Max and Felina’s friends and family always assumed that the couple would one day elope, so it came as no surprise when the couple ran off to Tofino, BC to say ‘I do’.

With their officiant,  photographers Shari + Mike, and their adorable dog Hugo by their side, the couple chose Chesterman Beach along Tofino’s spectacular and rugged coast to secretly exchange their vows. Despite the rain and fog, their wedding day was relaxed, carefree, and of course, utterly romantic!

Rainy Tofino elopement

Felina & Maxwell

Tofino, British Columbia

Wedding Date: September 20, 2013

Number of Guests:  1 (Hugo, the dog)

Wedding Ceremony Location: Chesterman Beach

Wedding Getting Ready Location: Wickaninnish Inn

bride on the beach

groom walking his dog

simple white rose wedding bouquet

foggy elopement ceremony on the beach

groom's hands around bride

bride and groom laughing on the beach

bride embracing groom

Why did you have an intimate wedding? 

We chose to elope because a traditional wedding just didn’t fit ‘us.’ We wanted to celebrate our love, but without the stress and cost that comes along with a big wedding.

Wickaninnish inn sign

wedding dress hanging up

silver wedding shoes

bride doing her make-up

bride getting dressed

bride putting on her earrings

bride putting on her shoes

What are some of the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding? 

The biggest challenge we faced was keeping it a secret from our friends and family!

groom putting on his tie

groom's wedding shoes

bride and groom's dog

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list? 

No because it was just the two of us and our dog, Hugo!

groom portrait

bridal portrait

outdoor bride and groom portrait

Tofino coastline

rocky peach wedding portrait

bride and groom on foggy beach

bride and groom portrait on the beach

groom embracing bride from behind

Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them?

We had been engaged for a couple of years and our friends and family knew we weren’t interested in a big wedding. Every time we came back from a trip somewhere, they would ask if we had eloped! When we finally eloped and told them, most of them were happy and not surprised!

groom waiting on the beach for his bride

bride walking on the beach

beach elopement ceremony

rainy elopement ceremony on the beach

What were the highlights of the ceremony?

Felina: The highlight for me was seeing Max’s smile when he saw me for the first time in my dress!
Max: Seeing my beautiful wife on the beach in such a special place.

foggy beach elopement ceremony

bride and groom laughing during elopement ceremony

dog at elopement ceremony on the beach

bride and groom exchanging rings on the beach

groom placing ring on bride's finger

bride and groom first kiss on the beach

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding? 

The best part about eloping was that the whole day was so carefree! We felt so relaxed and happy, which was the best way to start our new life together!

tofino coast

bride and groom on the beach in the rain

brie and groom walking on the beach under umbrella

bride and groom looking out to the ocean

bride and groom walking balk to the inn

bride's wedding rings

bride looking lovingly at her groom

bride and groom sitting on the bed

What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding? 

Do what you want and what will make you happy. Don’t worry about what others will think because you will never be able to please everyone, whether you have a small wedding or a big one!

bride and groom relaxing at the inn


Dress: Sue Wong (eBay)

Bride’s shoes: Badgley Mischka

Groom’s suit: Ralph Lauren

Groom’s shoes: Ron White

Hair: Jessica at Salty Dolls Hair Salon

Flowers: Crab Apple Floral

Rings: Idar

Officiant: June Hanton

Photographer: Shari + Mike Photographers