John & Natalie’s Wedding Photos

First Dance (Thanks Spud for the photo)

What a week! If you have been following me on Facebook or Twitter, then you know that Natalie and I got married on Saturday in Toronto. Yes, that’s where she’s from. I’d always wanted a destination wedding but I always imagined it would be in Australia, Fiji or Italy but I have to tell you, Toronto turned out to be an excellent choice.

Toronto
All of our friends and family truly had an unforgettable time. For starters, Toronto is an amazing city (minus their horrific traffic). They have tons of great restaurants, museums, theatre (the third best in the world after New York and London) and world-class hotels.

Sweet suite at Trump Toronto

Trump Toronto
My family and I decided to stay at the Trump Toronto hotel since that’s where our wedding reception was going to be. Natalie and I almost booked our wedding at the beautiful Ritz-Carlton but Natalie didn’t like the carpet in the ballroom, no joke! Natalie scouted a number of venues but when she walked into the Trump Toronto, it was love at first sight. The hotel is stunning and the ballroom elegant. But a huge reason why our weekend was such a success was because of the Trump’s general manager, Mickael Damelincourt. He’s young, still in his thirties and I would argue he’s one of the best in the business; he made sure everything was perfect for us. Writing personal welcome notes to each of our guests was just the tip of the iceberg, but was indicative of the kind of personalized service the hotel provides. For example, when the wedding party arrived at the hotel after taking photos, everyone was starving. My cousin AJ ordered over $100 worth of McDonalds through the concierge and they gave us a private boardroom in which to eat. Later in the evening, AJ had the concierge order a bottle of tequila for the head table; anything you want, the hotel will make sure you get.

Allow me to tell you about this past Saturday, arguably the most important day of my life. I was having a relaxing breakfast at 9:45am in Stock Restaurant on the 31st floor of Trump Toronto with two of my five groomsman. Mickael walked by and I invited him to join us. Moments later, the waitress comes over and says I have a phone call, which I thought was weird. My dad’s wife was on the line saying that I wasn’t going to believe this, but my father forgot his tuxedo pants, can he wear shorts? I thought my sisters were pranking me since we like to joke in my family but they weren’t.

That triggered something my sister Carol had warned me about earlier in the week: be prepared for three things to go wrong on your wedding day because they always do.  Tick off number one. I rushed back to the table and told everyone what was going on and Mickael asked what size pants my dad wears. He said he would have the concierge call The Bay’s concierge and bring them over ASAP. FYI: The Bay is short for The Hudson’s Bay Company, a famous Canadian department store similar to Macy’s two blocks away.

My dad wears size 40 waist so he wouldn’t fit into any of our pants but I tried anyway. When he came to my room in his crazy outfit (including a pair of black suspenders that had skulls on one side of them), I almost spit my teeth out. Miraculously, The Bay was able to bring over a hemmed pair and my dad was just a few minutes late for our 10:30am pickup.

My dad forgot his PANTS

My dad forgot his PANTS

Our ceremony took place in Mississauga at Natalie’s childhood church and the city picked our wedding weekend to close part of the main expressway so everyone had to leave much earlier than originally planned. The usual 30-minute drive turned into well over an hour.

I didn’t have to wait long for problem number two. Before our limo driver pulled out of the Trump driveway, my nephew and ring bearer Dane smacked my brother’s cup of coffee out of his hand and it spilled all over his white shirt. We came very close to having a two-year-old walk down the aisle of a Catholic church looking like the youngest Chippendale dancer ever. Fortunately some quick thinking and we washed most of the stains out in the limo’s wine bucket and dried it by holding it out the window. I can only imagine what passersby were thinking when they saw a limo with what looked like a white flag waving out the window.

Washing Dane's shirt

Washing Dane’s shirt

Number three was a catastrophe and was waiting for me when we pulled into the church parking lot. Someone said that my dad won’t wake up; he was in the second limo. At first I thought it was because he had drank too much the night before but when I saw his tongue sticking out of his mouth, I knew it was much more serious. I quickly called my cousin Art, one of my groomsman and a paramedic for the city of Los Angeles. He immediately made someone call for an ambulance.

Ambulance at church for my dad

Ambulance at church for my dad

The ceremony was starting in twenty minutes and my dad was now obviously not going to make my wedding and quite possibly expire on the same day. Not the wedding present I’d envisioned from him.

