Holy Moly! 2018 Vancouver Island Wedding Industry Awards - (Winners!!)

2018 Vancouver Island Wedding Awards winners of Best Overall Wedding Photographers, Best Candid Photo, and Best Group Photo! Wew wew!

We clean up alright.

We clean up alright.

We’ve been living on Vancouver Island for about 2 and a half years now, and it’s been such an amazing experience. Matt was raised in a small town in northern BC, and Sayde grew up in the country in Southern Ontario, so needless to say: small town island life suits us very well!

Aside from the laid back, outdoor lifestyle of Island life, we’ve fallen in love with the community here. The wedding industry community most of all! Even though there are sooo many talented wedding vendors in Victoria area, and all over Vancouver Island, there is a huge sense of support, encouragement, and inclusiveness.

Every year talented wedding industry professionals gather to celebrate the year, enjoy a night out, and indulge in delicious food and drinks at the Vancouver Island Wedding Awards! As the day of the awards drew closer we got more and more excited to enjoy our first date night in 10 months. This year was our first year attending the awards show, and we could not have been more excited to see and mingle with all the vendors we’ve gotten to know.

As parenthood, self employment, and a career in the wedding industry have taught us: things don’t always go according to plan and you need to adapt and roll with it! Half way through the evening parenthood duty popped up I had to leave quickly to pick up our sick babe at the sitter, leaving Matt solo for the awards half of the evening.

I spent the rest of the night driving around to soundly keep our daughter asleep, until it came time to pick up Matt. A heavy armed Matt walked out to the car carrying three white boxes, three bottles of wine, and three envelopes. At first I thought maybe we won some door prizes, until Matt opened each box which housed a glass diamond: Best Candid Photo, Best Group Photo, and Best Overall Wedding Photographer. I ALMOST FELL OVER! Matt also told me that we also placed as finalists for Best Wedding Couple Photo and Best Engagement Photo.

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I was instantly emotional for so many reasons..

This year was our wildest year so far; personally and in business! We welcomed our first baby in January, have had more weddings, and more travel than any year to date! This year of baby-obsession, challenges, lessons, excitement, and perseverance-through-sleep-deprivation has been our most fulfilling year, but in the haze of business its easy to second guess yourself and wonder if you’re doing the best job that you could be. Happy clients who love and cherish their photos is what we live and work so hard for as business owners, and these awards feel great to have acknowledgement that our photographs, perspectives, and creativity is translating with clients, other wedding professionals, and other creatives.

We’re so thankful to have the best, trusting clients! We can’t wait to finally have the time in our slower season to start posting more of the blogs from their weddings this year. Until then, here are our winning images!

2018 Winners of the “Best Candid Photo”  award from the Vancouver Island Wedding Industry Awards

2018 Winners of the “Best Candid Photo” award from the Vancouver Island Wedding Industry Awards

2018 Winners of the “Best Group Photo”  award from the Vancouver Island Wedding Industry Awards

2018 Winners of the “Best Group Photo” award from the Vancouver Island Wedding Industry Awards

2018 Finalist for “Best Couple Photo”  award from the Vancouver Island Wedding Industry Awards

2018 Finalist for “Best Couple Photo” award from the Vancouver Island Wedding Industry Awards

2018 Finalist for “Best Engagement Photo”  award from the Vancouver Island Wedding Industry Awards

2018 Finalist for “Best Engagement Photo” award from the Vancouver Island Wedding Industry Awards

For the “best overall wedding photographers” category, there isn’t any single image alone that wins this title…it’s more an assessment of the total of the work you produce, so for this photo we have simply chosen a few images as figureheads to represent the award. They are also some of our favourites of the year!

2018 Winners of the “Best Overall Wedding Photographers”  award from the Vancouver Island Wedding Industry Awards

2018 Winners of the “Best Overall Wedding Photographers” award from the Vancouver Island Wedding Industry Awards

2018 Winners of the “Best Overall Wedding Photographers”  award from the Vancouver Island Wedding Industry Awards

2018 Winners of the “Best Overall Wedding Photographers” award from the Vancouver Island Wedding Industry Awards

2018 Winners of the “Best Overall Wedding Photographers”  award from the Vancouver Island Wedding Industry Awards

2018 Winners of the “Best Overall Wedding Photographers” award from the Vancouver Island Wedding Industry Awards

Matt had to accept the awards on his own since I was gone with our sicky babe, but I think he brought enough personality to the winners’ photobooth for the two of us!

We hope you love the images, and please get in touch if you’d like to discuss your wedding day photography, or anything else!

