One of the common refrains we’ve heard from brides who made a total change of plans to move forward getting married during this crazy time is, “It was perfect, and we wouldn’t change a thing.”
That same uplifting, beautiful sentiment is shared by our sweet Toronto bride Miriam and her new husband, Chris. Explains Miriam, “This whole experience helped us reflect on how little you can predict and control in this life! Bringing the focus back to each other and why we wanted to get married was so important.”
Chris and Miriam met way back when…at summer camp thanks to Miriam’s brother. After being on staff at the camp for several years together, she and Chris started dating! Following their engagement in Cinque Terre in the town of Manarola, their first plan was to get married and celebrate at the same summer camp where they met. But, says Miriam, “Pretty early on into the pandemic we knew our original plan was not going to fly, but after two years of being engaged we did not want to wait! Our new plan came together at the last minute and we had a beautiful ceremony and dinner reception at The Broadview Hotel.” We have to note (as there are a bunch of bakers at Lea-Ann Belter!) that Miriam baked the challah used in her ceremony herself!
How did you guys meet?
“Chris and I met at summer camp. I grew up at camp with Chris’s younger brother, so I kind of knew who Chris was, but it wasn’t until a number of years on staff together that we started dating.“
How did you know Chris was “the one”?
“We knew pretty early in our relationship that it felt special, and after making it through periods of long-distance, traveling together, and then moving to another country together (we lived in the UK for two years), it was just clear this was it! Through all those different chapters, we just kept coming back to this sense that we were such a great team. I couldn’t ask for a better partner than Chris!”
How did your sweetie propose?
“During our two years living in London, England, we traveled a lot. Our first, longer trip was ten days in Italy. We were in Cinque Terre, staying in a tiny Airbnb in the town of Manarola. Our little space had a garden filled with lemon trees with an amazing view of the town and ocean down below. We were out in the garden having some pre-dinner drinks and snacks, lounging on plastic chairs and enjoying the view. Chris began saying all these lovely things about our time together, and then popped the question with a ring. We celebrated by drinking cocktails along the water, and had the best seafood dinner and the whole evening still feels like a dream! Turns out Chris had been planning it for almost six months, as soon as we’d initially booked our trip—I had no idea.”
How did you choose your gown?
“Two very close friends of mine got their gowns from Lea-Ann, so I had a good feeling about it! I had been to a few other shops but hadn’t been wowed. When I came in, Vanessa was so helpful and amazing. She pulled all these dresses and read my body language and helped me put into words what I was looking for! I loved all the gowns I tried on, but when I put on the Lyra gown I just started tearing up. I was not expecting to cry when I found my dress! But I loved how light and flowy it was, it just felt like me.“
Tell us about your day!
“Our day changed dramatically from our initial plan, which was to get married at the summer camp where we met. Pretty early on into the pandemic we knew our original plan was not going to fly, but after two years of being engaged we did not want to wait! Our new plan came together at the last minute and we had a beautiful ceremony and dinner reception at The Broadview Hotel. There were absolutely moments of stress involved in changing our plans, but we are so grateful we got to celebrate with our families in a way that was both safe and special. On the day, we just felt the love from near and far and were so ready to be married!
We incorporated many Jewish traditions into our ceremony, including having family hold up our chuppah, stomping the glass, and sharing challah to start our meal (I baked it myself). And our families surprised us with a video clip of our friends and family sending in their wishes. It was so special.”
What was your first dance song?
“We didn’t do a first dance, but did walk into our ceremony to “Lovers in a Dangerous Time” by Barenaked Ladies. I’m a big fan and the song just fit!”
Three words that best describe your partner:
“Miriam about Chris: kind, logical, supportive.
Chris about Miriam: caring, thoughtful, sensitive.”