By Daniela Degrassi
Elopements were quite a trend in 2020, and we all know why. For Amber and April though, eloping has always been their first choice to exchange their vows. Amber is an International Award Winning Makeup Artist and has been working within the beauty industry since 2009. This helped her weed out what is most important and what’s unnecessary, and both Amber and April had a clear vision of what they wanted for their special day. Unlike most weddings, it happened on time and exactly as they planned! They envisioned a romantic ceremony under the trees and that’s what the magical images of Jennifer Picard Photography captured. Despite the short and guestless ceremony, I was still curious to learn more details on their intimate vegan wedding, and Amber graciously shared them with us.
Amber, how did you and April meet?
April and I met around 7 years ago online, as most do these days. We were both ready to give up on the site we chose until I popped into April’s inbox, we chatted back and forth for about a month before meeting and we’ve been inseparable ever since. We joke that our first date is still going, as I never left.
What made you become vegan?
I have always admired vegans and their determination to remove all animal products and their skins from their lifestyles and diet. I was using mostly all cruelty free products before changing my lifestyle to fully vegan. One day in 2018 I followed a calf rescue named Rusty, who was destined to be killed as being considered a waste by-product of the dairy industry. I fell in love with his sweet face and went down the rabbit hole that is the dairy industry. The more I learned the more I couldn’t continue my lifestyle without seeing the animals I was consuming and using in everything I touched and everywhere I went. This was my turning point, over 1.5 years ago.
April is still on her journey to calling herself a true vegan, and is so supportive and always trying to do her best as she re-conditions her values and past traditions.
How did you decide to plan for a vegan wedding?
We always joked that once April bought a motorcycle, I would get a ring. On her birthday in March, her motorcycle dream came true. After talking about our dream wedding for years, we finally sat down and started putting the wheels in motion and my ring came in June. It was very important for us to use as many vegan vendors as we were able to, as we didn’t want to start our next chapter by bringing harm to the animals we love so much.
Were your family/friends supportive?
Our friends and families were very supportive, however we planned and executed the day on our own.
Florals by De La Flore – Rings by Lugaro Jewellers
Were there any obstacles in planning your wedding?
We originally had an accommodation picked out that we loved, however after a trip to check things out and plan our other arrangements, we were less than impressed and ended up changing to another place. This was a very smooth transition for us and worked out better in the end to accommodate all our vegan needs and bringing our dog. Otherwise everything happened very easily, from getting our rings, outfits, and vendors booked, all within a weekend.
What did you two wear?
I wore an off the shoulder A-line satin dress from a local bridal shop – Bliss Bridal and nude heels. April wore a burgundy suit jacket with a white and polka dot button up, black bowtie and black slacks. She opted to also wear burgundy doc martens to tie in the color scheme and not be as traditional as we are far from it.
Where did you get married?
We got married in Half Moon Bay on the Sunshine Coast in BC. We were guided by our photographer to a small trail about 4 minutes off the road to where our ceremony should be. Upon us doing a location check a few days prior to the wedding, we found a spot where there was a tree very similar to one in Nova Scotia where we have always hiked to during our trip home to visit April’s family. A bit further down while we were taking photos and a video, we came across a beautiful wooded staircase over a small waterfall.
Did you celebrate with any food?
We picked up a Vegan Chocolate Mousse Cake from Whole Foods Market before going to the Sunshine Coast. We also had a Vegan Strawberry Fraisier and Vegan French Macarons from Sweet & Sassy Patisserie.
Please share what made your wedding unique…
We always knew we wanted to have a fall wedding, and since we were within a 90 day planning period, we really made it our own. My biggest want was moody and dark florals. We originally wanted to have golden hour wedding photos however due to the smoke, the sun was completely hidden, which actually gave us the most moody and mystical background which made our photos even that much more phenomenal. We are both not photo people, so we were a bit apprehensive of seeing ourselves in print, however Jennifer and Brian were so easy going and just encouraged us to be ourselves and trust that our love shines through, which it absolutely did. We couldn’t have asked or dreamt of a more perfect day for us. It was even better having our little Taz along for the journey, although he wasn’t able to be present at the ceremony.
Our wedding was everything we hoped for and more. We planned our wedding within a weekend and had a couple changes along the way but nothing that made the processes stressful. I woke up the morning of, had breakfast and read on the patio listening to the ocean waves with my best friend and dog. I wrote my vows in a beautiful journal we found made of recycled paper, and had the most beautiful flowers I could have ever asked for. We were both so excited to get away for a few days before the wedding and really enjoy every part of the experience. Being able to start such an exciting chapter in our lives, without harming ourselves, animals or the environment is something that was very important to both of us and really made everything that much more special.
An incurable enthusiast and independent spirit since she could remember (her childhood heroines were Pippi Longstockings and Katharine Hepburn) Daniela Degrassi found her creative outlet as a lifestyle photographer, working mainly in Northern California. Currently splitting her time between SF Bay Area and her native Italy to continue to be her autistic sister’s primary caregiver. Vegan since 2014, she found a perfect way to carry her message of compassion while celebrating her love for the wedding industry launching The Kind Bride in February 2018.