We got hitched! Highlights of our wedding day 25.05.2019 <3

We got hitched! Highlights of our wedding day 25.05.2019 ❤

As many of you know by now, Alex and I got married in May (Saturday May 25th 2019 to be exact). This first blog post in a series of 3 will show you the highlights of my wedding, mostly through photographs and present to you the various people, vendors and suppliers who helped make this a most special day ❤

The following 2 blog posts will take on a more “practical” approach if you want, where I’ll share the experience of planning my own wedding with you through “DIY Weddings – Turquoise Marketing’s Do’s and Don’ts” and the biggest lesson I learnt through “Turquoise Marketing’s 7 Reasons To Hire A Wedding Planner” (but actually).

Venue: La Vieille Brasserie, Lachine (Montreal)

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La Vieille Brasserie, Lachine, photo by Emanuela Buonamici (2019)

So, there are a lot of people to mention and thank, but we should start with the first point, the venue, because that was step number 1 (after getting engaged of course). We chose La Vieille Brasserie in Lachine, which was quite unanimously unknown to all our guests. We chose it for many reasons, the top ones being its affordability ($106/hour + taxes in 2019 so roughly $2000, in comparison to other venues at $3500 or more) and the fact that it was nothing like your typical wedding hall in St-Leonard (you know what I’m talking about). At first, Alex was not sold on it, at all, from the photos he saw on Google Images, but as soon as he walked in, he was won over. We loved the venue for its gorgeous stone walls, wooden beams and its overall rustic charm. Its also right by the water in Lachine, which can make for wonderful photos (you can google it to see more/better photos of the actual venue).

Caterer: Marissa – Elle Jay’s Private Dining

Second up, pretty much the most important piece of the wedding puzzle once you have your venue: the caterer. For those who don’t know her, Marissa competed on season 5 of MasterChef Canada and finished in the Top 7. I don’t know about you, but even just making it onto the show is a hell of an accomplishment! After MasterChef Canada, Marissa chose to pursue her cooking passion, quit her full-time job and start her own catering company: Elle Jay’s Private Dining.

I had the pleasure of meeting Marissa pretty much 1 year exactly before my wedding day, when I invited her to attend one of my Foodies & Bloggers Dinners. Ever since then, we’ve kept in touch and when it came time to finding a caterer for my wedding, I could think of asking no one else but Marissa. Thankfully, she gladly accepted and was on-board with our idea of an international menu, with a focus on sharing plates.

In the end, we came up with the following menu that Marissa and her team prepared:

  • Charcuterie & cheese plates [cocktail]
  • Gnocchi in brown butter with fried sage, parmesan and topped with crispy pancetta [First course]
  • Warm couscous salad with heirloom cherry tomatoes, cucumber, toasted pine nuts & mint, topped with lemon and garlic black tiger prawns and a herb butter sauce [Second course]
  • Flank steak marinated with fresh oregano, onion, garlic, parsley, coriander, smoked paprika, cocoa and olive oil, topped with chimichurri and sitting on roasted creamer potatoes with sheeps milk feta and chives [Third course]
  • Pulled pork tacos with cilantro lime crema, fresh salsa and pickled red onions, on corn tortillas [Midnight table]
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First course: gnocchi, photo by me, Elise Bernier-Gravel (2019)
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Second course: shrimps and couscous, photo by me, Elise Bernier-Gravel (2019)
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Third course: steak and potatoes, photo by me, Elise Bernier-Gravel (2019)
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Midnight table: tacos, photo by me, Elise Bernier-Gravel (2019)
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Midnight table: tacos, photo by me, Elise Bernier-Gravel (2019)

Lucky us, Alex and I actually got to eat all of this twice, as Marissa came over to our home and prepared it all for us to taste-test before the wedding. Everything was absolutely delicious and we could not have been happier with the food and the work that Marissa and her team did. Thank you! ❤

You can also book Marissa for private dinners, where she’ll take over your kitchen for your dinner party/event and do everything from cooking and cleaning for you, so you can enjoy your evening and a delicious homemade meal.

Wedding Cake & Sweets Table: Délices Lafrenaie

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Wedding cake, photo by me, Elise Bernier-Gravel (2019)
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Cookies from the Sweets Table, photo by me, Elise Bernier-Gravel (2019)

Continuing on the topic of food, a big thank you to my friend Joseph from Délices Lafrenaie for making and providing the stunning naked 3-tiered cake with fresh roses and peonies, as well as the rest of our Sweets Table treats: mini cupcakes, cake pops, donuts, cookies, chocolate covered pretzels, chocolate covered strawberries and an assortment of traditional mini pastries. Joseph, even though we’ve never met in person, I’m happy to call you my friend and collaborator and to share les délices de Délices Lafrenaie with as many people as possible!

Délices Lafrenaie is an Italian bakery that has been serving all kids of sweet treats for 40 years now! They have 6 locations across the GMA (Greater Montreal Area) to better serve their customers, with 4 on the island of Montreal, 1 on the South Shore (Brossard) and one on the North Shore (Rosemère).

