Viewing entries tagged
2016

The Intentional Bride: Mornings

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The Intentional Bride: Mornings

One of my favourite parts of a wedding day is the morning - there’s so much emotion and anticipation for the day ahead. And while it’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of it all, I believe how you start your morning will determine how the rest of your day will unfold. The last thing you want is to start your day stressed because you’re running behind schedule, so give yourself PLENTY of time to get ready in the morning. Make time to SLOW DOWN: eat a proper breakfast, do yoga, write in your journal, read a letter from your future spouse, hydrate, hang out with your girls (or groom if you're getting ready together!), and enjoy a moment of quiet before the day begins.

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Introducing: The Intentional Bride Series

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Introducing: The Intentional Bride Series

I’m SO excited to be kicking off a new blog series tomorrow that will include all sorts of helpful tips and advice on how to plan your wedding intentionally and thoughtfully.

This series is for you if:
- you're tired of hearing what you “should” or “shouldn’t” do on your day - you care more about what your wedding feels like, instead of what it looks like
- you’re simply excited to share a day with your friends and family celebrating the unique journey that has brought you and your partner to this moment

Coming to you every Thursday, you can follow along by searching #theintentionalbride on instagram, or find them all here!

 

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Our Wedding Day: Part 3

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Our Wedding Day: Part 3

Welcome to the very last chapter of my blog series, our wedding day! 

In my previous posts, I talked about the morning of our wedding day (including why we chose to do a first look) and the elements of our ceremony. You might have noticed a couple of themes pop up as I talked about our day - intentionality, slowing down, keeping it about us. Well, spoiler alert, those themes carried right through to our reception.

Following our ceremony, we moved straight into cocktail hour with our friends and family. While we had envisioned spending this time outside, playing lawn games and drinking margaritas in the warm sun, the pouring rain pushed everyone inside (*an important side-note: always plan for inclement weather! As much as we wanted to be outside, we also knew that we had to plan for the worst. Thankfully, we had chosen our amazing wedding venue (more to come on them in a future post!) because of their setup - two floors, so that if we had to move inside, we wouldn’t have to scramble to do any re-arranging).

These couple hours were some of my favourite. Here I was, in a room full of all the people I loved the most, offering their excitement and congratulations. Eric and I said from the beginning that we wanted this time to simply hang out with our friends and family, and while 2 hours still wasn't long enough, I'm really glad we made time for our guests.

As much as we could, we continued to throw in elements of ourselves into our reception - and I’ll be honest: some worked, some didn’t. Since one of our favourite games is Cards Against Humanity, we used that as a way to have the tables go up for dinner (it wasn’t as successful as we had hoped, but we had fun it with nonetheless. Also, let’s all just agree that there is no good way to make this part of the day enjoyable. Everybody wants to eat, and games don't exactly negate that fact).

But I’m proud to say what did work out was our food. I had photographed a wedding the year before that went against the norm of a traditional menu (and was ah-mazing) so I followed up with the caterers. And it just so happened that they were located in the closest town to our venue (serendipity?). When we went to Kim’s Katering and proposed our Mexican-themed menu, she was all in. We had a fajita bar with all - and I mean ALL - of the fixings, as well as one of our favourite dishes - tortilla soup. 

The rest of the evening seemed to go by in a blur. We ate cupcakes that my bridesmaid Alicia made (all 140 of them!), we drank margaritas, we danced to a playlist of our favourite songs, and we re-lived our childhood through photographs. 

All in all, there isn't much I would've changed about our wedding day. Yes, there were some things that didn't go exactly as planned, but we knew that was inevitable going in. There are so many parts to a wedding day that it's unrealistic to think that it will all go off perfectly. So by going in realizing some things would probably go differently than planned, we were able to take the unexpected with grace and acceptance. Which made the day all the more enjoyable.

To those who made it all the way to the end of this series, thanks so much for following along! I have loved getting to relive our wedding day and share some of what made our day so special.

