Yup, we did it. We just packed our bags and we eloped …kinda.
The way that we got married was the perfect representation of our relationship thus far (and I’m not just referring to the copious amounts of booze!)

I’ve been planning my ‘Dream Day’ since I learned the melody to the Wedding March. Better yet, since I could pronounce the word ‘tulle’.
I’ve come from planning a grand castle ceremony, complete with Princess Diana’s golden carriage, to a city themed rooftop reception with the cityscape as our backdrop.

Proposal photography taken by Sid Naidu – SidNaidu.com


When Kolter proposed to me in December, absolutely none of my original plans mattered anymore.

One lesson that my mother has drilled into my head from a young age has been, anything that comes easily can also escape from you easily. Things that you have to buss your ass for and earn, are yours forever.
That has been the definition of our relationship thus far!

All About That Chase

I was not an easy catch. Kolter had to BUSS HIS ASS to finally hang out with me, let alone start dating. He always reminds me of when we met in our media writing 101 class during the first week of university.  We didn’t actually meet; he noticed me, I kept my head down in my little red netbook computer, and he spent the next few weeks arriving to class early trying to sit next to where I was seated the week prior, only for me to sit further away. I don’t remember any of this!
18 years old – just started dating

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

When we did finally start dating, about 6 months after we’d “met” – I didn’t make things any easier. Kolter is a family man through and through, and I’m as introverted as they come and am willing to walk into Toronto traffic rather than make small talk. So meeting his parents wasn’t easy for me, especially since he wanted it to happen immediately!


No one has ‘Jungle Fever’

Despite being in an institute of higher learning, our university was flooded with ignorant peers who questioned why I was with ‘the white guy’, or claimed that he was just racist for ‘only being into black girls’, and ultimately made our relationship seem a lot more complicated than it was. Can you imagine an interracial couple existing in the world’s most diverse city in the 21st century??

 wedding-on-the-cheap wedding-on-a-budget

Timing is Everything

Much to our parents’ dismay, we ended up moving in together literally after having ‘broken up’ for an entire week! Through this experience we supported each other through unpaid internships, eviction notices, bill collectors knocking on the door, family issues, failed job interviews, graduating, and … really just learning to transition from being broke students to being broke recent graduates alongside each other.


Wedding Day Photos By Jose Sierra http://cargocollective.com/sierraphotography
Most recently, Kolter and I have graduated, moved across the country together leaving our friends and family behind to pursue his career, I’ve moved back to Toronto, we’ve struggled through becoming a long distance relationship and finally starting flourishing career within our industries – without each other.

Here’s the Part Where We Eloped

know you did not scroll through the entire post…. go back up and read it through! I’ll wait…

That’s better…


Anything that comes easily will also escape from you easily. Things that you have to buss your ass for and earn, are yours forever.

We busted our asses. Our engagement was confirmation that we earned each other and we would be each others’ forever. (yes it sounds fucking corny. No, I’m not sorry).
I’m not naive, I know that there is a whole new world of challenges waiting for us as a married couple, but the last thing that either of us wanted was to have our wedding be one of those challenges.


Within a week of our engagement we both decided that we’d have a civil ceremony at Toronto City Hall, complete with our nuclear families and closest friends as witnesses.
Without our families knowing we applied for our marriage license, booked city hall, and purchased our wedding bands.
On Christmas eve I called my mother and told her to clear her schedule for January 3rd – Going To City Haaaall and We’re Gonna Get Maaaaaarried!

Beautiful thing about a holiday elopement – no lineups and loads of deals! We managed to book a 2-night stay at a luxurious downtown hotel for a quarter of the regular price of a single night! Somehow Kolter even managed to upgrade our room, for free! We also got a prime time slot for our ceremony!


