I first met Megan a million years ago at her brother's wedding – and it was last year that she got in touch with me to chat about her upcoming wedding to Marc! With some back and forth about dates and venues, they finally settled on (my favourite!) St. Mary's Golf & Country Club. We had a blast doing their engagement shoot at Victoria Park last summer, and everything was going to plan until Covid arrived (facepalm) – and their wedding, along with everyone else's got postponed into 2021.
A month or two ago Megan reached out to check my availability for a couple hours of coverage for a SURPRISE wedding with their immediate family in their own backyard. Of course I was down! To pull off something like this without suspicion isn't easy – and I can guarantee that everyone was indeed surprised! I arrived with the officiant at 7pm, Marc greeting us on the road outside their home, and we entered the backyard announcing there was now going to be a WEDDING!
There were tears.
Marc started to hand out cards...
Everyone received a card with a greeting and explanation of what was happening – along with a duty to help make the wedding and space come to life! This included nominating their sisters to do readings and be their witnesses, letting the flower girls know where to find flowers, and who would walk their dog Lionel down the aisle, how to set up the chairs and lay out a rug, who was going to move the potted palms to the front of the aisle, and more.
Now, before you continue scrolling...keep in mind that everything below (including the portraits after the ceremony) happened in about 100 minutes!
But, within just 10 minutes, their backyard was transformed into a beautiful ceremony space and the wedding was about to begin.
It wasn't just the guests who got a suprise!
Marc secretly had also coordinated with Duo 519, an incredible violin & cello duo, to show up and play some incredibly gorgeous music – unbeknownst to Megan! The emotions were running so high already, the moment they started playing my eyes welled up with tears and they didn't stop until the ceremony was over.
I get emotional, what can I say?
And it's during the readings that their sisters gave that my heart just overflowed.
One of the readings during the wedding was called "The Elements of Love" – and it's simply perfect.
May your love be like the earth
Rich, natural, and deeply rooted
Strong as rock yet soft as sand
Always growing and always patient
May your love be like fire
Passionate, intense and energetic
A flame that never dies
As radiant as the morning sun
And as warm as an evening embrace
May your love be like water
Moving, constantly changing
Never still, never stagnant
As vast as the ocean
And as fresh as a spring's rain
May your love be like air
The sharing of dreams, thoughts and emotions
Always fragrant, always carefree
Found in the breeze of a whisper
Or in the breath of a kiss
May your love be like all four elements
Physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually intertwined, to create the perfect balance
And to craft the perfect ribbon
For to bind these two hearts into one
XO XO XO
I told you it was emotional!
Roses were given to their mothers...
...and hugs to their fathers...
...and first kisses to each other!
We took some family photos then the three of us took a stroll around the corner to a trail behind their home for some (super dreamy!) bride & groom photos!
But first, we had to snap a few pics in front of their house!
This is basically in their backyard.
I know, right?
I can't even deal with that picture, above.
It was also one of the very first frames I shot when we started snapping pics!
...and that, my friends, is how you do it!
It boggles my mind that all of the above was in less than two hours! And, a total surprise to everyone! Despite some hurdles along the way (Michael & Margaret had car trouble en route and the entire event was postponed from 2pm to 7pm) it turned out even better than anyone could have imagined, in my opinion! The dreamy evening light during the ceremony lit the Edison Bulbs beautifully, and backlit everyone perfectly. It created drama for the bride and groom photos on the trail, and it made everything somehow even more emotional.
It goes to prove that love is what matters; not the pomp and circumstance, not the decorations or the gifts, not the venue or the date. It's nothing without the people and the one you love.
I want more weddings like this.
Honest, genuine, and true.
Thank you so much to the both of you, Megan & Marc, for having me be part of such a spectacular, perfectly-perfect evening – and I can't wait to celebrate once more at your "official" reception next year at St. Mary's Golf & Country Club!