The name ‘August Long Weekend’ conjures up all kinds of images for people living in Western Canada, but for me my thoughts turn immediately to BC, swimming in a warm lake or fishing on a tiny creek in the mountains. After getting to spend this most recent August Long with Kerra and Mark at their wedding, a whole new set of images will be tagged to the middle of the summer. Driving out to the Shuswap is a special treat, and with extended family to visit in Sicamous I knew I would have a fun week away from the city. I had never shot at Quaaout Lodge, but was absolutely impressed with everything I saw while I was there and could hardly think of a more scenic area to host a lakeside wedding in the Shuswap. I met up with the girls a couple hours before the ceremony and revel in the wonderful energy of such close friends and family. The same was true for the boys, and you could tell Mark was excited to put a ring on Kerra’s finger. Their ceremony, overlooking the lake was a hot one – and the thought of jumping into the lake fully clothed definitely crossed my mind. Following the ceremony, I headed off with Kerra and Mark to a place I had seen years before and scouted the day before their wedding – turned out to be even better than expected and they loved it. Turn of the century brick, rusty train cars, old wooden sheds, and llamas? Yes please. Back to the lodge and a quick shoot with the rest of the bridal party before games on the lawn, cocktails and appies, and then into the reception where the party wasn’t showing any signs of slowing down when I ducked out just after midnight. An incredible day for two wonderful and fun people – was a treat to be there to capture their wedding!!
Wherever Megs and Brent go, fun follows. It might just run in their blood, or perhaps the family and friends they surround themselves with? Either way, getting to tag along for their wedding in the south Okanagan was a non-stop party. I met Megan through her sister Lindsey, and instantly knew I wanted to get her and fiancee Brent in front of the camera. They love a good time, are always up to something fun, and even more importantly are very loving and playful with each other. A wedding in the desert town of Osoyoos in the summer pretty much guarantees hot sunny weather, and when their day arrived it was nothing short of perfect. We did an orchard reveal down the hill from the hotel, followed by a couple places I had found just north of the town. It’s an amazing place to have a wedding, and from a photography standpoint, a treat to shoot. Both the ceremony on the deck of the Spirit Ridge Vineyard Resort overlooking the vineyards, and the open air reception held one level below under patio lights were amazing. What follows is just a sample of what caught my eye that day!
It’s that time of year again, when the days start getting longer, the trees start to put on their green summer dress, and I find myself at some really incredible weddings. Hannah + Conrad put on such an occasion out in the Columbia Valley last month. I spent many summers playing in Windermere lake and rolling down the sand hill, so returning here was like returning home in a lot of ways. A week before their wedding I headed out from Calgary to do my scouting, and was reminded of how fantastic that drive is. Rolling through the mountains of Kootenay National Park and passing through the ‘rock gates’ of Radium twice in one week – I felt spoiled. When their wedding day arrived, mother nature made sure to throw a few wildcards at us with some heavy rain, some dry hours, and a little blue sky as we headed back for the reception. The ceremony was held at Eagle Ranch Resort, a beautiful golf course & facility adjacent to Invermere, with the reception being held just across the highway at the newly built Copper Point Resort. I loved the attention to detail that they put into their wedding, and all of the extra hours Hannah put into making sure it went off without a hitch. I’m still a little shocked that they had no problem rock climbing up to an outcropping of bright orange rocks – in their dress shoes no less! Thank you both for your amazing energy, trust in the creative process, and simply being so fun to hang out with!!
