Torontonians Renata De Thomasis and Aundrae Rollins met when they were teenagers. “Aundrae was on my dad’s soccer team and became best friends with my brother,” Renata explains. “He was always at our house and he eventually moved in with us.” Although they were childhood friends, the two drifted apart and didn’t reconnect until a New Year’s Eve party in 2004.
As a wedding makeup artist, Renata had seen her fair share of celebrations, so when it came to planning her own party she looked to unique places for inspiration. “We loved Dolce & Gabbana’s Fall 2014 collection with its warm golds, rich reds, black and a stained-glass-window blue,” Renata says. The couple, together with their event planner and designer Melissa Andre of Melissa Andre Events dreamed up a list of ideas to bring this colour palette to life.
“For my bouquet I went to Blush & Bloom and asked for a creation with red flowers,” Renata shares. “I absolutely loved it when I saw it—it was like walking around with a piece of art.” Ruby red shoes and black bridesmaid dresses also emphasized her motif. “For the decor, we left that up to Melissa and her team to help design, and we couldn’t have asked for anything more ‘us’ than what we got,” Renata confirms.
The wedding day began with a ceremony at The Spoke Club, located in downtown Toronto. The walk down the aisle was a special moment between the couple, not only because they were seeing each other for the first time, but also because they had placed a bet over whether Aundrae would cry. Dressed in a stunning Jenny Packham gown and cloaked in a custom-made cape from Valencienne, Renata knew the instant she locked eyes with Aundrae that he was about to melt. “I will say proudly I lost the bet,” Aundrae laughs. “I had so many emotions that day—excited, anxious and over-joyed about the whole moment of seeing her. When I saw her turn the corner with her parents, I was floored. To me, she couldn’t have been more perfect.”
For their reception, the couple selected Toronto's Berkeley Church. “We chose that particular venue because of its character,” Renata says. “For the decorations, we added some modern elements and lots of florals. I loved seeing it all—it felt like we were in a very old European cathedral.” Upon arrival guests were greeted with rows and rows of tables topped in a custom blue-and-white-patterned decal, black-and- white lampshades wrapped in garlands and roses, and gold-and-black dinnerware topped with an ultra-luxe treat: Christian Lacroix notebooks for guests to take home. The pièce de resistance was the beautiful head table decked in candles, a lush floral arch and a five-tiered wedding cake.
To officially open the main reception room, guests watched from the mezzanine of the church as Renata and Aundrae took their first twirl as Mr. & Mrs. to “I Found My Everything” by Mary J. Blige. “We felt like we were alone, dancing on a stage,” Renata recalls. “It felt like our moment—and it was amazing to have our closest friends and family watching us.”
Renata De Thomasis and Aundrae Rollins, May 17, 2014, Toronto, Ontario.
Photography courtesy of Boyfriend/Girlfriend.
Ceremony location: Portland Room at The Spoke Club
Reception location: The Berkeley Church
Bridal gown: Jenny Packham from Powder Bride with a cape from Valencienne
Bridesmaids dresses: White by Vera Wang from David's Bridal and Badgley Mischka from Holt Renfrew
Groom's tux: J.P. Tilford, Samuelsohn and Tom Ford from Harry Rosen
Groomsmen attire: Coppley from Harry Rosen
Cake: Nadia & Co.
Ice cream sandwiches: Sweet Sammies
Doughnuts: Glory Hole Doughnuts
Favours: Melissa Andre Events
Wedding planner: Melissa Andre Events
Music: Michael Coombs
Bride makeup: Renata De Thomasis
Bridesmaids makeup: Janine Holmes and Patrick Rahme Hair: Tony Phaam from Jie Prive, Nicole Graftner and Nina Puccio Bouquets: Blush & Bloom
Floral decor: Melissa Andre Events
Stationery: Paper & Poste
Wedding invites: Momental Designs
Rentals: Chair-man Mills and Contemporary Furniture Rentals
Wallpaper: Melissa Andre Events
Photo booth: SmileBooth by Mango Studios
Ceremony violinist: Tino Pop
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