There is always magic in the snow covered ski village up at SilverStar Mountain Resort. The bright colored buildings, the smell of a wood burning firepit in the center square for skiers to warm up. But today, today the marriage of Derek and Monica brought with it the warmth of family gathering to celebrate the union of best friends, parents, and wholly individual personalities complimenting each other as one couple.
On the day of the wedding I drove up the hill from our Vernon Apartment and found myself on mental autopilot up the hill while day dreaming about the photos I was going to take. As you climb the hill the snow covered trees and small peeks down into the valley make you think about fairy tale winter wonderlands. I knew we had to use this insanely breathtaking backdrop for their photos. I had my fingers crossed they would be just as game as I was braving the cold air!
As the day started I met Monica in her hotel room, it was abuzz with laughter and inside jokes shared between the dearest of friends. Her grown children dressed dapperly in suits, they looked at their mom with the admiration of her inner and outer beauty. Their family dogs scurrying around everyone’s feet as they got ready.
As family gathered in the ballroom faces were a glow with happiness to be included in such a important day. Derek beamed from ear to ear as he watched each bridesmaid make their way to the alter, then with baited breath and the pull back of the sheer drapped fabric Monica gracefully moved toward him with all the anticipation and excitement a smile can hold.
Between meaningful words shared and spoken over their marriage, Derek and Monica married their best friend.
After the ceremony the family spilled out into the foyer of the ballroom. I love this part of a wedding because there is so much love poured out onto the couple. Embraces mingling with congratulations.
There is one image that brings me back everytime I think about it, and for Monica she see’s at as more than a photo but a memory frozen in time. The hug shared between her and her mother. In 2019 her mother would pass away and she remembered her through this candid moment.
After the family photos were finished we ventured out into the village to take some of my favourite bridal party portraiture. There is nothing better than the dreamy winterscape as your backdrop.
I laugh when I look back at this picture. When you look at them you don’t see the 100’s of skiiers moving in and out behind them. I spent time strategically positioning them in the moment, but still edited out a lot of the bustling ski hill behind them. Another reason it pays to have a photographer well versed in photo editing, you will never regret it, and if they’re really good you wont even notice in the finished images that they ever did a thing.
I instantly fell in love with the photos of just Derek and Monica, the bright cool light that illuminated the snow and their faces, the way they looked at each other, sharing sweet and silly moments with one another.
I also adore when my clients incorporate their fur babies in their photos. The hilarity of this wedding was that their fur babies were shivering Weiner dogs ready to be done with it all, eagerly pulling their leashes to be picked up and snuggled by family standing behind me.
As the sun went down and the village became a deep blue hue I imagined backlit photos would create cinematic portraits for this couple, and I was not wrong. Between a champ of a groomsmen being our “voice operated” lightstand we were able to capture some truly stunning images.
Snowflakes and side profile silhouettes took my breath away on the back of the camera, when I took to editing them they excited me like nothing else. I was sharing them with my bride and groom with so much joy I couldn’t contain it. When a creative heart gets to exercise their vision and see it unfold beautifully their heart soars!
The reception was just as fun as the beginning of the day, drinks and laughter shared with family and friends.
Speeches spoke about how loved and adored this couple was by their friends.
As the night went on the dance floor opened and Derek took Monica’s hand, they waltzed around the floor. Monica looked like a queen framed in her man’s arms.
As family and friends took to the floor the fun really unfolded and I captured some really fun personalities in full swing.
Derek and Monica’s wedding is one for the books, the type of memories that have that nostaglic glow.
When I asked Monica what she felt about her experience having her wedding photographed by someone who looks for the candid and real moments she said this:
“Working with Stephanie to plan and execute a wedding session was the easiest part of my planning. Meeting her and instantly connecting with her i knew her vision would make our day. She is completely professional and at the same time will put you at ease with her knowledge and amazing talent. She braved the snow and cold to bring our winter wedding photos to life. She understood how important having not only our extended family but our four legged family included. These are not just pictures but memories for a life time. Stephanie captured them all and more. Capturing candid moments of laughter and joy that being you back to that exact moment when you look at them. Her talent definitely made the whole day the best memories for us.”
Thank you Derek and Monica for trusting me with your most important memories. I will always think about you with inviting smiles and authentic laughter. May the many years that come fill you with as much joy and love as it did the day you said “I DO”.