Mike and Anastasia met during their final year at McGill University. “We were in the same program and took notice of each other right away but neither of us mustered the courage to say ‘hello’ until we were finally introduced by a friend during McGill’s Winter Carnival festival,” shares the bride. “After graduation, we went our separate ways (Michael to Philadelphia, and I to Calgary, then Toronto).”
And like any good Montreal love story, their relationship was rekindled on a cold January night at Igloofest (the outdoor electronic music festival). From that fateful night, their relationship continued, even though life took them on different career paths and to different cities. Eight years later, they knew they would finally tie the knot in the city that brought them together.
“We were originally going to have a traditional religious ceremony in a Greek Orthodox church with almost 200 guests,” shares Anastasia. “When COVID hit, we were devastated by the news and decided to cancel our wedding altogether. But, by the time August rolled around, we had been apart for six months due to the pandemic, so we immediately began planning a new version of our wedding. We knew that if we were going to get married in 2020, it would have to be something that truly felt like a wedding.”
In keeping with social distancing regulations, the couple wanted both the ceremony and reception to take place outdoors and somehow still keep it somewhat private. Their venue choice was a romantic alleyway, part of Maison Pepin, a design shop in Old Montreal. The bride adds: “Our wedding planner pulled everything together on a very short turn-around: when she was able to secure our venue, we were thrilled!”
One of the biggest sacrifices the couple had to make was that none of Mike’s family or friends could attend since they were all across the border in the States. For that reason, they had a Zoom link set up to enable all their virtual guests witness the ceremony.
Flowers became the most important detail of the celebration – and what a way to transform the space! The florist created a beautiful arch that served as the backdrop for both ceremony and reception. The bride remembers, “Mike jokes that when I walked down the aisle, I looked so overwhelmed seeing the space for the first time. Really, I was just floored with how beautiful everything turned out!”
Anastasia Quintanilla & Michael Beitcher, September 12, 2020, Montreal, Quebec
Photography courtesy of Gabrielle Desmarchais.
Bridal Gown: Emmy Mae from Tilted Veil.
Flowers: Atelier Carmel
Cake: Rustique Pie Kitchen
Stationery: White Willow Paper Co.
Live Stream: A1DJs
Officiant: Pascale Charbonneau
Wedding Planner: Hera Mariages
Venue: Maison Pepin