Yay for Kingston Weddings! I actually love going to Kingston so when Sasha and Paul enquired and informed me their day would be in Kingston I was super excited. Fast forward a few months and here we are in a Pandemic. Honestly so much happened on this day that I don’t even know where to start so bare with me on this ones friends because it was a wild ride!
First you need a little info on what happened leading up to the day itself. Well first off, there was a Pandemic, which made Sasha and Paul ultimately decided they would be doing a large reception in 2021 but they opted to proceed with a smaller wedding on their original date so that they could still get married. The restrictions in Ontario kept changing leading up to the big day which was also super confusing. Less than a month before their big day, the Ford Government chose to put Toronto, Ottawa and the Peel region under new restrictions which now meant that Outdoor private property weddings had been reduced to 25 people. Luckily for us, Kingston doesn’t fall in either of those regions right? WRONG… well sort of. Two days after the initial announcement (on a Saturday no less) they retracted their previous statement and announced that the new restrictions would be implemented in ALL of Ontario. Well, there goes the original 40-ish people list on Sasha and Paul’s wedding day. I emailed Sasha right away to see if she was okay and if she needed help with anything. She got back to me within a few days only to advise me that they were able to pivot their plans, have less guests and included me in the guest count. So here we were, 2.5 weeks out and excited to get things going!
I was worried the day before the wedding because they were calling for storms all day on October 10th but I woke up to sunny skies and some overcast. Things were looking up! I drove from Ottawa to Kingston which was a tad difficult because the wind was very very strong and the car was rocking back and forth but I made it! Before heading to Sasha in Kingston, I headed straight for Sasha and Paul’s home where the groom would be getting ready and the wedding was being held. I arrived in Harrowsmith to find a beautiful home under construction on a very large property with a white tent set up. I pulled in only to find Paul helping setting things up (what an amazing man). He informed me that the decor wasn’t fully set up in the tent so we opted to go inside and start getting ready and I would take the tent photos on my way out to see Sasha. We proceeded inside where Sasha’s mom was cooking up a storm and the guys were having some Palm Bays. As they were getting ready, Paul’s brother John rushes in the room from the bathroom only to say: ”Paul, your tent is flying away”. I looked at him and said ”you’re kidding right?”… NOPE! We literally all run outside only to find the tent flipped upside down, probably a good 300meters from where it initially stood and threatening to blow away again. Sasha’s mom, Sherry, was holding onto the corner pole, holding on for dear life it looked like, barefoot and all. The poles had bent in multiple places and it was no longer even an option to use at this point. Paul made the decision to cut all the ties and remove the actual tent portion from the frame so as to not have to worry about it blowing away again. And then there was the set up inside the tent. It was pretty much wrecked. Tables had flipped, the heating lamps had toppled over and broken. Glassware and plates were shattered. Decor was a little bit everywhere. So I got straight to work in helping to clean the mess. During this whole process, I figured we would say nothing to Sasha as to not stress her out but then Paul said he had Texted her: ”Has anyone talked to you today” only to then inform her of what had happened. After moving everything out of the way, I left and made my way over to the Delta Hotel downtown Kingston to find Sasha and her Maid of Honour.
I arrived to the room to find a very very relaxed environment. Sasha was getting her makeup done while Merrill was getting her hair finished up. Sasha had informed me that they were in the process of setting up everything in their Garage so we were interested in seeing how that would work out. Honestly, for everything she and Paul went through to get this wedding to happen, she was ridiculously calm and cool about it. I think at this point it was just a ”well, what else will 2020 throw at us”. Time to go with the flow. We spent the next hour and a half chatting about the day and all the events leading up to it and just laughing about it all. As Sasha got her hair done, the lightning, thunder and rain all came in even though the radar had none of that in sight. Kingston is pretty random like that in terms of weather. Again, we thought, it is what it is. We also laughed because Sasha thought it would be a good idea to paint the day before her wedding and ended up getting paint in her hair! So her hairstylist was on her knees picking all this paint out of her hair. It really was a funny moment before all the seriousness of the day would set in. As Sasha settled in to transfer her vows from her phone onto a piece of paper, things started to settle. The second she started to write she started to tear up. Looking up at Merrill and I, she laughed and wondered how she would recite these without crying *SPOILER*… She didn’t haha. Merrill quickly helped her bestie in her beautiful off the shoulder gown. They fixed themselves up in the mirror, applying finishing touches and we were off. They hopped into their Rented Vintage white Buick and were on their way for the first look!
Paul was placed near their original ceremony site waiting for his bride to arrive. Sasha came in guns blazing and walked too quickly to her groom that I had to tell her to slow it down to get the shot haha. Paul turned to see his beautiful bride and the expression on his face says it all. He was in awe and just so purely full of love and joy as he saw how beautiful she was. He took her in for a big embrace and they just started to chat about the day. Paul informed her that not only had the tent flipped, things broke, BUT their hot water tank stopped working AND where they’d set up the ceremony space in the garage, there was a pipe with a leak. If it wasn’t one thing, it was another. At this point, all they could do was laugh it off because none of it mattered anymore, they were together and about to be married. We proceeded with doing a few portraits before heading inside to hide the bride from the guests in preparation to start the ceremony.
The garage was tight of course, it’s a garage, but it was beautiful and so intimate in the best way possible. Paul and their family had taken all the string lights from the tent and hung them around the ceiling. They tucked their head table away to make room for the ceremony and their guests sat at their tables and waited for the bride to make her entrance. They opted to host their ceremony virtually through Zoom for guests who could no longer come but even that had to have a twist (told you it was a lot). Their internet decided to stop working right as the ceremony was to start, and unfortunately her father and step-mom were stuck in a wee bit of traffic and ended up being late. With the zoom link expiring and the ceremony not starting, they opted to record the ceremony instead and share that with their guests later on. Finally, it was time to get these two married. The ladies walked in to one of my favourite songs, I get to Love you by Ruelle. Sasha had timed it for their ceremony outdoors which had a much longer aisle so after Merril walked in, she stayed hidden behind a door for about a minute waiting for her cue. Her walk may have been short but it was beautiful. The ceremony was filled with so much laughter and just as many tears. Their officiant said something that made them both laugh as it’s something they tell each other but never told the officiant about, it was kismet. The line is ”You should like somebody because of their qualities, you should love somebody despite some of their traits.” Their vows were just as emotional. Tried and true, Sasha started to cry as soon as she said Paul’s name. She cried, Paul teared up, the parents cried, almost everyone cried. Then came Paul’s vows. They were shorter but just as powerful, having once again everyone in tears. The best part of his vows were the end when he said he Pinky Promised these vows. To which Sasha told him that she was going to include the pinky promise as well! So then and there, they sealed their vows with a Pinky promise and a laugh. They were then pronounced Husband and Wife and shared their beautiful first kiss as Mr. and Mrs Devlin.
We quickly proceeded to getting family photos done outdoors while the rain stayed away and boy were we lucky. The sun even peeked out of the clouds once or twice and gave us such lovely light. Followed by a few bridal party formals with lovely Buick and finally with portraits of our bride and groom. Right before we started their portraits though, Paul surprised Sasha. He had gotten his vest and jacket embroidered with the jacket saying Paul Devlin but the vest saying ”Sasha’s B*tch”. We all just about died of laughter when he showed her! We then wandered around their property and made some beautiful images together. I swear it’s all them, they’re perfect. We were even able to slip in a family photo of Sasha, Paul and their two dogs Max (the little one), and Königin (the Great Dane). It was time to get the reception started so we quickly walked over to the garage and announced the new Husband and Wife!
The Happy couple with their destroyed tent and the wind blowing like crazy… Perfect picture to represent the events of the day!
They opted to start things off with the first dance and subsequent Father-Daughter, Mother-Son dance. I love when couples walk right into their dances because all eye are already on them so why not! Side note, once again something wasn’t working when the laptop was playing the same song over and over again instead of the selected song. So Paul ended up playing it off of his phone, quick pivot once again haha. And of course, people were in tears during all of these dances and it wouldn’t be the last time. Sasha and Paul stayed in their little bubble during their dance only to feel like things were getting a little long so they cut it short and hopped right into their next dances. Sasha’s dad was a very proud papa as he held his little girl and cried causing her to shed a few tears as well. Paul’s dance with his mom was a little less teary but full of smiles and laughter as they reminisced about their time together in Nashville to see Kenny Chesney. After everyone had settled, it was time for the home cooked thanksgiving meal (YUMMMMM). As Sasha and Paul were serving themselves, I noticed the setting sun popping out from behind the clouds and started to jump of joy and not so subtly told the couple we should go outside for more photos. Their plates already full, Paul was sad he had to abandon his meal for a few moments for more pictures but I swore it would be worth it, and it totally was. The sun was absolutely beautiful and these two rocked their end of the day portraits. After about 10minutes I let them run away to go enjoy their meal in the hopes I hadn’t made their plates get cold. Paul later told me he thoroughly enjoyed his cold food (sorry Paul, love ya).
Once finished their meals it was time for the speeches. This, this triggered quite a bit of crying by almost everyone once again. Merrill went first and talked about her best friend so admirably, her second family and the life they’d had together. It was so well said and eloquent, you’d think Merrill gave speeches every day. She pushed through the tears and did a wonderful job. Then John, Paul’s brother and Best man was up. At first I thought he was just playing around. He was a little all over the place in what he was trying to say and laughing in between every few words. It’s then they I noticed the tears and his face turning red. The nerves and the emotions took over and that was it. He didn’t have to say much to really show how he felt and the love he has for his brother and new wife (well done John, it was beautiful). Sasha’s dad was next with her step-mom and they read two poems. It was so beautiful, it too made Sasha cry quite a bit. Sherry, Sasha’s mom was next and although her speech was short and sweet, it too conveyed all the love she had for her little girl and now son in law. Finally Paul’s parents were up and they too were so eloquent with their wishes to the new couple putting us all in a blubbering mess of tears once again. Literally, every single speech made people cry, that’s how much love and emotions was in this perfectly intimate moment and looking back, I’m sure they wouldn’t change a thing. I was also so happy to capture this perfect moment between Paul and his 96 year old grand mother below. She doesn’t speak much and his hard of hearing but he made ”finger guns” while sitting with her and she made them right back and ”hashtagged” his fingers in return. It was so sweet and made Paul smile so big. I ended my night by capturing their cake cutting which Sasha made! Like, the bride made her own cake, how amazing is that? They didn’t smash it into each others faces but rather gave each other bites and a quick kiss.
Sasha and Paul, thank you. I know the day wasn’t what you had envisioned, and true to Murphy’s Law, pretty much everything that could go wrong did. But you guys went with the flow and handled everything so freaking beautifully. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end this crazy and strange 2020 wedding season. I am grateful to have met you and your families and to have been a witness to this important and beautiful day. I hope that these photos bring you back to every one of those moments and that you can smily, laugh and cry all over again. I truly appreciate you and hope to see you again in our lives. xoxo
Hair – There she glows – Elle Murray
Makeup – peach and poppy – Courtney
Wedding dress – Davids Bridal
Groom and Best Man – Moores Clothing
Flowers – Wildflower Floral Studio Waterford and Bride’s Mother
Cake and Dessert- Sasha and her family