A Sunny Next Day Wedding Portrait Session at Pitt Lake // Mel and Matt

Melanie and Matt explore Pitt Lake during their wedding portrait session in Pitt Meadows // Victoria Wedding Photographers

If you saw our blogs of Melanie and Matt's engagement session and wedding, you know how both featured Mel and Matt smiling and celebrating through some very heavy rain. West coast, wet coast!  Sure, it's fun to dance in the rain, but it's also nice to celebrate love in the sun and warmth.  When the opportunity came to do a portrait session with Mel and Matt again at Pitt lake in the summer, we jumped on it!  We loooove "next day shoots" (well, for Mel and Matt it was more of a "next season" shoot"), when the couple dresses up in their wedding attire and heads out for another portrait season.  It means we can spend time with them without the constraints of timeline, pressure to return to guests, and more freedom to pick days and times where the weather might be more favourable and the light is just right.  What a day we picked for Mel and Matt, the weather was the complete opposite, the location was just as gorgeous as their wedding location, and Mel and Matt were looking as stunning as ever!

Here are some of our favourites:

Sunset Engagement Session at Sandcut Beach // Elizabeth & Will

Victoria Wedding Photographers // Exploring the rocky Sandcut Beach on Highway 14. 

Fewer things in this world are nicer than a Westcoast sunset at the beach, so when Elizabeth and Will suggested doing their engagement session at Sandcut Beach, just north of Sooke, we were all about it!  It's become one of our favourite island spots since moving over from the mainland. 

The walk down to the beach crosses over boardwalks through mossy forest, through tunnels of enormous west coast trees, up root-covered hills, and finally, descends down a staircase that emerges onto a beach covered in large rocks.  As the waves lap at the shore you can hear the peaceful repetitive chatter of the stones rolling out with the waves. 

This evening at the beach was no exception to the beauty we've come to know of Vancouver Island's west coast beaches. Elizabeth and Will wandered the beach hand in hand, traipsing over rocks and logs, up onto waterfall ledges, and basically anywhere I pointed.  We love adventurous couples!  The waterfall was a bit low on water, but it gave us the opportunity to explore the river pools and grooves in the rocks up above the falls.

We ended the shoot just as the sun dipped below the horizon, heading back into the dark trail to the parking lot.  It was an awesome evening!  Thanks, Liz & Will! 

Intimate Wedding at Wild Renfrew and Botanical Beach in Port Renfrew // Holly and Alessandro

Holly and Alessandro host their nearest and dearest at Wild Renfrew for their wild and intimate Botany Beach Wedding Ceremony // Victoria Wedding Photographers

Since moving to Sooke on Vancouver Island a couple years , Port Renfrew quickly became one of our (if not our most) very favourite places.  A quiet, rugged, wild, and mysterious pocket of coast line takes the breath away of every visitor. Winter storms are dramatic, wildlife is abundant, and the landscape is humbling. Our first trip there was a cold and grey November day as huge green waves crashed against layers of black angular lava rock. Like liquid glass colliding against a book of razors. We could only stand there and stare, mouths agape. Just around a bend from there, a short hike through twisted cedars, sitkas and firs, is a smooth refuge of flat beach, sheltered from ocean winds and pock marked by tide pools that teem with sea life.  One doesn't need to wonder why Holly and Alessandro, geologists, would choose this on all places to host their family for their intimate wedding. 

Holly and Ale got ready for their day at the Wild Renfrew cabins, overlooking the Port of San Juan, and mountains filled with new and ancient growth forests.  As a small group, their friends and family walked down to Botany Bay and gathered closely for their ceremony officiated by an inviting and humourous  Port Renfrew local Reet Buckler.  Eagles soared overhead, sea lions played in the kelp bed, and waves crashed rhythmically on the rocks.  After the ceremony and champagne, we stole away with Holly and Ale to explore the coast more for some adventurous portraits.

Thank Holly and Ale for having us there to be a part of your beautiful, natural, an intimate day. We hope you love the photos!

Intimate Spring Wedding at Stanley Park Pavilion // Hilary & Chris

Hilary and Chris host their intimate spring wedding at one of Vancouver's most iconic wedding venues, Stanley Park Pavilion // Victoria Wedding Photographers

It's iconic, it's romantic, it's timeless, it's subtly grand. Stanley Park Pavilion is one of Vancouver's most recognizable and desirable wedding venues. Plunked in the middle of Stanley Park in downtown, it feels like a remote destination. It's no wonder that Hilary and Chris wanted this gorgeous property to host their classic wedding. 

Hilary and Chris started for their day at Westin Bayshore, with views of downtown, Burrard Inlet, the North Shore mountains and Stanley Park.  After a sweet first look, we ventured over to Stanley Park, where Chris proposed, for photos before their intimate, indoor, standing ceremony by the pavilion's beautiful fireplace.  After the vows were exchanged, and the champagne popped, it was time to party!  A very special musical performance kicked off the celebration, followed by dinner and speeches and a whole lot of dancing!

Thank you Hilary and Chris for having us there to celebrate with you! We hope you love the photos! 

Thank you to our second shooter, Laura Scotten for your help that evening!

