What makes a wedding truly special? Is it the people invited? The food, the celebration ? The ceremony? The couple saying I do? Perhaps it's all of the above to you. Or something totally different. You wouldn't be wrong for any of your choices.
When I was originally planning my wedding 11 years ago, I wanted the 'everything'. Basically a circus. And if you met me back then- you'd understand. I was a bit of a crazy girl. The bigger the better... live life to the fullest, with no thought on that little word..oh what is it... Oh right! Consequences! What ! What does that even mean to a young 20 something Ashley!?! Well..not a whole lot. So when Ben and I were dating... long distance dating..we really got to know one another. And one day while discussing the big topic of... 'if we get married'... I started to dream. BOY did I DREAM! And Ben got scared. BOY did he get SCARED! We were very much in the planning stages and I found myself not able to find a place big enough to rent. How bad could it be you say? Read on.
One day while skyping we showed each other our guest list. He had 1 page. 1. Small. Page. "Ashley - I can even remove some names if you want." As I flipped through pages of close to 400 names... we knew we had a problem. A very big problem. Him- 40 guests. Me - 400. I saw as the color left his face, we were going to have to discuss at length this very big predicament.
When there's that huge of a margin you're going to have a hard time finding a middle ground. After much thought, much talk and me moving to Montreal shortly thereafter... we decided... to elope. And yes I say 'we'. because many may think- oh you gave up so much... you didn't get what you wanted! But in fact friends, I certainly did. I married the man of my dreams ( and yes he still is :) ) I was able to differentiate between what was really truly important to me. When I looked at my list... I realized I was following in the footsteps of what so many young ones do when getting married- trying to please everyone. I still am like that today, just a little more refined. Eloping is what made sense for us at that time. We had no money. (zilcho) We had to furnish a new place, I had to get a job in a new city! And truthfully, we just wanted to get married and finally start our lives.
Enough about us. What about this Kelly-Anne & Wayne!? Who are they!? Well, I heard from them while they were searching for a Montreal Wedding Photographer and they came across my website. They hail from London Ontario and wanted to get married in Montreal - a city full of romance and character. But not only that, they wanted to elope! Elope in Montreal. HOW romantic!!! I was immediately intrigued and wanted to know more. They came, we visited, and they even brought their beautiful dog Fritz. As we discussed details for their day - they were a no- fuss couple who wanted only the closest family and friends there, but still wanted to capture the moments. Getting married in Montreal was special to them as they love coming here and enjoying all that Montreal has to offer - namely the amazing food and sights. As the day approached... I got an email from Kelly-Anne stating that they'd have to postpone the wedding which was supposed to be in April. While horseback riding she fell off and did a lot of damage to her foot. Thank goodness she was okay! However she needed surgery and there was no way their wedding was going to happen then. Soon though we chose a date- in July and it was set. It was going to happen.
It poured cats and dogs. I actually felt bad when I arrived at the Bonaventure Hotel where they were all getting ready- one room apart from one another. And yet- they did not care! Sipping some scotch, listening to Nirvana... the mood was set, rain or shine it didn't matter. And that's when I really fell in love with their idea to elope. It touched me deeply. They were getting married not for the fuss, not for the show but really for each other.
Her bouquet was hand picked by herself- lavendar from their farm. Her dress- well it was a skirt and a dress because what if she wants something a little more comfortable for later? Genius I say! And yes, Mr. Fritz was there for it all, their ever loyal companion.
Hands down, this was a very special day for me to photograph. I do hope that I get to document more elopements in Montreal or anywhere for that matter. Getting married is so special, no matter how you do it. Don't get me wrong, I love the big party, as I didn't have my own. I love those fun weddings with so much going on. In fact, I thrive in those situations. But also, I love the serenity of just the bride and the groom exchanging their vows. The magic of no one else knowing. There's something to be said about that too. But I've said enough. Let's take a trip down memory lane.