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Inside Cristina Voicu and Michael Barford's Toronto Wedding

Photography: Catherine Deslauriers


From Frosh to Forever

Inside Cristina Voicu and Michael Barford's Lakeside Wedding

How would Cristina Voicu know that the young man she met on her first day of university would be the person she married fourteen years later to the day? The year was 2009, the setting was Montreal and the campus was McGill University. By chance, Cristina and Michael (Mike) Barford were in the same Frosh group. They quickly discovered that they were living in the same residence and had similar tastes in music. These two commonalities accelerated their interest in each other and their soon to be blossoming romance.

Falling in love as undergraduate students was very casual for the couple, with no defined first date. “Whether we were studying at the library, having lunch in the cafeteria or going out to bars with friends, any of these everyday moments could have been our first date,” explains Cristina. 

Photography:  Caileigh Langford
Photography: Caileigh Langford

Twelve years later and now based in Toronto, Cristina, a corporate lawyer and Mike, who works in tech sales, travelled to Montreal for the weekend. Mike spearheaded a sunrise walk to the top of Mount Royal, where he proposed to Cristina. “The walk back down from the mountain through the McGill campus was so special,” recalls Cristina. “It brought back so many beautiful memories from our days as students. We even sat down together on the Lower Field in the same spot where we met during Frosh.” 

Exactly fourteen years to the day they met, Cristina and Mike exchanged vows overlooking Lake Ontario at Toronto’s Hunt Club. “We'd been searching for a waterside venue for our wedding, and were charmed by the setting,” says Cristina. “Perched on the bluffs with tall trees and an expansive view of the lake, it felt remote yet was so easy to reach for most of our guests.” 

Cristina designed her custom wedding gown at the Catherine Langlois atelier. It featured a horsehair hem finish, a pleated tulle godet, and a removable silk organza and lace overlay. Mike wore a tuxedo with monogrammed cufflinks that were a graduation gift from his parents.

With over a hundred family and friends by their side, Cristina and Mike's formal wedding was inspired by their spectacular setting. Greens and blues from sky, water and meadows were incorporated into invitations, which were hand-painted renderings of the venue. In addition, the welcome table and cocktail cruisers featured floating candles to evoke little boats. For the ceremony, the couple walked up a meandering path that passed under a wisteria arch and led them to an open-air chapel on the edge of the bluffs, overlooking Lake Ontario. The couple exchanged vows under an arch decorated with delphinium, lisianthus and Japanese anemones that were mirrored in the bridal party’s bouquets and in the centrepieces on each dining table. Pistachio green napkins and botanical silverware completed the tablescapes. Cristina — who is passionate about design  — scattered small potted ferns, ivy and heather from her local flower shop throughout the venue and created a botanical seating chart in mossy box planters.

Guests’ tables were named after Montreal streets near the McGill campus and signature cocktails were named after bars Cristina and Mike frequented in their youth: Korova (a grapefruit Margarita) and Saint-Sulpice (a non-alcoholic raspberry mint lemonade).

The wedding party dined on potato-crusted salmon, New York striploin and for dessert, a vanilla wedding cake with Dulce de Leche and choux pastry swans that were inspired by Cristina’s grandmother’s recipe.

Mike, a hobby guitar player and producer (his band Simcoe released an album several years back), led the charge when it came to music. From a guitar duo who played during the ceremony to a vinyl DJ during the reception and the post-dinner band Dwayne Gretzky, the couple’s musical choices reflected this important part of their lives. As a final nod to Montreal, the newlyweds organized a late-night poutine station featuring a variety of toppings.

“The whole day, from start to finish, was a dream come true,” recalls Cristina. The newlyweds flew to Japan a couple of days after the wedding, where they explored Kyoto, Osaka and Okinawa. When not working, Cristina and Mike love to travel and play sports together, and look forward to entertaining in their first home.

Cristina + Mike's Favourite Gifts