When I reflect back on this intimate hospital wedding ceremony, I can’t get but still get a little teary-eyed. I’ve lost count of the number of weddings and engagements I’ve photographed over the years although I remember each and every one. That being said, I think Adrian and Rika’s wedding stands out as the story that touched me so deeply that it will always be the first I recall when reflecting on my career as a Toronto wedding photographer.
Adrian and Rika put together their wedding in a matter of days although this was to be a bedside wedding and not one in a ballroom. If I recall the details of my conversation with Rika correctly, they had about 2 days to not only invite their closest friends and family but also for Rika to find a dress for the occasion. When it came to photographing the day, the original plan for Adrian and Rika was to just ask guests to snap away on their iPhones and of course, using a selfie stick for the group photos. The stars must have been aligned and luck was in the air, as I happened to hear about the event from a friend during the last 12-hours of their wedding planning. I was so touched at the story that I approached Adrian and Rika to offer my services which they happily accepted. I felt so incredibly honored that they were allowing me to be present for this experience and to document it for them.
Family helped Adrian’s dad look absolutely dashing; they styled his hair and brought him a beautiful shirt and tie. Food was brought in for post-ceremony snacks and there was even a teapot and cups for the tea ceremony. Family helped set up a laptop with music and the room was even decorated to add to the celebrations. Some family photos were taken and the ceremony performed at the bedside of Adrian’s father. While a few tears were shed, the entire family also has beautiful smiles and weren’t afraid to show them off! While any wedding is filled with tears as well as laughter, it all seemed so much more intense during this wedding than anything I can experienced before. The emotions were palpable.
After the official “I do” it was time to eat! Yummy sandwiches, cheese plates and cake. Of course, the laughter continued and the selfie stick made an appearance as everyone wanted more and more photos with the bride and groom (and who can blame them?) As the sun began to set, Adrian and Rika were brave and dealt with the cold winter wind as I brought them up to a very unconventional location for a quick portrait session: the top floor of a parking garage. I knew that the skies during sunset were always stunning from this location and thought that ending the coverage with a few fun and artistic shots would be a great way to wrap up the day.
Reflecting on my experience capturing this wedding, I can only say that it’s confirmed my feelings about weddings: It doesn’t matter how many months (or years) you spend planning or whether or not you choose a fancy location in which to tie the knot; the important thing is that you have your nearest and dearest family and friends there by your side to share in the moment with you.