Megan and Mike share inside their personalized, custom and unique Airship37 wedding.
How did you have to approach your wedding differently given the restrictions of covid and what choices did you make that you feel paid off the most on your wedding day ?
Like most couples whose wedding plans got disrupted by COVID, we did our best to approach planning with flexibility and open minds. Luckily, we had the amazing Iris Li of Blue Lavender Events as our planner. While it still meant that we had to be prepared for every potential scenario – we felt extremely supported by Iris and knew that whatever happened, we were going to get married and it was going to be an amazing day.
Our original wedding date was November 2020. Last summer, we felt as though there were too many unknowns about the Fall. So we made the tough decision to postpone to June 2021 in the hopes that we had a higher chance of having a ceremony and reception more like what we had envisioned.
We were disappointed in March/April 2021 when we were experiencing a 3rd COVID wave and went back into lockdown. Iris helped us come up with a plan for each of the province’s colour-coded re-opening phases. And so we (nervously) waited. And of course as we all know, the province then announced a very different reopening plan and there were no longer colour codes! So back to the drawing board we went. We planned for a ceremony with our parents (that was the only thing permitted at the time) and then a small, intimate, socially distanced outdoor reception in Michael’s parents backyard with immediate family (as we were restricted from having any sort of indoor reception).
Four days before our wedding day, the province announced that phase one of reopening was happening on our wedding day. Which meant we could invite 20 people to the ceremony. We were so happy! It meant we could have our siblings and immediate family and some friends there in person to see us get married. Iris quickly contacted our vendors (who were all so amazing and flexible), adjusted our plans to include a longer ceremony with some speeches and our first dance, and we sent out invites.
While it wasn’t what we had originally planned, we absolutely loved our intimate COVID wedding ceremony.
What paid off the most? We can’t pick just one thing! So here are a few things we feel were so important to our day:
Hiring a planner. While we did invest in a planner pre-COVID, we could not have imagined navigating this alone. Iris (Blue Lavender Events) was a wedding planner/advocate/therapist all mixed into one. She helped make our day magical and stress-free.
Our flowers! Iris worked with the incredible Tellie Hunt of Hunt & Gather floral to create a beautiful floral arch piece. Seriously, it was so beautiful. And everyone still talks about how amazing our flowers were that day.
Our photographer Ryan Bolton. We had been following his photography for years and knew he was the right person to shoot our wedding. From the moment we met him, we know he was going to fit right in with our family and friends while capturing our special day. Not only is he professional and talented, he was someone we felt super comfortable with. It was like we were hanging out with a good friend all day!
A livestream. Friends and family are so important to us and we were so disappointed we couldn’t have everyone there in person. So we thought we’d bring the ceremony to them! We worked with SDE Weddings to setup a livestream so everyone could watch from home. The team was unbelievably professional, the livestream was high quality, and we also now have this amazing video of our day!
Bespoke beer. We are craft beer lovers and we love supporting local. During COVID, a new brewery popped up in our neighbourhood – Red Tape Brewery. They specialize in bespoke, custom beers. We worked with Sarabeth and Sean to create a custom beer (‘Mike & Megan’s “I Do” Brew’) and gave our guests some to take home after the ceremony. We’ve also been delivering it to family and friends who couldn’t be there in person.
What is the story of your gorgeous wedding dress?
The amazing team at Sash & Bustle helped me find the perfect dress for our day – Lorita by Robert Bullock. I fell in love with the classic mermaid style and the beaded embroidered cap sleeves. The low back and train were my favourite part of the dress!
I am also all about comfort so I paired it with white, high-top sneakers.
I had picked out my dress pre-COVID and was so happy to finally get to wear it almost two years later.
You headed out to some different urban settings for some wedding day portraits that are a unique urban glamorous look. How did you plan this with your photographer and how was the experience ? Do you have a favourite picture ?
Ryan had suggested some photo locations based on proximity to our venue but also because we love the city and the unique and interesting neighbourhoods, architecture and more that Toronto offers.
