August in the Kootenays. 'Tis the season for two things:
2. Forest Fires.
Hayley and Adam got married on one of the smokiest days of the year. Though our immediate area was not threatened by fire, our region (and nearly the entire southern part of the province, it seemed) was cloaked in a thick smoke from the fires that ravaged so many communities the North, East, and West of us.
Many photographers shooting in these conditions will spend countless hours in photoshop and lightroom trying to "edit out" the smoke... but, personally, I kind of love the eerie ambiance that it created. There's something so beautiful about a bride as lovely and delicate at Hayley, against a gritty, smokey-filled sky. Edit out the smoke?! Not a chance.
This extremely large wedding party was a ton of fun (and a lot of work to wrangle!) Hayley and Adam are so lucky to have so many wonderful friends who were keen to celebrate their love. Even though I often have to use my loud, stern, photographer's voice to keep rowdy groom's men in line, I truly would not have it any other way. I love the happiness and joie de vivre that cames with a big wedding party and wouldn't have it any other way.
The ceremony, with over 200 guests, was hosted beautiful at the groom's parent's home in Fruitvale, BC. Afterwards, guests were invited to the Fruitvale Memorial Centre for dinner, and merriment.
As with the majority of my weddings this year, a shout out to Jesse for all his help. Also a shout out to Apex Multimedia who were present doing videography. I don't often get to work with videographers but it's always a treat when I do. Other vendors include:
Hair Styling: Luca Hair Studio, & Jones & Co Hair
Makeup: Alex Hitchcock
Flowers: Jill Colussi
Catering: Kootenay Catering
Cake: Sweet Dreams Cakery
Videography: Apex Multimedia
DJ: Kootenay Sound
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Hilary and Jeremy said 'I Do' on the hottest day of the year. 42 degrees celsius with humidity to boot. To say it was 'hot out' would be an understatement. Between photo ops, you could find the bride and groom (but mostly the groom) chewing ice and being fanned by whomever happened to be standing by and had a spare hand. It was uncomfortable and sticky, but depsite the heat it all managed to be completely magical as well.
This beautiful couple had a small ceremony for family only, with a big party reception being planned in Mexico later this year. The very intimate guest list made it possible for the bride and groom to hold the event at the lake-house of very dear family-friends. It's no secret that I adore itty-bitty weddings like this where the couple has quality time to spend with *every* guest, and the love and commitment of the couple takes center stage rather than pomp and pagentry.
After Hilary and Jeremy's super sweet first look on the dock, we board a boat and headed to the North End of Christina Lake for portraits in a jaw-dropping old growth forest. Hilary's gown against the backdrop of those sky-high trees was something straight out of a fairy tale. Not to mention, the temperature in the forest was a few blessed degrees cooler than out on the lake, and I don't think any of us ever wanted to leave.
But leave we had to because these two had a knot to tie! So, back on the boat we went to make it to their ceremony on time.
With Christina Lake and the surrounding mountains as their backdrop, Hilary and Jeremy exchanged vows and became husband and wife.
With portraits done before the ceremony, the couple was now free to enjoy cold drinks and appetizers with their 20 guests while waiting for dinner to be prepared. The incredible meal was a combined effort of the couple's parents, as well as the owners of the lake-house and generous hosts of the event. We dined on the groom's mom famous (and oh-so-delicious!) meat balls, beef tenderloin, and so much more! It was really special to have these wonderful family recipes featured at such an important event and really went to make the day that much more poignant.
A special thanks to Deb & Munro Pickering who graciously hosted the event at their wonderful lake-house, and Mozel Tov to the beautiful bride and groom! This was such a wonderful wedding to be part of. My only regret is not being able to stay for nighttime a swim in the lake before my drive home.
Earlier this summer I had the pleasure of photographing this incredible family. Jennifer & Christie and their beautiful boys live in Alberta, but came to The Kootenays as part of an awesome summer-break roadtrip. Jennifer booked this session with me many months ago, and we had been planning things every since via email. Since they were staying at a picture-perfect AirB&B in Nelson, we decided to do part of their shoot as an 'in-home' family session.
Jennifer's partner Christie knew about the family session that we had planned, but she did not know that Jennifer planned to propose during the shoot.
We started the session at Kokanee Creek Provincial Park, and shot there like a normal Family Session. We really had a blast! Afterwards, we went back to their Air B&B for some 'in-home' style photos. Unbeknownst to Christie, while we were away at Kokanee Creek shooting, Danielle of Wild Smile Events had snuck into their AirB&B and set up the ultimate proposal!
We returned from Kokanee Creek and I had Christie 'show me around' their Air B&B. I casually suggested we start upstairs (where I knew the proposal stuff had be carefully set out). Once we got to the top of the stairs. Christie was met with gorgeous water-colour paintings that Jen had secretly been painting and compiling for the last 6 months.
Each painting depicted the setting of a signiciant moment in their relationship. Where they first met. Where they first kissed. Where they first said "I Love You'". As we walked from photo to photo their love story unfolded itself and brought us to the present day.
After Christie tearfully observed the final painting, Jennifer had her look over the loft railing to the dining area below... Where their boys stood holding a beautiful metallic sign which read, "Marry Momma and be our Mom forever too"
Jennifer immediately pulled out a ring, and the two shared some really beautiful, personal moments. The boys joined us upstairs immediately after, and I will never forget when one of them sweetly, and so excitedly asked, "DID YOU SAY YES?!"
I could not be more thrilled for this beautiful family. These two women are pilars of strength and love, and are doing a hell of a job raising these two boys together. I am humbled to have been part of such a momentous life event, and to have been trusted to do my part in capturing it all as it unfolded.
Of course, none of this could have been possible without help from Danielle at Wild Smile Events. Danielle did so much work behind the scenes; gathering, prepping, and setting everything up absolutely perfectly. This whole event was very much a team effort, and it went off without a hitch thanks to Danielle's careful planning and attention to detail.