By Kirk Starratt
You’ve probably heard of love at first sight, but have you ever heard of love at first hot chocolate?
That’s how it happened for Charlie Aalders of Steam Mill and Natalie Bowman of Scott’s Bay, who met recently on a dating site. They had their first date at Tim Hortons in New Minas over a cup of hot chocolate about two months ago and haven’t looked back since.
“We started dating from there and it all moved pretty fast,” Aalders said.
He asked Bowman to marry him on Valentine’s Day, spraypainting his proposal in a heart in the yard. After dark, he turned on some floodlights to reveal his creation and pop the question. Bowman said yes, and the couple was set to wed March 16 where they met for their first date – Tim Hortons.
In terms of deciding on Tim Hortons, Aalders said Bowman wanted to do something fun for their wedding. After they decided, he asked her again to make certain she was OK about having her big day at such a non-traditional venue.
Bowman said her father had always joked that her wedding would likely be a hotdog roast on the beach in Scott’s Bay.
“It’s something people will talk about,” she said. “We can always come back here and have our coffee and remember it.”
Bowman said they have a great sense of humour about it all. During an interview before the wedding, she said it would probably be funny to see the looks on faces of unsuspecting customers who happen to stop in during the ceremony.
Aalders said the workers would likely be surprised as well, as they hadn’t been told about it ahead of time. However, he knows storeowner Les Falconer and asked if it would be OK to get married there. Falconer told Aalders there was no problem having the ceremony at the Tim Hortons location.
“Everybody thinks it’s a cool idea,” Aalders said. “This place will be packed.”
The couple bought pre-paid Tim Hortons gift cards for their invited guests so everyone could enjoy the refreshments of their choice.
Justice of the Peace Robin O’Hara was hired to perform the ceremony. O’Hara said choosing Tim Hortons for a wedding venue is quite unique. However, she hass performed weddings in all sorts of unusual locations. People come up with a lot of different ideas to make their wedding day memorable, she added, ranging from beaches and parks to living rooms and backyards. She once presided over a ceremony about a half-mile out on the mudflats off Cape Blomidon.