Noelle + Diego had the most perfect last-minute backyard wedding in Guelph this past July and I was so thrilled to be there to photograph it all! Home to visit from their work overseas as teachers and in the process of relocating to China within days of their wedding, their family and friends pulled together to help make their big day happen in just a couple of weeks. I love the fact that weddings that are sort of short-notice always have an even more laid-back feel than most, since the time to stress and fuss over the minor details just doesn’t exist and overwhelming gratitude that the wedding is just happening is what pervades the day. Don’t get me wrong, I love a day that has had tons of planning and prepping too, it’s just that these DIY, super simple shindigs have their own kind of magic.
We met at the church where the bride’s mom works to see them married in a heartfelt ceremony in the small chapel near the sanctuary, with their nearest and dearest all crying along with them as they said their vows and braided their wedding knot, smiling so widely I was sure one of their faces might split. The bride looked absolutely radiant in the same dress her mother had worn over 20 years before, altered to fit the new bride perfectly.
After the ceremony we made our way to the grounds of the University of Guelph and the gorgeous greenhouse to do some family and couple portraits before finding our way to the bride’s uncle’s home and backyard for the reception. It was so special that the very same day was in fact her uncle’s birthday as well, and everyone sang him happy birthday and the bride presented him with a cake and gift as a thank you for not only sharing the day but for offering his lush garden backyard as the venue.
Another touching moment came when the bride’s grandmother presented the couple with a bell, the same bell that her grandfather, also a teacher, had used and cherished. Cleaned and polished to shiny perfection, the bride and groom were not surprisingly stunned and moved to have this family heirloom to take with them as they continued on their life journey as teachers and partners.
There were so many cool little touches and details that made the day so uniquely personal and that reflected the lives of the couple, too many to list, but you will see in the images below just how much work went into making this day amazing for them.
Thank you to Noelle + Diego (and their wonderful family and friends) for your warm and welcoming invitation to be a part of this really fab day!