Bride & Groom: Sophie & Ryan Chubb
Photographer: Bride’s best friend, Anne Lecomte (@elann.comete)
Wedding Date: 11-Jul-2020
Original Guest #: 200
Original Budget: $30,000
What was your original plan?: “We were supposed to have an international wedding at Madsens Greenhouse (madsens.ca) in Newmarket with 200 guests including 50 people from Belgium.”
Ceremony Location: Groom’s parents’ backyard
Reception Location: Groom’s parents’ driveway
Colour Palette: Gold and navy blue
Tell us your story!: “Hi! My name is Sophie, and I am saying this with a French accent because I am from Belgium. This same accent made my husband fall in love with me back in 2015 when we met randomly at a Halloween party in Holland Landing where he was dressed as a cowboy and I was a cat. I didn’t know anybody in Canada and I could barely speak English. I was supposed to be in Canada for a year only to improve my English language skills. Little did I know that I would be staying in Canada forever! Indeed, I took the cowboy’s phone number and we quickly fell in love. A year later, it was time for me to take my flight back home to Belgium. Just like in the movies, I never took my flight home. A few years later, in 2018, my husband proposed to me and it was one of the best days of my life. I was so looking forward to our wedding day during which both of our families would be gathered for the first time and get to know each other. Covid-19 arrived like an unexpected hurricane at our very well-planned wedding. I had everything ready well ahead of time since 50 people were coming from the other side of the ocean. The first wave came with the realization that my bachelorette back home would not happen and that I would not be able to pick up my wedding dress carefully selected with my grandmother in Belgium. The second wave hit me pretty hard when I realized that none of my family or friends from Belgium would be able to attend our wedding. I had to go through a mixture of a guilty feelings towards all the guests who had been stranded and whose flights were canceled as well as a feeling of overall disappointment that the day I had been imagining for 2 years would not happen the way I thought it would.”
“Luckily, in all despair, we can find a light. Our light burnt due to the tremendous support we received from our close relatives from both sides of the ocean, and the amazing help from our Canadian family and friends.
I also found a way to lift myself up because I started working in a long-term care home as a care assistant (Victoria Village in Barrie) in the middle of the first Covid-19 wave. It really helped me think about what truly matters.
I didn’t have the heart to reorganize a whole new wedding without any of my family members, but my husband had the strength that I no longer had. My husband, as well as the whole community, came together to make this wedding happen.
His parents arranged some homemade meals and built a white tent for us to put on the driveway. I picked up flowers by the side of a road in Barrie to make flower arrangements for my aisle. My colleagues at work threw me a surprise wedding shower with our masks and scrubs on and one of them went to a forest to pick up extra flowers for me. Melanie from Memories Bridal (memoriesbridalcanada.ca) in Barrie gave me a wedding dress and a beautiful hair accessory with maple leaves to symbolize the fact that I was to become Canadian and her husband spent hours baking our delicious chocolate-based wedding cake.”
“Something magical happened on that day. I woke up feeling an energy around me, it must have been all of my people thinking of me at the same time. This beautiful energy gave me the strength to walk down the aisle on that gloomy day of summer. Yes, you read it well, I said “gloomy”. When I woke up on the morning of my wedding, I felt worried again as the weather was not the best. However, the rain stopped and the clouds spread out at the moment of walking down the aisle. Even our Reverend thought that was something very special that he had never seen before. The rain stopped and the forest in the backyard was greener than ever before. Our wedding day was natural, simple, and magical. Who would have thought the rain would become our best ally? Dancing in the rain, and taking pictures on an old Mustang covered by raindrops made our day extra special and romantic. Although I did my own hair and makeup, I felt the most beautiful ever on that day!” – S
Final Budget: $2,000
Biggest Challenge: “Getting our deposits back from our vendors. We were not able to postpone it since people had booked some flights and were not yet reimbursed for them. We also didn’t know when international travelers would be able to come to Canada again. We still haven’t gotten most of our deposits back from our original vendors.” – S
Best Memory: “Walking down the aisle and feeling the love of my husband. A very special moment during which nothing else matters.” – S
Any advice for couples planning their wedding?: “The love you share with your partner is what matters the most.” – S