I remember the day distinctly. I was meeting with my first wedding clients at Chapters and I was nervous. As I wrapped up the consultation and anxiously tried to convince the couple that they should shop around for other photographers to ensure they were making the best possible choice, I heard my name being called in a wee sweet familiar voice. It was my little cousin Lindsay, and in a moment of serendipity, she exclaimed how much she loved my photography. Perfect timing, and the wedding couple booked. Lindsay mentioned that when the day came she was to get engaged, I would definitely be her wedding photographer. I chuckled, and months later, I got the big news that Andrew had asked her the very important question: Will you? She said YES!
A year ago we photographed Lindsay and Andrew's fall engagement session. This time together allowed us to get to know the two of them on a deeper level than the quick hello's we managed at an annual family function. The weeks leading up to the wedding were exciting. Our family was watching the weather with hope and intent. We prayed for warm breezes and no rain for their outdoor ceremony and portraits. A few days before the wedding was the rehearsal. We all attended the run through of the ceremony and were then invited to Andrew's parents home for a dinner. His family was warm and welcoming and Michael and I sat back and observed in quiet amazement the love that surrounded these two. After eating a delicious home cooked meal and sharing stories, Linds and Andrew presented every person with a special and personalized gift, including Michael and myself. There was an itinerary printed for everyone with the run through of Sunday's events. No detail was overlooked. They had a friend and her boyfriend fly home from Australia for their wedding. Love surrounded them and I know why. To have a friend, you have to be a friend and Lindsay and Andrew are two of the most genuine, loving and thoughtful people I have had the privilege to not only meet, but be related to.
The wedding day arrived. The rain held out and the clouds in the sky offered us the perfect source of diffused light. I arrived to the bride's home, where she was initially disappointed that there were no leaves on their grass to symbolize their fall wedding. When the girls arrived home from the salon, Lindsay was shocked to find her dad had scoured the neighbourhood for fallen leaves and their front grass was piled high with the rich and crimson hues of autumn. As always, the bride's house is more chaotic than the groom's. Michael spent the morning with Andrew, his family and groomsmen. They had lunch and watched Sunday football.
Lindsay's bridesmaids arrived with her in the limo and a second set of girlfriends who were to be the flower girls, arrived with a homemade gift. I have never seen someone so loved. The father of the bride had a private moment with her which I was permitted to photograph. Tears flowed as he saw his little girl in her wedding dress for the first time. Lindsay's girls were naturals in front of the camera. I turned to switch lenses for a mere second and they were all there, posed, beautiful and ready for me. Awesomeness!
There was standing room only at the beautiful Geraldo's covered gazebo. Everyone was smiling and anticipating the arrival of the bride. Andrew stood, looking more handsome than ever with his red hair and crisp suit. He gave Prince Harry a run for his money! Vows were exchanged, photos taken and the reception under way. The rain held off just enough to give us the moody skies we love and we were able to get some of our best wedding photos yet. Great weather, equipment and locations always help a portrait but what really makes a photograph special is the love of the people in it.
The reception was beautiful and personalized. In lieu of favors, the new husband and wife opted to donate to the less fortunate which would allow them to partake in a thanksgiving dinner. Not one person was overlooked during the speeches. Their wedding was more about everyone else than themselves which in turn was reciprocated with heartwarming speeches by guests. Lindsay, a huge fan of country music started her dance with her father to a slow twang, and in the true spirit of our family, ended in an amazing rendition of Footloose; cowboy boots and all. Lindsay surprised Andrew with two songs played to a slideshow; songs that she had spent months in a recording studio perfecting to be played at the wedding. Is there no end to her talents?
The best man weeped tears of emotional joy. When the dancing finally began, the entire floor was packed all night long. The next morning, we had thanksgiving breakfast with my parents and we all chatted about the nights events as we always do after a family event. We are still talking about how fabulous a time we all had and how mature, classy and lovely the bride and groom and all their friends are. Lindsay and Andrew ensured they went to every single table throughout the night to say hello and to greet ever single guest. They are gracious people and most importantly, truly in love. We were honoured to have taken part in their events and cannot wait to share their final images with them.
Here are some of our favourite images from their day. Mr & Mrs Pooks, thank you for allowing us to be part of your love story and we wish you an amazing life together as well as a fabulous honeymoon in Jamaica.
We love you. Always and forever.