Sarah Jongerden and Stephen Maglaris had their first date at Barrie’s Kenzington Burger Bar in 2016. The eclectic restaurant had never been the scene of a wedding, but thanks to this pair of customers, all that soon changed.
“When we started thinking about where to get married, we knew we wanted somewhere simple and meaningful to us,” says Sarah, who indeed married her love, Stephen, at Kenzington’s on August 5th, 2018. “We didn’t want a traditional wedding; we wanted it to be intimate, unique and a great party. I took a chance and emailed Kenzington’s manager, Neil Ornella, and told him that the restaurant had always been a special place for the two of us, and that we’d like to get married there. Neil thought it was a great story, met with us, and said that he could make it happen.”
On the appointed day, the restaurant closed to the public at 3 p.m. for the couple’s 4 p.m. wedding. A backdrop of white fabric was installed on the patio to block the view of the parking lot. Because Sarah and Stephen loved the restaurant’s industrial decor, only simple table decorations were needed.
“It was very simple to transition Kenzington’s from a restaurant to a wedding venue,” says Sarah.
Stephen proposed to his love during a surprise trip to Jamaica. He arranged to have their resort set the scene for the big question: a private, candlelit dinner under a cabana on the beach.
Knowing her style and taste, the future groom had picked out Sarah’s engagement ring himself.
“I had never told him anything about what I wanted, and he got it perfect,” says Sarah.
Instead of having wedding rings, the bride and groom designed “wedding ring” tattoos and had them done by Alessia Enciso at Unique Ink Custom Tattooing and Piercing in Barrie, right after their ceremony. The rings’ design is the couple’s combined Zodiac signs.
“It was the first time that a bride and groom were in their shop on their wedding day, so it was really fun says Sarah. “We didn’t tell anyone about the tattoo idea, so I took a picture of us at the shop and posted it on Instagram. That’s how some of them found out before we got back.”
Sarah found her unique wedding gown at Toronto-based, Paloma Blanca. The salesperson asked Sarah to consider a dress that was her personal favourite, but was rarely tried on. Sarah did, and it was perfect. The lower half was a crêpe material and its Guipure lace top fulfilled the bride’s wish to have lace on her gown.
The night before the wedding, the groom took Sarah’s son Benjamin and his own son Ethan out for an evening of swimming, cruising around in a Corvette and then spent the night at a hotel nearby the wedding venue.
“We wanted to involve the kids in our wedding festivities and make them feel like special and honoured guests,” explains Sarah.
Getting ready the next day with her daughter Brynn was a tender moment for the bride.
“Not having a wedding party allowed Brynn and I to get ready by ourselves, and this was very special to Brynn and to me as well,” says Sarah. “We had our hair, make-up and nails done together and drank from champagne glasses. Brynn left about an hour before my sister Emily picked me up in the ‘Vette to go to Kenzington’s.”
During the wedding ceremony, Sarah and Stephen called their kids up to tell them how important they are and how much they are loved by the both of them. Stephen fondly remembers seeing his bride for the first time at the ceremony.
“My favourite memory is when Sarah finally got to the ceremony and was walking up to me,” he says. “I just remember my cheeks hurting so bad from the big smile on my face. I was the happiest man in the world.”
After Stephen and Sarah, now husband and wife, walked out to Van Morrison’s “Into The Mystic”, guests were treated to a cocktail hour with and some delicious appetizers that included mac and cheese bites, poutine boats, creole marinated grilled shrimp, spinach and artichoke puff pastry bites and bruschetta fried wontons. The dinner, of course, was Kenzington’s famous burgers with sides of salad and fries.
Keeping with the non-traditional “theme”, the bride and groom opted out of a wedding cake and served homemade squares for dessert.
Sarah and Stephen had an urban photoshoot in downtown Barrie, and then headed to the beautiful waterfront for some more pictures before returning to their guests to dance the night away. Musician Michael Costantini, who regularly plays at Kenzington’s, played acoustic guitar during the ceremony and added a drum machine and a loop pedal to replicate a full band with only himself and a bass player.
“Many of Michael’s songs were his own unique take on popular music of today and of years ago,” says Stephen. “His performance was fantastic and everyone loved it. It couldn’t have been better.”
Looking back, the newlyweds loved the day for the simplicity that made it stress-free and perfect.
“We wanted it to be a party where we just happened to get married,” says Sarah.