5 Tips for an Authentic & Joyful Wedding Day

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There is no sugarcoating that wedding planning can be stressful. You’re putting an insane amount of time, energy, and resources into planning an awesome love celebration and sometimes it can’t help but be exhausting!

At the end of the day though, it’s like I always say to my couples: if you’re not going to have fun on your wedding day, then what’s the point?

Why stress yourself out for months, sometimes years, only to have planned a wedding that is too big of a production where you’re exhausted, uncomfortable, and don’t even get to spend time with your guests?

This post isn’t about comparing doing your wedding one way or another! I’m here today to chat about how you can get the most enjoyment, fun, and value from your special day: no matter how you decide to plan it :)

 
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Tip #1

An easy but IMPORTANT one to start you off.

LET THOSE EMOTIONS OUT AND ALLOW YOUR HEART TO FEEL!!

Many people tend to quell their emotions or are uncomfortable expressing them (which is totally understandable!), however your wedding is a special day where you’re going to be FEELING ALL THE THINGS! Allow yourself to laugh, cry, express your joy, and you will be liberated and totally open to soaking up all the goodness around you. I’m a major advocate for having an open heart so I can’t stress this enough- plus it will help me create incredible photographs for you when you share your happiness with me.

Tip #2

Look at your planned structure for the day and be honest with yourself if it’s what you really want.

There’s no right answer to how to structure a wedding- what’s right for you is right for you. Regardless of how you’ve imagined it, talk through the ideas and potential plans to see if you can imagine enjoying the way the wedding will unfold! You may be more prone to stress, just prefer a more chill day, or you may thrive off a party and want something as fun-packed as possible! Ignore judgements and negative opinions, because the most important thing is to know yourself and your partner, and to make plans that are right for you both. I’ll be there right by your side to document everything no matter how it goes :)

 
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Tip #3

REGARDLESS of your plans, always allot more time for things than you think you’ll need!

I can PROMISE YOU: the structure of your plans DO NOT MATTER when it comes to the need to enjoy yourself and breathe. :) I’ve photographed over 60 weddings and no one likes to spend all day rushing around like crazy to do everything! Give yourself a bit of leeway in the schedule for bathroom breaks, food stops, traffic, and general delays. Schedules are important to keep your day flowing, but it will help you SO much to know it isn’t super-strictly timed down to the wire.

Tip #4

Make a point to enjoy the company of your family and guests!

Forgetting this IS THE #1 THING I’ve heard couples regret after the wedding! With all the goings-on, you may hardly get to talk to everyone you invited… and then your dance starts and you’re all in party mode!

The adventures I’m photographing on your day are of course super important to get those priceless memories, but there’s numerous ways you can spend time with people that fits right in. Set aside time for a little get together mid day, or have a cocktail hour before dinner. You could even do a casual, cocktail-style reception if that’s what you dig! From experience, I can tell you that my couples taking a bit of time with their guests somewhere really enriched their day- and you’ll get some truly beautiful candid photos of you enjoying time with your loved ones :)

 
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TIP #5

This day is for you and your partner to celebrate your commitment. Take time to appreciate that together.

Like I said in Tip #4, your wedding is an amazing opportunity to spend time with everyone you love and that remains important! BUT. It’s totally, 100% okay to not be at the centre of everything all day. Just take a breather for a minute and do a bit of nothing if you need it.

Go have a drink together, take a walk for a bit, drive your own vehicle so you can be with one another, or even have a quiet few moments together in a side room before entering your party. There’s limitless ways to stop, soak it all in, and appreciate your commitment amongst all the activities of the wedding. You’ll thank yourself for taking a quiet, grounding moment together to remember how far you’ve come and to appreciate the day.

 
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Take these tips and go forth to plan the wedding of your dreams!! Keep love, gratitude, and an open heart at the centre of it all. You got this, and I cannot WAIT to be along for the ride documenting all your happy adventures! LETS DO THIS!

 

Erin + Chris's Wedding at Glendenning in St. John's // Newfoundland Wedding Photographer

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ERIN AND CHRIS GOT HITCHED!! October 6th was the BEST day with these guys!

We laughed until our faces hurt and went on lots of little Newfoundland adventures for these Ontario-dwelling peeps who came home to say I do.

Erin and Chris have the sweetest love and spend so much time smiling and joking that it's easy to see they are meant for one another.

Thank you both for being just as crazy and fun loving as I am, it was an honour to document your amazing day!!

