When I first met with Phil & Evalynn last year, they mentioned they really wanted to have their engagement session in the snow. Welllll, we all know that the west coast winters are like 100 solid days of rain. Getting copious amounts of snow here in Chilliwack is like the myth of the Ogopogo. People say it happens, but nobody has pictures to prove it. Ok, I’m exaggerating a little. But even when it does snow, you blink, and ta-da!! It’s gone. So we made plans for a Manning Park engagement. I 2nd shot a wedding there last year for Charlene Stam , and I was super excited to take advantage of some of those views!! So we left bright and early on a Saturday morning, grabbed some Timmies, and made our way up into the mountains. Well, as it turns out, the road to the lookout is closed in the winter for cross-country skiing!! SERIOUSLY PEOPLE??!! How can they do this to meeeee 🙁 🙁 🙁 So we didn’t get the amazing views I was drooling over, but we did get to play with some amazingggg light. Love love love the colours in all of these shots!! Can’t wait for your wedding you guys, it’ll be here before you know it!!
The winner of the “canoe on the roof” Starbucks card is Rachel Treur!! Send me an email (email@example.com), and I will send you the link to your card! Thanks y’all for playing 😀
A surprise wedding?? Yep, you read that right!! Pretty sure this is one of those things that may come along only once in a career, and I don’t know how it happened, but somehow I got to experience it after only a couple years of shooting weddings. Words can’t even describe what it meant to be a part of this day. And not only because it was this crazy, novel idea, but as i got to know these two, I realized they are two of the most genuine, and sweet, and happy people I have ever met. Now, I bet you want to hear the story 😉
Matt & Mindy have been together for close to 9 years. They got engaged about 4 years ago, and began planning their wedding day! But, as everyone who has planned a wedding knows, they tend to get out of hand really fast. The budget gets stretched, and then blown right outta the water, the guest list gets longer and longer and longer, and soon you just kinda start to feel that somehow in all the chaos, you’ve lost your end goal. Which is a celebration among close friends and family to witness your commitment to one another. So they put the wedding on the back burner and went on with life.
Well, Mindy was out with a friend a few weeks ago, and they began chatting about weddings, and if her and Matt were going to start planning again, and her friend said offhandedly, “maybe you should just plan a surprise wedding.” They laughed, and talked about it some more; what it would look like, what would be involved etc. Then Mindy became quiet, turned and faced her friend, and said, “I think I might just do that.” And THAT was the beginning of “THE SURPRISE!!”
I received an email from Mindy, who had heard about me onFacebook, and it basically said, “Hi! We are thinking about planning a spur of the moment wedding, and would love to meet with you to discuss the process!” I emailed her back, said I was available and would love to meet and she responded by telling me about the surprise. I freaked out, people. We met 3 days later for coffee, planned times, locations, logistics, pricing, and got the ball rolling.
A week after THAT, on Valentine’s Day (which they don’t even celebrate, so it made the wedding date that much more amusing 😀 ), Matt was nudged awake by his lovely fiancee. She gave him a gift, which he opened, in confusion. They don’t celebrate valentine’s remember?? It was a photo album. He began flipping through the pages, while slowly waking up. As he neared the end, he turned the page and across the pages in bold letters it read, “WILL YOU”. He flipped again, and it said “MARRY ME”. He flipped to the last page, and the word “TODAY” leapt off the page. I’m not exactly sure of the conversation that ensued following that, but I can imagine 😉 Mindy had ordered him a tux, which was ready for him to wear, and everything else was already in motion. She told him where to go and at what time, then she left for hair and makeup! They didn’t see eachother again until the ceremony at 1:30!
Matt was an amazing sport, and arrived with that huge Matt smile, right on time. The ceremony was held at Riverside Recreation site which is about 15 minutes before Chilliwack Lake. Mindy walked to her ceremony site, arm in arm with her father, to where Matt was waiting. Some of their closest friends and family stood in a half circle on the banks of the river, surrounded by towering evergreens, and watched them declare their lifelong commitment to eachother. Tears were shed, belly laughs were had, and vows were made. Immediately following the legalities, everyone hung out around the fires, made smores, and drank hot chocolate supplied by Decades Coffee .
