The Enchanted Forest Wedding
(Avec hugs and handshakes. Sans social distancing)
Have you ever dreamed of having an intimate wedding in an enchanted forest at your own little secret spot? Well, look no further!
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that you can get married absolutely ANYWHERE. The pandemic has forced couples to pivot and rethink their wedding plans to accommodate public health orders and keep their loved ones safe. Back in 2018, we photographed Essie & Brian’s “toit nups” in the middle of the forest with just a few handfuls of guests and it was the best thing ever.
Our journey with Essie & Brian began one summer evening with beers at our home office in the Olympic Village. B&E lived really close by so we each filled a growler with our favourite beers before getting to know each other a bit better!
When we first spoke via email, Brian and Essie explained to me their vision of having a small and intimate wedding in the middle of the woods followed by an evening of great food surrounded by their closest friends and family. They had the food part nailed when they booked L’Abattoir restaurant in Vancouver’s historic Gastown neighbourhood. Next, they just needed my help finding the perfect spot for their nuptials.
We met one day and went for a walk through the woods, with Nazko, to find the perfect spot. Fast forward a few months and it was finally wedding day!
Capilano Fish Hatchery | The First Look
Our day started off in North Vancouver near the Capilano Fish Hatchery where we had our first look. We set Brian up along the boardwalk to await his bride-to-be. Essie was in tears as she was so excited to see her future hubby!
If you’re planning your own wedding and are on the fence about having a first look. Take our advice. Do it (if it fits in your schedule).
Beautifully Intimate Bride & Groom Portraits
After giving them a moment by themselves, we were off to the bottom of the canyon to get some amazing shots by the river. The heavens graced us with an overcast day in June which provided some beautiful soft and even lighting throughout the day.
Once we finished our photos by the river, we started to make our way to our secret ceremony site in the enchanted forest, which was about a 15 minute walk away. This gave us a chance to really soak in the pacific north west beauty surrounding us… I just had to make sure we didn’t get lost!
Welcome to your Secret Ceremony in the Enchanted Forest
By the time we arrived at our spot, guests had started to arrive. Everyone was elated and excited for the anticipated wedding… and yes, Brian has a twin brother.
At this point, no one had seen Essie in her beautiful dress yet so we hid her away from prying eyes. Once all the pieces were in place, it was time for Essie to make her grand entrance with her father in tow. Her smile was radiating and at that moment, it felt like all the eyes in the world were on her.
It was a simple ceremony. Absolutely nothing is needed when you’re surrounded by the beauty of nature and have all your closest friends and family standing behind you.
Once we were done in the forest, we made sure to clean everything up and make sure we didn’t leave any garbage behind before heading to Gastown for the wedding reception – LEAVE NO TRACE!
Celebrations at L’Abattoir in Gastown
Before joining the rest of the guests at the reception, we took our time getting a few more portraits in Gastown. We started off on a rooftop with sweeping views of the North Shore Mountains, then slowly made our way along the iconic cobble stoned streets of Gastown toward L’Abattoir.
The evening was filled with so much good food and drinks and even better company! Brian and Essie opted for a family style dinner which was so great because it really forces you to talk and interact with your neighbours. It was so great sitting with their guests, getting to know them and hearing ALL the stories!
Kisses Under the Twilight Sky
Our night concluded with a few twilight shots in the streets and alleys of Gastown – a fantastic way to finish off such a magical and memorable evening. Brian and Essie, thank you so much for choosing us to photograph your big day! We’re so happy to have met you two and to have you in our lives.
Looking for your own Intimate Wedding in an Enchanted Forest?
Whether you’re having an intimate micro wedding like Brian and Essie or looking to elope, just the two of you, we can help! Get in touch with us if you need help finding a perfectly unique location for your wedding.