Whonnock Lake Centre Wedding in Maple Ridge // Melanie and Matt

Melanie and Matt's intimate December wedding at Whonnock Lake Centre in Vancouver // Victoria Wedding Photographers

2017 was a fantastic year!  We travelled all around Victoria, Vancouver Island, Vancouver, BC, Canada, and globally to photograph some truly amazing celebrations.  It was so great to finish on such a high note, photographing Melanie and Matt’s intimate wedding at Whonnock Lake Centre in Maple Ridge.

 Late autumn weddings in Vancouver area always make us think rainy, foggy, misty delight, and always makes for a cozy warm indoor affair.  Melanie and Matt’s wedding was all of those things!  Whonnock Lake with it’s wooden beams strung with lights, the views of a mist covered lake, and floor to ceiling cathedral windows is the perfect place to host such an event.  We love weddings that end up taking place just before the cusp of holiday season, because they always seem that people are extra chatty, extra huggy, and extra emotional as they catch up with people they haven’t seen for a long time, meet new and interesting people, and celebrate the love around them.  It was clear that all Melanie and Matt’s loved ones and friends were having the time of their lives, and enjoying a memorable evening together: as we photographed the evening, it felt that we were photographing a big family reunion with so much closeness, photo booth fun, and dancing joy! 

Thank you Melanie and Matt for having us there to join your family and friends in such a personal and intimate moment in your lives. We hope you love the photos!

Thanks so much to Summer Rayne Photography for coming along to be our second shooter for the day! We appreciate your help and amazing talent!

An Autumn Road Trip Around Iceland // Matt and Sayde's Personal Adventure

Matt and Sayde's great big, landscape loving, road trip having, honeymoon - babymoon adventure in Iceland // Victoria Wedding Photographers

Way back when Matt and I first started talking and getting to know each other as friends, we talked mostly about photography, and camera stuff in general.  As time went on we chatted more about our hobbies, our childhoods, and things we had hoped to accomplish and do in the future - bucket lists, if you will.  One of the things that embodied all of those things was the experience of past travels, and dream of future travel. We made lists of all the places we wanted to visit, and shared photos of interesting landscapes from places we wanted to see.  Norway, Croatia, Australia, and beyond. One place that came up in almost every conversation and photo share session was Iceland, which crept quickly to the top of both of our lists of must-see places. Fast forward four years to 2016; we were getting married and we were planning a honeymoon to Iceland.  For those who don't know, 2016 was an eventful year for us as we moved to Vancouver Island, worked hard to establish our wedding photography in Victoria, and then got married ourselves.  We decided to wait a year and take our dream honeymoon in a less busy times!

With this postponement of our honeymoon came the most wonderful opportunity: photographing a series of destination elopements in Iceland.  Perfect! Not only would be be travelling, meeting interesting people, and photographing a place we'd been dying to see for years, but we'd also get the opportunity to get to know, and photograph, adventurous couples who were as filled with Iceland wanderlust as we are. You can find each of their elopements in our blog.

This post however is about our personal trip around Iceland in the days leading up to the elopements we photographed. We started our road trip in  Reykjavik and travelled counterclockwise around the ring road, stopping everywhere that made our jaws dropped.  Our jaws dropped almost every ten minutes down the road.  We were awestruck not only by the striking, and often times surreal, landscapes, but also by the way we often felt like we were the only people there, the way the sun hung so low along the horizon on autumn days that it seemed like sunset all the time, and the way the northern lights danced like rivers through the sky at night. So many times we found ourselves staring, or gasping, and asking out loud, "Could this possibly be real?!", as we tried to pinch ourselves awake from what felt like dreams.  

Without further adieu (and because I promised Matt I wouldn't write a paragraph for each photo about the geology of each location, and the saga histories that revolve around them), here's a few highlights from our trip!   Make sure to check out the drone video at the bottom as well! 

 

We also made a video featuring footage from our drone throughout Iceland!  Check that out below:

Rocky Point Park Engagement Photos in Port Moody // Nicole and Brad

Nicole and Brad grab coffees at Creekside Coffee Factory and take a stroll at Rocky Point Park in Port Moody // Victoria Wedding Photographers

We always love photographing engagement sessions because it gives us an opportunity to capture something a couple really loves to do, and give a sneak peek into their dynamic and story.  A lot of our couples like to head straight for the woods and the beaches because that's where a lot of BC folk spend much of their free time!  And we do love our free time!  When Brad and Nicole suggested they'd like to grab some coffees before heading out for a stroll, we were immediately excited to try something new. We started our morning out by meeting Brad and Nicole at Creekside Coffee in Coquitlam, to get our fill of coffee and flirty cuddles.  These two were all giggles as we snapped photos of them and their yummy lattes, chatted about their wedding plans, and talked about their newly adopted pup!  After we were all caffeinated up, we hit the dock to continue some photos and admire the mist covered mountains and cloud blanketed skies.

Thanks Nicole and Brad for a sunday funday of photos! We can't wait for your 2018 wedding at Hearthstone Brewery!

Sayde's Iceland Maternity Photos // Victoria Wedding Photographers

Victoria Wedding Photographers take to Iceland for some Maternity Photos 

When we started planning our trip to Iceland, we knew right away that we wanted to shoot some elopements while we were there!  We had an amazing time working with Jessika & Mack, Meagann & Neil, and Farrah & Lance for their big Icelandic destination elopements, and were so glad that they decided to join us on an adventure across such a beautiful country. 

A few months out from our trip date, we got the big news; Sayde was expecting!  As exciting as this was for us, one of our first thoughts was, of course, "What about Iceland??".   With some quick math and reassurances from our doctor, we confirmed that she would be within the "okay to fly" window at the time of the trip.  From that moment, we knew that Icelandic Maternity Photos would definitely be something we wanted to do! 

We connected with Trista at Reclamation Design, our neighbour, and talented fashion designer.  Trista's designs and creatives all her gowns from reclaimed lace and crocheted tablecloths to promote sustainability in the fashion word. She has been taking the bridal and maternity world by storm.  Her delicate and flowy designs were a match made in heaven for the spots that we stopped to photograph, flowing with the chilly Icelandic breezes.  And by chilly breezes, I more mean freezing gales....on some days.  :p

Our approach to shooting maternity photos in Iceland was to see what we saw, and stop if something jumped out at us during our travels!  This made for some fun challenges for Sayde, who would change into the dress in the car.  At 7 months pregnant, was a bit of a task!  But she was an absolute trooper, getting in and out of it with (relative) efficiency as we travelled across the country.  Not to mention being out in the cold wind wearing just a lace dress!  

We love the resulting photos, and hope you do as well!  And it's pretty special that one day we will get to share them with our little girl, due January 2nd!  

McKenzie Bight Engagement Photos // Amanda and Alex and puppy, Kenzie

Amanda and Alex (and their puppy Kenzie) explore the trails at McKenzie Bight in Victoria during their engagement photos // Victoria Wedding Photographers

If you know us (or even just passed us on the street haha), you know we're crazy about dogs. You can imagine the excitement we had this month when we photographed not one, not two, but three engagement sessions in a row that featured our couples' furry best friends!  Our most recent were Amanda and Alex, and the new addition to their family, Kenzie, who was named after one of Amanda and Alex's favourite Victoria trails, and the location of our engagement session with them: McKenzie Bight Trail.

With the rain storms that have been pouring down on the west coast lately, we ended up hitting the sunny-autumn-day-jackpot on our photos with Amanda and Alex.  It was fun to get to know Alex and Amanda as we explored around the trail that these two have grown so fond of,  and to watch as sunlight filtered through the leaves, as their puppy dashed around up and down the trails, and as heaps of seals floated around the base of a river waiting for fish as the sun dipped behind the hills.  Amanda and Alex have such a great connection, and have so much fun together that we just can't wait for their Metchosin wedding at Pearson College next year.

Thanks so much for spending a fun afternoon with us, Amanda and Alex! We hope you love your photos as much as us!

