Real Weddings

A Stylish Summer Wedding With Bright Pops of Colour

A trip to Italy was exactly the occasion Mark Holden was waiting for to propose to his girlfriend of 10 years, Emily Walker (Em). “It’s funny, because the day before our vacation Mark left his packing list out, and I saw on the list ‘bring the other thing,” Em reveals. “Because of my curious nature, throughout the entire trip, I kept asking him ‘what’s the other thing’?” It wasn’t until their final night in Italy Mark decided to pop the question. “Before we left, Mark didn’t have time to have the chat with my father, so he secretly called him while in Rome,” Em explains. “While we were having our last dinner in Italy, I asked Mark again what this ‘other thing’ was because I was thinking about it all night!” After some laughter and more mystery, Mark asked Em to be his wife. “It was such an amazing experience; we were laughing then crying, and I wanted to tell someone but no one around us spoke English!” Em recalls.

Less than a year later, the duo made plans for an engaging and stylish summer wedding. “We knew from the start we didn’t want anything traditional,” Em says. “We wanted something more casual and fun.” After searching Toronto for idyllic locations, the two, through word of mouth, found the perfect location for their stylish summer wedding: Nyood Restaurant & Bar, an art deco restaurant featuring dark furnishings and a white ceiling. To begin their wedding day, the pair opted to meet pre-ceremony. “I opened our front door and saw Mark on the street with his back to me—it was a heartfelt moment and I’m so glad we met beforehand,” Em says. After taking photos, guests attended the brief ceremony at Thrush Holmes Empire art gallery and then headed to another venue for the remainder of the evening.

Drinks, appetizers, cupcakes, floral centrepieces, a lounge and a sweets bar—which were sporadically scattered around the restaurant—greeted everyone as they entered. “There wasn’t really a strict program. We had a wedding entrance and some speeches, but we just wanted everyone to have a good time,” Em explains.

Ending the night on a high note, Em’s side of the family (aunts, cousins, uncles, etc.) surprised the couple with a flash mob dance number. “It was hilarious and so amazing to see my family dance the same moves,” she laughs. “Mark and I just sat back and enjoyed the show.” The stylish summer wedding continued with everyone taking to the dance floor until the very last tune. “We loved how everything unfolded. It was fun and light—the perfect summer party,” Em smiles.

Emily Walker and Mark Holden, July 31, 2011, Toronto, Ontario.

Photography courtesy of Boyfriend/Girlfriend (

Ceremony location: Thrush Holmes Empire
Reception location:
Nyood Restaurant & Bar
Cymbeline from Becker’s Bridal
Groom’s tux: Hugo Boss
Bridal party attire: J.Crew
Hair: Flaunt Boutique
Victoria Fedosoff
Music: DJ Eric Ling
Cupcakes: Tea Amo (
Caterer: Nyood Restaurant & Bar
Favours: DIY by the bride and groom
Flowers: Stemz
Stationery: Mark Holden

See all of the photos from this stylish summer wedding.

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