This past weekend we were so fortunate to spend with our new bride and groom, Lesley and Matthew, whom now are so lovingly referred to as Dr. & Mrs. Miller. They said "We do" in front of their many friends and family.
We checked into the beautiful White Oaks spa and walked into a heavenly hotel room. We were greeted with a welcome bag with thoughtful gifts including camera cuff links for Michael. The next stop was to the church for rehearsal, followed by dinner at The Charles Inn.
Michael and I were greeted with a challenge yet again at the church as the minister was very stringent on where we were allowed to stand and shoot from. We exchanged silent looks and politely pulled him aside when everyone left to discuss the logistics of how we were going to both respect the church's wishes as well as get the shots the couple wanted. We explained that we too would like to go unnoticed by the congregation but that the tight quarters of this beautiful 19th century church would present some challenges. He agreed to agree, and gave us his blessing to shoot where we needed to.
We spent the evening getting to know Les and Matt's wedding party and immediate family. The venue was gorgeous. The excitement was evident. We dined on and in luxury and then headed back to the room to rest for the next day. The biggest day.
We awoke to perfect wedding weather. Slightly overcast, warm with zero humidity. I spent the morning with the ladies and was welcomed so graciously into the bride's mother's home. We had been corresponding through email for some time before the wedding and she had so many lovely things to say. I sent her a note in the mail thanking her for raising such amazing children. She truly is a remarkable, beautiful and graceful woman who knows how to handle otherwise uncomfortable situations with class and tact; two qualities that a lot of others don't seem to have these days.
Michael went golfing with the guys. He already knew two of the groomsmen from past shoots we had with them. We are so excited to be spending time with this amazing family again in December for their other daughter's wedding at Queen's Landing.
Everytime I looked at Debbie, Les's mom, she had tears of pride and emotion in her eyes. Her bridesmaids were lovely and maid of honor, sister and best friend Jen was so obviously overjoyed.
When Lesley swept down the stairwell to meet her step dad Vito, his eyes shone with love and adoration for his daughter.
The limo arrived and Lesley was nervous. For such an absolutely stunning woman, she dislikes being the centre of attention. I pulled her aside and asked her if there was anything I could do to calm her nerves and reassured her of everything I knew about my own wedding and others I have witnessed. Her hives behaved themselves, but I was totally feeling her anxiety to get to the church. I promised her that later in the day, she would relax and enjoy her day. And she did.
Matthew's eyes beamed with love when he saw her two dads walk her down the aisle. The gallery both cried and applauded. And then two became one.
We headed to the downtown of Niagara on the lake for some candid photos and then to a local winery for some tastings and photos in the barrel room. The limo then took us back to the hotel where we entered a breathtaking room full of candles, shades of white floral peonies, roses and hydrangeas and stunning details. Nothing was overlooked and planned entirely by the bride herself.
The speeches were both hilarious and touching. The food was divine. And the party. Oh the party.
The dance floor was rocking. At one point we wanted to pull the bride and groom away to take photos with some sparklers we bought but to be honest, they were just having too much fun to interrupt them again. We were eventually convinced to put our cameras away. We got down and partied on the dance floor with the guests until the lights were turned on and we were all kicked out. They had glow sticks, the DJ played tunes reminiscent of my clubbing years and since one of the guest's cousin Dead Mau5 was not available to spin, we had our own party on the dance floor like I have never seen at a wedding.
At one point, I knew the night was coming to a close. I remember at my own wedding, many of my friends formed a circle around me and swooped in, out and around Michael and I when we were dancing. The last song of the night was The Temptations "Shout" so I rounded up the party animals and we made a huge circle around the bride and groom...we got low when they told us to go a little softer and we got LOUD when the song told us to. Matt picked up his bride and we all celebrated and surrounded them in a moment that he said he would never forget, and I know I sure won't.
Lesley pulled me aside and I asked her if she was enjoying herself. I told her how much I loved her and she told me that she was able to get through her day calmly because she knew I was there beside her. Imagine that. Me as the voice of calm and reason.
Michael and I were so humbled and overwhelmed with the amount of people who came up to us and said they would either hire us or wished they had in the past. The feedback and comments and love that we were showered with, sent us through the moon with happiness. Hard work I guess indeed pays off.
The next day we all went to the bride's parents' house for a barbeque and swim. We laughed and reminisced about the perfect day we all experienced and wished the bride and groom a wonderful honeymoon. They were surprised with a trip to Italy and Greece and we know they will have an amazing time and hopefully soak in all their memories.
Lesley, Matt and your absolutely wonderful families, we wish you nothing but the best in life and want to thank you from the bottom of our very full hearts for allowing us to be part of this monumental time. We cannot wait until Jen & Casey's wedding in December.
We love you!!!!