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‘Love & laughter’

Brad Wilson and Ron White’s star-studded, fun-filled ceremony

The proposal — romantic, stylish and surprising — set the benchmarks for the wedding to follow. When entrepreneur Brad Wilson, who owns PostNet, a printing store in Etobicoke, proposed to shoe designer Ron White, CEO and creative director of Ron White Shoes, he pulled out all the stops.

“Ron was in Florence, Italy on business,” says Wilson, “and I wanted to surprise him. Not only did I get to Italy without him knowing, I made a reservation at our favourite restaurant and got him there without knowing I would be there waiting — no small feat. When he arrived and recovered from the shock I presented him with a Tiffany ring and proposed. I also had purchased a ring for myself. They’re now our wedding bands.”

The couple had first met in 2008 at a film festival party at Casa Loma and they returned to the faux-gothic mansion to get married on Sep 29, 2012. The service was held in the conservatory which was transformed into a European-style chapel. The reception started with cocktails at sunset on the terrace with its stunning views of the city. Dinner was in the library which was converted into a “Great Gatsby meets South Beach chic” wonderland. Afterwards live drummers led the 200 guests into the Great Hall for dancing late into the evening. The star-studded affair featured performances by The Tenors, Sean Jones and Alana Bridgewater.

The grooms wore Giorgio Armani Black Label and custom shoes from Ron White, of course. The look was classic black; the mood was anything but. “Just after our immediate family completed their processional walk,” says White, “the music suddenly changed and our surprise, fully-choreographed dance number started with the wedding party, us included, performing a dance number down the aisle. Everyone rose to their feet, clapping and cheering. It immediately set the tone we planned for — an evening full of love and laughter.”

Officiating was Justice Gloria Epstein who, back in 1996, ruled in the famous M v H case when it was before the Ontario Court of Justice. Later affirmed by the Supreme Court in 1999, M v H was one of the landmark rulings that paved the way to the legalization of same-sex marriage across Canada.

“We feel blessed and honoured that we live in a country where our political leadership put forth and passed laws to legalize gay marriage,” says White. “And we felt very fortunate to have Madame Justice Epstein there, not to mention Canada’s first lady, Mrs Harper, among the guests.”

Any advice to engaged couples about weddings? “Invest in a wedding planner,” says Wilson. “There are more things to decide and cover than you imagine, and emotions run high. Start early.”

“Tara O’Grady from Bliss was our event planner,” says White. “Without her expertise our dream wedding would never have come together and flowed so seamlessly. Tara is truly a gem. We’ve utilized her services previously for the White Knight Gala, the fundraiser for my human rights foundation, and a number of other events. All were great.”

Were there any moments earlier on when you thought you’d chuck it all and elope? “Any time something became stressful, overwhelming or drama-filled,” says Wilson, “Tara swooped in confidently and firmly looked us in the eye and said ‘I’ll look after it.’ And she did.”

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5IVE15IFTEEN PHOTO COMPANY 5ive15ifteen.com.