VENDORS:

-George Street United Church - GlenDenning Golf Club -

Kristýna Adamová Event 3Sixty - Pam Picco's Speciality Cakes and Sweets

Devin Sooley DS-Media Photo & Video

Diamond Design NL - Emily Pittman Makeup

FROM THE COUPLE:

Chris and I had Maddie for our wedding photography and let me tell you it was the best decision! We LOVED our photos. She made us feel comfortable when we were both feeling awkward and rolled with our crazy ways making sure we kept the party vibe the whole day. Maddie was under tables, behind chairs, on top of things you name it, just to get the perfect shots! We love you Maddie thanks for the BEST day!!

Melissa + Lana's Wedding at The Doctor's House // Newfoundland Wedding Photographer

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The rain came down sideways and grey skies cast a sense of peace over the forest around us when these two beautiful souls said yes to a lifetime of love in September.

After a quiet morning with their close family and a first look that was just the BEST thing ever, Melissa and Lana said personal vows under the warm glow of the barn loft at The Doctor’s House.

The smiles on their faces were sunbeams enough to shine through the storm, they needed painkillers because their cheeks hurt from laughing so much, they ran around the tropical storm in Blundstone boots and broken umbrellas, and it was PERFECT.

Beautifully wild memories were made that weekend and I know I'm not the only one who will never forget it.

Thank you SO much Melissa and Lana for allowing me to witness and document your amazing love, and for your friendship, kindness, and complete beauty inside and out.

The Doctor's House Inn & Spa || Carlye Windsor Makeup Artistry

Charles Langdon Hair || The Ivory Suite Bridal Boutique ||

By Sharpe Design || Nathan Eddy:Assistant || Petite Sweet

Caitlin + Adam's Wedding at Yellowbelly // St. John's Newfoundland Wedding Photographer

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On September 15th, Caitlin and Adam said a huge yes to their biggest adventure yet and it was so clear that spending their lives together was meant to be.

You could feel the love shining in their eyes, feel it in their words vowing forever, and in their embraces lit up by the glorious evening light in Quidi Vidi.

They wed and celebrated at Yellowbelly, danced in the golden sunset overlooking the ocean, got totally whipped by the wind all day with their best friends, and also had literally the best wedding reception game EVER (scavenger hunt musical chairs!!)

Congratulations to the brand new Mr & Mrs Warren! These guys have such kind hearts and I’m super blessed to have met them and spent their magical day together. All the love to you Adam and Cait- thank you SO much for having me there to capture it all!

Yellowbelly Brewery || Event 3Sixty

Craig Murphy - Ceremonies and Celebrations

The Musicmen Entertainment & DJ Services

Classic Carriage || The Signature Salon || The Ivory Suite Bridal Boutique

Jess + Colin's Wedding at Manuel's River // St John's Newfoundland Wedding Photographer

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Jess and Colin’s road to forever started on Bell Island. Well- Colin TRIED to start it on Bell Island!

After trying to propose to Jess over there multiple times only to have his plans spoiled by terrible weather and ferry problems, he ultimately popped the question during a hike at Cape Spear.

Things came full circle the FIRST time when we took an adventure to Bell Island for their engagement session. We spent a few amazing hours wandering around to all their favourite spots and ended the day with a feed of fried chicken. THE BEST!!!

Things came full circle the SECOND time when their wedding day finally came, and we went back to Cape Spear where it all began.

With a first look in her family's backyard, a visit with their cats, an evening ceremony, and super-chill cocktail reception, Jess and Colin’s day was a perfect reflection of how sweet, wonderful, and true their love is.

Thank you so much babes for your adventurous spirit, all the laughs, and most of all your friendship that I’ve been so blessed to gain. Congratulations!!!

Manuels River || The Musicmen Entertainment & DJ Services

|| Lacy Rose Design || Ever After Bridal Boutique

Ally + Ray's Wedding in Harbour Breton // Newfoundland Wedding Photographer

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Nestled among the green valleys of the south coast of Newfoundland is a beautiful hidden gem of a community where the people welcome you as their own and the ocean hugs you from all sides.

This is Harbour Breton, and I was lucky enough to travel there in August to document Allison and Ray's biggest adventure yet, all with their beautiful daughter by their side.

There were endless laughs, so much love, and a whole community coming together to support and celebrate this amazing couple in their hometown.

I have been lucky enough to get to know Allie and Ray through the years as I’ve photographed their maternity photos of their rainbow baby, their engagement session, and finally their wedding in August. I am so overjoyed with happiness for these guys and their families, and incredibly thankful for their friendship!!

Congratulations Mr & Mrs Power!!

