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For these newlyweds, planning the perfect nuptials meant bucking some traditions and embracing others. How this society couple kept it simple – with a little help from Bridezilla.

Who: Natasha Koifman, 47, publicist. Anthony Mantella, 47, retired race car driver and investor.

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Relationship status: Married for one month, together since 2016.

Location: Toronto.

Anthony Mantella and Natasha Koifman met a the gym, through a personal trainer.

Renata Kaveh// Art Haus Photo

Serendipity at the gym

Natasha: We met at the gym. Who meets at the gym any more? I was talking to my trainer about selling my Porsche and he said, “You should speak to Anthony – he used to race cars.” And then Anthony happened to show up a little early that day, so we started talking. An hour later he sends me an e-mail with info on the car and “Hey, are you single?”

Anthony: I think I said, “Forgive me for being so bold, but … ” Matt, our trainer, says he didn’t set us up, but it was almost like the stars aligning. Even before our first date we were texting, getting to know each other.

Natasha: I remember we were talking about what music the other one listened to. We both grew up in the seventies. I think you introduced me to Chris Stapleton. Other than that, we basically had the same taste.

Anthony: I don’t like Madonna and some of the pop stuff. That’s a problem in our relationship, but it’s probably the biggest problem.

The thing with the ring

Anthony: We had talked about getting engaged. I think it was just, after two years, we didn’t want to be boyfriend and girlfriend anymore.

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Natasha: We were in New York and we walked by this jewellery store and he looked in the window and saw this ring.

Anthony: We went in and asked to see it, so they brought out the manager. I could see on Natasha’s face that she was slightly horrified. I think she thought the whole thing was a set up, but it wasn’t.

Natasha: I didn’t think it was a set up, it was just totally surreal. The guy brings out the ring and it’s a perfect fit and then we’re drinking Champagne. I don’t even think either of us asked the other. We were just engaged.

Here comes the Bridezilla

Anthony: Natasha does a lot of event planning for her work, so for our wedding, she was coming up with all of these details. I joked that if I hadn’t stepped in we would have had jets flying over top of us.

Natasha: We would not have had jets! I wanted something simple and beautiful with our family and friends. We ended up getting married at a private residence in King City.

Anthony: And I looked like the Bridezilla because I was always stepping in and saying we don’t need this, or we do need that.

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Natasha: He didn’t look like the Bridezilla – he was the Bridezilla. Ask anyone who helped with the planning. But it was because he really cared, and that was great. The wedding really felt like us. I wore black because I always wear black. It’s how I feel comfortable and confident, so of course it was the right choice for my wedding day.

Anthony: The next day it was like – do you feel different? And we both did.


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