Let's take it back to the beginning of 2021 in Ontario when the wedding industry had been severely impacted by the ongoing restrictions and lockdowns due to Covid-19. As we turned our calendars into 2021, Toronto weddings were still being downsized, postponed and cancelled. It was heartbreaking to see so many couples forced to change their plans when all they wanted was to be married and celebrate their love. Jennifer See Studios and I, decided to create an incredible experience for one couple who just wanted to be married! This experience would be in the form of an elopement giveaway in Toronto, complete with spectacular florals, two photographers, decor and the incredible Steam Whistle Brewing as the venue for one couple to get married amidst the pandemic. To do the giveaway we did a call out on Instagram for couples to enter, letting us know why an elopement would be special to them, why they just wanted to #dothedamnthing and tie the knot! The stipulations of the elopement were only that the guest list had to be less than 10 people (this also helped with the gathering limits in Ontario at the time). With countless entries we landed on one lucky couple; Jane and Brandon! After we let them know the exciting news, we got to planning some smaller details and getting to know the amazing couple. We learned that Jane and Brandon have been together for 6+ years through many ups and downs; battling with the pandemic and even tougher issues in their personal lives, but always supporting one another through it all. As we were nearing our elopement date, we hit a bit of a bumpy road. As Jane was battling medical issues, both her and Brandon also got covid. So we decided to push their celebration by a few weeks and locked in on a day in gorgeous mid week day in July! Nothing would stop us from getting these two married now!
With the help of the amazing events team at Steam Whistle in Toronto, along with our insanely talented pal Sarah from The Little Shed Flower Company we created a romantic and moody setting for these two to say 'I do'. Keep reading to get to know this amazing couple more and take a peek into their emotional elopement!
Our friends over at The Kit also shared Jane and Brandon's story! It's beautifully written and gives more insight into their incredible relationship, the struggles they've faced together, their proposal story and of course their decision to elope!
Q’s for J+B
(1) Why elope? What made you enter the giveaway
After being diagnosed with brain cancer for the second time at the beginning of 2020, dealing with the loss of loved ones, and other personal health issues, our engagement was definitely the highlight of 2020. We had looked at a few venues but ultimately had no idea what our wedding vision was. With my impending health and a global pandemic to navigate, planning a wedding seemed daunting and not something that either of us were excited about taking on. All we knew was that we didn’t want to wait for the world to open up to throw a huge wedding just to seal the deal. With everything that had been thrown at us, our wedding priorities shifted and we decided that eloping was just the right call. The giveaway really was the answer to all of our obstacles. If we could eliminate the stress of planning and the price tag that comes with having a large wedding, and share the day with our closest, most intimate circle of family, why wouldn’t we!? So, we entered the giveaway with nothing to lose.
(2) How are you planning to share with friends and family?*
We have lots of photos and video clips from the day that we have started sharing with family and friends. We hope to throw a party at some point to celebrate with a wider circle; we’re thinking maybe a reception style gathering for our year anniversary.
(3) Do you have any honeymoon plans?
We left the day after our wedding for a “mini moon” in Prince Edward County where we stayed in a cute air bnb, toured around to different wineries and breweries and ate some really great food at some of the local restaurants there. It was a nice little way to commence our marriage, but we do plan on doing something more extravagant in the not too distant future; we’ve been in talks about Bali or travelling around Europe.
(4) Describe your favourite moment of the day!
I never imagined doing a first look because I’ve always pictured a more traditional wedding where my groom would see me for the first time as I walked down the aisle, but because tradition had already been thrown out the window with an elopement, we decided to do the first look and it was actually the favourite moment for both of us. After arriving at the venue, seeing/meeting all the vendors, and taking in the set up that had been created for us, Brandon described seeing me for the first time as the explosion at the end of the fuse, or the game winning shot at the end of the count down. For me, seeing Brandon standing there waiting for me, and seeing his reaction when he turned around, just further solidified that I had chosen the right person to spend my life with.
(5) What would you recommend to couples wanting to elope?
Eloping might not be for everyone but it really is a special, intimate alternative to a traditional wedding. I’d say if you’re on the fence, just go for it! When it comes down to it, marriage is about the union of two people and I think sometimes that sentiment can get a little lost in the process of having a larger wedding. Eloping is a good way to strip away all the bells and whistles and really focus on the bottom line!