Martin and I eloped back in October!
After getting engaged and figuring out a wedding date, we started making plans.
The most beautiful venue – Banff National Park
First off, we decided to elope in Banff and have our ceremony outdoors. Nothing beats the mountains. We were already planning to visit our dear friends in Alberta anyway, and wanted to spend most of our time in the mountains, so why not also get married in the middle of gorgeousness and ask our 2 friends to be our witnesses?
It was too perfect really.
Except it wasn’t.
Will someone please marry us?
We weren’t doing anything fancy or complicated but needed at least a wedding commissioner to marry us. But most of them were booked because Banff is a wedding destination hot spot in Canada, and the first weekend in October is still high season for weddings. Who knew all of this? I didn’t until I did!
Finally I found a wedding commissioner who had a sliver of time between his other wedding appointments that day, and he agreed to marry us in the evening. Not the best time but right before it got dark, so it was okay. We booked him and then started getting our marriage license processed.
Paperwork in Alberta – the marriage license
Getting married in Alberta is fairly easy. We filled out a form with our details and emailed it to the marriage license office, which unlike Ontario, is not a government office but a private office that is allowed to process government things. Already familiar with international elopements, they were really great and sorted everything out easily. We had to go in and pick up our marriage license, and sign an affidavit in the pressence of the staff to swear that we gave correct info and that we were not each others’ biological grandparents.
Then we had to take our marriage license to our marriage commissioner, and meet with him to go over everything.
It was pretty easy going.
Whom to invite?
In terms of guests, we originally just planned on having our 2 witnesses be our only guests, and have a simple evening. Since we were eloping, we only told our families and a few friends. I told Stephanie and Anthony, both of whom wanted to come when they found out and flew all the way there just to see us get married. *sniff*
Our guestlist exploded (doesn’t it always?) to 9 people. We still ended up having a simple evening though.
The little extras
Other frills we had were a professional photographer, vegan cakelettes, champagne, and then later a dinner at a vegetarian bistro. Most of this was organized by my wonderful friends LM and Dave. :)
Martin wore a brand new suit that he can wear again and again, and I bought a wedding dress that fit me perfectly right off the rack, that of course I can only wear once. It was a cold day on the day of our wedding so I wore my thermal bicycle tights underneath. Yeah!
Our families were not invited
We didn’t invite any family members to our wedding, because our families are spread so far apart. And we chose a neutral territory like Banff which was far from everyone. We figured that since it was impossible to accomdoate everyone, that we would accomodate no one but ourselves! It worked out well, I would say. :mrgreen:
But if a family member really wanted to attend, we wouldn’t have said No of course. My parents considered going but luckily they didn’t…
My brother gets married!
A few weeks before we got married, my brother and his fiancee decided to get married on the exact same day but in Ottawa! So my parents were able to attend his wedding instead of ours.
This was by total fluke.
My bro and his fiancee were engaged since December 2012, and couldn’t decide on what to do either (it must run in the family!). So my brother’s in-laws suggested some auspicious dates based on the Chinese almanac.
There were only 2 dates left for 2013. One was on mine and Martin’s wedding date, and the other on our Toronto reception date. (No I didn’t consult an almanac – it just runs in my blood ;) )
Justin didn’t remember our wedding date (he wasn’t invited, remember?), only our reception date which him and his soon-to-be wife and her parents were invited to and attending. So out of the 2 dates, they chose our wedding date to also get married!
They also had a small, outdoor affair with a photographer and cake, except they put themselves and their guests up in a fancy hotel and treated everyone to the spa. Hmm, maybe I should’ve gone to their wedding instead! :P
Some people may think it wasn’t cool of my brother to have his wedding on the same day, but in my family we aren’t competitive and don’t see it as stealing the other’s thunder. We were very happy to celebrate alongside each other.
My brother had been hassling me on what they should get us for a wedding gift, and I told him more than once: ‘nothing’. But really, the best gift he got me was getting married on the same day so that we could celebrate our future anniversaries together. :)
In Chinese weddings there is a symbol called ‘double happiness’ that is used for celebration and good luck. My Mom told me our day truly was double happiness for her because it was the day that both of her kids got married. :)