Jessica Duffy & Brian Bax
Jessica and Brian have Tinder to thank for their romantic relationship. After meeting and immediately falling in love, these two exchanged vows in a private, pop-up elopement. Jessica says it was perfect.
Tell us a bit about your love story: We actually met on Tinder in 2018! We fell in love immediately. I was the free spirit and spontaneity Brian needed in his life, and Brian was the good heart and stability that I needed. From day one, everything together felt right – like we’d each had a piece missing in our lives that we never even knew was missing. It helps that we met in our 30s, so we already knew who we were and what we wanted from life.
What were your original plans for your wedding day? We always planned on eloping, so the rise in elopement options during the pandemic really worked for us. Though, I never imagined eloping during a lockdown, which meant I hadn’t had my hair coloured in 7 months, couldn’t get my nails or lashes done, had to do my own hair and makeup, and we couldn’t even dine indoors. Our original plan was actually to elope in Banff, and we had even put a deposit down but as the date approached, we didn’t feel like flying to another province was a smart decision. We found the Armstrong Estate when looking for options in Ontario, and we couldn’t believe they were holding a pop-up elopement event on the same date as our original wedding plan.
How did you feel about the change in plans? Changing plans from Banff to Ottawa was a difficult decision, but when we started talking to the coordinator at The Armstrong Estate, any doubts we had about changing our plans immediately vanished. The Banff plan did not have a lot of customization or much of a connection with the coordinator – it honestly felt like fate that we changed our plans. The Armstrong Estate was holding a pop-up elopement event so I expected to have a very cookie-cutter experience that would apply to all the couples getting married that day, but Gabrielle (the coordinator) made sure that was not the case. I got to pick table settings, flowers, cake design, decorations, and much more, and Gabrielle coordinated everything for the perfect experience.
What was your favourite part of the day? The intimacy of the day! It was so amazing to be fully focused on each other on our wedding day, instead of having to worry about coordinating or organizing anything around guests. It rained, so we were able to move the wedding up by a couple of hours to avoid the worst of the storm, and we took photos out of order so that we could beat the rain before exchanging rings – these are things we could not have done if we had a wedding party and guests. It was such a fun day, lots of love and laughter, and a great, small team there to help us out. When we got back to our hotel, the rain was pouring down and we decided to order pizza in from The Grand to our hotel room instead of the fancy dinner we had planned to go to. The flexibility of everything made for the perfect day.
What was your favourite wedding detail? So much thought was put in to the decor by our coordinator, I especially loved the floral arch. But our absolute favourite detail has to be the video we got from the videographer – we definitely would not have chosen to use a videographer if we were planning the wedding ourselves, it was something included in the package we chose. We were actually really nervous about being mic’d up and having to watch ourselves on video, but the video blew us away! It was so beautifully done, you can hear the birds chirping and the rain on the roof of the pavilion, watching it takes us right back to that day. It’s only a 90-second video, but it’s perfect. We were able to share it with our family so that they could see us exchange vows and see all the beautiful details of the day. It’s something I would highly recommend to anyone eloping (or having a traditional wedding!).
What advice can you give to couples who are thinking about eloping/having an intimate wedding? Do it! Nobody was upset about us not having a big traditional wedding; most close friends and family members actually applauded our decision because they know how stressful traditional weddings can get. Many of our friends even said they wish they’d done the same as us for their weddings. We didn’t have to worry about having the wedding somewhere easy for our family to get to, or have to take any suggestions that we didn’t want. It was a day truly devoted to us. I can’t imagine a more perfect start to a marriage.
Ceremony/reception venue: Armstrong Estate in Spencerville, Ont.
Planner: Gabrielle at The Armstrong Estate
Photographer: Rob Lloyd
Wedding dress designer: Sharidan Ivory from Boutique 1861
Suit designer: Moores
Décor: Armstrong Estate
Flowers: Riverwood Gardens
Cake: Dulce Cake Design
Videographer: Films by Jinbon
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