A quietly powerful creative we produce with the Shangri-la Hotel, Toronto. In a palette of terracotta clay, earth, copper, greens, bamboo, greys, and soaked tea leaf/ink black-brown; contrasted with the muted & colourful array of dried tea leaves.
Our goal was to create a sophisticated translation of honour & tradition, using a love story told through the beauty of tea — the physical essence, and the narrative text of nature, history and time that is associated with tea.
THEIR LOVE STORY
Nikki MacKay is a tea collector who has travelled the world to chase her love for tea. Native to Canada, and educated in Britain, she has plans to obtain her tea sommelier license and open up a tea shop in Soho one day, where she can share the stories of her travels to Europe, Shanghai, Northern China,Turkey, and India. She met her fiance when travelling to Hong Kong five years ago on a research trip. They met in a tiny tea shop on Wing Lee Street. Koori was sipping a cup of Oolong on a rainy morning, while a tiny cuckoo was chirping to the rhythm of raindrops in a wooden birdcage. Koori is a distinguished hair stylist. He immigrated to Toronto from a village along the outskirts of Shanghai to pursue his dreams in hair design and fashion. He has an interesting cosmopolitan style, and a deep understanding of beauty. He fell in love with Nikki’s effortless smile and passion for her dreams. they both share a love for history and travel to naturous regions, and are passionate tea connoiseurs. Most importantly, they are both familial and warm, and have a desire to honour their roots.
Now with a shared group of friends in Toronto, they will be married at the Shangri-la Toronto. Nikki’s parents are in the city, and Koori’s entire family will be travelling to Toronto to reunite with him and consider a move to Canada. Their marriage is the coming to- gether of not only two, but of two families and two cultures. What better way to honour their parents and grandparents than to involve them in a traditional tea ceremony and service that brings in the flavours of the past with the present.
THE ART OF TEA.
Tea is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world, with thousands of years of history. Tea, first known as chá, is believed to have originated in China in the Shang Dynasty, and became popular in Britain in the 17th century. It has played a special and quiet role at dim sum and breakfast tables, through to high tea and momentous celebrations. In the Chinese culture specifically, the tea ceremony before the wedding ceremony is still widely practice, where the bride and groom serve tea to their elders, who then present their gifts to the newly weds. At the Shangri-la Hotel in Toronto, tea is a cherished menu item and they have mastered the art of tea service. Let us take you on a sacred journey inspired by tea.s celebrations. In the Chinese culture specifically, the tea ceremony before the wedding ceremony is still widely practice, where the bride and groom serve tea to their elders, who then present their gifts to the newly weds. At the Shangri-la Hotel in Toronto, tea is a cherished menu item and they have mastered the art of tea service. Let us take you on a sacred journey inspired by tea.
IN THE OWNER’S SUITE.
Custom lucky money pockets by PALETTERA with tea leaves and florals adorned with prose sit on the rocks just outside the glass window of the suite. The bride and groom share a moment on the balcony overlooking University Avenue. An intricately detailed bouquet designed by STEMZ is refreshing and unique. The couple enjoy a short photograph session in the Owner’s Suite, on the 17th floor, in suit by Garrison Bespoke, dress by Romona Keveza & jewellery by Tara Fava.
A stunning tea-inspired watercolour & boxed invitation suite designed & hand-crafted by PALETTERA. The watercolour artwork combines the naturous terrains of mountain tops with the calligrpahic spirit of tea. Details and the couple’s story is printed on an accordian-fold piece, along with reply card & envelope.
As the tea sommelier for Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto, Sheena Brady understands that serving tea to welcome guests is a gesture and sign of respect that dates back thousands of years. To ensure each cup of tea is at its best, Sheena tastes the teas daily as the leaves, like all natural products, can vary by season and storage conditions. Her interpretation of the tea drinking culture extends to working with the hotel’s bartenders and culinary team to concoct tea-infused beverages and cocktails and tea-infused pastries from the hotel’s 75 premium teas.
An exquisite tablescape designed by STEMZ features the new and trending Louis chairs in white and gold, paired with a lovely pinstripe emerald green linen. An abundance of florals dance across the table in apricots, true creams, blush and yellows, with lovely gold touches in small vases and jade votives. The cutlery and charger plates belonging to the Shangri-la are accompanied by beautiful clay-coloured napkins and succulent napkin flowers. Custom facour boxes in terracotta, greys and blacks are pressed with the Chinese character for “thanks.” Designed by PALETTERA, each box holds a sachet of tea from Harrods, bearing a decadent aroma. A single golden birdcage mingles with the dahlias and orhids, signifying the cuckoo bird and bamboo cage that hung in the tea shop where the couple first met.
DESSERT IS ART.
Designed by CONNIE CUPCAKE, the 4-tier Paper Cake is accented with a dense green succulent bloom, gold bamboo and oversized cuckoo feathers. Subtle textures seem to curl and unravel from the cake revealing a fresh, new, smooth inner layer waiting to emerge to the world.
Published in print in Today’s Bride Magazine, S/S 2014 Edition.
Production & Stationery: PALETTERA Custom Correspondences
Art Direction: Deborah Lau-Yu, PALETTERA Custom Correspondences
Photography: Krista Fox Photography
Venue: The Shangri-la Hotel, Toronto
Floral & Decor: Stemz
Make Up & Beauty: Aglow by Joan
Hair: Ladylyn Gool
Gown: Romona Keveza
Suits: Garrison Bespoke
Jewellery: Tara Fava
Cake & Desserts: Connie Cupcake
Tea Service: Shangri-la Hotel, Toronto