Cheryl and Solange met through a series of mishaps that brought them together on the dance floor one snowy January night. Solange was set to go out dancing with a friend, who had to bail at the last minute. But the friend insisted that Solange should still go and try to meet people. The couple saw each other dancing and felt instant chemistry. “We still love dancing with each other, we’ll do it for hours,” Cheryl says.
The couple would be together for the next 14 years before there was a proposal. “Many would be surprised that we were not already married, yet marriage was not something we were necessarily interested in,” Cheryl says. Both women were previously married, so they were in no rush to tie the knot again. Solange planned a surprise engagement for Cheryl, making sure to include their three sons, the girlfriend of one of the sons and Cheryl’s mother. “It was important to me to include Cheryl’s mother since her family had been so accepting of our relationship from the beginning,” Solange says. It was also important for Solange to propose sooner rather than later as Cheryl’s mother was diagnosed with a terminal illness. The group set up a mock video shoot saying it was for a friend, and dragged Cheryl along. The group shocked Cheryl on video with an engagement proposal which she accepted.
The wedding was planned by Lustre Events at a private residence on the Bridle Path in Toronto. The wedding theme was inspired by steampunk, a style of design that blends Victorian-era influences with technology, inspired by science fiction. The couple were both introduced to steampunk a year before their wedding while shopping for Halloween costumes together. “I thought, ‘this is kind of funky—why don’t we find a way to incorporate it into our wedding?’ and suggested it to Cheryl,” Solange says. Guests were able to choose between wearing traditional formal attire or steampunk attire. Bryce, their oldest son and bridesman, wore a morning suit, ascot tie, top hat and white gloves. The newlyweds hired actors in steampunk outfits to check guests into the 3-day-long festivities.
The couple says their goal was to give their guests a wedding where they had to expect the unexpected. “With so many planned surprises and an unconventional order of events, guests had no idea what they had in store,” Solange shares. The event featured belly dancers and a “shoe valet,” so the guests could dance barefoot.
One of the couple’s favourite parts of the ceremony was the 10-minute speeches about their love, which they had instead of the typical toasts at reception dinners. “We wanted an unplugged ceremony so guests would be focused on our vows rather than distracted by cameras trying to capture images and moments,” Solange explains. “Let’s just say there was loads of laughter and not enough tissue for all the tears of joy shed by everyone.”
Solange Hendricks and Cheryl Orletsky, May 6, 2018, Toronto, Ontario.
Photography courtesy of Mango Studios.
Wedding planner: Lustre Events
Bridal gowns: Xscape & Oleg Cassini
Flowers: Hunt and Gather
Stationery: Simply Sealed
Cake: Sweet Celebrations
Caterer: Daniel et Daniel
Hair and makeup: Curly Hair Institute & MUAH Beauty
Music: Stevie Gee, Victoria Yeh, Jef Kearns, Leah Salomaa and Amanda Marshall
Videography: Wild + Free Films