Sometimes my personal and professional worlds collide. This happened recently when my beautiful cousin, Courtney, got engaged to this amazing man named Carson and hired me to be their photographer. I’ve photographed a lot of weddings, but shooting people you love is hard because you want to do your best job EVER! It should also be noted that this is the longest my husband and I have been away from our children in our nine years as parents (three nights)! Whoo whoo! I was also excited about shooting this event because it was a completely vintage wedding at the Aero Space Museum of Calgary. I wasn’t disappointed… the vintage-styling looked amazing against a backdrop of old antique airplanes!
The morning of the wedding day I hung out with the bride and groom while they were getting ready. Here’s a good hint to all people out there planning a wedding… if you want pre-ceremony “getting ready” photos you either have to hire two photographers, or have the foresight like my cousin to get ready at the same location! Courtney was completely decked out in vintage wear… from her dress to her headpiece to her pearls to her fur stole. It was amazing to see all the thought she put into the tiniest details of her special day! And yes… that’s the bride doing her mother’s hair before getting ready herself. Love that!
When I arrived, Courtney was just opening her gift from Carson. It came in one of those wonderful little aqua blue boxes that all women adore! Inside were some beautiful heart earrings, and I love that she decided to change plans and wear them for the wedding instead of the pearls she was originally going to wear.
While Courtney was getting her make-up done, I ran downstairs to get some photos of the groom and his friends getting ready. His best man was his identical twin brother. It took me a second to remember who had the beard and who didn’t, since most of the photos I had seen of Carson he was sporting facial hair.
Then it was back upstairs to document the bride’s final preparations. She was flanked by her friends Michelle and Andrew, who are seriously some fabulous and fun people. Michelle and Courtney had their faces done up by the amazing makeup artist, Erin Winters, who has mastered the pin-up look… perfect for this vintage wedding. They looked amazing! I also love that Courtney chose a dress that highlighted the amazing body art on her back. Brides with tattoos… for the win!
Next we were off to the Aero Space Museum of Calgary for the ceremony! There were so many touching moments during the ceremony, making it a special celebration of their love and life together. I may have gotten a tad misty-eyed hearing the beautiful words they wrote for one another…
I loved that when the ceremony was done, the first thing the bridal party did after walking outside was embrace in a big group hug!
Then it was time for the more formal portraits. First we took some family shots. At this point I need to give a shout out to my husband for being my “lighting boy” and for helping me move my light kit around as necessary. Also, another shout out to my sister, Trish, who helped me wrangle folks and cross shots off my master list. It takes a village, folks!
Next up was formals of the wedding party! This group was SO easy to photograph because they were simply so much fun! I loved seeing the amazing friendships Courtney and Cameron had fostered over the years.
Finally, we kicked everyone out and focused on the bride and groom. They put up with me with grace considering how warm it was in that airplane hangar. But seriously people… aren’t they a gorgeous couple?
Then we were off to the reception. Courtney and her mom (my Aunt Nan) put SO much work and thought into the smallest of details for the reception… from the old photographs of family that had passed away to all the travel memorabilia. There was even a vintage wedding cake topper!
After an awesome meal it was time for the toasts… and what beautiful toasts they were! And of course Courtney’s brother Cameron did a fabulous job as emcee, including some of his amazing impersonations of famous folks such as Adam Sandler and Bobcat Goldthwait.
The evening continued on with first dances, cake cutting, and fun on the dance floor. These shots are just a small sample of the fun time that was had by everyone.
And just so you know that I was there and had some fun myself as a guest, I did indeed hand my camera over and get some shots with me in it! This is me and my sisters, and me with my hubby. When looking at these photos I am reminded how tall my husband is. LOL!
This is just a small sample of the festivities as I obviously can’t post all 600 final images. But as I looked through the photos, I was struck by how grateful I am to have such an crazy, loving and fun extended family. Congratulations Courtney and Carson! May your wedding day be a reflection of the years to come… full of friends, love, and joy! And Carson, welcome to the family!