Staci sips on sparkling water as one of her bridesmaids paints her nails. She takes deep breaths, laughs loudly, and smiles broadly. Surrounded by her favourite ladies, she is completely aglow with happiness and anticipation.
As we travel to the venue, someone cranks the volume when a Calvin Harris song comes on the radio, shouting "I love this - it's so perfect for today!"
I feel so close to you right now/ it's a force field/ I wear my heart upon my sleeve/ like a big deal/ your love pours down on me/ it's like a waterfall/ and there's no stopping us right now/ I feel so close to you right now
Staci and her girls sway and bounce in their seats, the upbeat melody reverberating off the walls of the van.
Meanwhile, Dan asks his groomsmen to hand him his iPod so he can gear up for the ceremony. He listens to Refused, letting the waves of rhythm energize him the same way he used to do when preparing to do back flips on ski hills.
Music is opening the ceremonies of the day, and even though the bride and groom-to-be don't realize it, they're sharing in the same ritual.
After months of planning their wedding from, oh just 10,000+ kilometres away, Staci and Dan have arrived in Ottawa from their current home in Bejing and are ready to get the party started.
They chose Le Belvédère, a beautiful, brand new venue in Wakefield, Quebec for their ceremony and reception. The clean and modern aesthetic of the venue juxtaposed with the raw beauty of the surrounding pine-covered hills suited them perfectly.
Staci and Dan, thank you again for choosing us as your wedding photographers. We consider you great friends, and it was so wonderful to both experience and document your amazing day. You two are beautiful inside and out, and I wish you the happiest marriage and continued excitement in China.
Now, get ready for a whole load of photos. This was the longest amount of coverage we've done to date so there are naturally a lot of favourite photos to share! Are you ready?
I met up with Staci as she and wedding party and family prepared for the day.
Staci had an absolute stunner of a dress, which was custom made for her in Beijing. Apparently the beading on the bodice took 20 days to complete!
Staci and her ladies got ready in the family home of her friend and bridesmaid Alex, which was one of the most elegant, beautiful homes I've ever had the honour of visiting. I was especially grateful to Alex for all her help settling me in and even helping me with styling the dress and accessories. You're a sweetheart!
Meanwhile, Brian met up with Dan and his groomsmen as they prepared at their hotel.
A bagpiper played beautiful music to mark the beginning of the ceremony (photo by Brian, along with the following two.)
Photo of first kiss below by Brian.
I absolutely love the photo on the left, below (taken by Brian) as it shows Dan lost in thought while getting used to the feel of his new wedding ring, something to which most newlyweds can relate.
After the ceremony, we headed down to a covered bridge for photos.
Now, is it just me, or is this one fabulous looking wedding party? You may recognize my great friend Zach (second from the right - photo by Brian) from his and Jennie's wedding photos that I posted last month.
Back at Le Belvédère, celebrations continued...
The wedding was coordinated by Jessica Davey, Co-owner and General Manager of Le Belvédère. This was the venue's first full-scale event, as it had just opened the week before, and Jessica pulled everything off beautifully!
Event styling was compliments of the fabulous Elyse Cragg, my dear friend. She did an insanely great job!
I love the photo Brian captured (below left) of the first dance and the spectacular view.