If you’re a bride reading this and are overwhelmed by all the decisions you need to make for your day, I hope this has encouraged you to do things your own way. Not only will it make for a day that you enjoy, I’ll bet it brings you and your partner even closer, as you learn what matters most to you as a couple. Don’t be afraid to push the norms of a “traditional wedding day” - if you only want 15 of your closest friends and family to be there, do it. If you want to get married at night, outside, under the stars, do it. If you want to give your bouquet to someone who’s love has inspired you instead of doing a bouquet toss, do it. If you want to do the same traditional elements that your parents did in their ceremony, do it. Your wedding day is the start of your story as husband and wife - let it start on your terms. 

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Alberta Legislature Engagement Session - Lisa + Andrew

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Alberta Legislature Engagement Session - Lisa + Andrew

It's common to hear couples say that they met in college - but how common is it that couples meet on the very first day of their first year in college?  After sitting at the same table at their orientation BBQ at King's University and then later brought together again by a mutual friend, that's where Lisa & Andrew's story begins. 

Andrew recalls admiring Lisa for her strong commitment to her faith, but since he didn't have dating on his mind at the time, considered her a good friend. It wasn't until Lisa, who also respected Andrew's faith (and his enrolment in the Chemistry program) made the first move, that he saw her in a new light.

Their first date was the "Ice on Whyte" festival in Edmonton - but since the unexpected warm weather didn't exactly bode well for the ice sculptures or skating rink, they spent most of their time chatting over ice cream and books. Over the course of the next few months, Andrew fell in love with how easy it was to spend time with Lisa and her heart for others, while Lisa continued to admire Andrew's faith, his honesty and how much he could make her laugh.

I absolutely loved hanging out with these two in Edmonton - a thick fog had settled in the day before and wasn't going anywhere. We hung out at the Alberta Legislature Building and then made our way down to the river valley. And while it made for a chilly afternoon, I loved the way the frost covered the trees. Plus, these two had no problem huddling close to one another to stay warm.

 

 

 

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Our Wedding Day: Part 2

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Our Wedding Day: Part 2

Our wedding ceremony... one of the shortest but obviously most important part of our wedding day. So of course, we wanted to put as much thought and effort into this part of the day as we possibly could. As with everything else, we wanted to be very intentional about the decisions we made for our ceremony and having it be true to who we were (can you sense a theme yet?).

Some of the ways we did this was having it outdoors (I am forever grateful to every single one of you reading this who sat out there, bundled in jackets and blankets - we truly appreciated all of you for braving the cold!), having an unplugged ceremony (so that when we looked out at the people that surrounded us, we would see their faces instead of their cameras) having a friend play music as I walked down the isle (thank you Mike!), and writing our own vows.

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We also very much wanted to honour our families, as we would not have gotten to this part of our journey without their support. The first way we did this was by having Eric’s sister in law, Hilary, marry us. We made this decision the day we got engaged - we asked each other who we thought should marry us and both of us right away thought of Hilary. We agreed that it would be so special and meaningful to have one of our family members pray over us, read words of encouragement, and announce us as husband and wife. Hilary did such an amazing job and we couldn’t imagine having anyone else. 

The second way we chose to honour our families was by asking my grandparents to read our selected bible verse:

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another.  
Romans 12: 9-16

We loved these words as it outlines not only what loving your spouse looks like, but also what it takes to show love in your community - in very simple, practical ways. These verses were printed out and hung on our wall as a daily reminder of the promise we not only made to each other, but to those that surround us as well.

Lastly, we chose to honour our family by having our immediate family members come up during our ceremony and pray over us.

While our ceremony ended up being just around 15 minutes, they were the best 15 minutes of the day. It may be easy to skip on the details and rush through this part of the day so you can get to the party afterwards, but I encourage you to slow down and be very intentional about your ceremony. Don't let your "unconventional" ideas stand in the way of a ceremony that is meaningful and true to your story; instead, choose to honour whatever it is that brought you to this moment, whether it’s your spiritual journey, your community or your family.

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Find Your Word 2017

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Find Your Word 2017

I was introduced to Susannah Conway's "Find Your Word" by my dear friend Stephanie, and was so in love with the process that I just had to share it with you all.

