Kelsey and Derek took their time getting to this day. During the past 7 years their love kept growing, and before fulfilling their dreams of getting married and starting a life together, they took the time to fulfill their individual dreams first. They weren't in a rush to get to the alter and instead, just enjoyed their life as they neared an inevitable wedding day. And when that day finally came, it reflect their relationship in the same way. They took the time to enjoy the day.
Now many couples are probably wondering how they accomplished this. Having been a bride myself, I know just how quickly a wedding day can pass by. You anticipate and plan this day for so long and before you know it, the cake is cut and the last song is being played. So what made this day different? I'll summarize in one key word....
From the start of the day, Kelsey and Derek gave themselves time to enjoy every part of their day. After photographing weddings for over a decade, I think they had just about the most perfect timeline I have ever experienced. From getting ready to first dances, this couple planned each aspect of their day with ample time to enjoy it with their family and friends. Even though I wasn't there right from the very start of the day, Kelsey made sure to book her hair and makeup early enough so that she and her bridesmaids were able to relax and enjoy each others company. This was true for the men as well. The bride and groom had fun with those in their wedding party and no one was in a rush to finish getting ready for the day.
Once all the finishing touches were in place, Kelsey and Derek planned to see each other before the ceremony started. I photographed their "First Look" and most of their couple portraits at this time. Doing a "First Look" allowed them to spend more time with their guests during cocktail hour later in the day. It also helped bring down the nerves of both the bride and groom as they did not have a crowd of people watching them as they saw each other for the first time. I am a huge fan of this trend and think that if visiting with ones guests is a big priority, it is the best decision a couple can make.
Once portraits were done, we made our way to the church for the ceremony. Because this wedding was more traditional and religious, the ceremony was a little longer than most. Some may see this as a negative, but I think it's wonderful! Personally, I love it when weddings focus on the exciting and significant step a couple is about to take in their relationship. This can be done in non-religious ceremonies too with personalized vows, readings and ring warmings. A longer ceremony means you are able to look around, take in your surroundings and relish the moment.
Now at this point the couple planned something I have never seen before and it made a world of difference. There was 2 hours of time between the end of the ceremony and the beginning of the reception. Usually, the cocktail hour is a way to entertain guests while the couple is off taking photos and only lasts about an hour. However, because we had taken couple portraits before the ceremony, we only had to take family and wedding party photos, which did not take long. They kept their shot list small and simple, and we stayed in one location close to the reception venue. Instead of rushing through this part of the photos, we were able to be efficient with our time and I managed to snap a few extra portraits of the couple as well. Once we were done, Kelsey and Derek still had a full hour to mingle with everyone before dinner started. I was able to wander around and get a lot of great candids of friends and family having a grand time.
Receptions are all pretty similar, however I always find that simple ones are the most enjoyable. Kelsey and Derek did not try to cram the evening full of games and other activities. They trusted their loved ones to entertain themselves with joyful conversation while waiting to get their food from the buffet. It did not take long until everyone was well fed and satisfied. Speeches were made by the Best Man and Maid of Honour, both sets of parents and then the couple themselves. To keep things on track, these were the only speeches that were made and there was no open mic. The couple decided to do away with the traditions of cutting a cake, garter toss or bouquet toss which gave them more time for dancing!
All of the decisions this couple made had a huge impact in how they were able to fully enjoy their wedding day. As in their relationship, they prioritized enjoying the journey and gave themselves time to do so. Many of those who are close to this couple were waiting for this day to come and when it finally did, Kelsey and Derek made sure that it was totally worth the wait!
The Wedding Vendor Team
Ceremony Venue: St. Anns Parish
Reception Venue: S.S. Sicamous
Wedding Planner: Tammi Foster - I Do Weddings & Events
Hair Dresser: Trista Del Grosso - A Breath of Fresh Hair
Makeup Artist: Meg Blagborne - Beautified by Meg
DJ: Nick Minello - You and Yours Entertainment
Florals: Lisa Yang - Lisa's Fresh Cut Flowers
Suit: Atelier by Ensemble
Rentals: Westminster Party Rentals