When Darlene found me online and inquired about me shooting her and her fiance’s wedding, it started out pretty much like any other email conversation. Then we somehow got on the topic of hockey (she’s a Habs fan and Jeff’s a Bruins fan), and we immediately bonded. We kept in touch over the months as the day drew nearer, and Darlene shared pictures, from a shot or two of the Highland Village in Iona where the wedding was to take place, to her using a chainsaw to make custom coasters for all her guests. Even through her emails, I could honestly feel just how excited she was for this day. I felt like I had known her for years and I hadn’t even met her yet. With the wedding being in Cape Breton, Robyn and I decided to make a weekend of it and do a little touristing (yeah I made a word up). Darlene invited Robyn and Isla to the wedding too. I felt so welcome, and all this without ever meeting Darlene and Jeff.
I finally got a chance to meet Darlene, Jeff, and some of their families, the night before the wedding, and I felt like I was meeting up with old friends. I wasn’t able to stay long, but it was great to finally meet these people I knew so much about.
The next morning I met Darlene and her sisters at a house that used to be owned by their grandparents. I got a photo of the dress hanging on the staircase which has remained unchanged in the last 40 years, a spot which brought back memories from childhood. Since we were running a bit behind schedule to start the day, our convoy of 4 cars made our way from St. Peter’s to the Highland Village in Iona at a pretty good clip. Darlene’s sister Beverly was in the lead car, and she made sure to push the pace and get us there on time. We could see some rain coming in from our elevated location, but it held off for the ceremony.
The ceremony was in the church atop the hill with a beautiful view, as we came outside afterwards, we were hit by a blast of cold wind and the sound of bagpipes which got Darlene a bit emotional when she heard them. We wandered the grounds taking photos and one of the ladies working at Highland Village in period costume, offered Darlene her shawl to keep warm between pictures. I can assure you that we would not have spent as much time outside had she not been so kind as to do that.
After we wrapped up in Iona, we made our way to St. Peter’s and Battery Park. The drive took us through sunshine, heavy rain, and hail, and of course when we got to the park, we had some more rain. The cold air and the wind put the temperatures close to freezing (it was 7 degrees without the windchill), not your typical September weather, but Darlene was a champ and lied to herself well enough to endure the cold.
Next from Battery Park came one of my new favourite places, Grand Greve Beach. The approach to the beach brings me back to Ireland, it’s just stunning. If you have $540,000 you can buy the house with that beautiful view, or if you’re really wealthy, you can buy it for me :)
Grand Greve Beach was an important place Darlene wanted to make sure we got photos as it’s somewhere she went when staying with her grandparents in the summers growing up. I love going to locations with some personal meaning to them, it may not add anything to the casual viewer on my blog here, but it certainly does for the couple.
We finished up at the house in L’Ardoise which Darlene and Jeff had rented for the week. Their family was all there and they sat down to a meal with everyone. Unfortunately my daughter Isla tried to spoil the party with her crying, but Robyn managed to calm her down away from the crowd. It was such a lovely day with a bunch of great people. Special thanks to Jeff’s sons Tyler and Logan for helping me out with my lights in the high winds, I really appreciate that guys!
Congratulations Darlene and Jeff, you’re two fantastic people and I can see how happy you make one another, I see a lot of love and laughter in your future together. Here’s a trip down memory lane to your ‘technically summer, but felt more like winter’, wedding.