The first time she met Jack Gray, Victoria Walton removed her high heels, took a pair of slippers out of her purse, and popped them on her feet. It was New Year’s Eve. Dragged out by mutual friends who were sure the two would hit it off, Victoria - a natural homebody - wanted to be comfortable, and herself. Jack, who wasn’t told he’d be meeting a potential romantic partner that evening, was delighted by the gesture as well and impressed that she ate an entire medium pizza all by herself. For Victoria, not only did Jack's smiling eyes charm her immediately, but the moustache socks he was wearing were highly appreciated. It was the beginning of a beautiful romance.
Several days later, together with their friends who had set them up, Jack and Victoria met up at a local pub, which then led to the couple's first official date. It started out memorably, with Victoria turning up 45 minutes late. Thankfully, despite her directional challenges, it was worth the wait, and the two spent the entire evening in a small Toronto bistro talking nonstop.
The couple – Victoria works in healthcare and Jack in real estate – bonded over their shared love of dogs, cooking, eating and playing tennis. Within five months of dating, family members were already teasing them about when they were going to tie the knot.
In September 2018 Jack had a ring and was set to propose. He made a reservation at Toronto's Trattoria Nervosa, but to his surprise, Victoria didn't arrive home from work until 10pm that same evening. It just happened to be the first time Victoria had worked overtime. Jack, unfazed by the change in plans, carried on. Dressed in sweatpants and over a dinner of grilled cheese sandwiches, he got down on one knee and asked Victoria to be his wife.
The newly betrothed decided on an intimate country wedding at a family farm north of Toronto. Working with Ashley Piggot Events and Tanya List for florals, they created an elevated farmhouse experience. Given that Victoria and Jack are very private, they wanted to carve out a moment prior to the ceremony just for them. “Once we saw each other, all our stress went away and we felt locked into each other,” explains Victoria. “The result was that during our vows, we didn’t notice anyone around us.” The decision ended up being the highlight of their wedding, which didn’t go unnoticed by their guests, who all observed how loving and in sync the bride and groom were.
Post-ceremony, over 100 family and friends enjoyed grazing boards that integrated with the decor, an important element for the foodies. Catered by the Food Dudes, guests went on to enjoy dinner under a tent that included short ribs, chicken, salads, and a host of desserts. The desserts included some favourite Italian specialties prepared by Victoria's friends and family, such as peaches con creme and her grandmother's benalla rose cookies. As a nod to Jack's proposal, the late night snack was grilled cheese sandwiches for all.
After a few days of resting and recuperating from their big day, the newlyweds flew to Italy and Greece for their honeymoon.
Newly settled into life as a married couple, Victoria and Jack love cooking for friends and family. They prefer casual gatherings, and Victoria often turns to Ina Garten for recipe inspiration. "The one thing Jack has had to become accustomed to as a married man, is dessert," says Victoria. "In my family, no meal is complete without it, and so far, there are no complaints."
Victoria + Jack's favourite gifts
"We love this blue and white dinnerware, it will be in our family for a long time."
"It's the kind of gift you have your entire life, and we think of the person who gave it to us each time we use it."