First local wedding of the 2022 season and it started off spectacularly. When I first met Ashley and Troy at their engagement session, I knew we would be in for a beautiful wedding day, but I wasn’t expecting all the little touches that awaited us at Bleeks and Bergamot.
I arrived to the ladies getting ready to find a beautiful display of details waiting for me at the very front door. Ashley’s sister, Brittany had made sure to no just take out her details, but to place them for me. She has an eye for beauty that’s for sure. Ashley was sitting in the makeup chair getting her skin prepped while her girls mingled about, getting their hair finished or lounging about with some Rosé. As I walked into the kitchen I found a bouquet of roses and underneath it was… a plate of Junior chicken burgers from McDonald’s. Apparently, Ashley cannot be without her JR Chicken’s and therefore, they must make an appearance on her wedding day AND come in the car for snackies. And so the JR chickens came to be. We are not sponsored by McDonald’s, just saying.
Ashley was doing a great job at keeping calm but her eye was always on the time. She’s always late so she promised Troy she would be on time on their wedding day. HOWEVER, we all know how wedding days go, nothing is ever truly on time. Not just that, but Troy himself ended up being late, so all is fair. Ashley’s hair and makeup was absolutely perfect, she looked stunning. Her mom, Rose, watched on as she got her finishing touches on and you could just see how much she loves her daughter. She was beaming looking at her little girl.
After putting her gown on, Ashley came down the stairs and she looked phenomenal. Her bridesmaids were so close to tears as they saw their sister and bestie. Her dads reaction to seeing her was also super adorable. The smile that came upon his face was almost like a giddy smile. It was honestly so adorable. After a little bit of finishing touches, it was finally time to go meet the guys!
We arrived at Walter Baker Park to find the boys hanging out under one of my favourite willow trees. They were smart cookies and brought a cooler with some drinks and a platter of sandwiches. We love when the boys are organized! I quickly shooed them away though so that Ashley and Troy could finally see each other for the first time. Ashley was so excited to see Troy, she walked right up to him and rubbed his arm and waist, wanting nothing more than to hug him I’m sure. Troy turned, and immediately pulled Ashley in for a kiss and hug. He pulled away to have a good look at her and he couldn’t help but smile as he saw his beautiful bride, left speechless.
They cuddled and kissed and just took a moment to chat. Laughing at how Ashley ended up being late, but laughing even more that Troy too was late. We did a few portraits under the willow tree before wandering off to get some family photos done. A perfect moment was after I did a portrait of Ashley in the tall grass, I told Troy to come on in for a shot but they were standing on a hill. Ashley ended up being on the lower ground from Troy making him a good half a head taller than her. She laughed and asked me to take a photo of it because it would be the only time in his life he’d be taller!
The fun thing about doing portraits in the early afternoon in the summer is that the sun can be brutal. I can photograph in any lighting situation but for squinty eyes sake, it was best we found a spot of shade. So we rounded up the party, grabbed the cooler and food and made our way over to a beautiful tree line with some pine trees. Family photos were quick and easy and we even got baby Jane to look at the camera. People don’t realize how difficult it can be to get a child’s, let alone a babies attention for photos. Even funnier yet is the weird things I do to get a babies attention, usually leads to multiple adults laughing or getting distracted while the baby actually looks at me haha! It’s like role reversal. But ultimately, this crew did awesome.
The wedding party was sooooo good. They mingled about, having some drinks, keeping cool in the shade while we plowed through our list of shots. We were in crunch time due to our delays but we knew it would be worth arriving a tad late to Bleeks and Bergamot to get all the photos Ashley and Troy wanted.
We arrived at Bleeks and Bergamot to find a majority of the guests had arrived and were mingling about. It wasn’t long before everyone was seated and the ceremony started. Troy was sweet and walked both his mom as well as Ashley’s mom to their seats before making his way down himself. The sun was out in full force, no clouds in sight which was a huge change from my last wedding at Bleeks and Bergamot (down pour, storm, absolute craziness). The ring bearer made his way out and made sure to give his ring security briefcase to Darryl, Troy’s brother and Best Man for safe keeping. The flower girls then came out and although shy at first, they did their job beautifully, putting petals down for their Auntie to walk down next. Ashley came out with her dad Dave, full smile beaming across her face. And that’s when Troy’s tears started. He stayed stoic up front, teared up and walked down to meet his soon to be wife.
Their officiant, who is also their pastor, did a wonderful job officiating the ceremony. He started the ceremony with a prayer which everyone bowed their heads for and proceed to include personal touches about our bride and groom throughout the ceremony. Ashley and Troy wrote their own personal vows which made the ceremony all that much more emotional. Troy went first as he struggled to make it through without having to pause to shed a few tears. Looking in the crowd of guests, you could see both his mom and sister shedding tears as well. You could see where he gets his emotional side from. Ashley then said her vows and even shed a tear when she looked at Troy and spoke her hand written words. After some wiping away of tears, more laughter and definitely a ton of love, these two were finally pronounced Mr. and Mrs Alleston. There were multiple kisses and a big Ole’ celebration walking into their cocktail hour.
Bleeks and Bergamot looks a little new this wedding season. They renovated another space on their property and created a new reception area, and they did a wonderful job. Ashley and Troy walked into the space in awe of how beautiful everything looked. The long kings tables were decorated with greenery, candles, beautiful leucite table numbers as well as guests name plates finished off with gold charger plates and cutlery. The head table was also decorated with gorgeous floral pieces and my favourite, a white Neon Sign that said ‘’The Alleston’s’’.
Throughout the property you found beautiful touches. From the Mirrored seating chart (it was huge), the candy bar because Ashley has a mean sweet tooth, the photo ladder, gold and leucite accent pieces, BUT my two favourite things had to be: 1- The personalized napkins. Yes, napkins. Ashley ordered these off etsy and they had fun facts about the couple ‘’engraved’’ on them in gold lettering. They were super cute. And 2- Their guestbook. I’ve never seen this before but it was an old phone which you would pick up and leave a voicemail on it. Well wishes to the couple, stories, whatever you want. And the couple would be able to listen to it. How cool is that?
The reception was nothing short of wonderful. The guests all had a wonderful time mingling, feeling like a normal wedding after two years of covid restrictions. Such a fun twist to the evening was the ‘’kissing game’’. Now most people think these games are silly but you can make it fun, and that’s what Ashley and Troy did. They had some single stem roses and guests had to come up, take a rose and present it to either the bride or groom. They (Ashley and Troy) would then kiss. This all stems from how these two got to know each other and how they still spend some of their evenings. Watching the Bachelor.
So their mutual friend, Kristen, would invite them over to watch the Bachelor (before they were dating) and she would not so subtly leave the room only to leave Ashley and Troy together and basically force them to get to know each other. Well obviously today they can say it worked!
The food was fantastic, guests were loving the Hors d’oeuvres and the dinner thanks to Leatherworks Catering. And fabulous speeches were had throughout the night with loads of laughter and tears. Troy cried, his mom cried, his brother and sister cried, the Alleston’s are just full of love and it was so sweet to see. Throughout the night I saw Ashley and Troy stealing little glimpses of each other, smiling, just purely blissful in their special day.
Before their final speech and first dances, we quickly drove over to Bleeks and Bergamots second piece of land for some sunset photos. Ashley had a beautiful Jean jacket made with delicate pearls throughout and her new surname embroidered. The bugs were out in full force so we were quick about the photos and we couldn’t see the sunset were the location was so after about 10mins we decided to head back to the venue. On our drive back however, the sky exploded in colour. I pulled over on the side of the road and had Ashley and Troy quickly go to the field to grab a couple shots before the light vanished. We got lucky with such a gorgeous sunset even if it was brief.
Things were a little backwards for the dances with them starting with the Father Daughter dance. Dave cradled his little girl and smiled throughout the whole thing. As a daughter, I always dreamed of my dance with my dad on my wedding day but seeing Dave’s face made me realize that dad’s also anticipate this moment so much. Troy and his mom danced in each others arms, and Heather didn’t seem to want to let go of her son. My favourite moment for them was when she grabbed his face in her hands and just smiled and teared up. Absolutely beautiful to watch. Then came Ashley and Troy’s dance. The guests were handed sparklers and they swayed to the music surrounded by the light of their friends and family.
I ended my night with a vision. I asked Ashley and Troy to make their way back into their reception space so that I could do a cool night shot with their Neon Sign because, why not utilize it some more? The party had started, some country music was blaring and it was time for me to make my exit while these amazing people danced the night away.
Ashley and Troy, wow. You guys were an absolute joy to work with, to get to know and to photograph. Your family, friends and guests were all so fantastic throughout the whole day and I couldn’t have asked for a better start to my local wedding season. Thank you for trusting me with your memories and I can’t wait to share your full gallery with you. For now, enjoy your sneak peeks xo