Real Weddings

A Contemporary Museum Wedding in Toronto.

Photography by Simkova Studios.

In a palette bleached of color, accented with delicate botanicals, Ashlyn & Eitan’s wedding was a fusion of modernist architecture and organic touches. 

Set in the Toronto Gardiner Museum, a dreamy blank canvas space with floor to ceiling windows was transformed into a ‘pop up’ ceremony. Later, a contemporary reception dinner unfolded, layered in all-white styling, dotted with organic branches, foliage and white blooms. 

Capturing the magic was photographer Barb Simkova of Simkova Studios. 

modern wedding dresses

Our Story

Names / Ashlyn Kettner and Eitan Levitt

Wedding Date / July 7th, 2022

Guest Numbers / 130

 

wedding shoes

How We Met

We met as teenagers in university and stayed in close touch as friends for eight years. By that time, we both lived in Toronto, spent so much time together, and began to date. Three years later we were engaged and one year after that we were married.

 

Our Engagement Story

Eitan invited me to a “work dinner” to “celebrate a colleague’s retirement” at my favorite restaurant in Toronto, Grey Gardens. When we arrived, the host pointed us to the private dining room. I thought we were the first to arrive and hadn’t fully clued in until Eitan was down on one knee. An epic dinner followed, but I was too excited to eat. And Eitan had my close friends come later in the evening for dessert and drinks.

 

Marriage To Us Means…

Love, commitment, and a lifetime of friendship.

modern ceremony

The Setting

 

Wedding Location

The Gardiner Museum in Toronto. We had a pop-up ceremony, meaning the chuppah was set up in the same room as the cocktail hour. When the time came, our wedding planners (Duet Events) cleared space for an aisle, with most our guests standing for the ceremony. We wanted to create an environment that felt free flowing. We chose the Gardiner Museum for its floor-to-ceiling windows with outdoor space and views facing the Royal Ontario Museum and downtown Toronto. We already made great memories as visitors to the Museum’s exhibits, so it was meaningful that the space was familiar.

 

Aesthetic

We wanted a minimal aesthetic, styled with a mix of organic and architectural features. We put a lot of emphasis on cohesiveness but worked with our decorator (Joey Butta of White Oak Flower Co.) to make sure each viewpoint had a touch of uniqueness.

 

Preparation

Ashlyn had her mom, brother, and closest friends over at our house in Little Italy, Toronto. Everyone got ready in matching silk feathered pyjamas. Eitan had friends over at his parent’s house. There were bagels and coffee, but no pyjamas.

seating chart

Photography

Barb Simkova (Simkova Studios) was our wedding photographer. Barb came highly recommended by our wedding planners, and we loved the examples of her past work. But more than anything, we were drawn to how personable she was. Barb captured the spirit of our wedding and our aesthetic so perfectly. We loved that her photos felt authentic to us.

 

modern wedding

Modern wedding reception

“We wanted a room that transitioned from light and organic to romantic as the sun set.”

Modern wedding

Style Notes

 

Ceremony Décor

The ceremony décor was very simple. We didn’t want to draw away from the Gardiner Museum’s huge windows and the room’s feeling of open and airy. In keeping with this theme, the chuppah was a clear structure, with orchids and tall branches placed at the base to provide a sense of grounding.

 

Reception Décor

The reception was hosted in a large blank room (white walls, hardwood floors, and skylights), which we styled with harvest tables decorated with orchids, branches, candles and neutral ceramics of mixed height and textures. Our stylist Joey Butta of White Oak Flower Co. struck a balance of minimal and architectural. We wanted a room that transitioned from light and organic to romantic as the sun set. 

Wedding Planner & Stylist

Our wedding planners, Alexa Tepperman and Aja Zylberberg of Duet Events, curated our dream wedding. They understood our vision and brought together the most incredible vendors. Duet Events made wedding planning enjoyable and were incredible executing on the day of – we didn’t have to think, we just enjoyed every minute. They are truly a dream team.

