I’ve been back from Mexico for one week now and I just finally got to sit down to edit Cindy & Mike’s wedding! It killed me to wait so long but the day after we came home I moved into my new place and let me tell you, moving takes a lot of time and energy. But enough about that, let’s get to this beautiful couples wedding day and story.
I’ve known Cindy for a few years now thanks to playing on the same ringette team so when she asked me to be a part of her big day and to photograph it, of course I said yes! We met and discussed everything which is where I was also informed that she and Mike were being placed in Borden for work and I would not be flying with them, which kinda scared me a bit as I have a fear of flying. Fast forward to departure day and although I was alone on the flight, once we landed, Cindy and Mike’s friends and family were quick to say hi and to include me in everything from day one. When we arrived at the Grand Palladium Kantenah I was so happy to see my beautiful friend and of course Mike there to greet us. The few days leading up to the wedding were awesome! We played beach volleyball, hung out in the pool the majority of the day telling each other stories about the bride and groom and of course having dinner together. But obviously nothing beats the wedding day itself.
Wednesday came and left so quickly but luckily I have the memory of an elephant and can tell you how it went like it was yesterday! I woke up on May 30th excited to get the day started but everything down south kind of slows down and it felt like forever before I got to actually see Cindy. She and her mom were on a golf cart when they drove by me and picked me up to head on over to her room to get her makeup done. Did I mention the resort was huge? It took me an hour to walk from one end to the other and back so I was so thankful that on this 38+ degree day we had a golf cart to take us around. I met with the videographers in Cindy’s room and we got to work right away! Walking around, looking for great spots for details, first looks and everything in between before heading off to the ceremony. After taking care of all the little things Mathias, the videographer, and I made our way to see Mike. We did our usual getting ready photos but it’s when he read his letter to Cindy out loud that I think things got real for him. The second he spoke the first few words, tears just started to stream down his face and he struggled with getting the words out. I haven’t known Mike long but I didn’t expect him to cry so for that to happen, and so quickly, I was surprised and giddy because it was just so cute. Cindy gave Mike a beautiful card and watch with an engraving on the back that read; ”I will ♥ you until the end of time 30.05.2018”. I had to make my way back to Cindy for her getting dressed and first looks but sadly, my golf cart was nowhere to be found. So I walked along the long road from one villa to the other while thinking how grateful I was to be shooting such a beautiful wedding on such a gorgeous day while simultaneously dying of heat. Cindy was all done her hair and makeup and looked absolutely stunning as she sat on the bed finishing up her vows. She opened Mike’s gift and had nothing but the biggest smile on her face as she read his card. He gifted her with a beautiful Vera Wang single pearl necklace as Cindy loves pearls. She admired her gown and quickly got dressed with the help of her mom. After a few almost tears, Cindy walked out to her father for their first look. He was so nervous but he did so well! He waited for her and the second he turned to see her he started to cry and it was very emotional. Cindy’s mom wasn’t very far behind crying herself. After many hugs, a gift for both mom and dad, we were off to the ceremony to finally marry these two.
The Ceremony was held at the Ocean side Gazebo on the far end of the resort. Far enough from the busy day’s activities that we didn’t get too many strays come along the way. The wind was strong but just enough to keep everyone cool in the mid day sun which was so lovely. Mike walked down the aisle with both parents, little did he know that Cindy was directly behind him, thankfully he didn’t turn his head! Mike’s best man, Stephen walked up with the gorgeous wooden ring box and stayed with his best friend, telling him not look until Cindy was in full sight. Our beautiful bride was nothing but smiles as she and her parents walked up to her soon to be husband. Another emotional moment for Mike as he wiped away a couple tears after seeing his bride. The ceremony was beautiful and of course picturesque. Guy, Cindy’s uncle, performed the entire thing in both English and French so that all of their guests could understand. They performed a sand ceremony showing their lives now combining into one as well as read hand written vows which had Cindy’s mom in tears. Poor Denise cried so much that day, I love moms. After the signing of their documents and a short message from Guy, they were pronounced husband and wife, sealed it with a kiss, a dip and some more kisses! So many kisses from these two, I loved it. They greeted all of their guests with a glass of champagne and a smile after the ceremony. Took a group shot and some friend photos and off we were to photograph these two beautiful humans. A little short story about Cindy & Mike’s Relationship:
Cindy was not looking for a relationship. She, being a nurse in the Canadian Navy had a lot of things to take care of and a relationship was not a priority. So when I say that her and Mike meeting was destiny, it really was. They initially met in York, England during pre deployment training for Op Sirona which was the Canadian response to the Ebola outbrake in Sierra Leone, West Africa. They spent over two months becoming really good friends, but Mike was a MedTech posted in Petawawa and Cindy was posted in Montreal… When he asked her out on a date when they would return to Canada, she came out and told him she didn’t want a long distance relationship. He was left a little speechless but regardless, they kept hanging out while in England and Mike kept up the hope. Funny story, while they were in Sierra Leone, Cindy had to stop by her friends room to drop off some headphones and Mike is the one who opened the door to her, shirtless and only covered by a towel wrapped around his lower half… Needless to say she was like damnnn. Anywho, they kept in touch when they returned to Canada and ended up going down to Mexico with friends and got to know each other in a different context. Cindy: “When we returned to Canada after the trip, I had to go to Petawawa for military training where I spent a week at his place. He made me breakfast every morning even though he didn’t have to get up as early as me and thats when I though that I would be dumb to let him go. I thought that everything happens for a reason and so why not give it a try. We started dating and less than 2 months later we were both offered a position in Ottawa which we didn’t hesitate to accept. So 6 months after starting dating we were moving in together. In the 3 years we have spent together we spent a lot of time apart….Mongolia, Iraq, Alert but in the end we got married and we are so happy together.”
We were told we weren’t allowed on a certain part of the resort, as it was VIP’s only but our cart driver didn’t care and brought us over anyways. It was this gorgeous tiered lookout area over looking a pool and rock bed sitting at the oceans edge. The wind was strong, so strong even that it kept spinning Cindy’s veil into this knotted mess that I had to untangle every few minutes. But obviously it was totally worth it for the few shots we were able to get here. After an overload of wind we opted to head on over where there would be more greenery as Cindy loves nature. We found another beautiful Gazebo that bordered the gorgeous Mexican church with a cactus garden and hidden jungle bridge. We definitely hung out here for the remainder of our afternoon before heading over to the reception. We got photobomb by a cat, as you can see below. They were everywhere on this resort and so cute! We also got eaten alive by mosquitoes in the cover of the jungle but it was totally worth it to get the shots we got. I was in total awe when I uploaded these, sometimes it’s just so effortless. It was all effortless with these two, they were absolute naturals in front of the lens. We ended our session with a thank you photo and off we were the party the night away. And what a party it was!
The reception was held at the White Sands resort on their Lake side patio. It was gorgeous! Marble tile, a view of the man made lake and bridges, pink linens with gold accent pieces and of course beautiful florals and cake. The DJ had this amazing light up booth with the sweetest lighting system, I could do all my weddings with this DJ, he was seriously awesome. There was also a beautiful table when you walked in that had photos of the grand parents that were no longer with us and could not share this special day with Mike and Cindy. All the guests entered and were greeted by a cocktail and invited to take a seat as Mike & Cindy prepared to enter the room as husband and wife. They walked in to cheers and whistles as they walked right into their first dance. I gotta say they didn’t exactly walk more so that they waltzed into it ;). Yes cheese play on words but they actually waltzed and it was beautiful to watch as they smiled and held onto each other in their own little bubble.
Through out the night we were treated to speeches by the best man, parents and even friends that got up to tell funny stories to get the bride and groom to kiss. For me though I think the best part was when Cindy received a facetime phone call from her brother and niece. Sadly they couldn’t make it down to Mexico so when Cindy saw them she just couldn’t fight back the tears and by association her mom cried as she watched her kids talking. After a delicious meal, father daughter, mother son dances, it was time to boogie. I have to say, I have never seen a group dance and get into the music the way this crew did. Their feet just did not stop, well they did when the shots came out, and they came out often. But when they got going, omg I just couldn’t help but laugh and join in with them. The DJ played some old school jams like Backstreet boys, Spice Girls, House of pain, just everything we grew up with in the 90’s, it was perfect. It was bloody hot and humid but nobody cared, they just wanted to party it up! All in all it was a perfect wedding, and probably the most energetic and fun reception I’ve ever been at. My feet were destroyed the next day but it was obviously completely worth it.
Thank you Cindy & Mike for allowing me to join into your celebrations as your friend and to your friends and families for making me feel like a part of the group. I can’t wait to see you again, but until then I hope you enjoy these photos and I hope that they take you back to such a special day. xo
Wedding Dress and Veil : Eloïse-Marie from Dominique Levesque Bridal
Videographer: Indigo Wedding Videographer
Resort: Grand Palladium Kantenah & White Sands
Brides Bouquet and Boutonniers: Melissa Lafrance Events & Florals
More information to come!