Rodney Philpott Designs | All Events | Ever After Bridal Boutique

Kayla + Byron's Backyard Wedding in Bellevue // Newfoundland Wedding Photographer

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There is truly nothing like an outdoor wedding, and Kayla & Byron absolutely killed it!!

They are truly best friends with so much passion for life, and had the most wicked wedding day in Bellvue Beach! They did things THEIR way and it was unique, laid back, and absolutely perfect.

I Do’s were said on a dock stretching out into the sea while their guests watched from the shore. They kissed in the ocean Notebook-style (and looked even better), they had such a laugh with their hilarious bridal party, and danced the night away at their reception in her mom's backyard.

Perfect day for the perfect couple! Thank you so much Kayla and Byron for having me along to capture your happy day! You are both so fun loving and joyful and I wish you all the happiness in the world. <3

Tender Loving Care Decorating | Anne Marie's Catering | Service Classic Carriage E-Motion Video | SKY Salon | Color Me Bronze Spray Tanning and Makeup Studio | The Ivory Suite Bridal Boutique

Crystal + Brian's Wedding at The Rocket Room in St. John's // Newfoundland Wedding Photographer

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Call them what you will- Cryan or Brystal (the emcees came up with these gems, not me folks! hahah)- but the real way to describe these guys is best friends and truly committed partners for life.

In August, I got to celebrate with Crystal and Brian for their I do's! Working in the theatre world, having their wedding on "dark day"- Monday- was not the only amazingly untraditional thing about the festivities!

They got ready together in the same house, did a first look, hung out in Quidi Vidi all day with their entourage, walked down the aisle together for their ceremony, and shared their first dance with all the wedding guests.

It was the perfect way to make things official and celebrate the love they share! Thank you C+B for the most chill wedding day ever and for being such friendly, welcoming, fun loving souls <3

Nadia Ali Makeup Artistry | Trang Garments | Rocket Bakery & Fresh Food Kendra Bursey | Quidi Vidi Brewing Co.

Sarah + Chad's Wedding at Glendenning in St. John's // Newfoundland Wedding Photographer

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Ever since I met Sarah & Chad, I knew we would and go on some amazing adventures, belly laughing all the way.

Oh BOY was I right.

From their Cape Spear engagement session last year to their wedding this summer, it’s been nothing but a complete joy to be by their side documenting some of their happiest days!

These two are so silly, fun loving, adventurous, and share a passionate connection that is so clear across their faces. We got them hitched at Glendenning, explored Quidi Vidi, piggybacked on George Street, and danced the night away like a bunch of loons because Newfoundland parties are the best kind of party!!

Thank you so much for having me along for your wicked day and welcome back home to Newfoundland! <3

Venue: GlenDenning Golf Club || Floral/Decor: Event 3Sixty

Cake/Sweets: Pam Picco's Speciality Cakes and Sweets

Custom Gown: Rodney Philpott Designs

 
 

Kristy + Keith's ELOPEMENT at The Doctor's House // Newfoundland Wedding Photographer

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When I got back from England at the start of August, nothing was nicer to greet me than a lovely elopement at The Doctor’s House on a calm summer day.

Kristy and Keith live in Ontario and consider Newfoundland like their home away from home (Keith is from NL originally), so it was a no brainer for them to elope by the sea with a few of their closest loved ones.

I love the Doctor’s House because it’s so near to the city but feels light years away- surrounded by trees, ocean, and a sense of peace as far as the eye can see. It’s also super close to the Dildo Dory Grill and Dildo Brewery so ya knows we had to stop in for an Iceberg Beer!

Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Maloney, and thank you so much for having me there to document your sweet day! xox


Congratulations Kristy and Keith!

Erika + Ronnie's Wedding in Witless Bay NL // Newfoundland Wedding Photographer

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In classic Newfoundland style, this June wedding in Witless Bay was full of mist and fog and a complete bucketful of love! We adventured by the sea, had so many cuddle huddles to keep warm, ate poutine, and surprised the groom with a quad (!!!) No biggie ;)

Words can't express the love shared between Erika, Ronnie & Leo. From taking their family photographs when Leo was just a little baby, to their engagement session, and now their wedding, I have watched this little clan grow and could not be happier for them as they set off as, officially, the Wards. <3 Enjoy their wedding story and leave them some congratulations!

Assistant/Second Shooter: Alex Stead Photography | Music: Heartland Band 709 Florist: By Sharpe Design | Decorator: Spotlight Events Cake/Sweets: Colorful Creations | Videographer: WPA Films | Hair: Tara Tobin Makeup: Allison Best - Makeup Artistry | Gown: Ever After Bridal Boutique