I first met Olivia in a rather random way. I was taking my dog to Companion Animal Hospital in Cole Harbour for shots and Olivia was working there. I noticed she had an engagement ring on and I handed her a business card as I was leaving. I then saw her a few more times when taking my dogs to the vet for various reasons (we’re very happy with the way they get treated there), and she mentioned she had been on my site etc. and we decided to meet up. Her fiance Jason is a small business owner at JMI Heating Services and it was winter, a busy time for fixing furnaces so we had trouble finding a time for us all to meet. We finally managed to meet at the Valley Mercahnt’s Wedding Show at The Old Orchard Inn, and I know from my end, I was impressed. Olivia and Jason are simply two of the sweetest, most sincere people out there. I felt luck to be the photographer they chose to cover their wedding.
Months pass and a venue change moved the wedding to the Best Western Chocolate Lake. I had driven by a number of times when I lived close by without giving it much thought. It was a Best Western, so I thought it would be like any other Best Western I’d been to in the past, a decent hotel, but nothing special. I was wrong. You can quote me on that (just not to my wife OK?). I was absolutely blown away by how nice a venue it was. I think Jason and Olivia’s decorations and little touches certainly made a difference in my opinion, but the room was beautiful, as was the view over the lake. To top it off, the ceremony location outside with a pergola and a tree in behind was a great backdrop. Enough with my gushing, let me tell you a bit about the day itself.
I met up with Olivia and her girls just as the makeup was being completed. She had her puppies with her, so that put a big smile on my face to start the day. Just when the girls were within an inch of being ready, a little problem popped up. Olivia’s necklace was missing. The big worry was that one of the girls doing makeup had accidentally put it in their garbage bags as they quickly packed up to give the space back to the bridesmaids to finish getting ready. Luckily, after about 20 minutes of frantically searching, one of the bridesmaids found the tiny necklace. I think we all checked the same places six times before it was found. I know Olivia was stressed about the time because we were running a bit late, but everyone calmly lied to her and said we were doing fine ;).
When we got down to the ceremony, a few people may or may not have cried at seeing Olivia enter with one parent on each arm. The ceremony was highlighted by one moment in particular when the officiant made a tiny blunder. She was having Jason repeat after her and said to Jason “…take Olivia to be my lawfully wedded husband” Jason repeated but smiled and said “wife” instead. That made everyone laugh, it was a good catch. It would be easy to just repeat the words exactly in a nervous moment, but he was on the ball.
After the ceremony, an impromptu receiving line broke out before the wedding party could get organized for photos. After that ended we took family photos and then made way the the Dingle for wedding party photos. We went up to the tower and did a bunch of different photos before someone joked that Olivia and Jason should ‘ride the lion’. If you don’t know the Dingle, there are two large lion statues adorning the top of the staircase. Olivia looked at me, clearly thinking she might actually do it, so I encouraged her. Not one to typically break rules intentionally, she threw caution to the wind and got right up on the lion. It was hilarious, especially as another wedding party ascended the stairs at that moment.
We were running a bit behind schedule, so instead of our plan to take the entire wedding party downtown for more photos, just Jason, Olivia, and I went for a quick handful of shots at Grand Parade. We made it back to the hotel just in time and we were once again back on schedule. As everyone made their was to get food, I meandered over to the candy bar. I place direct blame on Olivia for me going to Bulk Barn twice in the last 2 weeks for marshmallow bananas. They were one of the items at the candy bar, and I hadn’t had them for a long time. I apparently missed them, and thoroughly enjoyed the candy bar. My candy addiction aside, the dinner was capped off with a round of emotional speeches. According to the speeches I heard, Jason is the best friend of approximately 20 people, but I wouldn’t in a million years question the sincerity of each of those people. Jason and Olivia have a way about them in which they make you feel you are truly important to them, and there’s nothing fake about it, they are simply wonderful people. Jason called me the day after the wedding to thank me, and it was pretty much the nicest thing I’ve ever experienced as a wedding photographer. Even the staff at the Best Western were raving about Jason and Olivia when I got there. One of the girls setting up said ‘I don’t even know them and I love them’, and that speaks volumes in my opinion.
I would be remiss to go without mentioning that Jason’s sister made the cake, and it was beautiful. If I heard correctly, the cake was made to match their grandparents wedding cake. After cutting the cake, Olivia and Jason went to the dance floor for their first dance. Most people there knew which song was coming. Two of their friends pulled out their guitars and started playing City and Colour’s ‘The Girl‘, which Jason sang to Olivia when he proposed. We went outside not long after for a couple extra photos, and later in the evening, as everyone danced on, the idea to get sparklers arose, and then sparklers were purchased. Next thing we know, we’re outside taking photos with sparklers. It was a hell of a day, and I was so glad to be a part of it. I know Jason and Olivia will have a great marriage, and they have a wonderful support system to top it off. Congratulations Olivia and Jason!!!