Do you sometimes feel like your vendors don’t understand what you’re going through or even how you’re feeling? Do you ever feel like throwing in the towel and cancelling everything? Or maybe even just running away and eloping? Let me start off by telling you I know exactly how you feel, seriously. I understand ALL OF THIS and I want to share my experience with you.

On March 16, 2020, my then-fiancé and I were finalizing details for our surprise (part one) wedding/ceremony, that was to be held on March 23, 2020 –literally, 7 days before Edmonton announced cancellations of schools and closures of schools and businesses– we were shook.

March 23 was on a Monday, and the date was an important one to us, so there wasn’t an option of just changing it, like anyone planning a wedding during COVID has been told. With the restrictions just being announced, our venue was closed, our vision was dead, and we were left to scramble to find an alternative. A huge thank you to Nicole from Sugar Plum Events who recommended Gabriela Cruz Photography Studio in South Edmonton. The space was available to rent and just what we needed so I would have a place to get ready and we could have a beautiful backdrop to do our first look (which was very important to us.)

Our photographer found a second shooter, due to the health regulations and personal comfort-levels. I asked a stylist -HUGE shoutout to Jenn, (you’re the bomb)- through my Bridal shop to help get me into my dress and thank goodness she did because none of this would’ve happened without her, I mean a corset back and a Bride just isn’t possible. My amazing makeup, Siobhan from LuxeBeauty artist came through, met my daughter and me at the studio to do my makeup. The photographer arrived just before my soon-to-be-husband arrived and it was time to get in my gown. It was very important that London was made to feel included. Of course, she stole the show. I mean, look at all the cuteness.

London coming down the stairs

After the photos were done, we went home and (not so patiently) waited for our Commissioners arrival. We decided on Dave Sawchuk from GetMarriedYEG. I met Dave a while back, and he is absolutely amazing. His energy, his zest for life, and the fact he is a complete romantic made him an easy choice. I wanted our ceremony short and sweet, I mean there were literally five people there. Originally, I thought this was all part of the legality and since we weren’t able to have our day as we wanted it, this part didn’t matter a whole lot to me either, but Dave made our ceremony so special, even emotional, and made the two of us feel like we were the most important couple during those moments.

Our friends and family were under the impression we were getting married on June 26, 2020, which was when we were hosting our reception (part two), but as COVID-19 continued our venue made the call to cancel our reception (we were firm at 66 people and we were using a restaurant.) This was really hard on us. We’ve also suffered the loss of some important family members between our ceremony and reception date, so it put a lot into perspective, but we did what felt right for us.

On June 26, 2020, I worked with our original photographer, Megan Dawn Photography, CRAFT Beer Market, The Art of Cake, and planned a stylized shoot. It was important to get those formal photos done and feel special. By this point, we knew COVID-19 wasn’t going anywhere, so it was time to make a day about us. We called two of our good friends (& our cohorts), rented a limo, this time I asked Delica Bridal to help me get into my Lorelei by Hayley Paige gown. The photos were spectacular. You can see them here.

Our ceremony elopement was such a special moment, we got to celebrate our love and how much we’ve grown after experiencing such a tough year. I’m so happy we made the decision to go ahead with our plans and I’m definitely looking forward to the day to safely celebrate with friends and family! At the end of the day, we did what was best for us and the circumstances we were given.

My Advice
MOST IMPORTANTLY, do whatever you two want because, at the end of the day, this is about the two of you! If you’re going to go ahead with planning something and you’re feeling overwhelmed, get a planner! Whether you’re thinking about eloping, having minimony, or doing a stylized shoot/photoshoot as we did. It’s always with the investment to some advice and some direction. The last thing you want to be doing is running around, picking up florals, breakfast, or the cake, the morning of.

Favorite Part of Our Day
Kris: “Seeing you for the first time and knowing I was going to spend the rest of my life with you.”
Olivia: “Watching how excited London was getting ready for our day, spending the morning with her, and seeing Kris for the first time. I instantly started smiling, which then turned to tears.”





Edmonton, Alberta, Canada