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Melissa & Liam, August 19, 2017

“Is this the most redneck wedding you’ve ever shot?”

I had been laughingly asked this question multiple times by the end of the night by a number of people.  You know what?  This day was a blast.

With an outdoor ceremony and perfect Alberta views in the distance, the day was warm and sunny.   The extremely talented Melissa infused her beautiful day with touches of country life throughout and topped it off with a home-roasted pig on a spit.  I can still smell that aroma.  It was delicious.  Much of the day was homemade, from the decor to the bouquets.  It was very impressive.  I also finally got to meet Liam, the love of Melissa’s life – and his band of rowdy Alberta country boys.  You can’t have one without the other.

It wasn’t an entirely Albertan day, however.  Melissa’s family from Newfoundland joined us as well and brought their own special brand of fun.  By the start of the reception, the Newfies were already searching for a proper fish to ceremonially “screech in” the groom.  (If you’re not sure what that is, you can actually Google it.)  This crowd was enthusiastic all evening and by the end of the reception, even the spunky flowergirl was tearing up the dance floor.

Melissa is the sweetest, most appreciative bride and went out of her way to make every single person there feel special.  She provided each member of the bridal party and then each family member with a special personalized gift and there were plenty of tears for the personalized embroidered handkerchiefs to mop up.  I’m so glad I caught a shot of the gift boxes for each bridesmaid and groomsmen.  They were amazing!  Scroll down and see.  Even the kids were given special activities like crayons and colouring books to stay busy with as “Something to keep you happy when the grown-ups are being reeeaally boring.”

Melissa and Liam, I had the most fantastic time and some serious belly laughs.  Thank you so much for making me feel so included on your day.

*All portraits taken at the Last West Hall in Bluffton

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Dresses:  Novia Mia Bridal, Red Deer

FloristDIY

Officiant:  Sonya McAlphin

Rentals:  Special Event Rentals, Red Deer

Ceremony & Reception Venue:  Last West Hall, Bluffton

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Elyse & Johan Farm E-Session in Autumn

Autumn in Alberta is beautiful but first, you have to catch it.  We rescheduled around snow in order to get this beautiful sunny evening – just in time before the foliage started to fade, too.

Elyse and Johan are planning a winter wedding but first, wanted to catch some warmer days for their engagement session.  We met at Johan’s family farm where there were fun textures and colours around every corner.  We had already met for coffee but it was fun seeing these two in their element, enjoying the outdoors and each other’s company.  Elyse and Johan are both thoughtful, kind individuals and it was so easy to keep them laughing.

I really enjoyed our afternoon together and I can’t wait to see your wedding come together.  At the rate that the months are flying by, I’ll be seeing you both again very soon!

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Roze & Cody, August 11, 2017

I was riding in Cody’s pick-up truck down an extremely bumpy mountain road in the middle of the woods west of Sundre.  Packed on either side of me was a groomsman and my camera gear was bouncing in my lap.  The getting ready portion of the day had wrapped up and everyone looked fantastic.  Back at the Lodge, the ladies were preparing to strap into the helicopter that would take them to the ceremony.  These good old country boys had loaded into the truck and Cody was behind the wheel.  At every gravelly intersection and turn-out, the boys teased Cody, “Turn left!  It’s your last chance to turn around!”  Cheddar finally drawled, “He ain’t going to turn around.  He’s in love.”  Cody quietly smiled into the rearview mirror.

Cody and Roze had picked out a mountain ledge with an incredible view for their ceremony.  Cody had been working in this area for years and seemed to know every nook and cranny.  Once the guests had taken their seats, the helicopter appeared carrying the bride and her bridesmaids and landed in a clearing nearby.  After many years together, two beautiful children, and a lot of planning, it was time to make their vows.

I overheard guests saying that it was the most beautiful ceremony they had ever seen.  Between the view and the sunshine, I have to agree.

We helicoptered up to Ice Lake nearby for some private portraits of Cody and Roze.  As we circled the lake for a landing, the water was so rippled with fish  that it almost looked like rain falling on the surface.  We were really out in the wild.  This was followed up with straddling the steep ledge at the Ya-Ha Tinda waterfall with the entire bridal party for some incredible portraits.

The reception was held in a converted hay shed complete with a dance floor and string lights.  That fresh mountain air made the steaks taste even better and the speeches more emotional.  Every few minutes, one of the guests (usually a kid fueled by the candy bar) would strike the “Kissing Bell” hanging overhead in the center of the dance floor and the bride and groom would have to kiss.  Following speeches, their daughter, Bailey, shyly sang “You Are My Sunshine” into the microphone and brought down the house.  She is adorable.  By the end of the night, the sun had disappeared and the entire hay shed was lit only by the Edison bulbs and DJ lights.  The dance floor was smudged with gravel dust and the place was rocking.

Cody and Roze, thank you for the amazing time and of course, for my first ever helicopter ride!  Your wedding day was an adventure and it turned out absolutely beautifully.

*All portraits taken at Ice Lake, The Lodge at Panther River, and Ya-Ha Tinda Falls

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Dresses:  Your Wedding Place, Red Deer

Menswear:  Jones Boys Saddlery & Western Wear, Red Deer

Hair:  Heather Rodenburg

FloristFlowers For You, Ponoka

Rings:  Michael Hill

Rentals:  Special Event Rentals, Red Deer

Catering, Helicopter Service, and Reception Venue:  The Lodge at Panther River, Sundre

DJ:  On the Mark Productions, Red Deer

 

 

 

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Amy cheng - What a magical day! I can’t believw they came in a helicopter, that’s a day to remember! Amazing photos of them by the waterfall and lake – canvas worthy!!!!

Raelene Schulmeister Photography - This day looked like so much fun!! Congratulations to the bride, groom and their families!!