Romantic and relaxed backyard wedding

I’ve known Emma-Lee for a few years now, and have always admired her work as a photographer. I can’t even begin to explain what an honour it was for me to have the chance to document this romantic and relaxed backyard wedding for her and Leighton. I will forever have a bit of a soft spot for anyone who plans simple and sweet backyard weddings likely because of our own! xo

The couple: We are Emma-lee and Leighton. Emma-lee is a wedding photographer, and Leighton just started working as a police officer. We met while working at Elim Lodge resort just outside of Peterborough. We worked there during the summers; Leighton had an office job and Emma-lee was a waitress. It wasn’t a love at first sight or even a love at first summer…it took 3 summers for us to realize we loved and couldn’t live without each other. During the winters Emma-lee would travel and Leighton spent some time at a school in Spain, but when Elim opened in the spring of 2017 and we both moved back there for the season, it felt like the perfect time to finally begin our “official” dating relationship. And the rest is blissful history!

The proposal: We got engaged at Elim Lodge. Leighton caught me completely off guard one extremely cold December evening by writing out scavenger hunt-esque notes around Elim ( i.e. places that were special to us and our relationship). The last place the notes led me to was where he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Of course I was so emotional – and I’m surprised the tears didn’t freeze to my my face because it was so incredibly cold! I happily said yes, and we went back to my families house where all of my family was waiting to celebrate with us! I still have all of the notes Leighton wrote to me and I can’t read them without crying, I really am so blessed to have found a man who loves me so well.
Vendors you chose and why:
Of course, being a photographer, Emma-lee greatly values good wedding photography – so finding someone to capture our day was our her first priority. And we could not have been more happy with the way Jen documented our wedding day and all the emotion it surrounding it. She has been an inspiration to Emma-lee, which made her the perfect choice.
Of course, being a guy, Leighton greatly values good wedding food. And after meeting with Bonnie of BE Catering, her warm and hospitable personality, paired with her fantastic cooking skills, made for the perfect fit! We were so impressed by Bonnie and her staff on our big day!
If Emma-lee wasn’t a wedding photographer, she could imagine herself being a florist. She. loves. flowers. And something about gorgeous greenery and blooms on a wedding day just makes it. Angela, our florist, is still waiting to officially launch her business, but she is already killing it! We were in love with the way she helped turn my parent’s property into a beautiful wedding venue. Angela is a natural and we were so happy to get a taste of her talent before she becomes famous and untouchable!
Bride’s favourite moment: Can I say the whole thing? It was such a beautiful day and there were so many moments that I can’t even pick a favourite. I loved looking out the window to see all of our friends and family arriving before the ceremony, and when Leighton and I shared a moment at our “first look” and how the nervousness melted away when I saw him. I loved when Leighton and I read our vows to each other (and the fact that the rain held off), and dancing the night away with my best friends was just amazing. When Leighton and I left that night, all I could think was, “that was just perfect”.
Grooms favourite moment: My cheesy answer is when Emma-lee said “I do”. My less cheesy answer is near the end of the reception just before the dance. If you know Emma-lee well than you know that she is an amazing singer, so secretly I was hoping she would sing for me at our wedding, but I didn’t want to ask her to sing and add more stress than she already had. But the girl knows the way into my heart because just after our first dance she surprised me and sang to me…and I couldn’t have been happier in that moment.
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding: Stress all you want before the big day, but once it comes, live in the moment. Don’t worry about whether or not table 11 has a missing place card, or if the special cake knife and server you bought gets forgotten about (which happened at our wedding). Just enjoy the day for what it is, soak in those interactions with the people you love so much, all the laughter and happy tears! Because sometime during the end of the reception {and for days afterwards} it will probably hit you: “I can’t believe it’s over!”.

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