Victoria Radford, owner of Toronto’s Radford Studio, wanted an all-white wedding. So in addition to her own white bridal gown, the bridesmaids wore white, and female guests were invited to wear their own original white wedding gowns. “As a professional makeup artist, I know firsthand that a bridal gown is synonymous with love,” Victoria asserts. She’s worked hundreds of weddings and knew the effect would be breathtaking. “It was a sea of white set against one of the most stunning landmarks in Lisbon, with lush vegetation and history all around us.”
The venue, The Pestana Palace Hotel in Lisbon, Portugal, offered an old-world, white-stone backdrop for the celebration. This magnificent former private aristocratic residence, completed in 1910, is now a luxury hotel with the nest of appointments and spectacular views of the Tagus River. “We both have parents originally from Portugal,” Victoria reveals, “and we both spent time there growing up. Relatives living in Portugal joined us—including my grandmother, who’s in her nineties—and guests from around the globe flew in to sunny Lisbon for our wedding.”
The owners echoed the elegant theme, with dozens of white roses used throughout, from the reception tables and bridesmaids’ owners to the of official bridal bouquet.
Victoria’s bridal gown, “a dream confection” by Galia Lahav, also came from a shop that echoed her palette—White Toronto. “White should be every bride’s first destination,” Victoria says. “Their superior selection of gowns and customer service are unparalleled. I was made to feel like an absolute princess.” The amour vibe continued as Victoria entered the celebration to Steve Winwood’s “Higher Love,” sung live by Billy Newton-Davis, a close family friend from Toronto. “Everyone could feel genuine love in the beautiful courtyard where the reception took place,” Victoria recalls. “The lyrics represent exactly how Matt and I felt before we met, waiting for our ‘higher love.’”
The couple met at a haircare industry event when Victoria was a studio owner and Matt was in business development for L’Oréal. She grilled Matt because she thought his interest was simply work-related. But she couldn’t stop thinking about the smart, driven, good-looking man she’d met, so several days later, she agreed to meet for a coffee. They clicked during that coffee break—as they both say, “When you know, you know.”
Fittingly, on their wedding day, Matt and Victoria took an hour to sneak away for a private coffee in Lisbon, to toast love, their fateful first encounter and their new life together.
Victoria Radford and Matt Couto, August 31, 2019, Lisbon, Portugal.
Photography courtesy of Purple Tree Photography.
Venue: The Pestana Palace Hotel Lisbon
Bridal gown: Galia Lahav from White Toronto
Wedding planner: Diana Pires
Flowers: Precious Flowers Event Design
Bridal shoes: Maison Bédard
Groom’s tux: Soren Custom
Bride’s rings and bridesmaid’s jewelry: Brenda Radford Studio
Bridesmaid robes: Tara Rivas
Hair & makeup: Radford Studio
Music: DJ KennyG, Maura and Billy Newton Davis