Sadie and Tyler’s Winter Wedding at Stanley’s FINALLY HAPPENED! I mean, it was originally supposed to be an August wedding in 2020 but as we all know, the pandemic was very rude and derailed pretty much everything. So, after two postponements and being dropped more restrictions one month before their wedding, Sadie and Tyler finally tied the knot. The month leading to the big day was stressful though thanks to those new restrictions but luckily for us, everything fell into place, and we were able to go with the flow. Let’s see how Sadie and Tyler’s wedding day went, shall we?
I started my morning at the ladies getting ready location where I was to meet up with Tyler’s dad so he could guide me to the campsite where the guys were getting ready. I was made aware that Tyler had partied a little a lot the previous night, so I wasn’t sure what to expect once I arrived. I also wasn’t sure what to expect about a bunch of guys getting ready in a hunting campsite, I’d never been in one. When I arrived, I was pleasantly surprised to find the guys all just hanging out and basically chilling in the cabin. I looked around only to realize, Tyler wasn’t there yet. My mind, quietly, went into panic mode; ‘’Where is the groom? Is he so hungover he won’t make it? OMG WHAT DO WE DO?!?’’
Luckily, he popped in only a few minutes later bringing in gifts for all his guys. He looked great and I saw no sign of a hangover, crisis averted, the day can proceed. I was nervous because the guys wanted to go skeet shooting for some photos. I’ve never held a gun let alone been near them aside from a few times my uncle who was a hunter showed me his and my Husbands father, so I was a little scared. But the guys were super cool about it and assured me about safety and all the good stuff. So, after some getting ready photos, out we went to shoot some skeets (did I say that right?).
Dan, one of the groomsmen gave me some special headphones he said would block out the noise but that I would still hear them clearly. I didn’t understand how that was possible because, well how could I hear them if the sound of loud guns would be muffled? Turns out those things truly are magic, and I could even hear the scrunching of my feet in the snow. They didn’t have a skeet thrower machine, so they just did everything manually and had a good time doing it. I was genuinely surprised at how accurate they were at hitting the target. After a few more photos, and me shooting my first gun (story for another day), it was time to head back to the ladies.
I arrived to find the ladies hanging out with some mimosas in their matching plaid shirts. I quickly got to work with some detail photos while they did their finishing touches for their hair and makeup. Sadie’s dress was stunning and heavy as heck! I forgot how heavy crêpe fabric can be, especially on an A-line/ballgown style dress such as hers. I also forgot how much that fabric attracts dust + static of winter = we had to be very very careful bringing the dress around the house. Sadie’s nephew, Abe, showed up right on time to get his suit put on and boy was he a charmer. All smiles, high fives and let’s not forget the adorable hands in pocket all day everyday walk.
It was time to get dressed because we had a 30mins drive to Stanley’s, so the girls go right to it. Sadie was super hand on with helping them get dressed which I don’t see very often so it was quite refreshing. Once the girls were dressed and taped in, it was Sadie’s turn. Her mum helped her in her gown as we had some good laughs and with a quick zip, she was in.
I’d placed the bridesmaids in the living room because Sadie wanted a first look with them, and you could feel the anticipation as I told them to keep their eyes closed until Sadie made her way in. One, two three, their eyes opened, and their mouths just dropped. Everyone teared up and started to laugh out of happiness. It’s funny, when bridesmaids see the bride for the first time, it’s almost like they think she’s a porcelain doll they can’t touch. But Sadie walked up to them and gave them hugs as they cried some more. After some tear wiping and more ooohhh’s and awwww’s, it was time for the first look with Carmen, Sadie’s dad.
The bridesmaids snuck behind me in the open concept kitchen because they wanted to watch this moment. As Sadie walked to her dad, the girls burst out laughing in happy nervous giggles. Once Carmen turned, the full-on tears came right back out again out of all of them. I’m pretty sure carmen shed a tear himself. But you could tell by his face that he was just so happy and proud of her in that moment. He hugged his little girl, and he didn’t seem to want to let go. We did a couple family photos in the moment, but we had to get one more special photo in before we made our way out. Myka, Sadie and Tyler’s golden retriever had to see her momma as a bride.
She came in and ran straight to her! She was such a good girl and sat down right away and smiled for the camera. I was so happy to see them include her in their day as she’s such an important part of their lives. And so it was time for us to make our way over to Stanley’s for the ceremony.
I arrived at Stanley’s to find the ceremony space simply, but beautifully decorated. Sadie and Tyler ran with the winter and nature theme and brought in a multitude of Pine trees to bring the outdoors in. They also had a beautiful little table at the back with individually wrapped cupcakes for their guests and their beautiful cake. Before guests were allowed in (don’t worry, they got to hang out on a heated outdoor patio, we didn’t let them freeze in the –24 temperature), Sadie and Tyler opted for a first look.
As Sadie walked up to Tyler, she took his hand, and they died a little heart with them… Well tried to. It didn’t quite work out, haha! Sadie tried to grab his hand in a few different ways, but it just wasn’t happening. So, she tapped on his shoulder instead and when he turned to see her, he was just big smiles through and through. He didn’t say much except smile, laugh hold her and kiss her. I think he may have been in shock at just how beautiful she was in that moment. Sadie was doing the same though, a little more words came out of her mouth though lol. They stayed there for a moment just enjoying everything before it was time to hide our bride away and get this ceremony started.
