'In February 2013, Jennie and Bastian were married in a simple but elegant small wedding in Ancaster, Ontario, surrounded by immediate family and closest of friends. Despite the perfection of their love story and the joy of committing their lives to one another, there were no perfect photos to capture the moment. As we approach our 1 year of marriage, we want to capture what we couldn't at our wedding, to document these precious times of blooming love and devotion, so that in 50 years, when we return to that same bench in Strasbourg as an old wrinkled couple, we can hold these photos in our hands and smile at each other with the same love in our eyes and know that our lifetimes have been perfectly spent, perfectly in love.'
i am a sucker for a love story... AND they have an incredible energy about them! their story is below:
'They always say you find love when you're not looking for it.
Jennie arrived in Strasbourg, France in May to live with her then-boyfriend, only to discover he had been exploring the world of online dating in her absence. Curious, she created a fake profile to test if his adventures were serious or harmless (they were serious). This unfortunate news had a silver lining: her fake profile (fake name, real picture) attracted the attention of Klark Kent (fake name, real picture). "Sandrine", not interested in actually meeting anyone online, ignored "Klark's" messages for a while, but eventually gave in to curiosity. Reading his profile revealed many profound and interesting aspects, some of which she could have copied and pasted into her own profile, had it been real. A month of friendly email exchange ensued and Jennie and Bastian got to know each other's real lives better. Eventually tired of the lack of friends and wanting to know more what the locals did to have fun, Jennie agreed to meet Bastian in person for drinks.
July 11th. That fateful day. Jennie waited on the bench in the square, pretending to read to cover her nervousness. Although she knew that this was a purely friendly encounter, Jennie couldn't explain why she felt so nervous. Intuition, perhaps? She pretended to read, but the words swam past her eyes. Suddenly, Bastian somersaulted over the bench beside her, bounced upright and with a most charming smile said, "Salut, moi, c'est Bastian" and kissed her cheek. Swoon Number 1.
Breathless, but trying to seem unfazed, Jennie introduced herself and we set off to Bastian's favourite "peniche" (barge boat) bar. Over drinks, we talked and connected. It went so well that Bastian didn't want it to end at drinks. We continued on for dinner, then late night ice cream along the canal. We sat at the end of a small dock with our feet dangling over the edge liking our ice cream like two teens falling in love. The air was warm, the water drifted slowly past our toes as we finished our ice cream, and the flowers dripping from every lamp post scented the air. As midnight approached, Jennie could feel the dangerous slipping feeling of falling in love. In protection, she claimed she had to be home by midnight or risk turning into a pumpkin. Bastian walked her home and with a European kiss on each cheek wished his Cinderella a good night. Swoon Number 2. The smiles never left our lips, and by the next morning, we arranged for our first "date".
Bastille Day, July 14th. Bastian arranged an afternoon bike ride and picnic. He led us to a charming small field across the Rhine River in Germany. Enclosed with large trees and tall grasses, we had the field to ourselves. Potatoe salad, baguette, cheese, whipped cream and strawberries with a bottle of wine. We were accompanied by a small curious hedgehog who let Bastian pet him! (And a less delightful bee sting to prove to him Jennie really was stung by every bee that passed. Hence the nickname Honeybee/Jenniebee). Returning back, it seemed all the animals in the area were drawn to Bastian - the small sheep in the field next to us, the goats, even the chickens! It spoke to his gentle and calm nature, and spoke to Jennie's heart.
We watched the sun set over France and the Rhine, side by side but afraid to let our arms touch. The tension was electric. The moment lasted in reality just a few moments, but felt like hours. We both knew we wanted to touch, but were both too scared. But Bastian had a better idea forming alrady. We biked back to Strasbourg to watch the fireworks display, and enjoyed some drinks on the same Peniche as the first time. As Bastian walked Jennie back to her apartment, he put his plan in motion. He asked if Jennie trusted him. Uneasy, but curious, she said yes. He then led her to a large church nearby that seemed half under construction for repairs. Before she knew what was happening, Bastian had Jennie jumping the 8 foot barrier fence, and climbing up on to the scaffolding. Up and up they climbed - over 70 m to the very top above the tip of the weathervane. The view was breathtaking (as was the height and the fear of beign caught by the police!). A full moon sparkled over the rooftops and was reflected on the canal below. The air was warm and humid, with barely a breeze. It was 3 or 4 am, and we felt the only souls awake in the city. It was the perfect moment for their first kiss. Swoon number 3. (Bastian had the song from Moulin Rouge in his head the next day by Rufus Wainwright. Translated to english, he sings, "The full moon, so pale, bejewels your red hair..." the clip is here.
The rest went very quickly. Two weeks later they were talking of moving in together, of planning Christmas in Canada to meet Jennie's family, of a future. The year in Strasbourg flew by full of picnics, bike rides, hikes in the nearby Vosges mountains and wanderings in the nostalgic streets of Strasbourg. But soon Jennie had to find a plan to either renew her work visa somehow or return to Canada. Every door of opportunity to stay in France seemed closed, and with a broken heart, we realized we were going to have to be apart. Jennie was able to return to her old job in Guelph, and Bastian decided he was ready to take the leap and leave all he knew behind in France to start his life with Jennie in Canada - a country he barely knew anything about. Bastian, always loving the opportunity for a surprise, planned a beautiful farewell party for Jennie with all the friends and family she had grown to love in France.
