An elopement on ice
In February 2020 I put together my first ever styled elopement and had so much fun doing so. This past December I decided that it was time to plan another styled photoshoot and within a week I had this elopement set up. I am so grateful that such talented wedding vendors agreed to collaborate with me given such short notice. They really helped bring my vision to life and for that, I am very grateful. I will begin this blog by telling you about Anastasia and Anatoli's love story and then end off by talking about my experience with all of the amazing vendors I had the chance to collaborate with.
The Love Story
Anastasia and Anatoli have gone through a lot together but their love for each other is very strong and can be seen throughout the photos below. Here is their love story in their own words. It is powerful, moving, and inspiring.
We were both born in Ukraine. I met Anatoli in 2012, when I was only 13 and he was 17. In 2013, after knowing each other for 8 months, he immigrated to Canada along with his family. In 2014, The Revolution of Dignity, also known as the Euromaidan revolution occured in Ukraine and a war broke out with Russia. This meant that Anatoli couldn’t return home to visit me. In the summer of 2016 we finally got to see each other for the first meet in 3 years. We got married that year in Kaliningrad, Russia. Although we were unable to have any family around, it was one of the most memorable days of my life. I moved to Canada in 2017, so that we can live together at last, however this meant that I had to leave my family and friends behind in Ukraine. But as you know, love conquers all and we really do complete one another. This is our love story.
Hearing how long and hard they have fought to make their love story turn into a reality is truly inspiring.
The Vendors + My Experience
We incorporated two different gowns from Chateau Nadia into this elopement. The first one was a fairytale type of ballroom gown from Milla Nova, while the second dress was a bohemian style dress. To start off this blog, I'd like to tell you a little bit about my experience at Chateau Nadia. I accompanied Anastasia for the gown fitting and to be honest, I was a little nervous. I've always been the type of person to get a bit overwhelmed when shopping but the experience at Chateau Nadia was so different and unique in the best way possible. Both Nadia and Sarah are so professional and knowledgable yet also have a unique ability to make you feel so calm and comfortable when choosing a wedding gown. I felt that their expertise in the area really shaped our experience and made us feel like we were in the right hands. And don't forget, this was only a styled elopement. Not a real wedding or elopement. That being said, if you're not sure where to go when looking for a wedding dress, I highly recommend Chateau Nadia. I am sure that they won't disappoint!
The first dress was paired with the most magical bouquet imaginable. The owner at Fleurs et Soins, Mimi, went all out with the bouquet that she made for us. It included pink carnations, baby's breath, eucalyptus, lavender, pine cones, and even added hidden bells within for a festive touch! Instead of having a classic ribbon hold the bouquet together, Mimi added dried bark and a layer of fur so that the bride can comfortably hold the flowers while adding yet an extra element of holiday festivity to the bouquet. I'm still in awe over how beautiful she made it. The second dress was paired with a dried bouquet from Flowers Out of the Blue and really complimented the dress nicely.
Oksana from Makeup Senkevich did an amazing job (as always) on Anastasia's hair and makeup. We went for an elegant and timeless updo, paired with a very natural makeup look. The purple eye shadow really brought the whole look together and was great for our winter/ice theme! Catherine from Deux Amoureux provided us with two delicate and unique vow books that were bound together with a blue ribbon. They truly added such a personal touch to the day. I'd highly recommend investing in good quality stationery for your wedding day such as vow books. Why? Simply because vow books are something tangible that you can actually keep for years to come after your wedding day. Trust me, you definitely will appreciate having these keepsakes for years to come.
Next up is the venue. The owner of Le Couvent Val-Morin, Frédéric, was such a gracious host. He allowed us to use his venue which let me tell you, was amazing! Only an hour north of Montreal, this venue is nestled in the woods off a side road, overlooking Lac Raymond. There was a feeling of calm and serenity at the venue throughout the entire day. The choice of location for your elopement is definitely a big decision and I am so happy we decided to host the session at Frédéric's secret oasis.
We ended off the elopement once the sun had set in an intimate corner of the property which was decked out with fairy lights and a private little bench. After popping a bottle of champagne, we headed inside for some tea and biscuits while enjoying the much-needed warmth of the wood-burning fireplace.
Nicolas from Nicolas Bellevue Films joined me for the photoshoot to create a promo video for me. He did a fantastic job capturing behind the scenes videos of me at work and put together a really great video that authentically describes who I am as an elopement and intimate wedding photographer. Keep an eye out for that video!
I hope you enjoyed reading this blog and to those of you who have made it to the end, just know that I truly appreciate you! There will be many more blogs coming so keep yours open for that. But for now, enjoy the photos from this truly magical day! I'd love to hear your thoughts and feedback in the comment section below!
List of all the vendors + their websites:
Photographer + Planner | themontrealweddingphotographer.ca
Hair + Makeup | makeupsenkevich.ru
Dress | chateaunadia.com
Venue | lecouventvalmorin.ca
Stationery | deuxamoureux.com
Model | instagram.com/saynanaya
Videographer | nicolasbellevuefilms.com