Bastion Square Engagement Photos in Victoria // Stef and Ryan

Stef and Ryan explore Laurel Point, Bastion Square and Parliament in downtown Victoria during their engagement photos // Victoria Wedding Photographers 

We love getting the opportunity to work with other creatives, and other photographers. We're especially excited when other photographers trust our vision, style, and personalities to have us come photograph their wedding day!  When Stef and Ryan hired us to photograph their upcoming wedding in Ucluelet, we were over the moon to get these two photographers and their weiners on the other side of our lenses.  Made you blink: they have weiner dogs.

With Stef's love of Victoria, and her frequent visits to Vancouver Island to see friends, we knew that Stef and Ryan would really want to get their engagement photos taken right here in Vic.  With an end-of-season holiday planned, we lined up their holiday with our schedules to make sure we could get together!  Joining Stef and Ryan on their holiday would be their sweet dachshunds, Farfel and Harvest, and of course, heaps and heaps of November rain.  But as you know, when the ran comes, the tourists go.  We ended up spending the afternoon with them strolling around Laurel Point, and running through alleys in Bastion Square without seeing another soul. We had the city to ourselves it seemed and our laughter echoed through the empty streets!  

Thanks Stef and Ryan for braving this dark and rainy day to have some rainy day fun, and a seemingly post apocalyptic adventure with us! We can't wait for the wedding!

Foggy, Rainy, Puppy-y Engagement Photos at Mount Douglas // Melanie and Matt

Melanie, Matt and their puppy Nova explore Mount Doug in Victoria during their rainy engagement session // Victoria Wedding Photographers

With Melanie and Matt's December wedding fast approaching, we were so happy to hear they had a bit of time to take for themselves to visit friends in Victoria!  What a perfect opportunity for us to do some engagement photos with them, and meet their sweet puppy, Nova.  Having photographed at Mount Doug in the summer, we thought it would a great place to go with Melanie and Matt. We daydreamed about sunkissed autumn leaves trees at the base of the mountain, and miles and miles of stunning views at the top, that they could experience as out-of-towners.  Well, everything works in theory! Ha ha ha! The fog and mist rolled in creating a very dramatic atmosphere around the whole mountain, which was pretty amazing to take in. We were pretty excited for the images it would create.  The rain followed shortly after; starting up the second we took the lens caps off our cameras.  Being outdoor wedding photographers on Vancouver Island's wet coast, we've gotten comfortable working in all types of weather, but we were so glad to see how easily and enthusiastically Matt and Melanie embraced the rain and fog!  They were all laughs and giggles as their puppy dashed through puddles, and as their clothes became drenched in rain drops.  Even with the dense fog at the top of the mountain, we were still able to take in some spectacular views as tree tops and hills jutted out here and there through the mist. It created an isolated feeling, blanket-like atmosphere: perfect for enjoying some cuddles under their umbrella together!

Thanks Melanie and Matt for dancing and skipping in the rain with us, and bringing silly sweet Nova along for us to meet.  We're excited for the wedding!

 

 

Reykjavik Elopement in Iceland // Farrah and Lance

Farrah and Lance elope in Iceland at the Blue Lagoon, black beaches, with a sunset vow exchange at Seljalandsfoss // Victoria Wedding and Elopement Photographers

We met Farrah and Lance through our friend Emma of Emma McCormmick Creative, and were so excited when they told us that they wanted to elope in Iceland and have us there to take the photos!  Like all of our couples, Farrah and Lance had their own unique way of doing their elopement, and we loved photographing the whole experience.  Farrah and Lance had a not-so-secret elopement, and even had a handful of family members and friends along to share in the day.  A mini wedding! We  love it!  

The day started out dark, with rain clouds looming over Reykjavik and as far as we could see: we assumed that our lucky weather streak had run out.  Our only option for the day was to follow the road in any direction that might lead us towards any sort of light. What a great decision that ended up being!

Black lava rocks, topped with bright green moss is what covers most of the Reykjanes Peninsula where we decided to head.  At Blue Lagoon, the vibrantly blue pools of water cut a contrasting path through the green and black blanket. They're made all the more vivid by their stark white silica borders.  For Farrah and Lance's first look, it made for a very surreal setting, even as rain threatened to pour on them.  From there we headed east, where we were treated to black sand beaches; their grassy dunes stretching for thousands of acres. Here we found an absolute absence of people, and warm sunlight bursting through dense fog, creating an otherworldly and romantic atmosphere.  

