This Couple Invited Just Three Guests—Their Daughter, Included—to Their Romantic Elopement in Vancouver

wedding couple smiling at each other at foot of stairs
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Natalia, a public accountant, and Stephen, a business owner, got to know each other while attending the same university in September 2011. "We were taking multiple classes together and were working on group projects together, as well," says the couple. In August 2017, Steve planned a day out for him, Natalia, and her father. "We went on a hike to Joffre Lake," says Natalia, "and Steve proposed to me in front of my dad there."

Over the next few years, the couple talked about planning a large wedding, but "never made it a big priority," says Natalia. In 2020, though, they finally decided to tie the knot in a small ceremony—the norm, in a COVID-ridden world—with help from Wonderstruck Weddings and Events. "Earlier this summer, we came across Ariel's elopement services, so we decided to spontaneously get married," says Natalia. They chose the covered terrace at Hycroft Manor in Vancouver, British Columbia, for their super-intimate day, to which the couple and their daughter invited just one person. "We initially wanted to invite a handful of guests, but it was hard to decide which guests would be invited, so we eventually decided to only have my mother there," says Natalia. "On the wedding day, two dear friends of ours showed up to surprise us, and we were happy to have them be present as our witnesses."

They kept the day simple, serving just cake and Champagne after the ceremony, and directed their energy toward their primary vision for the event—"to celebrate our love for each other, and our little girl." They chose a timeless palette of ivory, blush, and black, creating a romantic atmosphere for the day they had dreamed about. "Focus on each other, rather than the expectations that family and friends might have for your wedding," says Natalia. "Ultimately, the day is about celebrating your love."

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Location, Location, Location

elegant european garden venue
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Hycroft Manor, an Edwardian mansion built in 1911 that's now home to the University Women's Club of Vancouver, offered the couple a regal background for their intimate elopement. "We love European architecture and Hycroft Manor represented that style," they say.

02 of 17

Mother and Daughter

mother helping bride get ready in front of large windows
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Natalia complemented her one-shouldered wedding dress from Ange Etoiles with two necklaces from Stephen—one Dior, the other Cartier. Her mother, the couple's only invited guest, helped her prepare for the ceremony.

03 of 17

Her Gorgeous Gown

bride in flowing white tulle dress on stone stairway
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The blush-colored ball gown, with its tulle skirt, sequin details, and detachable bow, was an easy choice. "I knew I wanted something one-shouldered and romantic," says the bride. "It was the first dress that I tried on, and it was perfect, so I had no doubts about it."

04 of 17

Flower Power

bride holding white and blush bouquet with ribbon
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An asymmetrical bouquet from Da Fiori Design comprised dahlias, roses, sweet peas, and honeysuckle in a white, blush, and green palette—an illustration of the "romantic with elegant modern touches" theme the couple wanted.

05 of 17

Tulle Time

daughter twirling in white tulle dress
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Their daughter wore a white dress with a floral-embellished bodice and tulle skirt—mimicking the bride's—and carried a petite bouquet to serve as the flower girl.

06 of 17


wedding groom in black tux holding bride's hand in garden
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Stephen chose a dark suit from Giorgio Armani, a timeless look he paired with light brown dress shoes.

07 of 17

Eyes on Each Other

wedding first look in courtyard
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As the couple met for their first look on the terrace, they exchanged big smiles—feeling, says Natalia, "a bit nervous, and giddy!"

08 of 17

Arm in Arm

bride and groom processing together at small elopement ceremony
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The bride and groom walked down the aisle, towards their officiant, Mitchell Clarke of Weddings with Mitch, together. A roof sheltered the terrace from the day's rain—which only heightened the colors in the lush green landscaping.

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A Cozy Corner

wedding ceremony in front of greek columns
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Dramatic columns framed the couple as they exchanged their vows in a secluded corner of the manor.

10 of 17

All in the Family

daughter sitting with mother of bride at wedding
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Natalia and Stephen invited only her mother, though they were happy to see two other friends who showed up as a surprise.

11 of 17

He Said, She Said

wedding couple holding hands for vows
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The couple wrote their own vows to personalize the ceremony. "I liked what Stephen included in his vows," reflects Natalia: "For you are a flower and nectar, and I am a bee who seeks your beautifulness and sweetness to survive, and together we make honey."

12 of 17

Rain or Shine

wedding couple standing on steps with clear umbrella
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Natalia and Stephen didn't let the rain dampen their wedding-day joy. "Although it was raining for most of the outdoor ceremony, it was a romantic reminder that you can weather any storm as long as you are with someone who dances with you in that rain," they say.

13 of 17

In the Garden

wedding portraits in lush garden
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"Near the end of our photos, the rain let up a little bit so we decided to have some portraits done in the garden," says Natalia. "It was so refreshing to let loose and dance in the rain!"

14 of 17

Simple and Elegant

elegant wedding cake, candles, and bouquet on table
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In lieu of a full meal, the couple served cake and Champagne. They dressed the cake table in a cream-colored cloth topped by a chiffon runner, used a sleek glass cake stand, and added blush-colored taper candles in gold holders.

15 of 17

Just Desserts

two-tier white wedding cake with butterfly applique
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Cake by Nicole provided a two-tier raspberry-studded vanilla cake with rose buttercream, lychee and raspberry fruit, and raspberry macaron. Wafer paper butterflies took flight from the smooth white buttercream.

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Sugar and Spice

bride, groom, and daughter cutting wedding cake together
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The couple's daughter joined them for a family cake-cutting moment—though she couldn't wait to try the sweets. "As we were cutting the cake, our daughter was busy plucking the butterflies off the cake, and eating them," says Natalia. "Needless to say, she had a bunch of sugar all over her mouth for some of the photos!"

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wedding couple raising hands in expression of joy
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Photography and Videography, Beige Weddings
Venue, Hycroft Manor
Event Planning, Wonderstruck Events
Flowers, Da Fiori Design
Officiant, Mitchelle Clarke
Cake, Cake by Nicole
Bride's Gown, Ange Etoiles
Bride's Accessories, Dior shoes and necklace; Cartier necklace
Hair and Makeup, Makeup by Andrea Salazar
Groom's Suit, Giorgio Armani
Linens and Candles, Camilia Supply
Ribbons, C Fleurs Design
Rings, Cartier

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