Guests were greeted by the groomsmen and our groom as they made their way to their seats on either side of the aisle. Once everyone was seated, the walls opened and out walked Tyler, arm in arm with his mum and his nan. He was followed by his best girl, Myka and his sister Katie and then the other beautiful bridesmaids. Sadie walked in with her dad with the biggest smile on her face. You could tell Carmen was so proud as he held onto his little girl. He hugged Tyler, made his way to his seat while Sadie and Tyler proceeded to the officiant. The ceremony was FULL of laughter and even a few tears, shed mostly by the bridesmaids (like the entire time, it was so cute) but even from Tyler.
Their vows were very personal, and my favourite moment had to be how BOTH of them mentioned canoeing in their vows. Primarily Sadie saying she couldn’t flip the canoe, but you know, no promises. After Tyler read his vows, Sadie tried to kiss him because, instincts right, but in that moment, the officiant proceeded to karate chop her arm between them as everyone burst out laughing. DENIED. Sadie, you don’t kiss until the end! Luckily for her, she didn’t have to wait too long and within about 5 minutes, they were finally announced as Mr. And Mrs. Koenjer.
Because of the restrictions at the time, a formal reception wasn’t allowed, BUT they were allowed to do their first dances. So, once they walked down the aisle after the ceremony, they made their way back in front of their guests and did their first dance. But obviously, you can’t start a first dance before you’re greeted by your dog and nephew and give them a little love. They danced in each other’s arms, smiling and kissing through the whole thing. I think in that moment, they were just so happy to finally be husband and wife after all the craziness from the past two years.
Sadie then danced with her dad and Carmen wasn’t letting anyone see his tears. He would bury his head in his daughters’ shoulder until the tears stopped. Then they would talk and laugh, and her mum looked on with the biggest smile. They called her up for a quick huge and to dance with them for a moment before they finished it just the two of them. The ended their dances with Tyler and his mum’s dance but with a twist. After a minute, Sadie took John onto the dance floor, and switched with Tyler. His parents danced together; her parents danced together, and Sadie and Tyler did one more dance together.
It was time for guests to leave, and so they grabbed their cupcakes, said hello to a few other guests and then were greeted by the Bride and Groom on their way out. It was bittersweet because of course you always want to spend more time with your guests on your wedding day, but they made the best of the situation and knew they would be seeing them later this summer for a bigger get together. We knew we were losing sunlight very quickly so we powered through family photos and then made our way out. Sadie and Tyler were greeted by a surprise horse sleigh ride to our destination while the rest of the bridal party hopped on the wagon and were driven to our destination.
A little sneaky spot in the woods at Stanley’s had been set up for us. A fire pit, a cooler with drinks and blankets to keep everyone warm. Winter weddings are never easy, especially in Canada, why you may ask? Because the weather is so unpredictable and one day it can be –5 degrees, the next –20 + windchill. Today was a –24 degree day with the windchill so, we definitely wanted to get portraits done quickly. And so, we did.
Sadie was a trooper and didn’t complain about being cold once, not even asking for a jacket. Luckily her family made sure she stayed warm and her dad would wrap her up with a blanket between photos. Funny story time, one of Tyler’s groomsmen tested positive for covid prior to the wedding so he was unable to attend. His twin brother Dan, also happened to be a groomsmen so in a few photos, we actually got Dan to move around so I could photshop his ‘’brother’’ into the photos. It made me laugh when he made this request and I happily obliged. He’s not in all of them, but he was in some in spirit and through his twin brother lol.
I didn’t want to make the bridal party suffer more than they already were (mostly the girls because hot damn it was cold), so I told them we would be done photos after this last shot… and I lied. When I say it’s the last shot, always expect there to be a couple more because ideas are flowing and we gotta respect the process! Luckily they were super down for the ideas and happily obliged my request. We finished portraits with a few more of Sadie and Tyler alone on Stanley’s property before heading back to the ceremony room to finish our evening together.
We ended things with, Drum roll please………..
Cake cutting! Since food service wasn’t allowed on their wedding day, they were permitted to have a private cake cutting before departing the venue. And so, they took advantage of it and did it. They may have even broken the knife as they cut through their cake, shhhh. They fed each other their respective pieces of cake and no one smashed it in each other’s face, which was surprising. I totally thought Tyler would smush it in Sadie’s face based on the information she’d given me but he was sweet and just fed her instead. And that was it for me.
Although it wasn’t the day they had originally planned or envisioned, given the circumstances, I think they did an amazing job. Stanley’s Olde Maple lane farm was so welcoming and accommodating and I’m grateful these two lovely humans were able to have their wedding day after all.
Sadie and Tyler, you worked with all the cards dealt to you no matter how crummy they were, and I respect you so much for that. I also appreciate you dearly for considering me in all the planning process and working together to make all of this happen. I had an amazing time on your wedding day and truly hope you and your families cherish these photos forever. xoxo