If I could go back in time, I would have a backyard wedding. Casual, intimate, personal - all of the things that really make a wedding fun. Joel & Amanda had just such a wedding. I was contacted by Amanda shortly before the big day, and quickly agreed to head out to her family's beautiful rural property to photograph the backyard bash they were planning. The day dawned, sunny and crisp on Thanksgiving weekend. I arrived in the early stages of getting things together and was immediately welcomed by her large and loving family. The celebration was to be at sunset, with a BBQ and relaxed socialization leading up to the big moment.
I got to work photographing all of the action, watching the kids climb on the swingset, dodging marsh-soaked dogs who were playfully chasing each other and soaking up the fall sun. As the sun slowly dipped down to an early fall sunset, we gathered the family for photos, a chance for everyone to gather their love and support not only around the happy couple, but also around Amanda's gravely ill Mom, who was an exceptionally patient trooper, sitting through the multitude of combinations that we planned. It was such an amazing honour to see and feel the love that this family has for one another.
As sundown approched, Amanda snuck away to change into a lovely white dress to surprise Joel, and onlookers gathered on the large deck and on the lawn below to watch them exchange their vows. One of my favourite parts ofthe day was watching Amanda and Joel being gathered into a spontaneous group hug by all of the kids after the ceremony - a big hug full of love and excitement.
Thank you to Amanda and Joel and their entire families for welcoming me into your lives and hearts that day. I won't soon forget it.