There are some weddings as a photographer which provide more inspiration and motivation than others. Ashley and Brendan’s wedding was one of those. It has nothing to do with the details of the wedding, or the location, or the food, but it has everything to do with the people. Last summer I met with Ashley and her mother at the LaHave Bakery to discuss the wedding and I immediately felt like I was having a conversation with family rather than clients. I was unable to meet Brendan as he was back in England playing football but I got a great idea of the kind of guy he was from Ashley.
When it came to the wedding day, I met up with Ashley and her sisters at her parents house in Bridgewater first. Ashley and her 2 sisters all live outside of Nova Scotia now, so I can imagine how happy their parents were to just have them all in one place, let alone being there to celebrate a wedding. Ashley was incredibly relaxed considering she was about to get married, something I love seeing in a bride.
The guys were getting ready in a cabin in Lunenburg and their group was twice the size of Ashley’s with Brendan having 5 groomsmen. I am not sure if it was due to his competitive nature, the fact that it was his day, or maybe a fear of Ashley finding out he was causing delays, but Brendan was the first of the guys to be fully dressed and ready to go. Brendan’s groomsmen were a fun group of guys who seemed to be different but linked by a great friend in Brendan, and a common sense of humour, the latter of which made my job easy. We took some photos by their cabin and then made our way into the town of Lunenburg to take a shot of the guys walking down the street of the UNESCO World Heritage site.
Ashley was just about ready upon my return to her house and before we knew it, we were making our way to St. Mark’s Place for the ceremony. We made a stop at a nice little park in Bridgewater for some photos along the way (thank you Krista for the suggestion). With the ceremony scheduled for 3:00, we were pulling up right on time.
The ceremony was fairly short with one highlight being Ashley’s 86 year old grandfather singing during the signing (I had to read that line about 5 times to make sure I spelled it correctly so don’t feel bad if you had to read it more than once). We took family photos on the steps at St. Mark’s Place afterwards and from there I took the wedding party out to a couple of locations for photos, starting at a beautiful woodland location which was a bit damp, but fortunately not too wet for us to walk on. We then went to Hirtle’s Beach where the temperature was about 5 degrees colder, so we didn’t stay too long, and made our way back to St. Mark’s Place for the reception.
One of the most nerve wracking things for many grooms is the first dance, many of us guys just don’t feel that comfortable dancing in front of a group of people, so Ashley and Brendan got it out of the way at the start of the reception. They danced to ‘Die A Happy Man’ by Thomas Rhett with a hell of a twist. Ian, one of Brendan’s groomsmen performed the song while Ashley and Brendan danced. I am hoping to find that someone posts it on YouTube because I liked Ian’s version better than the Thomas Rhett version, so if you find it, send me the link. I later came to find out that Ian was studying Opera, I’m pretty sure he picked the right field. I absolutely love when a couple can make a personal moment like the first dance even more personal like this. I’ve seen many musical performances at weddings and they are always memorable for me as an observer, so I can only imagine how Ashley and Brendan will feel looking back on their wedding in 10 years.
The dinner was gourmet burgers by Twisted Spoon Catering out of Petite Riviere and was very well received, as were the speeches after the dinner. I need to specifically call out Dan who not only killed a speech at the first wedding he ever even attended, but made the most amazing wine bottle catch as he accidentally knocked it off the podium during the shoe game, well done sir.
As the night went on, the dance floor opened and filled up with a little help from Brendan’s musical selections. I made my exit with the dance floor full and a lot of smiles on faces, mine included. I am sure the party went well into the night and I know many more laughs were had. The wedding was a lot of fun and while I know that is just one day of a lifetime together for Ashley and Brendan, it was a hell of a great start. Here’s a look at Ashley and Brendan’s day 1 as husband and wife.