Stacey and her wife, Katie, got married last year in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Stacey shares with us some of the things she learned about the wedding process. It is her opinion that finding wedding photographers who perfectly suit you and your partner is almost as important as finding the love of your life.
“My wife and I got married last September, and we had a wedding full of intention and zero stress. It was miraculous, and one of the most magical days of my life. I am a girl who loves to be pampered, surrounded by flowers, food, and champagne, so I knew my list of must-haves would be centred around that. My wife, on the other hand, wanted beautiful wedding photos. So we decided to import some beautiful olives, stock up on bubbles, and then we spent the coming months (and months) trying to find a photographer that we liked. We finally found Sarah and Graham Nickerson.
We met with them a few weeks before the wedding, and they asked us what we were looking for from our wedding photos. We responded by telling them that all we really wanted to capture was a moment of “big soul laughter.” I’m somewhat known for my laugh; I have a full-bellied, head back, mouth wide open type of laugh. My wife on the other hand, always looks like she is going to collapse from laughter. TBH we spend most of our time together cackling up a storm. We knew that we really wanted that specific moment on film, and it felt like a bit of a tall order, but hey! We want what we want.
About a half-hour into the day, they fuckin’ nailed it.
This photo is a perfect representation of my wife and I. And other than our wedding rings, those shirts, and 4 glass pitchers, our wedding photos are the only things we got to keep from our wedding day. When I go through them my heart bursts, and heart juice leaks from my eyes. Every. Time.
This was the thing we wanted most from our big day: a photo of us in complete wholeness, and togetherness. Our souls breaking through the surface, baring our true beingness in our love for one another. This photo was taken moments after getting legally married, and we turned to see our only guest, my best friend, sobbing and we burst out laughing from sheer joy, and love. I promise you, finding the photographers who will capture you and your love in all its glory, are *almost* just as important as finding the love of your life. Our photographers mirrored our souls back to us, and allowed us to be really seen, with our hearts on our sleeves. For that, I will be forever grateful to them, and these photos. Not to mention, I will never again scoff at the prices of people who are masters in their craft.
We faced A LOT of push back from our parents about our wedding choices, and tensions were running HIGH! My father was very upset that we decided not to invite our families outside of our parents and siblings. No cousins, no aunts and uncles, no extended family friends. He could not fathom my wedding celebration to be complete without his brothers and sisters and cousins, and nephews and nieces and grandchildren present. But guess what? In the end, he said he had a great time, and he even said that we have a really spectacular group of people in our lives. We stuck to a budget that was tight, and got really clear on a lot of things we did not need, so we kept the guest list small, 42 people in attendance! We were able to spend our wedding surrounded by everyone we know and love. There was no small talk, only genuine heart felt connection throughout the entire celebration, which was a dream! My heart was exploding every second of our wedding.
We also asked that all of our guests wear white, and blue denim, and we communicated that our dress code was not suggested, but strict and mandatory. We knew that by restricting our guests to one corner of their closets meant that we would need to give examples, and spend time responding to their inquiries. In the end, it was worth it, because we got the best lead up photos from our people in change rooms and bedroom mirrors. Plus, on the day of, our group wedding shots are magic!
Katie and I are one part controlling, and one part casual. Our families are one part norm-core and one part BANANAS. Needless to say, we both have complicated family dynamics, and our personal styles contrast and compliment one another perfectly. Our photographers, Sarah and Graham, got the lay of the land well before they showed up to document our wedding- they thought to ask about the complexities and the tensions that existed, in order to help us navigate our evening in a way that created the most joy and ease possible. Throughout the night, they checked in with us to make sure we were breathing it all in, laughing with one another, and staying as present as possible. All I can say, is that the wedding planning experience taught me that your wedding vendors are your best friends, and know the wedding world way better than you do. Be honest, upfront, and ready to compromise on any and all juice that is not worth the squeeze.”