The third time was the charm for Alanna and Christopher! After crossing paths two previous times, there was serious chemistry the third time (which, for the record, was at an emo-themed party—ha!). From that moment on, Alanna and Christopher were a duo. Fast forward a couple of years, Christopher asked Alanna for her hand, and, you guys, it’s extra romantic!
Says Alanna, “We had just enjoyed a lovely dinner at Aux Anciens Canadiens, Quebec City’s oldest house that has been transformed into a cozy restaurant. As we strolled along the Dufferin Terrace with the St. Lawrence River beside us, light snow began to fall. It felt like we were in a snow globe! I was admiring the Chateau Frontenac facing away from Christopher and when I turned around, he was on his knee, holding a red box.”
The two set about planning a June wedding, which was soon derailed by the pandemic. So, they decided to wed on October 10 in Alanna’s parents’ backyard. Their celebration had all kinds of non-traditional and personal elements—Alanna walked herself down the aisle (and was a vision in her custom Lea-Ann Belter gown) to an instrumental version of Led Zeppelin’s “Going to California,” there was no wedding party, the first dance was to Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You,” and, in addition to being so lovely and fall, the décor reflected both their loves of photography and travel.
Get more details on Alanna and Christopher’s day (including how they made things safe and socially distant for guests) from our sweet bride:
How did you guys meet?
“We’d met in passing about two years before we actually started dating. At the time, we were seeing other people!
Then we formally met at a friend’s housewarming party. The third time we met—at an emo-themed party hosted by mutual friends—sparks really flew! Christopher remembered my name and playfully made fun of how I poured a beer. We spent the entire night together and loved every second of it.“
How did you choose your gown?
“I visited two boutiques accompanied by my mom, sister, niece, aunt, and cousin. At the first shop, I thought I had found my dress, but there was something missing. We then went to Lea-Ann Belter Bridal where I found my dress and all the details to go along with it! My dress was made from different features from separate dresses. So we threw all my preferences together and turned it into a one-of-a-kind dress!”
Tell us about your day!
“We’d initially planned our wedding for June 20, 2020. Once covid-19 struck, we changed it to October 10, 2020. Which we ended up liking better!
At the beginning, we had planned for 80 guests. Twice before the wedding, we had to cut guests. We ended up with 25 guests as permitted by the government. Even though our cancelled guests were understanding, it was an emotionally exhausting day notifying family and friends that they could no longer attend.
To include those who could not attend, we hosted a Facebook live viewing of our wedding. People were so pleased to have that opportunity.
Ours wasn’t a traditional wedding. It was in my parents’ backyard; my parents didn’t walk me down the aisle, my older sister carried the train of my dress instead. We didn’t have a wedding party but my two nieces and nephew introduced me by walking ahead of me. For my walk down the aisle, I chose the instrumental version of a Led Zeppelin song “Going to California.”
Originally, we wanted to write our own vows but the closer the wedding got, the more pressure we felt. So instead, we typed traditional vows on an old typewriter. Once we got to our hotel after the wedding, we gave each other letters, which acted as our vows. It was private and relaxed.
The pandemic and finding innovative ways to keep ourselves and guests safe was the most stressful part of planning. We rented rustic barrels which worked as decor, a table, a sanitizing station, and making it easier for households to comfortably stay separated. Our guests received a complimentary mask with our initials and the dates.
I suppose the theme was autumn vintage rustic (if that’s a thing)! The decorations included elements of ourselves. We had pumpkins scattered around the backyard as well as vintage film cameras (we love photography), old suitcases (we love travelling). We strung lights around a tree and clipped polaroid pictures of us as children with family and friends as well as more current photos with the same family members and friends. We also included polaroid pictures of our relationship blossoming into what it is today through all our adventures.”
Details you couldn’t live without:
“There was one old suitcase that held our grandparents’ wedding pictures. We also strung pictures of Christopher and me with our grandparents from when we were children to more current photos.”
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
“Originally we were planning to travel across Europe, starting in London, Paris, various cities in Germany, and Lisbon. Due to covid, we decided travelling was too much of a risk so instead, we drove across Canada! From Toronto all the way to Vancouver—with many stops in between. It was the trip of a lifetime!”
Any advice for planning couples?
“You are a team, not enemies! If family or friends want to help, let them.”
Alanna + Christopher’s Fall Backyard Wedding Vendors
wedding dress: custom Lea-Ann Belter gown via the flagship Toronto bridal boutique | photographer: Purple Tree Photography | groom’s suit: Tom’s Place | hair + makeup: Jen Evoy Makeup | florals: Anixis Darling | wedding cake: Murray Bakes |rentals: Gervais Rentals | officiant: Tade The Marrying Lady | masks: Green Guac