Real Weddings 2016: The head of Oliver and Bonacini holds a swanky celebration

Real Weddings 2016: The head of Oliver and Bonacini holds a swanky celebration

(Image: Tory Lovekin) (Image: Tory Lovekin)
 

Andrew Oliver, president of Toronto hospitality juggernaut Oliver and Bonacini (he’s the son of founder Peter Oliver), met his future wife, Alana MacDonald, over Pink Panthers at the now-shuttered Le Petit Castor in Rosedale. After two months, they were living together. He proposed three years later, on the night of his 30th birthday in a rose-filled private dining room at Canoe. He got down on one knee and told Alana, “All I want for my birthday is you.” Then he told her she could choose one of two dates for the wedding, since he’d already booked the venue: O&B’s coveted Arcadian Loft.

Their glam wedding stayed true to the couple’s two loves: partying and really good food. O&B staff prepared a few special surprises, like storing extra dress shirts for Andrew in a the freezer (he runs hot). And when the lights went on at 3 a.m., there were still 75 people on the dance floor. The wedding even broke the record for number of drinks served at the venue: on average, each guest consumed 13 cocktails (“And most were doubles,” Andrew says).

(Image: Tory Lovekin) (Image: Tory Lovekin)
 
Cheat sheet

Date: October 18, 2014
Photography: Paula Wilson (food), Vanessa Garrison (room), Tory Lovekin (ceremony and reception)
Bride’s Dress: Pnina Torvei, from Kleinfeld New York
Flowers: Jackie O
Groom’s Attire: Garrison Bespoke
Hair and Makeup: Steve Roy
Venue: Arcadian Loft
Caterer: Oliver and Bonacini Events and Catering
Cupcakes: Bobbette and Belle
Late-night food: Oliver and Bonacini Events and Catering
Music: Sole Power Productions (DJ and Vocalist)
Invitations: Kleinfeld Paper Hudson’s Bay
Planner: Natalie Ho (Oliver and Bonacini Events)
Guests: 196

Alana was particular about the flowers, which had to collectively convey a very specific shade: “radiant orchid” (not too many reds, not too many purples):

(Image: Tory Lovekin) (Image: Tory Lovekin)
 

After the ceremony, the main room was transformed for dinner while guests mingled and snacked in the adjacent room on almost 30 different kinds of appetizers:

(Image: Vanessa Garrison) (Image: Vanessa Garrison)
 

The most heart-attack-inducing canapé? This roast beef tenderloin sandwiched between Yorkshire pudding with foie gras and fried chips, served atop truffled mashed potatoes:

(Image: Paula Wilson) (Image: Paula Wilson)
 

There was also an oyster bar:

(Image: Vanessa Garrison) (Image: Vanessa Garrison)
 

In case gentleman guests forgot the bow tie–only dress code, the couple had spares on hand:

(Image: Vanessa Garrison) (Image: Vanessa Garrison)
 

The Olivers are proud that there were only 73 minutes between the ceremony and dinner—a fact made all the more impressive when you take into consideration the 500 candles that were suspended from the ceiling during the room’s changeover:

(Image: Tory Lovekin) (Image: Tory Lovekin)
 

Andrew’s father, O&B founder Peter Oliver, gave a speech that left everyone in tears. The head table had more of those floral pillars:

(Image: Tory Lovekin) (Image: Tory Lovekin)
 

Since the couple shares initials, everything was branded with the letters “AOA.” Alana’s father wrote a poem about the couple that appeared on the other side of each champagne bottle:

(Image: Tory Lovekin) (Image: Tory Lovekin)
 

Servers poured the broth for the smoked mushroom and sweet onion consommé into each guest’s bowl tableside, in keeping with traditional French service:

O&B 2 (Image: Paula Wilson)
 

For the main course, guests chose between between a grilled rib-eye steak with bone marrow and foie gras pudding or broiled sea bass with lobster bisque:

(Image: Vanessa Garrison) (Image: Vanessa Garrison)
 

The couple couldn’t decide on a dessert, so they opted for four different options: a dark chocolate torte, a cocoa-and-salted-caramel beignet, a lemon-and-white-chocolate cheesecake, and warm chocolate cake with lemon curd:

(Image: Paula Wilson) (Image: Paula Wilson)
 

After dinner, everyone migrated to the dance floor, which was strategically sandwiched between two bars and flanked by clubby booths. At midnight, servers brought out champagne bottles with tons of sparklers:

(Image: Vanessa Garrison) (Image: Vanessa Garrison)
 

The couple’s first dance was to John Legend’s “All of Me”:

(Image: Tory Lovekin) (Image: Tory Lovekin)
 

Andrew and Alana served Pink Panthers, the cocktail they drank the night they first met at Le Petit Castor. It contains gin, Triple Sec, grapefruit juice and prosecco:

(Image: Paula Wilson) (Image: Paula Wilson)
 

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