Joffre Lake Hike

My husband really got me into hiking a few years ago as we were starting to try and get in better shape for our wedding. Every week was a different adventure, a different sense of accomplishment and a different mountain. We’ve done many easy hikes and a few much tougher ones. Ones that made me question why in the world do I do this to myself, but then I’m reminded at the top why I do it.

When we decided to go to Whistler for our second wedding anniversary, we wanted to take in a few hikes in the area. The first one that jumped to my mind was the Joffre Lake hike, as it’s been on my hiking bucket list for the past few years. It was listed as a “medium” skill level hike which was good for us as we had our two dogs with us. So we set off early one morning and arrived at the parking lot just as the sun was making its way up and over the mountain top.

Now this hike is normally VERY busy in the summer months, but because we went in October and on a Tuesday, it was actually quite quiet. It was a tough hike, much tougher than I anticipated. It was straight up hill for a long portion of the trail. I had to stop at one point, getting light headed and we contemplated turning back. But I wanted to keep going, to see a spot that I’d only seen in photos but fell in love with.

Well, it was totally worth it! The view at the middle lake was STUNNING beyond words. We stopped and the dogs jumped in the lake to cool off and then we kept going up to the upper lake which was just as amazing. It was a hard hike and I really hurt the next day. But man, oh man! Was it ever worth every step it took to get up there!

An Open Letter to My Husband on Our Second Wedding Anniversary

Photo by: Leanne Sim, Photographer

Photo by: Leanne Sim, Photographer

It’s hard to know where to even begin. Our second year of marriage posed us with the most obstacles, the hardest challenges, but we came out better people in the end. This letter has been running through my head most of this year, wondering if I could find the right words to describe how you supported me. In my mind, these letters should express my love for you, but I’d be amiss to not address the hardest time in our relationship (and maybe my life) and how you got me through it.

I guess the best place so start is at the place where we last left off, October 3rd, 2016, our first wedding anniversary. We took the week off to spend time together, a staycation as I was shooting weddings on both weekends surrounding our anniversary. We made the plan to go for walks, enjoy time together and then we would go away to Tofino together in November to really celebrate. October 4th was when this year took its first hard turn. It’s one of the dates from this past year that I’ll never forget. Taking my mom to a specialist appointment and hearing the words, we need to run more tests, it might be cancer. The “C” word. We had to wait two weeks for the results but we all knew what they would be. 

I went with my mom to her appointment and sure enough the diagnosis was what we all expected, it was cancer. But in the doctor’s words the best possible form of cancer, because once surgery was completed there was a good likelihood that no other treatment would be needed. No chemo, no radiation. Her surgery appointment was booked for two weeks later, the day we were to leave to go to Tofino to celebrate our anniversary.  There was no question about cancelling our trip as we both wanted to be there for my mom.

The next two weeks were the worst. I didn’t want to cry at home and for the first time in my life I was compartmentalizing every emotion I had. I would cry the whole drive in to work and home, but at home I was just emotionless. You begged me to talk to you, but I couldn’t, I just wanted to be strong. To prove to myself I could be strong. I could see how hard it was for you to see me in this state but I was completely incapable of doing anything differently.

The day of mom’s surgery you were at my side. I remember sitting with you at crescent beach waiting, what seemed like forever, to get the call that mom was ok. I remember offering to go home and you refusing to go any further away from the hospital then where we were. You will never know how much that meant to me. Well the call came through and she made it through the surgery like a champ. We were lucky, they got everything with the surgery and it hadn’t spread! Mom was cancer free! From initial appointment to getting the all clear it seemed like an eternity but it was only 6 weeks.

While I couldn’t express how I was feeling and couldn’t talk about it knowing you were there for me was all I needed. I knew if I could find the words you’d listen, if I needed a hug you’d wrap me in your arms.

But unfortunately for us this wasn’t the only challenge we were going to face. I knew from early on in our relationship how important it was for you to have a family, and I wanted that too. I wanted nothing more than to be a mom and the mother of your child. But like many people have faced we tried with no luck. After 8 months of trying I knew something just wasn’t right and begged our doctor to run some preliminary tests. Three days after my mom’s surgery we got the news, I had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and was in the beginning stages of Type 2 Diabetes. The doctor needed me to make immediate lifestyle changes so that I could be healthier to possibly be able to one day give us the child we wanted so badly.  In the moment, I felt terrible about the situation but as the days passed and I learned more about PCOS so much of my weight struggles made sense, things I had felt made sense. Being diagnosed with PCOS and potentially Type 2 diabetes was a blessing not a curse. I had answers and I had actions I could take. I was going to own this, it wasn’t going to own me. The strength you gave me in this time was the reason I knew I would overcome this.

You made it through the hangry spells as I eliminated certain foods from my life. You went on walks with me and encouraged me to stay active. You made meals for me that were “Morgan Friendly” and really came with me on this journey. You even made me my own Easter egg hunt with sweets I could eat. This wasn’t a diet to lose weight, it was a complete lifestyle change, for us, for our family. You joined me on this journey and I have loved seeing you become happier and more confident along the way!

We knew having a child was off the table for a little bit until I was healthy enough, so we grew our family by 4 paws instead, welcoming Buddy. It’s been so much fun raising him with you together, and celebrating his milestones. I love that you share photos of him with your friends as if he was your child. He was the turning point in what was a challenging start to our second year of marriage.

I remember at New Years being so happy that 2016 was behind us and we could focus on making 2017 a better year for all of us. You started off by surprising me with an idea for our vacation to go to Disneyland. Knowing how much I loved all things Disney you said you wanted to make me happy. Knowing how much you didn’t like Disney it meant the world to me that you would take me there. It was truly one of the most amazing trips and really made our relationship stronger. I’ll never forget the look on your face when you met Darth Vader and Chewbacca, it was an absolute highlight for me to see you so happy. 

I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. I was worried about providing enough for our family, only having a small number of weddings booked for the year. But reflecting back that was a blessing. It allowed me to spend more time on bettering myself and spending more time with family and friends. In a year that I couldn’t be the rock I normally am for everyone else I needed to have my family and friends at my side. I needed that time.

Looking back on all this year has brought us I really focus on the best parts that made this year amazing and think about the things we learned from all the challenges. Someone once told me that a relationship is a combination of two people to get to 100%. Most time the two people both put in 50% but sometimes, when one isn’t able to the other needs to put in more. You did that, you put in more for me this year when I was not capable of putting in 50%, sometimes I think putting in almost a full 100% when I was falling apart.

I know this year was hard, but we had so many new memories together from it. We now have two wonderful dogs that fill our lives with laughter and love, amazing memories from our first road trip down the west coast of the US, so many moments of happiness spending time with family and friends, and most importantly I think we learned the true meaning of being partners in life. I know this year was hard on me, but I know it was also hard on you, but yet you still kept me going each and everyday. I want you to know how much the little things you do for me make each day brighter and I’m so glad to have you at my side each and every day. I love you more than you will ever know. Happy 2nd Anniversary my love!

Photos by: Leanne Sim, Photographer

Photos by: Leanne Sim, Photographer

My First Road Trip!

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I think I’ll remember the moment forever. The moment my husband told me he wanted to take me to Disneyland! But first a little backstory: I grew up watching Disney movies and loving everything Disney, but not so much my husband. He wasn’t really a fan of the “if you wait for Price Charming, your life will be happiness forever” ideology of Disney. When I was 10 (early 90’s) my mom took me to Disneyland for the first time. We set out on a bus tour down the west coast with 2 days in Anaheim to visit the theme park. I never realized at the time how big of a thing that was for her to do. It was her first trip alone with me and my first big vacation. At 10 I was very prone to motion sickness and didn’t ride very many rides, but I still remember the awe of walking down Main Street. Unfortunately, that trip didn’t end very well. My mom got food poisoning in San Francisco and she was not 100% when we arrived in Anaheim. Then, the next day got bit by a spider in San Diego which ended up hospitalizing her for 2 weeks when we returned home. Needless to say, my first trip to Disneyland was not the fully magical experience that all my friends had talked about.

Fast forward to 2011 and my next Disney encounter, a much more magical experience. Erin and I decided fairly last minute to go to London and Paris for a week, and Erin had this great idea to spend a day at Disneyland Paris. We got up super early and took the first train of the day from London to Paris and arrived at the theme park shortly after opening. Erin, being a rollercoaster enthusiast, somehow managed to convince me to go on Space Mountain with the promise that we wouldn’t get shot out of a tube and we wouldn’t go upside down. Well, I will tell you right now that Space Mountain in Disneyland Paris does both of these things! There was basically no chance that I would go on it again, so we set out around the park. I think in total we spent about 8 hours in Disneyland Paris and it definitely gave me that magical Disney experience.

Let’s fast forward again to February 2017, my husband and I were talking about where we wanted to go on vacation in May. We both wanted to go somewhere warm, as we were done with the snow and cold from the winter. Then the words came out of my husband’s mouth, “What if we do a road trip down the coast of the US and head down into California?” My response was something along the lines of “and what would we do?” thinking that he wanted to go to San Francisco or wine tasting. And the unthinkable happened he suggested that we go to Disneyland. Needless to say, I just about jumped out of my skin and booked our “Park Hopper” tickets the next day before he could change his mind! Over the next few months I asked friends and family for suggestions on where to stop along the way down and we set off on our adventure on May 14th!

John driving over the Tacoma Narrows

Our first day took us down the I-5 to Tacoma where we crossed over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. My husband has always wanted to cross that bridge since watching the movies of Galloping Gertie from the ‘40s.  We started to make our way through Washington and ended up joining up with the 101 just south of Aberdeen. As we travelled along the coast we soon made it to Oregon, crossing the Megier Bridge into Astoria. We continued on to our first stop of Seaside, Oregon and arrived at our hotel, the Best Western Ocean View Resort. It was a great hotel choice since it was right on the beach, and we ended up with a room that faced out over the ocean! We then headed out on a walk to explore the town and were really intrigued by all the little shops along the main road. It totally reminded me a bit of Niagara Falls with the “amusement park” feel. We spent some time out on the beach and walking along the promenade. On the beach there were volleyball nets set up and swing sets. We were hoping for a beautiful sunset, but at the last minute the sun ducked behind a thick wall of clouds and we were out of luck.

The next morning, we got up and headed to Dundee Doughnuts. I had been craving a doughnut for almost 4 months, but I didn’t want to cave for just any doughnut! We had passed the shop the night before and I saw the doughnuts in the window. I then read online about how amazing Dundee Doughnuts are and though this was the place to breakdown and have one! And was it ever worth it! I had the Chocolate Coconut twist and my hubby had the Simpsons inspired doughnut and the maple bacon doughnut. Next, we headed over to the Seaside Aquarium to feed the seals. They were so funny and made the craziest noises. They had me laughing the whole time! The Aquarium had an octopus and a huge lobster as well.

We then headed out on the road for the day making our way south. We quickly stopped in Canon Beach so that I could see the rock formations in the ocean. As we slowly made our way down the coast we stopped at a number of Vista Points along the 101 taking in the views. Luckily, we had fair weather on our side and the views were amazing!

Our next stop was the Tillamook Cheese Factory! Most people already know I love cheese. Like, come on. Who doesn’t?! They had samples to taste and we bought enough cheese to feed an army. My husband tried some ice cream and said that it totally lived up to the hype. It was amazing! After learning how they make the cheese, sampling some cheese, then sampling some more, and then making a sandwich with the cheese we bought, it was time to continue south! One of the best ideas I had in prepping for our trip was to bring a small cooler with us to keep in the car so that we could pick up some drinks, veggies, fruit, and cheese to eat along the way. This helped us save a bunch on food costs as we could make our own lunch and most of the hotels we stayed in had free breakfast!

My husband made the choice to pull off at the Yaquina Head State Park and Lighthouse just outside of Newport. There was this beautiful old lighthouse that you could walk down to, and we spent the better part of 2 hours exploring the area. It probably was one of the highlights of the trip: it was so beautiful, and I really enjoyed hiking around the area. We then had to head back out on the road so that we could make it to our next stop in Bandon, Oregon before nightfall. I’m sure Bandon is beautiful, but unfortunately once we got there most restaurants were closed and because it was basically dark out there was no where to really walk. We did manage to quickly go down to the beach that was across from our hotel while there was a little light left so that I could see some sand dunes. We really wanted to go on dune buggies, but alas we ran out of time. That will have to wait for the next trip.

The next morning we woke up to torrential rain. We live in a city know for rain, but I have never in my life seen so much come down for so long! We basically packed up the car and headed out on the road hoping that the weather would improve as we got further south. However, it didn’t. It continued to pour rain all the way into California. Now, funny story: when you cross into California you have to go through an agriculture checkpoint to ensure that you are not bringing any fruits or veggies into the State that are prohibited. So that morning when we got up, we gorged ourselves on fruit so that we would not have any problems at the check point. I think we ate 2 apples, 3 oranges, 3 pears, and 2 packages of raspberries. Then on the drive between Bandon and the California boarder we also ate 3 bell peppers. Well when we got to the checkpoint, they passed us through saying they were not doing checks that day. So, we basically ate all of that produce for no real reason.

My husband has done a road trip down the coast before with his brother, and he made the comment that as soon as you cross the state line it’s like the landscape changes immediately. I didn’t really believe him, but wholly heck it’s true! We decided to stop at Ocean World in Crescent City for a break from driving. The aquarium is built on an old barge and they tour you around and give you background on the different aquatic animals they have. They then take you over to the shark tank and you get to pet a real shark!!! At the end of the tour we got to take in the seal and sea lion show. One of the seal lions even has her own Facebook page! You need to check Cora out and all the amazing tricks she does.

When we finished at the aquarium the rain started to let up ever so slightly, but it was still coming down quite hard. We pushed through to Eureka to check into our hotel and drop off our bags. We then set out to head down the Avenue of Giants in the Redwood parks. These trees were HUGE and I don’t think the photos do justice to just how tall they really are. We stopped along a few of the trails to walk amongst the trees and then headed over to the Founders Tree. Standing 346 feet tall and with a circumference of 40 feet it was truly a sight to see! We spent about 4 hours driving through the parks and exploring the area. Despite the fact that it was still raining, it was so much fun! We then had dinner at Shamus T Bones, a great BBQ restaurant right by our hotel (Best Western Plus Bayshore Inn)!

The next day we packed up again and headed south to our next stop: Petaluma, CA. We decided to stay outside of San Francisco, as we didn’t want to pay the steep prices for a downtown hotel and be caught in the hustle and bustle of the city. Our hotel (Sheraton Sonoma) was right along the harbour and was about 45 minutes north of San Fran. After dropping our stuff off we headed into the “City by the Bay”. We parked at Fisherman’s Warf and explored the city. First was lunch and the best chowder I’ve ever had. Then we walked up to the crooked section of Lombard Street. Next, we crossed the city and walked over to Coit Tower where we took in the amazing views. We definitely got our steps in that day, and San Francisco’s steep streets made for an excellent workout! Then we drove over to Presidio Park so that we could take in the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge. We walked about half way out across the bridge, and saw 3 humpback whales playing in the water below. After the sun set we headed back to our hotel.

The next day was the shortest drive that we would do. After getting to San Francisco we moved over to Highway 1 so that we could drive down the California coast. We found a great place to stop, Devil’s Slide Trail, which is a small walking trail that goes along an old stretch of the highway. It had absolutely fantastic views of the coast and ocean. We then continued through to Monterey, passing the many Strawberry fields that lined the highway. We stopped at a grocery store and picked up the biggest strawberries I’ve ever seen! There is definitely something amazing about eating fruit that is fresh off the vine!  Monterey was one of my top spots that I wanted to visit, as I really wanted to go to the Monterey Aquarium!  I had heard amazing things about this aquarium and it was so worth it! They have a penguin area which was my favourite, and my husband loved all the octopuses they have! After the aquarium, we headed over to Jacks Peak Park which had a small hiking trail with an amazing view of Monterey. We then called it an early night, as we knew we had a big driving day a head of us.

The next morning we set out for Anaheim. Originally, we wanted to continue to follow highway 1 down the coast. But the highway was closed south of Monterey due to a landslide that took out a bridge. So, we made our way back to the 101 and cut over to the I-5. I joked with my husband that I wanted the full LA driving experience. However, I never should have put that out in the universe as it ended up taking 2.5 hours for us to get from one side of Los Angeles to the other. We were never so happy to see our hotel and know that we wouldn’t have to drive for a few days! We were finally in Anaheim, and only a few hours away from entering Disneyland!!

With our Park Hopper tickets in hand, it was time to head to the magical world of Disneyland! It was my hubby’s first trip to the park. As we crossed through the overpass into Main Street, USA, I was instantly transformed back to being a kid, trying to take it all in and just being in awe! We first hit up the Starbucks in the park, as I was in desperate need for a coffee. Fun fact: they have their own special cups and pastries just for Disneyland! We headed to Tomorrow Land to take in our first ride, Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters. I wish I knew how the Fast-Pass system worked that first day, as we could have avoided some lines. We slowly made our way through some rides in Fantasyland, and generally just soaked in everything around us. The biggest line we stood in was for the Matterhorn, at over 90 minutes in the blazing Southern California heat. It got up to 36 degrees that day! We then heard about the Disneyland App that you can put on your phone, which gave a map of the park and the wait times for rides. I had added a US travel plan on my phone, so we had access to the app in the park and it was SUPER helpful! You could even book restaurant reservations and miss the big lineups. As the day kept warming up, my abilities to cope with the heat dwindled. So we decided to head back to our hotel for a few hours so that I could cool down. Our hotel was about 2.5 kms from the park, which made it easy to go back and forth. We returned to the park at about 6 pm to find out that the park had reached its maximum capacity and they were only allowing people to re-enter the park if they had already been in, but no new admissions. No wonder the app was showing 3 hour waits for some of the rides! We decided to hold off on the light parade and fireworks that night and take advantage of the shorter lineups while everyone else was taking them in. Finally, that night we figured out how the Fast-Pass system works and started our game plan for the next day!

The next morning we arrived early and headed straight for Pirates of the Caribbean. We got to basically walk on the ride, which was awesome! Then we crossed quickly across the park to Hyperspace Mountain, as we knew from the day before that it was one of the busiest rides and we wanted to make sure we got a chance to ride it. Now to Erin’s credit, Space Mountain (or Hyperspace Mountain) in Disneyland California does not shoot you out of a tube, nor go upside down. So, it turns out her story checks out! We logged over 30,000 steps that day crisscrossing back and forth across the park. We also were able to take in the Light Parade and the fireworks and my husband got to eat a Disneyland turkey leg for dinner! Before the fireworks, I was truly impressed with the Cast Members abilities to corral and move all of the people out of the castle area in such a short amount of time.

For our 3rd day we headed over to California Adventure Park. We knew the Radiator Springs Racers ride was the most popular ride in the park and immediately headed there to get a Fast Pass. We then walked through the park down to the Midway Pier, jumping in line for the Toy Story ride. My husband and I really enjoyed this ride, and my hubby totally kicked my butt! We then decided to take our turn at some of the midway games and I won a large stuffed Dumbo and Goofy! The running joke when I travel is that I always need an extra suitcase when I come home to bring everything back, but this time it didn’t matter because we drove! We then headed up on the Ferris Wheel and opted for the stationary buggy as I was worried about getting motion sick. We made our way through a number of rides, and visited Cars Land. The Radiator Springs Racers ride was both mine and my hubby’s favourite ride. Not just because the ride is awesome but we had this super cool kid beside us on the ride that was warning us of the “scary parts” and the super awesome parts! That kid definitely made the ride for us! After walking through the park and going on a few more rides it was time for lunch at Ariel’s Grotto. I highly recommend this place for lunch. It’s a character experience, so definitely more expensive than a basic lunch but probably the best food I ate on the whole trip and we got to meet 5 Disney Princesses! In the evening, my husband somehow convinced me to go on the California Screamin’ Rollercoaster. It was probably one of the more terrifying rides for me!

For our last day in the park we started in Disneyland at the Park Inn for Breakfast. Again, this was a character breakfast but the food was amazing! We got to meet Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, Tigger, Captain Hook, one of the Penguins from Mary Poppins, Max from Goof Troop, Minnie Mouse, Rafiki, the mouse from Cinderella, and the Fairy Godmother. We also decided to get the Photo Pass this day. We knew where all the photo spots were, and with the app we knew when the different characters would be out so we could take full advantage of the pass. For $39 we ended up with over 70 photos of the day which I thought was a good value. It was also nice to have non-cell phone photos/selfies of us. We jumped back and forth between the parks taking in the few rides that we still really wanted to do. Soarin’ Around the World was amazing, and Star Tours was a lot of fun. We were also able to do the Radiator Springs Racers ride again!

One of my favourite moments came when my husband got to meet Chewbacca and Darth Vader. He totally played if off like nah I don’t need to see them, but fanned out when he got to meet them. It was awesome seeing him so excited and happy! We spent 16 hours between the 2 parks that day and truly felt that we had an amazing Disney experience! We were able to take in almost all the rides, including the Jellyfish drop in California Adventure which my hubby screamed on just to be a goof ball! The last thing we did in Disneyland is to go and find Walt’s test brick wall. My husband read about it online and it was fun to try and locate! It’s basically a brick wall where the right side is a bunch of different sized bricks that Walt Disney made to figure out what size of bricks he wanted to use when building Main Street, USA. The left side is what he decided on. It was fun to find a part of Disney history that most people just walk by thinking it’s an oddly shaped brick wall.

Our last day in Anaheim, we originally had planned on going to Universal Studios. But with the traffic that we dealt with coming into LA, we were not into battling it again unless we were leaving Los Angeles. So, we decided to head down to San Diego to the zoo instead. My husband and I both love zoos and the San Diego Zoo is awesome. I would definitely put it in my top 3 zoos that I’ve visited (Toronto and Sydney Zoo being the other two)! There are so many different areas to visit and they are currently doing some upgrades to make it even better. I especially loved the Panda Trek and the Orangutans.

After the zoo, we headed downtown to the water as my husband wanted to see if he could find the Tall Ships that were docked. One of the ships was the H.M.S. Surprise from the movie “Master and Commander.” When we found them we realized they were part of the Maritime Museum and that it was open until 8pm. Instead of just seeing the ships, we were able to go on them! It’s amazing to think that people spent months at a time, if not years, on those boats exploring the world.

The next morning it was time to start making our way north. We decided that we would try and get as far north as we could, since the only thing left that we wanted to do was go to the Sequoia National Park. This was a 7-hour detour off our course up the I-5, but was absolutely stunning. The sequoias are not as tall as the Redwoods, but are bigger around. We even saw the largest living thing on the planet, the General Sherman Tree. Its circumference is 103 feet and it’s still growing bigger every year! The cool part about the park is that they offer a shuttle service that will take you to the different tourist spots. The shuttles help to reduce air pollution and make it easier for people to get around. I would love to go back and stay in one of the lodges in the park to explore more.

The rest of our trip was pretty uneventful. We left Anaheim at 7:30am on Thursday and got as far north a Yreka, CA. We ended up sleeping in our car that night in the parking lot of the town’s Walmart. My husband even bought me a Minion blanket to keep me warm through the night. Friday morning we kept heading north, stopping quickly at Voodoo Doughnuts in Portland before making the final push home. We arrived home 36 hours after we left Anaheim, excited to see our dogs and have some amazing memories to look back on! We’ve even planned our next road trip for our anniversary in October.

 

**Some of the photos in Disneyland were taken by the Photo Pass Photographers

 

West Coast Woodland Styled Session

We are soooooo very excited to share our first styled session on the blog today! It’s been hard to keep these images under wraps but we are so happy that Real Weddings choose to feature them on one of their online posts. Before we flood you with all the photos from the session here is a little more about how our session came to be!

In the fall of 2016 we started planning a stylized session that would incorporate some of our favourite vendors and highlight the beauty of the West Cost. We started with the word “woodland” to start drawing inspiration from and we knew that we wanted the session to have a spring feeling to it.  We immediately knew who we wanted to model for us: Jami at Adventure Awaits and her amazing husband. They were the perfect couple to bring our vision to life! And who better to glamify her but Rae from Makeup by Rae. Rae has such an amazing ability to highlight natural beauty, which is exactly what we wanted. Having photographed several weddings at the Fraser River Lodge, we knew it was the perfect backdrop for our session. 

Working with Kristina at Buds and Blooms Floral Shoppe, we wanted to make the florals one of the main features of the shoot. We focused on the natural greenery with pops of white and cream. We then met up with Nicole at Past Pieces to go through her massive inventory of antique furniture. We selected some key pieces that, coupled with the flowers, would be the foundation to our session. Next it was on to picking out the dress. We headed over to Everything but the Groom and worked with Heidi to find the perfect dress. We wanted something new and modern, but which still had a very soft elegant look. The “Marilyn” dress by Morilee was perfect! The last pieces to pull together were the cake and the stationery. Crystal at Reddy Made Cakes provided us with a beautiful 3-tiered white cake that we could then decorate with the same florals that we would be using with everything else. And Eva from Love of Creating made my own wedding invitations, so I knew she was the perfect person to do up the stationery for us.

Finally, we had all our pieces together and it was time to head out to the Fraser River Lodge. With the forecast calling for rain that week, we were not sure we’d even be able to get outside for any photos. But we knew if we had the most beautiful set-up that we’d be ok. Luckily for us, the rain held off ‘til the end of the day and we were able to get a mix of both indoor and outdoor photos.

The photos turned out exactly the way we wanted them to, and we could not be happier with them!

A big shout out to all the fabulous vendors that we worked with to put this all together!

Photography: Amazing Day Photography

Venue: Fraser River Lodge

Florals: Buds & Bloom Floral Shoppe  

Hair and Makeup: Makeup by Rae

Cake: Reddy Make Cakes

Furniture Rental & Place Settings: Past Pieces

Stationary: Love of Creating Design Co.

Session Styling: Amazing Day Photography, Buds and Bloom Floral Shoppe, and Leanne Madeline

Dress: Everything But The Groom

Dress Designer: “Marilyn” by Morilee

Model: Jami (and her husband) from Adventure Awaits

Photos 4 Hope 2017

We are super excited to announce the details of our annual Photos 4 Hope Mini Sessions in support of BC Children’s Hospital!

It all started 10 years ago, when I was thinking of a way that I could use my photography to give back to a cause that has always been near and dear to my heart. In the 10 years that we have run Photos 4 Hope, we have photographed over 50 families and donated over $15,000 to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.

This year we are excited to host Photos 4 Hope on June 24th, 2017. We are still working out the perfect location, but it will be in the Langley/Surrey/White Rock area. We are on the search for a brand-new location that we’ve never used before!

For $200 you receive a 20-minute session with a guarantee of at least 15 images delivered via digital download. But since it’s for such a great cause we will likely give you more. You will also receive a $50 tax receipt. Book before March 31st to be entered into a draw to win a gift certificate for a mini session to be used by the end of 2017.

The best part of Photos 4 Hope is 100% of the money raised goes directly back to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation!

Please note that to be entered into the draw and to confirm your spot, the full $200 is due at the time of signing. And yes, we do take Visa and MasterCard!

The sessions will be booked in starting at 9 am – 1 pm and 4 pm – 7 pm. There is space for 15 sessions total. To book please email us at morgan@amazingdayphotography.ca. Please include your name, mailing address, phone number, and preference for a morning or evening session.

We are so thankful for all the amazing families that have participated over the years, and we look forward to our 10th Annual Photos 4 Hope this year!

Vendor Spotlight - Everything But The Groom

Today we are posting the second vendor spotlight in our series which we will be running over the next few months. See below for a list of the previous vendor spotlights.

Amazing Day Photography - Vendor Spotlight - Everything But The Groom - Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Photographer

In today’s post we are featuring one of the best bridal stores in the Lower Mainland, Everything But The Groom. Located in Downtown Langley, Everything But The Groom is a bridal store that has dresses for everyone. I had a chance to visit the owner Heidi, and the girls over at EBTG last weekend to take some photos of the store and talk to them about why they love wedding dresses.

Amazing Day Photography - Vendor Spotlight - Everything But The Groom - Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Photographer
Amazing Day Photography - Vendor Spotlight - Everything But The Groom - Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Photographer

 One of the things I love about this store is how they have a great selection of dresses in every size. Being plus sized myself I know how stressful it was for me thinking about going to try on dresses and never finding anything that fit my body. I completely understand that this is a feeling many brides have, no matter what size you wear. But this is not something you have to worry about when shopping at Everything But The Groom!

Amazing Day Photography - Vendor Spotlight - Everything But The Groom - Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Photographer

 I had been in the store on two previous occasions when planning my wedding (I got my veil from them), and I remember thinking to myself that the environment or feeling in the store was so friendly and relaxed. I think many people feel that wedding dress stores can be stuffy, but this is not the case at EBTG. You can tell the consultants are having a tonne of fun and all love their jobs, and that the clients are truly enjoying their bridal experience. They pride themselves in having dresses for everyone and making every dress buying experience special and unique.

Amazing Day Photography - Vendor Spotlight - Everything But The Groom - Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Photographer

 In talking with Heidi and the girls at the store, I could immediately tell how much they loved their experience of helping a bride find “the” dress. And while the dress buying experience can be stressful, they will help to take all the worries away from you.

Amazing Day Photography - Vendor Spotlight - Everything But The Groom - Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Photographer

 I think one of the things that make Everything But The Groom stand out is their 4 private bridal rooms for you to try on the dresses. In these rooms they have changing rooms, couches, and an open area to come out and see yourself in big floor to ceiling mirrors. You have lots of space, and it’s your own to enjoy for your appointment.

Amazing Day Photography - Vendor Spotlight - Everything But The Groom - Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Photographer

 Everything But The Groom also has a large selection of bridesmaids dresses, mother dresses, as well as prom dresses.

Amazing Day Photography - Vendor Spotlight - Everything But The Groom - Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Photographer

We had a chance to ask Heidi some questions about Everything But The Groom.

 What can brides expect when coming to Everything but the Groom?

We pride ourselves on providing a relaxed, friendly atmosphere where the bride and her entourage can enjoy the dress shopping experience. Our semi-private lounge areas allow brides to feel comfortable and at ease.

Amazing Day Photography - Vendor Spotlight - Everything But The Groom - Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Photographer

 How many years have you been helping brides find "the dress"?

We just celebrated our 11-year anniversary on October 29th!

Amazing Day Photography - Vendor Spotlight - Everything But The Groom - Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Photographer

What kind of bride to you have dresses for?

I would say just about any kind of bride. We always have a sale rack for those that are more budget conscious and we carry a wide variety of destination dresses for those heading to warmer climates. We a so carry an amazing collection of plus size gowns for those brides that are more curvy.

Amazing Day Photography - Vendor Spotlight - Everything But The Groom - Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Photographer

What's your favourite part/moments about weddings?

 I love the moment when the bride appears at the end of the aisle and everyone sees her and her gown for the first time. I love seeing a bride’s personal style reflected by the gown she chose. I also love seeing the look on her grooms face when he sees her for the first time.

Amazing Day Photography - Vendor Spotlight - Everything But The Groom - Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Photographer

 What makes you stand out amongst all the other bridal stores?

 We aren’t afraid to have fun, and it shows. We all love what we do and our customers tell us all the time they love our honesty and our no pressure environment

Amazing Day Photography - Vendor Spotlight - Everything But The Groom - Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Photographer

 What is your best advice for a newly engaged bride trying on dresses for the first time?

Try to limit the number of people that you bring along for the shopping experience. You want to make sure your voice is heard and you get a dress that represents your vision of how you want to look on your wedding day. Too many opinions can be overwhelming for some brides.

Amazing Day Photography - Vendor Spotlight - Everything But The Groom - Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Photographer

 What other services do you offer?

 We also offer bridesmaids, flower girl, and mothers dresses as well as a great selection of veils, jewelry and hair accessories. Our staff also includes 3 seamstresses that can help with alterations to make your dress fit like a glove.

Amazing Day Photography - Vendor Spotlight - Everything But The Groom - Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Photographer

 Where do you see bridal trends going over the next few years?

 I see trends moving towards a simple elegance. Lace will still continue to be strong, but we are also seeing a return to classic fabrics like satin and mikado. The ball gown is also seeing a rise in popularity after a few years of more fitted silhouettes.

Amazing Day Photography - Vendor Spotlight - Everything But The Groom - Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Photographer

Do you Offer customization for the bride that wants something a little different?

Our seamstresses are able to offer custom options to add on to a gown that has already been purchased, however we do not offer custom gowns from scratch.

Amazing Day Photography - Vendor Spotlight - Everything But The Groom - Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Photographer

 What brands of dresses do you sell?

 Mori Lee, Calla Blanche, Alfred Angelo, Blush by Hayley Paige, Madison James, Mon Cheri, Sophia Tolli, Venus and Bonny

Amazing Day Photography - Vendor Spotlight - Everything But The Groom - Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Photographer

 How far in advance do you recommend for a bride to start shopping for her dress?

 I recommend giving yourself 6-8 months. Most dresses take about 4 months to arrive once ordered and then you want to give yourself a comfortable amount of time for alterations.

Amazing Day Photography - Vendor Spotlight - Everything But The Groom - Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Photographer

 What do you love the most about selling wedding dresses?

 Finding the bride's perfect dress and the look on her face when she really sees herself as a bride in that gown.

Amazing Day Photography - Vendor Spotlight - Everything But The Groom - Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Photographer

 If you could meet any wedding dress designer who would it be and why?

I would love to have met Helen Rose. She designed Princess Grace's bridal gown. I love its classic beauty and elegance.

Amazing Day Photography - Vendor Spotlight - Everything But The Groom - Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Photographer

Is there anything else that you would like for people to know about Everything but the Groom?

Wedding dress shopping should be fun! We want to make sure you, and your friends and family have a memorable experience.

Amazing Day Photography - Vendor Spotlight - Everything But The Groom - Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Photographer

Client Feedback

 My experience at Everything But the Groom was great over all. I first met Laura from EBTG at a wedding show, and being a plus size bride I quickly realized that the dress style I had in my head and the dress style that would suit my body were drastically different things. Laura made me feel comfortable and at ease and I never felt like I needed to justify why a dress made me feel like a lump, she just took it away and brought back 2 more options! My mom, grandma and bridesmaids all made several trips to the Everything but the Groom's Salon in Langley after the show and tried on a number of different dresses before we found "the one" - the ladies were always friendly and very helpful with my (many) questions. We actually purchased our bridesmaids dresses through EBTG as well because we found the quality we wanted at a price that wouldn't break the bank! We even got a discount on the girls dresses since I'd purchased mine there. The ladies were great with keeping me updated on the arrival of our dresses and accessories, and I felt informed through the entire process. I would thoroughly recommend any bride, no matter her size, to go to EBTG and work with Laura (she's wonderful) The salon is bright and beautiful, the staff is friendly, and you get that bridal shop experience but free of the snooty or stuffy atmosphere that can sometimes come with them. Happy hunting! - Laura

Amazing Day Photography - Vendor Spotlight - Everything But The Groom - Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Photographer
Amazing Day Photography - Vendor Spotlight - Everything But The Groom - Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Photographer
Amazing Day Photography - Vendor Spotlight - Everything But The Groom - Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Photographer

Everything But the Groom is a delightful boutique bridal shop jam packed with beautiful dress choices! I was thrilled that my unconventional dress dreams could be met and I fell in love with a beautiful caramel gown, well within my budget. I would and have recommended them to other brides I know. I love my dress, and it made for some epic photos in the wind storm that joined us on our day! – Rhea

Amazing Day Photography - Vendor Spotlight - Everything But The Groom - Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Photographer
Amazing Day Photography - Vendor Spotlight - Everything But The Groom - Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Photographer

So when you are looking for “the” dress, make sure you check out Everything But The Groom!

Amazing Day Photography - Vendor Spotlight - Everything But The Groom - Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Photographer

 Phone: 604-534-9474

Address: 20478 Fraser Hwy Langley, BC V3A 4G2

Website: www.everythingbuthegroom.ca

Facebook: www.facebook.com/langleybridal

Instagram: www.instagram.com/everythingbutthegroom

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ebtglangley/pins

Amazing Day Photography - Vendor Spotlight - Everything But The Groom - Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Salon - Langley Wedding Photographer

 

Previous Vendor Spotlights:

 Makeup by Rae

 

Vendor Spotlight - Makeup by Rae

There was a project that I really wanted to work on over the fall/winter. It’s a project that I’ve wanted to do for years! For many reasons, I haven’t been able to put together over the years. But this is the year that I’m going to make it happen. So, this is our first feature story in a blog series that will span the next 6-8 months.

Working in the wedding industry as a photographer, we are usually one of the first vendors that a couple secure for their big day. Often I’m asked for referrals of other vendors that I would recommend for all different parts of their wedding day. So this blog series is all about our preferred vendors. While it’s easy to pass along a name or a business card, I want my clients, followers, and everyone else to learn a little more about these fantastic people that I have met over my 10+ years in the industry.

Our first feature blog post is all about one of our favourite Hair and Makeup Artists: Rae Pelat from Makeup by Rae! I met Rae through a friend and fellow photographer when I was seeking a new MUA for a boudoir marathon that I was having. She told me that not only was Rae’s work amazing, but she was a pretty fantastic woman too. She grew up in North Delta (like me) and we know a lot of mutual people.

Amazing Day Photography - Vendor Spotlight - Makeup By Rae - Langley Wedding Photographer - Fraser Valley Wedding Photographer

The first time we met was in the penthouse suite of a Downtown Vancouver hotel for the boudoir photos. I stuck her in a small bathroom with a small window for the day, as it was the only space I had for her that we were not using for the photos. From the moment I met Rae I adored her. She was fun loving, easy going, professional, and made my clients feel at ease, and I could tell all of this before she even picked up a brush. Over the years I have recommended her for many of my brides and I always get such joy when I see her name on list of vendors that I get before the wedding. We have a running joke that I always seem to get a photo of her with her elbow up in the air and her armpit showing to the world. It’s become a staple shot that I always send to her after the wedding.

Amazing Day Photography - Vendor Spotlight - Makeup By Rae - Langley Wedding Photographer - Fraser Valley Wedding Photographer

When I first approached Rae about this blog post, she was totally game. We brought in a few models to get some great before and after photos, and allow her to show some of her finest work. She also asked if she could bring her pup, Sakura, and have a few photos with her. I’m a sucker for dogs so that was no problem!

Amazing Day Photography - Vendor Spotlight - Makeup By Rae - Langley Wedding Photographer - Fraser Valley Wedding Photographer

So, we sat down and talked about some of the important questions that I felt brides, clients, or anyone in need of a Hair and Makeup Artist might want to know!

What made you want to get into the Hair and Makeup industry?

I've always loved art and painting. I feel it challenges me to be creative with each individual face and personality. I studied business and psychology for 6 years, but I always knew I would have to be doing something artsy and with people to feel fulfilled.

Amazing Day Photography - Vendor Spotlight - Makeup By Rae - Langley Wedding Photographer - Fraser Valley Wedding Photographer

 What’s your favourite part about doing Hair and Makeup for weddings?

Meeting different people and groups of people on and before a wedding day is the best. Helping a bride relax and feel confident walking down the aisle, helping them fulfill their dreams of that perfect wedding moment. It's the happiest day of one's life; how lucky am I to get to be there!?

Amazing Day Photography - Vendor Spotlight - Makeup By Rae - Langley Wedding Photographer - Fraser Valley Wedding Photographer

 What can brides expect from you when they hire you to do their hair and makeup?

OCD attention to detail. I am a perfectionist. I work fast but I have the highest standards for my work. People are trusting me to help them realize a dream and to be a part of creating a very special moment that they will remember for the rest of their life, so I want to honor that no matter what. Personality is huge for me as well. I like getting to know people; their style, vision, what they love, what they don't, everything.

 How would you describe your style?

Versatile, clean, natural. It sounds cliché, but I truly do believe in enhancing one’s natural beauty. I like skin to be flawless, but I don't like putting makeup where it isn't necessary. Don't get me wrong though, I still love a good glam look!

Amazing Day Photography - Vendor Spotlight - Makeup By Rae - Langley Wedding Photographer - Fraser Valley Wedding Photographer

What makes you stand out in the HMUA industry?

I think I have a good combo of personality, creativity, experience and skill. I grew up an ultra sporty girl that wanted nothing to do with makeup, and what later started out as curiosity developed into a driving passion. I believe this allows me to connect and relate to most people. I get the best of both worlds now and could not be more grateful and happy for that.

Amazing Day Photography - Vendor Spotlight - Makeup By Rae - Langley Wedding Photographer - Fraser Valley Wedding Photographer

 Where can you see hair and makeup trends go over the next few years for weddings

It seems as though trends are very cyclical. Trends come back, but in a different/unique way. While pushing the envelope to be different, I still think that the classic ethereal glow, natural waves, soft braids, nude lip with dramatic eye, and winged liner with a bold lip will forever be timeless.

Amazing Day Photography - Vendor Spotlight - Makeup By Rae - Langley Wedding Photographer - Fraser Valley Wedding Photographer

 What’s your favourite part of a wedding day?

I wouldn't say it's a tangible thing that's my favorite. It's definitely the emotion. The excitement and love that surrounds weddings is contagious. Every wedding is as unique as the bride and the people surrounding her.

 Other than weddings, what else do you do hair and makeup for?

Lots of photoshoots: engagement, maternity, boudoir, family, headshots. As well as Halloween events, parties, and simply just because. Also, the occasional Sportsnet event, as well as the Canucks for Kids Foundation Telethon.

Amazing Day Photography - Vendor Spotlight - Makeup By Rae - Langley Wedding Photographer - Fraser Valley Wedding Photographer

 What's in your makeup bag?

I am pretty addicted to trying new products and trends. Over the years I've tested just about everything and have found some staples that I stick by. A few examples are; the Makeup Forever Ultra HD foundation, NARS blush, pretty much every colour of MAC lipstick, the Smashbox Photofinish Primer, Anastasia contour palette, and Voluminous mascara. I also airbrush using MAC foundations.

 What do you like to do on your weekends?

I don't have many weekends free! But any free time I do have is spent on the soccer field. I am the assistant coach of the Douglas College women's soccer team, I coach at Coquitlam Metro Ford Soccer Club, and I play women's premier soccer for Surrey United. Other than that, I love exploring with my dog, Sakura. We go for lots of muddy hikes and swimming at lakes.

Amazing Day Photography - Vendor Spotlight - Makeup By Rae - Langley Wedding Photographer - Fraser Valley Wedding Photographer

 Is there anything else that you want people to know about you and your company?

I’m mobile and have no problem coming to you. Whatever is the easiest and most accommodating. I love a good challenge and I'm open to trying new things. Being in the industry since 2010, my passion for beauty and desire to find the best products and solutions for any and all individual needs or requests has only grown. I also do airbrushing, and yup - everything is waterproof! Not only is it important to create a timeless look, but also a lasting one that will survive the happy tears, the cheek kisses, and the dance floor sweat.

Amazing Day Photography - Vendor Spotlight - Makeup By Rae - Langley Wedding Photographer - Fraser Valley Wedding Photographer

 Client Feedback

 Rae was the best! From the trial to the wedding day, she not only was amazing with make up and hair but she was a comforting, reassuring person in times of my own indecisiveness or uncertainty. She really knew how to make me feel beautiful physically, but also on the inside. She was flexible with my needs and had great suggestions when I asked for her thoughts. Rae is reliable and I would trust her again with my hair and make up for future formal festivities. Bottom line, I totally would refer her to my friends and family! - Julia

One of our fabulous models. Left is Before, Center is the first look, Right is a more glam look.

 Rae was recommended to me by my friend, who also happened to be my wedding photographer, Morgan Green. I was so lucky that Rae was available for my wedding! The first time I met Rae, she was able to come out last minute to do my trial, right before my engagement photos at 7am on a Sunday! I knew then that she was the one! She listened to everything that I was looking for and I felt and looked amazing in my photos. The day of my wedding Rae was right on time and fully prepared. She had great time management skills and I couldn't believe that her and her assistant were able to keep my five bridesmaids, my mom and I all on time. She made us feel comfortable and our hair and makeup looked flawless! Rae has such a welcoming personality and is talented beyond words. I would recommend her to anyone in a heart beat! -Lena

Amazing Day Photography - Vendor Spotlight - Makeup By Rae - Langley Wedding Photographer - Fraser Valley Wedding Photographer

Personally, as someone who doesn’t wear any makeup and most days my hair is in a ponytail, Rae has always made me feel amazing after working her magic. She’s done me up for my brother in laws wedding, headshots, and anniversary photos with my hubby. She makes me look and feel like an enhanced version of myself and I still always feel like me. She listens to what I’m looking for and works with me to ensure that I look great but that I feel completely comfortable, even when I request to wear chapstick instead of lipstick!

Amazing Day Photography - Vendor Spotlight - Makeup By Rae - Langley Wedding Photographer - Fraser Valley Wedding Photographer

So, if you are looking for a down to earth, professional, caring, genuine, and amazing hair and makeup artist look no further than Makeup by Rae!

Website: makeupbyrae.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/makeuprae/

Instagram: www.instagram.com/makeupbyrp/

An Open Letter To My Husband on Our First Wedding Anniversary

After a year and half of planning and organizing we finally were able to say “I Do”. As I sit here the night before our 1st Anniversary I’m reminded of the happiest day of my life and what this year has brought us. 366 days ago I woke up at 6am, no longer able to keep my eyes shut at the excitement of seeing you in only a few short hours. I remember just thinking how much I wanted the next few hours to pass so I could see you all dressed up in your kilt, knowing I was about to become your wife. I remember back to the moment just before we saw each other, I saw you walking up the hill to our ceremony sight with the photographer and I instantly got butterflies in my stomach, just like I use to when we first started dating. As I walked up behind you, the wind blowing my dress all over the place I hoped that the next 12 hours together would last an eternity so I could take in each and every moment as much as possible. As the next few hours passed and we did all our photos, I couldn’t take my eyes off of you. Then it was time for the ceremony. The moment that me made our commitment to be with each other forever, and all the promises that we made to each other. We danced the night away with our friends and family and then that was it… 18 months of planning done in a blink of any eye. I woke up that morning a Hargreaves and went to sleep a Green and I couldn’t be more excited to start the next chapter in our love story together.

The next month brought many happy memories, our honeymoon in Hawaii, visiting with family and friends, and getting our wedding photos back so we could relive our day. Then "normal" set back in. It was back to work for both of us and time to get back into the regular daily grind. Everyone kept asking “so how does it feel to be married?” and my response was always the same, “the same as before the wedding”. Yes I had a new last name, but other than that our lives were much the same as before. I never expected life to change after our wedding, but looking back I am surprised at what the next 11 months brought us.

On our wedding day I truly felt that was the closest that we would ever be, I didn’t think it was possible to love you anymore than I did that day. But as I sit here 366 days later, I love you so much more, but on such a deeper level. Marriage can be hard, it’s something that you always need to work at. Over this past year we’ve had a number of arguments, a few fights, but more importantly we learned how to forgive each other quicker, say “I’m sorry”, and understand each other’s feelings even more. We also learned how to be a husband and a wife to each other.

If you had asked me a year ago what would I have wanted, an easy first year of marriage with rainbows and butterflies or a year of harder conversations and moments of silence, I would have picked the rainbows. However looking back on this past year I’m so glad it wasn’t all rainbows because we learned so much. And each of the moments of forgiveness and understanding brought us even closer together.

So I want to thank you. Thank you for standing beside me in the hard times, always holding my hand, for waking me up at 5:30am just to tell me you love me before you go to work, for always making me dinner and packing my lunch for the next day. For encouraging me to be a better version of myself and for always telling me I’m beautiful. For forgiving me when I’m frustrated and saying things I don’t mean, and for always trying to make me laugh when I’m grumpy. For holding me when I’m sad, and coming to my rescue when I need help. You are my rock, my best friend, my everything. I love you more today than I ever imagined I could and I cannot wait to see what the next 365 days will being us.

So on this day, our 1st wedding anniversary I want you to know how much I love you and how thankful I am for the last 366 days and how excited I am for the next 365!

Photo by  Matt Kennedy

Photo by Matt Kennedy

Stylize Rustic Country Wedding Session - Campbell Valley Park

When we started the re-branding process back in the winter of 2016, we started to think about doing our first stylized sessions. we were so excited when it all started to come together in the spring and reached out to some of our favourite vendors to see if they would be able to help us bring our vision to life.

First, we needed models. I immediately thought of our friends Katie and Grant. I’ve known Katie pretty much from the day she was born, and spent my childhood summers with her and her sister at our cabin. Katie is an amazing dancer and even gave my husband and me lessons before our wedding! I’ve always wanted to get Katie and Grand in front of my camera, and I was so excited when they said yes.

Next was the dress. I knew what style we wanted but didn’t want to pay an arm and a leg. I reached out to some friends to see if anyone was willing to sell me their dresses. In the end I only needed 1-2 dresses but ended up with 6! My husband kept laughing every time I came home with another dress and wanted to know if I was planning some sort of secret vow renewal or something.

Now it was onto the details. What did I want the session to look like? I reached out to Rae from Makeup by Rae to see if she could do the hair and makeup for Katie. I was ecstatic when she was game! I knew I wanted to have a bouquet and boutonniere, and reach out to one of my favourite florists Jerry at Fresh Blooms. The last piece was a small cake! Heather did an amazing job of the cake. It was exactly what I was looking for. 

Then we got to the day! The weather was perfect and I was so excited! We headed off to Campbell Valley Park. I gave Erin the task of holding the cake while we drove, which resulted in many laughs and a number of “slowdowns!”. Once we got to the park, we walked over to the wildflower field and set up. It was so much fun to just explore my artistic side and play around with posing and angles! Katie and Grant ever brought their dog Harley with them and we snuck him into a few photos!

Next we moved over to the other side of the park and switched dresses to a look that was a bit more formal. The sun was setting and giving us the most beautiful glowy sky!

Now, anyone who knows me knows that I’m just as eager to share images with my clients as they are to see them! So it was sooooo hard to hold onto the photos for over 2 months before I could share them with everyone!

We did one more stylized session this summer: a camping themed engagement session! That one will be next up on the blog tomorrow night.

Laura and Steven - Buntzen Lake Engagement Session

Tomorrow is Laura and Steven’s wedding day and we couldn’t be more excited!! I remember back to meeting up with Laura and Steven at Starbucks to talk about their big day, and I knew from that meeting that I really wanted to be their wedding photographer. We sat and talked for almost 2 hours, and it truly felt like I was sitting down with a long-time friend catching up on all the things that had happened over the past few months. I was so excited when she emailed me back and told me that they wanted me to be their wedding photographer!

A week later we met up again on a stormy August day to go through the contract and set up all the details. That was the day of the crazy August 2015 storm which knocked out power to some parts of the Lower Mainland for days! Little did we know at that time that their venue, Redwoods Golf Course, was pulling out all the stops to make sure that the weddings on that stormy weekend went on without a hitch.

Fast forward to May 2016, and we were all set to do their engagement session at Buntzen Lake. It was a beautiful day. Bright and sunny, but not too warm. Laura had mentioned to me a few days before their session how much she wanted to incorporate a vintage couch into their photos. And luckily enough, my husband and I took an upholstery course at The Passionate Home in Langley that past winter and I had just finished refinishing and upholstering a love seat. So we packed the couch up and headed out to the Lake!

It was quite the site to see me walking about with a love seat hoisted above my head, but it was totally worth it! We got to hear a lot about all the amazing details that they were putting into their big day, making us even more excited to be part of their wedding!

So here we are today, less than 24 hours until they are husband and wife. We are so excited to be back at Redwoods Golf Course celebrating amongst Laura and Steven’s Family and Friends!

Our First Blog Post

Our First Blog Post

Come and read the story behind our new name and how we got to today.