The Steffens’ Mountain Wedding at Moraine Lake in Banff National Park

Serendipity and Magic at Moraine Lake

Back in November, Zach was called up at his supply chain management company to conduct an interview. It was unusual for him to be the interviewer, so he showed up before the other manager to prepare, and in doing so met the candidate. Amy was that candidate.

While waiting for the other interviewer, Amy and Zach got talking and uncovered an instant connection. It felt like fate had a hand in bringing them together.

They stayed friends until the 12th of May when they decided to take the next step in their story. By the end of the month, they were already planning their wedding.


Their Ceremony at Moraine Lake in Banff National Park

On the day of their wedding, I met them bright and early at Moraine Lake, one of the most jaw-dropping spots in Banff National Park. The weather was perfect; the sun hovered over the towering Ten Peaks mountain range and glistened off the vivid turquoise lake. The Rockies were always on Amy and Zach’s bucket list, so it felt like the right choice to fly up from the States to elope. Only a few of their closest friends and family knew what they were up to on their holiday to Canada.

The first step was to receive the flowers. After a mix-up, Amy and Zach scrambled to find a new florist, and Rhonda of Creative Edge Flowers was just the woman for the job. She received the instructions at 8pm the night before the wedding and by 7am the next day she was delivering the bouquet, precisely as Amy had dreamed it. She did a fantastic job, and really pulled through to save the day!

Next, from the Deer Lodge at Lake Louise, Zach and I caught the shuttle up to Moraine Lake. Amy remained at the lodge to finish up hair and makeup with a fantastic artist from Australia, who had recently moved to Canada in September. Amy had nothing but praise for her, adding another layer of serendipity on what would become an increasingly serendipitous day.

The shuttle operators on the way up to the lake were terrific, telling us stories about the mountains, lakes, and glaciers of the area. Once at the top, we found a spot for the first look and attached Zach’s boutonniere.

I then met Amy and Julie Ann back at the shuttle, and we walked down to do the first look. We paused just before reaching the groom, the anticipation palpable. Then, she stepped around the trees and saw him. Her eyes lit up, and her groom turned to her with the same enamoured expression that she wore. It was magnetic.

For a moment, only us and the Ten Peaks stood witness to the beautiful outpouring of love at the edge of the lake.

When we wrapped up the first look, we moved into the ceremony. Julie Ann noticed a young woman walking the trail solo and approached her to serve as a witness to the marriage (I served as the other). Nicole was from California, so oddly enough Zach and Amy had a fellow American to witness their nuptials! She was visiting on a whim, having found a seat sale, and was on a final hike before heading back to Calgary, and ultimately, home. It was such a crazy, impromptu trip, and this final surprise was the cherry on top.

Julie Ann began with the legal portion of the ceremony so Nicole could continue on her hike, but she was enjoying the company so much that she decided to stick around for the rest of the service. She even pulled out her GoPro and served as videographer for the happy couple. Not only did Zach and Amy make a friend; they also had a beautiful video of their elopement!

Julie Ann is an excellent officiant who is thoroughly committed to creating unique ceremonies for her couples. Zach and Amy’s faith is important to them, so she wove elements of it into the service. After the introduction, they moved into a handfasting ceremony. She described the history and relevance of the ritual and bound their hands together with an intricate antique piece of lace to symbolize the lasting power of their bond. She then fastened a green ribbon around them to signify the element of nature that has played such an important part on their wedding day.

They followed the ceremony with personal vows, both sharing what they love most about each other. Amy poured her heart out in a poem she wrote for him, and he poured his heart out to her. He had expected her to be emotional, but she held it together, only allowing a few tears to spill onto her cheeks. At one point, Julie Ann’s prompts to Amy went unnoticed. When the bride realized this, she laughed and apologized. She was just lost in her new husband’s eyes.

Amy and Zach’s ceremony was one of those moments where everything seems meant to be. Passersby stopped marvelling at the beauty of Moraine Lake for a moment, shifting their attention to these two people who were so obviously in love.


The Creative Formals along Moraine Lake

We followed the ceremony with a set of creative formals around the lake. There is barely a place at Moraine Lake that doesn’t offer an incredible backdrop, so we moved slowly along the shore, capturing the newlyweds in their bliss. They climbed into a canoe and paddled onto the calm waters. Turquoise lake below. Blue sky above. New life ahead.

After the photos, the shuttle brought us back to the Deer Lodge. We photographed the gorgeous blueberry lemon cake from Kake by Darci and grabbed some shots of their rings. Zach’s ring was a surprise right up until the ceremony. He opened the box before she placed it on his finger. It was beautiful; a textured band, copper on the inside, with an engraving of their wedding date and a poignant verse from the Bible. Along with her stunning engagement ring and band, we placed the rings on her sparkly bedazzled shoes before setting them into the boughs of a nearby pine tree.

The entire day was surreal. A group of strangers came together to witness the marriage of Zach and Amy, on the edge of what is arguably one of the most beautiful places on earth. Had these two decided not to elope, none of us would have met, and none of us would have lived that rare kind of day where serendipity takes over and creates something truly magical.

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 Steffens 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 Zach

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.

Banff Wedding Photographers – JM Photography © 2018

Some of my Favourite Photos from Amy and Zach’s Mountain Wedding

The Steffens’ Mountain Wedding Credits

Date | 7.25.18
Officiant – Julie Ann Derer with Weddings to Bragg About
Ceremony Location – Moraine Lake
Hair and Makeup – Aliscia Morin with The Hair Company
Wedding Cake – Darci Weil with Kake by Darci
Florist – Rhonda Fernando with Creative Edge Flowers
Photography by Jeremy Martel

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.

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