A Modern Elopement
While big, personalized weddings filled with family & friends are still the most popular way to go these days, eloping is not as uncommon or taboo as it once was. Back in the day an elopement would have meant a couple sneaking off in secret to tie the knot. Nowadays, many a Canadian couple have embraced more modern forms of elopement that range from totally private adventures to very personalized ceremonies that include very close family and friends.
Not wanting to spend 22 months in 'planning hell’ is one of the top reasons for choosing elopement. Couples are desperately looking to escape the stress of planning a ‘wedding wedding’. Planning a wedding can be the logistical equivalent of herding cats - wedding planning is a profession for a reason!
Checking an item off of a bucket list is another great reason to elope. We all know Canadian’s love a great adventure, often in the great outdoors! Always dreamt of a clifftop ceremony via helicopter? Eloping means you don’t have to worry about how Grandma will fair in the chopper or how your cousin Lu will handle his vertigo at cliff’s edge. (fyi if this sound like you, check out heli-weddings! )
Living anywhere in the lower mainland? Then you understand the cost-effective draw for eloping. Throwing a traditional wedding is expensive. Wedding Bells most recent survey found the average cost of a Canadian wedding is $30,717!!! It should come as no surprise then that many a betrothed British Columbian chooses to have a beautiful wedding sans guests so that they don’t have to choose between paying the rent, having a vacation or marrying their partner.
It’s a day to celebrate your relationship
Marriage was the key word for the pair who by no means wanted the wedding to take centre stage over the commitment they were entering into. Says Marylin, “We've come a long way and learned how to work together and how to be patient when things aren't as smooth as they could be. Getting married was our way of celebrating what we've shared so far and a start to our next chapter where we plan to continue to learn and love and build our lives together. Daniel was the one to bring up how crazy the wedding planning was getting. We started with an elopement in mind and added things as we went, remembering that we wanted to keep it small.'
Include those most important to the two of you
For those planning a wedding, you will notice it is rare to find a venue that allows fur babies. For this couple, their fur baby Kilo had been with them for the last 10 years and celebrating without him wouldn’t have felt right. ‘He is the one thing we loved more than we love eachother.’ Kilo passed away a couple months after the wedding but these two will cherish his memory through the photos and video that they captured that day and so many before. And YES Kilo is wearing a bow tie lovingly chosen by the groom so that he was looking dapper for the occasion.
Details that matter to you
Some of the couples’ personlized touches were subtle to anyone who might have walked by Friendship Garden that day, but in fact it is the small details that made the two feel right at home. Their wedding colours for example were inspired by the groom’s WWE alter ego, Volcano. They used his costume colours of red and blue and decided on a beautiful marsala and navy palette with pops of gold. The gold was weaved in to incorporate Marylin’s love of the sunflower which makes her feel straight up happy.A couple of details that were less subtle but no less awesome came as a surprise from Daniel’s best man. He thought the guys needed to add some nerdy details that were ‘totally Daniel’! He ordered them all Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle socks and Marvel Themed cuff links.
Ask for help
No matter how intimate your wedding celebration, asking for help is part of the journey. From marriage advice to vendor recommendations, set-up or shot calling - help is essential. Says Marylin, ‘get a coordinator regardless of the size of your wedding - I mean it! My maid of honour and her sister, who was also my bridesmaid, are boss ladies! They swooped in and saved the day. They had everyone seated and made sure the ceremony ran smoothly! But if I could do it again I would have designated someone outside of the wedding to do all this.’Marylin & Daniel had friends help film their wedding using our Clipsake video cameras, they held their wedding reception at a friend’s studio in New Westminster and found their talented florist through one of their groomsmen. Time and time again we’ve seen that friends & family members are only too happy to help. Although it can start out feeling awkward to ask, remember helping allows special people in your life to share in the joy of the celebration with you.
You can be flexible
Working with Marylin and Daniel in the year leading up to their wedding, the one marvelous thing we noticed is that their wedding plans were fluid. As the wedding turned into a modern elopement including a small number of guests, many of the details, most notably, the location could be chosen at the last moment. For those who have searched and searched for venues only to be frustrated by $ per plate of catering or the availability or size limitations, this is truly a game changer.
"For anyone who is considering an elopement I say go for it! This is a special day and you deserve to look back on it with fond memories. So make sure you document it. Whether it be photos or video footage. And do your elopement your way!". We couldn’t agree with Marylin more! Our motto? Your life. Your take.
Ceremony Location - Tipperary Park & Friendship Garden, New Westminster
Wedding Video - Clipsake + The couple's friends (#filmityourself crew)
Photography - Fortune Hill Photography
Catering - Austin Gourmet
Flowers - Alicja Chojnacka
Wedding Cake - Liz Kowalczyk
Bridesmaids Dresses - Le Chateau
Groomsmen Outfits - Tip Top Tailors & Le Chateau