Omni Escapes Magazine Escapes Magazine Fall 2017 - Page 41

The first wedding in the newly renovated Crystal Ballroom combined the Toronto venue’s storied past with the couple’s unique personal style. By Lisa Marie Hart Photos by Michael Greenberg of Phototerra W hen real life mimics scenes from what could be a blockbuster romance film, a surreal story unfolds. The spring wedding of Caterina “Cat” Sharifi and Joe Jackman was filled with exhil- arating moments and a happy ending that was nothing short of a fairy tale. As coincidental as in cinema, the reopening of The Omni King Edward Hotel’s historic Crystal Ballroom aligned flawlessly with the couple’s nuptials. Before the two ever stepped foot in the construction zone that ultimately would become their wedding venue, the ballroom enjoyed decades of distinction. The Crystal Ballroom initially opened its doors in 1922 as Toronto’s first luxury event space. Hailed across the city and beyond, it quickly became society’s most sought-after des- tination for high-profile galas. An elite social scene fluttered behind its doors on the 17th floor. In its heyday, it was a place where brides tossed their bouquets from the sweeping balcony; the Prince of Wales sat down to an extravagant state dinner; and big-band legends, including Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman and Count Basie, brought audiences to their feet. Nearly a century after the grand opening of the Crystal Ballroom, The Omni King Edward Hotel vowed to restore its time-honored original charm and enhance the space with an unparalleled air of modern luxury. FA L L 2 0 1 7 OE3-Married-eV4-e.indd 41 | 41 | ESCAPES 9/21/17 11:00 AM