Jessica Whitton & Paul Zdunic
May 26, 2018. Ontario, Canada
Wedding Dress: Berta
Jessica Whitton and Paul Zdunic were high school sweethearts who started dating in grade twelve. “We originally ‘planned’ to date until we left for our respective universities, as they were 3.5 hours apart,” Paul shares. “But we couldn’t bear the thought of breaking up, so we ended up doing long distance for all four years of university. Upon graduation, Jessica went to law school in Southampton, England – so another two years of long distance ensued. We found out that distance truly does make the heart grow stronger. In Jessica’s second year of law school in England, I planned a trip to take her to Venice to propose. It was everything I expected. We shared an amazing dinner at the Cipriani Hotel afterwards to celebrate.”
Like many couples during the wedding planning process, Paul and Jessica wanted their special day to be a fairytale, with guests walking into a magical experience. For the reception décor, the main focal point was a floral ceiling installation that spanned the entire space, creating a breathtaking world of wisteria and chandeliers.
“The ceremony was very emotional,” Paul recalls. “I cried the second I saw Jess in her gorgeous wedding dress. She was fighting back tears too. It all felt surreal on that day – all the years of long distance, all the longing for each other finally was paying off.”
With the bride and groom both being foodies, guests were treated to a variety of dishes presented in unique ways. This included an ice sculpture and oyster bar, popcorn soup served in espresso cups, a prosciutto and parmigiana station, and bottles of Moet champagne with gold straws.
“We tried to incorporate things we usually like to indulge in,” describes the groom. “For example, one of our favorite restaurants in Toronto, Trattoria Nervosa – we had the chef actually recreate the sauce from the restaurant to create our favorite mushroom truffle Mafalde. We had some interesting late night foods as well, including a spectacular ‘cake garden’ designed by Nadia and Co. It was extraordinary the way she made things look edible. She designed the dessert garden around a custom wisteria tree designed by Frank Rea. We also served truffle fries, lobster grilled cheese, flambéed shrimp and scallops, and Neapolitan-style pizzas at 11 p.m. We had an extravagant firework show in the evening as, well which was a fun surprise for guests as we had everyone go outside for a massive send-off with the whole sky lit up.”
For their honeymoon, the newlyweds went to Cuixmala in Mexico. “The resort is essentially an animal sanctuary and all of the food is locally sourced from the property on the hotel,” says Paul. “It was the freshest and some of the most delicious food we have ever eaten. It was truly like paradise. We were there for five days and were treated like absolute royalty.”
>Written By: Lauren Malamala