Memories from August 29th, 2020

Since we were missing so many loved ones on our special day, we wanted to document the experience for our friends and family to read.

Where to begin? Well, as soon as we knew we were planning to elope, Kenzie got to work designing the invitations, working on decor and obsessively watching the weather. We spent two solid months mulching the gardens, building the arbor and lawn games, booking vendors and working on plans to keep everyone safe.

We had to make a tough decision when it came to the guest list. We decided that for everyone’s safety, we would keep it to immediate families and grandparents. It was a heartbreaking decision but we both have massive families and there was just no easy way to make it work. We had convinced ourselves that September 4th would be able to go on as planned (how foolish we were) and we could celebrate with all those we missed on the 29th. We were especially crushed to be missing half of our wedding parties–the friends and family members who are incredibly near and dear to us.

Mere days before, logistics were falling into place, the guest list (and seating plan) were all confirmed and despite the weather warning of thunderstorms, we had a plan for every scenario. Much of the planning was taken on by Kenzie but good thing, as Tom had been planning something of his own. He arrived home after work one day, with a backseat full of luggage and two familiar faces hiding beneath it all. He had secretly flown in our best friends MK and Lucas as a surprise. He knew how hard it was to not only be missing my Maid of Honour, Laura, but to not have a friend to be there for the big day. As you can imagine, my jaw hit the floor and in true Kenzie fashion, I said “I need to change the seating plan!”

The morning of the wedding, Kenzie was up bright and early to get her hair done in St. Catharines, while the rest of the troop began setting up. Hurricane Laura (we knew she’d find a way to be there) blew the thunderstorms off course and brought sunshine (and wind) to Beamsville, so Plan A was able to go forth as planned.

We unfolded the chairs, placing a bundle of hand-picked lavender on each seat. The arbor was placed on the front lawn and adorned with stunning florals. Lawn games were set up in the backyard, with boxes of friend chicken, pizza and caesar salad stacked high nearby. Atop a wine barrel sat a three-tier wedding “cake” filled with treats and toys for the kids, waiting to be hung at just the right moment.

As guests began to arrive, Kenzie and Tom retreated to the house to get ready. From an upstairs window, Kenzie saw her brother arrive and tears welled up in her eyes. He had just come home from the hospital a few days before and she wasn’t sure if he’d be able to make it or not.

Downstairs, Tom was digging in to some oysters brought by Kenzie’s other brother, while he got ready with his own. Sandra ran back and forth to snap photos of us both getting ready.

Tom finished getting ready and went to greet our families, while Kenzie peered from inside ready for her cue. As the music began, Tom stepped out with his mom and made his way to the arbor, ready to see his bride step out.

When the music shifted, Kenzie and her dad got into position. When the tempo changed, she and her dad stepped out into full view. To Tom’s surprise, she was in her full gown and not the stand-in dress she had planned to wear. As some of you may be wondering, no, Kenzie didn’t fall down the stairs (to everyone’s surprise). Her dress was never able to get tailored and ran a little long in the front, so it was a shock she didn’t trip.

In front of their families, they recited hand-written vows, and shared their first kiss as husband and wife. We gathered for family photos and when those had finished, Kenzie and Tom went off for photos, while both the bride and groom’s sides migrated to the backyard for food, drinks, dancing and lawn games.

Watch our full ceremony video by Parallel Productions

When Kenzie and Tom finished their photos, it was time for the “cake”. Made with love by Kenzie and her mom, the piñata was strung up and knocked down with the help of their niece and nephew. After the kids ravaged the toys and candy, Kenzie and Tom enjoyed catching up with loved ones, playing lawn games and dancing under the summer sun.

A short-while later, the guests began to filter out, and Kenzie and Tom changed out of their wedding day attire. After a quick but mighty clean-up, they grabbed their overnight bags, to head to their one night honeymoon, only to find Kenzie had locked their keys in the car. Tom’s brother to the rescue, we hopped in Eric’s truck and went to spend the night at Pillar and Post. COVID restrictions were in place, so we enjoyed room service and movies for our first night as husband and wife.

While it was not the day we had planned for, it was a day filled with love, light and laughter. We are overwhelmingly grateful we were able to begin this next chapter of our love story and hope to celebrate with all our loved ones someday soon.

With love,
The Schroeters

Watch our recap video by Parallel Productions
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