Elegant Cornwall Wedding
Back in January, Chris, Sarah and I (and Morgan!) got together for a little wander through Maxville for their engagement session. Little did I know when I set out that day just how awesome it would be or that that session would go on to set the tone for the big day in August; we all had pretty high expectations!
Chris and Sarah were married on a beautiful August Saturday. This boisterous group of 14 made it through a scorcher of a day in great spirits! I started my morning laughing alongside Meaghan Meerburg and her team from Tying the Knot as they worked to transform the main ballroom at the Ramada Inn into a beautiful space. It’s clear that Meaghan has a great relationship with her assistant (and with her husband, who was along to help) and that they thoroughly enjoy what they do!
Chris’s side of the wedding party included family, in-laws, musician friends, and friends from waaaaaay back on the kindergarten rug, while Sarah was also joined by in-laws, elementary and high school friends. I found it interesting to see the bond between each of the wedding party members and Chris and Sarah; it takes a lot of work to stay friends with people from elementary school because it’s so easy for time, distance, and differences to get in the way, and I think it’s a testament to these two that they’ve managed it. The guys had a good laugh managing each other’s hairstyles, broken suspenders, deficiencies in tie knotting, and exploding wine. The exploding wine was planned. The extent of the explosion, however, was not. I’ll never forget the look on Chris’s face when he realised it wasn’t going to plan and that he was getting soaked. :) It’s worth mentioning that the groom’s brother and sister-in-law did an awesome job of providing a few items to spice up Chris and Sarah’s backyard – the items you see there are from their little business (and one of my favourite auction sites), The Rustic Window. The guys were clearly out to have a good time together, and it looked like that plan was well under way by the time I left them to go see the girls. There were some very personal little details worked into the day for Sarah, including matching rompers and personalised hangers for her and each of her girls; a Norwegian brooch given to Sarah at birth that is traditionally worn by the bride on her wedding day (her dad’s family is from Norway and they were thrilled to have so many family members fly over for the wedding!); and a dress perfectly suited to a ballet dancer. Since Sarah has been helping me with a dance project, we both thought that her wedding day would be the perfect chance to tie our project into her personal life, and it worked out perfectly that she’d chosen an awesome dress to help the idea along. I watched as the girls helped Sarah get ready and attended to all of the necessary details – including making sure that her armpits were in proper condition. Seriously. Although they didn’t make the cut because of having so many other images to choose from, trust me on this: I’ve never gotten so many photos of girls looking at armpits in my life! :) Hidden in amongst the prep photos is a seemingly-innocuous photo of Sarah’s face reflected in a hand mirror. While photos shouldn’t need explanations, I thought I’d better note this one because I wanted to play on the fact that Sarah and her mother, Donna, are so similar that it’s sometimes shocking. The woman holding the mirror is Donna; the face in the mirror is Sarah’s.
While I don’t usually make many notes about the ceremony, this one was extra special. Father Matthew, who had recently been transferred from out in Ingleside, was performing his first ceremony for his new parish, and was delighted – well, he’s always delighted, but he was especially delighted – that his first official ceremony was a wedding. If you haven’t met him, he’s easy to spot (besides the obvious clerical robes) – he’s been known to do Christenings in sandals, he’s usually sporting a gigantic grin, and he’s at least a head taller than most people. :) He and I don’t cross paths very often, but his approach to life and religion always leaves me smiling. On top of Father Happy’s – er, Father Matthew‘s presence being a great sign for the service, Chris decided to play a song for Sarah. Under normal circumstances, this might make me want to squeal with glee because of the prospect of getting photos of people struggling to control giggles while the groom warbles his way through his chosen song, but I knew there was no chance of that happening this time – Chris is a seriously talented musician (he has a brand new album out that you should really have a listen to) and everyone was thrilled to have a few minutes of musical entertainment to start off the ceremony. The only one making faces was Sarah, who looked like she was having a ball, despite the fact that she was unsuccessfully trying to stop the gash in her finger from dripping blood all over her gown. Oh, sorry, guests – did you think that Ted was handing her a tissue to help her stem the flow of tears while she listened to Chris’s awesomeness? Sorry to ruin the romance. ;) The dress ended up coming clean (way to go, Tide-to-Go!) and the song rocked, so all was right in the world.
The ceremony was done, family photos were taken care of, and it was time to head for wedding party photos. Sarah had said that she’d really like to have photos in front of a willow on her wedding day, so I hunted for willows like a woman possessed. Okay, not really… But I swear I dreamt of willows for weeks. There were several available, but each one I saw was on private property (not a huge deal – I’m not afraid to ask permission) on the opposite side of town (problem) until… jackpot! We lined these hooligans – I mean, guys – up and took advantage of a majestically gorgeous bit of nature before heading over to make use of Cornwall’s locks. Before long, all of the photos were done, everyone was loaded back into their enormous limo, and we were heading for a party, where Chris and Sarah got to bask in the glow of an awesome day. Dinner for 180 people in a Cornwall venue is no easy feat, but the Ramada team managed it! The speeches were thoroughly entertaining; Rod’s catchy little unfinished poem included a story about boys comparing their, well, “boys”, and the room just about exploded with laughter. Martin Pilon did an awesome job getting things moving on the dance floor and the photo booth was such a success that I had a hard time getting it packed up so that I could finally head home after an exceptional day.
Working with Sarah and Chris is always a joy. When there was chaos going on around them, Chris stayed calm; when people were starting to look frazzled in the heat, Sarah radiated beauty. When it was just the two of them together for their photos, it felt like everyone else disappeared (despite the fact that some of the wedding party were heckling them) because these two just didn’t care what was happening around them. It’s so easy to get caught up in the joy they find in each other; the smiles they share are contagious.
Chris and Sarah, thank you for including me in your elegantly wacky day! :) Here are some of my favourites from your day:
I’m Ang – a Cornwall, Ontario-based photographer with a passion for capturing light and photographing natural moments as they happen, whether during a rustic ceremony in a foreign country or an elegant Cornwall wedding. My goal is to capture memories that you will cherish once your wedding dress is wrapped up and the flowers have dried. I love meeting new couples and getting in amongst the wedding day bedlam so that I can document the emotions and truly special moments. Please explore more of www.momentusstudio.com to see more examples of Cornwall, Ontario wedding photography.