I have a lot of words, but I don’t have enough words or at least the right ones for this wedding.
Since the moment I pulled up in front of this house, I have been been writing this blog post in my head. You see, I had just made the 3 hour drive in pouring rain and howling winds. It was 7 degrees. It was not an ideal day. But as soon as I stopped the car in front of the house, I looked at Richelle, my assistant, and said, “I feel like I am home”.
That feeling stayed with me all day.
Even though I had met Melissa before when she was a bridesmaid, I didn’t really know her. Since she lives in Regina with Justin, we didn’t get a chance to meet before the wedding to talk about the wedding. We chatted through emails and over the phone a few days before the wedding and I felt as though I knew her already.
When I walked inside the house, the most beautiful bride, bridesmaids and details were waiting for me. There are too many photos in this post, I know. It’s going to be cumbersome to load and takes up so much space, but try as I might, I could not narrow down any further. I want to show the whole day. I love what I do, and I know every wedding I photograph shows that, but this wedding, it was something else. Everyone radiated kindness and love. It was almost too much to handle.
Every detail was beautiful but not over the top. The house we were standing in being one that Melissa’s Dad had helped to restore. The amount of care and pride that was evident in the house carried through every part of the day. Beautiful and classic but not showy. Sweet as sugar, just like Melissa herself.
I took a few minutes and popped over to visit the boys as they were getting ready at Melissa’s parent’s house. On wedding days the men have it way easier than the ladies, so I found everyone just hanging out, playing their games and chatting. When we walked in the room I knew right away we were in good hands. Friendly and kind, these Groomsmen were going to be terrific all day. I had no idea just how terrific they would actually turn out to be.
Melissa met Justin at a wedding – when a projector ‘didn’t work’ and the handsome new RCMP Officer in town got called into service to help fix it. A fortuitous meeting thanks to some questionable electronics or some scheming friends. It would be hard to find the rights to that story 😉
Back at the house, hair and makeup were finished and it was time to put on Melissa’s gorgeous WTOO by Watters gown. She found the dress at Ever After Bridal Boutique in St. John’s, and it was like it was made for her. I have seen a lot of wedding gowns and I am going to go out on a limb here and tell you that this one was my favourite wedding dress I have ever seen- not just photographed. The lace reminds me of my childhood, the understated simplicity with just the right feminine touches makes it absolutely stunning. Melissa joked on the phone that there wasn’t much to the dress. I had visions in my head of what it could look like- it actually looked like a dream.
The gifts Melissa gave the girls were unique because they are made in Regina where her and Justin live. It was special for her to explain Sparkle Balls to the girls as they opened them. They are absolutely beautiful. I hadn’t heard of them before, but I am obsessed with the website! So many gorgeous things!
Seriously, how could she be more beautiful. And that dress. There is nothing like that dress.
I am so proud to say that my friend Alison, who owns The Grapevine, in Clarenville, is an amazing florist and understood Melissa’s vision for her flowers through email. This bouquet was amazing. I have an affinity for the feeling, smell and look of a lush fresh floral bouquet and she really outdid herself with this one!
I love shooting at Bonavista United Church. Reverend Amanda is among the nicest clergy I have ever met. You know she is genuinely excited to be with her couples as they marry, and her calm and happy demeanor is exactly what weddings call for.
I could have sat and watched Melissa and Justin’s faces all day. The two of them are the most expressive – and there is nothing but love on both of their faces the entire day. You will see…
Our photo time had one false start. We planned to head toward the Mockbegger Property for photos. What we hadn’t factored into our plans was that it was Canada Day, and everyone in Bonavista had also headed there for the festivities! So we did what you do when you need to regroup – we went home!
This photo cracks me up. I was so busy focusing to make sure that the girls flowers and the guys hands were right, that I missed something. As soon as you see it, you won’t unsee it! (Justin’s mom and Aunt are hilarious!)
I had spotted this iceberg on our first trip to Mockbegger and there was no way I couldn’t go back to find it. When we thought the crowds might have thinned, we headed back that way. It was bitterly cold out. It was incredibly windy, and it was still only 7 degrees. There ‘wasn’t much to’ Melissa’s dress so I didn’t count on having a lot of time to do what I wanted to do. But she didn’t even utter a single peep of complaint.
These Groomsmen. We started calling them Bridesmaids because, well, they were the most attentive people alive. From fixing veils to fluffing dresses to holding lighting gear when Richelle wasn’t quite tall enough, they were there. Truly amazing duo of men.
Suddenly the cold got too much for everyone. Everyone was freezing. My fingers didn’t want to work the dial on the camera anymore. It was July 1st, so of course, I hadn’t packed gloves or hand warmers (or pants for that matter). So Melissa suggested that we go into the twine loft, I was both elated and apprehensive. My family has one too – not far from Bonavista and it’s daaaark up in there. But this? Next to Southern California, it might be my favourite place on earth.
Our plan was to head out to Cape Bonavista to do photos by the flakes. Now, funny back story here. First when I picked up photography as a hobby, about 487 years ago, I drove to Bonavista and took photos of these flakes. It was a grey day. I drove home. Had the photos processed and showed my Dad. Always one for constructive criticism, that guy, he says, “Well, I just don’t know.”
He better know now!
Things looked a whole lot more interesting on this day! Even if it was still grey!
With fingers numb (I am not even kidding), we drove back to the reception!
A few years ago, when Stephanie (the dark haired Bridesmaid) got married, Melissa was her bridesmaid. When Melissa suggested that we go up to the White Rock, which overlooks Bonavista, I was all for it. She wanted a photo that overlooked Bonavista to hang on the wall. Because were were later getting away than we had planned, it was a lot darker than we had planned. So, as I always do when faced with a scenario that frightens the life out of me, we did in anyway.
I am going to have one of these printed for my office wall and hope that Melissa and Justin will hang one on their wall too.
Melissa and Justin, you are amazing. Two truly special people. Just seeing you together made my heart happy. Having the privilege of photographing your wedding is something I am grateful for. If there was ever anyone that I would stand in the rain and cold for, it would be you, seven days a week and twice on Sundays. I hope you love your images as much as I loved making them.
All the love,