We officially began dating on August 29th, 2016, so just over two years.
We started talking through the queer social app, “Her”. We first met when Jen was competing in a horse show in the city Sky lived in (and Jen would be returning to for university). Sky spent the entire day in the sun watching a sport she knew nothing about to spend a few minutes with Jen, and needless to say, that made a great first impression!

We originally planned to get married in September 2019 – but after a few glasses of sangria on a summer night, we decided to skip the stress of a big, conventional wedding and elope! With two months notice, we invited our closest friends and family to share the day with us, and somehow we pulled it off.

We wanted to get married on the lawn of a legislative building near our apartment, and told everyone we would be. Barely two weeks before the wedding, we found out that they didn’t allow ceremonies, only wedding pictures. We were going to try and wing it, but the anxiety got to us. We ended up picking a nearby park, as it was somewhere we walked through often, so it meant something to us; it was close by, picturesque, inexpensive, and even better – available on our date [it was a midweek wedding, which certainly helped!].

Jen has a tendency to be indecisive and question everything, so Sky kept her grounded throughout the wedding planning process. We stuck to the mantra that simple was best, and at the end of the day, if we were married, everything had gone according to plan! We wanted to keep the decor and extras to a minimum and centre our day on our love, an intimate and sincere ceremony, and what truly mattered to us and made us unique as a couple – not the tiny details.

We listed our priorities and stuck with them:
– Pizza and sangria for dinner!
– An outdoor ceremony with a tiny guest list
– Quirky and memorable transportation
– An intimate ceremony with personal vows
– Our photographer who did our engagement photos
– Low budget
– Doughnuts from our favourite local/queer-owned bakery
– Spending the morning at home, sipping homemade cocktails

Jen ordered a gown from BHLDN that she’d been eyeing their website for months!! The dress sold out twice before she was able to order it – big thanks to a Facebook group member who gave her the heads up that they restocked it.

Sky ordered a few dresses until she found the one she fell in love with. At first, she thought she wanted her tattoos covered, but she chose something elegant and beautiful that put them on full display.

These outfits weren’t what we had planned to wear. Basically, until the day of, we had our bridal parties and families convinced (and ourselves, for a while) that Jen was going to wear a floral suit and Sky was going to wear a simple blue lace dress. Jen’s mom was really disappointed and wanted us to wear our dresses.

On the day, we did a big surprise reveal, in our bridal gowns, that definitely brought people to tears and maybe annoyed a few of them, just a little bit, for leading them along!

There are so many moments of the wedding day that we will forever cherish. Some big, like saying our vows to each other, and feeling the rest of the world dissolve as we promised each other forever, and some smaller, like little girls getting excited about seeing us in our dresses at a local dessert shop. We both cherish the in-between moments, the laughter, the friendships made among our bridal parties, the tears….the love and the smiles and the joy.

There were a few hiccups along the way, including wardrobe malfunctions, technical issues, and maybe the odd other things, but not anything huge that our resourceful troupe of friends and family couldn’t help us solve!

In the end, we wouldn’t have had our day any other way. It was a whirlwind, but in the best way. It was simply dreamy.

Our advice to other couples planning a wedding: It’s so hard at times, especially as LGBTQ couples, to stick to what you want and not be over-run by everyone else’s expectations – but at the end of the day, it is your wedding, and your marriage. So make it your own!

Obviously, you may have to make some sacrifices for certain reasons, but we think really evaluating what the most important aspects are to you as a couple, and sticking to that, is key to keeping a level head in the planning process.

We loved our teeny, surprise wedding, and so many married couples commented on how they wished they had thought to do that, or how their relatives swayed them into having a huge, expensive wedding when they really would have rather eloped.

Do what feels right for you!

Photographer Krista Hawryluk Photography | Videographer 111films | Jen’s dress BHLDN, Sky’s dress Amazon | Flowers SageFlorals MB | Rings Mocha Rings (Etsy) | Transportation Winnipeg Trolley Company | Venue Upper Fort Garry Historic Site