Real Weddings 2013: a Magritte-inspired surrealist wedding at Spadina House
Date: July 14, 2012 | Location: Spadina House | Guests: 130 | Budget: $85,000
After falling in love while working summer jobs at the CN Tower in 2005, Ashley Sembay, a 29-year-old teacher, and Jonathan Stainton, a 30-year-old filmmaker, maintained a long-distance relationship for three years while Ashley studied at McGill. Before they parted, Jonathan sent her on a daylong scavenger hunt that had her breaking into shuttered bars and scrambling under the Danforth viaduct; the prize was a plane ticket to visit him. During their separation, the couple took a cue from Ashley’s favourite movie, The Notebook, and wrote letters to each other every day, finally settling down in Toronto in 2008. For his proposal, Jonathan created another scavenger hunt. This time it took 11 days for her to solve, and involved email hacking, 3D puzzles and Da Vinci Code–style cryptexes. The final clue sent Ashley to the restaurant Union on Ossington, where Jonathan asked her to marry him in front of their friends and family. Ever the whimsical pair, they sent out a video documenting their relationship instead of invitations and threw a lavish, Magritte-inspired surrealist wedding at Spadina House. Wedding attendants wore bowler hats, and the couple served a giant cake in the form of a green apple.