Rachel and Elie met the way many modern millennials do: on a dating app. It was October 2019 and for their first date, the pair rendezvoused at a jazz bar. They quickly hit off, realizing they lived only two blocks away from each other, and dated for a year and a half during the pandemic.
One Sunday summer morning in bed—”a minute after I opened my eyes,” Rachel says—Elie popped the question. They celebrated with an intimate engagement party and booked their wedding date shortly after. The couple decided on a Thursday wedding on June 23, 2022. This particular date held a special meaning: it was the bride’s late paternal grandfather’s birthday.
When it came down to the venue and creative vision, the 1 Hotel Toronto lent itself perfectly. “[We] wanted to feel like we were outside, without the risk of bad weather,” says Rachel. “The vibe of the hotel spoke to our love for nature and was the best way to bring the outdoors in.”
Read on to see how their big day filled with modern elements and tropical florals came to life, as planned by Ashley Lindzon Events and photographed by 515 Photo Co.
The invitation suite was a collaboration between the bride, her planner, and design company Paper Ideas. “It was meant to reflect the floral design we had already decided on and set the tone for the theme and feeling of the wedding,” says Rachel.
Rachel credits her glowing skin to hydrafacials and lots of under-eye cream to avoid dryness and creasing. Her day-of-beauty look was meant to be an elevated version of her everyday glam and she opted for a classic French manicure to let her rings shine.
The bridesmaids included Rachel’s two sisters as co-maids of honor and her twin cousins, but she had a number of close friends join her to get ready at the hotel. Matching pajamas were gifted to everyone, which perfectly matched her color scheme of light pink and sage green.
I fell in love with the veil first.
Rachel remembers wedding dress shopping as one of the easiest parts of the planning process. She wore a silk crepe strapless Alex Perry gown and paired it with a floral Monique Lhuillier veil, René Caovilla wrap-around heels, and diamond jewelry. “I fell in love with the veil first and was able to find the perfect dress that fit my personal style and complemented the appliqués without overshadowing them,” says Rachel.
The couple chose to do a first look as a memory to have with each other, their families, and the wedding party. “We forgot that everyone was watching so it felt like an intimate moment,” Rachel recalls. They also wanted to accomplish most of their portraits before the ceremony began.
The groom was outfitted in a neutral look for the day, where a Brunello Cucinelli lapel linen and silk suit paired with beige Christian Louboutin suede penny loafers.
The ceremony space had a neutral palette, which perfectly balanced the “ethereal modern jungle” floral design. Lush greens and blooms including anthuriums and antique roses flanked the aisle and a unique curved chuppah served as the focal point.
The bride helped design the custom kippot as well, which are worn during Jewish wedding ceremonies, to align with the overall décor.
Rachel shares, “We both wrote our own [vows] and recited [them] as part of our speech during the ceremony. As cliché as it sounds, we forgot that everyone was watching so it felt like an intimate moment.” The bride ended with “I love you too much,” a phrase she says the groom uses every day.
The couple had a custom caricature printed on bar napkins as a fun way to add some personality to cocktail hour. Signature sips included a classic margarita and a spicy pineapple margarita with mezcal and tajin.
The reception took place in the hotel’s restaurant, Casa Madera. Small floral centerpieces dotted tables of various sizes while guests dined on burrata salad, tuna tartare, branzino, steak and ribs, and crispy potatoes.
The bride’s late maternal grandfather was in the produce business, so her mother had the caterer create an over-the-top fruit platter in his honor, anchored by a whole pineapple and overflowing with fresh grapes and stone fruits.
The reception transitioned to a chic disco jungle theme, where the newlyweds and guests participated in the hora, a Jewish wedding dance. The couple’s other music choices included hits by Mariah Carey and Elton John, which their DJ played late into the night.
The two-tier vanilla funfetti cake (the groom’s only request) featured clean lines and edible flowers flowing down the front.
One final piece of advice from the bride? “Small details make all of the difference if you want your wedding to stand out.” We couldn’t agree more!