Jennifer and Ashford Frank
From a swipe-right on a dating app, to walking down the aisle! Jennifer and Ashford had to pivot from a destination wedding in Greece, to a local, more intimate wedding, and it was beautiful. Here, Jennifer shares her thoughts on the day.
Tell us a bit about your love story:
Ashford and I met on Bumble when Ashford decided to extend his search range that luckily reached me in Niagara, Ont. and we both swiped right and matched! Our first date was at Mascot Brewery downtown Toronto. From the moment we started talking, it was as if we had known each other for years and our date didn’t end until about 4:00 in the morning on the beach just East of the city. It’s very probable that we had crossed paths earlier as we both had mutual friends and Ashford attended university just beside my hometown in Niagara. Two years later, Ashford proposed in Paris, France in front of the Eiffel Tower. We spent the rest of our trip planning our wedding as we continued down to the South of France.
What were your original plans for your wedding day?
Our original plans were to get married in Santorini, Greece! We had been there before and just thought it was one of the most magical places we had been to. Invitations were sent out and 60 of our family and friends RSVPed for our wedding in August 2020. Everything was running smoothly and our dream wedding was getting closer and closer, and then the reality of Covid hit in March 2020. We decided to wait it out as we weren’t sure at that point whether or not Covid was here to stay. June 2020 came around, international flights were looking like less and less of a probability and so we had to make the difficult decision of cancelling our dream wedding. We weren’t only devastated, but also felt so guilty for our guests who had also invested in the trip. And although our wedding planner in Greece was very helpful and accommodating throughout the planning process, we lost everything once we cancelled. We ended up losing all of our deposits and any financial investments we had made with our planner, venue, vendors and some accommodations was gone. Because it was so close to the actual wedding date, these amounts accounted for almost the full cost of the wedding.
When you had to change your plans, how did you feel before and after?
We were at a loss. We knew either way we didn’t want to let the pandemic stop us from getting married that summer, but we didn’t know how exactly we were going to do it, and at a reasonable cost considering we had just lost so much. We thought perhaps a ceremony in a family member’s backyard, a quick exchange of vows on the beach, we weren’t quite sure. Coincidentally, I (Jennifer) saw a post on Instagram about a one-day wedding ceremony event specifically for those whose wedding plans were affected by Covid, which they called ‘The Elopement Edit’. It was being planned and organized by MUSE Event Co. and I got on the phone and called them right away. We were able to secure a spot and a new wedding date was booked! For the first time in several months we were excited to get married again. We had all the butterflies and excitement of not completing losing everything.
What was your favourite part of the day?
My favourite part of the day was definitely that moment of walking down the aisle. Only a few months before I wasn’t sure if that moment would ever come true. But it was a moment filled with overflowing joy, butterflies in my stomach and overall gratefulness. Those short but memorable moments I don’t think I will ever forget and I can play it through my mind like it was yesterday.
What will guests remember most?
From what we heard from our guests, the ceremony was definitely memorable and just the fact that people had a reason to dress up and get out of the house after being in a lockdown was quite memorable. The venue, Graydon Hall, was also so beautiful.
What advice can you give to couples planning a wedding?
Hire a planner, and a good planner! We couldn’t have been more happier with ours (MUSE Event Co.!) – it made all the difference. Also, think about the big picture – although small details are important, on the actual day it will be more about those intimate moments with your significant other, your friends, and your family that you’ll remember. And finally, in times like these, stay open minded to options that you may not have considered before. You may miss out on something that ends up being one of your favourite touches to the day or moment.
Number of guests: 50
Ceremony venue: Graydon Hall (Toronto)
Reception venue: Palais Royale (Toronto)
Dress designer: Catherine Langlois
Suit designer: Lingo Luxe Bespoke
Photographer: 515 Photo Co.
Flowers: Rachel A. Clingen
Cake: Nadia & Co.
Planner: MUSE Event Co.
Hair/makeup: Jen Evoy Makeup
Live Quartet: Alex Toskov Music
Wedding Stationery: Paper & Poste
Looking for more outdoor wedding inspiration? Check out our online wedding guide!
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