Kolter and I both agreed that the entire day was perfect. Yeah, we actually used that word.
  • My best friend whom I’ve known since Junior Kindergarten sang us down the aisle
  • We remixed the lyrics of our favourite Beyonce song to be sung – ‘Please Marry Me’, instead of ‘make love to me’ …cause that would be pretty damn awkward in front of our parents
  • Two very close and long time friends captured the photography, beautifully
  • We walked down the aisle hand-in-hand, without anyone claiming to give either of us ‘away’
  • and I read a Bible verse from my iPhone since there were no Bibles in the building…
It was as wonderfully non-traditional, cost effective, quick, stress-free and romantic as we wanted it!

Total costs:

  • Tulle Skirt |  Space 46 Boutique = Birthday gift from my sister (who woulda thunk?)
  • Body Suit | American Apparel = $45
  • Blusher/Birdcage/Headpiece-ma-bob = Borrowed from Mother
  • Shoes | Aldo = Purchased back in university
  • Hair | Beauty By Bennett = Free (Bennett is my sister! neuuhhhh! =P )
  • Mani + Pedi | Michele Le’s = $70
  • Makeup = $50
  • Accessories = Gift from Mother
  • Bouquet = Borrowed from Sister
  • Misc | double sided tape, lingerie = $25
            Total: $190
  • Suit | Valentino – Purchased in 2013
  • Shoes | Allen Edmond = Purchased in 2012
  • Bowtie | Brooks Brothers = $39 (on sale!)
  • Cufflinks | Burberry = $40 (off Kijiji!)
  • French Cuff Shirt | Michael Kors = $49 (on sale!)
  • Haircut & Shave = $65
  • Misc |Tailoring = $18
             Total: $211

Side note: Kolter is a shopping ninja. It’s completely unfair.
He’s always able to find amazing deals, without ever haggling, couponing or even tracking sales. He’s just really patient and lucky!

Ceremony Costs
  • Wedding License = $140
  • Civil Ceremony = $246
  • Photographers = $90 (Gift from Our Friends)
  • Singer = Gift from Our Friend
  • Hotel Room = $183 (for both nights! Almost a quarter of the regular cost!)
  • Ring Barer Pillow = Borrowed from my Mom


Total: $659
Grand Total Wedding Costs : $1,060 (excluding rings)
Average Wedding Cost: 26,984 (excluding the honeymoon)
If anyone is considering having an intimate civil ceremony, or even eloping with just the two of you and a couple of witnesses, I strongly, strongly encourage you to take full advantage of this option! We were surrounded by people who love and support us, and were able to have a beautiful day for a beautiful cost (Inexpensive. Inexpensive is a beautiful word.)
With all the money that we saved by choosing not to have a traditional ceremony and reception, we were able to have dinner afterwards at a highly rated downtown restaurant, and drink the rest of the money at our after party back at the hotel!


22 comments on “We Eloped … Kinda”

  1. Congratulations, Dominique!!!! You look so radiant and happy in these photos. I’m glad you had such a meaningful and perfect wedding day. Best of luck to you both! <3

  2. congrats!!! That was so beautiful!!! There were so many times planning my wedding (in 2 months) that I wanted to hop on a plane and elope! I wish you all the best in life!

  3. Domaneek! I know we haven’t talked in a very long time, but I just wanted to say congratulations and I wish you both all the best! 🙂

  4. Wow! this is fantastic!! I’m struggling to start the destination wedding planning because even just getting to THAT decision was more stressful that we bargained for. You both looked great! Congratulations!!


    • we decided on Jamaica 🙂 Turks and Caicos sounds lovely thoough!! Your wedding looks like it was perfect. It sounds like it was the perfect choice for you!!! Thanks for your blog and your Pinterest account! I find lots of great info here 😀



    This is so exciting, wish I had the guts to pull off such a cheap, awesome day.

    You both look so happy… married life brings new challenges but also lots of new exciting moments. Enjoy these moments.

    So happy for you guys.

    • Hey! I never said my wedding was cheap! Inexpensive! lol
      I’m gathering up as much advice from newlyweds as I can (and of course the marriage veterans) so let me know if you have any words of advice for us!
      Thank you!!

  6. Awwwww such a beautiful story. I just love, LOVE! I used to want the big fancy wedding but now something more intimate is my style. And I’m quite the bargain hunter also!

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