wedding

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!

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!

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!

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!

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!