2801 days. That’s how long I’ve loved you. On Saturday, September 22, 2018, I finally married the love of my life after almost 8 years together. Unknowingly at the time, choosing the date of the autumn equinox, it was meant to be; the perfect day of the year for both of us as summer/autumn cusp lovers. Since before we even got engaged, we knew the day would me mint infused somehow..much to our surprise, less than we thought it would be ;)
Anyone who’s known me long enough or follows the blog knows my love for Katelyn James. She has been my business idol since before I started my company, and 99% of what I’ve learned comes from her. Max followed me all the way to Virginia in 2014 when I attended a workshop in her home and met her and Michael for the first time. I was so excited to finally hold her baby girl when I saw her again at the United 2017 conference in Arizona. When imagining my own wedding day, I saw no other option to capture my memories. I am obviously a little bias, being a wedding photographer, but when you love someone’s work so much, I didn’t want to look back on that with “what ifs.” We drove all the way to Richmond, Virginia for our engagement session back in June I was BEYOND excited to see her again.
This day was everything I imagined it could be, as well as nothing I could have ever dreamed of. They say this was the worst to hit Ottawa since the ice storm of 1998, want to know the irony? My parents moved during the great ice storm of ’98. I was four. They sent out a tornado watch…that’s fine, we get those occasionally and it’s nothing but wind. It upgraded to a tornado warning, same thing, we’ll live. I don’t think Ottawa was ready for what was about to happen next. A few actually came for us. I was in the middle of getting my nails done when the power went out. Mom and I, being the MacGivers that we are, ran an inverter from the car in order to finish my shellac manicure. I had intended to go back to the club for more setup, but nothing happened as planned. Luckily, my groom and his amazing groomsmen were all over it.
What I was most worried about is that our church was MINUTES from where I knew the tornadoes grounded and had heard that there were houses down. We had no power all night. I woke up in complete darkness…and to my complete and utter shock, completely calm. Anyone who knows me knows I’m a complete type-A control freak, and against my will, assumed that’s how I would be on my wedding day. I’m not sure I had ever felt this calm in my life, I didn’t know myself as we started heading to Amy’s. My lovely bridesbabe, Nicole (past NA bride) showed up at 6am to load some things into the car since she couldn’t sleep. As we trekked over to Amy’s we tried to figure out what we would do, as she didn’t have power as well. Within the half hour, she found her brother-in-law with a generator who drove it over, so thanks SO MUCH to all of you.
A little late, but within the hour, we were getting our hair and makeup done. Cassidy and Katelyn showed up and I was so excited for the day to begin, not knowing how the rest of the day entailed. As I described it to many guests, it was actually really lovely to have the bar set so low. Somehow, my hair was done. Everything else was a bonus. I wanted them shoot details, as a photographer would, swooning over everything they did. They kicked me out in order to retain some surprises ;) We got ready in Amy’s dreamy simple white bedroom (you can’t tell the homeowner is a photographer either, right?!) My girls were GORGEOUS and Nicole’s daughter, Katie was the CUTEST. She also stole the show, which I was perfectly happy with sharing. Isabelle’s boyfriend scavenged for more generators because the club was out of power for the reception space, so thank you Ben!! Somehow, the venue closest to the destruction, the church, still had power.
We shared our first look at Lac Deschênes Sailing Club, the place where Max spent his childhood growing up, learning to sail, and later, sharing his passion teaching other kids how to sail. In true wedding fashion, I aerate the lawn in my Badgley Mischka high heels as I ran over to see him. I thought I would be crying all day; I wasn’t a happy crier until I met him, he broke me; but I was perfectly contained. We embraced, as he told me of all that his morning contained. We toured our stunning reception tent, and I had to take a few of my down detail photos – as I do ;)
We drove to St. Isidore in a similar white convertible BMW 325i that he used to own, of course, having to stop for gas in the pandemic that was everyone stopping for gas. Fortunately, I think everyone found it quite amusing and let the bride in. Falling in love with this bright, airy church after photographing Alison + Stewart’s wedding there in 2016. Fr. Shaun, my grandmother’s cousin, married us in a church that has a family history. My great-great grandfather married there as well. I walked down the aisle, towards the love of my life. It all went so fast, but I held his hand as I looked at him and realized just how hard we were both trying to really take in the whole mass.
We headed to the portrait location we had scoped out weeks before (photographer problems) and again, wasn’t the angle I had in mind – but Katelyn does as Katelyn does and creates dreamy photographs in any circumstance possible. I LOVED how excited our families were just for Katelyn and Michael to show up, showing us how they really truly listened to all that I love and have began to follow Katelyn as well. We practically did all of our portraits in one spot, as Katelyn does. It was SO much fun, barefoot and all. We sent the wedding party to cocktail hour as we headed to one more quick portrait spot – our old BMW cruising grounds of Old Carp Road. We wanted to replicate the autumn DIY business portraits that we had created in 2016.
We were late to the reception because we got caught up in photos, but it worked out for the better as cocktail hour had somehow been delayed as well. We made our entrance in the convertible as we drove around to the waterfront and got out of the car. It was a bit chilly but we danced the night away in our intimate tent. We felt the love of our family and family friends all around, traveling from Calgary, Massachusetts, Virginia, and California to be with us. Carla, of Capital Florist made my dream reception space come to life. I remember every since detail of that day, but I’m SO excited to see the videography from a unique standpoint. We danced the night away until there were only six of us left on the dance floor at 1am. Thank you to EVERYONE who made this day possible. I don’t know how I could have done it without you.
Stay tuned for our surprise honeymoon that my HUSBAND planned all on his own!!
Looking at all or nothing, babe it’s you and I.
Original post as seen on Katelyn James’ blog. We’re on the KJ blog!!!
Katelyn James Photography
Peaking Zebra Productions
Wax Seals / illume Silk Ribbons
Simply Steph Ko
Bride & mother of the bride
St. Isidore Catholic Church
Lac Deschênes Sailing Club
Fr Shaun O’Connor,
1st cousin 1r of bride
Linens & Rentals:
Mastermind Event Rentals
mother of the groom & friends
bistro café string lighting
Bride & mother of the groom
Stella York from
With Love Bridal Boutique
Veils & Headpieces:
Jennifer Leigh from
With Love Bridal Boutique
Katie with Klava Zykova artists
pink Sapphire ring
Mary’s Cookie Art
Sarah Walsh Bridal
Pomp And Valor
Willow Grace Bridal
La Mode Fine Jewellers
Tuxedos & Men’s Attire:
groom’s vintage BMW
Sarah Burns Prints