The plan was for Bastian to join Jennie after about three months - the time to resign, sell his things, rent the apartment and close his accounts. But Bastian had another surprise in mind. He arrived in secret two days before their 1 year anniversary of dating. Staying at her parents, he planned for Jennie's closest friends to bring her to a restaurant in Toronto "to take her mind off being apart from him on their anniversary". In the meantime, he put together a video message for her to watch, giving the impression he sent it from France.
At the restaurant, Jennie was suspicious that something was up, but once the video came out, she was sure this was the 'surprise'. However, there was more...Bastian showed up in person, got down on his knee, and proposed!
(Jennie said "of course!!")
in February, a few friends of NWP+C joined together and created a beautiful setting for Jennie + Bastian to celebrate their one year anniversary. they put on their wedding clothes for a few pictures that they could now share with friends and family. and we totally ignored the -22 with windchill temperatures...the energy between them kept us all warm. special thank you to Amanda from amanda cowley sweet events, Jessica from allure hair and make up, Jessica from fleurish designs, Olga from defining moments stationary and Angela from niagara parks, for creating this magical experience for Jennie and Bastian!
head on over to Amanda Cowley Sweet Events to hear more about how the planning of this magical winter picnic all came together!
Matt and Christina... they're lovely. as lovely as a cup of tea at the beach on a cool fall morning. we challenged them to build a little fire and with great success they were keeping warm and cozy...enjoying the early morning sun and the colours of fall.
looking forward to celebrating with Matt and Christina at the Queen's Landing in Niagara-on-the-lake this summer! AND...special thank you to wedding chicks for featuring this engagement shoot with your readers!
a wedding so full of pretty! we loved working with chris and kendra and were excited to hear of every new wedding day detail throughout the planning process. i've been sitting on this one as they wanted to share the stills and film with their family first. you've seen their teaser film and this week we'll also be showing you their highlights film. for now... enjoy the rustic details and design-the images of the gorgeous bride and her handsome groom.
white umbrellas... i love that kendra thought of how this would look should we need shelter for the sun or rain... luckily we just needed them for shade.
details...and more details... have a look at the gorgeous trees from mimosa-what i loved about these is the way we can shoot through the tiny lights to make reception images look amazing!
come back to check out chris and kendra's feature film!
vendors that helped make chris and kendra's wedding day epic:
venue: inn on the twenty
ceremony: cave springs winery
flowers: mimosa flower studio
furniture/rentals: the warehouse
it was deemed a 'jaw-droppingly gorgeous affair' by the publishers at style me pretty. i couldn't agree more and was thrilled to capture the design of this little italian festival for mimosa flowers. they had invited me to photograph just the set up and details...but whenever i visit the good earth food and wine company... i linger a little longer than i should-i can't help it...it's the atmosphere there that will hold you hostage. that and the smell of home made pasta. here area a few things i loved about janine and roberto's wedding:
1) the venue and the table was set underneath the beautiful trellis between the winery and the vineyard
2) mimosa flower studio-jennifer puts thought into all of the little details-the chandeliers, the charming wrapped vases... the barn board runners. the bride janine did a fabulous job with the details- the ornate wine glassware really added character to the table, the menus and the calligraphy name tags. we snuck over to the kitchen... and we found our next favourite...
3) the chefs at the good earth... we adore them and the magical things they do in the kitchen- we found them shucking oysters and making pasta! yum!
magical...i tell you.
we also love the casual, relaxed way about this celebration-we found janine hanging out n the kitchen pre ceremony with her gals
4) the music... janine and rob found claudio in toronto at a festival-he fit the celebration perfectly! for a minute i closed my eyes and thought we were in italy! the music... and the dancing...
more eating, some dancing, another course, and then even more dancing...
5) what's an italian wedding extravaganza without a little football...
6) how obvious it is that they are so madly in love ; )
janine + roberto-you are both lovely! congratulations! it was such a pleasure photographing your wedding.
you can read the feature from this wedding on style me pretty here-please DO check it out-janine writes a lovely piece that describes the evening perfectly and explains why they chose this specific date to get married! ciao!
'made with love' is what mimosa is calling it- it's a collection of creatives-passionate about their work-gathering together to make something beautiful-a little 'creative'...a feast for the eyes...enjoy!
the visionary, jennifer... a creative genius with so much heart... you must meet this gal!
and mark... just as creative-together these two are an incredible team and always a pleasure to work with!
in the peak of harvest, vineland estates winery graciously welcomed us in for the day... on the most perfect september day!
and special thanks to chef justin for opening up his kitchen to us!
as the sun lowered... friends of mimosa arrived for a feast and to enjoy the space that was created.
please head on over to mimosa's post about this 'creative' on their website-be sure to check out the film! jennifer explains the 'why'! it's so inspiring to find people who are in the industry for the love of it...