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 😉
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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 😉 )

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Mindy’s parents seeing her for the first time, all dressed up as a beautiful bride.
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How is this for an “aisle”? Can’t beat this location!!
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And Matt seeing his bride for the first time!!
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Time to warm up with s’mores and hot chocolate!
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Music for around the fire!
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Chilliwack Lake is one of the most beautiful locations around here.  Probably in the world, actually.  I’m not biased.
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Off to the reception at Harvest Store & Cafe!
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  • Ang Jaclyn Photography

    LITERALLY, STOP. coolest wedding ever!!! gorgeous shots you two <3ReplyCancel

  • i’m in awe of this beautiful wedding pulled together in only 2 weeks! If we could do it all over again.., id do exactly this❤️! Gorgeous photography.. Glad she chose you.!ReplyCancel

  • Brianne Epp

    Wow! The pictures are gorgeous! So happy for you both! XoxoReplyCancel

  • Vanessa Smeding

    Wow. That first photo and the fog. Amazeballs. 😀ReplyCancel

  • awesome wedding, I feel inspired by your work & the idea :)ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth Fox

    That was perfect!ReplyCancel

  • Beautiful story! A wedding like this is so much more memorable than a planned one. The location and photos are amazing!ReplyCancel

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
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Meaghan & Luke
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Esther & Garold
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Sandy & Nathan
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Mathew & Nicole
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Chad & Sarah
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Faye & Jimie
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Darcie & Keith
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Gregg & Heather
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Stephen & Janelle
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Jeremy & Melissa
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Jodene & Caleb
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Alicia & Garret
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Tyler & Bailey
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Janine & Cody
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  • Janine Van Maren

    So many amazing pictures!! I loved the bright summer pics best- such great colors :)ReplyCancel

  • Debbie Jelier

    So many gorgeous pictures:)!!! I especially loved the one where they are blowing bubbles at the bride!ReplyCancel

  • Patricia Neels

    Love the pictures but especially the ones of Garret and Alicia :) Especially the one where he is reading the letter and she is walking up behind him wiping her eye…choked me up.ReplyCancel

  • alyssa

    Beautiful Jete!ReplyCancel

  • Jete, you are one gifted woman!ReplyCancel

  • Wonderfully enchanting pictures! I love, love the outdoor group one with the bride on the bench, the peach bridesmaids and the men in casuals. You just really captured the whole scene well in the perfect setting!ReplyCancel

  • Christine Munro

    I would say a very successful year! Great photos :)ReplyCancel

  • These photos are stunning! What a wonderful year for you!!ReplyCancel

  • Mandy

    An absolutely beautiful set of wedding photographs – you had a fabulous 2014! You are, without doubt, one of my favourite Wedding Photographers in the Chilliwack/Abbotsford area… no… scratch that… one of my favourite Wedding Photographers full stop. Wishing you another fantastic year of emotion, fun and frocks in 2015!ReplyCancel

  • Absolutely gorgeous wedding photography, Jete! I look forward to what 2015 brings your way!ReplyCancel

  • These photos are absolutely breathtaking! You are an amazing wedding photographer. All of these couples must be very pleased with their photos!ReplyCancel

  • Great images. What a great year for you!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda Gibbs

    Beautiful wedding photography! You have captured some amazing moments!ReplyCancel

  • I absolutely love this year in review. You have such a wide range of talent for a wedding photographer.ReplyCancel

  • Awesome pictures, Im your fan!!ReplyCancel

  • Irene

    These are amazing wedding photos. What a great wedding photographer you are! I love the one of the little girl looking at the dress, and then the fairytale light painting. Simply exquisite photos.ReplyCancel

  • WoW all of these wedding photos are absolutely stunning!!!ReplyCancel

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!

Nexxis & Andrew
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Janelle & Steve
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Chad & Sarah
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Melissa & Jeremy
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Faye & Jimi
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Keith & Darcie
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Kim & Linden
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Stephen & Erica
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Alysha & Nathan
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Marty & Karin
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Luke & Tamara
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Breanna & Greg
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Annalies & Brad
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Kelsey & Mike
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Ben & Keloran
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Amanda & Tyler
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Angie & Alex
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Abby & Pete
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Michelle & Travis
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Mikayla & Allan
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Lissa & James
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  • Jenn Denbok

    Wow, Jete, it’s so cool to see all the neat/amazing/stunning shots you’ve gotten!! I especially like the one of the couple laying in the grass… the grass is just so vibrant! 😛ReplyCancel