I had so many mixed emotions I didn’t know what to do or think. Friends and family who flew in especially for the wedding were arriving and in shock. The last thing they wanted to see was a fire truck and an ambulance blocking the church’s entrance. We couldn’t postpone the ceremony by a few hours because the priest was doing a funeral two hours later so it was either get married without my dad or cancel the wedding altogether. There was no way I was going to ruin Natalie’s day and since I live in Los Angeles, I knew the show must go on.

Bridesmaids

We told Natalie’s bridesmaids to keep her at her mom’s house a bit longer so she didn’t see any of the commotion and not to tell her what was going on – they told her that traffic had delayed everyone, a totally plausible excuse, especially since the expressway was closed. The two Canadian paramedics (who were kind of jerks, by the way) thought my dad had a stroke but I was mentally sticking with my cousin Art’s diagnosis of too much medication. You see, my dad takes a lot of pills (he’s 83) and his eyes aren’t that great so I was hoping it was something he would snap out of in a few hours. The other thing that kept me sane was something my cousin AJ said just before Natalie walked down the aisle; I can’t share it here but he was my rock and his words helped me cope with an incredibly stressful situation.

Thank God I was able to focus on Natalie for the hour-long ceremony and she had no idea what happened until she was in the receiving line after the ceremony and my sister Georgette apologized for my dad not being there. Natalie, the most perfect bride, was shocked and we would have made a beeline to the hospital if it weren’t for my cousin Nina giving us updates.

Making our marriage official

Earlier in the ceremony, my brother was feeding me updates and whispered, “Dad is doing better and getting a cat scan.” But he kind of mumbled and I thought he said, “Dad is doing better and resting in a casket.” My brother has a sick sense of humor and if my dad had died, that’s a way he would’ve broken the news to me. After my double take, he repeated with enunciation.

We stuck with our original plan and went back to the Trump Toronto hotel so we could walk to Toronto’s Old City Hall for wedding photos.  My dad arrived in a wheel chair a few minutes later and it was a huge relief. He was just so sad he missed our vows and so were we. But what can you do? He went up to the room for a couple hours before the reception to rest and missed our cocktail party. But when my cousin Art and friend Joe Lewis wheeled him into our main dining room, everyone gave him a standing ovation. He later danced and gave a fine toast. What a miracle.

The food, service and event were amazing. I don’t have to words to describe how fantastic the night was. All I remember is that it went by so fast and I kept wishing time would stop.

My family

To top off the made-for-Hollywood wedding, Mickael arranged a huge two-bedroom suite for Natalie and me. It just opened a week ago and we were the second guests to stay in it – Johnny Depp was the first. He and a ton of other celebrities were in the hotel for the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

Below I’ve included some of our wedding photos that were taken by friends and family on the day. I’ll share some of the professional ones when we get them, but for now I hope you enjoy these.

BTW: I’m writing this post from our Korean Air flight to Seoul where we will be spending the first night of our whirlwind honeymoon. UPDATED: Here are our honeymoon posts: Toronto-Seoul first class on Korean Air |  Seoul to Bali on Korean Airlines | Bali to Seoul to New York on Korean | One night in Seoul, Korea | Bali | Our hotels: Amanusa | Amandari | Amankila

Comments

  1. Congratulations! We are thrilled for the 2 of you. Natalie looked great!

  2. Congratulations to you both! It was nice to be able to share in your special day via your blog post and photos. I’m so sorry to hear about your dad’s emergency and the fact that he missed the wedding, but very relieved to hear that his condition improved quickly enough for him to attend the reception. Hope you’re enjoying your fabulous honeymoon travels!

  3. We are getting older and haven’t traveled in several years. Sooo… this is the first JJ site I have looked at in about 3 years. I am so very glad your wedding was beautiful in spite of all the woes you encountered. We are searching for good deals to celebrate our 55th aniversary,of our wedding in North Hollywood.

