Jenna & Brad: Backyard Wedding

June 4, 2017

Friday was wedding day this week! So different than my usual schedule but I love it, and I loved this wedding! Jenna & Brad have been together 5 years, but their family (Jenna’s grand father and Brad’s father) have known each other for much longer than that, so their fairytale was written in the stars as one might say. The week before the wedding, Jenna and I met up for some Starbucks to go over the final timeline of the day, after an initial hiccup in our location we finally had a chance to sit and have a chat. I asked her if she was nervous at all and she had said no, that everything was going to be chill and relaxed. Well the day came and her words were exactly what awaited us, a chill and relax environment.

I arrived at Jenna’s family home out in Kemptville where the clouds were gray and the wind was strong, and cold. I said hi to Phil, Jenna’s dad and made my way inside where all the girls were just hanging out, getting their hair and makeup done and Jenna…Steaming? Since when does the bride do her own steaming? Well this girl did it, and she was pretty much an expert at it. It wasn’t long before I walked through the door that Jenna’s mom, Debbie was offering me food, I love moms that offer me food haha. Jenna showed me around and I got straight to work taking photos of some lovely details and of course the very beautiful ceremony space outside. After about an hour it was time for Jenna to get dressed and once that was complete, she and her mom shared a moment and she pinned her grand mothers brooch to her bouquet as a way to keep her close on her wedding day. We were then on our way to the enchanting Norgaard residence for the couple’s first look and photo session.

Brad arrived with his boys only for me to whisk him away to await his bride. We turned him to look away and told him to keep his eyes closed. Which I have to mention, he totally did not, after going through my photos I realized he had opened them as Jenna was walking towards him, luckily he was facing the opposite direction. He then turned, eyes still closed and await his cue to open them, and when he did open them, you saw the purest joy come out from both of their eyes and smiles. After a few moments just the two of them, a little spin from Jenna to show her dress and herself off to Brad, a few kisses, we were off to do family photos as well as bridal party portraits. We took advantage of the beautiful stone house for family photos and then we wandered around the gardens and trees and all the beautiful nature that was around us to get a good variety of settings for the photos.

We found a gorgeous spot in front of a garden patch and two little trees to start things off, but just as the party was getting situated the sun decided to come out in full force and deliver me a blast of crazy bright sun! But who’s complaining, certainly not the bridal party because the sun was bringing us so much needed heat! After an attempt at getting the kids involved in the photos, to no avail, we decided to split things up and to start focusing on our beautiful ladies. We walked over to a big ole tree and took some lovely photos underneath where the girls held hands, laughed and chatted away ever so beautifully and effortlessly. The boys took their flowers and went to do boy things in a corner until it was their time to shine. I took a shot of the boys in what’s called the ”Flying V” style (Thanks mighty Ducks) and then I asked them; ”Hey, make a silly face behind Brad.” And my response was one silly face, one confused face and Jason saying, I don’t know what to do. Interestingly enough, it worked. Jenna and her adorable little flower girl, Indie Rose attempted to have a little Tea Party on a cute patio set but Indie Rose had much more interest in going to play games with Bennett, so off she went.

Jenna, Brad an I then walked around the gardens for a their own private session, well not so private as the entire crew followed us around and awwwed at their beauty, which I’m totally cool with haha. They laughed, smiled, kissed and did all the things happy couples do on their wedding day. It was getting a little chilly thanks to the wind so we decided we would do a few more shots in front of the stone house and be on our way to arrive back at Jenna’s parents home before guests arrived. Just before we left though we did a dip kiss and I got the greatest reaction from these two! Brad wasn’t quite sure how to do it, which I don’t blame him, but he did it like a trooper. And Jenna had a metal hook poking her in her back, but even though she was uncomfortable she laughed at the process and made the situation wonderful. Time to get these two married!

The ceremony space was just beautiful. White chairs line each side of the aisle and at the very front was barn doors, built by Jenna’s dad with beautiful florals and greenery by Floral Reef Designs. And behind them was a field with Jenna’s horses which made the setting just that much dreamier. Guests were greeted by a guitarist that played lovely music as they await for the processional to start.Brad walked down the aisle with his mom and dad followed by the boys who greeted him at the end with big hugs. The girls then walked down, two of which had their children who were a part of the party and obviously they stole the show. Then came the big moment, Jenna and her dad made their way down and Brad was all smiles the second he even spotted a white dress around the corner. As was Jenna the second she saw Brad standing up there. They took each others hands and made the short walk to the front where all their guests could see them. The ceremony was filled with emotions, primarily from the parents as you can see below. It wasn’t more then 5minutes in and they were already crying, I loved it.

