Wedding at Redwood House in Redwood Meadows

A Day of Great Character and Sunshine

The First Look
On the day of their wedding, we started by meeting them at their Kensington home. The guys were getting ready down the street and made their way over to the modern home so we could stage the first look. We stood the groom outside on the sidewalk, back turned to the front door so the bride could exit the house behind him. We shot a few photos of her in the windows before she snuck outside and tapped the groom on the shoulder. They shared a few moments together before their wedding party joined them. They were an incredibly helpful group, making sure the bride and the groom had refreshments all day, and helping them with anything else they needed.

The Creative Formals in Kensington
The neighbourhood of Kensington in Calgary was a dream location to shoot the groom and the bride’s creative formals. There are plenty of fantastic spaces within a few feet of their front yard, so for the first while we stuck around their street, utilizing their neighbours’ yards for the shots. The yards all had great character, one with a large choke cherry tree, and a few with great fences, full of character.

After wrapping up in their neighbourhood, we hopped into the vehicles and drove out to Higher Ground, the trendy little coffee shop where the groom took the bride on their first date. The shop has been a staple of the area since 1982, and it continues to serve up organic coffee and a great atmosphere. When we arrived, it was a little busy, but everyone was accommodating, happy to move around so we could get the shots we wanted. One set of people even moved their computers and study material so we could use the table. Upstairs, we framed the bride and the groom in the window, with the Higher Ground signage in the background. The manager was incredibly helpful, letting us use the space as we needed, making it easy to create the illusion that the groom and the bride were the only two people in the shop. At one point, we asked a random guy who was working if he’d like to be in the shot, so he looked down at his phone and pretended to work while we photographed around him.

Down the street, a tea shop down one of the alleys had a beautiful patio surrounded by detailed wrought iron fencing. After a few group and individual shots there, we headed over to Jugo Juice, which sits on a peninsula reminiscent of Times Square. We took the popular hand-holding shot, as the bride led the groom toward the building. We did a few photos in front of the flat building and walked them out to the middle of the road for an epic kiss on the empty street.

Next, we all drove down to the historic Simmons building on the edge of the Bow River. Because there had been some rain in the weeks leading up to the wedding, a pool of water had formed outside, and we took some reflection shots outside with the Simmons building in the background. After the establishing shots outside, we headed into the large space shared by Charbar, Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters, and Sidewalk Citizen Bakery. The shared space is an incredibly vibrant and exciting part of the East Village and has breathed new life into the former mattress factory. With three innovative and passionate businesses, the space is exciting and alive. We sat down to an incredible espresso at Phil & Sebastian’s, and the baristas even wrote their names and wedding date on their cups. It was a nice touch and personalized the experience. We photographed the groom and the bride holding hands over their drinks, the red brick and tall windows of the Simmons building serving as a backdrop.

Out on the side of the building, we photographed the groom and the bride against the brick again. The sun created an angular line, so we put a flash on to highlight them through the shade. It made for some neat patterning, and the detail stood out sharply. The lighting was perfect, so we spent a little extra time in it before heading off to the ceremony.

Their Ceremony at the Redwood House
For the reception, we drove out to Redwood House in the Townsite of Redwood Meadows, the social hub of the community. The municipality is located on the edge of the Elbow River, just north of Bragg Creek. The community is unique, in that it is within the Tsuu T’ina Nation, and leases the natural land on which it is developed.

Upon our arrival at Redwood House, we met with Judy Wiltse of Vows by Judy, who would officiate the ceremony. We have had the opportunity to work with her on more than one occasion, and it is always a pleasure to see her. The ceremony space was beautiful, and the maid of honor Kelsey had put together a stunning arbor for the groom and the bride to marry beneath. The white tulle wrapped around the structure gave a nice dimension to the photos during the ceremony, particularly in contrast to the backdrop of thick green foliage. The outdoor ceremony location itself was incredible, set in front of a stone fireplace in the middle of a beautiful forest.

The service began to the groom’s talented siblings playing piano, cello, and violin. The groom himself is an accomplished cellist, proving that the whole family is quite musical. Everyone entered the ceremony to a rendition of “You Raise Me Up” by Josh Groban, and then there was a short introduction by Judy Wiltse. She led the groom and the bride through a set of traditional vows, which they followed with personal ones. They exchanged rings, shared a kiss, and signed their documents. During the signing, the groom’s siblings struck up the music once again, and the Redwood House staff served champagne to guests for a toast. Before the signing was complete, they had successfully handed out champagne to every person! Judy led the toast to the couple, and they walked back down the aisle as husband and wife!

We moved quickly into family photos, and because everything was ahead of schedule, it gave the newlyweds time to mingle with their guests. The lawn games came out, including lawn darts and Arizona golf, and cocktail hour began. The outdoor space at the Redwood House was fantastic for photos, with plenty of beautiful backgrounds for both the ceremony shots and the family photos.

The Reception at Redwood House
Everyone moved inside for a lovely dinner catered by Farm Girls Catering, a local business run by two sisters with a farm to table philosophy. Apart from catering events, the sisters also run a popular gourmet food truck, which delivers nostalgic homemade meals with a decadent twist. Dinner was incredibly delicious, with items on the menu such as steamed garlic zucchini, salads, beets and carrots, charcuterie, macaroni and cheese with truffle bacon, chicken, and beef tenderloin.

Once everyone had eaten, we moved into speeches. Kelsey, the bride’s maid of honour, kicked things off. She had memorized her speech, and it was well-delivered and from the heart. She had many examples of the bride’s love, care, and generosity, and made a point of showing how amazing a person the bride is. Wade, the groom’s best man, followed Kelsey, joking that she was a tough act to follow. He had a similar glowing assessment and admiration of the groom, also using specific examples to highlight just how wonderful a person he is. It was evident from the speeches that the bride and the groom are one in the same, with similar core characteristics, both placing great value on friends and family. Wade mentioned that it was easy to get along with the bride right off the bat because she is just like the groom.

the bride’s mom followed Wade and told a few stories about the bride, told her how proud she is, and how honoured she feels to be her mother. She told a cute story of a young the bride trying to set her up with a random fellow at the supermarket! Little the bride casually asked if the man was single, and introduced the two of them. Even though it didn’t lead anywhere, the bride’s mom remembers it fondly as an example of how caring her daughter is.

the groom’s mother got up as well, to share stories of how caring and sensitive the groom is, sharing that he has two passions: cars and animals.

After the speeches wrapped up, the newlyweds moved into their first dance, set to “Book of Love” by Gavin James. Then the bride and groom each danced with their parents, and at the end, the bride shared a dance with her grandfather.

Then, DJ Jason of J Groove DJ Service took it away. He runs the music as more of a hobby, but he nailed the song choices. He was great at selecting the right songs for the mood and tailored the playlist to the couple. The music broke for one last speech from the groom’s father, and then the couple cut the cake. We shared our same-day slideshow, and Kelsey shared a baby slideshow of the newlyweds.

After that, the group partied the rest of the night away!

We had a great time at the bride and the groom’s wedding, and we hope they love their images as much as we enjoyed photographing them!

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 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 the Couple

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

The Wedding Credits

Date | 8.26.17
Officiant – Judy Wiltse with Vows by Judy
Ceremony & Reception Venue – Redwood House in Redwood Meadows
Florist – Amborella Floral Studio
DJ – Jason Smylski with J Groove DJ Service
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.

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