It's a practice followed by many (not just Susannah Conway). Instead of setting resolutions for the year (which, let's be honest, most of us break within the first couple weeks into January), you are encouraged to choose one word to guide your year. It can be anything, from "grace" to "brave" to "delight". Instead of a long list of unattainable and unsustainable to-do's, this process takes all of your intentions and goals and brings them down to a single focus, making it not only easier to remember but easier to follow through on. Susannah of course, describes it best: 

"Get fit" sounds like a sensible goal to have, but it doesn't feel very inspiring. Even the more specific “Go to the gym twice a week” has failure built in. I either go to the gym twice a week or I don’t — there’s no room for any other outcome (and that's when we beat ourselves up for "failing"). On the other hand, choosing a word like ENERGISED or even STRONG affects me in a completely different way. They encourage me to make better choices. They empower rather than order, inspire rather than judge. You can't "break" a word like you can break a resolution. The word (or words!) you choose is there to inspire you whenever you need it.

So I signed up and received an email a day over the course of 5 days containing prompts to help me narrow in on a word. At first I was nervous, because a part of me was certain that I would be that one person who would somehow NEVER be able to find a word (and my mother thinks I'm dramatic... pft). But as I went through the course and allowed myself to reflect back on 2016 and examine the areas of my life that needed the most support and attention, I found myself coming back to the same word again and again.

This year was a pretty big one, at least for me personally. Getting to marry Eric meant this year was full of celebration, joy, change and excitement. I also was able to meet and photograph a ton of amazing couples, who in turn became friends. However, as I reflected back on the goals that I set at the beginning of the year for my business, I found that a lot of them got left behind. Which, don't get me wrong, were placed on the back burner for obvious good reasons - I have loved being in this season of my life and I wouldn't have changed a single thing. But moving into 2017, I'm finding myself eager to dive in and really propel my business forward. I am choosing to believe that by opening myself up to change, opportunity and excitement, that big things are going to come this year. 

And so, as I made my way through the course, I was being drawn to one word: engage. And the more I sat with it, the more I fell in love with it. When I think of engage, I get excited at all of the areas of my life this word can apply to: engaging with my business, working on new projects that not only serves my couples but projects that bring me joy and excitement; engaging with my community, offering up my talents to serve those around me; engaging my relationships, both opening myself up to new ones and deepening current ones; and lastly, engaging my overall wellbeing, whether it's establishing a mindful morning routine or simply getting outside more.

Again, this is the first time I've done this sort of thing, so I can't exactly tell you how it's going to go. But from what my friends who have participated in this practice have told me about how it shaped their year, whether in small, subtle ways or big, exciting ways, I'm ready to give it a go. It's been a week since I chose my word and already, I have seen it start to make its way into my daily routines, which is so cool. And really, I'm up for anything that gets me away from promising to work out more (it's just not going to happen).

For those of you whose interest has been peaked, click here to be taken to Susannah Conway's blog where you can sign up for this free 5 day course on finding your word for 2017. And once you find a word, don't forget to come back here and let me know what your word is! 

May your coming year be full of love, magic and many adventures! Here's to 2017!

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Couples Portrait Session Giveaway!

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Couples Portrait Session Giveaway!

I am so excited to be hosting my very first giveaway on Instagram! The winner will receive a FREE portrait session with me, as well as a $75 gift certificate to my favourite print shop, Artifact Uprising! 

How to Enter:

1. Follow @deannarachelphotography on Instagram
2. "Like" the giveaway photo posted on December 27, 2016
3. Tag 2 friends in the comments who you think would want to win!

The Details:

- The portrait session must take place in the Calgary area before June 1, 2017

- Giveaway includes a 60 minute session with Deanna (max 2 people), high resolution photos in an online gallery, print release, and a $75 Artifact Uprising gift certificate to print photos from your session

- Contest closes 11:59pm MST January 1, 2017

- The winner will receive a direct message from Deanna Rachel Photography on Instagram. If the winner is unreachable or they fail to respond to Deanna Rachel Photography’s winner notification before January 14, 2017, Deanna Rachel Photography reserves the right to randomly draw another winner from entries.

The winner will be announced Monday, January 2nd, 2016!

Good luck!!

 

 

 

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Devon Winter Wedding: Andrea + Jeremy

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Devon Winter Wedding: Andrea + Jeremy

It wasn't your typical white winter wedding, but it was beautiful all the same. 

