It’s always around this time of year where I find myself in the thick of planning for the upcoming wedding season yet reflecting back on the weddings that have already settled into my memories and my hard drives. I know I’ve said it before, but I really do feel so incredibly lucky that so many wonderful people have asked me to be part of their special day and bear witness to such a significant moment in their lives. The countless hours of location scouting, emails, phone calls, planning, dreaming blend with the hours on the road, airplanes, hotel rooms and everything else that come together as part of the wedding shoot. Wedding days are like Christmas morning for me – so many surprises, emotions, and unexpected gifts to open, opportunities, moments, tears of happiness, a few nerves, and only one chance to capture it. With each passing year I think more about the importance of capturing the raw essence of the day, and less about shots missed, trying to plan too much, and really just letting the day guide me. With this as my foundation I move forward, with a whole bunch of amazing stories yet to be told in the weeks and months to come, but for now I look back at some of the experiences that got me to today.
What a crazy year – lots of travel, playoffs, new clients, and sunny days – here are a few of the jpegs that crossed my desk this past year…
Fun. Fun. Unbelievably fun. That’s Lindsay & Mike. That’s the official description of their wedding (week) in Mexico last month. The group stayed at a beautiful new all-inclusive resort in Puerto Vallarta just north of the Malecon called the Now Amber – I wasn’t complaining at all with my views of the sun setting over the pacific ocean from the top floor! The wedding ceremony was held just outside PV in a little seaside town called Bucerias at a private oceanfront garden that could’ve easily been a movie set it was so beautiful. So many amazing friends, wonderful family, non-stop margaritas and topped off with both a taco bar and churros made on site! Did I mention how much fun this wedding was….
I first met Maggie at a wedding I shot some years ago, and when she reached out to me to shoot her wedding this fall in Red Deer I was pumped. She’s such a wonderful person, I knew she would be a lot of fun to have in front of the lens again, and hoped the best when I met her fiancee Dave. He is cut from the same cloth, and the two of them make an awesome duo. We had a lot of fun during our engagement session earlier this spring – and it was no different at their wedding this fall in Red Deer. I’d only once shot in Red Deer before, and was excited to get back up to do some more exploring during my scouting trip. I scoped the venues (a last minute change was a blessing in disguise for the ceremony), and knew these two were so easy going they’d be up for anything I could throw at them – including hiking through the woods to reach an abandoned cabin that caught my eye. The fall colours were everywhere and the warm day made for perfect shooting conditions. Maggie and Dave rocked it – and threw an incredible party for their amazing families and great friends – a big highlight to my summer of shooting!!
Sara & Brendon’s wedding this summer was so special – with an incredible amount of personal touches at every turn. I knew that it would be a fun shoot, and these guys delivered a day I won’t soon forget. Heading out to Okotoks, just south of Calgary, I was facing a pretty chilly day with rain in the forecast. But, but some lucky break the rain held off long enough for us to tour around without the umbrellas in tow. Their wedding ceremony and reception was held at the Crystal Ridge golf course – which includes a full 18-hole mini golf course that we got to take advantage of. I think that’s a first for a wedding day shoot for me! We hopped in the limo for a tour around this small community and had a great time – I couldn’t believe how fast the time was used up before we were heading back for the reception. Thank you Sara & Brendon for letting me hang out with you on your wedding day!!
This summer I was asked by Carey & Nick to shoot their amazing wedding out in Banff, on a boat no less. The morning drive out was a mixed bag of clouds and rain, and the weather forecast for the rest of the day was not looking great. While she was getting her hair and makeup done at one of my favourite little hotels in Banff, The Juniper, the hail was coming down outside. But by some wedding-day-miracle, the clouds parted as we left the hotel for Lake Minnewanka and gave us a gorgeous blue sky backdrop for the cruise/wedding. It was officiated by one of the very best, Nomi Whalen, and was a ceremony I won’t soon forget. Following the cruise, champagne toasts, and family photos on the dock, we headed off for a few pictures before returning to the hotel for the reception. Such a fun day – I couldn’t be happier for Carey & Nick as they open the next chapter in their lives together!!