07.07.17 - the date they had chosen to exchange vows and start their forever.
It's absolutely no surprise for anyone that has had a conversation with me longer than 5 minutes that I am in love with Vancouver Island. When my dad first purchased a home in Fanny Bay, BC 8 years ago to spend more time with family by the ocean, I thought it was just that - a vacation home of sorts! I forgot to acknowledge that with this home we would have the opportunity to meet some amazing new people. Well, meet people we did! My relationship with the Mackey's (Zara's family) has been nothing short of good for my soul. There have been so many fun times and enough laughs to make my cheeks hurt just thinking about it (not to mention a copious amount of wine!).
Zara is such a beautiful person - inside and out. She, in my experience, has never been afraid of who she is and has always walked boldly with her head held high. I cannot explain how happy I was when she first reached out to me to let me know she and Andy had taken the next step and were engaged! This was the girl who sat in my living room on a visit to Calgary many months before contemplating a move to Fort St. John to be with this boyfriend I'd heard about, who in that moment without even knowing it, had a choice of risk that would fill her heart right to the brim!
On the morning of the wedding day, I introduced myself to a tired bunch of groomsmen (they had celebrated the upcoming nuptials the night before and gave it the welcome it deserved!) and told Andy that we were basically besties seeing as I already felt like I knew him. I'm sure he thought I was crazy! The morning started with the ladies getting their hair done and meeting me over at a neighbours (BEAUTIFUL!) home for their preparations. They laughed, ate, and opened gifts of gorgeous bracelets chosen by the bride for each of her girls. The bride's youngest sister (she is the eldest of 3) looked just as cute as can be with her lavender crown and flower girl dress. Meanwhile, the groom's gang was helping get the last details in place at the wedding site before heading out to the Fanny Bay Inn to have some lunch and a drink (ha! Nick knows the truth here...). They returned back to the Bride's family's home to get ready for the main event.
The Ceremony was held in the backyard with the ocean, trees, and mountains as their backdrop. The sun was happily shining as they exchanged rings and vows of togetherness. After they shared a kiss as Mr. & Mrs., they toasted with a glass of champagne and we made our way just down the road to take some photos. I might be a bit bias (Chris and I got married in this area almost 2 years ago!), but this location has to be the most beautiful, natural, and romantic place. The wind was blowing off of the ocean as we made our way back to the house to join in on cocktails just as the tide was coming back in on the point.
As we all got settled into our seats for dinner on the deck (yes! You read that right; dinner was held on the back deck of the home up in the air with the trees and ocean surrounding), we were greeted by Kevin - Emma's (Zara's sister and maid of honour) boyfriend, who was to narrate the evening as MC! Kevin entertained us through the dinner and introduced us to the Maid of Honour, Best Man, Nick (the Bride's father), as well as a 'mystery speaker' - a very close friend of the Bride's family, all of whom shared stories, wishes, and support for the newly wed couple. Dinner was deliciously prepared by Dawn McRae and her crew of Custom Gourmet out of Courtenay, BC and we moved the party down to sea level for the first dance. Andy and Zara shared their first dance to an audience of supportive faces, but, the laughter was turned up a notch when the DJ put on a special song requested by the Bride for the first dance with her father - White Wedding! The party continued from there as we caught the sunset for some photos and the dance floor opened up to all of those dancing feet.
One of the highlights for me was the marquee lighting that was carefully strung between the massive trees as well as the words 'LOVE' visible on the top deck of the house, and 'CHEERS' lit up on the lower bar house. The view from the water was gorgeous - the lighting as well as the full moon that watched as the music was carried into the night.
Consider me feeling incredibly lucky to have been asked to capture your special day, Zara & Andy. Thank you for everything and allowing Chris & I into this piece of your lives.
All our love,
Bretton, Chris, & Knox.