Modern Traditions - 5 ways to include authentic wedding traditions in your modern wedding day

Modern Traditions - 5 ways to include authentic wedding traditions in your modern wedding day

After being a part of 20-30 weddings a year for the past 7 years, I've seen a lot of wedding days! And I'd like to share some of my advice and opinions. I have to admit, I love wedding traditions. The biggest challenge for most modern couples is figuring out how to include traditions in a way that feels authentic to them. Here are my top 5  tips for including authentic wedding traditions in your modern wedding day:

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Ka-Leigh & Mike | Lynx Ridge Halloween Wedding

Ka-Leigh & Mike | Lynx Ridge Halloween Wedding

I love weddings that are absolutely authentic to the couple. And I'm sure the moment Mike proposed to Ka-Leigh, they both knew their wedding was going to be on Halloween. Kris and I were so excited about being apart of their Lynx Ridge Halloween Wedding, and I knew it would be beautiful when Ka-Leigh described the theme as "Elegant Victorian Gothic".

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Catherine & Darcy | Calgary Spring Wedding

Catherine & Darcy | Calgary Spring Wedding

Catherine and Darcy lucked out with a perfect day for their Calgary spring wedding. I think the best way to describe Cathy & Darcy's wedding is Simple and Beautiful. As a bride, I think Catherine showed that you can have a simple wedding day that is incredibly beautiful and a complete reflection of you as a couple. In the planning stages, Catherine and Darcy were so easy going and I could tell the most important part of their wedding day was going to be enjoying moments with each other and everyone around them.

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M & W - 1920s themed Carriage House Inn Calgary Wedding

M & W - 1920s themed Carriage House Inn Calgary Wedding

In Calgary, we see a lot of rustic styled weddings. While these are lovely, I always get excited when I meet a couple with a different plan! Melanie and Wilson planned an elegant 1920s themed wedding reception at the Carriage House Inn. They focused on lots of fun details that wove their theme together. Melanie and Wilson started their wedding day with a beautiful outdoor garden ceremony at the Calgary Zoo. One of my favourite perks of having part or all of your wedding at the zoo is that you have access to all the beautiful spots on the island for photos! Surprisingly, the dinosaur area has some of the best hidden spots... as long as you can hold off the busy Saturday afternoon crowds!

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B & K - Outdoor Summer Canmore Wedding

B & K - Outdoor Summer Canmore Wedding

Brandi & Kyle had their hearts set on getting married outside in the Rocky Mountains and insisted that rain or shine, there would be no back up plan. When the rain didn't let up, Brandi & Kyle decided to just embrace the rain and bring out all the umbrellas! Despite the wall of water, their ceremony was full of laughter and joy! And of course, the moment it finished, the clouds parted and we had a beautiful sunny afternoon for portraits.

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Tammy & Tyler - Traditional Calgary Church wedding

Tammy & Tyler - Traditional  Calgary Church wedding

Tammy & Tyler Traditional Calgary Church wedding was such a beautiful combination of all so many things that were important to both their families. It was important to Tammy to wear a beautiful white ballgown. She still wanted to incorporate elements of Indian wedding traditions so her bridesmaids wore stunning yellow saris and henna. Their ceremony included some very unique rituals including washing each others feet and assembling a cross that they will display in their home.

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D&J - Calgary Stampede Wedding

D&J - Calgary Stampede Wedding

When I say Calgary Stampede wedding, you probably think of cowboy hats, horses and jeans. That is not this wedding! But Denise and Joel's wedding was so uniquely "Calgary" in many other ways. The last weekend in June this past summer was basically the hottest day of the year all day long. When Denise and Joel started planning their wedding on the Stampede Grounds at the Rotary house the week before the Calgary Stampede, they knew they would have an opportunity for some very unique photos since the midway would be partly built. Denise & Joel's wedding day started with a Traditional Chinese Tea Ceremony.

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Katrina & Steven - Garden wedding English Inn on Vancouver Island

Katrina & Steven - Garden wedding English Inn on Vancouver Island

I'm very excited to share Katrina & Steven's beautiful Outdoor Garden Wedding at the English Inn on Vancouver Island. Katrina and Steven were married on the May long weekend in beautiful Victoria, BC. I met Katrina at a bridal show more than a year before their wedding. As she described the intimate garden party they were planning on the island, I knew it was going to be an amazing weekend. Katrina described the incredible venue: "When you enter the grounds, you don't even feel like you are in Victoria anymore. You don't even care where you are, you just don't want to leave." 