Following the festivities, we continued down the road to Chilliwack Lake for photos, while the guests made their way back to town to begin mingling at Harvest Cafe before the dinner reception! We had an absolutely gorgeous afternoon for photos, and I was so excited to have Larissa Eileen, Photographer at my side all afternoon!
Dinner at Harvest Cafe was out of this world delicious, and we spent the night mingling, drinking, dancing and laughing! Matt & Mindy (well, Mindy anyway, since Matt didn’t have a choice in the matter) thank you again for having me as your photographer. I’m blessed beyond words to have met you both and celebrated this amazing day with you. I’m excited and proud to call you a friend. Hope you guys have an amazing honeymoon to your mystery destination!! (Yep, another surprise 😉 )
Mindy’s parents seeing her for the first time, all dressed up as a beautiful bride.
How is this for an “aisle”? Can’t beat this location!!
And Matt seeing his bride for the first time!!
Time to warm up with s’mores and hot chocolate!
Music for around the fire!
Chilliwack Lake is one of the most beautiful locations around here. Probably in the world, actually. I’m not biased.
Ok, so, I suck. I shot this session, what, like 2.5 weeks ago? And I’m jusssst getting around to blogging it now. And this is my slow time!! I have no excuses except that I’m lazy. And I’ve actually been keeping my house clean. And completing projects that get completely ignored the other 9 months out of the year (yay, my bathroom is finally painted!!) 🙂 But, it’s here now, and I promise it was worth waiting for!! I loved getting to know these two lovebirds!! They made the trip down to BC from Alberta for some work and family events (including their engagement party!) so we had a very limited time frame in which to schedule their engagement session. And of course, when you schedule an engagement session in January in BC, there’s a really good chance it will rain. But it held off for the whole session, with the exception of a slight drizzle! YAY! They wanted some authentic BC backgrounds since their wedding will be taking place in Alberta, so we started off in the absolutely gorgeous Harrison Hot Springs. It was freezing cold along the lake, so we didn’t last too long there, before moving to the Popkum Fire Department where Juan worked before moving to AB, for the last part of the session! Huge congrats you two, and I hope your Alberta wedding is absolutely perfect!!
What a year. If you haven’t read all my sappy thoughts and feelings about 2014 in my engagements post, I suggest you head over there first. I would hate to bore you all by repeating myself 😉 So now, a collection of images to sum up this year of weddings. These aren’t necessarily my favorite, or the ones that are technically perfect. But they are the ones that for some reason, make me happy. Thank you thank you thank you to all of these couples for letting me hang out with them on one of the biggest days of their lives; putting up with my bossiness and my hollering, my sarcasm and stupid jokes, my demands for them to walk through muddy, mosquito infested fields, climb mountains, and lug couches around. Thank you. And to give someone a tangible thank you, I’m throwing out another Starbucks card – just comment below, or on my Facebook status to be entered! Derek & Lauren
Well, this is a long post. I’m not going to say a lot, because I don’t really have the words. I feel like an old tape player on repeat every time I say how lucky I am to have this job. How blessed I am to have met all these amazing couples. To get to know who they are, just a tiny little bit, while we hang out for their engagement session. To scratch the surface of who they are, how they relate to one another, and the journey they’ve taken to get to this point in their lives. I’ve heard stories of unbelievable joy, I’ve heard stories of immense sadness, and I’ve heard stories of immeasurable strength. All of these people, all of these stories… It’s just overwhelming sometimes. I’m so grateful to all of these couples for trusting me, allowing me these glimpses into their lives and their families, and choosing me to photograph one of their life stories. 2014, you were perfect.
And if you are actually the type to read my rambling, today is your lucky day! Comment below or on my Facebook status and be entered to win another Starbucks card!! Draw will happen on New Year’s Eve 😀 ENJOY!