I have never feared the weather before a wedding day like I did for Cara & Phil’s. We actually only shot their engagement shoot a week and a half before the wedding and let’s just say the weather on that day was insane! We had even talked about not looking at the weather network leading up to the day itself but I don’t think any of us could help ourselves. I think I even had nightmares about it. They were calling for severe thunderstorms with lightning and 15mm of rain. Fast forward to the day of and, what’s this? Sunshine, 30 degree heat? CAN THIS BE? I was keeping an eye out on the sky while driving out to Manotick but things held out and I was so happy. I arrived at Cara’s mother’s home to find the girls all done up and dressed up, but my bride was hiding away. She came out briefly in her regular clothes to say hi only to vanish again. I assumed she was just getting some final touches ready when POOF! She appears from a room, dressed in her wedding gown! The girls were all so surprised, she didn’t even tell us she was changing, let alone coming out. But that’s Cara, non-traditional and straight to the point, I gotta say I love her personality! She got one of her BM’s to tie in her something blue at the back of her dress and the other to tie her up and that was it, our bride was ready to go! A couple photos on the lounger in the living room and off we were to meet with Phil for the first look.
The week before the wedding we were informed that we wouldn’t have access to the property we were initially going to use for portraits so Cara & Phil went on the hunt for possibilities. They pretty much drove around and found places they liked and found this beautiful barn covered in vines across from a corn field. So naturally they asked the property owners if they could use their land and they gladly obliged. And so our portrait location came to be. I pulled up to find Phil & his boys in a big Ole’ Black Cadillac and just as quickly as we got out of the car, Cara arrived with her girls in a big White Yukon XL. Funny enough, and for the first time ever, my bride drove herself around. I couldn’t help but laugh as I saw her jump out of the truck. A quick yell to the bunch to run away and it was time to get first looks under way. Phil stood in front of the wooden barn while his beautiful bride made her way over, with a go ahead he turned to see her and he had nothing but smiles! He wow’ed at her and brought her right in for a kiss and a long hug. They were just so darn cute about it ♥
With the nerves of it all behind us, we wandered around the barn to take photos and to of course take advantage of this gorgeous weather we were getting. We then decided to head off to photo location #2 which was at a beautiful Horse Boarding farm. Phil wanted a picture on the beautiful wooden porch and in front of a cool blue and green barn. We got em done and we even tried to get the horses in on it but you know horses, they do what they want and decided to only give us their bum for photos. But that’s okay because everything around us was just so beautiful! After a few more shots and brutal heat, we decided it was time to head to the church to get these two married.
We arrived at the Our Lady of Visitation Parish with some time to spare as guests had just started to arrive. Phil got ready at the front as we awaited for the beautiful bride to arrive in her white chariot of a truck. And just like that, it was time to start. Phil was all smiles as the wedding party made their way down the aisle but as soon as Cara popped through those doors, he changed to serious, but only because he was holding back those tears… I see you phil. Not even half way down the aisle and Cara’s dad said something to make her laugh and cry all at the same time and she just burst into a fit of giggles and tears. She greeted her soon to be husband and the ceremony was on it’s way. Not even 10minutes in and Cara and phil told each other something which made Cara burst into a fit of giggles again and let’s just say the priest didn’t like that.
He scolded them (in a funny way) to make sure they were paying attention. Funny side story, during the ceremony the priest talked about how Phil couldn’t make it to one of the marriage classes because he was stuck in North Bay since he’s a pilot and the weather was bad so he had emailed him… That whole time Phil was shaking his head saying that’s not him (since he isn’t a Pilot and all) but the priest was adamant that it was indeed him and kept telling him so. The crowd couldn’t help but laugh. He was a little confused, it happens to the best of us right? Mid way through the ceremony he could here rumbling and loud thunder, and then out of nowhere this downpour came through. It stopped, so we thought maybe we were going to be safe for the rest of the day but I think mother nature had other plans for us. The wedding party then made their way up the steps at the front. Vows were then read and rings exchanged and as quickly as they came in separately, they exited as husband and wife. They didn’t get very far though because the storm came back with a vengeance, the skies were dark, the rain was ridiculous and the lightning, well it was kinda scary. Luckily we were only a 10mins drive away from the reception space but just getting back to the cars was crazy! But we did and off we were to wait out this storm.
Driving towards the reception was actually a scary adventure. It wasn’t far but it was pretty much zero visibility and I swear a lightning bolt hit the field right beside the reception space as I pulled in! I was sure something would have burst into flames. Oh and I also got stuck in the mud and had to floor it to get out, but I made it! My dress had gotten stuck in my door and dragged the whole way there and was soaked and muddy from the drive. Luckily for me though I always bring two changes of clothes and shoes on wedding day! I got out of the car to see the groomsmen fixing two tents that had blown away thanks to our crazy storm. The main tent was still in tact thankfully! The ground was soggy and muddy but people didn’t mind, they were here to have a good time and celebrate Cara & Phil. We all hid under the tent for I’d say about a half hour to 45mins and then slowly but surely the sun came out and made everything better! People had already gotten into the bar at this point so every body was in a good mood. We did a quick family photo session and then it was time to get dinner and the party started. Dinner was an awesome roast beef and chicken buffet courtesy of AJ’s catering. There were rustic touches of wood everywhere you looked. I didn’t know this but Phil is quite the woodworker and he makes absolutely beautiful things.
The wooden puzzle pieces, the centrepieces, the mugs, the tie clips and even their cufflinks were all made by phil. Their wedding favours were actually coasters hand made and burned by Cara & Phil. Cara even made their card box, she’s picking up on Phil’s mad skills. The speeches were lovely and told many stories about the happy couple. There were many tears, the most came from Cara’s dad when he did his speech. How many times did you tear up Dale? 7times? Yep 7times, and it was absolutely adorable. One that stuck out to me had to be Cara’s mom’s speech, why you may ask? Because it was pretty much 20mins long, was based on a conspiracy theory ”alternative facts vs Reality”, had a slideshow to go along with it, and told me about how Cara & Phil came to be. And as long and as embarrassing it may have been, it was wonderful and had everyone in that tent laughing! We even got to run out in between speeches to take photos with the awesome double rainbow that mother nature blessed us with after such a crazy storm. Phil & Cara’s speech had to have been the best though. Phil’s was well thought out, written down and very sweet, Cara’s was fun, free spirited and had wine… Wait, wine? Whoever was at the wedding will totally understand what that means, I need not go further. As soon as speeches were done it was time for the first dances.
And like a true outdoor country wedding, they danced to a country song. They cuddled up to each other and spun around the hand built dance floor while their niece Vivienne joined in and danced along with them. And just like that it was time to get down and dance! Cara’s favourite part to any wedding was finally here and girl couldn’t wait to get her groove on (did I really just say groove on?). I left this wedding with a huge smile on my face and memories to last me a while! And I didn’t get stuck in the mud on my way out!!! Thank you Cara & Phil for simply being awesome. You guys know how to throw a party and know how to look damn good doing it. I hope the rest of your evening was absolutely wonderful xox
Wedding Dress: With Love Bridal– Maggie Sottero
Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal
Groom’s attire: Surmesur
Hair and Makeup: Amanda @ Beautigo Mobile
Catering: AJ’s Catering
Flowers: Beaudry’s Flowers
Cufflinks and Tie Clips: Phil Ilot, the groom himself.
Photographer: Samantha Danis @ SD photography
Second shooter: Jen @ Orange Horse Studio