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For Ontario natives Natalie Carmichael and Anthony Perre, saying vows on the West Coast of Canada was a dream, but also a challenge. “After living in British Columbia for three years together, Natalie and I knew we wanted to get married in the mountains,” explains Anthony. “But we didn’t want to ask our guests to travel across Canada.”

The answer? A simply ceremony on the shore in Squamish—with picturesque views of  West Coast peaks enveloping the intimate event—and just two witnesses. “It’s not for everyone but elopement came very naturally to us,” admits Natalie. “We never thought to have a big wedding. We didn’t tell a single person we knew until after it happened. Not even our parents.”

Thankfully relatives were thrilled… if not terribly shocked. “It was a surprise to everyone in my family because I have a very traditional Italian family; however, Natalie’s family was waiting for an elopement announcement any time we went away on vacation so it definitely wasn’t a surprise to her side,” Anthony says, laughing.

The 28-year-old food service workers met as teenagers in their hometown of Milton but they weren’t high school sweethearts. “We hung out in the same circle of friends but never really crossed paths until after college,” explains Anthony. “We both came back to visit more frequently and would often bump into each other. That’s when we began to get to know each other a lot more and we knew there was something more than friendship there.”

And, Natalie says, returning to Ontario a few weeks after their scaled-back ceremony held similar emotional riches. “It was great to head home and see all the love and support from our friends and family.”

A solid history of partnerships between photographer Nadia Hung and florist Myrtle et Olive meant the couple could breathe a sigh of relief. “We liked the idea of a long working history. That way it was easy for all of us to communicate and stay on the same page,” Anthony says.

After Natalie discovered a Squamish cabin on Airbnb and decided it would prove the perfect post-wedding retreat, the work began. “We ended up planning the wedding around the cabin’s location. Being near the mountains was the ultimate dream for us.”

The bride and groom welcomed a moment to celebrate without any stress immediately following the quiet ceremony. “We went up the Sea to Sky gondola for even more scenic photos,” explains Anthony. “There was no rush for us since the wedding had already taken place so it was a really fun experience, exploring the mountaintop and walking beautiful paths. It was definitely a highlight and an experience we’ll never forget.”