The experience was amazing! Not only because the shots are so perfect (Ryan made us look good!), but because people cheered and congratulated us as we walked down the street. It was so nice and made us feel excited and special.
I have two favourite photos:
A wide shot of us standing in front of the Goose Island Brewhouse. We actually had one of our first dates there!
A photo of us walking under the arches of the Novotel. It highlights the low back of my dress and my sneakers (which I loved) and I just feel as though it captures us as we always are – doing life together.
It’s about that dog ! How cute. What were some of the special ways you made the day reflect your passions and interests.
We could never get married and not have our dog Gretchen involved somehow! She is our child, haha. And so important to us. We are so happy to have some wedding day photos with her.
We ended up incorporating a lot of ourselves into the day. From the bespoke beer, to writing our own vows, to speeches from friends, to the music choices for our ceremony – it all felt so ‘us’. We added our first dance to the ceremony, and it was so special. For the last two years – anytime our song came on – we would dance to it. Even in lockdown in our living room! We are so glad we finally got to dance to it on our wedding day.
What was the inspiration behind the gorgeous floral installation that was stunning for the ceremony and the intimate wedding party photographs ?
Because Airship37 is such an amazing blank canvass so to speak, the floral installation was always in the plan to bring the space to life and add a focal point. Because our wedding was originally supposed to take place in the Fall, the colour palette was going to be a bit moodier. However, when our plans changed – Iris recommended brightening up some of the colours and we could not have agreed more. Iris worked with Tellie to add some bight, cheery colours into the palette and it was stunning. We were so blown away when we first walked in.
How did you select your vendors for your wedding and how did it all come together so cohesively and beautifully ?
There were some vendors we already knew we wanted to work with based on our own relationships or experiences. And others that Iris helped us find based on our needs/vision/budget. Everything came together so cohesively because of the vision Iris had helped us create at the beginning of the planning process. We were all on the same page and it turned out beautifully.
What informed your decision to have your wedding at Airship37 and how did it fit your vision ?
Airship37 was the perfect venue for us. We both preferred a more modern look and feel, and the space is really that blank canvass that I mentioned earlier. It meant that the other design elements we liked could easily and smoothly be implemented and not look out of place. We could really make it our own.
Berkeley Events Group is also so great to work with – attentive and flexible. We’ve had such a great experience working with the team. Especially during such a challenging time.
What advice would you give a couple planning to have an intimate wedding ?
An intimate wedding really allows you the space and budget to tie in those more personalized, custom and unique aspects to your day.
While there may be a smaller guest count, your day definitely won’t feel small or less significant. You’ll really get to be in the moment to enjoy your day.
And most importantly – it’s about you as a couple! Especially during this challenging time, it comes down to you both and what you want out of your day. Think about what’s important to you.
How did you communicate with your photographer your vision for how you wanted to remember your wedding with your album ?
Ryan took the time to get to know us as individuals and as a couple. And he understood that we are pretty chill, fun, outgoing and that we love our friends and family. That’s what mattered to us about our wedding day. And that’s how we wanted our day to look and feel. He captured it beautifully!
Your backyard wedding reception had a stunning magical feeling to it communicated in the photographs. What are some of the factors that made it such a success?
The number one factor was family. Because we couldn’t have a traditional reception like we had wanted, our family came together to make it happen for us and do so in a fun and safe way. They rented tables, chairs and lights from Divine Furniture Rental, setup a bar with local craft beers from our neighbourhood, and we ordered in dinner from a local restaurant.
They also surprised us with videos of all of our guests sending their love and well wishes on our wedding day. They turned it into a 2-hour long movie that we watched on a projector and screen setup in the backyard. It was so nice to hear from our family and friends that couldn’t be there with us.
They all banded together to make this happen for us and we will be forever grateful that we got to have that experience.
We ate, drank, danced around the yard and had an epic time. Was it the 180-person fancy reception we imagined? No. But in so many ways it was better.
Officiant : Helen Sweet Officiant
Getting Ready Venue : One King West