370 days to the day since Michelle and Massil booked me for their Perth wedding and let me tell you, I was so hyped for this one! Michelle and Massil are musicians from the Ottawa area that formed Breakfast in Bed Duo and perform at weddings and events. So when they chose me to be their photographer, I was seriously honoured as we’d never even met before. Here’s the story of their wedding day.
I woke up to a BEAUTIFUL sunny day and was excited to make the drive on over to Perth to meet Michelle and Massil at the Perth Parkside Inn and Spa. When I arrived, I made my way over to room 105 to find Massil… Except there was no room 105. So I re-read the information and address Michelle had given me. Surely enough, she said Massil would be in 105 and she in 501. Only to find out that there is no 501 either. Confused, the receptionist asked who I was looking for and she guided me outdoors to their second building only to find Massil in room 7, very far off from room 105. Inside, I found Massil, Matthew and Yousef just hanging out and munching on some food. There was a beautiful little pink trophy with Massil’s face taped on it from his Bachelor on the mantle, watching over things.
Massil greeted me with a big smile, obviously so excited for the day ahead. But something was missing, where were his two other groomsmen? Well, turns out one got a flat tire on the way, and the other put in the address of the venue but from his old house (he’d recently moved) and so he went in a way that no one really knows. Luckily for us, there was a couple hours left so they would totally be on time, eventually. We took our time and hung out as Massil got dressed. I laughed a little because he was wearing standard long white tube socks as he started to put his shoes on and I was like; Uhhhh, do you have other socks? And Massil realized, yep, should probably put on my beige socks. Much better my dear groom, much better. After Yousef helped his little brother with his bow tie and boutonnière, I hopped away to the main building to find my girls.
Michelle was in fact, not in the non-existent room 501, but I did find her with no problem. I was greeted by the girls all hanging out with mimosas, in robes, watching Bride Wars! Guys, I love bride wars so that just got me extra hyped for my day haha. I of course got to work on details as I always do while the girls hung out, Michelle applying her beautiful Charlotte Tillbury lipstick as mom watched with so much love in her eyes. I noticed Michelle’s dress needed a little steaming and so I went to work doing my second job, doing everything I can to make my clients day easier. In this case, I steamed her dress. What most people don’t realize is that I worked at a bridal salon for a couple years and I LOVED IT. So I’m very good at steaming, putting in veils, fixing things, lots of stuff really.
It was pretty tame in there, for a little while. Once things started getting closer to ceremony time, you could feel the excitement in the room growing. Especially when Val popped for champagne for more mimosas before getting dressed. The girls all got into their gowns which I was pleasantly surprised to see were different shades of orange and all different styles that suited each girl perfectly. Michelle, the one of the bridesmaids… Yes, a bridesmaid also happened to have the same name as our bride, it may get confusing so I’ll put BM when I’m talking about her rather than our bride. Well she decided that rather then sitting on a chair and putting her shoes on, the ground in front of the tv would be a perfect place. This girl, is hilarious and she made my day just so much funnier throughout its entirety.
It was time to get our bride dressed. We got the girls in the main room while we hid Michelle and her mom away in the bedroom. They were doing great for a hot minute there but once her mom came to the front of her to see her, she started tearing up causing Michelle to tear up and look up in the hopes of stopping the tears. Can’t ruin the makeup now! We were also planning on doing a first look with her dad so he was also hidden away, but in the bathroom hehe. Michelle told me she wanted to do the first look with the girls first so that she wouldn’t cry because she definitely would with her dad, and so we followed her plan. Warning, the plan failed.
As soon as the girls opened their eyes, they were pretty much instant tears and it caused Michelle to cry as well, ruining the plan as I mentioned. They all hugged and laughed as Michelle tried valiantly to not cry more and ruin her beautiful makeup. But it was dad time, and there were definitely going to be tears. It took a hot minute to get Michelle out to see him as she was still fighting back tears. But when she did, and he opened his eyes, it just started all over again. His smile was the sweetest as he saw his baby girl and gave her the biggest hug. Let’s not forget mom standing nearby also crying, oh and the girls crying on the other side of the room. After all the emotions, it was time for me to head down to the ceremony space and get ready for their parkside ceremony.
