Marleigh + Marshall
How did you meet?
Marshall and I met several years ago at the gym. He was friends with the manager. We remained mainly acquaintances for about 5 years before our lives started to collide- mutual friends, gatherings. I was in a long term relationship through the early years, and he was back and forth playing university level american football and with Marshall being a bit younger than me, he was never on my radar. But in the summer of 2017, we were both single and in the same city full time and that’s when things really changed.
How did you know he was the one?
We fell hard and fast. Our situation that summer found us spending a ton of time together, both with no expectation that we could ever have a relationship. I think it was us believing it was just a fleeting and exciting time allowed us to be truly unapologetically ourselves and before we knew it, we were finding ways to be together all the time. I was still being quite unsure about whether we could make things work, I was fighting the age gap, and the possibility of him returning to school and being in a different place in his life. I was still searching for the person I thought would fit my life better, even though I knew I wanted to be with him. And one night, after returning home from a terrible blind date, I picked up the phone and called him. He asked what I had been up to that night and of course worried he would be upset was hesitant to tell him. At that moment he said to me, ” Marleigh I have made my choice. Take all the time you need to figure things out, but I won’t be going anywhere unless you tell me you’ve found someone else. I will be here”. We have officially been together ever since
What are your three favourite attributes of your partner?
He finds the positive in every situation. He is just as happy to hang out at home in sweats with pizza, wine and Netflix, as he is to go hang out with a group of friends. He genuinely cares about everyone in his life
Where did you fall in love with your dress and why?
I fell in love with Riley before I even tried her on. To be honest I had no idea what I wanted to wear on my wedding day. I was not the little girl who had dreamed about her perfect day. Searching online I kept coming back to MWL dresses, and Riley was the one image I had saved on my phone. I live on the West Coast of Canada, and was headed to a conference in Ontario, a 5 hour flight away. That is where my family is, so I decided I would book some dress fitting appointments with my mum while I was in town. I was so happy to see that there was an MWL stockist there and booked. I only tried on a total of 10 dresses that day, with no intention of purchasing, just getting an idea of what I liked. Riley was the last dress I tried on and I was sold instantly! One of the hardest parts of our wedding plans changing so drastically due to Covid-19 was knowing that no one (especially my mum) would get to see me in my beautiful dress.
Who proposed and how?
Marshall proposed to me in the northern part of Iceland in front of a waterfall. Although his sudden nerves made him terribly awkward and I knew something was about to happen, it was still amazing. He caught it all on camera. We were halfway into our camping road trip around the country.
What was the best moment for you at the wedding?
I had planned an amazing wedding that was full of so many special personal touches. We were to have 120 guests. Friends and family flying in from Ottawa, Montreal, NYC, the Caribbean. None of what was planned happened due to Covid-19. We had to make the very difficult decision about what to do with our special day. After a ton of back and forth, a few tears and a fear of regret, we pulled off a last minute elopement. We found and rented a gorgeous private ocean front property, still had our photographer, videographer and wedding planner join us, and made the best of the situation. We got ready in separate rooms of the house, and Marshall still only saw me for the first time when I walked down to meet him on the beach for the ceremony. Originally we hadn’t planned on writing our own vows, due to being too nervous to speak them in front of a big crowd. Because our elopement would just be the two of us, we decided to write and read them during the ceremony. I am so happy we did. It was an amazingly intimate and special moment. The waves were crashing so loud that no one heard them but us, and we truly felt like it was just the two of us standing on that beach. Not having anyone else around, we were able to soak in the rest of the day. Also, since we were on a private property, our dog Billy got to join us! We popped champagne after the ceremony, we still cut a cake, and had a first dance on the lawn overlooking the ocean. Our caterer delivered us a four course dinner which we ate while FaceTiming with family and friends. It was perfect. We plan to celebrate with family and friends on our one year anniversary at our original venue with all of our original vendors!
What surprised you most at or about your wedding
I was so worried I would regret our choice to go ahead with our day on our original date. And I am so happy that we did. It made the most sense for us, and I was most surprised at how much we still enjoyed it. We still felt a ton of love from afar, and were really able to just focus on each other. I was also surprised by how wonderful all our original and new vendors were. My makeup artist still did a FaceTime call the week before to show me step by step what she had been planning to do and give me some product advice. Our DJs made us playlists for the drive up, for me while getting ready and for our drive home after our big day. My bouquet was made by a florist on very short notice (who we were not working with originally), and she did the most amazing job. Our caterer still made us and packed us up a four course dinner and sent it with re-heating/cooking instructions. Our videographer even had our ceremony video back to us by the next morning so we could share with friends and family. Vendors we had booked, and some we didn’t, really stepped up to help out during a super tough time.
What advice would you tell other brides?
I would 100% recommend using a wedding planner (even when eloping) as it wouldn’t have been the same without her. She made planning for our original wedding a breeze and handled all the vendors and ordering. But I think a planner would easily be overlooked for an elopement. She made it so stress free and still took care of all the little details- which are still so important and made the day so special. She decorated, set us a beautiful dinner table, played our music, organized the officiant/photographer. Delivered our florals and our four course dinner. And to any bride who is facing changing plans because of the pandemic (or any other reason), whether that is eloping, cancelling, postponing, decreasing party size etc, in the end the day is truly about you two. Your friends and family will be there to celebrate with you when the world is right again. Even if it looks way different than originally planned, you still get to marry your person, and you will still have amazing memories to look back on, and quite the story to tell!
What was the one thing you did differently for your wedding?
I did my own hair, and followed YouTube makeup tutorials since we couldn’t have vendors due to Covid-19!
Private home in Sooke, BC, Canada
Foxgloves Flowers @foxglovesflowers
Groom: Grandfathers ring
Bride: Engagement ring: Brilliant Earth @brilliantearth
Wedding band: Marrowfine @marrowfine_
Earrings/bracelet: Olive and Piper @oliveandpiper
Hair pins: Were supposed to be worn by my mother on my wedding day.
Wedding Planner/ Stylist
Blue Lily Event Planning @bluelilyevents
Darling Vintage Rentals @darlingvintagerentals
Sarah Stein. @fragmentoflight
Your MWL stockist: