Well the fall season is here and with that comes beautiful fall weddings and I was so excited to start it off with Karlinda and Gabe out at Strathmere this past Friday. Leading up to the wedding (like a few days out) Karlinda messaged me to let me know their officiant was no longer able to perform their ceremony and that they had to find a replacement. I was a little worried that maybe other things wouldn’t work out because when one thing tumbles, normally a few follow. Luckily for us however everything else turned out pretty damn perfectly if I do say so myself.

      I woke up to the sun shining and was so excited that although it might be a wee bit chilly (yay fall) we were in for an absolutely gorgeous day. I arrived at Strathmere and headed straight to the Lodge to get some detail shots as I waited for Karlinda to arrive. She came in to view the space and she and her girls just ‘’awed’’ at the space. Where as I was ‘’awing’’ at her, she looked so beautiful! We quickly made our way over to the Guest house to get a few getting ready photos in before her first look with Gabe. As the girls got ready and listened to some pretty great music, I took care of more details like the invites, ring, dress etc. I think my favourite detail of all however was the engraving inside both of their rings. It had their initials and wedding date, what a beautiful touch. After some delays with getting everything up to the room and even a makeup stain on Christines’ dress (thankfully she got it out) it was finally time to get Karlinda dressed. We tucked the girls into the bathroom so that they could be surprised when they first saw her and mom got to work. After mom helped her into her dress and necklace she couldn’t help but stare at her little girl with the biggest smile on her face. In that moment I know she was proud. After a quick minute of taking portraits of Karlinda alone in the quiet it was time to bring the girls back so they could finally see their best friend as a bride. In true girl fashion, they all opened their eyes  and a few high pitched oohs and ahhs came out at the stared at their bestie lovingly. They walked over to embrace her and have a bit more girl time before it was time to whisk Karlinda away to finally see her soon to be Husband.
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      We found a lovely spot under a tree where Gabe awaited his lovely Bride. I could see the nerves in both of their faces as Karlinda turned the corner and saw Gabe’s back. She paused for a moment then made her way over. She tapped on his shoulder and Gabe turned in what seemed like slow motion. Before he even saw her he already had a big smile on his face and it somehow got bigger the second she came into view. They embraced and Karlinda may have even cried a little. It was the perfect first look. We had a few moments to spare before having to get to the ceremony location so we wandered around the Strathmere property to get a few portraits in. I definitely think our engagement shoot was a great practice run and things were even easier this time because they’re oh so adorable pups, Pippin and Pebbles were not with us. They rocked the not even 20 mins we had and just like that it was time to get the nerves out and get married!

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      Strathmere has a little special place in my heart and I was so happy to be back at the Lodge for another beautiful ceremony. The archway was beautiful decorated with a floral piece and a draped piece of fabric the blew in the crisp fall breeze. The guests were seated and Gabe made his grand entrance looking very stoic as he walked down the aisle. He greeted each of his groomsmen with a handshake, a hug and a good laugh. The girls the came down quickly followed by Karlinda, arm in arm with both of her parents. Everyone was all smiles but about half way down the aisle something came over our bride and her lips started to shake and the tears filled up here eyes. As she got to the front of the aisle she hugged both of her parents and her dad took her hand and Gabe’s hand and he held them together. His baby was getting married and he was proud. The ceremony was filled with many beautiful moments and all were made just that much greater by their Officiant, Jim Emerson. He was energetic and made so that the ceremony flowed smoothly and had fun moments amongst the traditional ones. The guests were asked to pass the rings around and hold them tightly and give their well wishes to the couple filling them with positive energy. There was also a lovely reading by Karlinda’s brother as well as a moment shared with Gabe’s brother Sebastian as he came up and held hands with both the bride and groom. Ultimately however I think my favourite moment was the gifting of the rose. Both Karlinda and Gabe wanted to thank their mothers for all they’ve done in their lives and gifted them a single red rose. It was very beautiful to witness and let me tell you, those momma’s held onto those roses for the rest of the evening like their lives depended on it. After a fun signing of the registry – I say fun because they did it standing up and their witnesses were their dads which was really sweet- these two were pronounced husband and wife and of course sealed it with a kiss. Guests blew bubbles over the happy couple as they made their way down the aisle as husband and wife.
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      After a quick run at family photos, the bride, groom and wedding party followed me around Strathmere to get some portraits done. Luckily for me this was a really good group and we had a great time together! The sun was crazy bright that day and was a little tricky to work with thanks to the lack of shaded areas and thankfully the crew was cool with switching locations a few times before we found a couple great spots. First one required that I step into what is most likely a garden but luckily it had been harvested and was just mud at this point in the year. As the girls were calm and laughed through their photos (girls are always a breeze, am I right?) the boys had other things in mind. They were being crazy and wanting to do all these weird things, so we did. Definitely a great moment was when they decided they wanted to put their hands in each others pockets and grab each others butts. Boys are weird…  We wandered off into one of the many fields to finish things off with the group. They were pretty good sports about being blinded by the sun and my making them run, a couple times at that. But alas it was time to say goodbye and focus on a few final portraits of our bride and groom. Karlinda and Gabe knocked it out of the park of course because they are just that good. And throughout these last 20minutes together their wedding party was kind enough to come back with food and drinks for the happy couple because who wants to be parched while taking photos. Beer in hands they walked through the field and enjoyed their final quiet moments together before the crazy of the night begins. We were even greeted by Strathmere’s adorable cat whom I absolutely love. But alas the fun had to end and we had to get them back up to the Lodge to get their grand entrance going!

