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This Urban-Chic Micro Wedding Was Just Perfect

Alysha Julien and Jake O’Brien met as college students in 2013 in London, Ont. It was a back-to-school romance for the pair who met in September and started dating that November. “One of my roommates was friends with Jake and his best friend, Aaron, and that is how we first met,” Alysha says. “The guys would come over on weekends to hang out, and Jake asked me out on our first date three months later.”

Alysha and Jake loved hitting the streets of Toronto for some urban-cool photos after their intimate wedding ceremony. Photo: Lydia Reabel-Pinheiro, LR Studios

After graduation in 2016, Alysha moved back home to Mississauga, and it was a long-distance love affair for close to five years. Alysha says they spent practically every weekend visiting each other until they eventually purchased their first home together. In October 2019, Jake proposed to Alysha in her hometown of Montreal. “I love the fact he chose a place with such personal meaning to me,” she says. “He proposed at the top of Mount Royal on the most beautiful day imaginable. We celebrated over dinner and a night at the rink—Jake surprised me again with tickets to a Leafs versus Canadiens game!”

“We were engaged for two years and loved having such a long engagement,” says Alysha. Photo: Lydia Reabel-Pinheiro, LR Studios

 

 

Sneaking in their engagement right before the onset of the pandemic, the couple had plenty of time to enjoy their new couple status. “I actually loved having such a long engagement,” says Alysha. “It gave us time to really plan for the wedding we wanted.”

Where they landed was on a micro wedding in late October 2021 with just 20 guests joining them for their ceremony and dinner at a Toronto restaurant. They said their vows in a beautiful church ceremony with Alysha’s brother, Ricardo, walking her down the aisle. After a long journey to the alter, the couple say the moment they said their vows incredibly powerful. “Jake’s favourite moment was putting the wedding band on my finger.”

Jake’s favourite wedding day moment? When he put a ring on it! Photo: Lydia Reabel-Pinheiro, LR Studios

After their “I dos” the couple travelled from their church venue in Mississauga to Toronto for some urban cool photos snapped in and around The Fairmont Royal York Hotel and historic Union Station. “We both loved our photo session with our photographer love that we had some alone time together on the drive downtown,” Alysha says. “It was just a time for us to enjoy each other and celebrate the fact we had just got married!”

Lydia Reabel-Pinheiro, LR Studios“That time between wedding our ceremony and our photo shoot was special because we had time to be together, just Jake and I,” says Alysha. Photo: Lydia Reabel-Pinheiro, LR Studios

Afterward, the couple met up with their guests for an intimate dinner at Joey. “After so many months of not being able to be together and celebrate, it was so wonderful be surrounded by the most important people in our lives,” smiles Alysha. “We were looking to have a second wedding in 2022, and made the decision to cancel it for a few reasons. One reason was we just weren’t sure how things would shape up for this year with the pandemic, but more than that, we were happy with our very special day and that we were able to get married.”

Lydia Reabel-Pinheiro, LR StudiosThe couple’s simple and elegant micro day didn’t have a lot of trimmings, but Alysha wanted a standout bouquet to match her romantic lace-sleeved column dress. Photo: Lydia Reabel-Pinheiro, LR Studios

 

Highlight Reel

Select standouts from Alysha and Jake’s big day.

Lydia Reabel-Pinheiro, LR Studios

The Dress

“I fell in love with my dress the moment I tried it on,” says Alysha. “I was initially thinking of something less formal as our wedding was small, but just a few weeks before decided I wanted a proper wedding dress! It was a rush to have it altered in time, but I am so glad I found it and we could make it happen.”

Lydia Reabel-Pinheiro, LR Studios

The Aisle Walk

Alysha’s brother, Ricardo, did the honours and she says it was an incredibly special moment of their intimate wedding day. “When I arrived at the altar and looked at Jake, that moment was everything.”

Lydia Reabel-Pinheiro, LR Studios

The Flowers

“With such a small wedding, we didn’t have a specific colour palette for our day but decided to incorporate rich fall colours into my bouquet and Jake’s boutonnière,” says Alysha. “Our florist, Stephanie, did an incredible job of bringing my vision for the bouquet to life. The look, size and shade of blooms was exactly what I wanted.”

 

Alysha And Jake’s Wedding Directory

Wedding dress: Pronovias from The Modern Bride
Groom’s suit: Tip Top Tailors
Flowers: Bluumblvd
Ceremony venue: Praise Cathedral Worship Church
Reception dinner: Joey
Photographer: Lydia Reabel-Pinheiro, LR Studios

 

Photos from top: 1: Lydia Reabel-Pinheiro LR Studios;  2, 3, 6: Getty Images; 4: Dove; 5: Bioré; 7: Courtesy

 



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