Annika + Mason feel like they have been our friends forever. Most likely because we planned two of their best friend’s weddings in 2018 and 2019! Annika + Mason shared their 2020 experience with us for our Love Isn’t Cancelled series.
Annika shared what it was like eloping, planning an intimate wedding, all the while having the best time ever! Keep reading below about their not one, but two big days, and all the ways they kept things unique.
Annika + Mason were supposed to get married on October 3, 2020 at the Big Fish Lodge in Port Renfrew. They were lucky enough that they were able to make their original plans work for them (but with an added bonus ceremony, more on that below!).
When did you get married?
This is a trick question!
Legally, Mason and I eloped on July 26th. This was the anniversary of the first day we met (2013) and the day we got engaged (2019) and it has jokingly been our dating anniversary so that we would only have to remember one anniversary date.
Ceremoniously (is this a word?) we got married October 3, 2020. This was the real wedding, with all the bells and whistles (and sparklers!)
To be honest, my initial vision was pretty much exactly how it all turned out. We never wanted a huge wedding, so I think our original guest count was around 85.
Since all of my extended family lives in Holland, it was relatively easy to cut the numbers down slightly since travelling out of Province/out of country is pretty much out of the question.
Our vision was for a weekend full of laughs, beach fires and dancing and although we’re sad not everyone from our original guest count could make it, the weekend couldn’t have been more magical.
The biggest decision we made (multiple times) was to continue on with the wedding. We went back and forth so many times about whether we should cancel, postpone or just adapt with smaller numbers. There were many times where a public guideline would change where I’d be overwhelmed and want to throw in the towel, but at the end of the day we wanted *something* good to come out of 2020.
As well, we knew how much this celebration meant to all of our friends. Mason went through some significant health challenges at the end of 2019 and into 2020 and throughout it all our friends showed us infinite amounts of love and support. We knew we wanted to thank them for being there for us by throwing the one fun event that could actually happen in 2020. We all deserved this!
What was your new guest count?
46 plus the Good Party girls and our photographer.
We are so lucky to have such talented friends! Our friend Keenan stepped in as marriage commissioner (because we’d already done the legal ceremony prior), Matt and Amee rocked it as emcees, and Matt and Adam killed it with the music. I’ve never seen a more bumping dancefloor! The less vendors we had to hire meant more of our friends could attend.
Pro-tip: find out what your friends are talented at and then ask them really nicely if they’ll help you out with your wedding.
I would say everything! It all went so PERFECT, even with the crazy pandemic planning and power outage.
Nothing prepares you for the immense love you feel on a day like that and I know I wasn’t the only one who felt that. All weekend long people came up to tell me how much they needed a weekend like that.
I think because there had been so many obstacles leading up to this point: illness, pandemic, constant re-planning, that having it all come together so beautifully truly felt magical.
Also, I think the moment where our (pretend) marriage commissioner revealed to our guests that we had actually already been married for 2 months was priceless. I was quite nervous about how people would react to this, but overwhelmingly people thought it was hilarious and agreed that it was the smart thing to do considering, you know, 2020.
Nope! We had 3 very special wedding related events this summer (why have 1 wedding when you can have 3?!) and we are done. Sorry, friends.
However, we’re not ones to turn down a good celebration so I’m sure we can find something else to celebrate in the future when it’s okay again to do so.
Having technically 2 wedding dates also means 2 anniversary celebrations…right?!
I think we were lucky because we never wanted a big 100+ person wedding so I can’t imagine how heartbreaking it would be to know that that wasn’t an option, but I can’t say enough good things about having a 50 person or less wedding.
We were able to spend time with each of our guests, all of our guests were able to spend time with each other, and it’s truly so special knowing that (most of) the people closest to you are there with you. I’m a big proponent of not following traditions and really just doing what you want. This pandemic is a great excuse to not have the wedding your parents, your friends or your distant aunt wants you to have but what YOU want.
There were lots, but one that stands out was when Dakota led Mason and I through the Lodge minutes before walking down the aisle.
I’d been gone all day getting ready, and this was the first time I’d seen the Lodge all decorated, the arch fully constructed, and all of our people sitting on the beach waiting for the ceremony. Not only did everything look SO beautiful, but I think this moment represented the shift between planning and re-planning and stressing, to “holy eff, we actually pulled this off”.
We are eternally grateful for the Good Party! Having someone who says “put all your stress on me” and then followed through by ensuring that we were far removed from any stress that might come up on the day was such a gamechanger. I’m a total planner (apparently, according to all the speeches!), but it was amazing not to have to think about a single thing on the wedding day and have every detail taken care of.
We feel so lucky to have been a part of Annika + Mason’s wedding day. Surrounded by their best friends, who acted as all their vendors, we felt the love all day long. Congratulations you two!
Lead Planner: Dakota Bateman
Venue: Big Fish Lodge, Port Renfrew
Photography: Kim Jay
Catering: Taco Revolution || Victoria Charcuterie & Co.
Florals: Nightsong Farm
Beauty: Sonia Powers || Amanda Niijar
Dessert: Queen of Arts
Decor Rentals: Party Mood || Pedersen Event Rentals