Andrea and Jeremy said their I do's on November 12 and while we had prepared for snow, I don't think anyone expected that it was going to be rain that we had to deal with! Luckily, these two and their bridal party were all up for donning the umbrellas and heading out into the rain for their photos.

Andrea & Jeremy couldn't keep their eyes off each other, and giggled their way through their entire portrait session. It definitely made my job pretty easy! 

Andrea & Jeremy, thank you for asking me to be part of your beautiful day! I had such a blast hanging out with you and your bridal party and am so excited to share these images with you. I hope you two never stop looking at each the other the way you did on your wedding day.

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Our Wedding Day: Part 1

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Our Wedding Day: Part 1

In light of our 6 month wedding anniversary, I've decided to sit down and write a 3 part series on my reflection of our wedding day - the choices we made, the details that mattered, along with some of our favourite photos from Emily Oud Photography (because I just can't get enough). 

Eric and I committed to forever on May 21, 2016. Everyone always tells you how fast the day goes by, but nothing can really prepare you for how true this statement is. 

I very much wanted to get ready in my parents’ home. Although the distance to our venue made it a little inconvenient, there was something about getting ready in the home I grew up in. This was the place that housed my dark, moody teenage years all the way to the day I moved out to Vancouver (and then ending up moving back into right before our wedding - thanks parents). This was the house that I came home to after my first date with Eric, as I lay in my bed, unable to stop smiling as we continued to talk over the phone. The house that we came home to to celebrate with our family the day we got engaged. I couldn't picture myself getting ready to marry Eric in any other place.

The morning was not unlike most wedding days - a mix of excitement, worry about the weather, and just a little bit of pressure as we looked at the clock. As with every wedding, things started to run behind and get a slightly rushed, but I knew it was all going to work out. I was so grateful to my friend Mel for working so hard to make my hair look perfect, and to my sister who offered to do my makeup that morning.

One of my favourite parts of the day was sitting down to read a letter from Eric. He managed to make me smile, laugh and cry in those pages. In the chaos of the wedding day, it was really special to have been able to slow down and take a moment to remind myself what this whole day was about.  

I had also written a letter to my parents. I love the photo below because it shows my Dad trying not to cry, and my mom being mad at me for MAKING her cry (which I found hysterical).

It was agreed upon that any time I started to feel overwhelmed, this nugget would get thrown into my arms. If you didn't know, I'm a pretty big fan of my adorable little niece. 

The dress was put on, snacks were packed (#hypoglycaemic) and we were off to the greenhouse to get our photos taken. Eric and I had made the decision early on to see one another and do photos before our ceremony. While the first look approach may be considered a “trendy” thing to do these days, there were a few reasons we decided to see each other before the ceremony:

  1. Throughout our entire planning process, Eric and I were quick to share that we didn’t exactly love being the centre of attention. While we love to make people laugh, it’s never in a setting where we’re put in the spotlight. So when we imagined seeing each other for the first time in the presence of our friends and family, with all of the emotion and attention that it would bring, we just knew it wasn’t for us.
  2. Everyone that knows me knows that I can be a *bit* emotional. I’ve been known to cry at almost every wedding I go to, even the ones I photograph. Don’t get me wrong, I am absolutely not ashamed of this fact. But there was something about the thought of being able to let my emotions go fully and without restraint that made me certain I wanted that time with Eric alone. We didn't have to rush. We were able to talk to each other, to ask how the other person's morning had been. And for those that think the first look takes away from the emotion during the ceremony, I can assure you, no tears were left behind. 
  3. Finally,  we didn’t want out guests to have to hang out for a long period of time in between our ceremony and reception. Especially as our venue was in the middle of nowhere, we knew that leaving our guests to take photos just wasn’t ideal for how we pictured our day and wanted it to look. We wanted to be there with our guests during cocktail hour, drinking margaritas and catching up with everyone. So that's what we did.

And let me tell you, it was one of the best decisions we could’ve made that day. Being able to see Eric, to hold him as tightly as possible without anyone around us other than our photographers, was my absolute favourite part of the day. And like the love letters that we each read that morning, it allowed us to take a breath, slow down, and start the day off right and remind us of what we were about to commit to. 


