*Blog written by Michael and I
Everything happens for a reason. The path you take and the people you meet, clients included. We've been blessed with amazing clients, most of which have become friends. Long after their weddings have ended they continue to reward us with referrals and kind comments. And that's exactly how we came to know Alex and Jessica, because everything happens the way it's supposed to happen.
At the end of the summer we received an email from Jessica. She was wondering if we were available in November. In a few short months. It just happened that we were. It turns out Jessica and Alex had hired a photographer but for a few different reasons decided they wanted something/someone different. And now, just months from their wedding date, they were asking us if that date was booked.
Luckily for us, Jessica is cousins with Lesley. After deciding they wanted to go another route with a different photographer Lesley had some kind words to say about us. So Jessica and Alex wanted to meet us and talk things over. See if it was the right fit. And a short while later over dinner they determined it was. We were thrilled. And so excited to capture their big day.
This past weekend was amazing. We arrived on Friday afternoon and settled in. The Pillar and Post is a beautiful venue for a wedding with vintage charm all around and we are so grateful that the bride and groom generously hosted us. With a few hours to ourselves before the rehearsal we decided to take a look around for some shot locations before heading for the pool. It was there that we saw Alex. He was relaxed and looked really happy. We shared some time with him at the hot springs and talked over the wedding day. He was ready. On our way back past the spa we saw Jessica with her sister and mom, getting some much needed attention after all the hard work of planning a wedding.
A couple of hours later we met up in the lobby as a group before heading to the ceremony room upstairs for the rehearsal. It was a beautiful location for a wedding with exposed bricks, enough window light and privacy. We tested our lighting and flash and were relieved to know there weren't any restrictions for the wedding photographers. We were ready. As were the lovely couple, standing up front overseeing the entire process. We were invited to share in a Mexican catered rehearsal dinner at the groom's cousin's gorgeous home. Eh, Jose was his business name (genius!) and here he was, straight from Cancun whipping us up delicious sangria and quesadillas.
The next morning started off with so much promise. It was sunny outside, not cloudy like it had threatened to be. This is how we wanted the day to start. We decided to get started earlier than we normally would so we could get some shots done in the lobby before guests started checking in and it got busy. At about 9am we knocked on Jessica and Alex's door just as room service had arrived. We grabbed Jessica's dress and shoes went downstairs. We found a few great locations with wonderful light. And her dress was stunning. When we went back upstairs to drop the dress off, Alex was alone and waiting for his groomsmen to arrive. He had a few precious moments to his thoughts.
We started our day for good at 11am. And no matter how many times we've been through process, it amazes us just how quickly time disappears. Wendy and I went to the bride's room where the girls and her mom were getting finishing touches on their hair and makeup. As usual, the two of us started on the detail shots first, shooting the invitation, rings, flowers and jewellery. After that we part, Wendy stays with the girls and I head to the groom's room.
As Wendy takes photos of the bride getting ready, I'm doing the same with the groom. We both had an hour and a half to get everything shot before we had to meet in the courtyard for the first look. But on a wedding day time always slips away. I called Wendy before we were set to leave asking them to hold off for a few minutes. Then we made our way to the courtyard as Alex stood on his spot. He was anxious but I knew he was ready and was eager to see his bride. Wendy and Jessica made their way down the long carpeted hall where I stopped her. We told her to count to thirty and head straight outside to her groom. That gave Wendy and I a few seconds to get in position and get ready.
The first look is relatively new, a great opportunity for couples lacking time for photos after the ceremony. It also gives the bride and groom a moment of privacy together on their wedding day. Jessica made her way towards Alex, slowly and deliberately. At the moment she arrived they turned toward each other and let the moment wash over them. We kept shooting as they looked at each other, smiled and embraced. It was a beautiful moment between two people who deeply love each other. Just the two of them.
The rest of the afternoon went quickly, as it usually does. We captured a couple portraits in that courtyard before meeting up with the rest of the wedding party and heading out to a few locations. Our first stop was Simcoe Park, a block from downtown Niagara on the Lake. By this time the sun had ducked away and the wind picked up but we managed to get the shots we wanted. Even with shoulder-less dresses the girls were troopers. We then hit the gazebo a couple of blocks away (which was incredibly windy and chilly) followed by the Fort Mississauga, the clock tower downtown and then Jackson Triggs winery, where we whisked Alex and Jessica into the vineyards for a couple of portraits.
It was a busy afternoon but we managed to make it back to the Pillar and Post with plenty of time for family photos in the library. With fifteen minutes to spare before ceremony, we made our way upstairs and into position. It was a beautiful ceremony, with candles lighting the room. Following the ceremony the newlyweds and immediate family retreated to the room next door where they shared their congratulations with Alex and Jessica.
Cocktail hour followed downstairs outside the reception room. The room was beautiful, and no details were overlooked. The mason jars, flowers and centerpieces were beautiful. And the head table was a small table for two, just for the bride and groom. We loved that! It was the perfect size venue for this wedding. Enough room at the tables and still enough room on the dance floor.
After shooting all the details we made our way back into the cocktail area and snapped some great candid moments between family and friends and bride and groom. The details spilled out to the cocktail/waiting room as well, the two vintage window frames turned into seating charts, the handmade wooden card box and more mason jars and flowers. The room was filled with love. All for two people.
The rest of the night was filled with surprises. The father/daughter dance started off traditionally, but switched up to a non-traditional rock version with sunglasses and ZZ Top, the father's favourite band. In lieu of a cake they had lovely chocolate cupcakes, made by an aunt. Later in the evening a mobile marble slab creamery set up and the bride and groom got behind the counter and made their own cups. (it was delicious, by the way!) The next day followed with a gorgeous brunch in the library for all to recap the events.
The night was beautiful, filled with people who loved Jessica and Alex and came to share in their day. You could tell that these two had long-lasting relationships and friendships. And they had each other. They spoke so lovingly of one another and danced well into the night, surrounded by friends and family. And the memories of the day.
Jessica and Alex, we are grateful that we were able to capture memories from your day. And grateful to call you friends. You are blessed to have such a loving family and so many kind and wonderful friends. It is a testament to the kind of people you are. Thank you so much for allowing us the chance to get to know you and for being such wonderful people.
Everything happens for a reason. And we're so glad it does.
Enjoy your sneak peaks, set to your favourite band!!
Enjoy your sneak peaks, set to your favourite band!!