How was Marisa and Alberto’s wedding a week ago. How did 8hours turn into 12+hours of pure amazingness? How do I get such wonderful couples to photograph? Be prepared cause this is going to be a long one. BUCKLE UP.
The morning of Marisa and Alberto’s wedding was a stressful one, for me at least. They had been calling for 10-15mm of rain all week on the day itself and I woke up to dark grey skies, not giving me much hope. Now normally I wouldn’t care about rain, however due to the Pandemic, any Interior option for photos are pretty much vetoed due to restrictions so we’re so much more limited in what we can do in case of rain. I made my way over to Marisa’s home and simple crossed my fingers that everything would hold out. Alberto was getting ready with his boys, his maid of honour and his family at the Chateau Laurier and were in wonderful hands with my second shooter Carley.
The girls were all in Marisa’s apartment finishing up their hair and makeup while jamming out to some tunes (did I really say jamming out?). They had all their gowns hung up and waiting for me and Marisa even had a little mirrored tray with all of her details ready for me too. Hey gowns (yes two) were beautiful but my eyes went straight to the shoes. The lace heels with delicate pearls, my heart! The weather wasn’t great either. It stormed on and off which had me worried so I kept an eye out. When Marisa was almost done her hair, her mom Linda came down and saw her daughter almost done up and started crying. I knew in that moment, it would be a day full of tears.
Marisa opted to do a first look with her girls and her dad (I always love these) and so I locked the girls away in her room while she got dressed with the help of her mom, nonna and sister. The girls came out, holding hands with their eyes closed until it was time to see their bestie as a bride for the first time. There was a lot of gaping mouths because they were so awestruck and of course lots of tears (calling you out Sam). And of course we followed it up with a beautiful first look with her dad, Jon. Once again, insta tears as soon as he saw his eldest in her wedding gown which was followed up with her mom Linda crying and Sofia, her sister, joining in with tears. They joined in a big family hug and talked a little bit and then we made our way up to cut the ceremonial ribbon (Italian tradition I’ve been told), followed by a pop of champagne and off we were to the Ceremony location!
We were worried leading up to the big day because they’d been calling for 15mm of rain and the ceremony was to be held at the Cumberland Heritage Museum in Cinderella Lane which is a tree lined ‘’tunnel’’ like area. Luckily for us, the rain stopped as we were arriving and everything went so smoothly. The ceremony was trilingual, in Italian, English and Spanish, which I think was fantastic. Alberto teared up as he saw his soon to be wife and Marisa was all smiles as she walked arm in arm with both her mom and dad. A part of the ceremony I enjoyed was the giving of the coins ‘’Las arras’, a Mexican tradition that I’d never seen before. For those like myself who do not know what it is, here is a brief description: ”This Mexican wedding tradition dates back to the Roman conquest of Iberia and traveled to Mexico, Latin America and the Philippines via colonial Spain. The arras are a set of 13 gold coins, that are presented to the bride as a symbol of the groom’s trust in her. ” I loved looking at the guests during all the traditional moments, everyone was so attentive, laughing and crying all together. It really was a beautiful wedding. And at the very end, during their first kiss as husband and wife, Alberto was so excited that he accidentally pulled out Marisa’s veil. You can just see it in the first kiss photos, look closely.
Portraits were so much fun, as they always are. The families stuck around and cuddled up happily together for this special day, and the wedding party were absolute rockstars. The kids actually looked at the camera which is a difficult thing to do when there is so much going on. But they did so good! The wedding party was so surprised when I asked them to jog for one of their final shots together, I couldn’t help but laugh at their reaction. Guys, a light jog, you don’t need to sprint, this isn’t a marathon! Luckily for me, they did it perfectly and we didn’t have to do it 10 times haha.
After letting the wedding party off to go enjoy their drinks in the Limo, we snuck Marisa and Alberto away for their own little portrait session. At this point we’d run behind a little bit and only really had about 20mins to get portraits done, luckily for us though the party doesn’t get started until the Bride and Groom arrive so we may have taken an extra 10mins ;). These two were absolute naturals. Clients don’t realize this but to get candid moments, we often have to pose you initially because we all tend to be awkward in front of the camera. Not these two. I barely had to say anything and they were already doing it. The love the flowed out of these two is absolutely beautiful and it honestly kept me going all day. We were so lucky too because just as we were about to leave, the sun came out in full force and just lit them up so perfectly. We couldn’t have asked for a better way to end portraits. And then back to the limo and off to Barrhaven for the Backyard Reception.