Thanks for reading! In part 2, I’ll talk about our ceremony and some of the decisions we made for that part of our day. Stay tuned!

 

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Bow Lake Enagement Session: Sharon + Rini

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Bow Lake Enagement Session: Sharon + Rini

These two… this location… the fall colour palette… I couldn't get enough.

From the first time we met over coffee, Sharon + Rini were the absolute sweetest and most adorable human beings.  When they asked if they could have their engagement session in the mountains, of course I had no objections. So off we went to Bow Lake (which I had only ever been to once previously and remember falling in love with the place!) for their fall engagement session. 

I could not be more in love with these photos - the ones we got nearing the end of our session in the meadow resulted in some of my favourite photos I’ve ever taken. These two were absolute rockstars, braving some cold winds by the lake, and never once complained throughout the entire session (despite lasting waaaaay longer than I had planned for - I just couldn’t stop photographing these two!)

After hanging out with Sharon + Rini and getting these types of photos, it made me that much more excited for their spring wedding next year! 

Makeup by: Joelle Chan

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Lake Minnewanka Engagement Session: Kaela & Braden

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Lake Minnewanka Engagement Session: Kaela & Braden

I was so excited when Kaela + Braden asked to have their engagement session at Lake Minnewanka/Two Jack Lake. I absolutely love it when couples opt to get their photos in the mountains (and since Eric and I had our own engagement photos done at the same location, I was extra excited).

Yet while it was warm and sunny when we left Calgary, we were met with some cooooold winds as soon as we got out of the car. However, these two didn't let it get in the way - they braved the cold and had no objections to cuddling up to keep each other warm ;) 

I don't think I have ever photographed a couple that laughed as much as Kaela + Braden did during their session. With only a little bit of direction, I mostly sat back and clicked away as these two cracked each other up. It was almost as if I wasn't even there, which I absolutely didn't mind at all :)  

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Osler Fall Wedding: Thomas + Terri Lynn

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Osler Fall Wedding: Thomas + Terri Lynn

It was a perfect fall day to witness a couple of friends commit to spending the rest of their lives together. Thomas + Terri Lynn chose to get married outside the Osler Mennnonite Church and were surrounded by their closest friends and family as they said "I do". 

I love how much they incorporated their personalities into the day. Thomas read Terri Lynn the most beautiful poem as she prepared to walk down the isle with her parents; instead of a bridal party, they had "flower people" - those that had impacted and touched their lives brought forward sunflowers and placed them in pots at the front of the ceremony space; and at the end of the night, they donned aprons served their guests dessert. However, one of the most impressive aspects of the day was that they grew most of their own food to serve their friends and family. I mean.. how awesome is that?? Thomas + Terri Lynn were so incredibly relaxed throughout the entire day - it made their wedding that much more enjoyable and it was honour to be part of it. 

Thomas + Terri Lynn, thank you for this beautiful opportunity to document your incredibly special day. I felt honoured and privileged and hope the photos do your love justice. 

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Intimate Backyard Wedding: Jessalyn + Dan

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Intimate Backyard Wedding: Jessalyn + Dan

When Jess wrote me to ask if I would be willing to photograph her and Dan's backyard wedding, I was thrilled. Jessalyn has been a good friend of mine since the third (yep, third) grade, and is one of the most loveliest women in my life. I could not have been happier when she told me she had found an equally genuine, kind and down to earth partner to spend her life with five years ago and could not contain my excitement for their September 3rd wedding.  

Their wedding day was absolute perfection. Jess and Dan's closest friends and family gathered at Jessalyn's childhood home to witness them proclaim their love and devotion to one another. They were married by their good friend as they stood underneath an apple tree and read aloud their vows they had written to one another. Afterwards, they opened their home to their extended family and friends to celebrate with them which included good wine, desserts baked by Jess in the weeks leading up to their wedding, a group art project, and board games.

Jessalyn and Dan, I could not have been more honoured to witness the two of you commit your life together. I hope you both know how truly lucky I feel to not only know you, but to call you friends as well. I wish the two of you the most beautiful marriage and cannot wait to journey through life together with you! Oh, and I apologize for all the squealing during our portrait session... you guys are just WAY too adorable.   

