Something very special happened in July 2021. MY SISTER GOT MARRIED. It was their dream–a Maligne Lake wedding.
She’s one of the most important people in my life. I often say that if she hadn’t been born, I wouldn’t be here. My teen years were pretty tough, and she was born when I was twelve. My dad worked away for weeks at a time, and my mom worked full time–so I was often her parent. We spent a ton of time together and it forced me to look beyond myself and what I was going through. And while I wasn’t always the best big sister, she has been unerringly supportive of me and I’m crying just thinking about the awesome human she has become.
So when she asked me to photograph their Maligne Lake wedding, I was honoured and absolutely elated for the opportunity to document her and her awesome fiancé, Kent, take another step in building a beautiful life together. And bonus: I got to bring along my best friend, Buffy Goodman, to shoot with me.
Read on for the details… and let me tell you this: my sister is AAAAAAALL about the details.
1. Tell me about your thoughts leading up to this day… How did it feel to make your choices and marry one another?
Kent -I knew long ago that Janelle and I were meant for each other, and would spend the rest of our lives together. We accomplished so much together, from completely renovating our house, to going on multiple, multiday hikes in the mountains together. Both these take a lot of team work and understanding of each other and were great building blocks to make our relationship stronger. Every time we complete these life goals, I look forward to our next challenge together to learn, laugh, struggle and love each other even more. Marrying Janelle was an easy choice and I really look forward to our future together.
Janelle – It was exciting and the right time. We’re both glad we waited a long time. We got to honour a long relationship with a very special, unique and personal celebration.
2. Why did you choose a Maligne Lake wedding?
We both really love Jasper and have spent quite a bit of time there throughout our relationship. Also, the pandemic played a part in our choice – it was a chance to have a small wedding with no judgement, and a chance to get away for a bit (but still safely). Maligne Lake specifically was chosen because the pictures on the internet were pretty. We hadn’t been there yet, but it seemed like a unique choice that was more reflective of us. And we had the option of a Spirit Island cruise which was super neat, especially when we didn’t know if a dance would be allowed.
This awesome portrait by Buffy!
3. What was your favourite part of your Maligne Lake wedding day?
Janelle – The very meaningful ceremony! The cruise which was super unique and informative! We always try to do some sort of tour like that when we’re in a new place, so it was cool to be able to do that with our guests. And our timeline – I loved hanging out together and taking pictures without rushing before the ceremony.
Kent – My favourite part of the day was waiting, and then watching Janelle walk down the aisle with her parents. The music that Janelle walked down the aisle too was a recording of herself playing the piano. She practiced for months ahead, and I would just sit and listen in the house while she did so. So, while everyone waited for Janelle to appear, listening to the music, it brought me peace and I was relaxed just like we were back in the house together.
Super sweet photo of Kent by Buffy
4. What were your favourite details and why?
Janelle – my favorite details were ones that we thought of ourselves… A LOT of thought and time and patience went into that dress, and made it extra special [Janelle incorporated her mom’s wedding veil into a bolero and a removable overlay on her skirt]. I loved Kent’s suit – it really suited him and the colour was a just a little unique. And the music for the ceremony! Recording myself was an extra stress that I didn’t have to add, but it was definitely more meaningful, and kind of neat if I do say so myself. I put a lot of thought and work into those centrepieces – gathering pictures, making the vases, making the candle holders finding old love story books – but it was almost therapeutic making those things ahead of time. It gave me something to focus on, especially when things were up in the COVID infested air and not in our control. Also, the amazing food.
Pretty details photo by Buffy
Kent -A little detail that I really enjoyed and still do, was Janelle’s Bouquet. It’s a small detail, but Janelle had put succulents in her bouquet, and now she has those succulents growing in the house. I like to look at them every day, to remind me how Janelle always looks into the smallest details and takes such good care of them to make the memories last.
Dress: Calista’s Bridal in Grande Prairie, and majorly altered by Becky’s Alterations (Janelle incorporated lace from our mom’s wedding dress!) Trademark Hair and Spa did hair, makeup and nails. The Little Petal Co. did the flowers. Pursuit Banff/Jasper was the company running the venue.
5. Why did you choose me? I mean, other than the obvious—you had no choice. Because you are so great at what you do, and we have the utmost trust in you! Because our photos will mean a little bit more coming from our sister. We want to display your work on our walls.
6. Do you have any advice for couples getting married/making commitments in the future?
Janelle – I don’t think there’s a way to not feel overwhelmed/distracted/dazed/cranky on your wedding day. Something will go wrong, someone will annoy you – you have to accept it and roll with it.
Kent – Show your partner that you love them every day. Give them a kiss before leaving for the day. Give them a hug when you get home from work. Tell them that you love them.
And that’s some good advice, my friends. Listen to these kids. I think they got it figured out. xoxo
Me, shooting my sister. Thanks for the photo, Buffy Goodman xoxo
Me with my husband, Jay. Good times, and weird–being guests at a wedding together!
And this is the extraordinary Buffy, multitasking to the max!