First Wedding Anniversary

Our Elopement

I never got around to sharing photos of our elopement with my online friends or with you, my readers. Seeing as how our first year anniversary is on the horizon, now seems like the ideal time to share our story and pictures.

My husband and I eloped in the sunny town of Goderich (Ontario's prettiest city), but we actually eloped in three towns at once! Confused? Most people are after we tell them that. Officially we eloped in Clinton, we had photos taken in Goderich and we ate dinner in Bayfield. The reason for this is simple, we couldn't find everything we needed all in one place, but also because we liked the entire Huron County area and didn't mind splitting the celebration in three ways.

In the beginning...

We had always dreamed of marrying abroad in some place like the Bahamas but it wasn't in the stars (or our bank accounts). We had postponed our elopement three times before we finally managed to arrange it. I remember telling people, "we're getting married this August!" and then it wouldn't happen because of some unforeseen expense, or another life problem got in the way.

I finally hit my breaking point in 2016 when I realized I had put on weight, my hair was falling out and I was approaching my late 20's. This followed a dangerous hysterectomy the year before, I wasn't sure if I was going through menopause or what and I feared that if we waited any longer I'd be bald and too fat to fit into my wedding dress. My fiancé consented and we began planning an alternative to our dream elopement.

I knew that I had to make this elopement special. Since we lost out on our dreams of pink sand beaches and feeding wild pigs, I had to come up with a way to make our elopement fun and just as beautiful as the Bahamas. It wasn't easy, but somehow, miraculously, it all came together on the big day.

The ultimate plan was to have a tea party in a garden, which turned into a photo set, which turned into an Alice in Wonderland tea party themed photo set! The plans just kept growing and changing until it came out as this polished, beautiful elopement.


As per my husband's request, I kept the theme subtle and very adult, no tissue paper flowers or oversized mushrooms. I used simple and sweet decor items. I remember people would ask me, "what are your wedding colours?" And I would say "all of them" because we were working with damn near every colour in the rainbow. Literally, my colour scheme for my wedding was floral.

The Process

I scrambled to get everything together three months before the elopement. The rings, the legal documents, and the restaurant and B&B bookings were first on the list. Then I began accumulating decor for the photo set, much of which could be used later on, like candle sticks, a patio bistro set, a large vase, or plates. I kept almost everything from our elopement, in fact the chandelier from our photo set hangs in my sewing room. The only exception was an adorable little pink nightstand that we returned to HomeSense the very next day... I know it sounds bad, but if you're eloping on a tight budget and you need decor or photo props, this is an ingenious solution. Just be clean and gentle with whatever you "borrow" and get it back to the store within the return policy time frame...
but you didn't hear any of this from me.

I am a super frugal bride. I bought my wedding dress for $60, dry cleaned it for $300 and sewed on $40 worth of Swarovski crystals by hand. It was pure fate that the wedding dress was my exact size and everything I had ever dreamed of. Like my best mate said, it's a poofy princess dress, it's fun, it makes a statement and it suits me. I got my shoes off of Amazon, they were my "something blue" and after working with the brand that makes them I got a good deal on the price. My hair is a combination between a bun form and a hairpiece from a brand called Hairuwear - unfortunately their product has changed since Simpson and Paves came along, but if you can find their old stuff (usually in a gray box) I strongly encourage that you buy it! I might talk about this more later on in the blog, it works really well if you have thin or thinning hair. I only paid about $25 for my hair to be put up because I lied and said it was for a family portrait! I spent almost $300 on makeup, but I did it myself. It would've cost the same to have someone apply my makeup and I would rather keep the makeup afterwards, so this was the best choice. I still have my eye shadow, blush and concealers, which I use often, so yes, it was totally worth doing. I also saved money by making my own flower arrangements for the photo set, the lady at Zehr's gave me great deals after she learned it was my wedding day! :)


The Big Day


We held the ceremony and legally eloped at the town hall in Clinton. After that was over we drove back to Goderich to the Colborne B&B, where I showered before getting back into my wedding dress, then we proceeded to assemble the photo set with the help of our awesome photographer, Heather Dietz. We packed up the set after a few hours of photographs and headed to Bayfield for a private dinner at The Little Inn of Bayfield. Unbeknownst to us, they had surrounded our table with tealights and there was a big beautiful flower bouquet in red and purple by the window - it was awesome! Finally, we finished at the Bayfield town hall, our back up rental in case it rained, where we had our first dance together, alone.

During the photo shoot the resident cat photobombed a few of our pictures (see if you can spot him in one of these). We actually found this to be very touching. Originally we had intended to include chalk board signs with the names of each of our cats but because we switched to having the photo set at the front of the B&B I had to cut out a number of decor items, this included seven or so additional vases and a large bolt of purple and white ombre fabric. Their cat looks like a long haired version of my boy Spencer, who I recently lost to old age. I am ecstatic to have him in my photos because it felt like this Cheshire cat represented all of my fur babies. I always knew that I wanted a cat to be present on my wedding day!


Conclusion

It was an exhausting night. If I did it again, which I hope I never have to, I would have preferred to spend more time at our tea party. The set was up and down in a total of three hours, which is a damn shame because it looked freaking adorable.

We have so much gratitude for John and Suzanne (the B&B owners) and Heather for their efforts. It wouldn't have been a success without them. Also thanks to Luann's Flowers for my gorgeous bouquet that almost brought me to tears when I first saw it, and The Little Inn for going that extra mile to make our wedding dinner special, and The Pink Flamingo Bakery in Bayfield who made our delicious cupcakes!

I hope you enjoyed our story!
Ladyfair