The thought of brunch weddings has always interested me. Sure, I have shot lots of different venues, breakfast for dinner weddings, breakfast weddings, seasons, couples, so on and so forth, but never an official official brunch wedding.
When Shannon and Steven contacted me about their wedding I was literally overjoyed. I really love shooting at new venues and MARKET is a super chicly designed place that I had only ever eaten at.
Shannon, like myself, loves Pinterest. She showed me the cutest ideas for her brunch spread – it was going to be a mix of sit down and stand up mingling with adorable mini brunch sized food. I LOVE pancakes, so when she told me they were going to have mini pancake stacks with teeny tiny butter squares I died a little inside. The cuteness factor was on overload at this wedding.
The morning of the wedding I went to meet the girls at Swish Salon in Marda Loop. Shannon’s hairdresser is a hair-savant. I loved that Shannon and her family and friends all got ready at the salon. They were even visited by a cute pooch that swings by on his normal walks around 33rd for a quick treat and scratch.
After Shannon’s dad saw her in all of her wedding glory, we all headed to the restaurant. Arriving shortly before them, I shot the space and it wasn’t until that point that I really grasped Shannon’s full vision. The restaurant was decorated with a simple elegance. Soft flowing pink and white chiffon covered the garage door leading to the patio. The bar was laced with tulips and guests received mason jars filled with the yummiest granola; a perfect compliment to a brunch wedding if I do say so myself.
Walking down the aisle, Shannon had so much joy in her eyes. When I turned to see what Steven was doing, I basically got completely choked up – that man really loves his babe. Their love is just the right kind of mushy stuff we all dream of people!
After they passed around their rings for a blessing of well wishes, they exchanged vows, sealed it with a kiss, and off we went for their private moment.
Shannon and Steven requested I find a spot close by, so right after the wedding they could go to a quiet place to exchange letters they had written to one another. Luckily, Royale Brasserie was vacant and their patio was accessible and had a few chairs left outside.
They sat down and started to read. I can only imagine how heartfelt the words were, because the emotion on the patio was full. I was tearing up just watching them read the pages.
After a few kisses and cuddles, we headed back for their entrance and brunch!
Glasses were clinked, pancakes and breakfast poutine devoured, and let me tell you, the spread was amazing. I would say more delectable than their regular menu. MARKET has such talented chefs and mixologists.
After their first dance the couple joined their friends and family and shared laughs before some pretty emotional speeches. I had met Casey a few years back when she was a bridesmaid in her sister’s wedding, and I remember her going through basically a whole tissue box at Lindsay & Ryan’s wedding so I eagerly prepared. As her daughter helped her put up signs along the bar, she started to share insider info about Shannon and before I knew it the tears were rolling. These two, I would say, are like sisters. They have such a bond, it’s really wonderful to get to share in. I wouldn’t have wanted to follow her speech – just saying. Although the best man, Jason, definitely held his own!
After speeches, everyone continued to mingle and enjoy brunch. The limo arrived and off we went for photos.
Everyone’s plans for their day are unique, but I think I truly loved that Shannon and Steven wanted to go for formals after the brunch so they weren’t rushed and their guests didn’t have to wait for them. We toured around the city to some of my favourite spots for some romantic, editorial and candid shots, and before I knew it we had created some super memorable images and documented their love story.
I can’t thank you both enough for such a wonderful experience. I loved every minute of your day and I am simply honoured that I got to memorialize the day that you officially joined each other as husband and wife.
Wedding theme and colours: Blush Pink, Navy and Silver/Grey – Pink is my favourite colour, I couldn’t imagine not including it in my wedding in some way. I picked navy, because it goes nicely with pink and I wanted my maid of honour to have a dress in a colour I knew she’d wear again. Finally, silver/grey to round out the colour palette and provide an accent colour.
Wedding guests: Approximately 40 guests
Feel they were you going for: We didn’t really have a theme, our focus was on a having a causal Sunday brunch with family and friends. We planned our wedding in three months while moving cities, both starting new jobs and selling our house; so our main focus was on keeping it simple and making our guest as welcome as possible. One of the most important elements to us was food, which is why we picked Market as our venue. We wanted to serve the kind of comfort foods we loved: pancakes, poutine, grilled cheese, sliders, and Steven’s favourite, club sandwiches. We opted to serve everything cocktail style to encouraging mingling and bring everyone together. It genuinely felt like the kind of event we’d host at home, only more upscale!
Top 3 best moments and why:
Steven: Seeing Shannon walk down the aisle for the first time. For me, it was a transition from being spate people to being one. The ceremony just made it official. It was at that moment seeing Shannon that I truly felt like we were one and the same.
Shannon: Prior to walking down the aisle I was hiding in the woman’s bathroom with my mom and flower girl. My dad walked in, and my flower girl looked t him and exclaimed “This is the GIRLS’ bathroom! You shouldn’t be here!” It was a hilarious moment of levity to help calm the nerves.
Both: The Maid of Honor speech. It was obvious how much time and effort Cassandra put into her speech. Kicking it off with 11 truths and a lie was a fabulous way to break the ice and share my background with some of Steven’s family who I met for the first time that day. However, the highlight was Cassandra retelling our my and Steven’s relationship via my own words. Using the texts and emails I sent during the early days of dating was just such a fantastic journey down memory lane. That girl saves everything, and I couldn’t be more grateful for it. It was probably the best Maid of Honor speech I’ve had the pleasure of hearing, and I’m not just saying that because I’m biased! Though I totally am!
Both: Taking those few minutes after the ceremony to read our letters, and just take in the first few minutes of married life. It was lovely to escape the hustle and bustle of the wedding day and get a few minutes of quality time to just centre ourselves.
Wedding song: Only Fools Rush In by Elvis. No real reason, it just felt like the right song. My processional song, All My Life by the Beatles, was more meaningful, as my it was my parents’ first dance song at their wedding 44 years prior. Walking down the aisle to that song escorted by both my parents was incredibly touching.
Anything you would like to add:
Sarah was fabulous and such a joy to work with. When we had our initial meeting with Sarah another couple came by to pick up their wedding album and they informed us we would be thrilled with our choice of photographer and they couldn’t have been more correct. Sarah captured the day perfectly, seemingly being everywhere at once. Her work was the perfect way to capture such and amazing day.
BEFORE THE WEDDING DAY
How did you meet?: We met in the modern way, online! Steven messaged me on eHarmony just before Christmas 2014. Our first date was in early January 2015, at Starbucks. I was late (my boss cornered me in the elevator!) and was in such a rush I forgot my wallet! I was mortified. I remember walking in to Starbucks and seeing him and thinking “Holy, he’s actually really cute!” We sat in Starbucks talking until they closed the place down. Unbeknownst to me, one of my coworkers happened to stop in to grab a coffee while we were there. She was going to come over and say hi, but decided we were too engrossed in talking to one another, that she didn’t want to interrupt. After being kicked out of Starbucks we headed across the street to an Irish Pub, where we shared a plate of chicken fingers and fries. The night finished with a kiss, and definite plans for a second date at the Calgary zoo two days later.
Engagement story: Our engagement wasn’t exactly traditional. We were both unemployed, and I was interviewing for a number of overseas positions. One Sunday shortly after our one-year dating anniversary we were wandering the farmer’s market and the conversation turned to: If I was offered one of the overseas jobs I was interviewing for the only way Steven could accompany me was if we were married. One of us, not sure who, exclaimed “Let’s just do it then!” The conversation continued and Steven stated “We’ve been talking about getting married for months, so let’s get married.” I followed up with “Are you sure?” and Steven replied “Yes.” That was that, and we were engaged!