A Canadian Wedding
From the photographer:
In my version of the story, it all started with guitar duets to the likes of First Aid Kit and Ingrid Michaelson in the living room of my first basement apartment. A year later when the three of us moved in together, it took all of three days before these two officially started dating. And finally, four years after that, it was an incredible pleasure to spend the day with Katie and Larissa and capture their wedding celebration.
White Toms on one bride, blue Chucks on the other, this was my style of wedding. With Larissa looking dapper in her suit and Katie killing it in her dress, we started off the afternoon with a portrait session and family photos. Red Willow Park made an idyllic backdrop, but seeing as it was underneath a flight path, I kept losing the attention of my pilot brides every time an airplane flew past. It was worth it for the epic train trestle and sweeping trees in the park. In my favourite series of photos I gave Katie and Larissa some space to forget about me, while I was ankle deep in water, sneaking shots through the tall grasses. It’s impossible to contrive the incredible joy and laughter that they bring to each other’s lives, as seen in these photos.
In a twist of tradition, Larissa led the way down the aisle with her mom, before being joined by Katie and her dad. The ceremony itself was simple and direct, a perfect reflection of Katie and Larissa. By the end of my favourite wedding vow, Katie had promised Larissa that they would never have more than two cats, and that she would always be willing to play monopoly with her. As they greeted each guest in the receiving line, it was evident how deeply this community cares for this couple.
The reception and dance was full of music, planned and unplanned. When Katie’s siblings surprised them with a song covering all corners of their relationship, Katie was instantly in tears. A highlight of the evening was when Katie jumped in on lead vocals with her old band. Later, Larissa and Bradley kept up tradition with a one-legged dance-off.
From the brides:
Tell us your love story/how did you meet?
We met through our part-time job and shared passion for working with youth and aviation. It wasn’t quite love at first sight, but we definitely had chemistry. We became close friends and later roommates (we did things a bit out of order, we know). Shortly after moving in together, we went on our first date. Our time together has had more ups than downs and more good times than bad and we work every day to make our love grow.
What about the proposal?
During a stint of long distance required by my job, I was home for Christmas. Katie suggested that we go for a walk in the river valley. It was a crisp, clear, and calm winter day. She brought me to a clearing where you could see for miles. She started tearfully reading her proposal. She got down on one knee and presented a ring that we had designed together. Of course, I said yes!
When did you know that you were meant to be with each other?
There was no magical defining moment that either of us knew that “She is the one” or that we were at the happily-ever-after part of our story. As we spent more and more time together we started to see that this relationship could last a lifetime and couldn’t imagine being without each other.
Going into the wedding planning, what did you definitely know?
We knew that we wanted to celebrate with many of our family and friends and host a great party. We also knew that we did not want to break the bank for one night of celebration. In addition, we were definitely sure we wanted a string quartet at our ceremony, because we both love classical music. Totally worth it!
What surprised you during planning? What was easy, what was difficult?
We were surprised by how many concessions we made while negotiating with our families and how many traditions weddings have. We definitely did not follow all of them. Looking back on the experience, we think that choosing to have a big wedding means that you focus more on the family participating and guests attending. We thought our “big day” was all about us, but it was really about thanking our friends and family for their support and celebrating together.
Is there anything you wish you knew while you were planning your wedding that you know now?
I wish we had realized how little some of the details mattered. It sounds cliché, but it’s true! So much time and energy was spent on tiny details that seemed important at the time, but did not contribute to the important lasting memories we will have from that day.
Any advice for couples planning weddings now? Anything you would have done differently or anything you’d like to add?
Don’t break the bank and don’t stress too much about the small things. I know that’s easy for us to say now that our big day is behind us, but seriously you won’t remember the small stuff. I think it’s more important to focus on your relationship, rather than just one day.
What was your favorite part of your wedding day?
Seeing our friends and family have such a wonderful time. It made us feel like our love was already spreading.