Real Weddings: Michael and Mary

Inside an intimate celebration at Mararamiro Home and Studio in Leslieville

Michael Ofori-Attah, a film editor at Saints Editorial, and Mary Young, founder of the lingerie brand Mary Young, have been together since November 2017. The couple were engaged in August 2020 and planned a summer wedding for the following year. Here’s how it all came together.

Michael:  I met Mary through work in November 2017. Her friend Emily was a client, and she kept insisting that I meet Mary because we’d be a good match.

Mary: When I found out Emily had been telling him about me, I thought, Oh, I need to talk to him now because this could get a little strange. I found him on Instagram and sent him a message asking him to go out for drinks since she already put in that much effort. We exchanged numbers, but we didn’t text at all prior to the date—it was just logistics.

Michael: It felt like a business meeting, or a blind date your mom set up. I booked us a table at Union on Ossington, and didn’t know what to expect. Mary texted to say she was running late, so I asked her if she liked cider because I was going to order us drinks. She said she loves it, which felt like a good sign. When Mary arrived, I remember immediately liking her style and thinking she had beautiful eyes. Our conversations went deep that night; we talked about our families and personal interests.

Mary: It was really nice. We had a glass of cider each, and then shared a whole bottle. And we barely talked about our work, which made it so much easier to develop a proper connection.

Michael: We hit it off really quickly. We ended up staying out until 2 a.m. Everything felt so natural. I promised to call her the next day.

Mary: And he did! Michael has a very positive attitude, which I loved. During our first date, I had a premonition that I was going to marry him. (Of course, I waited to tell him that until after we were engaged.)

Michael: We’ve been together ever since that night. I live with a blood disease called sickle cell anemia, which has led to a few interesting hospital stays and close calls. Throughout all those ups and downs, Mary was there. I hadn’t experienced that level of dedication outside of family before. I was incredibly grateful for it and her. In February 2019, Mary moved into the house I owned in Pickering, and my decision to propose to Mary in the following year felt like a no-brainer.

In June 2020, her mom mentioned that Mary’s grandmother had gifted her family diamonds, so I designed the ring with those diamonds. That summer, we were renovating our bathroom and were also planning to buy a car. One night, Mary was getting ready upstairs when she started talking to me about how purchasing a car together was a big commitment. That triggered something in me. I was downstairs and said, “I’ll show you commitment.” I quickly got the ring and ran up the stairs.

Mary: I put my hand on his chest and his heart was beating so fast I thought something was wrong. I told him to sit down and when he got down on one knee, I thought, Oh my goodness, he’s really not well. He can’t even sit down. I started mapping out an emergency plan in my head. Then, I saw him pull out the ring, and I blacked out.

Michael: I didn’t really have a plan in mind, but it felt so right to do it in our home.

Mary: It was very on-brand for him to one-up my comment about the car. The proposal felt like an out-of-body experience. When he said that he used my grandmother’s diamonds, I started crying. It was a lovely and thoughtful detail. We called our family and friends over FaceTime that night to share the good news. It felt like we had drank two litres of caffeine. We were just buzzing.

Michael: We started planning our wedding soon after because we figured 2021 was going to be a busy year for weddings with all the delays and cancellations. We wanted a smaller, non-banquet venue so we landed on the Gardiner Museum.

Mary: It was perfect because the Food Dudes is their in-house caterer, and we already had them in mind for our reception. I went dress shopping in October with my mother and future mother-in-law, who got to meet for the first time. I found my dress at LoversLand. I sell some of my products there and know the owners well, so it was exciting to purchase something from them.

Michael: I bought my suit online from Indochino and got it altered by Sydney’s on Queen Street twice to fit just right.

Mary: Once March 2021 rolled around, we realized regulations might not change anytime soon. We had 90 guests, but then cut it down to 50 and then, cut it further to 10—immediate family only.

Michael: The lockdown restrictions meant the Gardiner was no longer an option, but luckily they were very understanding about the cancellation. Plus, we were still able to book the Food Dudes to cater and because our guest list was smaller, we were able to customize our meals.

Mary: Our photographer Scarlett recommended the Mararamiro Home and Studio as a venue, which happened to be in my office building. Everything fell into place from there. The space was beautiful so there wasn’t much need for decor. We added a statement floral piece on top of the mantel, which our florist Jordana Masi designed, along with table top floral arrangements.

On the day of, we got ready at the Kimpton Saint George Hotel. When I arrived at the studio, I was on one side of the curtain, and the guests and Michael were on the other. I walked myself down the aisle and made eye contact with Michael, which immediately brought a smile on my face. It stayed for the remainder of the day. It felt like no one else was there—it was just about the two of us. The ceremony felt incredibly special.

Michael: One of my biggest takeaways was my mother’s emotional speech. She talked about me as a young boy and how beautiful of a woman Mary is, inside and out. I had never seen her cry, so seeing her be that vulnerable and honest was very special. For dinner, we had Miami ribs, smoked peppercorn short rib, charred broccolini and mushrooms, and heirloom beet salad.

Mary: I really didn’t want a laptop livestream, so we hired a friend of Michael’s to shoot and edit footage right after the ceremony, so anyone who couldn’t attend could still celebrate with us that night from afar. That night we returned to the Kimpton Saint George and then a few days later, we went to B.C. for our honeymoon. We visited Tofino and Ucluelet, spent a few days in Whistler and ended in Vancouver. I had only been there on work trips, so it was an amazing experience. Plus, we missed the heatwave which was also really nice.

Cheat Sheet

Date: June 11, 2021
Venue: Mararamiro Home and Studio
Photographer: Scarlet O’Neill
Cake: Denise Chow
Catering: The Food Dudes
Officiant: Q Wilson
Florals: Jordana Masi
Guests: 10

Here are some more photos from the day