Jen and my brother Brandon met almost three years ago at church. Jen’s first impression of Brandon was an obnoxious, know-it-all nerd. She didn’t want to be around him, and couldn’t imagine being his friend let alone his girlfriend, fiancé or wife. Life’s funny that way. Nothing about Jen drew Brandon to her at first either. They both played music at church. When Jen had a question about the music, Brandon would answer her without making eye contact, quickly, and in her opinion, rudely. That’s my brother Brandon, though. He was never interested in flirting with girls just to flirt. When a couple weeks later he started noticing Jen in a different light he was forward with her. (As forward as he could be without scaring her off.)
Jen needed help with getting a new phone. He volunteered to come to the mall with her. They went together and afterwards, the texting began. (On her new phone! How convenient!) Within a couple days, they were browsing the aisles of Chapters book store on their first date with Starbucks in their hands. Those first few weeks of their relationship we had a snowfall (rare in these parts!) and I specifically remember Brandon coming home from a date. The next day we asked what they did. “Just walked around her neighbourhood and looked at the snow.” I loved seeing him happy. He was captivated by Jen.
And she grew to see his soft side. Turns out he wasn’t an obnoxious, know-it-all jerk! Although he does know a lot.
Brandon and Jen have worked very intentionally through many of their personality differences over the last three years. Jen’s an emotional feeler through and through. Brandon is a thinker and feeling emotions are fairly low on his priority list. Brandon plans. Jen likes a flexible schedule. Brandon loves being out with people all the time. Jen likes a good night at home. I could go on and on – but the point is – they are different. What these two have going for them is that they know their differences. Onlookers may have doubted their relationship through it’s ups and downs over the last three years – because they’ve certainly had those. “They are too different to work.” But no, I don’t believe that to be true. I believe knowing your differences puts you ahead of the pack, ahead of those who enter marriage thinking, “We’ll have no problems.” Because everyone has differences! And everyone has ugly parts of themselves and marriage, intense covenant with one person for life, brings those unflattering parts out of us.
I’m proud of these two. I’m proud to be Brandon’s sister and Jen’s sister in law.
Randy and I dated for six months and were engaged for four months. That kind of timeline worked for us (was amazing for us! everyday we are so thankful we got married quickly!) but it isn’t for everyone. I applaud Jen and Brandon for taking their time – for knowing they needed to wait. To grow as individuals before they came together as one. After our wedding on March 28, our family was thinking, “Brandon’s gotta have a ring soon.” Mom didn’t want to know when he had bought it. She wanted a surprise. Hey, I wanted a surprise for my own engagement but I don’t care about Brandon’s being a surprise! So I found out when he bought the ring and I happily accepted Brandon’s offer to be a part of his proposal. Michael, Luke and I (two of Brandon’s groomsmen) set up Jen and Brandon’s proposal back in May and I was honoured to photograph it.
The beautiful one-karat diamond on a yellow gold band was on Jen’s finger – now came the hard part. The wedding planning. They didn’t want to rush it and we tried to give them their space for the first month of engagement. It wasn’t until June that they started really talking details. When they chose a SEPTEMBER wedding date I thought, You guys are crazy but maybe not because we had a four month engagement but we also picked our date like, oh, THE NEXT DAY after we got engaged. So in some ways – Brandon and Jen had a three month engagement.
And they made it happen. I LOVED their wedding day and all of the details it included. I honestly can’t believe it’s all over! It was a phenomenal day. Jen asked me to be her bridesmaid… and both of them asked if I would be their wedding photographer, too. I happily said yes to both and then thought, “Oh boy how am I gonna pull this off.” Jen and Brandon were very low pressure and said “Portraits are our priority! Anything else that’s captured is a bonus.” They hired the wonderful Wendy Lees as my second shooter and lead photographer (when I was occupied with bridesmaid duties!) – in terms of photo credit, basically every photo that includes me in it – Wendy took including all images of the ceremony. A couple reception shots are hers – but the rest are all mine, juggled in between enjoying my evening at the head table. Haha! Thank you Wendy, thank you!
Jen and Brandon really wanted to have an urban feel to their wedding day. This Yaletown brick wall was the perfect spot for their First Look. And I love that they did a First Look. On the drive to the First Look, Jen and us three bridesmaids (two of us married) we were talking about how amazing First Looks are. And how they make a wedding day awesome. It’s TRUE.
Love what Jen and Brandon chose for their wedding party looks! Jen instructed the girls to have gold dresses (or the closest you could get to gold) – apparently it’s a hard one to find. I have to share this, just because I think it’s so rare. I was in my friend Kristen’s wedding two years ago and wore the same dress and same necklace. And I bought the shoes I’m wearing for another wedding I was in. Jen made my life so easy.
The boys all wore navy blue pants, brown belts, brown shoes, white shirts but each had different ties with customized tie clips. I loved this idea and it was actually the first time I had seen it! Good on you, Petersons.
Photographing a bridal party I knew so well was awesome. It didn’t feel the least bit like work. I wasn’t trying to memorize everyone’s names or attempt not to use the wrong ones. (So many new names on a wedding day!) Just hanging out. I think these images show it. Love this of the guys.
Thank you to Wendy for this great shot.
I gained two sisters this year in less than 6 months. Randy’s sister Virginia and now Brandon’s wife Jen!
After bridal party photos, we sent everyone back to the Roundhouse Community Centre to hang out before the ceremony. We finished up with just portraits of Brandon and Jen. (This is also something I recommend! So nice to photograph with a small group of people – without eyes on you!) Once again, the brick was the perfect background.
I loved Jen’s headband. Her dress was from Ivory Bridal in Fort Langley. It came with this gorgeous beaded belt – but she didn’t want any bling taking away from her lace dress. The solution was to take part of the belt, sew it to the dress and take the excess and make a headband. It was the perfect addition.
Portraits were finished! And it was time to head back to Roundhouse Community Centre to get married!
Part Two of their wedding day is coming tomorrow to the blog! Don’t miss it!
Lead Photographer: Jamie Delaine
Second Photographer: Wendy Lees
Bride’s Dress: Provinas from Ivory Bridal
Bride’s Shoes: French Connection
Bride’s Earrings: The Bay
Bride’s Bracelet: Bowring
Bridesmaid Dresses: Le Chateau, The Bay, ASOS
Makeup Artist: Brittany Newton
Hair Stylist: Kristel Poppema
Florist: Granville Island Florist
Co-Ordinator: Pam Russell
Event Rentals: Salmons
Cake: Fresh Street Farms
Catering: Catering Visions
Grooms/Groomsmen Attire: Banana Republic & The Bay
Custom Engraved Tie Clips: Etsy
Videography: Us to You
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Roundhouse Community Centre