Real Weddings



Roxy Zapala is one of the owners of Flower Parade and Art of Celebrations Event Planning + Design Firm. After more than 10 years of helping brides’ enchanting visions come to life, it was finally her turn to make her dream a reality.

She immediately began planning her perfect day. There wasn’t a doubt in her mind of what the wedding would look like. An all-white swanky but fun-filled affair was in the works. The couple began their wedding planning by searching for the ideal venue – one that would have an urban flair and could accommodate their 220 guest count. There was one more request from the bride: the venue needed to have rigging points on the ceiling from which she would suspend the centerpieces. The couple mailed outboxed laser cut invitations topped with a pearl and crystal brooch, which were completely designed and assembled by Roxy herself. Along with inviting words, the couple suggested that the guests wear white or light colored clothing to their big day; a foreshadow of what the guests could expect at Roxy and Carlo’s November 5th wedding.

November 5th, 2011, was as beautiful a day as one could imagine. With Toronto’s temperature at a high of 10 degrees and the sun brightly shining, Roxy and Carlo’s wedding day was off to an amazing start. The couple had their traditional Catholic ceremony at a beautiful, old Holy Rosary Church in Toronto’s Forest Hill neighborhood. The gentle melody of the harp set the mood for the traditional exchange of vows. The aisle of the church was lined with hundreds of twinkling candles, alternating with seven custom white magnolia trees (Roxy’s favorite tree). The runner was sprinkled with ivory and cream rose petals and the altar was flanked by white phalaenopsis orchid arrangements. “It was like walking on a cloud in heaven, a real fairy tale” recalls the couple.

The bride wore a custom made mermaid style gown completed with a Spanish veil and a six-foot-long ruffled train. The groom opted for a custom ivory tuxedo with French ruffles. After the exchange of vows, the couple released dozens of white doves and then took off to a nearby park for photos in a horse and carriage. The guests proceeded to the lavender and vanilla themed cocktail reception held at 99 Sudbury in Liberty Village, downtown Toronto. A jazz band played as guests enjoyed passed hors d’oeuvres, mini lamb burgers, sushi, Italian Prosecco with lavender and signature drinks with vanilla orchids in the lounge and on the patio. The escort cards were displayed on floating lotus flowers and the guest were handed vanilla bubble baths and French lavender soaps.

Soon after the couple arrived, the doors to the main reception were opened and the guests were greeted one by one as they took photos with the newlyweds. The raw space of 99 Sudbury’s Glass Factory was completely transformed into a whimsical white fantasy. The room was draped entirely with ivory sheer fabric and lit slightly by natural white lighting. Giant pomander balls of white, ivory and cream garden roses, peonies and hydrangeas along with teardrop candle holders were suspended from the exposed, rough ceiling above each table. More candles sat on the tables and throughout the room creating a warm, beautiful ambiance. The head table was lined with white phalaenopsis orchids set underneath plexi sheets. Plexi sheets above carried yet another set of candles and the plexi water walls with more orchids served as a backdrop to the head table. The décor was enhanced with satin flower-shaped napkins and vintage pearl/crystal brooches on every guest’s place setting. Dainty vintage French lace chair covers over white Chiavari chairs completed the look. Above the dance floor hung a custom-made ceiling structure which featured hundreds of satin ribbons with white cymbidium orchids and crystal tear drops.

Before sitting down for dinner, the couple danced a tango to “O Mare e Tu” by Andrea Bocelli & Dulce Pontes, paying homage to the groom’s Portuguese background and his love for classical music.  The dinner was a delicious four course meal catered by Catering from the HIP of the couple’s favourite restaurant, followed by a beautifully customised sweet table and an astonishing seven tiered wedding cake created by Patricia’s Cake Creations. The dance floor was officially opened after Brazilian samba dancers’ performed. An electrical violinist and a bongo player rocked along the beats of the DJ until three in the morning. To keep guests energized,  a late night hot buffet was served which featured full pig roast, lamb ragu, traditional Portuguese seafood and a traditional Polish perogies station to tie in both of the couple’s ethnic backgrounds.


Photography: Rodrigo Moreno Photography | Reception Venue: 99 Sudbury  | Ceremony Venue: Holy Rosary Church | Wedding Planning & Design: Art of Celebrations Event Planning + Design Firm | Flowers & Decor: Flower Parade | Draping & Linens: Mega City Linen | Chairs: Detailz Chair Couture | Caterer: Catering from the HIP | Cake & Sweet Table: Patricia’s Cake Creations | Bridal Gown: Adrianna Fashion | Groom’s Tuxedo: The House of Rome | Stationery: GraphPrint | Hair: Sandra Couto | Makeup: Joanne Parks