Real Weddings: Ariane and Michael

Inside a retro-chic wedding at The Symes

Ten years ago, Ariane Laezza was working at Rapido, a café near Bathurst and Dupont. On her first day, Michael Steele, a bartender at a place nearby, came in for a coffee. “I saw this tall, handsome man walk in and I knew it was going to be trouble,” Ariane says. Michael, on the other hand, went home and told his roommates he was in love. “I’ve never been so sure about anything.” After a few weeks of daily coffee visits, and a reciprocal stop from Ariane at his bar, he finally asked her out.

They dated for eight years, during which Michael started working as a marketing manager for Moët Hennessy and Ariane became a freelance communications consultant, photographer, writer and model. In the summer of 2017, Michael proposed in front of the coffee shop where they first met.

For their big day, they focused on what their guests would appreciate most: good food, good music and good booze. They’d always admired the Art Deco architecture at The Symes in the Junction, so they booked it immediately. To maximize dance-floor time, they had food stations instead of a sit-down dinner. Ariane told everyone to dress on the theme of “vintage Italian disco.”

Cheat Sheet

Date: September 22, 2018
Photography: Mauricio J Calero
Planner: A Lush Affair
Venue: The Symes
Caterer: The Food Dudes
Bride’s outfit: Divine Decadence dress (vintage), Jimmy Choo shoes and New Balance sneakers for the end of the night
Groom’s outfit: Art of Suiting by Hussein Dalla and Dolce and Gabbana (shoes)
Hair and makeup: Beni Sicilia and Ana Sorys
Music: Your Boy Brian; DJ Dirty Dale
Decor: Identity Events
Guests: 250

Michael and his groomsmen used a Volkswagen bus from Electric Bus Company to get to the venue. Michael had a local tailor design a custom white tuxedo jacket. “I went a little old-fashioned with the cummerbund,” he says.

They kept the decor simple with palm trees, tinsel and white balloons. Ariane walked down the aisle to a Daft Punk track, and they walked out together to Fatboy Slim’s “Praise You”:

The ceremony was short and sweet. They wrote their own vows, but kept them simple:

Ariane accented her dress with a vintage feather boa:

The couple ordered a floral wall wrap from Supply and Demand, a local graphic communications company:

The tables were adorned with handmade lace from Ariane’s nonna:

Ariane originally ordered a different dress for the wedding, but changed her mind when she spotted this beaded 1950s number at a vintage boutique in Yorkville:

Moët Hennessy supplied some of the booze:

The couple had their first dance to “I Only Have Eyes For You” by The Flamingos:

Instead of getting a wedding cake, they picked up a birthday cake from a nearby grocery store. “We got married in September, and a lot of our friends are Virgos,” says Ariane. “So we put candles on the cake and sang happy birthday to everyone.”

Ariane switched into sneakers so she could dance all night:

And there was no shortage of dancing: