On September 9th, 2017 my husband Dave and I got married at Caffino Ristorante in Toronto, a quaint, unique restaurant in Liberty Village’s old carpet factory. We chose to have our wedding at Caffino Ristorante because of its unique non-traditonal feel, eccentric and impactful décor (eliminating the need for a ton of extras), and the central downtown Toronto location that was convenient for our wedding guests.
As a venue, Caffino feels like a fun little secret. Hidden in plain sight from the bustling city of Toronto, and nestled between massive, ivy covered red brick buildings that were originally built in 1891 as a carpet factory. I’ve driven by countless times but you wouldn’t know it was there if you hadn’t been before.
Caffino boasts a private courtyard between the red brick buildings that reads like a European getaway. There are several separate outdoor chill areas, all with lush greenery and pretty flowers everywhere…there’s even a dance-floor under the stars! It’s such a romantic and elegant space. It comes complete with a concrete ping pong table outside for guests to get playful. What a dreamy place for a wedding.
We had 170 of our family and friends there to celebrate our big day with us (sadly we were at the max amount of people so this was our shorter list). It meant so much to have them all there and soak up all of the love they were emanating. We were grateful to have had people travel from Australia, Saudi Arabia, California, Maryland, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Alberta and Nova Scotia to be there.
It’s not often that a person gets the chance to have almost all of their loved ones in one place at one time…and it was magical. We will replay the memories from that night, and cherish the fun that was had for the rest of our lives ?
Our wedding style: We had a non-traditional cocktail style event with food stations, and skipped a lot of the wedding formalities like having a wedding party, receiving line, pre-arranged tables (instead guests got food/ate where & when they pleased), speeches (apart from a short thank you from us), and first dance. We wanted it to be a more casual, party vibe without all the bureaucratic extras that can *sometimes* be a snore for some people (not for me – I cry during every wedding speech).
Venue Specifics: The venue is split into multiple separate areas so guests can choose the vibe they want. There is the bar area which is where our welcome table, dessert and candy tables were. The dining room had some tables set up and the food stations. The lounge area had lower lounge style tables and seating as well as high top cruiser tables, a TV for our slideshow, and table for photo props. The lounge area has a massive sliding glass door that opens up to the open air dance floor (which can also be tented for weather). Outside, there is even more seating, a separate patio with gazebo and chairs for the smokers, and a concrete ping pong table. The venue also has free parking (although if there is a Toronto FC game or any event that isn’t likely to be available – don’t repeat my mistake and DOUBLE CHECK! That was my one qualm with the venue as I was sold on it having free parking for guests). The servers are attentive and hard working, they made sure that everything went very smoothly. The Italian food was fantastic and we got SO many compliments on the venue. Caffino is a perfect wedding venue for a couple who wants a unique, romantic space with a ton of character.
Photography: Danielle Meredith Photography – Danielle is the sweetest and most genuine being around. Not only did she make us feel absolutely comfortable and ourselves the entire time (I mean, who doesn’t feel awkward posing for photos?), she pointed out things like Dave’s suit button being undone, fixed my hair for me, and thought of every single detail that we didn’t in the whirlwind of the day. On top of that, the candid feel of her photos is incredible, the quality and calibre of her work is like none other…she was a dream!
Flowers: Stok Floral & Design – Amy took my very broad vision of a casual, neutral coloured, bohemian, easy & non-fussy feel and turned it into reality. I know literally nothing about flowers so she totally took the reigns and made the process so easy. She was the sweetest to work with and took the time to create mock-ups of the vase, bouquet and floral wreath. Stok was extremely well priced compared to any other floral design studio we looked at in Toronto! I’ve already been back to buy housewarming and hostess gifts, and plants for my house…my Mom and I both have a serious girl crush on Amy ?
Planning, Décor & Styling: Fohr Design Studio – Heather meticulously planned every single detail down to where the plates would be laid out on the dessert table. She made sure that no detail was neglected and the day turned out so beautifully thanks to her! Her eye for style is unbeatable and you can rest assured knowing that everything will be executed perfectly with her on top of it.
Officiant: Wedding Officiant Canada – Dominique Nti: Dave and I wanted a non-traditional, non-religious ceremony that would be funny, light, FAST, and fun. Dominique granted our wishes even though he is a very religious man. Our guests were laughing the entire time, he totally ad-libbed and broke out into song, had our guests yell their good wishes for us out loud, and cracked jokes to break the ice. He was so awesome that multiple guests asked us if he was our close friend afterwards and how we knew him, they all were surprised to hear that he wasn’t a close friend!
Hair: Ania Wazny Creative – Ania was such a sweetheart to work with. I had a vision of a loose, simple, chilled out and not too put together vibe for my hair and she delivered exactly what I wanted. She did my hair, my Mom’s and 3 friends super quickly and everybody looked seriously amazing. She can work with any type of hair and make the person look their absolute best.
Makeup: Rose Villani – Rosie is such a lovely, kind chick and her makeup skills are on point (the girl does editorial shoots all the time). I don’t wear too much makeup day-to-day but of course on your wedding day you need a little extra. She went with a natural style that was similar to how I look day-to-day and it honestly stayed put all night through the ceremony, the dancing, the hugging, etc. My Mom and GF’s looked gorgeous and natural as well, all day and night and I would book her again in a heartbeat for any occasion.
Bridal Top and Veil: Maureen Patricia Design – Originally in my search I found a simple bridal crop top that would go with my fitted lace skirt and was shocked to see it was $1600 (what the what!?), so I went on the hunt for a custom bridal designer and came across Maureen. Her demeanour is exactly what you would picture from a bridal designer, she has an air of delicacy and you can tell she genuinely loves the romance of weddings. She created the exact style, neckline, cut and fit of top that I wanted, and also made a beautiful veil all for a fraction of the cost of what they are at bridal boutiques. Also, as a bonus – I’m totally gonna rock that baby again – how many people can say that of their wedding outfit?! Her studio’s décor is romantic and ethereal AND she’s got a super cute dog, Norman that keeps you company while she makes revisions to your dress. Funnily enough, I keep finding out that more and more women I know got their dresses made by her as well – highly recommend!
Bridal Skirt / Earrings: Fitted lace Skirt was ‘Ines’ by Theia and gold cluster earrings were by Haute Bride, both from Sash & Bustle (779 Queen Street East at Queen and Broadview). They had the best selection out of the 10+ places in Toronto I went to for brides who are looking for non-traditional, unique and distinctive styles and their staff are super helpful at finding your vibe!
Groom Suit: Harry Rosen – Dave’s suit jacket was by Munro, fitted Dress Shirt from Eton (dang it fit him well), Bowtie/Pocket Sq/Pants/Belt all from Harry Rosen at Sherway Gardens mall. Their sales rep (can’t recall his name) was incredibly helpful and in one visit put the entire look together based on what we told him about wanting a more non-traditional and playful look. Spot on because my man Dave looked like a super hottie *whistle* ?
Day of Coordinator: Brittany Scott – Brittany came at the recommendation of a friend who was also married in 2017. I knew I wanted some help for the day of to alleviate the stress of making sure everything showed up on time, etc. Brittany was amazing, making sure the flow of the evening kept moving smoothly. She saved me from almost walking down the aisle without my bouquet (oops!) and actually almost being in the bathroom when I was supposed to be walking down the aisle (I had no cue!! – haha) – nightmare averted! She also helped get everything packed up at the end of the night which was suuuuper helpful because at that point I had drank a lot and was enjoying the night so much that I left without even thinking of ANYTHING (Thanks Mom & fam for that too!!) Comment if you’d like her info!
I would definitely recommend a day-of coordinator for brides. It feels so good to offload the stress from your family/friends and yourself and know that everything will be taken care of.
Cake / Cupcakes: Larkspur Cake + Design – Marian made a gorgeous naked cake, and mini cupcakes that were beautiful to look at but most importantly DELICIOUS (that is so hard to find in the wedding world)! I’d recommend her 100 times over, she makes damn good vegan desserts and is good at baking pretty much everything with the style of Cake Boss! She also did my bridal shower, and both my cousins bridal and baby showers so my family are loyal repeat customers!
The other mouth watering desserts were made by my best friends Mama and chocolate chip cookies (special for Dave) by my Sister-In-Law so I shall keep those yummy secrets close to home!
DJ: Carlitos Legend – Carlos was an awesome DJ with so much personality. He did our wedding as a personal favour to my husband who is good friends with him, normally he only does clubs and parties! He had people dancing ALL night and accommodated our wide range of musical taste (country, indie, classic rock, reggae).
Just Married Jacket Design: It’s A Pen Day – I bought the faux leather jacket from Zara, and hired Vanessa to paint the design on the jacket. I’d checked a few different people in Toronto who do calligraphy and Vanessa was the most affordable (and super talented). I got this jacket done the week of my wedding and picked it up only a few days before because it was a last minute addition so she was super accommodating (although I’m not encouraging you to do a rush order, lol).