Cathy & Jon's magical romantic hideaway elopement #Real Weddings: Canada#british columbia#eloping#getting weddinged#photo booth#pink dress#winter Updated Oct 12 2015 (Posted Apr 5 2011) Offbeat Editors Photos by Stephanie Rae Hull The offbeat bride: Cathy, Graphic Designer Her offbeat partner: Jon, Account Manager Date and location of wedding: Sooke Harbour House, Victoria Island, BC, Canada — December 1, 2010 What made our wedding offbeat: Our families were amazing. They agreed to let us run away to Canada and get married, just the two of us. Neither of us wanted a big fuss and I hate lots of people looking at me, so the idea of a big white wedding just made me feel really, really scared, and not excited like it should. We both have small families but are lucky to have lots of friends, so a small local family wedding was not an option really. We thought about doing the Vegas thing but the face my Mum pulled put a stop to that idea… 🙂 Then fate intervened. After spending hours on the internet, we found the most magical special place called Sooke Harbour House. Our whole wedding was found and booked over the internet with people we wouldn't meet until the day of the wedding! It was so easy, and everyone was great — we were very very lucky! We had a party three days after we flew home, and it was great to celebrate with our friends and families. It was a wedding with none of the formalities — perfect, perfect!! My dress was pink (I got to wear it twice — yay!) and I wore boots, much to a lot of my friends' disgust! Tell us about the ceremony: Jon gave me an hour to get ready while he waited in the garden. My hair went frizzy, but oh well. The day before it had been pissing down, but we had blue skies — it was amazing. We could see the ocean and the mountains. It was just the two of us, two witnesses and the officiant — and they were all lovely. We both nearly cried. I promised to give Jon a lifetime of friendship, randomness, and adventure. Then, at the end of the service, a huge eagle flew above us! Our biggest challenge: Telling our families what we wanted to do. We both did feel really guilty as a wedding is usually a family event. It wasn't easy, but they did understand that neither of us would enjoy the big white wedding thing, and amazingly they said we should do what makes us happy, not everyone else. We are very lucky! My favorite moment: My favorite moment was our vows exchanged in the most beautiful garden next to the ocean. It was magical and seemed a bit like a dream, which is how I hoped it would feel. And an eagle flew out of the tree just as we finished saying them, which apparently is lucky in Canada. Another favorite moment was seeing all our friends loving the fancy dress box and photo shoot area at the party!! My funniest moment: I ran along a marina pier for a photo, through bird shit and all kinds of dirt, but I just didn't care. Then I tried to climb down rocks in my dress. It had to be dry cleaned — put it that way! Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? I was a bit worried about all the things we arranged over the internet as you never know how it's really going to turn out. But I think Canadians are the most chilled out people in the world, and it was all amazing — the venue, the officiant, the flowers, the photographer, the food, (and amazingly the weather). It couldn't have been any better. The photographer, Stephanie Rae Hull, was especially BRILLIANT. I have a squint so am very self conscious about having my photo taken, but she was so relaxed and good fun. I ended up really enjoying myself. I didn't expect that to happen! My advice for offbeat brides: You have to do what makes you happy. It's hard as you feel a bit selfish, but it's the only way you get the wedding that is you — the wedding you really want. Enough talk — show me the wedding porn! PREVIOUS The F word NEXT Save the Date bookmarks do more than just help you save the date! Show/Hide comments [ 14 ] This might be one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever seen. The photos are amazing! And the reception looks like it was a a blast! Congrats! Reply Awe I love this wedding. So simple and beautiful. Congrats! The dress was amazing too! Reply Glorious, beautiful and perfect. The joy is all there in the photos. Oh, and: It's Vancouver Island, not Victoria Island, but yeah… regardless of what you call it, the whole island — and Sooke especially — is lovely. 🙂 Reply Beat me to it. Victoria, Vancouver Island. 😀 Reply God DAMN! Could those photos BE any more romantic? Sexier? I think NOT. Reply This wedding is perfect in every way! Happy couple, great photographs and the colours are fantastic! Reply That dress is stunning. Where is it from? Reply It's a Temperley Dress from Bicester Village in the UK – her dresses are all gorgeous!! 🙂 xx Thank you sooooo much for all the lovely comments – i've been smiling all day – Thank you 🙂 xx Reply There is nothing about this wedding that isn't incredibly awesome. Reply love love love the daft hat photobooth and may steal it for our party. Thanks for the inspiring photos!!! Reply Amazing wedding! I'm so glad you had the courage to do things your way! Beautiful! Reply AHHHHH! Your cupcake display is brilliant! I've been looking at homemade towers, and I didn't think I could pull it off without looking chintzy… but that little ladder is perfect, easy to create, and could be used to display knick knacks or photos after the wedding. PERFECT! You've saved me! Reply Absolutely stunning. I love everything about this wedding and this couple! Congratulations! Reply I love your dress!!!! Where did you find it! You look like a Goddess! 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