Hannah & Josh chose one of my favourite wedding venues in British Columbia: God’s Mountain Estate in Penticton. It was my third time photographing at God’s Mountain Estate and I was really excited to be returning. After Cassandra & Jason’s wedding the day before in Vancouver and short sleep, Randy and I were on the road by 6:30am to make the drive to Penticton on Sunday morning. We arrived in time to enjoy Starbucks and lunch and get ready for the day of work. I arrived at God’s Mountain Estate to Hannah preparing with her three bridesmaids as well as her hair stylist Jenny Lynn. I adored Hannah’s BHLDN dress and the sage-mint-green Free People bridesmaid dresses. All of the details, even down to the personalized bridesmaid and bride’s dress hangers were thought of and unique.
Hair Stylist: Jenny Lynn from Oh Hey Style
Dress Designer/ Store: BHLDN (Catherine Deane)
Bridesmaids Dresses: Free People
Bride’s Shoes: Rachel Simpson
Jewelry: Tiffany & Co
Officiant: Evelyn Blaine
Florist: Lisa’s Flowers
Venue: God’s Mountain Estate
Event Rentals: Westminster Party Rentals
Cake: The White Apron Pastry Company
Catering: Roger Planiden, Culinary Adventure
Groomsmen: Pants by Levi’s
Invitations: Rifle Paper Company
Isn’t Hannah’s getting ready dress amazing? And I loved watching Jenny Lynn work. She “sewed” Hannah’s hairstyle together rather than using bobby pins! For one, more secure and also fun to watch!
Hannah and Josh chose to have a First Look, so they could spend more time with their guests after the ceremony. I loved this choice. Hannah walked up to Josh and tapped him on the shoulder and the look of joy on both of their faces was precious! I loved it. Next, we went onto portraits around the gorgeous property of God’s Mountain Estate. Every nook and cranny has more goodness in store. I loved shooting around the bright white buildings, the vines and on little hidden steps!
I enjoyed so many things about Hannah & Josh’s ceremony! Often ceremonies can be very traditional or expected… but I hung onto every word of Hannah and Josh’s. Josh’s family has Doukhobor roots so Josh’s parents incorporated some Doukhobor traditions as well as the Russian language into the ceremony. It was a culture lesson and a ceremony all in one! Next, both Josh’s parents and Hannah’s mom gave a blessing over their children. Hannah and Josh faced the audience and treasured every word. After each blessing, Hannah and Josh knelt down on a blanket as a thank you.
You hear about this in wedding songs! (At least in Keith Urban songs: “Saying ‘i do’ and they’re throwing the rice in our hair”) But I had never actually seen guests throw rice! It was so fun. I loved it and Hannah and Josh’s happy faces! Although I did have to spend a couple minutes picking out individually kernels from Hannah’s hair.
Another thing to love about God’s Mountain? The perfect backyard for setting up a reception. I love how everyone can sit at one long table, together as family and friends. The reception stretched on into the evening, relaxed conversation filling the air in between each of the five courses. Family and friends gave happy toasts and all in all, everyone was having a marvellous time.
As the last bit of sunlight was left hanging in the sky, all of the plates cleaned up from dessert, the cake had been cut (which meant more dessert was to come!) the only thing left to do was dance. Hannah and Josh danced to “Holding Out for a Hero” by Ella Mae Bowen.
“I need a hero
I’m holding out for a hero ’til the end of the night
He’s gotta be strong, he’s gotta be fast
And he’s gotta be fresh from the fight
I need a hero
I’m holding out for a hero ’til the morning light
He’s gotta be sure, he’s gotta be soon
And he’s gotta be larger than life, larger than life”
“I’ll meet a hero
And then we’ll dance ’til the morning light
Dreaming, he’ll lead me
Tonight’s the night”
Don’t these two images give you chills? I was honoured to watch this moment. It was the sweetest First Dance. It made me miss my husband. That’s a good First Dance. Especially because I had only left him seven hours before.
Hannah and Josh, it was a delight to be your photographer. Thank you, thank you!