Ashley & Stewart| Sanctuary Garden Intimate Wedding

I get the feeling that while we are all inundated with updates, notifications and endless streams of information, there's a new push for simplicity. It's like all the noise is making us crave a new kind of richness that is only found in simplifying. Which is why I am loving that simplicity is finding it's way into weddings. I see couples who are infusing their day with themselves, making it a reflection of how they truly want to remember their day, instead of how they think they have to do it.

Ashley and Stewart took simplicity to heart, and planned an intimate, family-centered wedding day. It had everything you would expect. Tears, laughter, hugs, boundless joy. I can't express how touched both Tiffany and I were at being involved in such a beautiful day. These two were made for each other. Their kind hearts and loving demeanor will undoubtedly help them navigated all the adventures to come on their path.

Thank you for letting us capture your day you guys. xoxox

 

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Clearly one of the many stupid things I said throughout the day made for a perfect candid moment ;)

Love this setting photo by my second shooter/assistant extrordinaire Tiffany

Vendors:

Hair: JG Hair stylist

Makeup: Bri Stein Artistry

Dress: Maggie Sottero

Suit: Vera Wang

Ceremony Site: Sanctuary Garden

Reception and getting ready: Hotel Eldorado

Flowers: Creations by Mom and Me

Kristen & Jonah

I'm trying to get back into this blogging thannnng-  to be honest, instagram and Facebook get my speed and my need for little tastes of recent sessions. But a fuller look is so much better to appreciate the amazing people who come into my life by way of photography.

Like these two- they got the thing... that quiet something that's almost tangible when you look at them. The way they laugh with each other, the way they talked about falling in love and their epic first date literally scaling a mountain; the excitement of getting married was palpable. They've got that genuine good people-vibe and I am so excited to be able to capture all their moments.

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The ache

There is an ache that comes with motherhood, sometimes it's big and sometimes barely a whisper. But it's there. The ache is from loving so hard, and trying not to make a mess of something so perfect. It comes deeper on the days I don't meet my own expectations or trip myself up trying to balance a magical childhood with rules and messes and mundane tasks. It comes when you realize a piece of you is out in the world and while you instill everything vital you believe in, ultimately you can't control the outcome. And that's what makes it so hard, this parenting thing.

These little humans with lives of their own, are tied so closely to our hearts that it's impossible to know where they begin and we end. Their victories are our victories, their sorrows are our sorrows. So when something happens, like a non-cancerous, but just as scary-type of tumor finds it's way into your son's brain, which is what happened to my friend Trinity and her oldest son Urijah, there are no words to ease the ache. When that tumor forces him to undergo many surgeries, and many treatments, when it impacts his pituitary gland, and makes him a different boy than the one you remember, you continue on, despite the ache, face to the sky, heart still beating. Even though you are tired deep in your bones and heartbroken, you keep putting one foot in front of the other and see the good, the love, the worth.

Bravery seems to only come when there is no other option. And mommas who are forced to walk a difficult path are the bravest. Like Trin. Strong and graceful. Because in the midst of heartache she's also found her true love. She pushes through the ache and chooses to smile and laugh with her kids and her man even when life doesn't seem fair. And that to me is a life well lived. xo

 

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 Urijah made a point of telling me how fast he could run, so I took it as a chance to practice some double exposures. I told him he was like lightning- he corrected me and said he was actually a bull (hahahahah, best response ever)

Urijah made a point of telling me how fast he could run, so I took it as a chance to practice some double exposures. I told him he was like lightning- he corrected me and said he was actually a bull (hahahahah, best response ever)

Evelynn & Chris' fall wedding | Kelowna Wedding photographer

I love when a wedding day is infused with the couple's essence. I love seeing hints of their personalities in the details they choose, the location they decide on, the little bits and pieces of themselves sprinkled throughout the day. These two, with the super powers of Sara from Top Knot Events, managed to saturate their day in all the things that matter most to them: their people, their style, their love of food and drink, their sweet son and mostly their love.

