Jacky proposed to Natalie at Nathan Philip Square, the same spot where he had asked her to be his girlfriend five years earlier. The proposal took an entire year to plan. Jacky attended woodworking classes to learn how to make a shadow box for Natalie, which he filled with 60 photos, one for every month they’d been dating. Jacky also wrote Natalie a letter every month for a year leading up to the proposal. When compiled, these letters revealed a secret message. “The first letter of the first word in each card spelled out ‘will you marry’,” Natalie says. “That night, he gave me the 13th and last card, which was the missing piece to completing the hidden question. This card started with the word ‘me’.” Of course, Natalie said yes.
Natalie and Jacky’s wedding was the perfect mix of romantic and traditional. Pink and white flowers filled the room as the couple exchanged their vows underneath the grand stained glass ceiling in Casa Loma. A Chinese tea ceremony was incorporated into the cocktail hour, and on the morning of the wedding, the groom and his groomsmen played traditional Chinese door games.
Food was an integral part of the newlywed’s wedding reception. “We had everything from smoked salmon rosette, beef strip loin au jus, to cheesecake and creme brûlée,” the couple describes. “We even had a slider station set up for late at night.” This wide selection of food was the best way to incorporate Natalie’s other love: going on food adventures and running a foodie Instagram page.
Natalie and Jacky shared two wedding dances together. The first song they chose was “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri, and the second was “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran. Jacky also performed a dance that he had choreographed with his groomsmen. “We practiced every week for almost three months. We even practiced the morning of the wedding just before we got changed,” he recalls. “Immediately after the bouquet toss, the MC called us to the dance floor and it was show time. We had fun with it and the months of practice paid off.”
The bride and groom loved how their special day unfolded. When asked if they would do anything differently, only a few things came to mind. “I wish that we had had more time to take pictures with everyone,” the bride says. “Or that we had planned our ceremony and reception on separate days!”
Natalie Khong and Jacky Mao, June 24, 2018, Toronto, Ontario.
Photography courtesy of Samantha Ong Photography.
Ceremony venue: Casa Loma
Reception venue: The Doctor’s House
Day of co-ordinator: Victoria Nguyen and Michael Chau from Ivory Veils
Bridal gown: Valencienne Bridal
Bridesmaid dresses: Lulu’s
Groom’s tux: Moores
Flowers: Rachel A. Clingen and Secrets Floral
Calligrapher: Love Lettering
Cake: The Cocoa Cakery
Hair: Puzzle Creations
Makeup: Fiona Man
Music: Roy Pro MC
Shoes: Nina Shoes
Stationery: Blush & Letter’s Co.
Linen: Chairman Mills
Gold Charger Plates: Cast & Co Decor