The reception was held at Marisa and her Parents home, in their backyard. I wasn’t sure what to expect honestly because she had told me the pool would be covered so I was like uhhhh, what do you mean? I was so surprised (and impressed) when I saw that they had built a cover and platform to go OVER the pool and the tent went on top of it. I honestly would have never even known we were on top of a pool that whole time. The tent space was beautiful. First guests were created by a small table with the guests book as well as photos from both of their parents weddings. Well one was actually the session I did for Alberto’s parents the week before because they’d never gotten wedding photos done. So Marisa and Alberto gifted them their engagement session instead and we had loads of fun. Then you turned the corner to see the white tent with beautiful wooden tables and chairs, decorated with greenery and florals and finally candles that finished the space. The cake was TO DIE FOR, with it’s 3 tiers and classic icing topped off with a Mr. & Mrs. Perez cake topper. There was also string lights throughout with some Edison bulbs outside where the dancing area would be.
Once the wedding party made their grand entrance, we got two beautiful speeches by both sisters of the bride and groom, Sofia and Aurora. Guests mingled and ate delicious Hors d’oeuvres until it was time for the first dance. Marisa and Alberto took their place and swayed together to the beautiful song; Is that Alright?- By Lady Gaga. I’d never heard this song before and I thought it was so beautiful and so perfect for the moment. They swayed and kissed and simply vanished into this world that was their own. Their guests watched on in wonder at the beauty and love these two radiated. Both, Marisa and Alberto’s parents held each other close and watched their children in pure love. They followed up their dance with Marisa and her dad’s dance which once again brought tears to Jon’s eyes and those watching on. After a few minutes, they were joined by Alberto and his mom. She held on tightly to her little boy as he held her just as close. The love between everyone at this wedding was just mind blowing. I’ve been shooting weddings for 10 years and this is definitely the most love I’ve ever felt in a single day. They switched things up as Marisa danced with Alberto’s father to end things.
We quickly snuck the couple off to Chapman Mills Conservation area for a few end of day light photos and then just as swiftly as we left, we came back to get the reception fully started and get all the guests fed.
Dinner was devine! Essence catering did a phenomenal job at keeping guests fed, drinks filled and just keeping up with everything as it came to be. The night was filled with SO MUCH laughter. I think everyone’s speech literally had funny stories and moments that made everyone smile. Lev, Alberto’s best man mentioned a scorpion story in his Speech which had everyone questioning what the heck he was talking about but it wasn’t until later that we knew what it all meant (I’ll get to it, I promise). Alberto’s parents came up and said some beautiful words in Spanish which although I don’t understand Spanish, I could feel the joy and how proud they were from how they spoke. Which was followed up by Marisa’s parents.
Now they started their speech off by saying they were going to sing it and it was a Spanish song if I remember correctly. Jon started things off also by reminding us, he doesn’t sing. We all listened and laughed and had so much fun with it, and then Linda came in with her part… HOLY MOLY! My jaw dropped. Linda… Linda can SING. Like she belted it out and it was absolutely beautiful. Linda if you read this, I would pay to watch you in concert, just saying. The guests cheered and Woo’d as the song ended and clapped all together. It was truly spectacular.
The rest of the night was an absolute blast. They opened up the dance floor up with a traditional Mexican dance, La Vaca and it was so fun. There may have been some bull horn fingers involved and lots of dress twirling and just overall fun. And from then on, the party was poppin’. Yes, I said Poppin’. The boys had cigars flowing, the girls did the Soulja Boy, there was Limoncello Shots, Tequila Shots, just absolute fun to be had until the night ended, well for me anyways. I’m an old lady and normally 10:30-11pm is like my sleepy hour but these guys had me going until past midnight and it was an absolute blast.
Marisa and Alberto, YOU ARE AMAZING! Thank you a million times over for choosing me to share this amazing day with you. You guys were an absolutely joy and my heart is so happy. To both your families, Thank you, Gracias for raising such beautiful people and for being the kind hearted people that they are. I can’t wait to share the rest of your gallery with you but for the time being, enjoy your sneak peeks xo
This is a brief short version of the story. But basically, when Alberto was a child, in his room he heard a scorpion speaking. It told him ”Ayudame, Ayudame” which is; ”Help me, Help me”. So he ran and told his parents to tell them. Obviously they laughed and thought it was just his imagination. But not too long after his dad woke up only to find a scorpion and he heard it say ”Ayudame, Ayudame”. So needless to say, maybe it wasn’t just Alberto’s imagination ;). For full story, please reach out to Alberto haha.
Wedding Dress #1 Store: Admyk Bridal by Enzoani
Wedding Dress #2 Store: Fairy Dreams Bridal Wedding by Alexandra Grecco
Bridesmaids Dresses: La Maison Bridal Boutique
Groom and Groomsmen attire: Suit Up!
Decor and Flowers: Sage Designs
Cake: The Girl With The Most Cake
Officiant: Ed Montano (All Seasons Weddings)
Venue: Cumberland Heritage Village Museum
Videographer: Grey Loft Studio
Caterer: Essence Catering
Second Photographer: Carley Teresa Photography