I’ve photographed weddings in Perth before but never in the actual park, it was so pretty! They had an arch they made with flowers at the centre front of the aisle and the white chairs were placed on either side in a ‘’half circle’’ formation. All Michelle’s dad’s idea and he was so proud of it. It really did look beautiful. Guests arrived and luckily for us, it wasn’t a rainy day and it wasn’t all that cold either, Michelle and Massil totally lucked out with the weather considering the days leading up to were less than ideal. Since Michelle and Massil are both musicians, I had asked them who would be performing at their wedding and turns out, one of Massil’s groomsmen, Jordan, had that honour. And so he played the guitar and sang as Massil, the wedding party and finally Michelle made their way down. I will say, I enjoyed how the wedding party came down the aisle. They actually did one person from either side of the party go down and take their place at the front rather than all from Massil’s side then all from Michelle’s side. It was just refreshing to see a little change.
As Michelle made her way down, Massil turned to see his bride for the first time. And the sweetest, most sincere and calmness came over his face. His smile got bigger and bigger as Michelle got closer, as did hers. He took her hand and lead her to the front where they would finally be pronounced husband and wife, after 6 years. The ceremony was beautiful, I mean, how could it not be? The weather, the location, the couple, just all of it was perfect. Michelle and Massil read person vows to each other with Michelle going first. She went into sweet detail about their life and future and promises to one another which brought tears to her eyes and maybe, just maybe even one in Massil’s eyes. When it was time for Massil to speak, first thing he said was along the lines of ‘’how do I follow that up’’ haha. But no stress Massil, your vow’s were beautiful and heartfelt and exactly what your bride needed to hear.
Now, a ceremony in a public space can be a little difficult to manage because you can’t really shoo people away. However, you would think that if people saw a ceremony happening, maybe just maybe they’d stop and wait or they’d take a different route rather than walking directly behind it, but that’s typically not the case. And today was no exception. Two women were about to walk behind them as their first kiss was about to go down. So I ran my little butt off over to them to ask them to just hold off for maybe 5 mins. Luckily for me, they were happy to. So I ran back to my spot in anticipation of the moment. But once again, as it was about to happen, another couple started to walk behind them… Michelle (BM)’s fiancé took his turn and ran over to them, asking them nicely to stand back but one partner wouldn’t listen and walked over to the water directly behind them to start taking photos. He put a little more urgency into it and finally they moved back giving me a perfectly clear backdrop right as they kissed and finally were pronounced husband and wife.
Another big kiss and they made their way down the aisle as husband and wife and were met with applauds and cheers by all of their guests. Michelle threw her hand and bouquet up in the air in pure joy as Massil smiled looking at his family at his side. They were greeted by their family congratulating them afterwards as we made our way under a willow tree for family photos. Lucky for us, family photos were a breeze, even with all the little kiddos in attendance. See, when children are around, I tend to make a fool of myself by doing all these weird noises. It works, every time, BUT I’m pretty sure everyone in the park could hear me, including the other wedding party that was doing photos nearby haha.
After family photos, I took the wedding party around the park to get our portraits done. It was honestly such a beautiful day that there were multiple photo sessions happening around us but we certainly got lucky getting all the space we needed to get things done. The wedding party was also very happy when I dismissed them to go enjoy cocktail hour, I mean, food and drinks? Who wouldn’t be happy with that. Michelle, Massil and I hung out a little longer, taking our time and enjoying the day they were having. Basking in the moment, if you will. We had an amazing time laughing and chatting in between photos. I noticed a little thread hanging off some of Michelle’s lace on her bust line so I went in to remove it with my hands. But it just wouldn’t come off. Seeing as how we were obviously now besties, I went in with my teeth to rip it off which worked but you know, seeing a photographer kind of dive into the area was a funny one for us and we all had a good laugh about it.
