Real Weddings: A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair

Real Weddings: Pete and Shelly

A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair

By Jean Grant| Photography by Elizabeth in Love
| January 22, 2020

Shelly Luu, a surgery resident at U of T, met Peter Wong, a finance manager at Sun Life, on Bumble in 2016. He’d just moved from the U.K. to Toronto for a two-year work stint, and they agreed to meet at Weslodge for drinks. “It felt natural and relaxed, like I had known her for years,” says Pete. Shelly liked how genuine he was, and that he didn’t play games. “His accent didn’t hurt, either,” she says. He texted her that evening, and they ditched their dating apps shortly afterwards.

After Pete became a permanent Canadian resident in early 2018, they started talking about getting engaged. “We’re both big planners, so I knew it was coming,” says Shelly. They designed the ring together and even booked their venue—Malaparte on King West—before Pete officially asked her to marry him. One night, Shelly came back to their Yorkville condo to find rose petals scattered everywhere and Elvis’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love” playing from the speaker. Pete was waiting in their bedroom on one knee with their dog, Gunner. He’d spelled “Will you marry me?” on the bed in rose petals.

The couple wanted their wedding to show off the best of downtown Toronto, since half of their wedding guests would be flying in from the U.K. They wanted to incorporate elements of their Chinese heritage, so they held a traditional tea ceremony in the morning and brought in lion dancers to perform at the reception.

Cheat sheet

Date: August 3, 2019 Planner: Rebecca Chan Weddings and Events Photographer: Elizabeth in Love Videographer:The Secret Wedding Cinema Bride’s Attire: Pronovias Groom’s Attire: Freeman Formal Hair and Makeup: Ford Beauty Jewellery: Taylor and Hart (bride’s rings), People’s (groom’s ring) Venue: Malaparte Choreographer: Lavinia Butuza Flowers: Fete Flowers Vinyl flooring: Finer Events Music: Wellington Music, Good Karma Events Lion Dance: Wushu Project Cake: Furama Cake and Desserts Invitations: Minted Calligraphy: Krys J. Calligraphy Stationery: Paper Damsels Late night food: The Halal Guys Guests: 150

Shelly got ready at her family home in Riverdale. For her first look of the day, she wore a traditional red outfit rented from Pacific Mall:

Real Weddings: A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair

 

Pete and his groomsmen got ready at the couple’s Yorkville condo:

Real Weddings: A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair

 

Pete and his groomsmen came to pick up Shelly and her bridesmaids in Riverdale, where they were asked to participate in some embarrassing door games to prove Pete’s devotion to Shelly, as is Chinese tradition:

Real Weddings: A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair

 

After handing over money in a red envelope to the bridesmaids for entry—the final step in the traditional door games—Pete and Shelly had their first look:

Real Weddings: A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair

 

Then, the families made their way to Pete and Shelly’s Yorkville condo, where they rented a room for the tea ceremony:

Real Weddings: A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair

 

The couple served tea to their family members, one pair at a time:

Real Weddings: A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair

 

After, Shelly went upstairs to change into her Pronovias gown, which she found at Ferre Sposa on Bloor West:

Real Weddings: A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair

 

Before heading to the venue, they stopped at Hart House for some portraits:

Real Weddings: A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair

 

One of the groomsmen walked down the aisle with the couple’s French bulldog, Gunner:

Real Weddings: A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair

 

The ceremony was bilingual, in English and Cantonese. The floral arrangements were inspired by cherry blossom trees:

Real Weddings: A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair

 

The couple enjoyed cocktail hour with their guests on Malaparte’s balcony. They served appetizers like sushi and oysters, alongside suckling pig, a nod to their Chinese background:

Real Weddings: A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair

 

They had three signature cocktails, one each for Shelly, Pete and Gunner. Shelly’s was called “Shot Girl Shelly” since she’s known for doling out shots at parties:

Real Weddings: A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair

 

Gunner hung out at the party for a bit, too:

Real Weddings: A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair

 

The couple made paper fortune cookies for each guest as placeholders:

Real Weddings: A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair

 

The lion dancers ushered the couple onto the dance floor for their grand entrance:

Real Weddings: A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair

 

The traditional dance is said to bring good luck and fortune:

Real Weddings: A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair

 

Children were slightly apprehensive:

Real Weddings: A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair

 

Their first dance was back on the balcony, to Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect,” while guests waved sparklers:

Real Weddings: A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair

 

The dance was professionally choreographed and included some fancy moves:

Real Weddings: A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair

 

Since Gunner didn’t make it to the reception, they made a giant cut-out of his face:

Real Weddings: A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair

 

Instead of favours, the couple made a donation to Princess Margaret Hospital in honour of Shelly’s late mother:

Real Weddings: A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair

 

Here are some more shots of the day:

Real Weddings: A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair
Real Weddings: A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair
Real Weddings: A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair
Real Weddings: A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair
Real Weddings: A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair
Real Weddings: A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair
Real Weddings: A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair
Real Weddings: A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair
Real Weddings: A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair
Real Weddings: A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair
Real Weddings: A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair
Real Weddings: A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair
Real Weddings: A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair
Real Weddings: A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair
Real Weddings: A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair
Real Weddings: A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair
Real Weddings: A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair
Real Weddings: A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair
Real Weddings: A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair
Real Weddings: A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair
Real Weddings: A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair

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