Leah and Rael had quite the challenge while planning their Calgary Christmas wedding in winter. They were a world apart (Leah in Calgary and Rael in Australia) and were doing a lot of the leg work of planning and decorating on their own (with the help of their amazing friends and family, of course). They had also planned their Engagement Session less than a week before their wedding day – primarily due to Rael’s final exams (which he aced, btw.)
I was floored at not only how amazing everything looked when put together for their big day, but also at their enthusiasm and upbeat attitudes throughout the entire time we talked before the wedding. Despite tight deadlines and hours of DIY (that came out PHENOMENAL), as well as planning a move halfway around the world, they had not complained about anything and were an amazingly positive source of energy. On the day of the wedding, their team of loved ones pulled everything off together for a beautiful winter wonderland in the hall. Leah and Rael also braved the outdoors during dusk for a few snaps with snowcapped trees.
Thank you both so much for your kind words, positivity, and trust in me to document your day!
Describe your planning process!
Leah: I planned the wedding on my own while Rael was at school in Australia! I chose my venue because it was inexpensive, but I was certain that I could still make it look beautiful with some effort. I spent 8 months making countless ‘Michaels’ and ‘Dollarama’ trips, but I truly ended up with a space that looked EXACTLY the way I wanted it to! And I don’t think anyone could have guessed half of it was $1.25!
What was your favorite part of your big day?
Leah: The ceremony was great, and it felt slow, which is amazing. So many brides warned me that the ceremony would fly by in a snap, but we were careful to slow everything down and enjoy every moment. Rael really enjoyed the speeches – it was amazing to hear the love pour out of our families.
Any advice to couples planning their wedding?
Leah: Get a good photographer. I spent so much time making our special day amazing. A thousand phone calls, a thousand meetings, a thousand trips to the shops, a thousand dress fittings, a thousand hours at home making centerpieces, and I am SO thankful that I have beautiful photos to remember the detail I put into making it beautiful. Find vendors that support you and are easy-going. Don’t waste your time with people that don’t answer your emails efficiently or are rude on the phone. It’s just not worth it when there are so many out there that treat you like gold.
(Note: Leah & Rael’s wedding took place before COVID!)
Ceremony and Reception Venue: Triwood Community Association // Marriage officiant: Weddings by Tamara Jones // Groom’s outfit: Derks Formal Wear // Bride’s jewelry: Dibbidy Designs // DJ: Outright Entertainment // Makeup: Nikole Denovan Makeup Artistry // Cake: Perry Litwack