The Nay’s Wedding at Calgary’s Croatian Canadian Cultural Centre

An Irish Seasoned Wedding

Ben and Siobhan Getting Ready

The Guys Getting Ready in Douglas Glen

Early in the morning we headed out to the bride and groom’s place in Douglas Glen, where we met Ben and his party. While the guys were getting ready, we grabbed the wedding bands and shot them on top of Ben’s Fender acoustic guitar. Her band nestled perfectly into his when we set it on the frets. The guys got dressed, and we grabbed a few shots of Ben popping on his cufflinks. We wrapped up with Ben presenting the guys their gifts. He gave Michael, Brett, Evan, and Trent, each a personalized crystal whisky decanter. We hopped out into the backyard for some group shots before we rolled over to the bride’s parent’s place on the north end of town.

The Girls Getting Ready in Watermark

In the new development of Watermark we met the bride and her family. The development is brand new, and the houses are gorgeous and unique. When we arrived Siobhan’s parents, Cheryl and Michael, greeted us. The session began with Siobhan and her bridesmaids Tyralea and Krista, as the other two were having their hair done. The bride was in the makeup chair, so we grabbed some prep shots of her in the nook of the kitchen. While she was getting the final touches we grabbed the engagement ring and headed over to the stove. Because the house is new, they have a beautiful jet black stove with a highly reflective surface. It was a perfect backdrop to highlight her engagement ring.

With a little help from the bride’s father we moved the furniture in the large family room for shots of the dress. The beautiful room features two story high windows and hardwood floors, so we hung her dress up in the window and let the light shine through it.

Siobhan went off to get into her gown, and we got some shots of her mom helping her lace into it, the bridesmaids looking on in the background. We shot these in the master bedroom, which also had a gorgeous open window at the back.

Her parents helped her with her jewelry, and when her twin sister and Maid of Honor Meghan arrived, she helped her slip into her sparkly shoes.

Siobhan then handed out gifts for Meghan, Tyralea, Krista, and Tara. They were also each given a personalized decanter, as well as a beautiful necklace to wear that day.

Their Ceremony at the Croatian Canadian Cultural Centre

We then headed out to the courtyard of the Croatian Canadian Cultural Centre for the ceremony. The centre has been open to the public for 30 years, and is a staple of wedding and events in the city. We lucked out with the weather, because once again it looked like rain, but it held off!

Officiant Goodwin Tsang, a pastor at the Southview Church, led the ceremony. He was incredibly well spoken and did a fantastic job. Under his direction the ceremony ran smoothly. Siobhan and Ben wrote their own personal vows, reciting them between two red leafed trees. The trees were great to shoot through, and gave us beautiful texture to work with.

Siobhan’s cultural background is Irish, so the couple featured a Celtic hand fasting ceremony in their nuptials. The ancient ceremony consists of rope, ribbon, or cord tying the couple’s hands together in a physical symbol of their union. The hand fasting ceremony is also thought to be the precursor of a handshake, a casual vow of sorts. To personalize the ceremony even more, Ben and Siobhan’s mothers came up and tied the knots.

After the ceremony the newlyweds had a large receiving line to thank every guest for attending their wedding. We followed the receiving line with family formals in front of the beautiful red tree.

The Creative Formals in Pearce Estate Park

For the creative formals we drove over to Pearce Estate Park, 21-hectares of land in the curve of the Bow River. Of those 21 hectares, 15 of them are wetlands, dotted by beautiful poplar lines paths. The land for the park was donated to they city in 1929 by William Pearce. The park is a popular spot, and it was obvious based on the number of people buzzing around when we arrived. At the South end of the park there are a number of docks that reach out into the marshy wetlands, so we headed down there for the shoot. We photographed the newlyweds through the reeds, and then we headed to the opposite side of the pond for a different perspective. We took them over to a little waterfall with a wooden bridge, just east of the docks towards the Bow River. We spent a while there because there were so many amazing spots for photos. The light hit the pond just right, and casted delicate shadows onto Ben and Siobhan as they stood on the leaf-strewn banks. It was a perfect location at the perfect time of day.

Then we headed out to the Kilkenny Pub in Brentwood, and Irish pub by the University of Calgary. Here the whole wedding party took a chance to relax a bit and have a Guinness or a cider. As luck would have it, the pub had a private area cordoned off for a later reservation, but we were able to use it in our shoot. The staff was awesome and made sure everyone had something to drink right away. The private room had a long wooden table and some great stained glass windows that the sun peeked through. We got a few great shots of the newlyweds sharing a drink, silhouetted against the stained glass.

Siobhan and her younger brother Evan wanted to take a gag photo of the two of them arm-wrestling. This was sort of an inside joke: when they were growing up she finally acknowledged he was bigger than her when he could beat her in an arm wrestle.

The Nay’s Reception at the Croatian Cultural Centre for the reception

After the pub the group headed back to the Croatian Cultural Centre for the reception. We popped in to offer our congratulations to the couple before ending our night. When we entered we were truly impressed with the space. Kayla Kranjcevik set up the elegant area beautifully. Everything looked phenomenal, from the head table all the way down to the in house catering. Flowers by Deer Valley Florist were gorgeous, as was the cake made by the bride’s very own twin sister Meghan! Before we left we thanked DJ Shay (stage name Cheddar-Cheese) from Sounds Unlimited for providing a great soundtrack all day.

Online Gallery

An online gallery of all their images is available for the next 30 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 Siobhan and Ben directly for their secure password.

The Nay Wedding Day Slideshow

Above is the beautiful Wedding Slideshow that came with Siobhan and Ben’s wedding package. It was created from a selection of their best photos captured on their special day, mixed to their wedding song Lucky by Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat.

We are so fortunate to have had the opportunity to share Siobhan and Ben’s special day with them and we wish them many years of happiness together.

Want to share in the experience? Contact us today for a free consultation or to book a portrait session!

Calgary Wedding Photographers – JM Photography © 2016

Some of my Favourite Photos from Siobhan and Ben’s Wedding


The Nay Wedding Credits

Date | 9.24.16
Officiant – Godwin Tsang
Ceremony & Reception Venue – Croatian Canadian Cultural Centre
Florist – Deer Valley Florist
DJ – Shae aka Cheddar-Cheese with Sounds Unlimited
Photography by Jeremy Martel & Dan MacDonald

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.

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.

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