Although I went to school with Joel a million years ago, I never met beautiful Virginia, or “Gin” until I arrived in her hotel suite on her wedding day where we instantly connected and felt like we had known each other for years. Joel and Gin planned their Ontario wedding from Alberta, which I always find amazing, as it adds a whole other level of uncertainty and stress. Luckily, after visiting Strathmere Lodge upon arrival, they knew all would be well for their wedding day.
Top five favourite things:
1) Joel and Gin’s daughter. She enjoyed her parents’ wedding day happy and content (except for the brief time when she had to be put in her flower girl dress) giving toothless smiles, flashing her giant blue eyes, and giggling, giggling, giggling. I could have photographed her, and just her, all day long.
2) Juxtaposition of getting ready and the ceremony site. There are so many ways to go about getting ready vs where a couple actually gets married. Joel and Virginia both got ready in the heart of downtown Ottawa, steps from the Peace Tower and Parliament. It was so much fun to take their photos in the city and send them off in their limo, only to meet them in the heart of the country of North Gower for the wedding.
3) Kissing Game Dice. If you were a guest at Joel and Virginia’s wedding and wanted to see them kiss, you had to get up, roll a giant homemade dice, and follow whatever side it landed on. Some options were “Kiss Someone of your Choosing”, “Do A Little Dance”, and “Charades: Act Out an Animal.” It was lots of fun.
4) Simple Ceremony. I think when planning a wedding the most important thing is to keep it true to you. For Virginia and Joel, a simple and short ceremony is what they wanted, and what they executed. Officiated by Virginia’s aunt, it was personal to them, and with their daughter up front and centre in her little wagon, they were married.
5) Slideshow. Joel’s mum put together a beautiful slideshow of photos and music for everyone to enjoy and reflect upon together. It even got me misty!