Real Weddings: Pete and Shelly

A contemporary King West party with traditional Chinese flair

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:


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


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:


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:


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


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


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


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


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


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


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:


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:


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


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


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


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


Children were slightly apprehensive:


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


The dance was professionally choreographed and included some fancy moves:


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


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


Here are some more shots of the day: