Jillian and Ian’s relationship had an unconventional beginning. “We actually met speed dating! I know right? Who’d have thought that it actually works?” Jillian recalls with a laugh. After having met everyone at the speed dating event, the couple decided to give each other a shot. Surprisingly, their first date ended up feeling easy and natural.
After sifting through hundreds of wedding inspiration photos, Jillian and Ian decided on a neutral palette of pastel blue, soft peach, and gold for their own celebration. Greenery, candles, and string lights transformed the otherwise industrial space into a warm and inviting atmosphere. The couple also included an unexpected touch into the decor: fruit. “We hit upon that idea fairly early in planning, and really loved it,” Jillian explains. “It’s refreshing, original, practical, and also added some beautiful natural colours that fit our overall theme.”
The couple’s big reveal at the wedding ceremony was one of their favourite moments. “After waiting on the back stairs to walk down the aisle, we stepped out from behind a curtain to immediately see the smiling faces of all our friends and family, from all different parts of our lives. Suddenly seeing everybody in such a beautiful setting, all together and all at once, was an unexpected joy. And then the crowd cheered!” Jillian recalls.
Initially, Jillian and Ian struggled to pick a song for their first dance. They thought that “Rosie” by John Mayer would create the perfect vibe for the occasion, but didn’t think the lyrics were appropriate. Instead, the couple chose “How Deep is Your Love” by the Bee Gees–but this was just a diversion for Ian’s real plan. As an amateur musician, Ian secretly recorded his own version of “Rosie” from scratch. “I thought I might cry during the wedding, but I didn’t expect it to be during the first dance,” Jillian says. “The groom earned enough brownie points to last him for the rest of our lives.”
Jillian Gao and Ian Leung, September 2, 2017, Toronto, Ontario.
Photography courtesy of Nikki Mills.
Ceremony and reception venue: Storys Building
Wedding planner: Alexandra McNamara from Blush & Bowties
Bridal gown: Monique Lhuillier from White Toronto
Bridesmaid dresses: Adrianna Papell
Groom’s tux: Paul Smith from Holt Renfrew
Caterer: Storys Building
Flowers: Sweet Woodruff
Stationery: The Lettering Studio
Cake: Bobbette & Belle
Hair: Mai Kitazono from Kamiya Hairdressing
Makeup: Rhia Amio
Music: DJ Justin Roth from Jet Entertainment