As a wedding photographer living in Toronto, the opportunity to shoot a wedding in the West Coast among mountains is truly special. We get to travel to Alberta frequently, seeing as Ryanne is originally from Calgary, we take any chance we can get to visit her hometown and surrounding areas like Banff and Canmore.
When we met Melanie and Michael at the Wedding Co. Market last year we instantly hit it off, we connected on numerous levels including our deep connections to Ottawa, Toronto and Calgary, all places that both Ryanne and I are personally connected to and all places Mike and Mel lived in together. Like Ryanne and I, Melanie and Michael’s love blossomed through athletics, we truly understood the type of relationship they had and we really connected with them on a personal level which made travelling to Canmore much more meaningful to us than just shooting beautiful mountains for our portfolios.
That being said, shooting within the mountains of Canmore is any Canadian wedding photographer’s dream, the scenic views are endless and the energy of being within the pure landscape of Canadiana is highly inspirational. The bride and groom both got ready at the Fire Mountain Lodge, providing us with a background of beautiful mountains and distant fog. Mel and Mike opted to have a first look among trees in a forest, combined with the overcast weather the first look happened within a cinematic and ethereal atmosphere which likely heightened both the bride and groom’s emotions as they couldn’t be contain once they laid eyes on one another. Mel and Mike embraced in what seemed like a moment suspended in time, with a sliver of light beaming through the trees they held one another in one of the most sincere and candid emotional moments of the entire wedding day.
The wedding ceremony took place at the Canmore Ranch, an incredible location that provided the bride and groom’s guest with a scenic views of mountains as a backdrop for the I do’s and vows being exchanged. This wedding wasn’t without emotions, from both ends of the spectrum. In what might be the most memorable and hilarious wedding moment I’ve EVER witnessed, the groom’s nephew stole the spotlight for a moment when he decided it was good idea to run all over the bride’s dress during the exchange of vows. Everyone got a huge laugh out of that moment, maybe except Michael’s brother who looked on in terror as things unfolded.
Before heading back to the Cornerstone Theatre we took an adventure with the bridal party to Grassy Lakes Park and Bow River where we made the most of unique locations like the Engine Bridge and the flowing glacier water of the river and lakes. The Bride and groom enjoyed some quiet moments as we did their portraits within the subtle mist and fog brought on by the unusually wet summer that Alberta faced this year. The unique and rare lush Alberta weather really enhanced the ambiance and brought on a subtly dark and romantic vibe to the entire portrait session. With the mountains making their presence felt in the background and the misty fog rolling in, it was all really about the connection that the bride and groom had and it was clear being surrounded by forests and mountains really made them feel right at home and at ease in each other’s embrace.
The reception was held within the rustic setting of the Cornerstone Theatre right in the heart of Canmore. The event kicked off with a beautifully intimate first dance between the bride and groom followed by a teary-eyed mother daughter dance. It was abundantly clear that the relationship that Mel and her mother have is deeply rooted and no one was able to contain their tears as they watched on, even bride and her mom had to clean up a few tears of their own providing us with a truly special and memorable moment.
We’re so privileged as wedding photographers to collaborate with such incredible individuals on an incredibly intimate moment in their lives. We consider people like Melanie and Michael our friends and meeting up for drinks with them whenever we’re in Ottawa will definitely be a reoccurring event that we look forward to. At the end of the day, the forests, the beautiful mountains of Alberta etc. are all minor details when looking back at this wedding day. It was really about the people, the connection and the love of bringing people together from all over Canada to celebrate two incredible people about to take the next step in their journey together. It was a beautiful wedding that I won’t soon forget and I could never thank Melanie and Michael enough for trusting our creative vision enough to fly us over to Alberta to be part of the monumental occasion.
Song of the Day
Push - Fog Lake