One of my favourite presents this year arrived in the form of an invitation to join Justyna & Bryan in Italy to shoot their wedding. If you haven’t been, it’s one of those countries you immediately fall in love with. Buzzing through the twisty roads south of Florence in a peppy little Alfa Romeo is something everybody should get to experience. We arrived there a few days before the wedding, allowing us some time to head out to the coast, and scout the locations closer to where the wedding was taking place. Pulling up to the Castello di Montegufoni I couldn’t believe my eyes. They had chosen such a phenomenal place to tie the knot that I fear my words won’t do proper justice to describe what it was like. Walking through the massive wooden doors, past the thick stone walls, and into the courtyard was like walking back in time a thousand years. Just to think that this building had witnessed generations of families, battles, and changes to the world outside left me in a state of semi-daydreaming. On the morning of their wedding I went to join the girls getting ready adjacent to the impressive Italian garden. Many laughs were shared, more than a few tears of joy, and the odd glass of bubbly (and the even ones as well) made the rounds. Between the best friends and close family, there was love everywhere. I felt the same going to capture a few images of the groom getting ready with his brother, and best friends. We did the pre-ceremony reveal in a room that had a rich history and even more ornate decor. Getting to witness Justyna seeing Bryan for the first time, and him seeing her, is something I won’t ever forget. When a couple looks at each other they way they look at each other, you know you’re watching something truly magical. We did a few shots in and around the castle, then packed into the cars and headed off to the locations I had found earlier that week. Getting back to the castle, we had a bit of time before making our way to the courtyard ceremony. Beautiful surrounding, soft music coming off the harp, and the scent of the Tuscan countryside mixing with the sweet scent of roses all made for a memorable experience. From the ceremony we moved over to the reception room, and following the delicious dinner, hilarious and heartfelt speeches, we then were led down to a cellar for the party & dancing. I loved every minute of the trip, and will forever be thankful that Justyna & Bryan put their trust in me to capture this once in a lifetime wedding.
There’s something truly magical about the west coast. I have felt the draw to head over the rocky mountains and to the rocky shores of BC ever since I was young. I lived on Vancouver Island for 6 years, and there is definitely part of me that never leaves the island when I left for Calgary so many years ago. When Courtney and Owen mentioned that they were planning a wedding in Tofino I had a hard time holding back my excitement. Even though hopping on a plane would’ve saved some time no doubt, I savoured every kilometre of the drive, the ferry, and then the twisty highway that leads across the island from Port Alberni to the picturesque town of Tofino on the west coast. Being the rainforest, it definitely lived up to it’s reputation on the wedding day save for a couple precious hours when we were out to do photos. I couldn’t believe our luck, walking outside mere minutes after buckets of water were falling from the sky, to see bright sunshine and blue skies. The attention to detail at their wedding was amazing – you could tell a lot of thought had been put into every personal touch. After running around with the crew for photos, we returned for the reception, capped off by a beautiful display of fireworks launched from the beach. Whoever came up with the idea of playing the theme song from ‘Reading Rainbow’ during the cake cutting, brilliant! I loved every minute of that trip, their wedding day, and relish the thought of heading back out to the coast for the next adventure.
It’s not every day that going to shoot a wedding involves three flights, with stopovers in Toronto & Iceland, followed by a 4 hour drive North of Oslo, but this summer I did just that. I had met Monica and Jonas six years ago while shooting at a cat skiing lodge in Fernie, BC, and at the time they dropped the hint that when they got married they would bring me over to shoot it. That’s exactly what they did and getting to be there in Norway for a little over the week was an incredible experience. I immediately fell in love with the people, the welcoming friends and warm family that surround Monica & Jonas. Needless to say, my first trip to Scandinavia blew me away and planted the seed of what will be many trips to come in the future. Their wedding ceremony was a perfect reflection of their personalities ranging from the unbridled energy of Jonas and Monica to the wonderful historical Norwegian customs and wedding attire. Monica made her way down to the ceremony serenaded by local musicians, and Jonas arrived via wakeboard and peeled off the drysuit James-bond-style to reveal his Norwegian bunad (ceremonial attire). The rain didn’t even make a dent in the experience as the ceremony carried into a massive lake-side party / reception with skits, more live music, speeches, and revelry. I think I’m really still only part of the way in processing everything I experienced those 8 days in Norway – a country and people that now hold a very special place in my heart.
Destination weddings are always a lot of fun for me, and this past week in Jamaica was no exception. I had barely unpacked my bags after returning from 5 weeks in Asia, when I found myself back at the airport climbing onto yet another plane. Only this time when I got out of the doors in Montego Bay, I was greeted by hot and humid tropical sunshine. I had never been to this resort before, and was impressed from the moment I arrived. It’s a really large property, which gave it a nice open sense of space, and worked really well for doing the wedding photos. I had a couple days to scout the area before the wedding, so on the day itself I was able to make the best use of the hour I had been given between the ceremony and reception. I had spoken with JC on the phone a few times and by email, but had never met face to face with him or his fiancee Elaine. Once I got to speak with them on the night I arrived, I knew I would have fun getting to capture their wedding day. They’re both incredibly warm and easy-going people and pretty much up for anything I had in mind. I had a great time running around with them and watching them light it up on the dance floor once it was turned over to the DJ’s. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for JC & Elaine, and for my next trip to this beautiful country.