Stating the obvious: this was a challenging year. Our world was turned upside down and nothing was as it used to be. Weddings were hugely impacted by the pandemic with couples having to rethink their day (in many cases, rethinking several times) in accordance with COVID-19’s ever-changing restrictions.
In spite of all the challenges, there were MANY weddings in 2020 and they were incredible! We have been so inspired to see how couple’s celebrated love in this very unique time. Here are 15 favourite intimate real weddings and elopements from the year that was.
Suneel Khanna and Carl Wolter were married at Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York Hotel on June 14th, 2020 in an incredibly intimate wedding (10 guests total) that was brimming with love, colour and luxury touches. “Our original wedding was supposed to happen at Toronto’s The Church of the Redeemer followed by a reception at The Chef’s House,” Suneel shares. “We were expecting guests from New Delhi, India, Palm Springs, California—where Carl is from—Switzerland, and various locations across the U.S. and Canada. When COVID 19 happened, all these plans were erased.”
See Suneel and Carl’s real wedding here.
Lucy and Simon were to be married on May 2, 2020 in front of 120 guests at St. Patrick’s Basilica in Ottawa. When they made wedding plans back in November 2019 every detail was perfectly set, and they were excited for their spring wedding celebration. Then COVID-19 hit and of course changed all that. The couple decided to forge ahead with a micro-wedding on May 23 with just five guests present.
See Lucy and Simon’s real wedding here.
After postponing their large celebration due to COVID-19, photographers Brandon and Jess reached out to couple Chelsea and Marc in regards to new arrangements and jokingly asked if they wanted to head to Tofino in September with them to elope. “We took it as a sign and that’s how we ended up having the best two weeks of our lives,” Chelsea shares. “We love how serendipitously things came together.”
See Chelsea and Marc’s real wedding here.
Family and antique seaside were a common theme at Erin and Andy’s celebration of love. “We’ve found that in these trying times of COVID-19, the importance of family has really been the centre of our thoughts, and how lucky we are that everyone in our family has remained healthy,” the couple share.
See Erin and Andy’s real wedding here.
For Kelsey and Ryan, a rustic country wedding wasn’t exactly what they initially planned for their nuptials. “Our wedding was originally planned in a banquet hall, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic it had to be postponed,” Kelsey shares. “Ryan and I still wanted to get married on the date, as the day was special to us, so we planned a last minute ceremony in my grandparents’ backyard—they live in the country, so the theme seemed fitting.”
See Kelsey and Ryan’s real wedding here.
Alexandre and Morgane have known each other since they were kids. They grew up in the South of France, but it was in Rigaud, Québec (a charming city between Montreal and Ottawa) where they decided to celebrate their love in a stylish setting in June with only a few friends present.
See Alexandre and Morgane’s real wedding here.
Nicole and Sean were engaged in 2018 in Kauai, Hawaii and planned their wedding for July 31, 2020 to allow Nicole to finish up her PhD. “We initially had a large wedding planned with approximately 210 guests,” Nicole says. “Fast forward to 2020 and our plans were clearly changing day-to-day. Ultimately, we decided that after ten years of being together, we just wanted to get married and start our lives together! So long as our parents, siblings and my grandma (who is 93!) could attend, we wanted to move forward safely.”
See Nicole and Sean’s real wedding here.
Although their original wedding plans were postponed, Khrystyna and Nicholas decided to go ahead with a small backyard celebration with the intent of hosting a bigger celebration in 2021. “After everything we’ve gone through in the last few months, I figured we needed some joy, colour and magic,” says Khrystyna who is principal planner and creative director at Toronto-based Pastiche Events.
See Khrystyna and Nicholas’ real wedding here.
For Meagan and James, a weekend wedding away in September during COVID times proved to be the perfect escape. “We hadn’t had a chance to see one another very much,” the two explain. “The ability to bring our two immediate families together for a short getaway was our dream come true.”
See Meagan and James’ real wedding here.
With plans to wed in early December, and with a possible lockdown looming due to COVID-19, Jacqueline and Scott managed to organize their wedding and change the date to November. “We joke our theme was “Countdown to Lockdown,” Jacqueline says. “We made all our plans in 24 hours. Calls to family, dashing around the city to find a florist, changing dinner menus and picking up our dress and tux early kept us busy,” the two laugh.
See Jacqueline and Scott’s real wedding here.
With only a month to prepare for their wedding reception in August, Yvonne and Steve looked to Paradise Events for assistance. “We made the decision to have a wedding ceremony in July and a reception in August,” the two share. “We only had a month to prepare everything, including locating a venue, finding a wedding planner, and purchasing our outfits for that day.”
See Yvonne and Steve’s real wedding here.
When COVID-19 hit back in March, Gabrielle and Louis-Philippe weren’t concerned at first about their wedding but everything was put on hold when they learned that both the hall and the church they had booked had closed their doors. “The idea to have a private ceremony came to me quickly,” Gabrielle says about their August celebration. “In fact, we uninvited almost everyone and decided to look into new options, that was the only choice we had. In the end, we are happy we changed our plans to celebrate with only a small group of guests.”
See Gabrielle and Louis-Phillip’s real wedding here.
It was a double celebration of sorts for Gina and Marc, who chose to shoot their engagement photos and have their wedding ceremony on the same day in July and at the same venue. “We had to move our engagement shoot due to the COVID lockdown, but thought it would be sweet to do it on our original wedding date,” Gina explains.
See Gina and Marc’s real wedding here.
Marie-Ève and Alex tied the knot in July at Vitality Elderberry, an agricultural site near Brome Lake, in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. The intimate ceremony was held between rows of elderberry bushes, located at the foot of a mountain, which made for a gorgeous, natural backdrop.
Marie-Ève and Alex’s real wedding here.
For high school sweethearts Brooke and Nicholas, tying the knot on August 14 had sentimental meaning. “It holds a special place in our hearts because it was the day Nick asked me to be his girlfriend in high school,” Brooke shares. “Even with the pandemic we were determined to exchange our vows and celebrate with our guests.”
See Brooke and Nicholas’ real wedding here.