We’ve had the pleasure of hosting many different kinds of weddings at LIUNA Station over the years, and even so, we always tear up when we get to hear our guests love stories. Providing exceptional customer service is one of the many things we do best. Helping our guests live happily ever after starts from the very beginning of the wedding planning process. We recently caught up with LIUNA Station bride, Milana Sobhi and her now husband Srdjan Gavranic to get the 411 on their experience at LIUNA Station, and advice they suggest to newly engaged couples.
LS: Tell us little bit about yourself and your husband?
Milana: Srdjan and I met at McMaster University in first year and even though we were in completely different programs, we still had many classes together. Over the years, we became the best of friends and got together a year after graduating. Srdjan is now a science and math high school teacher while I work in the corporate world. Srdjan is probably the biggest nerd I have ever met. He genuinely loves anything science related and will find a way to turn any subject into a scientific one. His love for the physics of space and universe is probably equivalent to that of Stephen Hawking! We are polar opposites in that sense. I prefer inventing plant based recipes as well as photography. He tried to teach me physics once… It was not pretty.
LG: What advice would you give readers on planning their big day?
Milana: Don’t stress! I had probably one of the worst years for wedding planning. I started a new job where I was working late hours, bought a house and renovated it, had to study for and write my project management professional (PMP) exam, I found out my uncle had been diagnosed with leukemia and had to stay in Texas for chemotherapy and to top it all off, my mother had suffered 4 heart attacks and then needed an emergency quadruple bypass a month before the wedding. At this point, planning a wedding was the furthest thing on my mind. With everything going on, it wasn’t until the very last month that I actually got to plan my wedding. It was crunch time and I felt the heat. Though I always wanted to get married at LIUNA Station, I wasn’t able to get all of the other vendors I initially wanted due to my lack of “pre” planning. However looking back now, I couldn’t be happier with the vendors I ended up with. I would recommend every single one of them. On the wedding day, I was an absolute mess – like I’m sure all brides would be, one thing I did learn was that no matter what happens, you will be the only one who notices any mistakes. Any guest of ours would say that the day went flawlessly. Also… delegate tasks to the wedding party. That really helped!
LS: With so many wedding venues out there – what made LIUNA Station stand out among the rest?
Milana: Let’s be real – the only thing people really talk about after a wedding is the food. Of all the venues I have ever been to (and there’s been a lot), LIUNA Station never failed to impress. My husband and I are both Vegan and Gluten Free and for once, a we found a venue that didn’t offer the basic gluten free noodle with generic tomato sauce option like most venues do. LIUNA Station is also breathtakingly beautiful on it’s own and does not really need an extra decorator to come in to make it nice. They also accommodate for big wedding parties – we had about 300+ guests in their grand ballroom. Lastly, the staff was great and very responsive. One thing I also want to point out is that on my husband’s side, the tradition is for all the families to bring eastern European desserts. There was so much brought to the venue and the way that LIUNA Station’s servers displayed it all was impeccable. We are so happy we ended up going with them as they were our first choice from the start.
LS: What was the best part about planning your dream wedding and what was the most challenging?
Milana: The best part about planning the wedding was being able to bring family together! In all the years we’d been best friends and then a couple, our parents actually hadn’t met until 2 weeks before the wedding. We were terrified for this moment but it ended up being such a relief as they got along really well. The most challenging part about planning a wedding are the difference of opinions between family members. For us, my husband and I wanted to do things that our parents were not aligned to. This was a constant battle and in the end, we were able to compromise (the parents won, but we’ll say we compromised).
LS: Tell us about your experience working with your suppliers/vendors? Did you use any of our preferred vendors?
Milana: Since we planned a very last minute wedding, we weren’t able to use a lot of the preferred vendors as they were already booked. However, the vendors and suppliers we did end up going with were very easy to work with and really helped us understand what exactly we needed in our very quick planning process. It was because of those vendors that we understood what else we needed to book. We even ended up throwing in a magic show!
LS: Food is everything, describe the meal that was served on your wedding day?
Milana: Instead of the standard servers walking around with a plate of hors d’œuvres; leaving guests so hungry between the ceremony and the reception, we actually ordered the antipasto bar option that LIUNA had. This was a very large nicely presented buffet table for guests to grab their own appetizers until the reception began. As mentioned before, the vegan options were incredible. It was a stuffed pepper with tofu as well as mushroom pastries. Other guests had steak and chicken with many other options. About 80% of the complements we received after the wedding was about how amazing the food was. Our guests still talk about it to this day.
LS: Describe the quality of service you received at LIUNA Station?
Milana: The quality of service was great. The staff and employees were very clear and helpful. Our wedding coordinator was always there to help, our wedding planner was always there to answer any questions we had about the venue, and the servers were quick to serve food and made a wonderful presentation of everything.
LS: Looking back, is there anything you wish you could redo about your special day?
Milana: I would take back the stress I felt during the actual wedding day. I was constantly worried about things going right and if things deviated from the plan, I would worry more. I didn’t actually start to enjoy my wedding day until near the end of the night when it was time to party. My husband is more carefree and told me about all the little things he noticed that warmed his heart. He was very happy the entire day because he did not dwell on things not going the way they were supposed to. If I had to do it all over again (which I hope I won’t have too!), I’d try to be more like him.
LS: Based on your experience at LIUNA Station would you refer the venue to a friend for his or her next event?
Milana: 100% yes. We couldn’t have picked a better venue. It was beautiful, had great food, and above all, was affordable!
We’d like to thank Milana and Srdjan for sharing their love story and experience tying the knot at LIUNA Station.
Stay tuned for weekly blog updates and make sure to connect with LIUNA Station on Instagram and Facebook as we deliver fresh, new content to inspire, excite and assist as you plan your dream event. While you’re at it, head over to LIUNA Garden’s blog to check out testimonials from happy couples who tied the knot in the beautiful garden.