eastern townships wedding | saleema & derek

Saleema contacted me in April, just days after her boyfriend had proposed.

"We're getting married in July. *This* July. I want a country fair-type wedding and just can't until next summer to be married to my love," she explained.

As I read her email, I let out a squeal of excitement. By a happy twist of fate, I was free on their wedding date, and was thrilled to be able to document Saleema and Derek's big day.

Theirs is the kind of love that doesn't wait. It leaps forward and sings of new beginnings, of the swiftly moving present and of the future. Once they decided to marry, it was only natural that they would do so almost immediately. Since finding each other, these two writers and romantics have created a sweet life together. They've brought together their separate histories, shared passions, friendships and loved ones to become a family.

On their wedding day, when we arrived at Derek's family's stunning property in the Eastern Townships, I found the bride and groom-to-be standing together by the water, leaning over an antique dresser. With care, they pressed a Fuji Instax photo of themselves, taken just moments before, into their guestbook. They exchanged a few words, going over final details for the day ahead. Anticipation, nerves, and raw emotion vibrated in the air between them, and if you were to stand beside them as I did, you would mostly have felt the crazy love radiating in that moment.

After a lingering hug, Saleema skipped inside to begin her bridal preparations.She sat in a cozy room with her soon-to-be family members, smiling brightly. She was buttoned into her dress by Derek's daughter, who helped escort her down the stairs and into the garden, where Saleema would meet her groom and kick off an unforgettable day.

Derek and Saleema, thank you so much for choosing me as your wedding photographer. It was such an honour to be there on your day, and to document all the love that surrounds you. Your wedding was a fun-filled country fair affair, and I am truly amazed that you were able to pull it all together so gracefully in just a few short months! I hope your honeymoon was relaxing in every way. I am so inspired by you two and your boundless creativity, and I can't wait to read your upcoming novel and poetry.

Saleema's dress, featuring tiers of ruffles and a bright yellow sash, was just incredible.

Saleema and Derek opted for a first look, a private portrait moment captured in pictures before the ceremony. I love when couples choose this option, as it not only allows more time for photos in the day's timeline, but also gives them a moment alone to just enjoy each other before the craziness of the wedding festivities begins.

Derek waited down by the water, as Saleema was escorted outside by his daughter. Photo above and below left by Brian.

Another reason first looks are so much fun is that they create so much anticipation. Here, Saleema is just steps away from Derek as he waits for the first moment when he will turn and see her as his bride.

Photo above by Brian.

Derek was so sweet and funny when he savoured the moment before he turned around, enjoying the anticipation. Next two photos by Brian.

Ah, these two! Can you tell how crazy they are for each other?

The beautiful ceremony began with Derek and Saleema each walking through an antique door.

Photo above left by Brian.

Then it was on to cocktail hour, with beautiful  sun and cold signature drinks. Photo below left by Brian.

One of the very special moments during this wedding was when Saleema and Derek's daughter had their own first dance, a tap duet to "Getting to Know You" from The King and I, celebrating their relationship as they become family members.

 And of course, a beautiful first dance between Saleema and Derek.

Saleema made this gorgeous cake topper herself!

As dusk fell and the party really got underway, guests were encouraged to light and dance with sparklers.

A gorgeous end to a day filled with love, family, friends, and new beginnings.