  • Evelyn van Egdom

    I can’t pick just one – they are ALL gorgeous!!ReplyCancel

  • Jolene P

    Love your work! Really like the shots of Annelies & Brad.ReplyCancel

  • Steph V

    They are all great!! But the beach picture of M and K is stunning! Great job, Jete!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer

    I love these. All of these. And currently? I’m dreaming of what a Jennifer-John photoshoot with Jete would look like. 😉ReplyCancel

  • karen

    Awesome pictures!! My faves would have to be Marty & Karin 1st and 3rd pics.ReplyCancel

  • LC

    The one where the laying in the grass, shot from above!ReplyCancel

  • Katrina Kinden

    Beautiful photos! Such talent :)ReplyCancel

  • Michelle

    I love them all but I love Luke n Tamara’s and the
    water one with cheam in the back groundReplyCancel

  • Your engagement pictures are absolutely amazing! What a beautiful year in review and here is to a successful 2015!ReplyCancel

  • You had an amazing 2014 year. Can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store for you :)ReplyCancel

  • I am going to make my husband propose to me again, just so I can use you as our photographer. hello gorgeous engagement photos! Oh, and I love your name, Urban Fig Photorgaphy…perfection! I can go on and on, but the outdoor locations you choose are also stunning. So rich in color and texture, it adds great interest. Thank you for sharing your beautiful work.ReplyCancel

  • Absolutely beautiful engagement photography! Love how you captured each couple and their love for each other.ReplyCancel

  • Oh my word! Did you find every incredible spot near you? Like, every. single. one? These images are all incredible, and the couples who you photographed have to be out of their mind excited.
    Great work!ReplyCancel

  • Jo

    These are all magical.. I loved the ones in the fields.. so many special moments here.. you’ve done a brilliant job.ReplyCancel

  • What an amazing year. Your images are stunning and I can’t wait to see some of the wedding images from these engagement photos. You have such an amazing eye for creative imagery, your clients are lucky to have you!ReplyCancel

  • These are gorgeous engagement photos!! I dont think I could pick a favorite!ReplyCancel

  • Wow – these engagement photographs are so fun! I love how you tailor each session to each couple so they have images that are uniquely theirs! Well done on some amazing engagement sessions!ReplyCancel

  • I am such a huge Urban Fig Photography fan! You have stunning locations and an eye for every last detail! I cannot wait to see what this year brings for you!ReplyCancel

  • These are truly fantastic engagement photos! British Columbia is lucky to have your talent. Like another commenter, I would love to see these couple’s wedding photos too!ReplyCancel

  • […] 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 myselfSo now, […]ReplyCancel

  • So much love! So much passion! Your engagement sessions are absolutely stunning. I’m blown away by the talent and the emotion captured here by Urban Fig. Your 2014 Year looks like it was amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Okay, it’s official: you are the QUEEN of couples and engagement portrait photography. Your images are STUNNING! I’m in awe of your gifts — capturing love, showcasing light and shadows to their full effect, and embracing the natural world around it all. Just stunning, STUNNING work! <3ReplyCancel

  • These are amazing. Do you think I can do engagement photos 8 1/2 years after our wedding? We never did them and I really regret that, especially when I see such beautiful work as yours.ReplyCancel

  • I love this collection of engagement photos!! It’s so great to take a step back and look at all your work you’ve been doing over the past year.ReplyCancel

  • Blah I totally know what you mean, I think it;&#93s been like 2 weeks since I've blogged too, and I used to try for 2-3 per week :( Glad I'm not the only one lolReplyCancel

Island 22 is the perfect place for engagement photos! So many great spots for outdoor photos – fences, open fields, tons of trees. We began Lissa & James’ session at Birdie’s Bakery to keep out of the cold for a while. If you missed it, check it out here ! After having some coffee and tea, we moved on to this location for some outdoor photos! Island 22 is such a gorgeous park. I hadn’t heard about it until about 2 years ago. Isn’t that sad??! Makes me wonder what other gems I’m missing around here. It’s right along the banks of the Fraser, has tons of walking trails, a bike park and amazing equestrian facilities. It’s also the home of the Unbridled Mud Trials, which is basically the baby version of Whistler’s Tough Mudder. So if you’re ever looking to try a new location, you should check it out! But now, onto the pics. Of this ridiculously adorable and deliciously snuggly couple…
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