Month: October 2011

Carley & Graham – Laurel Packinghouse Wedding, Kelowna

Carley and Graham. I love these two. I met Carley, who is now one of my best friends, through her engagement to Graham. Carley contacted me about wedding photography and she sounded super cute and sweet by email. She had so many awesome ideas for their engagement session like bringing cruiser bikes, sparklers and a vintage camera. So it was no surprise at all when I met them for their engagement session and knew within minutes that I had met two new friends.  I found out Carley had a talent for photography and a background in graphic design and before I knew it, she was on board as my main second shooter/assistant editor. Our friendship really grew the first summer we worked side by side at weddings. Carley once said to me, “There are friends who come into your life for a reason, a season and a lifetime and you’re a life-timer buddy.” I couldn’t agree more Carleycakes!  : )

Carley is one of those people, those special, rare people who are such a bright, shiny light that you can’t help but gravitate to like a moth. She is one of the kindest, thoughtful, positive and loving people I’ve ever met.  I can completely see why her and Graham are together – they’re two peas in a pod and Graham shares her kindness and fantastic sense of humour. I’m constantly laughing when he is around (love that dry wit!). I’m always fascinated by Graham’s insane cooking abilities (he’s a chef at Kelowna’s acclaimed Waterfront Restaurant and Wine Bar). One time, I remember asking him, after he made an amazing pizza with caramelized onions on it, “So what kind of caramel do you use for the onions?” Hahaha- I got a head pat for that one. I don’t think I’ll ever live that one down.

I was so excited Carley and Graham chose the beautiful Laurel Packinghouse in Kelowna for their wedding. They recently restored this beautiful museum in the center of Kelowna’s Cultural District and opened its doors to weddings. I was so impressed with all of the creativity that was put into decor for this wedding. They decided on a quirky theme of circles, travel and vintage cameras and the place was decked out with the coolest pieces from Vintage Origami who does vintage decor rentals. Fantastic!

I think it’s a given that I had a blast photographing Carley and Graham’s wedding! I am friends with most of the wedding party so they totally hammed it up for the camera. : D It was such a fun, perfect day. I didn’t want it to end!

Carley and Graham, I foresee your future and it’s filled with love, laughter and many adventures. I’m so happy for you two!!!


Carley’s and Graham’s “First Look.” Super cute moment.

The Laurel Packinghouse. It is the oldest and largest standing packinghouse in British Columbia.Carley and Graham jetted off to Italy for their honeymoon after their wedding. Eeeeee- I can’t wait to hear all their stories and see all their photos when they return!!

Carley’s good friend, and Miami, FL photographer, Kaare Iverson, put his awesome photo skills to work at the photo booth as a gift to Carley. His upbeat personality brought people out of their shells and he got so many awesome shots! I’m so happy I got a couple with Carley!

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Serena & Marco – Italy Wedding

Pinch me. I still can’t believe I got to photograph a wedding in Italy. It’s one place I can never stay away from for long so when Serena left a sweet comment on one of my blog posts saying how she was from Italy, getting married in September and loved my work, I contacted her straight away to ask her if she had hired a photographer yet. She happened to be getting married on one of my last dates available for the season and pretty soon I had my flights booked! I knew we were going to get along great the first time I talked to Serena and Marco on Skype and we couldn’t stop laughing. That prediction turned out to be true. Serena and Marco are literally two of the most sincerely kind and generous people I have ever met. The first night I arrived in Italy, Serena said to me, “While you are in Italy, this is your home and we are your family.” She meant it. They, along with their friends and family, embraced me as one of their own for my week in the cute little town of Spoltore in Abruzzo Italy. Serena’s parents had me over for lunch my first day (pesto made by Mimina- buonissimo!) and it didn’t stop there. Friends of Serena and Marco took me on day trips around the area and to awesome restaurants. I’ll be doing a blog post on all that sometime in the coming months, so stay tuned!

The whole wedding was so unique, heartfelt and beautiful. Serena and Marco had their wedding ceremony at an amazing old abbey built in 1007 called San Liberatore a Maiella, in Abruzzo, Italy. The first time we walked in, I was speechless. We had gotten a key, the length of my forearm, from the priest, who was partaking in a festival in a nearby town, and when we walked in, it was completely empty and silent. Amazing. It is the most beautiful setting I have ever photographed a ceremony at, hands down.

We did the wedding portraits in the incredible, magical forest behind the abbey. I have no words for that place. I wanted to stay there all day. It feels like you have stepped into a Renaissance painting when you come into the clearing where we took the photos. If fairies and elves had appeared, I wouldn’t have batted an eye. A crystal clear stream ran through the place that Marco said you can drink from. I really must return there someday and spend a whole day there.

Once our short window for portraits was finished, Serena and Marco hopped in a cute orange VW beetle they had rented, and I, with the videographer, followed behind to the Maria Donata villa where the reception was held. As they pulled up, they were blasted with confetti cannons which set the tone for the fun night ahead. ; ) A big white tent was set up on the grass, with tables underneath and blankets on the outskirts, to encourage a picnic-like atmosphere. Even the wedding favours were cute little picnic baskets with jam and confetti (an edible candy-covered almond, native to the area) inside. There was an amazing buffet lunch with several courses.

It didn’t take long before the dancing started. So fun!! Italians definitely know how to have a good time. When my time for the day had finished, I got to put my camera away and join in the fun. When it got dark, they launched about 30 floating lanterns into the sky. Definitely one of the highlights for me – I had always wanted to witness a floating lantern launch. They floated so high into the sky. One was let go a little early and started to float down towards the roof, but one of the guests saved the day with some mighty strong blowing and it soared up over the roof and into the night. ; )

I can’t thank Serena and Marco and their wonderful family and friends enough for getting to be a part of such an amazing day with such a fantastic group of people. I will never forget it and I know I will remain friends with these two for many many years to come. Serena and Marco have such a special love for each other and it was so touching to photograph them during their ceremony. The whole thing was in Italian and I still cried just because I could see how heartfelt, spiritual and full of love it was for them. Their hearts just shone on their faces. Bellissima. Grazie mille per tutti Serena e Marco!!


“Aiuto” means “help” in Italian. hehe. Cute.

If you look at the bottom left photo you’ll notice that 2 of the caterers (the girl and guy wearing aprons) joined in with the dancing. haha- I love it! I put my camera down and danced as well. fun times. The guy in the maroon apron kicked butt at limbo later.

A floating lantern launch. Oh…my…goodness. It was amazing and beautiful and I loved every second. One of my favourite moments of the whole trip.

Me, feeling the love in a hug sandwich. : )


I have to include a few photos from two days before the wedding when Marco, and friends, surprised Serena at their home at 11:30pm to serenade her. It’s an old Italian tradition that not many people do anymore, but being the romantic that he is, Marco secretly planned the surprise. It was my second night in Italy and despite being jet-lagged, there was no way I was going to miss it! A mandolin player and two guitar players (one of them, Serena’s father, Giovanni) arrived at midnight to join in and take over the music. Neighbours came out of their homes to enjoy the festivities and it was a little celebration in the street. It was beautiful and I was really touched witnessing it all.