Stanley Park Engagement Session // Jane & Joseph

Jane and Joseph stroll the Seawall and explore the Stanley Park Gardens in Vancouver // Victoria Wedding Photographers

Wowee! Spring was fabulous, but summer has made a booming arrival!  What gorgeous weather we've been having. On days like these, we love to stroll somewhat aimlessly, check out the sights, play tourist, and take in the long days. That's just what we did with Jane and Joseph during their Stanley Park engagement photos! he park was abuzz with tourists and locals like, as we wandered from the Aquarium, to the gardens, and then the Seawall. It was a perfect day for people watching and flower gazing as we stopped to admire the rhododendrons, azaleas, roses, and alliums all around the park. All the while we chatted, giggled (and twirled!!) with Jane and Joseph, and took the opportunity to chat about them, their upcoming wedding and their excitement for their big day! 

Thank you Jane and Joseph for taking a easy breezy Saturday stroll with us during your engagement photos, we had a blast!

 

Prestige Oceanfront Resort Wedding in Sooke // Candice and Mike

Candice and Mike's rainy west coast outdoor wedding at Prestige Oceanfront Resort in Sooke // Victoria Wedding Photographers

When people think of the west coast, they often think "wet coast", which is veeeerry accurate during the fall, winter, and spring months.  Candice and Mike's wedding was so iconic west coast that it couldn't have been staged better: a couple who loves adventure and travel (check), an outdoor oceanfront ceremony (check), views of towering trees, a low fog settling over the Olympic mountain range (check), an eagle soaring overhead (check), and of course, a warm spring rain (check!!).  That's the great thing about a wedding at The Prestige, you get a taste of everything! It's one of the reasons Matt and I love living in Sooke so much too!

Candice, Mike and their guests embraced everything wet coast and were all smiles and laughs during their outdoor ceremony, cocktails, and pebbly beach portraits. The laughter and fun continued at their indoor reception with speeches, dancing and a whole lot of fun in the photobooth!

Thanks so much, Candice and Mike for having us there to celebrate with you! We hope you love the photos!

Lone Tree Hill Engagement Photos in Victoria // Samantha and Chris

Sam and Chris hike Lone Tree Hill for incredible sunset views during their engagement photos // Victoria Wedding Photographers

Oh my gosh, this weather!!  After 2 weeks of rain in Victoria, it seems we're finally having a taste of spring and a hint of summer.  The day the clouds broke we ventured out to celebrate the sun by doing Samantha and Chris' engagement photos at Lone Tree Hill.  Not only did we have unbelievable light, accompanied by stunning views, but we had great time chatting and exploring with Sam and Chris. It was refreshing to watch their lighthearted, silly, authentic connection as they romped around the hill and cliff edges, flirting and laughing the whole time. It all felt so very summer!  

We can't wait to watch how much fun these two are going to have during their Saanich wedding in June!

Shawnigan Lake Engagement Photos // Jacqui and Sean

Packers fans unite as Jacqui and Sean romp and dance around Shawinigan Lake during their sunset engagement photos // Victoria Wedding Photographers

It's been almost two years since we moved to Vancouver Island, and we've felt at home since we got here!  We've met so many great people, and experienced so many new and wonderful places. One of our favourite things to do is to find out about and explore a new-to-us place that is a long time love of our couples. We've heard so many great things about Shawnigan Lake and it's always been on our radar to visit, but it was even better to head there to do engagement photos for Jacqui and Sean, who have Shawnigan Lake summers near and dear to their hearts.

They brought us to Shawnigan Wharf Park near their parents' house to walk the decommissioned train track trail, and watch sunset over the lake. We had a great time photographing as these two romped around the park, danced on the dock and then donned their Packers jerseys and cheese-heads for some laughs. We really caught a glimpse of Jacqui and Sean's dynamic, what makes them such a great couple, and so fun to be around.

We can't wait for their Bear Mountain wedding!

Pender Island Engagement Photos at Magic Lake // Hilary and Chris

Hilary and Chris have a wine picnic at Medicine Beach on Pender Island and hang around their cabin during their sunny springy engagement photos // Victoria Wedding Photographers

One of our favourite goals we've made over the past couple years is to do a lot of island hopping of the Gulf Islands, for fun and for work so we can explore more of island life.  We've seen and photographed weddings and engagements on Salt Spring, Thetis, Galiano, and now Pender, thanks to Hilary and Chris who invited us there to their cabin to explore and do their engagement photos.

We couldn't wait! We met Hilary and Chris at their cabin on Magic Lake, which really was magical! The crisp air, shining sun, lime green willow buds, and lakeside cabin had made us feel right at home and dreaming of spring! After hanging out on the dock with their pup, Lazlo, and cat, Earl, Hilary and Chris took us over to Medicine beach to show us the views and to pop out a wine picnic on the driftwood covered beach! What a perfect way to spend a sunday!

Thanks so much, Hilary and Chris, we had a blast! We can't wait for your May wedding in Stanley Park!