Sanctuary Garden was the perfect backdrop for the ceremony. Its' blank canvas showed off the amazing floral wreaths from Blue Sage Farm, gorgeous vintage rugs and fun ribbon wands made by Top Knot.

But the party really started at The Curious. There was a 7 course meal (by the incredible Rod Butters) a signature drink and a banjo player. Nuff said, right? Except the best part was the laughter, the tears, the all around smiles and seeing these two among their closest peeps celebrating the kind of love that infuses a whole community.

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Bride's Dress: BHLDN

Hair: Shauna Whittle

Makeup: Nicole

Planning & Decor: Top Knot events

Floral design: Blue Sage Farm

Ceremony Site: Sanctuary Garden

Reception: The Curious

Catering: Raudz

 

 

Why I can't stand to "follow your bliss"

When I was on the verge of graduating high school (a looooong time ago), and all my friends were applying for universities and discussing their plans, I would get awkwardly silent and try desperately to change the subject. When my parents asked me about my "future" I would stare blankly and ask them why they were invading my personal space. Really, I was afraid. It was the beginning of the "follow your bliss" hype and the thought of finding my bliss let alone following it was enough to make me want to jump under the covers and stay there forever. (To this day the term "follow your bliss" gives me the shivers) So instead I ditched my hometown the week after graduation with a backpack and left for the mountains. I tripped around and snowboarded and made new friends and made mistakes. Then I hopped on a plane and flew around the world, best friend in tow, vowing never to come home. I worked an obnoxiously long list of really crappy jobs, I drank beer on the beach, I surfed, I read, I lived in a van with my friend and made mistakes. I questioned everything I had been taught and everything I hadn't. Then I made more mistakes. I did stupid things and really fun things. I wrote long, embarrassing entries into a journal about love affairs I hope my daughter never reads but still I refuse to throw away those journals. I was dramatic the way you are when you are 19 and haven't really learned from the school of hard knocks, and sometimes I wish I could go back and hit myself over the head and tell myself to get over these petty things. But most importantly, I developed a curiosity for life, and for the stories entwined in the people around me.

I used to be afraid of choosing a career path, of dedicating to something that could potentially fall flat of what I hoped. Finding something to be passionate about seemed like a BIG decision and one I really didn't feel capable of finding. I didn't know at 15 that I wanted to be a photographer. I didn't know that I wanted to travel and discover the world and help preserve people's stories and memories. I was intrigued by so much about life and my attention was caught by so many glittery options I didn't want to have to narrow it down. So, I just followed a curiosity about the world, and maybe ran away a little from the person I thought I had to be. I took one step at a time and now many many years later I find myself with a business and life I adore very much. I have built it from falling down and getting back up and getting re inspired when my curiosity was lackluster. The idea of following your passion makes it seem that you wake up with fire under your ass and a burning in your gut, but actually, at least in my experience, it is more of a quiet call and a willingness to push through some mundane tasks and challenging moments to pursue a bigger thing that calls you back time and time again.

My work has allowed me to be curious about a variety of things and people and slowly my path emerged for what I really love. For me it is a desire to understand people's connections- to each other, their work, their motivation, their loves, their losses, their lives. I sometimes am afraid to declare to the world, "This is what I do!" so I don't really. I just keep quietly plugging away and hoping to offer up something valuable to my clients, something that makes them see the beauty I see when they invite me in. It is never perfect, but that is rarely my target, my goal is usually more malleable and stems from trying to understand what motivates you to be the person you are.

Like this beauty. Dana is a mom, a wife, yoga teacher and life coach, who helps her clients through small but meaningful changes. I never really understood the value of a "life coach" thinking it was a little too airy fairy for me. But when I dug deeper with her, I realized how important it is to make time for myself and commit to showing kindness towards myself. She wasn't holding my hand and chanting and telling me to "follow my bliss", much to my utter and total relief.

If you happen to be looking for images that tell your story, either your love story, your family's story or your brand's story, I would love to talk about how we could make that happen.

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