Sushi: Sushi Sama

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Sushi platters, photo by me, Elise Bernier-Gravel (2019)
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Sushi platters, photo by me, Elise Bernier-Gravel (2019)

The cocktail also included some delicious sushi platters from Sushi Sama. Thank you to my friend Jim from Sushi Sama!

The Sushi Sama family has multiple locations across Montreal, including a sushi counter in both Rosemont and The Village, a BYOW restaurant in Ahuntsic and a brand-new poké bowl spot called Le Poké Station in Rosemont.

Bar: SAQ Dépôt

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Photo by Emanuela Buonamici (2019)

As La Vielle Brasserie is a “do it all yourself” kind of venue, we were able to get a permit from la RACJ and buy all of our own alcohol. Of course, the majority of it came from the SAQ Dépôt (15% off your purchase of any 12 bottles or more!). Apart from your typical speedrail alcohol and whatnot, we chose 4 wines for the occasion:

  • Aveleda, Vinho Verde, Portugal : A really nice white wine, very fresh and crisp, and a tad bubbly and on the sweeter side
  • Listel-Gris, France : A lovely rosé, halfway between very sweet and very dry rosés
  • Santi Nello Pinot Noir Trevenezie, Italie :  I did not personally choose this wine, it was recommended to us at the SAQ, based on our price point and the fact that we wanted a red wine that would please the majority. The SAQ classifies it as “Fruity and Medium-Bodied”.
  • Codorniu Clasico Brut, Spain : We chose this bubbly without having ever tasted it and it did the job (for the toast). The SAQ classifies it as “Fruity and Vibrant”.

Photographer: Emanuela Buonamici

The one thing I read multiple times and was even told by people who got married, was: to not cheap out on my photographer. But, when my friend Ema offered to do it for free, how could I resist and say no to saving thousands of dollars? (I got quotes for $2400+). Ema is not a professional photographer; she’s actually a BI analyst at a pharmaceutical company who enjoys taking photos and understood the place I was in (pulling off a great wedding without spending $35,000). We’re forever grateful towards Ema and truly loved the work and time she put into it. We visited the venue with her the week before, to scout the locations we wanted to take photos, which turned out to be a great use of our time, as when the big day came around, we didn’t lose any time figuring out where we would take all of our photos. The day of, everything happened quite seamlessly and Ema was great at directing everyone around for all of the different group photos we wanted. In the end, we very extremely happy with the photos Ema took and only really wanted a handful of quality ones of ourselves. Thank you Ema! ❤

You can contact Ema via: emanuelabuonamici4@gmail.com

MC: Funky – Funkalestic Prod (Wladimir Chavez)

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MC Funky, photo by Emanuela Buonamici (2019)

If you’ve been keeping track, then you’ll realize that our MC was in fact Alex’s brother, Wlad! Known as Funky, he did a stellar job as our MC, making sure everyone was partying and dancing when they should be and overall having a great time. He pretty much lead the wedding from start to end and everyone told us what an amazing job he did. Thank you little bro! ❤

DJ: DJ Latin Soul (Mike Torvisco)

Pretty much Funky’s partner in crime, DJ Latin Soul graciously accepted to DJ our wedding. Back in the days, this guy used to dj at Copacabana, so you know he had to be lit! Mike did an amazing job too, from providing back-to-back hit bangers when everyone was down to party on the dance floor, composing super smooth and seamless transitions between songs and providing some ambiance music during the dinner. Thank you DJ Latin Soul!

Waitstaff/Bartenders: Sarah, Amanda & Marc-André

One of the points that worried us the most, was finding experienced waiters and bartenders. We were extremely lucky and found this amazing trio – Sarah, Amanda and Marc-André – who provided 5 star service throughout the night. All three were extremely qualified and experienced with both bartending and serving, provided an amazing and amicable servie throughout and overall just knew what they were doing and what they had to do. Thank you Sarah, Amanda and Marc-André! (Special shout out to Marc-André for helping to put the room together!)

Balloon Arch: Ethereal

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Balloon arch, photo by Ethereal (2019)
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Balloon arch, photo by Ethereal (2019)
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Balloon arch, photo by Ethereal (2019)

Through my food blogging and hosting foodie events, I met the two lovely ladies behind Ethereal and thought to myself; wouldn’t it be nice to have a personalized balloon arch at our wedding? To add some color and a personal touch. Ethereal provided fast, knowledgeable and professional service, when it came time to placing an order, choosing a balloon arch style, choosing balloon types and colors, etc. The initial thought was to have the balloon arch as a backdrop to our homemade photo booth, but in the end, due to the weather, the ceremony was moved indoors and the arch was used as our ceremony backdrop. Thank you Ethereal!

Photo Booth – Fuji Film, Dollarama

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Photo booth, photo by Emanuela Buonamici (2019)

We chose to make our own homemade photo booth and to include a polaroid style camera, so that people could create instant memories. We chose the Fuji Film Instax Mini 9 camera, which retails for under $100. We also ordered our film off Amazon, as it was cheaper. For the props, we did a quick Dollarama run to buy some funny sunglasses, feather boas, Hawaiian flower leis (necklaces), etc.

