How We Met
While on a world-wind trip throughout Europe, my friend reached out to me saying that she had a great match for me when I got back to Ottawa. At the time I truly didn’t want anything to do with thinking about my time back home, or guys back home for that matter, so I shrugged it off…….
Once I returned from Europe, the topic of having to meet Eric was brought up again by my friend, so I finally said “why not?”. Our friends ended up inviting Eric and myself for an afternoon of bowling. Eric was nothing like the guys that I had previously dated, so honestly wasn’t sure if he was truly my type. I thought to myself “my type hasn’t been working, so maybe I should pursue him!”
My intuition was right. We ended up seeing each other every day for a week and a half straight. Shortly after we started officially dating!
Travel has always been a big part of my life. Throughout my childhood, I was lucky to experience many different destinations and trips with my family. Florida, California, Arizona, and even a cruise to the Caribbean. This must have planted the travel bug. I have always had a passion to explore, adventure, and see the world.
Once I met Eric, I was surprised as to how little he had traveled. My goal was to change this, and explore the world together…
Our first big trip was a 2 month trip, across Canada. We went all the way to the East coast of Canada, and then back through all of Canada to the West Coast, as far as Vancouver Island. On our way back, we drove through the top part of the United States, so that we could experience something a little bit different. This entire trip of 20,000km was done in our 2001 Pontiac Sunfire. We slept together in tents, at friends’ places, couchsurfing with strangers, and even in the trunk of the car with the backseat pulled down, in Walmart parking lots! Spending all of this time so close together truly was a relationship tester. We always joke that if we could get through those two months, we could get through anything!
We have also traveled on a separate trip to Newfoundland with one of my Best Friends Ellyn, and her parents! That in itself was an adventure. This was Eric’s first time on a plane since he was a little kid. Thankfully Porter offers complimentary beer and wine, so his fear of flying was drowned with a few cans of Steamwhistle! We also started geocaching together on this trip. For those of you who don’t know, Geocaching is a worldwide treasure hunt, using a GPS application on your smartphone, to find hidden objects around the world! It’s a great way to discover a city that you’ve never explored, or to get to know hidden gems in a city.
We have also gone on three separate trips down south to Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico. Nothing better than a fun week filled with sun, sand, alcohol, and delicious eats!
Our most recent trip was probably the most adventurous! We backpacked throughout the northern and central parts of Europe. We visited the Irish cliffs, saw Big Ben in London, said hello to the Eiffel Tower in Paris, watched the Mannekin Pis (and his sister Jeannekin Pis) in Brussels, ate tasty mussels in Brugges, went for a stroll in the countryside of Belgium in Kalken, experienced my birthday in the Red Light District of Amsterdam, went to a German Beerfest in Hannover, saw a Comedy Show at Tipi-Land in Berlin, went to a Swedish Hockey game in Malmo, visited the most amazing beach near Esbjerg (it’s 5km wide, and 16km long!), and cheered on the local ‘football’ team in Copenhagen. The most amazing part about this trip is it’s when we got engaged!
While on our European Adventure in the fall of 2015, we decided to go geocaching in Berlin. We hunted for geocaches throughout this park in the middle of the city. We ended up in an area with ponds, and a lovely little stream, willow trees, and birds chirping. We ended up splitting ways, to find the geocache. Little did I know, Eric found the geocache first, while I was completely in the wrong area, taking pictures because it was so gorgeous! I followed the coordinates and wound up near this bridge, where Eric was hunting and told me he found it! He went under the bridge to retrieve the geocache, and passed it to me to open. I looked through, had him sign the log, and just as I was about to put it back, I noticed a white folded piece of paper. I opened it up to read it, and I honestly thought it was for someone else…. Until I saw my name at the bottom. With a small fence in between us (haha) there was Eric on one knee with a ring in hand. My initial reaction was that it was a joke, and it wasn’t real but reality eventually set in and I said yes!
That evening, we ended up going to a lovely Thai restaurant for dinner, where we were the only ones in the restaurant! Following dinner we wound up at a local smoky bar, with a live jazz jam where people who had never even played together jammed the night away!
Let’s just say it was a memorable day, and evening!
The Wedding Planning
Being an event planner myself, something I've strangely never wanted to plan was my own wedding. It's a job to me, and to be honest, I really didn't want to have to deal with all of the little details.
My first little bit of wedding planning involved looking around the Ottawa area. I personally wanted a more outdoor venue, with a waterfront, as a beach wedding was always a dream, but my parents weren't too keen on a destination wedding at first. The other issue was looking for a venue that also had a hotel nearby, or on-site. This was quite tricky... We found one venue that worked, but the quote came back with a sky-rocketed price-tag.
This lead me to start thinking about destination weddings again. The ease of being able to plan the wedding, with the guidance of a planner to take care of all the details for me, seemed quite attractive. I saw an ad for Luxe Destination Weddings, who proved to be quite helpful.
I took a couple months of back and forth with the Travel Agent to figure out what resort would work best for us. We toyed with Mexico, Dominican Republic, Bahamas, and Jamaica, but since food was really important, we narrowed things down to Mexico, as they have the most refined food, since the USA is so close. The first quote that intrigued us was the Royalton Riviera Cancun, but the price was extremely high, so we wanted to see what other options were out there. Our second choice that seemed quite intriguing was the Grand Sunset Princess, but it just wasn't quite right.... We then saw the Azul Fives, which was gorgeous, but for the number of people we expect to attend, we couldn't use the Pier that was my dream wedding location. I reverted back to our travel agent and asked for a new quote for the Royalton Riviera, and the price had gone down significantly. We decided to book!!!
From there, we decided on a departure date of May 6th, 2017 and a wedding date of May 9th, 2017.
We will be getting married directly on the beach, followed by a dinner reception at the Nautica Beach Bar. We're expecting about 40 people, and are super excited.
I had my first call with the destination Wedding Planner from Luxe Weddings, who started to go into the details of exactly what I want for the wedding.
Here's what I'm thinking for wedding colours. A midnight Charcoal Grey/Blue for the bridesmaids, with a deep coral and yellow/white accents, which will hopefully be incorporated into the bouquet too! I love starfish too, so hoping to incorporate those into the mix as well.
That's basically where I'm at right now, but i'll definitely be updating as the date approaches!
If you've had your wedding here, I'd be really excited to see some pictures for ideas. Especially the Nautica Beach bar, all done up. It's hard to find pictures!!