If you’re coming to my blog for the first time and are looking for examples of my own work, let’s just say that this The Modern Bride wedding isn’t the best place to start.
The Modern Bride wedding I’m sharing today isn’t actually a wedding I photographed, but instead, it’s our own wedding photographed by my dear friend Kelsee of Ivy and Gold Photography. I’ve been sharing small glimpses of our day for the past six months and honestly wasn’t sure if I’d properly blog or post these in a more formal way. That said, seeing as our wedding was so intimate that a lot of our friends were not able to attend it, putting together a blog post felt like the best way to let everyone share in all of the magic.
On one of the rainiest Friday afternoons this past September, Stephen and I were married in an emotional ceremony attended by only twenty-two of our closest friends and family members. Our venue was actually not a “venue”, but a recently renovated bridal shop owned by my friend Jess in the town next to our hometown. We were originally planning on eloping in an even smaller ceremony on the West coast, but when the idea of a wedding at The Modern Bride became a very real possibility, we fell in love with what this would mean for our day even more so.
Getting married so close to home meant that I was able to get ready in our own home in Fergus that we’ve been slowly renovating for the past four years! I had only my immediate family and good friend Alana with me which made for a really calm space, filled with tons of George Ezra in the background and my dad’s famous German Apple Pancakes (if you know, you know). It also meant that we were able to incorporate a ton of aspects that are sentimental to us — like having our first look at one of our favourite parks in Fergus that we walk past with our two dogs almost daily!
If you look closely at Stephen’s boutonniere and the rest of our design elements, you’ll notice blackberries here and there.
Stephen and I got engaged in Banff, Alberta at the very end of August which also happened to be the beginning of blackberry season in Canada. We spent the following week traveling through Alberta and BC with a bunch of impromptu blackberry picking. It was such a fond memory for us that we decided to incorporate blackberries throughout our florals and other design choices as a little call-out! They’ve become even more special to us post-wedding because we noticed them growing throughout Scotland, England, Germany, and France when we were on our honeymoon!
My earrings were a really sweet given to me from my grandmother.
Due to some health struggles, she was unable to make the trip from Alberta. In her place, she sent a beautiful pair of earrings from Vancouver-based designer Atelier Elise which are now one of my absolute favourite pieces of jewelry. It was incredibly special to have a small piece of her there with me on our wedding day!
Nature really took our “european feel” seriously.
All throughout the planning process, we kept repeating that we wanted the day to look and feel very European. Most of our trips as a couple have been to Europe and we really love the Scottish building elements in Fergus — part of the reason why we wanted to move here to begin with! It felt like we had a little piece of the UK within Canada!
That said, mother nature really took it to heart because despite the entire week being a very typical sunny September, our day poured rain. From the second I left our house for our first look until after the sun had set there wasn’t a moment without a drizzle. I’m SO thankful that we stuck it out and took photos outdoors regardless, though, because it made for photos that feel even more European than we could’ve imagined.
The view from our ceremony was the real selling-point of our venue.
Obviously it’s a weird choice to get married at a bridal shop. Stephen was super trusting when I mentioned that it was a beautiful space and that he would fall in love with it, but it wasn’t until we attended the grand opening of the space together that he was fully sold on getting married here. Without a doubt, it was the moment when he looked out of the top floor windows and saw the church in the distance that he knew it was the perfect spot for us. Now, every time I see Our Lady Immaculate when I’m running errands in Guelph, I definitely pause more than normal and think back to this day!
Even though we didn’t have a real sunset on our wedding day, our “sunset portraits” ended up being one of our favourite parts of the day.
I know that so many couples decide not to sneak away from their wedding reception with their photographers if there is bad weather and they don’t have a golden hour to take advantage of, but trust me, you still should. Stephen and I left our reception for just a tiny bit to have some extra portraits taken and this time spent soaking the day in with just the two of us was so important. Yes, definitely spend time with your guests! But taking ten to fifteen minutes to spend with just the two of you is a nice little reminder of what the day is really about.
Our wedding reception was the perfect example of why you need to hire a team of vendors who you can trust to just do their thing!
Yes, we spent a lot of time designing and specifically selecting decor pieces that I knew would look beautiful on our big day. But oh baby, let me tell you, there is absolutely no way our wedding would have been this gorgeous if it weren’t for fully trusting our incredibly talented florist and wedding planner.
Walking into our reception space completely transformed on our wedding day was a surreal experience, and there is no doubt in my mind that it was only that way because I had talented women in my corner who took our vision and ran with it while I remained stress-free and focused on the important things.
If I can leave future brides with any advice for their wedding, it would be to find vendors with a proven track-record that you know will blow you away. Including a wedding planner who you can fully trust to take care of problems that arise while you sit back and sip champagne — seriously, talk to Danielle.
THE WEIRDEST THING STEPHEN AND I OBSESSED OVER WHILE PLANNING WAS WHAT TO NAME OUR COCKTAILS
We decided to have six pre-batched cocktails during the wedding (two during dinner and another four during the dancing portion later in the evening) that were all named after different places or things that were important to us. I think it took us a few months to even narrow down the list from all of the options, but we landed on The Two Jack, The McTavish, The Ollie Spritz, The Gustavson, The Stanley Park, and The Cabot. It was so fun to drink the night away with friends and have them mention names tied to so many memories like our first house, our first road trip, and even our dogs!
One of my favourite photos of the entire day is this one from my father-daughter dance.
Basically right after we got engaged, I found the perfect father-daughter dance song and told my dad that I had it but it was a secret. This basically turned into 2 years of him trying to guess what it was, complete with one day trapped in a car for 30 minutes straight with him saying things like “okay what decade… was it a top 100?”
This photo was taken at the exact moment when he realized it was a cover of one of his favourite Hall & Oates songs and that I technically didn’t lie to him because it wasn’t *really* the version of the song he guessed it was.