We’d had an amazing time and knew we wouldn’t be getting much of a sunset since we’d already been having that beautiful golden light and so we called it. We had so many lovely photos already that I thought it be best to let them go enjoy their cocktail hour with friends and family before the reception started. While they did so, I took detail photos and mingled about enjoying everyone’s company.
Perth parkside inn is lovely because they have a large glass room to host weddings but I’d never seen it all dressed up until now. It looked so lovely with all the round table, fireplace, twinkle lights and of course, Michelle and Massil’s décor. My favourite piece had to be their guestbook. It was little wooden hearts that you would write a message on and then poke it through a peg where the bride and groom would be able to remove them and read them later. After a few drinks and lots of mingling, guests were invited inside to start the evening’s festivities.
The reception was honestly so much fun! The energy literally never died. From the grand entrances to my departure, it was all smiles and laughter. Of course there were speeches to be had and what was interesting is that every person from the wedding party spoke as well as both sets of parents. And obviously it was all good things to be said. From Massil and Jake playing Nintendo games on the couch for hours like kids would… wait, they were in their 20’s… No shame though, that’s a good life. To Massil being fantastic at sports, to Michelle’s beautiful big heart. The stories of their lives sounded so beautiful to my ears. And how they met in the music program at Carleton and fell in love was just as sweet.
But aside from that sweetness, came LOTS of humour in the form of, drum roll please…. MICHELLE’S (BM) speech. Our bride had asked her not to do a powerpoint, and so she listened. Instead, she brought an old school paper flip sheet with the most beautiful drawings as you’ll see below. She talked of Michelle and Massil, but also of Michelle and Michelle because, how can you not talk about your own love for your bestie. When she was done with a page, she would yell out ‘’RIP’’ and her fiancé would rip up the paper and tuck it into a corner. She ended her speech with 1- Reciting the Spanish speech said by the maid of Honour in the movie Bridesmaids. 2- Her fiancé pulling out a mini speaker and ‘’blasting’’ Wilson Phillips and getting our bride up to dance and finally 3- a friend throwing literal confetti on her as a mic drop. BEST. SPEECH. EVER. It had everyone in a fit of giggles including myself.
Michelle and Massil finished things up with their own speech, thanking their friends for everything they’d done for them, their venue for the hard work they’d put in and the wonderful service they offered as well as their parents for the lives they’d provided for them. The room was then flipped for dancing as guests mingled out on the patio and we got ready for the first dance.
Speaking of first dance, it was beautiful. Michelle and Massil swayed on the dance floor simply smiling at each other the entire time. Michelle cuddling into his chest and Massil giving her little kisses on the head throughout as guests stood around the perimeter of the room and watched in pure joy. Their dance was followed up by the tradition father-daughter and mother-son dance which as always were lovely.
You could see both their mom and dad were just so happy for them as they chatted and laughed with each other. But something different was that they each danced with their other parents, Michelle with her mom and Massil with his dad. Michelle and her mom danced to Meghan Trainers Best friends which I thought was so stinking sweet, and Massil and his dad danced to an Arabic song that definitely got the party started as they invited guests on the dancefloor.
The rest of my night was spent boogying on the dance floor, getting guest portraits and some more dancing shots capturing all the joy in the world for these two. I left with new friends, a smile on my face and a ton of happiness in my heart. I honestly didn’t want to leave because it was such a good time and I seriously loved all the people I met. Michelle BM is basically my twin, down to the McDonald’s order being identical and even the way we eat tictacs (Orange flavor only, k thx). And of course my beautiful couple who are just such sweet and easy going souls that I know we will always have a good time when we see each other.
Thank you for having me be a part of your special day. I know when you’re in our industry, it can be tough to make choices and I’m grateful you chose me because we were absolutely a perfect fit. Love you guys dearly xox
Hair: Parkside Spa
Wedding Dress: Sinders Bridal
Flowers: Kelly’s Flowers
Desserts: The Cupcake Lounge
Venue: Perth Parkside Inn and Spa
DJ: Matt Jacques
Photographer: Samantha Danis Photography