 

Flowers

We used a combination of white florals, sweet pea on the vine, orchids, clematis, ranunculus, iris and meadow rue. Our florist, Joey Butta, played with heights and shapes. She kept the arrangement open and flowing. Ashlyn’s bouquet was sweet pea, orchids, and clematis.

Stationery

In keeping with our theme, our wedding stationary was minimal, with delicate font and neutral colours.

 

Favors

Following a Sephardic Jewish tradition from Rhodes, Greece (Eitan’s grandmother’s birthplace), Marzipan was passed around as guests left from the ceremony to the reception. The Marzipan was homemade by Eitan’s mom in the weeks leading up to the wedding. Two of our guests had their birthdays fall on our wedding night, so we had a cake and candles brought out at midnight to celebrate. 

 

Food & Beverages

Before the ceremony we had a cocktail hour with his and hers specialty cocktails, Negroni and Tequila Soda with a dash of pineapple juice and tabasco, respectively. Dinner was sit-down served with wine. The appertizer was the Toronto-famous Rasa Chopped Salad, with Sous Vide Short Rib, Burrata Pomodoro, or Salmon as the main. For dessert, Crème Brulee Doughnuts, Caramelized Sugar Fudge Brownie, and Tropical Fruit Pavlova were passed around. There were cocktails served all night and grilled cheese and fries for late night snacks.

Toronto

Fashion & Beauty Notes

 

Bride’s Dress & Shoes

Ashlyn’s wedding dress was Badgley Mischka, ordered via Ebay. Wedding shoes were Prada nude mesh sling back wedding shoes with a pointed toe and kitten heel.

 

Flower Girls & Page Boys

Our flower girl wore and ivory puff sleeve dress which we ordered via Little Occasion. 

 

Wedding Rings

Our wedding rings were custom made. Ashlyn’s engagement ring has a thin yellow gold band with a round diamond. Her wedding ring a thin diamond eternity band. Eitan’s wedding ring is a thin yellow gold band.

 

Hair & Makeup

My wedding hair was kept natural with soft waves and makeup was very minimal. I wanted to feel like myself.

The Details

Honeymoon

Two days after our wedding, we flew to Paris and spent five days walking the city, visiting museums, and eating. A highlight was our dinner at Septime. From Paris we went to Paros for seven days and Santorini for three days. In Greece we relaxed, enjoyed the scenery, and couldn’t get enough Mediterranean food.

 

 

“During the reception, take a few minutes to step aside with your spouse and observe the room, with all your friends and family together celebrating. It will be unforgettable.”

Wedding Songs

Entrance song: “You Are The Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne.

After ceremony song: “Love and Happiness” by Al Green.

 

Entertainment

For our wedding entertainment we had a six-piece band that carried the night, from an epic hora to a contemporary set after midnight. They were incredible. 

 

Celebrant

Rabbi Aaron Flanzraich led a meaningful ceremony that was also to-the-point. This felt right for us.

Our Advice

 

A memorable moment…

While Ashlyn missed this, Eitan and all our guests had their hearts melted by our flower girl (Ashlyn’s four year-old niece, Sally), who meticulously placed peddles one at a time, equally spaced, down the aisle.

 

If I could give other brides to be one piece of advice…

During the reception, take a few minutes to step aside with your spouse and observe the room, with all your friends and family together celebrating. It will be unforgettable.

Our Contacts

 

Wedding Venue /  The Gardiner Museum

Wedding Stylist /  Duet Events x White Oak Flower Co.

Wedding Planner /  Duet Events.

Photography /  Barb Simkova (Simkova Studios)

Bride’s Dress /  Badgley Mischka

Bride’s Shoes /  Prada 

Wedding Rings / Custom

Hair /  Virasack Hair.

Makeup /  Fl.aw.less Faces by Alex

Stationery /  Paper & Poste.

Florist /  Jordana Masi (White Oak Flower Co.)

Catering /  The Food Dudes.

Celebrant Rabbi Aaron Flanzraich.

Honeymoon Destination Paris, Paros, and Santorini.

Entertainment / Sole Power.

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