Mel & Gareth's Story
A beautiful, autumn, backyard wedding was not the original plan.

Mel & Gareth were looking forward to greeting their family and friends in Mexico for a November destination wedding. & then … 

Just like others getting hitched in 2020, they found themselves making those choices - all too familiar for many couples:
Do we cancel ? Postpone? Elope ?
Have a reception a year from now? etc etc etc

I asked Mel & Gareth to walk us through their decision process, offer some tips to others in the same dilemma & to share some surprising beautiful moments - gifts of a wedding in a pandemic if you will.
Here is their story.
“On November 3, 2019 a year after I had my first date with Mel, I proposed. Family means a lot to both of us and we both love hiking and outdoors, so I took Mel back to where we had our first date and we went for a hike. What she didn’t know was that both of our families were waiting for us at the trail head, when she saw them, she turned around and I was on my knee.”
“We planned our wedding to be on November 20, 2020 in Akumal, Mexico. But due to Covid-19 our plans changed, and we became one of the many Covid couples to experience a pivoted wedding in 2020.  

The lovely thing about planning two weddings is… I’m kidding there is nothing great about planning a wedding, crushing it and then planning number two.  

But there was this, on the day I married Mel, we had everything we wanted, and it wasn’t picked from a dog-eared catalogue that 1000’s of brides and grooms had chosen from before.”  
“We had to make the difficult decision in June to pivot to having a small wedding at home. We chose September 19, 2020 hoping the weather would still be nice enough to be outside, early enough to avoid the second wave of COVID as predicted and late enough that the restrictions would loosen to 50 people. So we said “when life gives you lemons… you move up your wedding date! So we moved it up by a couple months! It was risky planning for 50 (limits were 10 at the time - but rumour was it would be expanded to 50) & at that point, we needed to start booking vendors. It all worked out in the end, to the point where the snap back from Ontario on restrictions took effect the night of the wedding (back to only 10 rather than 50) !!! 
Talk about sneaking it in.”
The perfect outdoor location was selected - right under Mel & Gareth’s very nose ! Mel’s brother is a Landscaper in the Niagara region - and he has developed the most enchanting Outdoor Showroom in his backyard - featuring various interlocking stone techniques, a pergola, outdoor kitchen - and !!! At the site visit what caught Elaine’s eye was this amazing waterfall treatment - so of course ….
“My floral dreams for the ceremony again shifted drastically from Mexico to Ontario but what was designed was beyond my expectations. Gorgeous!
A ton of comments from people present and others that saw the photos on the colours, location (e.g. pergola), how lush!”
Luckily we were still able to offer our “Flower Parties” - aka - final floral consult where we invite your wedding party to chat flowers and everyone designs a little “Nosegay Bouquet” to take home.
Our now famous Allée makes for the perfect backdrop for photos !
& many 2020 Brides expressed thankfulness to have one pre-wedding celebration that seemed normal - as Bachelorettes, Showers etc were cancelled or became drive-by event

"The floral party was so much fun and special – it got me really excited about what we were planning. I was able to coordinate colours with the bridal party colours by bringing a swatch. The vision really started to come to life."

… a palette of blush, soft peach, ivory and blue was selected.
“Once we moved everything to Ontario, my style of dress, the bridemaid’s dresses, groomsmen attire, etc. all changed! We wanted to go with a simple, classic and romantic vibe. The floral brought this over the top with white and hints of blush! People commented that we all looked “classic” and it was so romantic – music to our ears 10/10 😊 ”
Mel's bouquet was to be Classic - but not overly traditional, 
Elegant but a little unstructured, 
not too big and mostly flowers - minimal foliage. 
& so we highlighted beautiful roses along with garden treasures

Garden Rose Patience
Garden Rose Juliet 
Rose Versilla
Rose Tiffany
Spray Rose White Majolica
Soft Peach Ranuncula
White Ranuncula
White Stocks
White Phlox
White Astrantia 

& Foliage:
Seeded Eucalyptus 

all tied together Garden-style, 
French braided with ivory satin ribbon
& a beautiful ivory organza ribbon 
“Having a first look wasn’t the original plan and it was AMAZING. We were able to have a laugh with a bait and switch first look with the groom’s best man, and then have our special moment in my Grandparent’s back yard."
We wouldn’t have done a first look in Mexico and due to the way the Ontario pivot was coming together, it made sense to do one. I am BEYOND happy we did it. It was our moment and it was beautiful."

“Also, the change in venue allowed us to have additional memories,
 Getting ready at my brother’s home, a first look at my mother’s childhood home, and the ceremony & reception at my other brother’s display yard location….
All very sentimental memories we’ll have for life.”

“For us, the list of people that could attend even with 50 guest regulations in place was expanded and in hindsight, we’re beyond grateful they could be there such as grandparents.” 

1) "Focus on the marriage and who that person is and has been to you through your journey together and less on the wedding celebration.
Whatever you choose to do, if you’re in it together, it will be perfect.
True love will prevail over the pandemic.

2) Covid lockdown = more time for DIY 

3) Find your silver linings from the pivot.” 

"Our flowers were a representation of us, and our day. The whites and blush with touches of green made stunning accent pieces embracing us from the four corners of the pergola we were married under. And all through a display yard in a vineyard in Vineland were beautiful accent pieces,
representing us and our friends.

If a Covid wedding isn’t memorable enough, it can certainly humble you for what you should be grateful for. If we weren’t forced to move our wedding we wouldn’t have been surrounded by as many friends and loved ones. "