Farrah and Lance had saved their vows just for Iceland, and they were hoping to be able to exchange them at a waterfall at some point through the day.  As the day wound down and the sun began to set, we made our way further east to Seljalandsfoss, stopping along the way to visit with some Icelandic horses, and trying to coax them into cuddles with the promise of apples. We made it to Seljalandsfoss just in time for a glorious sunset, which couldn't have been more perfect for Farrah and Lance's romantic vow exchange.

Thank you Farrah and Lance! We had such a great day with you and your squad, chasing the light, fishing for horses, and walkie-talkie-ing like truckers between our vehicles!  Congratulations to you both, we hope these memories last forever!

Snaefellnes Peninsula Iceland Elopement // Meagann & Neil

Meagann and Neil elope amongst basalt columns, waterfalls and lava fields in Iceland // Victoria Wedding Photographers

 

In our experience photographing three destination elopements in Iceland, on back to back days, we took away so many highlights to reminisce about.  We loved getting to know our couples' different personalities, how they met, and what their lives were like back home, away from this dreamland.  One thing we weren't (but should should have been) expecting was the way all three of our couples would plan and execute their elopement in their own special way.  It only magnified the romance factor of an already romantic way to marry, and we felt it gave us an even more intimate look into the couple's relationship dynamic.

If you read Jessika and Mack's elopement blog from the day before, you know that they had legally married in their home state of Colorado a few days before they left for Iceland.  They had exchanged their wedding rings, but saved their vows for their big day Iceland.  As well, Jessika's wedding dress made it all the way to Iceland without Mack seeing it, so they could get ready the traditional way; without the groom seeing the bride, even though they were going to be in the same apartment at the time!   

The following day we met with Meagann and Neil at their hotel to start the day at their Reykjavik hotel, where they'd get ready together to share the anticipation and excitement of the day.  We found it so romantic that Neil would be the person to help Meagann into her wedding gown (insert 100 heart-eyes emojis), before they looked each other up and down with huge smiles, and headed out the door.  Meagann and Neil also legally signed their marriage papers in their hometown in Ontario, where they had exchanged vows and wedding bands.  The unique twist that we love, is that while the two had their wedding bands, Meagann had not yet seen the beautiful custom sapphire engagement ring that Neil had made just for her.  What a treat for us to get to see her face as Neil opened the little wooden box for her during their ring exchange ceremony. And what better place than an isolated area of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula; at the foot of a waterfall, and overlooking an endless field of bright green, moss-blanketed lava, veined by a river speckled with swans.  The warm light shining through overhead clouds, and the misty wind that danced through Meagann's hair and gown only added more drama to an already dreamlike day.  After their ring exchange, we explored more of the Snaefellsnes peninsula area, that Meagann and Neil had fallen in love with their first few days in Iceland.  They showed us areas that we hadn't had the opportunity to explore on our first trip to the area, and it felt like casual day out adventuring with friends as Neil pointed out all the quaint homesteads he was for sure planning to retire to when it came time.  We took in the impressive basalt column cliffs, took a drive through the incredible Berserkjahraun (mad-man's lava field), and they finished the day with some beachside cuddles at Djupalonssandur (the black lava pearl beach).

Thank you Meagann and Neil for letting us be the ones to peer in and capture such an intimate and personal milestone in your life.  We had so much fun driving around an area of Iceland that meant so much to you, and hope these photos hold a life time of treasure for you! 

