A Nanaimo couple got married in epic fashion on Mount Cokely, west of Parksville.

The wedding was much different than the destination wedding in Mexico they had envisioned before the pandemic, but the groom had a surprise for his bride to help put the wedding over the top.

With a helicopter ride to the top of Mount Cokely on Vancouver Island and groom Brayden Boyd waiting at the top, bride Michelle Fonseca and her son arrived for a wedding much different than the one she had planned.

“So different. For starters, we were going to have a bunch of people there, family and it was going to be a Mexican themed wedding,” said Fonseca.

But with COVID-19 grounding international travel, and Fonseca’s family in Mexico, the couple decided on another incredible option: sharing their vows on top of a mountain.

“It happened in a matter of weeks of planning from the idea. ‘Okay, do you want to do this? Do you want to get married on a mountain via helicopter?’ Then two weeks later we were there doing it,” said Boyd.

But while most of their family and friends couldn’t be there, Boyd had a surprise for his bride.

Just as the wedding was about to get underway they let her know the entire celebration was being live-streamed to more than 100 friends and family around the world

“It took my breath away. Oh my gosh, it was amazing. It made me cry. It made me feel so loved,” said Fonseca.

Boyd says he was also surprised it was possible to live-stream from such a remote location. “The credit goes out really to West Coast Helicopters and Box 221 Digital Studios for taking the reins and doing all the logistical kind of stuff. Figuring out where they could go and what would come through clear.”

Elevate your Relationship

We created an unforgettable wedding experience for Brayden Boyd and Michelle Fonseca from Nanaimo, BC. The couple had to cancel their wedding, planned to take place in Mexico with Michelle’s family due to Covid-19 restrictions. We stepped in and offered to marry them in a remote scenic location. Brayden and Michelle took the opportunity to get married on Mt.Cokely on May 9th. The ceremony took place with family and friends watching the live stream via zoom. In order to live stream the wedding ceremony, we collaborated with Box 221 Digital Studioss to surprise Michelle with friends and family from all over the world. Michelle’s father was able to provide his blessings virtually from over 4500km away. “I was so happy to surprise Michelle with her family,” said Brayden, “I know how important this was for her, I wanted this to be very special for her.”“We wanted to create an unforgettable romantic experience.” says Terry Eissfeldt, CEO at West Coast Helicopter. “The wedding was very emotional; it was hard not to hold back tears while I married them.” Terry is not only a helicopter pilot; he is a licensed wedding officiant. “Mt. Cokely was an ideal location for the live stream as there was wifi coverage” says Scott Cooper, CEO of Box 221 Digital Studios, “and we loved working with WCH because they understand creating exceptional client experiences.”Their wedding package included champagne, chocolates, a scenic flight around Nanaimo, as well as, stops on Mt. Cokely and a secluded lake after the ceremony. We have the ability to take people to many beautiful and remote locations all over Vancouver Island safely and follow Covid 19 protocols set out by Transport Canada. For more information go to: http://westcoasthelicopters.com/wch-wedding/

Posted by West Coast Helicopters Maintenance & Contracting Ltd. on Tuesday, May 26, 2020

With the West Coast Helicopters pilot serving as their officiant, the ceremony continued with Fonseca’s father now able to give his blessing during the ceremony from 4,500 kilometres away.

The couple says they’re glad to share their adapted wedding day during the pandemic

“We need some sort of good news, some way to show that it’s okay, right? Love still finds its way,” said Fonseca.

“A shiny bright happy thing in a time of uncertainty and it’s a certain thing for us. That’s why we got married and it’s great just to be able to share that and show that there’s stability that exists, there’s love that exists and happiness and a way to adapt through nearly everything,” said Boyd.

The couple is vowing in the future to hold a giant fiesta with loved ones in Mexico.

Numerous weddings on Vancouver Island have faced challenges since Covid-19 has arrived.

Kendall Hanson