Courtney + Scott | Calgary Zoo Summer Wedding

I gotta say, I’ve been extremely fortunate to have omitted huge rain dumps throughout my 7+ years of photographing weddings. Also, I’ve had a few photo bombers during the wedding ceremony, but none of the different species variety.  All of that changed on Courtney and Scott’s wedding day.

The Calgary Zoo is a stunning a place to get married in and, if you’re fortunate, you’ll be visited by some of the free-roaming animals.  The spot where Courtney and Scott exchanged their vows is particularly popular with the resident peacocks.  There was a male peacock roaming around the site just before the ceremony, and decided to make himself right at home (rightfully so) for the duration of the ceremony.  He took a lovely stroll right in front of the couple during their vows. MOST AMAZING PHOTO BOMB EVER.

I knew we had a risk of thunder showers, but as it typically goes in Calgary, they usually happen towards the evening so I didn’t think much of it. Still, I packed all 10 of my umbrellas in the car that morning just in case.  Sure enough, just as we reached Pearce Estate Park, the skies opened up in a hail storm fury unlike I’ve ever seen. Courtney decided to wait it out – and I’m so happy she did. It rained and hailed relentlessly for 10 minutes and then it was done. Perfect timing to snap a few more photos at the park!

Courtney and Scott now live in California, and they brought the party to the reception. EVERYONE was on the dance floor at some point. What an amazing night!

Thank you so much to Courtney and Scott for the honor of photographing your engagement session and wedding day! Thanks as well to Glen of Glen Co Photography for the assistance during the wedding!

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Tell us a little more about planning your big day from another country!
Courtney & Scott: “We wanted our location to be in Calgary/Banff area. We checked out about 5 different venues and the Calgary Zoo beat every one of them by a long shot. It wasn’t as pricey as the other venues in Banff and the Calgary Zoo was the only venue that had one Saturday left when we booked. One of the challenges was that the venues book up more than a year in advance and we were also interested in doing an outdoor wedding but all outdoor weddings have to be shut down by 11pm which is too early for us! We were looking to celebrate well into the early morning :)”

What was your favorite part of the day?
Courtney & Scott: “Scott’s favorite part was Courtney walking down the aisle. She immediately smiled and it set the tone for the rest of the day. Courtney’s favorite part was of course, walking down the aisle but also the speeches. Every speech was so unique and so heartfelt. It’s not every day you get to hear such nice things about us :)”

Do you have any advice to brides and grooms planning their big day?
Courtney & Scott: “Designate at least 2-3 people the day of to help out. We were so busy we never knew how important it was to have a solid couple of people to look after all the behind the scenes stuff for us. I didn’t get wrapped up in the small details – I found when I did get wrapped up, I was losing sight of what the wedding is actually about. Try to be relaxed about everything and enjoy the process. Keep a spreadsheet of all the charges and a detailed checklist/to do list to stay on track. We decided to get our RSVP’s 2 months in advance in anticipation of people replying late and it was the smartest thing to do. Of course, people replied late but before our deadline to submit numbers and this way it helped me to not stress about numbers.”

 Ceremony and Reception venue: The Calgary Zoo / Marriage commissioner: Jacqueline Hoare / Bride’s attire: Brides of California / Groom’s attire: Suit Supply / Transportation: AM/PM Limosuines / DJ: Hurricane Hollywood / Makeup artist: Trena Laine / Florist: Summerhill Florist / Cupcakes: Crave Cookies and Cupcakes

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