While I’m certain most weddings don’t go completely as planned, tying the knot amidst a global pandemic was absolutely no exception… And still, I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect day.

While we did cancel our original 75 person wedding, in all honesty, we ended up with a much grander (albeit smaller) wedding in comparison to what would have been our intended event.

And as for the planning itself, things actually came together fairly seamlessly in about a months time, at which point I decided I was simply going to let go of my original vision and make do with what the universe would pull together for us.

Photos by Matt & Julie

The Destination

We had always planned to host our wedding in Kelowna as we wanted an outdoor wedding and okanagan summers just can’t be beat.

Kelowna is also my hometown, which made it an easy destination to commit to.

For those of you who aren’t familiar, Kelowna is a gorgeous valley, situated on a lake, smack dab in the middle of wine country, in British Columbia. And she is a beauty of a city, if you ever get the chance to visit.

We booked an airbnb in the heart of downtown to call home for the weekend and it was pinterest perfect. It had all the space for our bits & bobs, in addition to two masters, each with their own ensuite, which made it super easy to keep my fiance & I separated before our ‘first look’.

It also served as the perfect backdrop for me to get ready with my girls (my sisters & my bestie).

Photo by Matt & Julie

Beauty

I was over the moon to still be able to go ahead with both my original hair & makeup girls, as both Alana Martin & Kelsey Brynn use clean, cruelty free, vegan products, allowing me to stay true to my morals on my big day AND they made me look and feel my best.

I cannot recommend either of them enough. Both women also travel for work, so if you are a lower mainland bride, they can come to you too!

Photos by Matt & Julie

The Dress (& the dilemma)

As soon as wedding planning began, I knew I didn’t want to spend a ton on my dress, and that I also wanted to be as sustainably savvy as possible.

After scouring all the ethical, earth friendly brands, Ebay and Still White, I eventually booked into Kelowna’s consignment bridal shop, Ashbury Bridal.

I fell in LOVE with a dress by Truvelle Bridal nearly immediately, that really, truly made me feel like me, but also like a bride. It was simple, sexy & a little bit vintage. But there was a catch…

While the dress was consignment, the under side of the dress was silk.

If you’re not vegan, let me share that silk comes from silkworms and isn’t something I had purchased as a vegan… New or used.

I was honestly pretty torn and took a couple days to think it over. Which was in itself a little stressful, being that there was only one dress and it wasn’t something I could simply order in.

But in the end, I decided to go with it. I decided that while outside of my usual buying habits, I was ultimately not contributing to any cruelty as I wasn’t supporting the dress brand directly.

With that said, the dress does make for one item that wasn’t vegan on our day, and to me, is just a reminder of the many grey areas of living a vegan lifestyle.

I did however, pair my dress with vegan shoes by Badgley Mischka. I found mine at Nordstrom, which has an incredible return policy, in case you’re anything like me and want to try on 12 pairs with your dress, just to be sure.

Photos by Matt & Julie

First Look

When we initially planned for our larger wedding, my husband & I decided to do a first look, mainly so as not to keep our guests waiting. Being a bit more traditional than my partner, I wasn’t overjoyed by the idea, but eventually came around to it. We even decided to go forward just the same, for our micro wedding, and I’m glad we did.

It was really nice to have an hour just us two, before it all began and to capture some photos before the tears and the sweat took over.

Photos by Matt & Julie

The Veil

I also found a way to make my bridal entrance a little more special by adding a veil for our ceremony (without his knowledge).

While I initially cringed at the thought of a veil, when I tried one on with my dress, something about it just felt right.

I felt it made my look that much more ‘bridal’, and I doubted I’d have an opportunity to wear one again, so I went for it. No regrets.

AND, while he says it was my ‘song’ walking down the aisle that started the tears, I think the angelic veil might have had something to do with it.

The Venue

We lucked out big time being able to get married on our original date and book with an incredible venue.

We hosted both our ceremony and an intimate socially distanced dinner for 20, at Cedar Creek Winery.

Their space & the views are spectacular, as is their wine.

Photos by Matt & Julie

The Food

As for dinner, we did plated coursed meals, and we offered a meat & a vegan option. Yes, we offered meat, as my husband is not a vegan. If you’re having all the questions about that one, I’ll direct you here to read more about how I handle that aspect of our relationship.

Things came together so last minute I didn’t even ask what the vegan plates would be, but was seriously blown away by how incredible my food was. Our guests, both vegan & omnivore, couldn’t stop raving about dinner, which in my experience is a real rarity at weddings.

I wish I could show it off, however our photographers left shortly after we started eating, so I will simply leave it to your imagination.

However, let me tell you one more win about our venue (which was important for me) which is that Cedar Creek’s wine also happens to be vegan. I mean, clearly our venue was meant to be.

Photos by Matt & Julie

The Details

Cake

We did a custom vegan, lemon & vanilla buttercream, gold flaked, naked cake with The Kind Cakery. Sadly she wasn’t professionally photographed either as we brought her out later due to the heat. But it was gorgeous, and what’s more is that it tasted amazing! Most of our guests claimed to be too full for a piece, but in the end, nearly everyone ate a piece, as the people who tasted it first wouldn’t shut up about how good it was. A win for any vegan skeptics in my opinion.

Flowers

We kept this real simple here. The only florals we did were my bouquet and my husbands mini boutonnière.

Gems & Stems At Eastside was wonderful, affordable and sustainable, as she uses locally grown and in season flowers as much as possible. And I loved my modern, classic, neutral bouquet. Cannot recommend her enough.

All in all, our day looked a LOT different than what I’d initially envisioned for the wedding I’d been planning out a year prior.

But, I am so happy we went ahead the way we did and I don’t regret forgoing any of the small details I fretted over for our original day.

We saved a little, the pressure was totally off, and we actually had time to hang out with all our guests.

While it was nothing like what I thought, to me, our micro wedding was even more perfect than I could have dreamt.