For Elle and Raymond, one of the things they have in common is their entrepreneurial spirit. Elle, the founder of Zvelle, a luxury footwear brand, and Raymond, founder of Hockeystick, a financial company, first met in Montreal in 2010. “Raymond was living there at the time,” Elle shares. “For the next year, he came to Toronto every weekend to see me.”
The couple got engaged with the “help” of their dog. “Raymond knew that our engagement wouldn’t be complete with our dog, Chilby,” Elle recalls. “So he told me that we had a reservation at an exclusive dog-friendly restaurant at the Four Seasons and I believed him!” Instead, to Elle’s surprise, Raymond whisked her away to a private suite, where he got on one knee and popped the question. “I was so excited about our fine dining experience with Chilby I didn’t know what was happening until I saw Raymond down on one knee with a beautiful ring,” Elle says with a laugh. “It was the highlight of our lives—and room service hot dogs were the highlight of Chilby’s life!”
For the couple, who live in Toronto, a destination wedding in Italy was a must. With family and friends coming from all corners of the globe, the couple wanted to give their guests an experience they’d never forget. “Venice is one of the most unique cities in the world and the Palazzo Pisani Morretta is the most beautiful palace in Venice,” Elle says. Naturally, the venue was the perfect place for their nuptials.
Elle and Raymond’s love of art, history and classic, understated luxury was the inspiration for the couple’s wedding decor. “We chose colours that complemented the Palazzo’s beauty,” Elle explains. For flowers, the couple worked with their wedding planner, Ema Giangreco, and California-based floral designer Christine Cater to create the ultimate table setting. Elle’s bouquet included prince jardiniere white roses, with ranunculus, astilbe and white phaeleonopsis.
With an eye for detail and craftmanship, Elle wanted her bridal gown designer to have the same skill and passion. “I wanted something unique, form-fitting and something I would want to stay in all night long,” Elle explains. “I looked at some photos of Lihi Hod’s masterpieces before my first fitting, and it was love at first sight.”
Elle designed two custom heels for her wedding day. “One was a sling-back, and the other was a pump set on a stiletto heel,” Elle says. “Both had soft rose-gold metallic leather and plexiglass accents that complemented our wedding and my engagement ring.”
“We had very talented musicians for every part of our day,” Elle says. “Raymond studied classical music, so classically-trained musicians were a must.” A harpist played at the ceremony, as well as a saxophonist who played the couple’s first dance song, “What A Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong. After the reception, a DJ churned out tunes from all corners of the world. “Being Persian, we had many Persian songs during the celebration,” Elle recalls. “There was a lot of dancing!”
Elle AyoubZadeh and Raymond Luk, October 15, 2017, Venice, Italy.
Photography courtesy of Lilly Red.
Ceremony and reception venue: Palazzo Pisani Moretta
Wedding planner: Ema Giangreco
Bridal gown: Lihi Hod
Bridal shoes: Zvelle
Groom’s tux: Giorgio Armani
Groom’s shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo
Flowers: Christine Cater
Catering: La Dogaressa Catering
Cake: Pasticceria Racca
Glassware: Santachiara Murano
Ring: Tamara Kronis of Studio 1098