Melanie and James got married at the Idylwylde Golf course. (I hope I spelled that correctly!) I hadn't been there since I golfed there as a very young lad during the Grade 6 days. Returning after all of these years, I was first shocked at how it was noticeably one of the most beautiful landscaped properties in all of Sudbury. The scenery was the perfect backdrop for wedding. It was plain to see that much thought was placed in all of the details, little and big, and you could feel that this day was very important - that these two coming together was worthy of a really big celebration. It meant so much for the couple, but it also meant a lot for these two big families. I never once forgot about the privilege I had to be there up close to witness each and every special moment that took place over the course of the entire day. It's a privilege that can easily be overlooked as what we wedding photographers are performing a job first and foremost. But keeping that humble thought in the back of one's mind is important as you always want to capture the day in a pure, unselfish manner that is from the couple's point of view, not necessarily with the mindset of endowing one's portfolio.
Most Sudbury couples I photograph fall into two groups. One: they met in Sudbury, they get married in Sudbury, and are going to start a life together in Sudbury. The other group is, needless to say, but I'll say it anyways, the kind that meet outside of Sudbury, but get married in Sudbury because family is primarily in Sudbury, but continue their lives together outside of Sudbury. (That was a lot of Sudburys in that paragraph!)
Ashley and Adam almost seem to have a category of their own. Adam is English. Ashley is Canadian, but she works all over the world. Adam works all over the world as well. They might not be planted in once place, but their grounding is certainly found in each other. It was pretty awesome to see these two put together a wedding that put Canadians and English all under one roof adding in a blend of visual global cultures that represented their many travels together. As a Sudburian that is closed off from these cultures, the day was a refreshing experience. (And as someone that has a real appreciation for different accents, I should add that it was a bit of a treat to work with all-English groomsmen.)
It's no secret, I think, that wedding photography has it's perceptions as being accompanied with hard work and high pressure. We photographers are often times up against the clock, the weather or other unforeseen complications. When any one of those factors clash, its easy for anxiety and stress to rear its ugly head. And in the case of Michelle and Kyle's wedding, that could have easily been the case. With an outdoor wedding planned at Science North and the skies bringing nothing but heavy rain, it could have put a real damper on everyone's spirits.
Initially, Michelle and her bridal "team" were kept safe and dry in a beautiful, naturally lit dinning space which provided the perfect photographic backdrop for her hair, make-up, portraits and even first look session (which was originally planned for outdoors at Science North).
Amazingly, the rain ceased and the skies opened up in time for some pre-ceremony outdoor portraits at Science North. I have the photo evidence below! And just as fast as the rain came, it re-appeared again some time after we had already gone indoors for shelter to conduct the ceremony as well as the reception in the cavern. I've seen many a bride cross their fingers and mentally will that the rain would stop just for the sake of their photos. It your wedding day starts with rain, give it try - it doesn't hurt, and it often works quite effectively!
For any of you that dislike the idea of having your photos done at Bell Park because it's cliche, take a glance at (most) of these photos and remember that the people in the photos are what make the photo, not necessarily the environment. Just overlook the flowery 2016 proposal garden photo and hopeful my point gets across! lol
But what a fun couple to work with. They were willing to entertain my silly ideas. They got wet and went into the water. They even humoured me by going along with my bubble gum idea even though they are not really into bubblegum anyways. But they thought it would be fun and now they have some fun photos to mark this chapter in their lives together. Congratulations on your engagement, you two. Looking forward to making some great photos together on your wedding day come this November!
I'm so honoured to be the official family photographer of this family. I've shot everything from their engagement photos, announcement cards, maternity, boudoir, infant and now family photos! (the wedding was in Italy otherwise I'm pretty sure I could have added that to the list!) What a long ride to look back and see where they've come. I love you guys. Can't wait to see what new photos we'll be shooting together in the coming years!