Out of all the weddings I have done so far this summer, Courtney Lynn and Jakes wedding is the closest I have come to a destination wedding. Even though it took place in Thunder Bay, Courtney Lynn and Jake now live in New Zealand, and a lot of the guests that attended the wedding were also from New Zealand as well. Being originally from Thunder Bay and having lived in New Zealand for the past 5 or so years, Courtney Lynn decided to have the wedding in Thunder Bay mainly because most of her family still lives here. I had met with her about a month before the wedding for the first time and I was immediately surprised that she had an accent from living abroad. Suffice it say, I heard much stronger accents come the day of the wedding and it made for quite the surreal celebration.
My date officially started at Courtney Lynns' family home, where I followed around the girls as they got ready. I really wish every wedding allowed me to capture the getting ready shots of both the men and the women but it just doesn't always work out with timing. In any case, I came away with a ton of great photos from this portion of the day alone. There was no time to photograph the guys getting ready but I would have plenty of opportunities to get photos of them throughout the day.
Once everyone was ready to go, we all left the house and headed towards the wedding location. The wedding was taking place at a beautiful property just off of Highway 61 on Farm Road. The only real bad luck for the day was that it rained which meant that the ceremony had to take place under a tent outside instead of in the open field. So, as the rain came down, people gathered around the tent and anxiously waited for the ceremony to start. Under the cover of umbrella's the bridesmaids and eventually Courtney Lynn and her Father made their way down the wet dirty road.
The ceremony itself was very intimate and had it's fair share of genuine laughs and of course a good amount of happy tears. Even with the rain pouring down outside the tent, all the guests were having such a great time and the ceremony turned out perfectly. As soon as it was sealed with a kiss, everyone made their way to the barn where the rest of the day was taking place. After some greetings and short hello's, me and the wedding party went back outside to do some portraits. Luckily, the weather took a break for a bit and we just to put up with a soft drizzle.
I was so thankful to be able to get the portraits done outside. It was such a spectacular location with the most amazing backdrop which you can see from the photos down below. It also helped that the entire wedding part are real sports. Not once did anyone complain about getting wet. After we were done doing the group shots, I stole Courtney Lynn and Jake away for about 15 minutes and we made our way to where the ceremony was supposed to take place. There was a nice wooden door way, as well as a spot with yet another amazing backdrop. Also, I took advantage some of the huge trees in the area too. All in all, I absolutely love how the portrait session turned out.
The rest of the night was spent inside the barn and there was no shortage of photo opportunities. One of the cool things Courtney Lynn did for the reception was set up a designated spot for guest portraits. It wasn't just your usual spot either, it was very cool old vintage couch set against the nice wooden wall. A lot of the guest and pretty much everyone for that matter used the couch at some point. It was a great idea and actually made my life that much easier. I was able to get guests in and out of the spot quickly because they knew where to go, but it also allowed for a lot of candid shots as other people gathered around.
The reception was a blast. The speeches were just crazy. I have seen a lot of speeches in my day and the ones that took place at this wedding were not only funny but very original. I only included a select bunch of photos of guests and the bridal party but lets just say that I came away with a staggering amount of photos of people laughing and also crying.
This was also the first wedding I have every been to where the guests were dancing to the dinner music. Even the DJ was telling me the same thing. It was quite the scene. So, you can imagine, that once the actual dance portion of the nite started, almost everyone was on the dance floor. The only challenge I had was to get in the crowd and not get knocked out from all the people swinging around. Luckily, I'm quite agile, although I had to duck out of the way of a few elbows here and there.
Each wedding the passes I am always left amazed at how many awesome wedding couples there are out there. Not only did I get to know Courtney Lynn and Jake during the wedding day, I also got to meet a lot of very cool and funny people. Below are just a few of my favourite moments and it was extremely hard not to just upload all 800+ plus photos but I had to draw the line somewhere. Thanks as always to the bride and groom for trusting me to capture their wedding day!