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Calgary Summer Wedding: Mackenzie + Steve

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Calgary Summer Wedding: Mackenzie + Steve

Mackenzie + Steve... From the moment I met these two, I knew that they were my kind of people.

Mackenzie + Steve's love story began a few years ago, as they met in passing during their undergrads. However it wasn't until the summer of 2014 that they connected on their floor hockey team with friends. It took Steve the 3 month season to get the courage to ask Mackenzie out for lunch, and I'm pretty glad she said yes. Their first date was dinner on the patio at Block Kitchen + Bar. Mackenzie remembers sharing everything they ordered, good conversation, and was impressed that Steve had left his cellphone in his car to show his undivided attention. As dinner progressed, Steve knew that Mackenzie was different from other girls. But it was the hug at the end of the night that Steve knew Mackenzie was the one. 

They chose to have their wedding at the church they attend, Kensington Commons Church, and their ceremony was absolutely beautiful. They read love letters to their parents; Mackenzie and her bridesmaids held flowers put together by Mackenzie's mom; Mackenzie's brother in law married them as they stood underneath an arch they built themselves. 

Following the ceremony, we went to their absolute favourite coffee shop (Monogram) with their bridal party to simply hang out. Afterwards, we made our way to a park for.. wait for it.. a picnic. And so, under a tree, they shared vietnamese subs with their bridal party (and even let me and my second shooter join them. Can it get any better??). 

The reception was at Civic on Third and again, reflected Steve and Mackenzie to a T. Everything had been planned with such care: there was a kids area for the little ones, performances from their friends and family, a milk and cookies station, an elegantly designed 12 course family style dinner, and a kissing game where the proceeds went to supporting their friends' son who was recently diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy. My favourite part of the evening might have been when their friends got up and surprised them with a rendition of "Can't Help Falling in Love with You" (keep scrolling and I bet you'll be able to pick out the moment it happens - Mackenzie's face says it all). Mackenzie and Steve returned the surprise when they themselves put on a dance performance that they had been practicing for months. I'm glad I had my camera in front of my face because I was crying the *entire* time. 

It was a day filled of love, happiness, and community. Mackenzie + Steve, I am so grateful our paths crossed so I could meet some of the most caring, kind, and genuine people I've ever met. I cannot thank you enough for allowing me to be part of your incredibly beautiful day. I wish the two of you the most wonderful journey as husband and wife and cannot wait to see where life takes you! 


Vendors:
Ceremony Venue: Kensington Commons Church
Reception Venue & Catering: Civic on Third
Invitations: Painted by the bride, designed by Jimmy Hoang
Florals: Kim Chu (mother of the bride)
Cake: Lionel's Specialty Cake
DJs: DJ Jason X, Knight Star Production
Hair Stylist: Elite Hair Design
Bridal Dress Boutique: Davids Bridal 
Bridal Dress Designer: Oleg Cassini
Bridesmaid dresses: Zara, David's Bridal, Forever 21, Marshall's
Groomsmen accessories (socks, pocket squares, and bow ties): The Tie Bar
Videographer: Flagship Media
Second Photographer: Laura Nadine Photography


 

 

 

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River Cafe Wedding: Nicole + Scott

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River Cafe Wedding: Nicole + Scott

Nicole and Scott sure know how to throw a party. Coming all the way from Edmonton, these two chose to have their intimate wedding at the River Cafe in downtown Calgary. And I am so glad they did.

While the day started off with clear blue skies, the clouds began to build and unfortunately, by the time the ceremony had rolled around, the skies opened up to a short but heavy downpour of rain. Luckily, the venue worked hard and everything was moved inside at the very last minute. The ceremony was short and sweet, included a bourbon tasting and finished with a champagne toast.  

Thankfully, the rain let up in time for our outdoor portraits following the ceremony. Nicole and Scott had their engagement photos done at Prince's Island park last summer, so it was great getting to recreate some of the photos a year later. They had planned for some additional photos during golden hour, and while the weather might not have cooperated, the stormy skies made for some amazing moody photos during our second portrait session. 

The reception was a full blown family affair - a few years ago, Nicole's sister actually married Scott's brother. And so, with familiar faces reconnected, the celebration was in full swing - I don't think this party could have been more fun to watch. 

