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Britt + Jon's Intimate Toronto Elopement at City Hall

An interview with bride #87

A black and white photo of a couple about to elope in the city of Toronto.

Neither of us dreamed of a big wedding. My parents eloped and flew to Hawaii when they got married, so there was never pressure for anything extravagant. We got engaged in Kamakura, Japan. Soon after, we stumbled upon a Japanese brewery called Godspeed in Little India -- and it felt right. The owner actually got engaged in Japan too!

We kept it small and simple -- unconventional.

We took the Queen streetcar to City Hall, full of nerves and anticipation, everyone staring at us! We were greeted by about 20 family members who watched as we exchanged vows to Kina Grannis' version of "Can't Helping Falling In Love".

A happy newlywed couple in Toronto exchanges kisses.

Our lunchtime reception had about 64 people in the end. No dancing -- just delicious food and a chronological playlist of our favourite songs from the 50s to today. Afterwards, we went to a bar in our neighbourhood called "I'll Be Seeing You" with some friends from out of town. Everything felt relaxed.

The highlights for us were the speeches (my dad put together a contract for Jon to sign) and bringing all our friends from different groups together. We couldn't have imagined a more perfect day!

A black and white photo of a bride holding a bouquet wearing #TheJustMarriedJacket

Describe your wedding day in 3 words.
One word: Us. 

What's one thing that your wedding day HAD TO have.
Good food and good drinks. At Godspeed, we had karaage, onigiri, and green tea IPA.

What's one thing you could've done without or proved to be unnecessary in the end?
Since we kept it small there's nothing I would've cut. BUT, we were stressing out because originally we wanted to keep it under 30 people. I'm happy we went with 60 so we could celebrate with more people.

A newlywed couple laughs outside of Toronto City Hall shortly after their elopement.

Tell us about your bridal fashion style.
I was lucky enough that my friend and neighbour Alecia is a makeup and hair artist. So I just strolled the 10 steps over to her place to get ready. I had a vision of a jumpsuit and I found one online at Club Monaco! It was just off white, with peach/rose tones. I got it tailored so that it fit me perfectly.

My grandma really wanted to buy my shoes so we went on a Nordstrom trip together and found some heels that were comfortable. Since Jon's grandmothers were unable to make it, I wore their bracelet and necklace so they were with us in spirit.

Finally, the jacket! I felt the lives it had lived before. And so did everyone else. Because my family knew about the jacket, many wore leather jackets and we were able to capture a photo of us all together. It was really special! 

A bride and her friends show off their matching leather jackets on her big day.

What's your advice for future brides?
Don't go with what's conventional. Instead of having bridesmaids I thought about how my friends would truly want to get involved. My sister helped with favours and was my witness. A few friends helped with the bridal shower and a few others helped with the bachelorette. One was an MC (she's so good at it!) and another helped with the playlist because that was daunting to me. It felt like a loving community of my friends helping out with the things they genuinely enjoy doing :)

A second piece of advice -- if you're debating about that extra hour for a photographer, do it. That splurge was the single most important thing because the photos will stay with us forever.


Vendors

Photography: Liat Aharoni (From the bride: we specifically chose her because she does beautiful documentary shots and tells a narrative with candid photos.)
Venue: Godspeed Brewery (We are lifelong fans.)

A modern bride showing off her leather jacket and stylish wedding jumpsuit.

A happy newlywed couple hugs and kisses after exchanging vows at Toronto's City Hall.