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January 24, 2024

Intimate Garden Wedding – Hailey & Calvin

In an intimate garden wedding, Hailey & Calvin said their vows on a warm June day, joined by 30 intentionally chosen guests in the outdoor garden of the Greenland Garden Centre near Edmonton, Alberta.

Intimate Garden Wedding

Endless personal touches made their day so unique and memorable. Hailey wore her mother’s wedding dress, which she altered to her own style, and the pearls her mother wore on her own wedding day. Hailey & Calvin chose to walk down the aisle together. Their guest list was kept to those closest to them. A close friend officiated, and their guests planned surprises for them. They built time into their day to simply enjoy, spend time with their friends and family, and to spend real quality time together.

I want to share some of my thoughts and choices behind each part of this day:

As I walked into the garden, I made sure to take note of the beautiful environment – the guests arriving, the trees catching the sunlight, and the flowers that matched their lavender colour palette. These environmental details tell such a story in a wedding gallery and truly take a couple back to the tone of the day, so I always make sure to document them.

Calvin’s siblings and grandparents helped tie his tie, and Hailey’s parents put on her pearls, and then I guided them to a spot for their first look. As a candid and documentary wedding photographer, I believe in capturing real and genuine moments. To achieve this, I led Calvin to a garden path, then asked Hailey to join him, so they could have some privacy. Stepping back, I allowed them the space to experience their emotions. This is always such a special moment – often, my couples are SO nervous while getting ready, and the moment they see each other, that all disappears and is replaced with peace and excitement. I LOVE seeing it!!!

Once Hailey and Calvin had their moment and were ready, they walked hand in hand into their intimate garden wedding ceremony, with their 30 intentionally chosen guests waiting. A close friend officiated the ceremony, adding a personal touch to the intimate atmosphere. They shared personal vows, another personal fav of mine, as it creates such special memories for the couple and always leads to big feels! During their first kiss, Calvin’s siblings surprised them with a petal toss, and the pure joy on Hailey and Calvin’s faces literally brought tears to my eyes. At every wedding I cry, its just a matter of when – this moment was it for me!

After the ceremony, the couple simply spent time with their guests. This is my new favourite part of a wedding day, when the couple completely forgets about the camera, forgets their nerves, forgets about all the things they “have” to do next. (hint: you don’t actually have to do anything on your wedding day, but that’s a conversation for another time). Something magical happens here – they let their guard down and their real personalities and real emotions appear. This is where couples really see themselves in their gallery, which is why it makes me so giddy! They received congratulations, hugs, laughs, happy tears. I wanted to capture every genuine interaction and heartfelt emotion, so I focused on remaining quiet and undistracting, ensuring that I capture authentic candid photos and real moments.

After a few family and group photos (which I do think are super important, but there are ways to make it feel more natural – if you’re curious hit me up!), the remainder of our time together was dedicated to capturing portraits & moments of my lovely couple. I wanted to give them space to soak in the feeling of being just married, and allow their happiness and love to radiate naturally. They wandered down the garden path, sat together under a tree, had a private first dance at their ceremony site, and strolled through the greenhouse. These activities, though simple, gave context to their wedding portraits and made precious memories in the meantime.

As a candid, timeless, natural, and documentary wedding photographer, it was a true honour to document Hailey and Calvin’s intimate garden wedding day. I mean it every time – I always feel so so so lucky and honoured to be chosen and trusted to document a couple’s wedding day. It was SUCH a treat to create images that will forever remind these two of the love they shared in that stunning greenhouse garden.

Thanks so much for reading!!!! Want to know more about my documentary wedding photography style? I would be over the moon to share with you! Talk to me here!