Judy Man & Benny Gendelman
Both the bride and groom sat down to discuss their wedding, surprising even each other with their take on the day.
Tell us a bit about your love story:
Benny: We first met 13 summers ago. At that time, we were hardly friends, barely even acquaintances, just neighbours. We didn’t know it then, but we were going to bump into each other seven summers later. That time, it was different. We spent almost all our time together – to the point we had to plan days not to see each other. Needless to say, that summer we became best friends. After many bike rides, late nights, and phone calls, I could not wait any longer, and I asked her to be my girlfriend. Fireworks. Literally! We were on the Humber Bay Bridge in Toronto and as we strolled over to a nearby park – there were fireworks, right above the city night lights. Fast forward 5 years, I sent her on a city-wide scavenger hunt just to bring her back to the same park where it all started – and I asked her to marry me.
What were your original plans for your wedding day? Something bigger? We were going to have our wedding at a golf course on a hot summer’s day with 120+ guests. The “+” is very important because it was certainly going to exceed 120 guests.
When you had to change your plans, how did you feel before and after? We experienced many mixed feelings. We were feeling disappointed, even guilty, that we were unable to have our guests celebrate with us. However, we were also grateful for the amount of forgiveness and understanding that was shown from our original venue and vendors as we had to cancel these arrangements. Finally, we were still quite determined to tie the knot! We ended up having our wedding live-streamed on YouTube, so that way we were still joined by our friends and family, across the globe!
Will you be having a larger celebration?
Judy: Probably not, but do I want to wear a beautiful dress and feel like a princess for an entire day? Then yes, absolutely! So, on second thought… maybe we will
Was there anything extra unique about your event?
Benny: Asides from it being the result of an unplanned global pandemic, we tried our best to incorporate our guests throughout our day as best as possible.
Judy: We started off with some Door Games, where the Groom, with the help of his groomsmen, must prove his undying love for his Bride. This will usually include several displays of the extents he’ll go to prove he is worthy of her love.
Benny: Yes, like me running through the forest in my perfectly tailored suit to catch the runaway flower girl, Luna, our dog.
Judy: We also had a traditional Chinese Tea Ceremony to symbolize the union of our two families. After that, we had our wedding ceremony and I made sure my brother co-officiated the ceremony.
Benny: We had a Rings Warming ceremony, where our rings were passed along from guest to guest – this allowed everyone an opportunity to hold and warm the rings with any well wishes, blessings and overall good vibes for our future together.
Judy: Our rings were then presented to us by Deda (Benny’s grandpa). And of course, we all had a go at frolicking through this beautiful enchanted backyard at one point or another.
What was your favourite part of the day?
Benny: When she said “I do”.
Benny: Or when our officiant said, “You may now kiss your bride!”
Judy: Well, I was going to say when I drove us to the hotel after the festivities and since I wasn’t ready to change, it was pretty funny to stuff my entire dress in the driver’s seat with me (don’t try this at home!). But I suppose I’ll change my answer after hearing yours… My revised favourite part of the day would have to be at the beginning of our ceremony: when we finally met at the bottom of the hill and all we could do was laugh, we just laughed hysterically with each other. In a garden with no more than 20 people and a forest of tall trees, our laughter muted all our surroundings and for that little moment, it was just us.
What advice can you give to couples planning a wedding?
Benny: Start early. Know what you want and stick to it!
Judy: Whatever you do, wear comfy shoes!
Ceremony/reception location: Groom’s family’s backyard in Orléans, Ontario
Number of guests: 16 (if we include the dogs, then 18!)
Photography & videography: BBhe & Weddings
Gown designer: Dreams Bridal, Sophia Tolli
Suit designer: 4MenUnited
Bridesmaid dresses: Made by Groom’s Mom
Flowers: Crown Floral Boutique
Makeup: Molly Makeup Studio