as I kept talking about it since the day we met. On the first day of our trip there we went there to see the sunset. One thing I didn’t know was the lake freezes in the Winter and there was snow all over it and not really a lake to see. I was very disappointed as I wanted to show him how blue the water was. But he really didn’t mind and said let’s just walk on the lake. So we were in the middle of the lake, when he asked me to sit on top of a pile of snow and he went to set the camera in front of us to take a picture as no one was around to take it for us. He put the timer on and ran to sit next to me and when the picture was done, he started talking about when we said ‘I love you’ to each other and he took a ring box out of his pocket and proposed to me! And as sneaky as he is, he put the camera to actually take interval pictures and capture the proposal with the beautiful mountains as our backdrop. I had no idea and it was such a nice surprise!
She also provided these key points about different wedding details:
Gift: We gave personalized wooden wrist watches to John’s attendants as a gift which were engraved at the back. (From Etsy)
Gift: For the bridesmaids, we ordered navy blue purses with their initials on them which match the color of the groomsmen suits. (From Etsy)
Gift: I ordered an engraved pocket watch as a wedding gift to John, which he wore on the day. (From Etsy)
Gift: We ordered personalized hangers for all of the bridal party so they wouldn’t mix their outfits on the day of. (It was a success with the girls, not so much with the guys ;)) (From Etsy)
Accessories: Groomsmen’s bow ties and pocket squares were all custom made with a touch of red to match bridesmaid dresses. (From Etsy)
Accessories: My ear rings and bridesmaids’ necklaces were all made by one of my bridesmaids, Anastassia, who is a jewelry designer.
Accessories: John wore a pair of cufflinks in the shape of a vintage motorcycle, as he recently got a 1979 Honda bike which he is really proud of.
Friends: My maid of honour and one of my bridesmaids are my friends from 6th grade, and they came all the way from England and Iran to be part of our wedding. We were all in the same classes & grew up together
Friends: The two people who were the cupids in our relationship are Jide and Anastassia and they were in the bridal party. We were all in the same class and same program at YorkU 5 years ago.
Shoes: I went shoe shopping for ages and couldn’t find the pair I like, so I crafted a pair myself and turned them into red ballerina flat shoes!
Dresses: Bridesmaid dresses are from John’s mom’s store, Refelli Fashion on Orfus Road.
My dress: It was a custom made dress from Iran and all the extra details were added by my mom. It was a two piece dress with a detachable skirt.
John’s suit: It was a three-piece, custom made by Garrison Bespoke and was very personalized – he wanted to have a specific colour of blue different than any other suit.
Car: We hired a limo service just for me and John, a 1949 Rolls Royce vintage car!
Church: St. Anne is a historical building with wall painting from “The Group of Seven” and we asked the church choir to sing at our wedding ceremony
Persian Sofreh: This is the table where bride and groom sit in front of it facing the guests during the ceremony. Usually bride’s family set the table and in my case, my mom and sister designed it. Each item on the Sofreh represents something of a married life and to make more personal, Elmira’s sister’s brother-in-law who flew all the way from California officiated the Persian wedding.
Tree Guest book: we ordered a personalized canvas with two joining trees (representing our two families) printed on it in Fall colors, which we asked the guests to sign the leaves. (from Etsy)
First Dance: We learned a choreographed dance just three weeks before the Wedding and were able to pull it off!
Decor: All the centerpieces and decor were made by us. From the wood slabs to pine cones to table numbers. We have a love for lanterns and fairy lights and had set them up all around the venue.
Flowers: the theme of the floral design was “Wild Fall look”. We choose many different flowers and tried to keep the natural look to the arrangements.
Cake: Wedding cake was actually a cheese wheel cake. I got the idea from my maid of honour. This is a very common wedding tradition in England and since we are obsessed with cheese, it seemed appropriate to have one at our wedding.
A big thank you to the couple for letting us film their special day! The amount of amazing stuff you both were able to pack in a day was brilliant – we experienced so many firsts! Wishing you both all the best for the future!
Nuthing but luv,
ADDITIONAL VENDOR and VENDOR DETAILS:
Hair: Hair by Ladylyn (ladylyngool.com)
Makeup: Alisa Lyons (whataface.com)
Photographer: Mango Studios (mangostudios.com)
Wedding Dress: Custom Made from Iran
Groom Suit: Garrison Bespoke (garrisonbespoke.com)
Florist: Botany Foral Studio (botanyflowers.ca)
Decor: DIY by bride and groom and their families (Sourcing from Amazon, Kijiji, Etsy, Pier 1 Import & Michaels!)
DJ: DJ Borhan (djborhan.com)
Cake: Cheese Boutique (cheeseboutique.com)
Brides and Bridesmaids Jewelry: Anastaissa Sel (anastassiasel.com)
Vintage Rolls Royce car: A Rolls Choice (arollschoice.com)
Groomsmen suits: SuitSupply (suitsupply.com)
Bridesmaids dresses: Refelli Fashion (refellifashion.com)
First Dance Choreography: (yourweddingdance.ca)
Published on HenjoFilms: Wedding Cinematography Toronto / Toronto Wedding Cinematographer