Merritt Wedding Photographer

Since the first moment I read Lauren and Jeff’s email about their upcoming wedding on a cattle ranch in Merritt, BC… I had been looking forward to their wedding day. The day finally came this past weekend on Saturday, August 8, 2015. We drove up early to Merritt Saturday morning and when we arrived on the ranch that afternoon, I couldn’t help but smile.

The weather was perfect – warm with a breeze – and the girl’s were excitedly getting ready as country music played throughout the house sound system. An antler chandelier hung in the centre of the long kitchen table, cowboy boots were in the corner, family was all around and Lauren and her bridesmaids wore floral silk robes. These were ‘my kind’ of people. Every detail was so pretty in the morning and I loved photographing all of the preparations. Lauren was so full of joy as she dressed in her gown and Lauren and Jeff’s daughter, 20-month-old Maelle, joyfully walked around the house in her own white dress, too. 

Merritt Wedding Photographer Merritt Wedding Photographer

For me, there’s something about wide open spaces that helps me relax. Photographing a wedding on a property like this one… with no neighbours as far as the eye could see… well, it didn’t really feel like work. ;) It felt like a day hanging out with friends. Lauren’s aunt owns one property, where Lauren and the girls got ready int he morning, but her other aunt owns the ranch farther down the road. The second ranch was where Jeff and his groomsmen got ready and where the ceremony and reception would be held. 

When we arrived at the ceremony site, guests were mingling and enjoying the numerous details Lauren and Jeff had crafted and worked on around the property for the previous week. Of course, I have to admit I was partial to two particular details: Bernese Mountain Dogs Elvis and Forest, who spent the entire day wandering around saying hello to guests. ;) I wanted to take them home! (Do you think our 900 sq feet could handle 3 dogs?)

Merritt Wedding Photographer

Lauren and Jeff first met with they were twelve years old on a softball field – and baseball has been a special part of their story ever since. I loved the details Lauren included in her vows about their first meeting and how their love grew after a reconnection later in life. Lauren and Jeff also both honoured Maelle, their beautiful daughter, Jeff thanking Lauren for giving her to him and Lauren thanking Jeff for the same. Love this shot of the family exiting the ceremony together!

During portrait time it began to sprinkle rain off and on. There were dark rain clouds ahead and the sun had turned to overcast, so we shot as quickly as we could! The bridal party kept dry underneath the front porch of Lauren’s aunt’s home and we waited it out. When it cleared, Lauren and Jeff jumped in a family member’s SUV and we hit the road for our next location: a genuine teepee. There are 2 awesome things about this location: 1) Jeff is actually native (Metis) so that’s kind of cool. And 2) This is where they’d spend their wedding night! Isn’t that so cute. I loved that.

I loved this amazing look-out! The British Columbia interior has the most amazing beautiful scenery – so different than Vancouver but stunning. And how about those purple wildflowers below? :)

In between the photo above and the photo below is when life really got interesting… the skies began to downpour. Literal downpour. I have never had this happen at a wedding before to this extent. The town of Merritt receives 300 days of sunshine a year – rain is rare, especially in the summer. There was no ‘need’ for a plan B in an outdoor Merritt wedding. There were a few tents around merely for shade on the hot summer day that became a make-shift reception tent.

Family members and guests alike joined together to ‘save’ all of Lauren and Jeff’s hard work. Their beautiful reception tables and details were getting soaked and quickly the caterers and buffet tables were moved, reception tables were squished together and twelve individual tents were placed strategically over top. 

It was sad to see so much work soaked so soon – and I know it was a stressful part of the day – one Lauren probably wishes didn’t happen! The rain did suck – but the ‘community’ around the rain was what made me smile. Both female and males, didn’t matter how they were dressed, started dropping their stuff to help. After 30-40 minutes of rain, it began to clear enough to start the reception. By halfway through the reception, it looked like the rain clouds had completely finished – and family was able to set aside the tents and keep Lauren’s original vision.

Jeff and Lauren met through softball (her brother played with Jeff) and Jeff played college baseball in the States for 4 years, so naturally, every table was named after a different stadium. :)

This photo makes me smile.

The evening was magical, with string lights around the tables and the sound of music filling the air. Jeff and Lauren’s happiness was truly contagious and I’m pretty sure I smiled the entire evening. 

Of course, Jeff had to sneak in a dance with the other woman in his life, their daughter Maelle, after she woke up from a solid two-hour reception power nap. ;)

Jeff and Lauren, your wedding was seriously a DREAM. I mean what I said when I said goodbye… if somebody had wanted to ‘hand me a wedding’ fully planned, I would have gladly taken yours. It was a perfect day, full of love and laughter and genuine speeches. Randy and I felt so blessed to witness your union! I hope you enjoy the photos and there are many more to come.

Hair Stylist: Brooke Reid 
Bride’s Bracelet: Amy Henwood Jewelry Design
Bride’s Dress: Designed by bride, Made by Jill Mckinnon

Bride’s Shoes: Le Chateau
Florist: Our Little Flower Company 
Bridesmaids Dresses: Donna Morgan
Vest and Ties: Le Chateau
Stationery/Invites: Etsy
Wine: Grapes 4 U
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Flying 20 Ranch
Favours: KD Soap CO
Event Rentals: Rogers Rentals
Musicians: Nick Gee

+ show Comments

- Hide Comments

add a comment

  1. Johanna K says:

    beautiful wedding, beautiful family and beautiful photos! congrats!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Like what you see? Book your session now!

Book Your Session

If you want to cherish your wedding day or family through joyful photos, I’d love to be your photographer. Send me a note through my contact form, and I’ll be in touch!





Browse by Category


I’m Jamie! I capture joyful wedding and portrait photos that feel like you—through easy, natural posing. Since 2008,  I've photographed over 270 weddings and nearly 300 family sessions and it’s a joy to spend my career capturing natural, joyful images!

hey there!