Real Weddings: Inside an elegantly low-key ceremony at Piano Piano

Real Weddings: Inside an elegantly low-key ceremony at Piano Piano

Kristin Walker and Ted Brook, a pair of lawyers who met at Queen’s University, had been dating for three years when Brook casually proposed on a spring walk along the Toronto waterfront. Walker was so surprised that she asked him three times if he was kidding. Neither wanted an enormous, stressful production that would take years to plan. Instead, they wanted to get hitched in September, six months after their engagement, and they wanted the celebration to be within walking distance of their apartment near Harbord and Spadina.

One evening soon after their engagement, they ate dinner at Piano Piano, chef Victor Barry’s then-new restaurant, and adored the funky vibe and Italian dishes (especially their egg-yolk ravioli). The couple asked right then if the restaurant would consider hosting their wedding. “We picked the date before we left that evening,” says Brook.

After that, there wasn’t much to prepare. “We knew that at the very minimum that we’d have great food and drinks,” says Walker, who now works in sales. They loved the decor and decided to fill the tables with pink and red blooms to complement the bold floral wallpaper and rosy exterior. As it turns out, choosing a nearby indoor venue ended up being a life-saver: when it poured rain all day, they barely batted an eye.

Cheat sheet

Date: September 17, 2016
Photography: Mango Studios
Bride’s Dress: Rebecca Schoneveld
Flowers: Botany
Groom’s Attire: Suitsupply
Hair and Makeup: Celeste Russouw and Caitlin Cullimore
Venue: Piano Piano
Caterer: Piano Piano
Cake: Friends Jessica Kuredjian and Lauren Hanna
Music: The Patchouli Brothers
Invitations: Minted
Planner: None
Guests: 90

On the day of the wedding, Walker went to the gym in the morning, grabbed coffee with her sister and got ready at their apartment. They also rented an Airbnb nearby, where Brook got ready with his groomsmen:

Brook picked up Walker at their home for a first look. He wore a tux, while she went with a minimalist dress she found at the Ossington boutique Loversland:

“We basically walked out of our house, to the restaurant and down the aisle,” says Walker:

Only family members witnessed the ceremony. The officiant was a judge who Brook used to work for:

After they got hitched, the couple wandered around the neighbourhood snapping cute photos, like this one at an old gas station:

Brook is a picky beer drinker and convinced their friends at Burdock Brewery to make them a batch of west-coast pilsner. They surprised the couple on the big day by also making custom labels:

Chef Barry’s menu included line-caught trout, lamb chops, egg yolk ravioli, and a pork belly and heirloom tomato salad:

The couple asked The Patchouli Brothers, a band that plays a regular night at the Piston, if they’d perform at their wedding. “We thought they’d be too cool to do a wedding,” laughs Brook, but the band agreed. Their first dance was to Caribou’s “Can’t Do Without You”:

Tables were marked with animals rather than numbers, and the couple chose pink bouquets to match the mural by Toronto artist Ryan Dineen painted on the front of the restaurant:

Red and pink roses also appeared on their naked cake, which was made by a pair of their pals:

They hardly needed to add any decor to the space, which has heavy floral wallpaper, brass fixtures and white bistro chairs against black floors:

Overall, the pair described the evening as low-key and relaxed. “I didn’t expect to have so much fun,” admits Walker: