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Charmen & Lionel, July 22, 2017

I have known Charmen and Lionel for several years.  They are as generous towards everyone they meet as they are crazy about each other.  I’ve heard stories of the practical jokes and the snark and how they keep each other laughing.  Sure enough, they cracked each other up through the ceremony and the reception.

Now, Lionel absolutely hates being photographed.  I was told early on that I would get “10 pictures” total of him.  Thankfully, I managed to sneak a few more than that but I definitely heard about it at the reception.  Worth it.

Charmen had decorated the reception in classic style with a few dashes of their own personality from the Oilers themed sign for guests to write well wishes as they entered to the “S**t just got real” banner over the dance floor.  I particularly loved the Caesar bar idea where guests could build their own.  Now, Lionel is well known throughout the community so it was a chance for everyone to take a few cracks at him during speeches.  The crowd roared.

By the time I left, the dance floor was packed, wildly dancing to Celtic tunes played by the band, St. James Gate.  Charmen’s eastern roots were showing.  It was fantastic.

Charmen and Lionel, thank you so much for inviting me along to your big day.  I wish you all the best but I’m sure I’ll be seeing plenty more of you!

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Hair:  Cheryl Slade Hair, Eckville

Makeup:  Maisie McClure Makeup Artist, Red Deer

Florals:  Calyx Floral Design, Red Deer

Ceremony Venue:  Wolf’s Botanical, Lacombe

Reception Venue:  Lacombe Memorial Centre, Lacombe

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Tamara & Braedyn, July 15, 2017

Sometimes a day is so full and big that I don’t know where to start, so I’ll sum up Tamara and Braedyn’s wedding day simply – this was a day of amazing details and huge laughter.  I would love to show you all of the images from the entire day but that would be a very long post so I’ve done my best to pick out some favourites to give you an idea.  (I might have cried a few tears for the ones I left out.)

The day was sticky hot but beautiful.  Tamara was so happy that she laughed through the entire ceremony.  It didn’t help that Braedyn tripped up on his vows but as he said later, you know when you tell yourself repeatedly not to say it wrong so you end up saying it wrong?  Yeah.  Those handwritten vows were so beautiful.

We spent the afternoon at Wilson’s Campground on the East side of Gull Lake.  It was the perfect beach for photos as families relaxed in the sand and boats drifted lazily in the background.  We followed that up with a stop at The Wooden Shoe for some ice cream to cool off, then a visit to friends in their super cool barn loft lounge for foosball and snacks.  Somehow between all the play time, we ended up with a lot of portraits.

Later, at the tented reception, I learned that Tamara’s father built not only the head table’s wooden backdrop, but a saloon housing the bar and the backdrop behind the cake.  The head table was permeated with the warm smell of fresh cut wood and it was delicious.  Then, to my surprise, the cake backdrop opened up into a wall of donuts.  Things got even more delicious.

By the time I left at the end of the night, the sky was dark and the tent was lit up with bright lights and wild dancing.  I was hidden in the dark across the yard, snapping a few last photos of that colourful tent scene, when I realized that Tamara and Braedyn had left the party behind to find me and say good-night.  They came across the yard, hand in hand, silhouetted against the lights and laughing together.  It was the sweetest moment.

Tamara and Braedyn, it was wonderful getting to know you and your families through this process.  You are absolutely meant for each other and I hope you laugh together for always.  I’m expecting you for board game night one of these days!

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Dresses:  Elite Bridal, Lacombe

Menswear:  Moores Clothing for Men, Red Deer

Men’s Specialty socks:  www.cufflinks.com

Bridesmaids Make-up:  Nicki Stang

Bride’s Make-up:  Dominique from Beauty Mark Productions, Red Deer

Spray Tans:  Missy Glow, Red Deer

Hair:  Sam Bergeron

FloristShared Seasons Floral Design, Red Deer

Bride’s Ring:  Red Deer Goldsmiths, Red Deer

Groom’s Ring:  Stonebrook Jewelry

Officiant:  Pastor Brian Derksen

Party Bus:  Arrow Limousine, Red Deer

Sound System:  Pfeiffer House of Music, Stettler

Tent & Decor:  Special Event Rentals, Red Deer

Catering:  DIY and the Andrews family

Cake:  Ashten Blain

Donuts:  The Donut Mill, Red Deer

DJ:  On the Mark Productions, Red Deer

 

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Jenn, Healing Hearts

Hi everybody!  I recently met with Jenn, an amazing woman with an enormous heart.  We wanted to craft some genuine, outdoorsy headshots for her passion, Healing Hearts.  I would say more but I’ll let Jenn explain exactly what that is and the significance of the necklace she wears throughout this shoot:

 

“My name is Jenn, and I am the founder of Healing Hearts. I am a wife, a sister, a friend, and a Mother to three beautiful littles here on Earth. I am also a bereaved mother. A small town girl, with a love and passion for women, for bereavement, for caring for others. I am someone who wants to make a difference, even if it is a little bit at a time.

Healing Hearts began in 2014, with a huge heart, and passion for helping others. After experiencing two first trimester losses, and struggling with minimal support, I wanted to find a way to reach out to others, in any way I could.

Healing Hearts began with Care Packages, which have been given out to local hospitals, care centres, and personally to women, and families who have experienced loss. These little packages of love were created to show love, support, and provide resources and information, so that others know, how loved they are, and that they are not alone. In a world where everyone grieves differently, sometimes grieving pregnancy loss is considered socially unacceptable. I am trying to speak up on loss, while providing community support, connection, love and understanding. I am passionate about helping others, and believe that grief is a journey. I offer support for any journey. For any one. No matter how recent, or long ago, Healing Hearts is here for you
Healing Hearts is a continuous growing cause that provides bereavement support, building community, and connections, Care Packages, offering support through community events, such as the Wave of Light, that was co-hosted, A Celebration of Women Event, as well as heartfelt expression, with cards for a cause. With God’s help, I hope to grow this ministry even further.
Through my heart to others – support is here.

The significance of a butterfly:

Our first loss happened in 2011, which was unexpected, and completely devastating. I felt incredibly alone with my feelings, heartbroken at what had happened, and struggled to find the support.

I remember a month after our loss, my husband had gone back to work, out of town, and I had decided to travel with our daughter to Saskatchewan, to visit family. It was November, and already so cold. Seasons in Canada, can be extreme, and I remember that November was snowy and cold. With just a month or so after our loss, I was feeling down, and was randomly searching the internet to keep my mind occupied. I had stumbled upon a quote about a butterfly that really resonated with me, and brought a bit of comfort to my heart. The quote had stated, “A butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam, and for a brief moment, its glory and beauty belong to the world. But then it flies again, and although we wish it could have stayed, we feel so lucky to have seen it.” I really loved that quote, and it reminded me so much of our loss. Although that sweet baby was only here for but a moment, I feel so thankful to have the time I did. A brief moment here, and forever in our hearts. My daughter was napping, so I came upstairs to have some quiet time to reflect alone in the house. My father in law had come in, and I had went to the door to greet him. To my surprise, in the cold of winter, a butterfly flew in the house. Where there shouldn’t have been a butterfly, there was. In the cold, and snow, there was. It was a beautiful moment in my life, one that brought me hope, and filled my heart with love. Butterflies, and that quote, still holds such meaning.

We have experienced two losses, and although nothing can take the hurt away, or the pain we have felt from the losses we have experienced, having that tangible symbol of love has been strength for me on days when my heart feels so heavy. Butterflies bring so much joy to myself, and our family.

This necklace symbolizes my sweet babies in Heaven. A butterfly locket, inside holding two small birthstones, one for each baby. On the back of the locket reads:

Forever in my heart:
10/16/11
9/15/14”

 

If you’re interested in finding out more or connecting with Jenn, follow this link to the Healing Hearts site:  http://www.freetogrieve.com/

Thanks for reading!

 

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