Weddings are usually the most memorable and romantic day of a couple's life and often times, brides and grooms go above and beyond to make it more personalized and unique. Michael and Stephanie's wedding was very dear to us because we were invited to be a part of each of their surprises! Stephanie is an extraordinarily talented opera singer and a PhD candidate in Music, and the ever so loving and sweet Michael wanted to surprise her by re-learning the violin to perform for her on their wedding day. Michael hadn't played the violin since his elementary school days! (cue the "Awwww!") So when he approached us to help him document his process, we were super excited! Michael was a great sport as he let us follow him around and re-enacted everything from getting off work to visiting Long and McQuade and finally his violin lessons. Just when we thought things couldn't get any better, Stephanie informed us that she planned on surprising Michael by singing her vows to him! So there we were, informed and a part of two very special secrets for two very special people. It took a lot of self-control to contain our excitement!
The morning of the wedding began with its usual excitement on both ends, but with a surprising and welcoming calmness. Stephanie and her mother enjoyed some quiet time at the Four Seasons Hotel as they got ready for the day and were later joined by her excited bridesmaids who flew in from all over the map for her big day! Michael greeted us at the door to his house with an eager and bright smile with a hint of nervousness as he was about to set out to pick up the love of his life. After receiving customized cuff links with their initials, the groomsmen and groom were ready to go! Our very sweet and thoughtful groom had his groomsmen deliver breakfast and a set of personally bejeweled and labeled Starbucks cups to the bride and her girls. We knew we were set for more sweet surprises!
After enduring a string of bridal trivial pursuit, strenuous physical assessments and an entertaining catwalk, Michael was finally permitted to see his bride. He nervously waited out on the terrace and took deep breaths as the stunningly beautiful and elegant Stephanie slowly approached her groom for their first look. Stephanie was absolutely breath-taking. She looked just like a princess who had just stepped out of a storybook. The moment just unfolded so beautifully as if everything around them froze in time and all that existed and mattered in the world was right there before them. Throughout their photo and video session, one could not help but notice just how attentive and caring they were towards each other. From just a simple peck on the cheek to caressing each other, each movement was delicate and loving as to symbolize their value for each other.
To honour both of their heritages, Stephanie and Michael presented tea to their loved ones in both Japanese and Chinese tea ceremonies. During the Japanese tea ceremony, Stephanie wore a beautiful kimono that belonged to her mother while Michael wore an honorable kimono that his new mother-in-law had ordered from Japan. For the Chinese tea ceremony, Stephanie wore an exquisite red dress with detailed embroidery and a modern twist.
During the wedding nuptials, Stephanie's highly anticipated wedding vows was an absolute show-stopper as she sang her promises to Michael to the tune of "All I Ask of You" from Phantom of the Opera (Michael's favourite). Her angelic voice filled every inch of the room and captivated every listener, but most dearly the one standing right in front of her. Michael later reciprocated the love by delivering his own show-stopping surprise during the reception, but not without the help of the MC's. Stephanie was made to believe they were about to play the "shoe game" when Michael's violin prep video played on the projector. Stephanie was completely taken by surprise and just when she thought it was over, Michael was handed a violin and delivered a flawless performance of "A Thousand Years" for his bride and guests. Our hearts were bursting with joy as we knew how hard Michael had worked. Great job, Michael!
Stephanie's father noted that both the bride and groom touch people's hearts in their own special ways. Michael is a cardiologist and he helps cure the hearts of those who need him. Stephanie's beautiful voice brings endless joy to the hearts of others. Michael and Stephanie are two incredibly accomplished, intelligent, genuine and down to earth individuals, and they humbly credit that to their amazing parents. Both Michael and Stephanie grew up in households where their parents strove to give their children the best that life has to offer. Their thankful words to their parents were deeply heartfelt and emotional and Stephanie even struggled to finish her speech. Michael humorously tried to save the day by stepping in as "Stephanie", which certainly lightened up the room of sniffling and tearing audiences. And that is what a marriage is. It is when you finish the words of the other person when they are unable to. It is when you give the other person a gentle squeeze in the hand and whisper "I love you" when they're in tears. It is when you know the other person loves fish, and you'll anticipate a life of fishing and boating. It is when you know you've found the love of your life and you would do whatever it takes to put a smile on their face, like re-learn an instrument.
Thank you so much for letting us be a part of your very special day, Michael and Stephanie! It touched our hearts in more ways than one.