Real Weddings: Kiana and Lovell
Inside a royalty-themed bash at Casa Loma
Kiana Madeira, a 30-year-old actor and producer, met Lovell Adams-Gray, a 31-year-old actor and producer, in 2016. They were both hired to be greeters and seat fillers at the NBA All-Star Game in Toronto. Their relationship deepened as their careers progressed, bringing them to LA and then New York, where they’re currently based. Kiana appeared in the 2022 film Brother and the Netflix show Trinkets, and Lovell has appeared in the TV show Slasher and the Starz show Power Book II: Ghost. The couple got engaged in January 2020, just before the pandemic, and were married in a royalty-themed wedding at Casa Loma in September 2023. Here’s how it all happened.
Lovell: I first met Kiana in February of 2016. We’re both actors and were working at the NBA All-Star Game. Our job was to greet guests and fill seats so the stadium looked full. On the orientation day, as we were waiting for it to start, I saw Kiana sitting in a chair and reading Gandhi’s autobiography. That caught my interest—most people would just pull out their phones while they were waiting. It didn’t hurt that she was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen.
Kiana: I’m a huge bookworm. I always have one with me, whether I’m on set, riding the subway or going to the doctor’s office.
Lovell: I sat down one chair over from Kiana and told her that I’d actually just purchased Malcolm X’s autobiography. She totally brushed me off. She said something like, “Oh, that’s nice.” I got the feeling that she didn’t want to be bothered.
Kiana: I remember meeting Lovell at the orientation, but I don’t remember brushing him off! Over the weekend, we were booked for the same shift. Then they didn’t end up needing us, so we spent the day in a green room with a bunch of other actors. Lovell and I chatted for about two hours, sharing stories about acting in Toronto. The industry isn’t that big here, so I was surprised we hadn’t crossed paths yet. I thought Lovell was handsome and kind and very easy to talk to. I was in a relationship at the time, though.
Lovell: Later that year, in September of 2016, I needed someone to help me read lines for a self-tape, which is like a pre-recorded audition video. I reached out to Kiana and asked if she could help. I knew she’d been an actor for much longer than I had—she started when she was 10. I figured I could get a really good actor to help with my self-tape while also seeing where she was at romantically.
Kiana: I’d just gotten out of the relationship I was in before. So I agreed to help him out.
Lovell: We recorded it in a spare room at my agent’s office. Afterward, Kiana and I stayed in the room for hours. We talked about our horoscopes—she’s a Scorpio; I’m an Aquarius—script ideas, our dream roles and what we wanted to accomplish.
Kiana: We really connected. I was like, Oh my gosh, I have such a crush on him. It got deep really quickly, but I didn’t want to rush into something new. I knew I loved being with him, though, so we just took things slow. We’d hang out and keep getting to know each other. When we said goodbye, we’d have these long hugs.
Lovell: We were feeling each other for sure. Our hearts would be pounding during those hugs. I made the first move a few months later, in early November, by kissing Kiana during one of our goodbyes.
Kiana: After that, we were inseparable. We’d go for dinner dates—we’re both big foodies. And we love going to the movies. Cineplex popcorn is the best popcorn in the world. We’d bring our journals to write down our thoughts about the movie and our favourite quotes, then we’d talk about it afterward. A dinner-and-movie night was a classic date for us.
Lovell: At the time, we were both living at home with our parents. I was in Brampton, and Kiana was in Mississauga. So we’d also hang out at our houses, eating pie and ice cream and watching Bojack Horseman. I have a crazy sweet tooth.
Kiana: That was in 2017, and both of our careers really took off around that same time. Lovell booked a role as a series regular in a horror TV show called Slasher. We both signed with agents in the US and started spending months at a time in LA, renting Airbnbs and doing audition prep together.
Lovell: It was nice that we were growing our careers while also deepening our relationship. We elevated each other, personally and professionally.
Kiana: Lovell’s ambition has always been really attractive, as well as his willingness to think outside the box. No dream is too unrealistic. Faith is really important to me, too. We both are Christian, and strengthening our faith has been an anchor in our relationship.
Lovell: Kiana is so intelligent, wise and intuitive. That really inspires me. She’s a water sign, so she’s very empathetic. That’s one of the biggest things that drew me to her. She also has freckles and dimples at the same time, which should be illegal. And she’s got the best cheekbones since Angela Bassett.
Kiana: In 2019, Lovell booked a show that filmed in New York. We decided to move there together and make New York our home base. Lovell moved there in September of 2019, but I was filming in Portland at the time, so I wasn’t going to join him for a few months. From Portland, I called and told Lovell, “If you’ve ever thought about proposing, just so you know, I’d say yes.”
Lovell: I’d actually spoken with my grandfather, and he’d told me how much he liked Kiana and how he thought I should marry her. So I was already thinking about it seriously. The timing was actually perfect, too, because until then I wouldn’t have been able to afford a ring. I’d saved up some money from my acting work, so I could finally afford something nice. Hearing Kiana tell me she was ready was exactly the go-ahead I needed.
Kiana: We had been together for three years by that point, and we both knew that we were heading toward marriage. We were having such a good time together.
Lovell: While Kiana was still filming in Portland, I’d gone back to Toronto and gotten her parents’ blessing over a game of basketball. Then I ordered a custom ring from Engage Studio, a Toronto-based boutique. It was important to me to have it made by someone from home. They ended up doing our wedding bands too. All I knew was that Kiana didn’t care for diamonds, so I wanted to get her something different. I chose a blue topaz, since it’s her birthstone, with amethysts set in the band. The amethysts were actually from a trip Kiana and I had taken together to Thunder Bay—we went mining and came back with buckets full of amethysts.
I planned the proposal for January 2020, which was when Kiana officially moved into our New York apartment. My buddy Adrian helped set things up and secretly filmed the proposal from the bathroom. I put up a sign on our front door that said, “Welcome to your new home!” Then, other signs would lead her along a path sprinkled with flower petals and eventually to the living room, where I’d be hiding in a giant box.
Kiana: When I got to the apartment and saw the first sign, I thought he was just planning something special to welcome me to our first home together. The signs introduced me to all the different parts of the apartment—like, “This is your new bedroom” and “Check out the view from our new balcony.” Then it went into the living room, where there was a giant box with a sign that said, “Open me.”
Lovell: I was literally shaking in the box while I waited for her. Once she opened it, I came up on one knee, showed her the ring and said that classic line: “Will you marry me?”
Kiana: Instead of saying yes, I said, “Of course!” Adrian got a video of it all. The ring Lovell made was so beautiful. He did an amazing job.
Lovell: We told all our friends and family right away. Initially, we thought about having a really small wedding. As we started making a list of guests, though, we realized that even our families alone would be a lot of people. In the end, we managed to keep it under 150.
Kiana: We got overwhelmed but decided we didn’t need to rush. We wanted to enjoy being engaged. Then the pandemic happened—we didn’t think we’d be engaged for three and a half years, but we were. Still, we were able to build our relationship even deeper. We didn’t end up doing much planning until February 2023.
Lovell: We thought about having a destination wedding in Hawaii or Portugal, but logistically speaking, most of our friends and family live in Toronto. And it felt special to return to our hometown for the wedding.
Kiana: We decided on Casa Loma for our venue. We both love purple and that royal kind of aesthetic, so we used that as the basis for the wedding decor. Our planner, Ananda, used an amethyst as inspiration. Derêves Florals created a dropped ceiling over the dance floor, with flowers in every shade of purple. Each table had floating candles, and the gazebo in the garden was covered in purple flowers too. Our printed signs and menus looked like purple watercolours, inspired by amethyst geodes with a royal font. We decided the ceremony would be in the Casa Loma gardens and then our reception would be in the glass pavilion with the castle as the background, lit up by purple lights.
Lovell: I knew I wanted a custom suit. I went to Alan David, a tailor in New York, and got an all-white velvet tux plus a lilac bowtie for a pop of colour. For my reception outfit, I initially wanted an all-purple suit, so I went to Garçon Couture in New York. The store pulled out a few suits for me to try on, but then I saw this crazy half-white, half-plum-coloured suit hidden on the rack. It had the perfect ’90s vibe.
Kiana. Early on, I found a dress I really liked by a Ukrainian brand called LuceSposa. I contacted a bunch of bridal stores in New York and Toronto, but none of them carried that specific dress. So I asked one of the stores in New York, Liza Ray, to order it in for me. I tried it on and immediately thought: This is it. It’s so beautiful. It has off-the-shoulder sleeves and 3-D butterfly details. I love butterflies. For my reception dress, I wanted something fun and different but still in keeping with the theme. I found this gorgeous one by Ines Di Santo, also with butterflies, that has a halter neck with a low, open back.
Kiana: On the big day, we rented separate Airbnbs near Casa Loma. We both had big wedding parties—I had 13 bridesmaids and one bridesman, and Lovell had 13 groomsmen. I started the day with a meditation meant specifically for brides, to help them feel grounded. My main intention was to just be present. Then we got our hair and makeup done. Most of my bridal party did their own makeup. My sister did my face, and we had a makeup artist to help people with lashes and lipstick. Nothing felt super rushed.
Lovell: My morning did not go as smoothly. I was a groomzilla. My groomsmen were like a bunch of children that I had to wrangle in. I would locate one missing person, and then someone else would wander off. I lost a boutonniere that was meant for Kiana’s dad. But our wedding planner, Ananda, did a great job handling everything. After the hectic morning, I decided I was just going to let other people manage the chaos.
Kiana: We did our first look, when Lovell and I would see each other for the first time in our wedding outfits, in this little walkway surrounded by trees. It felt really private and intimate. At first, Lovell had his back to me, and we said a prayer together. Then he turned and saw me. It was so exciting. He looked amazing! I didn’t see his suit beforehand, so it was just as much of a surprise for me. Then we went our separate ways for the ceremony. I remember waiting with my dad and bridesmaids to walk down the aisle, and I was not nervous or scared at all. It just felt so right.
Lovell: I didn’t feel nervous waiting for Kiana at the altar until someone said, “I think she’s coming.” Then my body filled with anticipation. In the lead-up to our wedding, our pastor, Samuel, kept telling me that I was going to cry. And I was like, “Do not project your own feelings on me, sir.” I’m not that kind of guy, normally. But, once we started saying the vows we’d written, the tears started flowing.
Kiana: After the ceremony, we were ready to party with everyone. As soon as we made our grand entrance into the wedding reception, people started dancing. We had DJ Spex Da Boss, who we grew up listening to on the radio, and DJ Frank Vinatra. The people working at Casa Loma said they’d never seen a wedding where people were on the dance floor before the salad was served. Dinner was a three-course meal of salad, pasta and either short rib, salmon or a cheese-and-veggie filo tart. People were dancing between courses.
Lovell: There was a lot of reggae, some hip hop, pop and R&B and old classics like Michael Jackson and Earth, Wind and Fire. It was feel-good music.
Kiana: Our reception ended at 1 a.m., but I think we could have gone right till 3 a.m. Everyone was like, “Oh, it’s done already?” It was so much fun. For our wedding night, we booked two nights in the honeymoon suite at the Windsor Arms Hotel and had a classic Rolls Royce take us there. The hotel had champagne, strawberries and cookies waiting for us. I felt so happy and relieved to be married. It was the best wedding we could have ever imagined. It was beyond our wildest dreams. It also felt like a family reunion, having everyone we love together in the same place.
Lovell: We went on our honeymoon right after the wedding. We spent two weeks in Portugal, on the mainland plus the Algarve, the Azores and Madeira. It was the perfect mix of adventure and relaxation. Being married to Kiana feels legit. I’m on top of the world.
Kiana: People say being married doesn’t feel different, but it does feel different for us. We’ve made the biggest possible commitment to each other. Stepping into this new chapter has made us feel like we can step into any new chapter with confidence. We’ve solidified our team as husband and wife.
Date: September 10, 2023
Venue: Casa Loma
Officiant: Pastor Samuel Kenga, Toronto City Church
Wedding planner: Ananda Friedman, TFG
Wedding dress: LuceSposa
Veil: Tania Maras
Wedding dress bridal shop: Liza Ray New York
Reception dress: Ines Di Santo
Reception dress shop: Mark Ingram Atelier
Bride’s shoes: Charlotte Mills
Bride’s jewellery: Karáhkwa Jewelry
Bride’s hair: Cheryl Bergamy-Rosa
Bride’s makeup: Kyla Madeira, Alba Feinaj
Rings: Engage Studio
Groom’s tux: Alan David Custom
Groom’s shoes: Luca Del Forte
Groom’s reception suit: Garçon Couture
Custom reception sneakers for bride and groom: Golden Goose and Kent Anthony
Photographers: Alicia Rinka, Cassandra Cetlin
Videography: Seven Oak Media
Printed materials: Pearl Invitations
Cake: Velvet Lane Cakes
Live music: The Soenen Sisters Music
DJs: Frank Vinatra, Spex Da Boss
Vinyl dance floor: Paragon Designs
Wedding night getaway: Windsor Arms Hotel
Transportation to the Windsor Arms Hotel: Rolls Royce