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      The reception space was beautiful. Decorated with Navy and burgundy linens and florals. Their cake was super cute and even better yet was their cake topper that included their adorable pups who couldn’t physically be at their wedding. The evening was officiated by both of their dads and they really really did a good job! They had everyone laughing and listening all night which is such a rarity at weddings. Karlinda’s brother was also in charge of their kissing game which had people answer questions about the couple. If they got the answer wrong they had to roll a dice and do whatever the task on the number they rolled. Things like kiss someone at your table, sing a song, say a joke, but my favourite was #4. They had a huge Alpaca face printed out into a mask and the guest who rolled the number had to wear the mask and parade around in it. And of course Gabe’s dad was the first one to do the honour and he rocked it. The evenings was filled with so much laughter thanks to speeches and our hilarious MC’s but also because Karlinda and Gabe actually took the time to walk around the room and say hello to every guest. Something you don’t often see at weddings anymore. I was able to catch a lovely moment between Karlinda and Gabe’s Oma (grandma) as they chatted before she left for the evening. Side note, FUNNY STORY for you guys: The ceremony was actually a little delayed as Gabe’s Oma arrived at the cusp of everything starting. During the family portraits I was informed that she had actually made her way over to the Garden house and was seated waiting for the ceremony to start over there… At someone else’s wedding! We really had a great laugh at it all, Oma the wedding crasher. Luckily she made it to see her grand son get married and not some strangers. Alright back to the evening. There were beautiful speeches had by the maid of honour who told stories of growing up with Karlinda and the kind of amazing person she is. Followed by Gabe’s best man and groomsmen all saying stories about Gabe and the kind of helpful and kind guy he is. And of course the parent speeches which Karlinda’s parents speech was probably the hit of the night because it had our bride in a puddle of tears throughout. Gabe rubbed her back as her parents spoke of her life and achievements and she couldn’t help but cry throughout it all. As I looked around I realized a few people were actually crying which is gold to me. Gabe and Karlinda finished things off with a lovely speech where they thanked pretty much everyone, even the vendors! Honestly as a photographer, we’re rarely acknowledged during speeches which we totally understand but I’m not gonna lie… It felt nice to be thanked in front of all their family and guests so in return I say thank you Karlinda and Gabe! We then proceeded outside in the courtyard for all the first dances. The guests lined the way out into a circle with sparklers as the happy husband and wife made their way out. They swayed to Can you feel the love tonight from the Lion King soundtrack (swoon) and happily chatted throughout the entire dance. They followed things up by a combined Father daughter and Mother son dance. Which they then invited all fathers, mothers, sons and daughters to join onto the dance floor to end the song.

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      The party kept going inside as the guests joined in on the fun. When I say guests I mean of all ages. The kids were on the floor and so were the grand parents! Karlinda’s grandfather was tearing it up and even air guitaring. As I watched him dance I looked over and noticed that his son (Karlinda’s dad) and his son (Karlinda’s brother) were doing the exact same dance moves across the floor. It was hilarious to watch, the apples don’t fall far from the tree my friend. Karlinda and Gabe opted for the traditions of the bouquet toss and garter toss which had a few funny moments of their own. The bouquet toss got quite a bit of action when one of the girls LEAPED and I mean she got quite a bit of air and she caught the bouquet and handed it over to the little girl beside her as a kind gesture. It was funny and sweet all at the same time. Then came the garter toss. Gabe was quick to get the garter but Karlinda informed him there was something else up that poofy dress of hers so he made his way back under. When he came out this time he lifted his hand in triumph with a Smirnoff Ice in it.  HE GOT ICED BY HIS WIFE!! So like the good man he is, he got up and started chugging away but even better than that, he shared it with his wife. The night ended with so much goofyness on the dance floor to which of course I had to join in. I mean who hears Sweet Caroline and doesn’t join in on the fun?! What an amazingly perfect day for this wedding, seriously couldn’t have asked for anything more. Karlinda and Gabe, you guys are amazing and your friends and family are absolutely wonderful. I hope that these photos take you back to the moment you become husband and wife and allow you to feel all the emotions you felt on that day. I also hope that your mini-moon in Newfoundland is going fabulously. Lastly a big ole thank you for bringing me along to capture such a beautiful and important day in your lives, it truly was an honour. xoxox

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      Vendors:

      Makeup Artist: Makeup by Mandy
      Hair Stylist: Rebecka at Salon My Place
      Wedding Dress: La Maison Bridal Boutique
      Bridesmaids Dresses: All That Glitters Bridal
      Flowers: Point Roses
      Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Rene Giroux Menswear
      Jewellery: All That Glitters Bridal
      Venue: Strathmere
      Officiant: Jim Emerson at Enduring Promises
      Cake: Kakes by Judy
      Stationary: Minted.com
      DJ and Photobooth: Quality Entertainment
      Photographer: Samantha Danis Photography

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