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Julia & Rob - Fall Cathedral wedding in downtown Calgary

We finished off last wedding season with Rob and Julia's fall cathedral wedding in downtown Calgary. This Thanksgiving wedding was particularly special for Kris and I since we now share our anniversary (October 11) with Rob and Julia. Rob and Julia's wedding day really felt like two families joining. I loved their beautiful ceremony which incorporated both Catholic and Mennonite traditions. St. Mary's Cathedral is such a beautiful place to celebrate love and Julia and Rob's families filled the building with this love, the highlight of which was the beautiful pipe organ and choir.

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Sacha & Jim - Fort Calgary Wedding Photography

Sacha & Jim - Fort Calgary Wedding Photography

When I first met with Sacha about 8 months before her wedding, she explained to me how important it was for her and Jim to incorporate family traditions into their wedding ceremony. They were both raised in Catholic homes and chose to have their ceremony at the beautiful St. Mary's Cathedral downtown. Jim's family is from Nova Scotia, so the East Coast theme was woven throughout their day. Jim wore a traditional kilt, a bag-pipper pipped the newlyweds out of their ceremony and into their reception and the decor at the reception included the family tartan.

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Emma & Keith - Intimate Acreage Okotoks Wedding Photography

Emma & Keith - Intimate Acreage Okotoks Wedding Photography

Ten days before Emma and Keith's wedding I was visiting them at their acreage south of Okotoks to plan the final details for their wedding photography. I could feel their stress as they had planned a beautiful outdoor ceremony followed by a tent reception...only it was the middle of September and the ground was covered in snow. Luckily, in southern Alberta, winter is never here to stay and on their wedding day you could have mistaken it for the middle of July.

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Kimberley & Luke - Rustic Lake Louise Mountain Wedding

Kimberley & Luke - Rustic Lake Louise Mountain Wedding

It's hard to find someone who lives in Calgary and isn't in love with the amazing mountains we have right in our backyard. But few people take their love of the mountains as seriously as Kimberley and Luke. They love hiking, climbing and exploring and head out west every chance they get. Luke even proposed at the top of a mountain. So when they started planning their wedding, the idea of getting married at the top of a mountain seemed only natural

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Joanna & Jay's Multicultural East Indian Wedding

Joanna & Jay's Multicultural East Indian Wedding

When I first met with Joanna and Jay to talk about their big Catholic and East Indian Wedding day, it was clear right away that this was going to be an epic and very unique wedding day. One interesting fact about this couple is that a few years ago, they had a small and very intimate legal wedding ceremony with just their families. So although Jay and Joanna were already married, they thought it was very important to honour both of their families' culture and traditions with a religious wedding day and of course a big party to follow!

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Amy & John - Spring Garden Wedding

Amy & John - Spring Garden Wedding

Amy and John had their heart set on a beautiful Spring Garden Wedding. They picked their wedding day based on when the Lougheed House was available because they had their heart set on ceremony in the formal gardens. Now as anyone who has lived in Calgary for a while knows, June is about the only time of year that we get rain. The day before Amy and John's wedding it was terrible, grey and rainy all day long, so plans were made to move the ceremony inside, much to the bride and groom's disappointment. But on Saturday morning, the clouds cleared and and a we had the most beautiful, sunny day in June.

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Arlee & Todd – Red Deer wedding photographer

Arlee & Todd – Red Deer wedding photographer

I am so excited to finally be able to share Todd & Arlee’s wedding photos!  Todd and Arlee hired me very far in advance of their wedding day, so far in fact that we did their engagement photos more than a year ahead. Arlee promised me from the beginning that there would be a big storm on her wedding day, as this happens on every important day of her life. Sure enough, a huge hailstorm broke out just as everyone was arriving for the ceremony service. Luckily, it passed and we had a beautiful afternoon for photographs outside. Todd and Arlee love to be surrounded by their family, and they reflected this by choosing to have all family in their bridal party. It was a wonderful day watching these two awesome families join together. Congratulations Todd & Arlee!

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