There is that “movie moment” that you always see in films about the main character just knowing when they met the love of their life. I always thought it was a cliche, but when I met Shaelyn and started spending more time with her I recognized that I had a feeling that something was just right. It’s hard to put into words. But you truly just know.
Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love…
S: Brandon works as a Charge Nurse in the Emergency Department. He has an amazing work ethic and compassionate qualities which is what lead him into a career in healthcare.
I spend a lot of my time posting content online to spread awareness about disabilities and strokes – Additionally, I provide tutorials for other people struggling with post-stroke recovery. I am very passionate about those subjects because I am a stroke survivor from 2015.
Together to step away from some of the chaos, we love to go hiking! We’ve hiked a lot of trails here in Albuquerque and have traveled to Santa Fe to do some trails. In the future we plan to go to other states to check out what the hiking trails are like elsewhere.
How/where/when did you meet – and what were your first impressions?
S: Both of us were born and raised in Ontario, Canada only about an hour apart from each other. Despite growing up so close to each other, we didn’t actually meet until we went to the same University in Canada.
On our first date in May 2018, I picked Brandon up from his apartment after school and we went to the riverfront with some coffee to get to know each other in a more intimate environment. It started pouring rain as soon as we got to the riverfront so we were trapped in my car the entire time, but it was obviously meant to be so that we could get to know each other better that way.
Brandon comes across very “stoic” at first, is what we like to say. He doesn’t show much emotion unless you really get to know him more, so on that first date I felt very confused because I could tell that I really liked him, but I had a feeling that he didn’t really like me at all because of his lack of emotion during our first date.
To my surprise, I received a text from him when I got home saying that he really liked me and would like to see me again, and the rest is history!
When did you first realise that this was someone you’d like to spend the rest of your life with?
S: We moved really quickly in our relationship, especially in the beginning. From meeting, to moving in, then moving to Albuquerque for Brandon’s job. Getting married was always an open discussion for us throughout the first three years of our relationship, so when we talked about eloping in 2021, it all happened within about four months of seriously talking about it.
That being said, I think I first realized that Brandon was the person I wanted to be with forever when we were living together in our own apartment going through a hard time financially. I think going through hard times and pulling through them together makes your relationship stronger than it ever could be, so I believe that’s when I saw the potential of what the rest of our lives together could be.
B: There is that “movie moment” that you always see in films about the main character just knowing when they met the love of their life. I always thought it was a cliche, but when I met Shaelyn and started spending more time with her I recognized that I had a feeling that something was just right. It’s hard to put into words. But you truly just know.
Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it…
S: I was adamant that I at least got a proposal before we eloped because it was something I had dreamed about since I was a little girl. So the day that we went to the County Clerk’s Office to pick up our Marriage License, which was a few weeks away from the ceremony, I mentioned to Brandon that I still hadn’t gotten proposed to. When we got inside our apartment after a long drive to and from Santa Fe, Brandon told me to come into our office and right then and there he got down on one knee and proposed. It wasn’t anything extravagant but it was perfect for us and I was happy that I actually got proposed to!
Tell us about the vision you had for the mood or style of your wedding…
S: Since we eloped, there wasn’t much of a vision for the ceremony because it was just at the County Clerk’s Office. For our photos my vision was definitely to feature some of the landscape in Albuquerque and/or in Santa Fe so that we can look back and feel the place we got married through our photos. I loved the White Rock background that our photographer offered as one of the locations we could select. I felt like it was a really cool aspect to have something so bright and modern looking so that we stood out in our photos.
What was one element you were happy to splurge on?
S: Since eloping isn’t nearly as much money as a typical wedding is, I am very happy that we splurged on our photographer Crystal Cousin. The photos came out even better than I had imagined – she really captured the essence of our elopement and I couldn’t be happier with them!
Did anything happen on your wedding day that you laugh about in hindsight (even if it was stressful at the time)?
S: The day of our ceremony, I forgot my bouquet and I didn’t realize it until we were halfway to Santa Fe. I was so upset because I loved my bouquet and I really wanted photos with it. I decided to try again and get the same bouquet made for our photoshoot. The same thing happened the day of our photoshoot, except luckily Brandon remembered before we left our apartment so I was able to have my bouquet for our photos.
Tell us about your main outfits, what was unique, is there a story?
S: Before I joined Brandon and moved to Albuquerque I ordered my dress online as a “just in case we elope” dress. I didn’t really think too much about it, and I packed it in my suitcase without even having a set date to elope yet. I hadn’t even tried it on yet, but I feel like it was the perfect size and style for me personally so I really lucked out with that! We chose the red tie and printed shirt for Brandon to match some of the flowers in my bouquet. Since there really isn’t anything traditional about our relationship or the way we got married, we thought a traditional black and white suit just didn’t feel right.
Photographer: Crystal Cousin Photo, @crystalcousinphoto / Flora: Melba’s Flowers in Albuquerque, NM / Bride’s Attire: Born to be Chic Boutique , @borntobechic / Groom’s Attire: RW&Co, @ rw_co / Bride’s Rings: Peoples Jewellers, @peoplesjewellers / Grooms Ring: Brand Pierre, @brandpierre