Bridal Bouquet – Elvira’s Floral Studio

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Bridal bouquet, photo by me, Elise Bernier-Gravel (2019)
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Bridal bouquet, photo by me, Elise Bernier-Gravel (2019)

So I actually ended up winning a contest on Instagram by Elvira’s Floral Studio, who was giving away a bridal bouquet and groom’s boutonniere. Elvira took in all of my comments and wants with regards to my bouquet and fashioned me a gorgeous bouquet full of pink and white flowers and stunning peonies, as well as a white rose boutonniere for Alex. Thank you Elvira!

Flowers – Costco

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Floral center piece, photo by me, Elise Bernier-Gravel (2019)
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Floral center piece, photo by Emanuela Buonamici (2019)
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Mia’s bouquet, photo by me, Elise Bernier-Gravel (2019)
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Head table center piece, photo by me, Elise Bernier-Gravel (2019)

I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed, but Costco has a pretty nice floral stand with roses, carnations, pre-made bouquets, etc. Anyways, the Costco in St-Hubert on the South Shore does and Sandra, who handles all of the flowers, was kind enough to assist me and pass a special request order prior to. So the day before my wedding, I showed up to Costco and Sandra had all the flowers that I wanted and in the colors that I wanted them too (otherwise, you’re limited to what’s there and available). For about $200, we had plenty to make 13 center pieces (2 of them doubled as the bridesmaids bouquets) and my daughter’s bouquet too (and honestly, $150 worth would have been sufficient). Thank you Sandra and Costco!

Dinnerware rentals – La Nouvelle Tablée

Part of the reason why our venue was affordable, is because you then have to turn around and do everything yourself, including renting dinnerware. We trusted someone on Kijiji in the hopes of saving about $700, which turned out to be a total disaster and had to turn to a professional company at the last minute (like, 1 hr before they closed on a Friday afternoon). Thankfully, La Nouvelle Tablée was able to save us and provide us all the cutlery, plates, glasses, etc. that we needed to pull off a 100 person wedding the very next day. They also have the most competitive prices of any of the other companies I had researched prior to. Merci beaucoup à La Nouvelle Tablée!

Dresses – 1861

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Dresses, photo by Emanuela Buonamici (2019)
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Dresses, photo by Emanuela Buonamici (2019)

About 9 months before my wedding, I began ordering dresses online from 1861. However, none of them were quite what I was looking for, so I had to go back in person to return them. While there, I figured I would take a look and try a few on. I ended up finding and choosing my wedding dress that day, par hasard. It was simple, beautiful and cheap ($148+taxes). I went back with my bridesmaids over the holidays and they too found their dresses that day and even chose the same one! I’ve been shopping at 1861 for years now and they have stunning dresses for special occasions and they are for the most part very affordable. Over the years, I’ve now purchased 4 dresses there, all between $60 and $148 and worn them to balls, weddings, engagement parties, etc.

Jewelry – Mejuri, Pandora, Philippe & Co, Swarovski

Engagement ring: Philippe & Co.
Wedding band: Mejuri
Earrings & Bracelet: Swarovski
Matching rings for the bridal party: Pandora

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Matching rings, photo by Emanuela Buonamici (2019)

Make-up – Pharmaprix 

Did you know that if you spend $50 on “premium” products (perfumes and name brand cosmetics) at any Pharmaprix, they’ll do your make-up for free? That’s a pretty good deal, considering how much other places like MAC can cost, or even a professional make-up artist. At least this way, you’ve spent $50, but you also have $50 worth of products. We went to the Pharmaprix on St-John’s and the 40, in Pointe-Claire and got our make-up done by Tatiana; she’s the best! Thank you Tatiana!

Bridal Party

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Bridal party, photo by Emanuela Buonamici (2019)
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Bridal party selfie (2019)

My Families

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Maude, Papa, moi et Maman, photo by Emanuela Buonamici (2019)
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All of my families, old and new! photo by Emanuela Buonamici (2019)

My Forever

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Alex & Elise 25.05.2019, photo by Emanuela Buonamici (2019)
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Alex & Elise 25.05.2019, photo by Emanuela Buonamici (2019)
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Alex & Elise 25.05.2019, photo by Emanuela Buonamici (2019)
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Alex & Elise 25.05.2019, photo by Emanuela Buonamici (2019)
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Alex & Elise 25.05.2019, photo by Emanuela Buonamici (2019)

Thank you to everyone who contributed to making this wedding memorable and a huge success! Thank you to all of our friends and family who were present to celebrate this special day with us ❤

Do not hesitate to contact me for all your wedding planning needs! I may have only organized 1 wedding (my own), but I have more than 10 years of event planning experience (including 5 years of professional event planning experience in the corporate world and I’m the face behind all of Turquoise Blog’s Foodies & Bloggers Dinners and Insta Foodie Dinners), a Master’s Degree (M.Sc.) in marketing with a focus on event planning and a passion for events 🙂

– Elise
eliseberniergravel@gmail.com
514-775-4191

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