Planning a Wedding, as a wedding photographer proved to be a very challenging task. I have spent the past 6 years attending over 250 weddings. Very early on, Hugh and I decided that our most important goal was to create an authentic day that meant something to us personally, and did not seem like something we had witnessed before. We did not want anything too planned or staged, we very much maintained a “go with the flow” attitude knowing that this had worked for past clients. I find it so difficult to put into words how special this day really was. Looking back on it, the number one word that comes to mind is “warmth”. I discovered so much about what a wedding day is. I learned about what things matter most to me. I learned that even though you put money and effort into making things look pretty, it is the people who are there that are the most important. It is the photos of those connections and relationships that I will look at and feel moved by 40 years from now. There were so many things that didn’t quite go as planned; I forgot to shave my legs, I only put nail polish on one hand and forgot to get around to doing the other, we walked right into a tree branch while walking down the isle together, we meant to have a fire during the reception, and so many other missed little things. But none of that mattered. At all. I know this now more than ever. My memories of the day are of people and moments and not of things. This all being said, our wedding would not have been what it was without our vendors and friends who helped us. Almost everyone played a role in some way, from setting things up the day before, to making a cake, to the amount of things that were lent to us for the day, we could not have done this on our own and we feel so grateful for the help. I wanted to share our story in order to highlight all of the special people who played a role and why we choose to do things the way we did.
Venue: The venue was our home (which we have now moved from) which we had lived in for the past year prior to the wedding. This house really marked the coming together of Hugh with me and the girls, it was our first family home and will always be such a special place. The main part of the home is an old log cabin from the 1800’s, situated on Pigeon Lake. We spent so much of our time in the backyard, looking out to the water, and knew that hosting the wedding in this place would be the perfect way of commemorating our time there.
Photography: This choice was a no brainer. When Hugh and I first met, we discovered Ed‘s work and it really resonated with us. He has the ability to completely capture the full essence of a wedding day. Over the past few years, looking through his work, we always finished a blog post feeling like we had known the couple. This was exactly what we wanted and he accomplished this in the most perfect way to us.
Decor and Flowers: We wanted a cozy and simple feel to our backyard, and had a difficult time finding tables and chairs to rent that suited our style. It wasn’t until we photographed a wedding at South Pond Farms that we noticed how perfect the tables and chairs were there! The owner kindly let us borrow them for the day and we still feel so grateful for this as they were the perfect touch. In terms of flowers, Hugh and I really were not flowery kind of people. The idea of holding a bouquet all day didn’t make a lot of sense to me, but I do love greenery. As it turns out, Hugh’s sister is a florist in England and she spent the morning creating a the most beautiful table runners out of some eucalyptus, lisianthus (Brought up from Toronto by my lovely friend Scarlet) and random plants out of our garden.
Food: We have eaten a lot of wedding food and Be Catering has always been our absolute favourite. We get excited weeks before a wedding if we know Bonnie is catering! We really didn’t have to plan much, she just got it and it was incredible. We also had some amazing help earlier on in the day from my good friend Ash (Ash Nayler Photography) who spent the morning setting up the most beautiful spread of h’ordeuvres I have ever seen, and our good friend Ally made our wedding cake (after a few hilarious failed trials!).
Music-Because of the fact that we only had 30 guests and it was a very intimate wedding, we felt a DJ may be too much of an imposition, so we created an itunes playlist of our favourite music. We knew our first dance had to be something by Van Morrison, as his music was the sountrack to the beginning of our relationship. We chose Into the mystic and danced together on our dock-this may very well have been one of my top favourite moments of my life. We have the great privilege of being friends with Kate Suhr, who literally has the most beautiful voice I have ever heard. She sand us up the isle to Elvis’ “Can’t help falling in love with you”, down the isle to Philip Phillips’ “Home” and kicked off the reception with an epic rendition of Chris De Burghs “Lady in Red” (listen to it here!)
Attire and Jewelry: Neither one of us are very fussy and didn’t want to be overdressed for a backyard wedding. Ultimately, I wanted something I could move around in freely and that made me feel pretty. I found the perfect dress online at BHLDN. Hugh wanted a simple shirt and pants and ended up finding exactly what he wanted to wear at The Plush Boutique. Hugh and the girls surprised me one afternoon in March with three signs that read WILL, YOU, MARRY ME, along with a box with a stunning ring in it from Alexis Russell. For the wedding my wrists felt naked without my Alex and Ani bracelets from Hi Ho Silver (all holding special meaning) plus a beautiful Alexis Russell bracelet that my girlfriends bought for me.
Hair and Makeup: Jaden Prosser is the go to hair girl in Peterborough. Almost every single one of my girlfriends is a client of Jaden’s. Her personality and talent is the reason why I recommend her to everyone I speak to now! Jacalyn Allison is easily the most talented women at making a girl look her best. She was one of the first people I contacted when we began planning the wedding. Jacalyn blends into a wedding day seamlessly and truly is one of the most gifted makeup artists we have every worked with.
Officiant: – After listening to over 250 ceremonies, we both agreed that we wanted something that we hadn’t heard before which we would be moved by. Stephen Brown is one of the most special people I know. I met Stephen 5 years ago at Trent University. He was Teaching a course on Shakespeare and from the second he began speaking, I was mesmerized by this man. He has a way of telling stories that make you feel exactly what he feels. He speaks from his heart honestly and sincerely. With his words, he was able to create the most beautifully intimate ceremony I will ever know. I will be forever grateful to him for what he gave us both in that moment.
All images by Ed Peers Photography
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