Meghan Watson & Frédérick Chagnon
With only 11 guests, this couple had an intimate, beautiful wedding. Meghan gives us all the details below.
Tell me a bit about your love story: We started dating when we were both living in Montreal and attending McGill – Fred was finishing his engineering degree and I was working in a Psychology lab. We dated for a few months before I moved to Boston for graduate school. We did long distance for almost 3 years, going back and forth every month, as I completed my Master’s program, worked in the US and applied for my permanent residency in Canada. Once I got my PR, I moved to Toronto shortly after. We got engaged in January of 2019 in Costa Rica, and both currently live and work in Toronto.
What were your original plans for your wedding day? Something bigger? My family is from Barbados, and Fred is from Terrebonne QC, so we had originally planned for a big wedding at a large country estate in Barbados. We had planned for a big dinner and party with a jazz quartet, DJ and lots of lawn games. We had definitely been looking forward to celebrating under the Caribbean night sky with all our closest family and friends. We had big dreams, but unfortunately COVID happened and forced us to adapt our plans. I think originally our headcount was 110!
When you had to change your plans, how did you feel before and after? Once March 2020 hit and quarantine began, we felt pretty panicked but tried to stay optimistic. We were monitoring the COVID situation, holding out hope that things would return to normal in time. Unfortunately, the pandemic had other plans for us. We decided to cancel and fortunately for us our vendors were super flexible. We were lucky to be able to pause indefinitely without too much of a cost. The grief came in waves. As we got used to the pandemic and came down from the initial shock, it started to sink in that we might not be able to travel safely, and that was definitely a low moment for us. Luckily we decided to keep our date and pivot to planning a whole new wedding here in Toronto with the help of our amazing wedding planner Jasmine.
Will you be having a larger celebration next year? Truth be told, we had hoped to plan a similar celebration on our first anniversary. I think in a perfect world, we’d love to have a larger celebration. However, our wedding was pretty magical and unique, and after going through it, we wouldn’t have it any other way.
What was your favourite part of the day? Outside of the wedding itself, we would definitely say the food! The chefs at Boehmer were unbelievable. Because it was such a small ceremony and reception, we were able to focus on making the food and wine as amazing as we could, which was SO worth it. The entire staff at our venue made us feel so comfortable and it was definitely a highlight of the evening.
What will guests remember most? I think guests will definitely remember how intimate and private it was. Although our wedding photos were incredibly public and on a busy Toronto street, our ceremony was small, cozy and thoughtful. At the end of the night we gave all our flowers away to the staff at the venue and gave some to our friends to take home. To this day, they still talk about our dads’ emotional speeches and the quality of the food. It was an amazing evening.
What advice can you give to couples planning a wedding? Don’t overthink it! The details you worry about now, you may barely remember after. Stressing yourselves out over the details can sometimes take away from the fun of planning such an important day. Ultimately, the wedding day is just the beginning of a life-long journey. Focus on celebrating with those closest to you and enjoy the night!