  4. Holy mackeral Johnny – what a wedding! I’m sorry you guys had some serious stress, but I’m so very happy your Dad is OK. Enjoy the honeymoon!!!
    Best,

    Cyd

  5. JJ and NATALIE,,,,,,,,,,have been following JJ for over 12 years and I felt as though I was part of this wonderful day after I read all your review as such of Saturday. I love your dad; so happy you are so close to him and give him such love from a son. When Nancy came along I was sooooooo sad; as I am 74 and felt so close to your family after reading all about your mom years ago. Well, enough said I was laughing and trying to imagine the hoot it was for you to have your dad in his pic with shorts on………….then Dane……..what exaspiration in that limbo………but was so frightened as I read about the scenario of terrible worrisome shock of your dad. Then your brother telling you something that shook you out of painful worry…………on to marry Natalie. The fact she was unaware was awesome that she did have that shock, too. Well, the two of you are, I hope again having the wonderful times you talk and write about for all of usin the cyerworld. You are a delightful friend there to me. I am catholic, just got the papal blessing from Vatican for our 50th. Hope you two have the same………………….I thought Fiji ………..sorry I was wrong…..but you mentioned long time wish to maybe be married there. Happy Honeymoon. you must have hundreds and hundreds of wishes. You both are special in my world. sailinsal

  6. Wow. Congrats to you and Natalie. Glad you father is fine. Very super cool to stay in the “Johnny suite” — populated only by Johnny Depp and Johnny Jet.

  7. I laughed and I cried as I read this. Thank you so much for sharing these exciting details and photos. I’m glad your dad is feeling better.

  8. Holy cow Johnny! What a day. Congratulations to you and your bride and so glad your dad is doing okay and could spend part of the day with you!

  9. I just love that you and Natalie are now smug marrieds. Cheers to many happy adventures together, you beautiful couple!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations! What an eventful event!

  11. Thanks for sharing and Happy Happy 1st Anniversary!!

  12. Oh I hope it’s OK (because it all ended so well) but I nearly laughed myself sick in parts of this. The screaming kid with his shirt being washed in the ice bucket and your misunderstanding of what your brother said ( something my sister and I do constantly so I could really relate to). It’s wonderful how much you obviously love your beautiful wife. What a great story and a wedding that will always live vividly in your mind! So many people say it all went by in a blur and they don’t remember it but you won’t have that problem! Congratulations on your first anniversary and may you and Natalie have many many more to come!

  13. I never saw BLACK worn by bridesmaids. Is this a new thing?

Trackbacks

  1. […] days after our wedding Natalie and I arrived at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport to make our way to Bali, […]

  2. […] Our wedding photos #gallery-1 { margin: auto; } #gallery-1 .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; text-align: center; width: 25%; } #gallery-1 img { border: 2px solid #cfcfcf; } #gallery-1 .gallery-caption { margin-left: 0; } […]

  3. […] you are following along with me on Facebook or Twitter then you know I got married in Toronto, flew 13 hours to Korea on Korean Air and spent the night in Seoul before flying six […]

  4. […] you are following along with me on Facebook or Twitter then you know I got married in Toronto, flew 13 hours to Korea on Korean Air and spent the night in Seoul before flying six […]

  5. […] up on my work. If you’ve missed any of my adventures, you can check out the following: My wedding in Toronto (did you know my dad missed it?!); Toronto to Seoul on Korean Air; Seoul, Korea; Seoul to […]

  6. […] hung the white flag from our beachside cabana to get the attention of one of the beach boys so my wife and I could order lunch. Here at Amankila, a swanky beach resort in East Bali, you don’t have to […]

  7. […] you’ve been following me on Facebook and Twitter then you know Natalie and I got married in Toronto, then flew to Seoul on Korean Air (in their flatbed seats so it made the trek painless), […]

  8. […] many people kept asking Natalie and I where we were going on our honeymoon (Yes, we got married two weeks ago) I thought it would be more fun to keep it a secret. I then decided to turn it into a […]

  9. […] very special place in my heart. Number one, it’s where my wife is from and it’s also where we got married. Number two, it was the first international city I ever visited — I don’t really remember […]

  10. […] not just for your drinks but for the energetic atmosphere and Trump experience. UPDATED: We had our wedding reception at Trump Toronto and they did an amazing job. Here’s my […]

  11. […] since my wife and I got married in the city a year ago this past weekend (here’s my post on our drama-filled wedding). Unbeknownst to me, my cousin AJ was in town too for the closing night of the Toronto […]

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