Ontario natives, Katelyn & Blake met each other in the local supermarket, a story that I am excited to share more detail on later in this blog post :).
They met me (a Pennsylvania native living 300 miles away from their Canadian home) during their annual vacation to Gettysburg, PA. I have met with them once a year for the past three years, photographing their family portraits & engagement portraits in Gettysburg and finally meeting them on their “turf” in Niagara for their wedding day!
Blake and Katelyn were looking for an elegant, romantic location with interesting historical background for their wedding day. They chose Pillar and Post which was unique perfectly suited to the two of them. Speaking of unique, I have never seen wedding bands similar to Katelyn & Blake’s, and I have seen quite a few bands :). Katelyn’s ring includes sapphires and was made by Lessard Coutu Custom Jewelers and is completely one of a kind.
Katelyn’s gown was also original– garden length and vintage inspired. She was planning on purchasing a more traditional ballgown, but when she tried on this Alfred Sung gown she could see it fitting so well with a garden wedding and her mother (who has great fashion sense) loved it, but the real commitment happened when “My Way” by Frank Sinatra started to play in the store. It had been her grandfathers’ favorite song and somehow seems to play during important life moments. In tears, Katelyn took the song as a sign and purchased the dress, and planned the rest of the wedding aesthetic around the feel of the gown. The airy layers reminded me of Katelyn’s affinity for ballet, and the length also showed off her Michael Kohrs peep-toe pumps (Katelyn is definitely a shoe girl).
Blake surprised Katelyn with a gift to open before the wedding, I love the mood of this photo– the excitement and anticipation behind it and the dramatic feel of the light that plays into it so perfectly. The bridesmaids wore floor length gowns and the men wore Vera Wang classic tuxes while Blake was dressed in tails.
In this image, Katelyn’s father, Erik, is escorting his daughter down the aisle, accompanied by friends on guitar in a gorgeous courtyard garden. Their day was a celebration of Katelyn & Blake’s friendship and deep-rooted relationship.
My favorite part of the processional was the look on Blake’s face as he saw Katelyn for the first time. He is completely smitten with his bride, head over heels in love, what a beautiful moment. I also like how you can see both the bride and grooms fathers smiling as well.
Blake held Katelyn’s hand throughout the service. He is such a gentleman, and that was brought out even more by his tux with tails. Katelyn said she could feel how anxious he was through his fingertips (he was squeezing her tightly, haha) and during the vows she let go for a second and shook out her hands and they both laughed together.
Katelyn & Blake initially met several years ago while they were working at a local grocery store together. Katelyn was “the girl who was not afraid of killing spiders” hehe. Katelyn and Blake’s relationship was founded on friendship– they share the same quick wit, sarcasm and dry sense of humor. That relationship has now grown into a marriage uniting two families.
Friends since the second grade… Blake and his friends have been through everything together from grade school to college, from weddings to babies. All of the spouses get along well, too and have welcomed Katelyn into the group.
There is one thing Katelyn & Blake didn’t want at their wedding– guests clinking glasses at the reception to get the couple to kiss. They even went as far as telling the wedding guests that Pillar and Post doesn’t allow clinking, haha. The guests clinked anyway and Katelyn & Blake laughed and humored them, the following image was the result:
The groom’s favorite wedding gift was his brother Myles’ speech. Myles has always been more introverted, so Blake hadn’t expected him to make a speech, but Myles surprised Blake and the rest of the guests by stepping up to the microphone. Blake and Myles have very different personalities and didn’t spend much time together as they had completely different circles. It was very touching to hear Myles’ kind words that ended with “I love you, bro.” It brought smiles to everyone’s faces and tears to quite a few people as well.
Having live music at the reception was a “no brainer” for Katelyn & Blake– both of their families value music. Several family members even had musical careers including Katelyn’s great grandmother who was the first female band leader in Ontario.
The band was *incredible*, their talent was off-the-charts amazing and what was even more special was the Katelyn’s friends and family came up to share the stage with the band and offer live performances. In the image below the brides father is on guitar (he was also the MC for the evening, given his professional background in radio).
Everyone loved the live music, even Katelyn’s grandma was out on the dance floor, she was an amazing dancer… I love this image of the bridemaids!!! Sammy is the youngest bridesmaid, she’s only 16 and looks completely shocked/horrified by the dancing of the other two who are clearly just having some fun. 🙂
The groomsmen really enjoyed the photos of Blake and Erik sharing cigars in Gettysburg, so we made sure to get them some cool cigar shots of their own.
Katelyn & Blake it has been such a pleasure getting to know you and your families over the past three years! Thank you for making us part of your special day and for bringing us out to Niagara on the Lake. It was a wonderful experience that we will never forget!