Nicole + Scott, it has been so great getting to know you both over the past year and a half. It was an absolute honour being part of your day - I hope it was everything you dreamed it would be. I wish you both all the best in your marriage and life together! 

Bridal Gown Designer: Truvelle
Bridal Gown Boutique: Delica Bridal
Groom/Groomsmen Suits: Derks Formal
Venue + Food: The River Cafe
DJ: Outright Entertainment
Ceremony Musician: Benjamin Longman
Favour Bags/Guestbook Stencil: Hoot Events Inc.
Videographer: Bob Ramage from Dream Day Films
Second Photographer: Laura Nadine Photography

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East Village Engagement Session: Mackenzie + Steven

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East Village Engagement Session: Mackenzie + Steven

The best sessions are the ones that involve tea beforehand to catch up, bike rides around the neighbourhood, and a couple that is incredibly sweet, down to earth, and oh-so-trendy. 

I don't think I could be more in love with these two and the photos we got from their Inglewood and East Village engagement session. I absolutely cannot wait to photograph their wedding next month!  

 

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Lantern Church Wedding: Courtney & Dan

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Lantern Church Wedding: Courtney & Dan

People told me that I was crazy for agreeing to photograph a wedding only two weeks before my own. But after meeting Courtney & Dan and hearing their story, there was absolutely no way I was going to pass up an opportunity to photograph their love.

After meeting at a conference and then again through church, Courtney & Dan became fast friends. They bonded over their passion for social services, and found themselves constantly in in the presence of one another in the form of movie nights, getting together with friends, and weekly dance lessons (how could you NOT fall in love with someone who voluntarily signs up to learn how to dance on a weekly basis??). Slowly but surely, their friendship grew to become something more, and there was no turning back. 

Courtney had been suspicious for weeks that a ring was just around the corner, but when Dan announced one day that they were going to spend the day in the mountains, she immediately knew this would be the day. They spent the day at the spa treating themselves to massages, and ate a late lunch at the Rimrock Hotel. Afterwards however, it seemed as though they were headed back to Calgary; Courtney's heart sank, thinking she had guessed wrong. Yet, as they took a turn, Courtney noticed the sign for "helicopter rides" and squealed. She had joked on many occasions with Dan how she longed for a helicopter ride, so it was then that she knew. 

So together, they flew over the beautiful rocky mountains, smiling ear to ear, eventually landing on top of a mountain with the most stunning look out point. They sat on a blanket, drank hot chocolate, and it was then that Dan proclaimed his love for Courtney. He asked her to spend the rest of her life with him, and of course, she said yes. And if that wasn't enough, they arrived home to a surprise party that Dan had organized so they could celebrate with family and friends. All in all, I'd say that was a pretty perfect day.

Which lead to a pretty perfect wedding. The sun shone brilliantly for their May 7th wedding at the Lantern Church in Inglewood. There wasn't a dry eye in that church when Courtney walked down the aisle with her dad. They were surrounded by friends and family as they read their own personal vows, were blessed by their fathers, and sealed the deal with a kiss. 

Courtney and Dan, thank you for welcoming me into your life to document your beautiful day. From the moment I met you both in that coffee shop in Kensington, it was clear how much you cared for and loved one another. My wish is that your marriage is full of many adventures, helicopter rides, and dances in the street. 

Ceremony: The Lantern Church

Invitations: Marissa McCann 

Floral: Pretty Petals Floral Designs (Andrea) 

Reception Venue & Catering: Valley Ridge Golf Club

Decor Rentals: Settings Linen Styling and Events 

DJ: DJ Son 

Dresses: David's Bridal

Suits: Moores

Second Photographer: Laura Nadine Photography

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Oak Park Church Wedding: Ellen & Mike

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Oak Park Church Wedding: Ellen & Mike

My first wedding of 2016 could not have gone any better! Ellen and Mike, along with their friends and family, made for such an amazing day full of laughter and love. Their ceremony at Oak Park Church was personal, sweet and romantic, followed by portraits at Fish Creek Park.

Ellen & Mike, thank you for allowing me to be part of your special day! I wish the two of you a marriage full of love, laughter, and many wonderful adventures together.