Years ago, long before I became a photographer, I was going through a friend’s family album and came across some photos of her niece’s wedding. There was one shot in particular that stood out from the rest and has been ingrained in my mind since. I remember it so clearly! The couple was in a forest surrounded by tall trees. It was so simple, yet so striking and while I stared at this image, it sparked my interest in wedding photography.
So when I started my wedding photography career, I dreamed of having the opportunity to shoot a forest wedding like that one. Now to be fair, I have shot many wedding portraits in wooded areas. Down walking trails and camp grounds, by lakes and in gardens. They have all been beautiful but they were never quite like the photo I saw all those years ago. None of them quite had the same look and feel……and then I met Christina and Oliver. I had the pleasure of photographing their wedding this past year in Lumby. What made this spot different then other forest weddings I’ve been at, was the hight and density of the forest itself, and the amount of ferns and low lying brush on the forest floor. It was breathtaking and enchanting!
Christina and Oliver enjoy the great outdoors and have love of hiking, camping and exploring. That’s why Timber Rail Trails was the perfect venue for their wedding day. They, along with family and friends, set up camp a day or two prior and had a whole wedding weekend to celebrate their nuptials.
As with any outdoor event, you are at the mercy of the weather, especially in the spring. As it turned out, the day was filled with scattered showers and was on the cooler side. I remember making my way to the campsite and watching the low clouds hovering over the hills. As I got closer to my destination, the rain started, and I feared the day might be ruined. But once I got to the venue, I found everyone happily preparing for the big day undeterred by the weather. Although there were a few last minute changes made, everything went smoothly. Instead of saying their vows in a wooded forest glen as planned, the couple said their “I do’s” under a covered fire pit area with enough space to keep everyone dry. It was a good thing too, because the rain picked up just as the ceremony started.
We stuck around the ceremony site waiting out the rain and it was decided that everyone would enjoy some snacks and sparkling wine in the mean time. While the heavens opened up into a down pour, guests huddled together and made toasts to the bride and groom. As soon as there was a break from the downpour, I gathered the families and quickly snapped through the shot list before the rain started again.
To keep things on track, the wedding party and I ended up taking photos while there was still a drizzle, but having kept my eye on the forecast for the entire week before hand, I had planned ahead an brought along enough umbrellas for the crew.
The rain stopped just in time for couple photos and I whisked them away to the various spots I had scoped out when I first arrived. There were little pathways tucked in between trees, and old wooden fences throughout the area. And although we were on the same camp ground with all the wedding guests, the surrounding forest was so thick that we felt completely secluded. For a few moments, there was no one else in the entire world except these two, and me behind the camera.
It was here, among the trees, with the smell of rain in the air and the sounds of the forest all around, that I finally had the moment I had dreamed of since the day I saw that wedding photo. I felt like this journey of mine had come full circle and I am so lucky that it happened with these two! After all, the natural world is amazing to photograph, but for me at least, it is more beautiful when you add a little love.