Samantha and ian proclaimed their vows of affection at the beautiful old timers cabin in edmonton on a warm summer day. A beautiful palette of pastel-colored bouquets, beautiful recycled and diy decor, and a lively traditional kolomeyka made it a night of folk dancing and laughs.
Sam and Ian had a really awesome and relaxed wedding day, which was perfectly suited to their personalities. I met up with the groom and his groomsmen at the Metterra Hotel on Whyte for their getting ready shots. Ian was relaxing with his brothers, and was joined by his (soon-to-be) brother-in-law, Kyle, shortly after my arrival. There was much family love and pride in the air.
One of my favourite moments was Ian welcoming Kyle into the family of brothers, and you could tell that it meant a lot. Ian gave each of his groomsmen a unique bottle of alcohol in thanks for being part of his and Sam’s day.
Next came the switcheroo!! The men left for breakfast, and the girls were to arrive shortly to the same hotel room. It was such a great idea, and a wonderful solution to not having to pay for two separate rooms!
…. Except that shortly soon became 45 minutes! No worries though, as Sam’s wedding gown and jewellery was already in the room!! It was so perfect! I had some prime time photographing Sam’s beautiful wedding attire, and some extra time even be a bit creative! I absolutely LOVED her leopard-print lined heels!
It is so nice to see the bond between a mother and daughter on a wedding day. Donna, Sam’s mom, helped get our beautiful bride ready, and even though we were slightly delayed, Sam totally kept her cool. Talk about an awesome bride! There were so many laughs (can you see the mother/daughter laugh resemblance?!), and Sam looked simply incredible!
Since we were doing creative portraits and family formals before the ceremony, we had planned a First Look to keep the surprise-factor intimate and personal between the happy couple. We met up with Ian at the Old Arts Building at the University of Alberta, and needless to say, they had a perfect First Look!
We met up with the rest of the bridal party at the Rutherford House for some creative portraits, soon followed by the bride and groom’s families for formals. With the gardens in full bloom, we could not have had a better and more gorgeous location!
How did we start the day running behind, and then have time for beers? Because my couples are AWESOME and we put together a very relaxed timeline for their wedding!!!
We stopped at the Sugarbowl with the bridal party for cocktails and beers, and for some great laughs. We even met a couple that were celebrating their anniversary the same day, who ended up clearing the tab for the bridal party! Like I said… AWESOME!
Sam and Ian’s wedding ceremony and reception was at the Old Timer’s Cabin. This venue is absolutely gorgeous in itself, but with the additional decor made by the bridal party (oversized white balloons, glossy gold backdrop, and embroidery hoops with coloured fabric), it had a whole new feel to it!
During the ceremony, Sam and Ian did a Wine Box Ceremony in which the couple wrote a letter to one another, expressing their thoughts about the good qualities that they found in each other and their reasons for falling in love. Under no condition do they read each other’s letter. They sealed them and put them in the box with a bottle of wine and two glasses.
Should they ever find their marriage in serious trouble, before making any irrational decisions, they must open the box, drink wine together, and read the letter that they wrote to one another to reflect on why they fell in love with each other in the first place. The hope is that there will never be a reason to have to open the box, unless of course, it is for a 25 year anniversary! Their parents assisted in sealing the box with ribbon as a symbol of support to their love and commitment for one another.
Following the ceremony, guests relaxed outdoors on the patio as the venue shifted into cocktails and dinner. Recycled bottles and pastel coloured flowers decorated the long family-style dinner tables. For favours, guests could package their choice of lose tea, chosen by the bride for her love of the drink. Wooden palettes and old suitcases were used on the gift table to show guests to their seats and and take cards of well wishes, respectfully.
Video messages from guests not-in-attendance were shown. As a couple who thoroughly enjoy the outdoors, Sam and Ian had friends that were travelling abroad and wanted to extend their sincerest congratulations to the happy couple.
Ian had secretly wrote and prepared a song for Sam. She was stunned!
We snuck outside for some sunset photos, but it had clouded over. I really enjoy taking a few minutes with my couples after speeches (before the dance begins), so they have a chance to reconnect, breathe, and enjoy a moment alone. By this time, couples are so relaxed, that it’s often some of favourite portraits — such as these!
Then the party began!
Both with a background in Ukrainian dance, Sam and Ian opted for a live band to perform Ukrainian folk and dance music. As soon as the polka started, guests young and old gathered to take part in the Kolomeyka! Sam switched into a secondary dress for dancing, whipped off her shoes, and was ready to perform! The bridal party stormed the dance floor with breakdancing and lifts, and were soon bringing guests into “the circle” to show their moves! It was such a wowing show! Look at these guys go!!!!
Thank you Sam and Ian for letting Ritchie and I celebrate your beautiful wedding with you, and we’re so glad we got to photograph such an awesome couple!