I have always wanted to photograph a wedding at The Lakehouse Restaurant here in Calgary. It is such a gorgeous space and the food is amazing, so, when my dear friend, Kerri Ann(owner of Rebel Bean Roasters), told me she was getting married there, I was super excited that she asked me to be her photographer. Not to mention that this couple's love for each other is so very special that to witness it is such a treat. In their speech at the end of the night, they mentioned that they had decided to get married so that they could celebrate their love with all the people in their life who support them--and, you could totally feel that support. You see, two weeks before the wedding, Kerri Ann had a heart attack. I have decided to share her words about the experience here instead of trying to explain it myself:
"So this morning I had a heart attack. And it didn’t look like a heart attack. I was at the gym and while on the rowing machine felt aches and muscle fatigue in my chest, back and arms; all muscles that you work hard on the rowing machine. I briefly beat myself up about being so out of shape that I was sore already. I finished my workout and even tried to stretch out the pain between my shoulder blades. But I generally didn’t feel well and it didn’t improve after Chris and I got home.
And then I remembered.
Just yesterday I saw a magazine ad about the signs of heart attacks in women. It was an ad featuring an Olympic figure skater who lost her Mom because she didn’t know the signs.
I googled the signs. I was having all of them.
We called an ambulance and still I thought how embarrassed I was going to be when they diagnosed my indigestion or overworked muscles.
But I WAS having a heart attack. In fact I had a Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection which basically means a blood vessel in my otherwise healthy strong heart blew. It is a condition that seems to only affect women between the ages of 30 & 50 and the cardio team here at the Foothills is trying to find out what may have led to it."
She wrote that just two weeks before she got married. They had to change their honeymoon plans(no international flying for them), but they went ahead with their wedding--nothing was going to stop that!! On the big day, Calgary had what could only be called a blizzard. -20'c and so much snow. It might have made the roads a bit treacherous, but it also made the world look like a winter wonderland. I am so grateful that they agreed to march out in that snow and take a few photographs. The snow in their hair and on their eyelashes will always be a special memory for me.
This was a wedding that gave everyone who attended all the feels. The gorgeous flowers were by one of my favourite florists--Fleurish Flower Shop (I am still swooning over the job they did). The hair piece worn by the bride was gifted to her by Little BOW-tique here in Okotoks. The amazing cake that tasted even better than it looked was designed by Heather from Homeground in Okotoks. The best part of having a friend design your wedding cake means that all the details tell YOUR LOVE STORY. The bride and groom met when she hired him to build a fence(the first layer was a fence design) and the bride roasted special coffee that she named after each stage of their romance--the names were all placed on the top layer. Not to mention that the coffee was used in the making of the cake and covered in chocolate for decoration as well. How incredibly personal is that? LOVE IT!! If you are ever in Okotoks, you have to go and get a pastry from Homeground--they are worth cheating on your diet for ;) The hair and make up for the bridal party was done by Kym Kish. And, lastly, Ellie Maksymich sang this song by Ruelle--I Get To Love You. I would love for you to listen to Ruelle's version while looking at the photos because I think the song perfectly sums up their love for each other.
And, if you would like to read more about the signs of heart attacks in women and how they differ from men, here is a great read: https://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/news/20170130/scad-heart-attacks
I think it's great if your heart is so full of love that it might burst, but let's stop it from ACTUALLY bursting--okay? ;)