 

 

  

South Iceland Elopement with Jessika and Mack // Victoria Destination Wedding Photographer

Jessika and Mack adventure from Reykjavik to share personal vows and a glorious sunset in Vik during their South Iceland elopement  // Iceland Elopement Photographers

We had already been in Iceland for ten days prior to Jessika and Mack's elopement date. We had circled Iceland's Ring Road to enjoy a lot of the sites, and were treated to amazing autumn sunlight, which hung low along the horizon that it seemed all day everyday was golden hour.  A photographer's dream!  However, the three days leading up to their wedding were the three most treacherous weather days we experienced so far.  Three entire days of racing wind, up to 115 km/h at times.  Three entire days of pelting,  cold and stinging rain. It left me and Matt passing worried glances back and forth to each other as the elopement dates drew closer. We knew Iceland's weather could be intense and unpredictable, and we were bracing ourselves for that.  It was hard to deny ourselves a bit of worry since all our couples had travelled so far to come her to elope with us, and it was beginning to look like we may not even have weather that would be safe enough to photograph them outside!  Jessika and Mack came all the way from Colorado in the US for their wedding, and we really wanted to send them back with images that reflected the experience of their whole trip!

We woke up on the morning of Jessika and Mack's elopement to clear skies and zero wind.  The excitement was immediate and overwhelming, which is evidently magnified 100x when dealing with pregnancy hormones. Enter a relieved and impossible-to-contain happy weepy Sayde.  We planned to meet Jessika and Mack at their airBnB apartment where they would both get ready for the day, without seeing each other, before their first look in Reykjavik!  

From there we travelled a popular-for-good-reason route along the south of Iceland, stopping to visit some Icelandic horses, heritage sites, and a few of Iceland's most famous waterfalls.  We seemed to have some curiously coincidental luck the whole day. Not just with the weather turning out great, but with the areas we stopped to photograph in.  When travelling a popular route, it's expected that we were going to have to share the area with tourists and other visitors.  that day however, it seemed we were either arriving to locations as most people were leaving, or leaving locations as most people were arriving.  At Skogafoss this was made very evident as we photographed Jessika and Mack, with very few people around, right in front of the waterfall.  For a few minutes, any existence of the outside world was e blotted out by the sounds of crashing water made by this colossal falls.  It was just the two of them and us in the whole world, it seemed. As we wrapped up and turned 180 degrees to head back to the car, our eyes widened to the sight of 4 coach sized tour busses unloading simultaneously, and their 200 passengers all stampeding slow motion in our direction.  It was like waking up from the most surreal and beautiful dream to realize a zombie apocalypse had started, and the hoard had found you.  The four of us raced back to the car, dodging other bodies as we went, and breaking into fits of laughter as Jessika and Mack got tangled in a cluster of people who were desperate to take a cell phone photo of the two of them in their wedding attire. Once we were all safe in our car we all broke into a fit of laughter over what had just happened, then we travelled all the way to Vik where we wrapped up our day with Jessika and Mack's personal vows isolated amongst black sandstone formations, and watched a glorious sunset from the top of Dyrholey's jaw dropping cliffs. 

While we loved photographing Jessika and Mack in such a unique and interesting environment, it was even better watching their excitement, the ease of their connection together , and their sweet and personal way they interact together.  Riding around in our little hatchback all day with them was such a great way to get to know them better and really take in the magnitude of what this elopement, and their relationship together means to them.

Thank you Jessika and Mack, for travelling all the way from Colorado to elope in Iceland with us! It was such an unforgettable experience! 

 

Cheakamus Centre Wedding in Squamish // Kristina and Dan

Kristina and Dan's wedding in the mossy rainforest of Squamish BC // Victoria Wedding Photographers

You probably recognize Kristina and Dan from their Golden Ears Park engagement photos in September! Well, last month we travelled to Squamish from Vancouver Island to photograph their amazing rainforest wedding at Cheakamus Centre. This was the first wedding we photographed at Cheakamus Centre since our own wedding, and we were so excited that it would be Kristina and Dan's wedding! A super adventurous couple in a rainforest surrounded by mountains?!?! Sign us up: it's obviously going to be an epic day!

We kicked things off with a sweet first look at Cheakamus Centre, on gorgeous blue-green duck pond, with Dan and Kristina's bridal party peeking from a far.  Their outdoor ceremony was tucked in an intimate forest grove surrounded by moss, towering trees, and turning leaves.

With their rings exchanged, and vows proclaimed, Kristina and Dan, their friends and family partied the night away with silly reception games, memorable speeches, photobooth antics, and dancefloor shindigging.  

Thanks Krisitina and Dan for having us their to capture your wedding! We hope you love the photos!