Real Weddings

A Timeless Nautical Wedding in Toronto

Bride Lesley Robb and groom Jose Carlos Salazar (known to everyone as Pepe) met, went on their first date and became engaged—all while working on a cruise ship together. Ergo, when it came to choosing their wedding theme, it was inevitable the two would pick a nautical wedding motif for their classic celebration.

With assistance from wedding planner Melissa Andre of Melissa Andre Events, the duo meticulously created an elaborate and timeless affair that would wow all their guests and show their affinity for the ocean. “Initially, I was going for red and white as my main colours,” Lesley explains. “But then Melissa and I thought it would be too Canadiana, so we added navy blue to the mix.” After their nautical wedding colours were chosen, the couple began searching for a timeless venue for their classic celebration. “The Granite Club was an easy choice for us,” Lesley smiles. “My parents were married there 32 years ago, and we go there every year for Christmas and Easter. It’s a space I’ve always been familiar with, and I knew it would be perfect for our nautical wedding.”

On August 27th, 2011, Lesley and Pepe tied the knot in front of 150 guests. The nautical wedding’s ceremony was held on the terrace of The Granite Club’s Regency Ballroom, followed by a reception in the Grand Ballroom. “The best moment was when Melissa brought us into the room to see the decor—it was amazing, ” Lesley recalls. Every element was beautifully set-up in a timeless way, but it was the sweets bar, covered in red, white and navy blue treats, that delighted guests.

Another amazing reception detail of the classic celebration was the food. Lesley and Pepe began their meal with a typical Peruvian appetizer. “It was important for us to include Pepe’s culture,” Lesley explains. “For our main appetizers we served causa, a traditional Peruvian dish, which is similar to a potato and chicken salad.” In addition, Lesley and Pepe decorated each table with Spanish phrase cards, which explained how to say “hello”, “how are you” and “you are beautiful”. “Pepe’s side of the family speaks mostly Spanish, so we wanted to find a way to ensure they could converse with everyone, and we thought the translation cards were perfect,” Lesley says. After a fabulous meal and heartwarming speeches, the twosome glided to the dance floor for their first dance to “Lucky,” by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat. “I really liked how we slowly walked into the middle of the dance floor during the 30 second intro,” Pepe says. “We were able to talk and share a moment together.”

For dessert, guests were treated to another Peruvian delight: alfajores—shortbread cookies filled with dulce de leche. As the timeless classic celebration concluded, Lesley and Pepe both agreed that they could not have planned a more perfect nautical wedding day. “It wasn’t all smooth sailing. Of course, there were some hiccups along the way. One of the major ones was the Canadian postal strike,” Lesley laughs. “I had to hand-deliver about 60 wedding invitations (I even drove all the way to Buffalo for one of them). As a matter of fact, my story made the news! But, looking back, it was all worth it when everything came together and we were able to share our celebration with our loved ones.”

Lesley Robb and Jose Carlos Salazar, August 27 2011, Toronto, Ontario.

Photography courtesy of 5ive15teen Photo Company (

Ceremony and reception location: The Granite Club
Wedding planner: Melissa Andre Events
Pronovias from Superior Bridal
Groom’s tux: Tuxedo Royale
Bridal party attire: Jasmine B2 from Superior Bridal
Hair: Melissa Andre Celebrate.Beauty.
Melissa Andre Celebrate.Beauty
Music: As You Like It
Cake: Bobbette and Belle
Caterer: The Granite Club
Favours: Laura Hooper Calligraphy
Flowers: Flower Parade
Stationery: Invitations by Palettera; Day of stationery by Blue Rider Studio

See all of the photos from this nautical classic celebration here.

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