vancouver vacation

Vancouver is a special place. Whenever I visit, I take deep breaths of the amazing salty air and marvel at the size and lusciousness of the plant life. It's easy to find yourself wanting to stay, and that is something I experience every time I'm there. It's just such a clean and calming city. It's also incredibly photogenic, and I constantly caught myself location scouting and mentally noting great spots for photos. Most recently, I visited this lovely city last month for the wedding of my friend and university roommate, Gill, to her sweetheart Jay.

After living with Gill for four years (including one in our tiny dorm room) she became an unofficial sister to me. We saw each other through fantastic highs, heartbreaking lows, and many funny moments in between. So much happens at the cusp of your teens and twenties, as life awkwardly and hilariously shapes you into your adult self. Gill taught me all her BC slang, introduced me to classic rock, brought me tea and toast during my first bad breakup, and never missed one of my singing performances. She and I would blast music and dance on our chairs, drink white wine from our matching blue goblets, and giggle uncontrollably, stretched out on our denim sectional couch while recounting moments of a previous night.

When I visited her a few years after graduation, she told me about this guy she was seeing who was something extra special. From the tone of her words, I knew she was in for the long run. And as soon as Brian and I met Jay over brunch, I only wished we lived closer so we could all hang out all the time. Gill and Jay, I couldn't be happier for you guys!

Since Brian is from Vancouver, his family travels back there at least once a year to catch up with family and friends. They were able to time their trip with ours so we could all enjoy the city together, which was awesome.

On our first night, we met up with our friends Trevor and Sophia.

They showed us some of their favourite spots, including Bao Bei, a Chinese brasserie that is known for its delicious and inventive cocktails.

Thanks for the photo below, Sophia!

We met Gill and Jay for drinks just a few days before their wedding. Yes, Jay is wearing scrubs. He sprinted out on his break from the hospital to meet up for a few minutes.

Then there was a lot of walking around, taking in some of Vancouver's beautiful spots.

It was fantastic to have my sweet sister-in-law Carolyn and our friend Dan on the trip too!

Then it was off to Crescent Beach for Gill and Jay's wedding. It took place in the back yard of Jay's family home.

It's really interesting to take photos at a wedding as a guest, rather than as a wedding photographer. The biggest difference is shooting from my seat, or wherever else I can be tucked safely out of the photographer's way, in order to not interfere with her/his coverage. Though this doesn't always have the best viewpoint, that's the wedding photographer's privilege, and I make sure to never get up in someone's grill! As a guest, I try to reel it in and take only photos of the moments and details I want to remember and treasure most. The other difference, I suppose, would be that I consume booze when I'm a guest, which takes my focus off the photos and more on my spastic contribution to the dance floor.

Yours truly, double fisting bubbly. I swear I was just holding it for Brian!

How pretty was Gill's dress? And the pockets? So cute and comfortable!

Though it rained for most of the day, the sun started to come out just as it began to set.

The garden was fragrant with lavender, planted by Jay's mother.

We spent the next few days visiting extended family and exploring the city.