The McMillan’s Wedding at The Calgary Zoo

A Contemporary Tropical Wedding

Amy Getting Ready

Our day began at the new home of Amy and Tim. When we walked through the doors, the house was buzzing with excitement. There were a lot of things to photograph, and we had plenty of time to get it all done.

Amy was in the kitchen in hair and makeup with Monika and Jamie from Glam and Beyond. The women were a fun, high-energy duo. As they worked, we captured the process in a hyper-lapse video. Check out our Instagram page for the video. While the final touches went on, we photographed some of the details, including a love letter, to Tim and Amy’s jewelry. We then shot Amy’s beautiful dress from Blissful Bridal. The Mikaella design was a gorgeous boat neck gown, with a low back, crystal straps, and a ruffled bottom. We hung it in the window to capture some of the soft sunlight that was filtering through.

Her dad stopped by on his way to deliver decorations to the Calgary Zoo, the location of the wedding. When he showed up, she popped into her dress for a first look. He was looking out the window when she walked up behind him and tapped his shoulder. His eyes lit up when he turned, and she did a spin to show him the full extent of her beautiful gown and floor-length veil.

To complete her bridal look, Amy’s mom came over to help her get into her shoes and jewelry.
Once she was ready, it was time to present her bridesmaids with gifts. She gave them each a matching bracelet with the words ‘live, laugh, love’ emblazoned across the band. She also included little emergency makeup kits, complete with little nail polish, hairspray, and lip balm.

The ‘No Look.’

Meanwhile, Tim and his groomsmen were hiding upstairs. He didn’t want to see his bride before the wedding, but he too wanted to get ready in their new home. The guys were hanging out, playing video games, and watching sports. So, when it was time for the ‘No Look’, it was easy to gather everyone together.

For the ‘No Look’, Amy and Tim chose a wall upstairs that they could stand on either side of. We tucked Tim on one side, and Amy came up the stairs to the other. It is such a cute moment because no matter how bad they wanted to look, they couldn’t! We set up a shot with their hands’ side by side on opposite walls as if touching. In a cute moment, Amy reached around and playfully squeezed Tim’s arm. The wedding party was there to take in the moment before the girls retreated downstairs.
We then got a few quick shots of the guys in their matching velociraptor socks. Tim then gifted his groomsmen with Nixon watched, beautiful timepieces from Southern California. Finally, the boutonnieres went on, and it was time to get married!

Their Ceremony at the Calgary Zoo’s Enmax Conservatory – Terrace Hall

We headed out to the Calgary Zoo for the rest of the day. Once onsite, we met up with the officiant Judy Walker of Ceremonies by Design. We walked through everything and got ready for the ceremony, taking photos of the details in the process. The décor inside was simple since the conservatory is already beautiful by design. Amy and Tim originally planned to marry in a tropical location, but while plans changed, the tropical theme stayed. The flowers by Amborella Floral Studio were full of tropical pinks and oranges. The rest of the décor was tropical contemporary in blues, greens, blacks, and silvers. As a special commemoration for Tim’s late father, a chair was set out for him, upon which sat his photograph.

Then the ceremony began, and Tim was finally able to see Amy for the first time! The service was short and sweet, led by a fantastic Judy Walker. Because Tim isn’t one for public speaking, he lost his words a few times during the vows, but he made it through. Amy followed up with personal vows that harkened back to their early days. She said that when they first started dating, she knew that he had completely taken her heart. When that became apparent, she wrote him a poem and has been holding onto it for ten years to read it at their wedding. It was so beautiful and heartfelt and put a personal touch on the ceremony.

Right after the service was over, Amy and Tim shared a little tender smile, as if they were the only two people in the room. Outside in the lobby, we moved into family photos before heading out for the creative formals.

The Creative Formals in the Rainforest Exhibit and Enmax Conservatory

The zoo was a natural choice for Tim and Amy’s wedding because they both love animals. Amy even met her maid of honour in the veterinary program at school. The zoo is such a great location to shoot because of the variety of plant life and animals around the space. We first went to the Rainforest Exhibit for its gorgeous lush greenery. Everywhere we turned was another perfect location to shoot. We took a small break when the staff brought out snacks.

During the break, one of the more social gorillas walked over to see Amy. By approaching the glass, the curious gorilla gave us some once in a lifetime wedding photos. Amy put her hands up to the window, and the gorilla followed suit, their fingers separated only by a panel of glass.

We stepped outside into the chilly March air, where the sun was shining bright, and the snow has disappeared. We did a neat set up of the whole wedding party in front of a gazebo and the evergreens. Then, we bid adieu to the wedding party and moved into close-ups of the newlyweds through Amy’s translucent veil. On the way back to the conservatory we snapped several shots of the happy couple through the tangled limbs of the birch trees.

Back inside the Conservatory, we fanned Amy’s dress out around her as she sat under the canopy of high windows and wood-beams. The main lobby of the Enmax Conservatory, with its terrarium vibe, gave us some great edgy and dramatic backdrops. We then integrated Tim back into the shots and backlit the newlyweds against the living wall of the lobby. The sun streamed down in perfect patches against the stone wall.

To finish up the creative formals, Tim and Amy had the choice of heading into the butterfly exhibit or returning to the rainforest. They loved the bridge in the rainforest, so we headed back inside and lit them with harsh, sun-like light. We moved the light for different angles, to give the shots some interesting texture.

The McMillan Reception at Calgary Zoo’s Enmax Conservatory – Terrace Hall

After the creative photos, it was time to head back in for the reception. The best man, Tim’s brother Tyler, was also functioning as the emcee, and he introduced the couple as they entered the room. They danced their way into the hall, to music from DJ Jason Cathcart of Dance Shout Productions.
Dinner featured an incredible array of fabulous food from the Calgary Zoo culinary staff. They had green salads, steak tenderloin, mashed potatoes, roasted veggies, and sorbet to finish.

Cake cutting followed dinner. The cake was a beautiful masterpiece by Cakes N More in Calgary. Speeches followed, including a heartfelt speech from Tim about his father and others who were no longer with them. Amy’s cousin gave them a special gift, and then her dad put on a slideshow.
For their first dance, Amy stayed in her flowing gown, and they performed a choreographed arrangement to Nat King Cole’s “Fascination”. The second dance was for Amy and her dad, and Tim and his mother. After the formal dances, Amy changed out of her gown into an evening dress. They integrated this dress reveal into the garter toss. When he completed the toss, she threw her bouquet into the crowd.

Midnight lunch came out, and the poutine bar and fondue tables were both a huge success.
For the last few shots of the night, we headed outside to photograph them through the window onto the dance floor. We then went back into the Rainforest Exhibit for a few final shots in the dim evening light.

Taking a minute out of the busy evening, Tim and Amy sat on a bench, surrounded by the sound of singing crickets. They watched the same day reception slideshow that we had created, and just enjoyed the private moment in the quiet rainforest.

Online Gallery

An online gallery of all their images is available for the next 90 days. From the online gallery you are able to favourite images, order prints and share the gallery with your family and friends. The gallery can be accessed via the link below and you can contact the couple directly for their secure password.

The McMillan Wedding Day Slideshow

Above you will find the Wedding Slideshow that we created from a selection of the best edited photos that we captured on their special day.

Additional Blog Posts for Amy and Tim

In addition to their incredible wedding day celebration, they also have other blog posts you can enjoy. Click the links below to check out those posts.

We are so fortunate to have had the opportunity to share this special day with them and all their family and friends. We wish them many years of happiness together.

Want to share in the experience? Contact us today for a free consultation or click here to book a portrait session! We also have a wickedly fun Calgary Photo Booth that is great for any event as well as Corporate and Event Photography for all sorts of events and corporate functions.

Calgary Wedding Photographers – JM Photography © 2017

A Couple of my Favourite Photos from Amy and Tim’s Wedding

The McMillan Wedding Credits

Date | 03.25.17
Officiant – Judy Walker with Ceremonies by Design
Ceremony & Reception Location – The Calgary Zoo
Hair – Monika Assef with Glam and Beyond
Makeup – Jamie Bohart with Glam and Beyond
Videography – Michael Nash
Wedding Cake – Deanne with Cakes N More
Florist – Amborella Floral Studio
DJ – Jason Caathcart with Dance Shout Productions
Photography by Jeremy Martel & Amy Cheng

Learn more about our studio

JM Photography offers Calgary brides the very best in wedding photography! Our unique style and best in class experience is one of a kind. Each wedding is treated with the greatest of care and creativity, resulting in breathtaking imagery. We also offer Calgary newborn photography, capture maternity sessions as well as family portraits.

We are one of the top studios in Western Canada, servicing the Calgary area, including but not limited to, Canmore, Banff, Cochrane, Chestermere, Airdrie, Lethbridge, and Red Deer. We also offer coverage in Edmonton, Vancouver and to destinations worldwide.

Recommended Posts

Leave a Comment

Start typing and press Enter to search