A wedding like this deserves to be remembered. It’s hard to even narrow down this story to one page, but I’ll try.
My journey to Canada started before I ever stepped on the plane, and I am so thankful I was recommended to such a fun, travel loving couple. I was blown away by each part of Laura and Kagi’s love story. God truly brought these two together, and I got flown in to capture them become man and wife. Guests really came from near and far (mostly far!) to be a part of this wedding. The rehearsal dinner started everything off on the right foot with the bride and groom attending in full African garb. Seeing as there was a field right outside, I couldn’t resist doing a mini session right then and there. We enjoyed such good food and fellowship the entire night and listened to toasts, stories and sweet prayers from friends and family that were close to Laura and to Kagi. The family was staying at a beautiful house of a couple they knew, and the moment I lugged my equipment through the door they all made me feel right at home. Since I stayed with family and bridal party, I got a complete behind the scenes pass to all the fun… and better yet, all the fresh food. We all know I love food! These girls did it all when it came to helping for the wedding. All the flowers, making every bouquet, the bride herself made her own cake (which if I didn’t watch every minute in awe of her skill, I would have never believed!) and they still had time to have a little party upstairs for just the girls to celebrate Laura’s last night as a Fritz.
The morning came and I got to style Laura’s hair and then capture all the girls having the best time prepping. We had so much fun just going out on the lawn for some photos with some spectacular backdrops. All dolled up, we drove to Niagara Falls to get some photos before heading to the venue. This was a main goal of mine, it was my first trip seeing the Falls, and I wasn’t letting that opportunity go! We were pressed for time so we may or may not have stopped the van illegally for a minute.. but who can say no to a bride with her bridesmaids on her wedding day? Thankfully the parking attendants were two guys who definitely could not say no. They let us do what we had to do and we were back on our way. White Meadow Farms was already such a sweet venue to have a wedding, and the simple yet elegant decor added just the right touches to make it completely personal. Everyone had worked so hard to put everything together and it was worth it when you stood back and took it all in. Church pews served as seating for the guests, and beautiful music played as the processional started. Flower girls of a young age are always unpredictable.. and this little cutie was no different! She bolted down the aisle (I almost missed it!) and the bride’s sister stepped in to put the petals down the aisle. (Thanks, Jenni!) There was so many special parts to their ceremony.. I don’t think I can do it justice. From the bride reading part of her vows in another language (thanks to her notes in her amazing hidden pocket in her gown) and the groom also speaking Setswana (as more than one of their guests were from Botswana and appreciated being included), to the worship that brought everyone together, no matter the languages spoken, the emotion ran deep throughout. Those emotions were true and I could just hear their hearts being poured out as they sang. Nothing had to be drawn out or provoked. I was so moved I honestly almost forgot to keep clicking the camera. I am so glad I did. Through tears listening to everyone’s voices (so beautiful, by the way, sounded like a choir!) I continued to shoot as family was brought up to pray over the couple. Communion came before pronouncing them man and wife, and then Kagi gave his new bride quite the impressive dip for their first kiss! The celebration was just getting started as they walked through the doors that their family had put together, painted and decorated. I took the whole group out and had way too much fun just letting them be themselves. They actually built a human pyramid.. and by “they” I am referring to the bridesmaids, and the groomsmen succeeded in lifting the groom up on their shoulders so they wouldn’t be completely outdone. Taking Laura and Kagi alone around the farm was so wonderful and peaceful. They have such a great love for each other and had not gotten to spend a lot of time together… so the portrait time was just a natural flow of letting them be together. The guests were having a blast playing yard games as we came back for the reception and the fun never stopped! From traditional African dances, to our traditions of the first dances and cake cutting, this group loved being around each other and you could tell. After I ate and enjoyed cake, I had to step out and star gaze for just a minute. The beauty around me had me so appreciative of my job and just life all together. This experience really sparked my love for destination weddings and I am forever thankful for it. To end their night, Laura and Kagi ran out to their tunnel of guests with sparklers and drove off in an extremely decorated car to start their lives together… I am sure they will never need help remembering their special day, I’m just glad to be a small part.