Brittney & Ilya – Canmore Winter Wedding at Stewart Creek

Outdoorsy people are my people. Brittney & Ilya are all kinds of adventurous, so it would only be fitting that these two shared their day-o-love together with their friends and family who traveled far and wide in the Canadian Rockies.

As I drove out to Canmore I was getting excited for the snow. True, I do not like cold, but I do like the beautiful fluttering of snowflakes. It’s obviously as romantic as one could dream up. The fog was lying low on the mountain tops but the day was clear and sunny. No snowfall warning for the day so I crossed my fingers we would get something, anything…

As the girls left for the ceremony, we headed to stewart creek golf and country club where the boys were eagerly awaiting the ladies’ arrival. As Brittney walked down the aisle, I don’t think there was a moment Ilya took his eyes off of her. These two exchanged the kindest words and affirmations to one another as their family and friends teared up.

Off to portraits in the Mountains!

As we adventured to a few spots around Canmore for photos everyone was in such awesome spirits, it couldn’t have been more fun to be a part of. As the limo climbed the winding dirt roads to head to the lake, I could see in the distance the snow was starting to come down and follow us. At the very last location, Brittney and Ilya snuggled as the snowflakes started to come down before a mad dash to the car because snow equals freezing cold and being beside a lake it makes it even colder!!! But all definitely worth it for how hella cute the photos are! Right?!

Reception time.

As we headed back to the reception, everyone greeted them with love and joy. The reception was full of stories and kind words and a delicious cake cutting before they tore up the dance floor.

What an amazing day to document and what an epic love story to tell.

Thank you Brittney and Ilya for taking me on this wild ride and trusting me and my off-the-beaten-track photo locations 🙂


Flowers // Willow Flowers, Canmore
Table decor // Special Events rentals, Banff
Venue // Stewart Creek, Canmore
Getting ready location // Holiday Inn, Canmore
Dress // Beautiful Bride
Shoes // Town shoes
Nails // Riverside Spa
Garter // Davids Bridal
Jewellery // Swarovski
Veil // Brides moms
Bridal Party Attire // Davids Bridal
Hair/Makeup // Emilia Art Makeup
Suit // Huey Lam custom suits
Tie // Calvin Klein
Shoes // Calvin Klein
Wedding Rings/Bands // Spence Diamonds
Invitation Designer // Plush Invitations
Ceremony Location // Stewart Creek
Officiant // Patrick Smiley
Reception // Stewart Creek, Canmore.
DJ // Hype DJ
Florist // Willow Flower Co., Canmore
Favours // Bride/Groom Cookies from Cakes with Attitude
Cake // Cake Creations, Canmore
Limo// Alpine Limo, Canmore

From the Bride and Groom:

Wedding theme + Colours // We chose Purple and Gold. Purple has always been my favorite colour, and with having a fall wedding we were hoping the leaves would be “gold” to go along with it so we chose gold as our second colour. It turned into a gorgeous wintery wedding (unpredictable mountains!) but we still loved the gold and purple.

Number of guests // 55

Feel they went for // Ilya and I are a super outdoorsy couple – we love to be out biking, hiking, and climbing! We love being out in the mountains so we chose Stewart Creek for its beautiful atmosphere inside and out. The floor to ceiling windows made us feel like we were right in the mountains while we were saying our vows!
We kept our guest list small so that we would be able to visit and enjoy all of our guests. Many of our family members live on the other side of the country or even as far away as Australia so we wanted time to catch up with each of them. We love all our friends and family and really wanted a wedding where we could be close and surround ourselves with love.

Top 3 best moments+why //
1. Seeing each other for the first time. Brittney – My favorite moment was walking in while Beauty and the Beast was playing and seeing Ilya waiting at the front for me, smiling. I was so happy to see him and I was so excited, I almost ran down the aisle…my dad had to hold me back! 🙂 Ilya looked so handsome and mouthed “wow” at me as I got to the front. He’s the love of my life, I’m so lucky. Ilya- My favorite moment was watching Brittney walk down the aisle. As I watched her coming towards me I was thinking “Oh my god, she’s so pretty! Its finally going to happen!”

2. Saying our vows. We chose to prepare vows that we wrote for each other, which added a special touch to our ceremony and made it feel more personal. We were so happy that we were able to say our own vows at the ceremony – it was nice being able to share our love with each other.

3. Entering the reception and being announced as “Mr. and Mrs. Makhotkin!”. The ceremony and photos seemed to go by so quickly, we knew that we were the Makhotkins now but it felt so  official being announced as Mr and Mrs! It was finally sinking in that we were MARRIED! 🙂

Wedding song // We chose “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran. We really like the song, and the lyric that we love the most is “Baby your soul, will never grow old, it’s evergreen”. We have a very playful love and we like to be out having fun adventures. We like to think our souls will stay young forever and we will keep having fun together until we are old old old!

Before the wedding:

How they met // Ilya and I met when in University, when we were on the University of Calgary rowing team together. My first impression of Ilya was that he was very quiet and just did his own thing. We were teammates and friends during the season, but we really started to get to know each other in the fall of 2012. The two of us (plus my bridesmaid Olivia) were staying out in BC after University Champs to attend Nationals the following week. We were the only ones doing both competitions so we had a lot of time together while waiting for our other teammates to arrive. Ilya became more outgoing and was always coming to the room I was sharing with Olivia, wanting to hang out and bringing his laptop to watch the show “Dexter”. We enjoyed spending time together on that trip and when we were back in Calgary, he asked me to come over and watch “Dexter”. I said “should I bring Olivia?” and he was like “just you!” and that’s how he “officially” asked me out. We started hanging out just the two of us and the rest was history!
We eventually transitioned away from rowing and Ilya taught me to mountain bike which is our new main hobby! We love to be outside and go on adventures together!

Engagement story // Ilya and I love to mountain bike during the summer. We go together whenever we can, but Ilya sometimes heads out to Bragg Creek at the crack of dawn to bike before work. I was always saying how I wanted to come too and Ilya invited me to come with him one Friday morning (August 12, 2016). We woke up early early (0530) and Ilya took me to Tim Hortons (my favorite) and then we drove out to Bragg Creek. It had rained overnight and there was a gorgeous double rainbow just for us on the drive out (I’m not kidding!). We took the “Goldilocks” loop – there is an open meadow about half way up with a picnic bench. We stopped to take some photos together and Ilya said so many nice things about our future. I thought we were done but when I put on my helmet  Ilya said “let’s stay for a bit longer”, I said “Ok…” then Ilya took my hands, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I of course happily said yes! 🙂

Kind Words // “We thought you were totally fabulous! We can be awkward people and during our engagement photo’s you made us feel so comfortable and we look so natural and like “ourselves”. During the wedding you gave so much direction and we felt totally comfortable in your hands. Even our bridal party felt confident with your poses and the few “sneak peek” photo’s you’ve given us are STUNNING!

We loved having you as our wedding photographer and would happily recommend you to our friends looking for a photographer!”. -Brittney & Ilya