Glamorous Portuguese Wedding – Chantell & Brian
Chantell’s brother and Brian were friends and her brother invited him to come along on a family camping trip. They knew each other before, but this was the first time they really started to get to know each other. After that weekend, things sort of fell into place for them. As for the proposal, they had plans one random weekend in February to meet up with Meagan (Chantell’s Maid of Honour) and Kyle (her husband) in London for dinner and a movie. He suggested they drive up early to do some shopping. When Chantell left work, she was greeted in the parking lot by a chauffeur and Meagan sitting inside the vehicle. She handed her an iPad with three videos that Brian had previously uploaded explaining that he was sending her to get her nails done, get ready, and head to London where he was waiting for her in Victoria Park. Kyle photographed the proposal without Chantell knowing, and after they walked to Bertoldi’s (a favourite local restaurant of theirs) where the four of them had dinner with her brother and sister in law. They finished the weekend with some shopping in Toronto the following day, and came home to dinner with their parents.
Chantell and Brian had no idea that a family camping trip with Brian accompanying Chantell’s brother would lead to a walk down the aisle years later, but fortunately for this perfect pair, it did! Chantell had a clear idea of what kind of wedding she wanted, and she wanted it to exemplify a classic style with a traditional feel and a hint of elegance while keeping it romantic and a bit grand as well. She definitely hit every note with this glamorous, luxurious ceremony that was a decadent treat! They wanted to fuse together traditional elements of a large European wedding while still trying to maintain the classy and formal theme that they’d envisioned. Their inspiration was largely drawn from Chantell’s favourite white and soft blue hydrangea flower. “I loved the idea of neutral colours as I wanted to keep the theme timeless, and something we could look back on in 20 years and still love. It was very important to us to incorporate our family and elements of our heritage throughout the day. We had a Roman Catholic Wedding, with a full mass. Our mother’s lit the unity candle and some of our closest family members read. The reception incorporated authentic Portuguese cuisine with a midnight seafood buffet, accompanied by traditional fado music playing softly throughout dinner.”
“In the early planning stages, all I knew for certain was that I wanted to include white and soft blue hydrangea’s because it was my favourite flower and I loved the colour combination. Quickly it became the inspiration for many aspects of our wedding – including decor, stationary and bridesmaid dresses. It also has a cultural connection as it is the official flower of the island where our parents were born. The floral arrangements at the church and reception were made up of white hydrangeas, white roses, gypsophila, and greenery. Since hydrangeas don’t typically do well outside of water, we opted to not include them in our bridal bouquets. Instead, the girls’ bouquets were made up of white roses, lily of the valley and subtle greenery. My bouquet had the same flowers with the addition of calla lilies. This was a personal touch for me as my mother had them in her wedding bouquet. Brian matched me with a single calla lily for his boutonniere, while my father and the best man had smaller white roses. We chose to accessorize the groomsmen with pocket squares instead of flowers for a more modern look.”
Chantell and her attendants started the day at the Best Western hotel, and the mood was uplifting as the girls got into matching blue silk robes while Chantell popped in a sleek white one. They had their hair done beautifully by Maddie Agocs and makeup applied to perfection by Esteem Artistry as they enjoyed their time together relaxing and laughing.
The awe-inspiring dress from Sophie’s Gown Shoppe, along with her other details such as her shoes and jewellery made for beautiful photos while the girls shared mimosas in personalised wine glasses! Chantell’s mother and maid of honour helped her into her gown and she had a first look so her father could look at his beautiful daughter in her wedding dress. What lovely moments!
Chantelle says that her wedding dress ended up being something completely different than she thought she would pick! “I am petite, so when I first began wedding dress shopping I thought I would have something very form fitting with a little bling, a short train, and a long veil with a blusher. When trying these types of dresses on, they looked beautiful, but I never “felt” like a bride. With the trumpet style dress that I chose I still got the form fitting style that I was looking for, but the flared bottom and long train gave me the overall look that I never thought I could pull off! To add more sparkle to the dress, the gown shop had the designer add white pearls and crystals to the hand sewn lattice detail throughout the sweetheart neckline, bodice, down through the hip and on the train. We also altered the regular buttoned closure for Swarovski crystals. I opted for a fingertip length veil as I felt it complimented the shape of my dress. For hair and accessories I really envisioned a more regal look. I decided on a modern chignon bun, large drop earrings, no necklace and a matching bracelet. My Jeffrey Campbell block heels were a great option as they allowed me to remain (relatively) comfortable all day! A classic black tuxedo with a bow tie was always Brian’s first choice, but he wanted to find a way to personalize his look. He was able to achieve this by changing into a white dinner jacket for the reception. It was a great choice as it was topic for conversation throughout the night!”
This happy couple subtly accented their wedding with personal touches. Brian gifted his bride to be with a bouquet pin that had a picture of her grandparents from her parents wedding day. It was very meaningful to have them so close to her for the whole day. The “something blue” was a white gold and blue sapphire ring that was gifted to Chantell by her parents, and she carried her grandmother’s handkerchief in her clutch as the “something borrowed”.
Chantell gifted Brian with personalised cuff links that he wore with his tuxedo. The unity candles that were lit at the ceremony by their mothers were brought over to the reception hall and placed on a memory table with photos of those dear to them, but couldn’t physically be present on the wedding day. Brian and Chantell both agree that their favourite part of the day was the ceremony. During the entire ceremony, she was completely at ease and so excited to marry her best friend after 10 years of dating. “It may sound cliché, but with a church full of people, I felt like it was just me and him!”
The ceremony itself was absolutely stunning. Held inside the St. Peter’s Basilica, one of the oldest churches in the city, it was just the right place for a classic wedding ceremony. It’s also so gorgeous that photos are showstopping, and these are no exception. Chantell could hardly wait to walk down the aisle to meet her future husband, and a few tears slipped down her happy face on her way! The traditional ceremony was a Catholic mass with all the rites and rituals that made it even more authentic and special to the couple.
They kept the ceremony decor very simple, as the architecture of St. Peter’s Cathedral Basilica is beautiful on its own. They wanted the focal point to remain at the alter so they set up two large floral arrangements on tall mirrored pedestals on either end of the alter and at the beginning of the aisle. These were later transferred to the reception and were used as part of the backdrop for Chantell and Brian’s head table decor.
For the reception, they relied heavily on white drapery to help convert the banquet hall into its full potential. The drapery was used behind the head table, on the walls to create faux columns and, canopied the ceiling and front entrance for a full affect. Silver chiavari chairs, white satin table cloths, and silver satin napkins helped set the mood for their wedding guests. They alternated between tall floral arrangements and tall crystal candelabra’s for the centrepieces. The head table included two white leather King and Queen chairs, white sequinned tablecloths for distinction, florals and floating candles were on all tables to help maintain a romantic feel. Hints of cool blue were incorporated in all of the stationery (menus, seating plan and table numbers) and everything was really brought together with the cool blue lighting that bordered the perimeter of the hall. There were no DIY projects, they left all aspects of the decor to the professionals.
Photography: NovaMarkina Photography // Venue: Portuguese Club of London // Baker: Grandmas Oven // DJ: Digital Dream // Stationer: KM Imaging // Dress Designer: Martina Liana // Dress Store: Sophie’s Gown Shoppe // Groom Attire: Joseph’s Clothiers // Flowers & Decor: RL Designs // Hair Stylist: Maddie Agocs // Makeup Artist: Esteem Artistry