Bonnie Le and Mike Silagadze
So, exactly how does one end up in an airplane, flying over Toronto on their wedding day? Bonnie, our bride, explains it all.
Tell us about your love story: Mike and I met in Toronto when I was in the thick of my PhD program in psychology and he was growing his company Top Hat. We hit it off immediately on our first date where we met for coffee and talked for hours until the sun set. We stayed close from that day until we got married seven years later! Over the years we’ve supported each other in our careers and have had lots of fun. We loved traveling (pre-COVID!) and would travel around the States (where I’m from) and Canada (where Mike’s from). One of our favorite things to do is teach one another our favorite hobbies. Mike taught me how to rock climb and I got him into running half marathon races. I taught Mike how to play poker and he got me into aviation. In fact, Mike got his private pilot’s license which helped us explore different cities and fulfill our love of travel. Two years later, I got my private pilot’s license too!
Please explain how this amazing wedding came to be. An airplane?! We had originally planned to get married in the Bahamas in a small ceremony with our families and a few close friends. But once COVID hit, that wasn’t possible, especially with border closures and our families residing in two different countries. Instead, we decided to get married in Toronto where it all started and have a small ceremony celebrating our love and things we loved. Because of the closed US-Canada border, my family Zoomed into the ceremony and Mike’s family attended in person. We had just moved into a new condo that had the perfect area for us to do our vows, so we designed a small wedding space for the ceremony. We couldn’t help but include aviation as a theme in our wedding given that we are both pilots. Flying has brought us so much joy and adventure. But it also symbolizes many aspects of our love, that together, we’ve learned that the sky is not the limit. Flying is fun and romantic, but it’s also technical and requires a lot of studying and work. Flying symbolizes our dedication to being co-pilots in life, finding fun and adventure together, but also keeping one another safe and working together to forge our path together.
What was your favourite part of the day? We celebrated our wedding across two days. Our favourite part of the first day was taking our “flight into marriage”. The most special part of that day was that we flew into the flight school where we both got our pilot’s licenses. The runway that we land on is dictated by the winds, and it just so happened that on that day, the runway in use was the one that we had each landed on for our very first “solo” – or the first time we landed our planes alone without an instructor. On that day, the winds dictated that we landed on that same runway – runway 26 – but now together.
Will you be having a larger celebration this year, or no? We hope to celebrate with our families together once the US-Canada border opens once again, and perhaps in a sunny and beachy destination like we originally planned!
What advice do you have for couples planning their wedding? There are so many logistics, norms, and expectations surrounding weddings that can lead to an overwhelming or stressful experience. Our advice would be to remember why you love each other and what has brought you together to guide you in planning your special day!