The ceremony was filled with laughter heard by all thanks to the amazing Keith, the officiant. He told stories about the couples and little anecdotes until it was time for Jenna & Brad to read their vows. They had written their own vows to which one would say a part and the other would read there’s right after, like they were communicating them to each other and promising it to one another like a poem, it was beautiful to witness. It was time for the exchanging of the rings which took a little longer than usual because well, Zack, Brad’s brother, had them in his inside pocket and apparently that thing is deep so the struggle was real in this moment guys. They exchanged their symbols of eternal love and they were officially husband and wife! They sealed the deal with a kiss, a long one at that and made their way down the aisle as Mr. and Mrs. Argo, YAY!

After greeting a few of their guests, I stole them away for some photos with Jenna’s horses before cocktail hour. We made our way to the field where the horses were. They lifted their heads to us but never walked towards us so we made our way towards them. Now Brad is allergic to them so he kept his distance, we tried for a few but the horses were not cooperating so I told Brad to step back and see if maybe Jenna could get a  few with them. Well they didn’t cooperate any more wither her then when Brad was there BUT the in between shots did actually look beautiful of Jenna adjusting her dress and scarf while the horses tried to eat her flowers. They even tried to eat her dress but she wasn’t having it haha. After a few more tries we made our way out of the enclosure to the reception space for cocktail hour and of course the reception.

The big white tent was beautifully decorated from things old and new. The centrepieces were beautiful little birdcages filled with greenery and flowers and the seating chart was an old wooden window frame with beautiful stationary filled with flowers in their colour scheme. The head table had a beautiful backdrop again made by the brides father with an adorable wooden Love sign and Wooden sweetheart chairs. They also had a serving cart that had been refurbished that held the gifts and cards. They opted for cupcakes rather than a cake which fit the rustic theme so well especially with the beautiful colours and cupcake stand. They even had little birdies a little bit here and there to go along with their theme. Their wedding favours were beautiful coasters with the floral pattern and birds to follow suite. To top it all off, beautiful orb string lights and a gorgeous chandelier to finish the look. And let’s not forget the awesome lighting from Bobby B Productions!

The reception was great, the wedding party walked into the tent in pairs and to a different song each as they made their way to the head table. The evening started off with a prayer to bless the day and the food we were about to receive by Jenna’s aunt. We then had a wonderful Buffet dinner thanks to AJ’s catering. During the reception it was announced that the kissing game would be the Replicate Game. Where couples had to make their way to dance floor, do a kiss and our happy bride and groom would have to replicate the kiss as they just saw and it made for some funny moments. After dinner Jenna and Brad said a speech thanking their guests for coming but of course thanking their parents for raising them right and for making this day possible for them and it had a few people in the room in tears. Then followed Jenna’s dad with a speech filled with humour and stories about Jenna his little girl as she grew up before his eyes. For a second there I was sure he was going to cry, and he did tear up about but he switched it up and made everyone laugh instead. Then came time for Brad’s dad, Gord to say his speech. His was a little longer, only because it was filled with stories about Brad and his brother, and Jenna being a new member of the family but I think what stood out to me the most was this; He spoke about working with Jenna’s grand father back int he day and one day He told him ”I’m a dad to a baby boy!” and Jenna’s grandfather told her how he was a grand father to a baby girl! And in my head, I was just thinking wow, what a small world. Who knew these two babies (aries no less) would end up being these two now beautiful human beings and that they would get married! I just love stories like this. Dinner and speeches were over and it was time to relax before the party got started. An hour later it was time for the first dance, which was announced but our bride was nowhere to be found!

After a mini search from the wedding party, she made her way onto the dance floor and she and brad slow danced like no one was watching. The song came on and I practically melted, Perfect by Ed Sheeran played as they swayed and my heart just exploded with happiness. I swayed to the music with them as I took photos of their special moment. Their special moment was then followed by the father daughter dance which was also super cute! I really thought Phil was gonna cry for this one but he held it together and danced with his daughter with the biggest grin on his face! It was just so cute to watch. And my night ended with Brad and his mom, Carole-Anne’s dance. She looked up at her son with the most loving eyes any mother could give. In that moment she was so proud of the man he’d become and his accomplishments. She saw him as the man he’d become and not as the baby boy she once held.

The day was probably one of the most relaxed and chilled out weddings I’ve ever had and I was so happy to have been a part of it. Thank you Jenna & Brad for introducing me to a new place like Kemptville, I didn’t realize it was such a cute town filled with beautiful locations for photos. And of course thank you for letting me be a part of your big day and for treating me like family. You guys are absolutely wonderful and I wish you so much happiness in your lives together xox


Hair: April Leathem at All Dolled Up Hair Studio
Make up: Em Elser
Catering: AJ’s Catering
Rentals: Amie Jackson Kemptville Custom Events
Dress: Stella York. Bought at Bridals by Al Mor, Winchester, ON
Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal
Men’s wear: Moore’s
Flowers: Breanna Peters at Floral Reef Design
Stationary: Jennifer McGill
Rings: Gold Form
Cupcakes: Debbie Rubbenstein – Solely Sweet Treats
Photography: Samantha Danis at SD Photography

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