Alex and Cait’s wedding at Ricarda’s Toronto was our first of 2019. It’s always a special feeling, beginning a new season. We feel refreshed, focused and are hungry to shoot. We got to film at Ricarda’s Restaurant for the first time, which is a fantastic venue in downtown Toronto as well as with some brilliant vendors (please see the credits below). But best of all, we had the privilege to capture a very easy going, happy and interesting couple.
A Winter Wedding at Ricarda’s Toronto
The weather leading up to the wedding was frigid. I mean super cold. We had a good couple of weeks hovering around -20 and we were really hoping to get a break so we could shoot outside in the city. Luckily, we had a little bump in the temperature, a perfectly overcast day and a couple who were real troopers.
We started the day filming prep at their apartment building downtown, before taking Alex to Grange Park (tucked behind the AGO) for the first look. It’s a lovely small-ish park, and it was deserted when we went. You can stand in the middle and you’ll find yourself staring at historical buildings, the CN tower and contemporary sculptures.
It made for a great first look location. Enough room to stand back and let Alex and Caitlin have their moment, but also an awesome backdrop with multiple spots for some follow up shots.
Filming a winter wedding can be a little challenging. It’s hard to operate your camera with gloves on, batteries drain faster and your socks get wet. So we were pretty happy to get back to Ricarda’s for the wedding Ceremony.
This was our first time filming at Ricarda’s Toronto and we loved this venue! The atrium is open with plenty of natural light in the day (although Alex and Caitlin’s ceremony was at dusk) . It’s also super interesting and doesn’t require a whole lot of work to style-up. Alex and Caitlin sprinkled personal ornaments throughout and went with a more minimalist decor design, allowing guests to focus on the wonderful experience, cocktail in hand (of course!). The main attraction is, of course, the giant pyramid sculpture, which is breathtaking. More importantly, it draws attention to the ceremony space, which is what we were all here for.
Deeply Personal Wedding Vows
Our favourite part of Alex and Cait’s wedding? Hands down the vows. They’re poetic, sweet and honest. We wish were making a longer film to sprinkle more of them throughout.
Writing your vows can be hard (see our post “How to Write your Wedding Vows”), but Alex and Caitlin are an example of how to do this right. They told us a story, they talked about challenges, hardships and how they came through it all. Furthermore, they spoke to each other and not to a piece of paper. When people engage with each other, it can feel like we, as viewers, are engaging with them too. Here are a few of our favourite snippets:
“I want to grow old with you by my side, and at the end of the day, look back at it all with no regrets. You have stolen my heart and it will always be yours.”
“We’ve been dragged through darkness both left reaching for more and we’ve been kissed by the sun as we’ve watched the clouds between the valleys. Through it all there was you for me and me for you. That will never change.”
3 Tips for an Unforgettable Ricarda’s Wedding in Toronto
If you’re looking for a contemporary downtown Toronto Wedding venue, with a flexible space and amazing food, you can’t go wrong with Ricarda’s. Here are a few tips to help with your wedding planning:
1) Make the most of the location. Ricarda’s is smack bang in the middle of the city which means you can easily get to a wide range of photo locations. Everywhere we went was within a 5 minute Uber ride or a short 10 minute walk. Alex and Caitlin wanted something with a little history so we headed to Osgoode Hall.
It’s a very well known spot in the city and you’ll often see other couple’s having their portraits shot there (although it’s MUCH quieter in the winter. There’s a reason why it’s so popular. We love the grandeur of the buildings, with the steps, pillars and cobbled streets. On top of that, there’s the iron gates backing on to University avenue and a cute little park area for a splash of nature.
All of our locations were within a 5 minute uber ride from each other which made it very easy to squeeze in a range of spots. In fact we just ended up walking back through the city to Ricarda’s for Alex and Cait’s ceremony.
2) Make the Most of the Atrium Space. The atrium at Ricarda’s is such a flexible space. It’s actually able to accommodate a lot of people, but the way it’s laid out makes it feel very intimate. As mentioned, the pyramid sculpture draws your attention to the ceremony space and we think this really helps. It also doesn’t feel like a space that you need to overly decorate. Alex and Caitlin kept things relatively simple, with a few ornaments and well placed candles.
The atrium can also be used for a reception, but Alex and Caitlin were able to fit all their guests into the main restaurant. This allowed them to keep that intimate feeling and focus on the dining experience. But it’s great to know that there are options for larger weddings and events.
3) Make the Most of the Menu. Ricarda’s serves some of the best intermediate food in the city. So if you’re a foodie, you’re going to be in safe hands. We were really well looked after by the staff, with delicious cocktails, canapes and four course meal. Every single bite was delicious.
After the meal, the staff quickly cleared a space by the bar for the first dances. We loved that the guests were able to experience three “zones” as part of the event (the Atrium, the restaurant and finally the bar). It kept things interesting and helped us to create a more dynamic film. Most importantly, it allowed everyone to focus on the moments that mattered.
We had such a fun time, chatting during dinner with Alex and Caitlin’s friends, reminiscing about Indonesia (where Alex’s family originate). The speeches were emotional, funny and full of great stories (by the way, don’t you love how Caitlin and Alex cozied up while watching on?). The party kicked off quickly and you can see how much fun everyone had.
In conclusion, we can confidently say our wedding season started with a bang. Fun, interesting and open characters in a fantastic venue. What more could we want? Thank you so much for having us, Alex and Caitlin.
Ricarda’s Toronto Wedding Vendors
We work really hard to create beautiful films for our clients. But all the other vendors play a big part in that so we want to express our thanks. We have already gushed about Ricarda’s Toronto, and what a fantastic venue it was. The staff were gracious hosts and incredibly helpful to us, in giving us the access we needed to set up lights and make sure our equipment was safe.
Alex and Caitlin hired Ranya J Images for photography who came all the way from Durham. Her work is beautiful and she was an absolute pleasure for us to work with. We always appreciate working with photographers are keen to collaborate and work as a team. So thank you Ranya!
We’re sure the photos look amazing, partly because Caitlin looked absolutely stunning. Blushing Belles accented her features with a naturally glamorous look which we think showed up really well on film. Silverlines provided a delicious cake which topped off the mouth watering dining experience.
Finally, we’d like to thank Ellie Priaro (from Aeic Weddings) who conducted a perfectly romantic atmosphere and Alley Entertainment, who couldn’t have been more helpful by giving us access to their sound board. They also got the party going quickly, which meant we had some really fun footage to work with.