Real Weddings: Inside a confetti-filled bash at the Four Seasons

Real Weddings: Inside a confetti-filled bash at the Four Seasons

Ashley Boyce and Matt Sachs first locked eyes at Queen’s University during a business case competition. “It was so nerdy,” says Boyce. They started dating in Toronto after Boyce graduated in 2007, and relocated to New York City’s West Village for work in 2010 (she’s a brand manager for Unilever, and he’s a consultant for PwC), where they still reside. The night before a six-day trip to Los Angeles and Palm Springs in 2014, Sachs decorated their entire apartment with photos of the two of them (including the first photo of them together at Queen’s in 2004). “It was back when Homeland was really popular, so when I arrived at our apartment door plastered in photos of us, I thought, ‘I’m either going to get engaged or I’m going to get murdered,’” Boyce says. Luckily, it was the first one, and the pair spent a blissful holiday together before coming back to Toronto and surprising their parents with the news on Christmas day.

They knew a few things right off the bat: they wanted to get married in Toronto, close to their family and friends; they didn’t want to wait a year and a half for a summer wedding; and they wanted Boyce’s favourite event designer, the San Francisco–based Jesi Haack, involved with the styling. They ended up with a playful January wedding at the Four Seasons Hotel infused with Haack’s whimsical aesthetic.

Cheat sheet

Date: January 23, 2016
Photography: Tara McMullen
Bride’s dress: Reem Acra
Flowers: Blush and Bloom
Groom’s attire: Burberry
Hair and makeup: Julia and Julia
Venue: The Four Seasons Hotel
Caterer: The Four Seasons Hotel
Cake: Momofuku Milk Bar
Late-night food: Four Seasons Catering and Pizza Pizza
Music: String trio via Electric Blonde, DJ Kenny Ride the Tiger
Invitations and stationery: Beet and Path
Planner: Love by Lynzie
Event designer: Jesi Haack Designs
Photo studio: Kaizen Studio
Choreographer: Wedding Dance Pros (NYC)
Guests: 180

On the day of the wedding, both Boyce and Sachs got ready with their bridal parties. Boyce wore a sparkly Reem Acra dress she’d seen on the runway a year before (“Glitter is my favourite colour,” she says). Boyce and her seven bridesmaids munched on sandwiches from the Food Dudes as they got their hair and makeup done, while Sachs and his crew had the Four Seasons set up a poker table:

The Four Seasons doesn’t allow pictures in the lobby, so the couple’s photographer, Tara McMullen, proposed heading to a nearby photo studio: “Tara said, ‘What would you think if we just ordered a bunch of champagne and pizza and I fired confetti bombs at you guys and snapped a bunch of pictures?’” says Boyce. “I told her it sounded like the best thing I’d ever heard.” So, after the couple did an initial reveal in Boyce’s hotel room, they shuttled their immediate family and bridal parties over to the space for some fun pre-wedding pictures:

They spent less than two hours in the studio, laughing, drinking champagne and eating pizza. The pair loved Pizza Pizza when they were at Queen’s, and since they don’t have it in New York, it became a nostalgic food for them:

“It was the perfect way to prepare for the most fun party of our lives,” says Boyce:

Then it was time for the ceremony. They chose the Four Seasons so they could have the the ceremony and reception in the same spot and get the hotel to cater. “We knew that the food, the wine and the whole experience would be truly spectacular,” says Boyce. The couple wrote their own vows. “I tend to be more lighthearted and Matt tends to be more emotional,” says Boyce. The inflatable backdrop was Haack’s idea:

After, staff brought out champagne for a toast and gave everyone confetti bombs to throw as the couple walked down the aisle:

Stationery was important to Boyce: “You can really inject your personality into it,” she says. Haack worked with their planner Lynzie Kent on all of the event’s signage:

Before coming out for their first dance, the couple burst through this homemade sign saying, “Heck yes, we did”:

They worked with a choreographer in New York to prepare their epic, CanCon-filled first dance. It started with a slower number, Blue Rodeo’s “Lost Together,” and then went through a mashup of Justin Bieber’s “Baby,”  Carly Rae Jepson’s “Call Me Maybe” and The Weeknd’s “I Can’t Feel My Face.” “The minute we finished our dance, everyone joined us on the dance floor. It was so great to see all the people we love in the same room,” says Boyce:

The dance floor said, “Don’t walk, dance”:

Dinner included filet mignon and a miso black cod. They served Boyce’s favourite wine, Oyster Bay sauvignon blanc, and had their Momofuku cake shipped directly from Brooklyn. The late-night food was—you guessed it—more Pizza Pizza: