Kevin & Riley’s summer Strathmere wedding fell on a perfect September day. Another one of those ‘heart bursting’ weddings. This one because it also happened to be their ten year anniversary. Not only that, but they spent two years planning this day. And Riley DIY’d nearly everything. I knew how much heart and soul and time went into planning this special wedding, so I couldn’t have been happier that everything about the day went perfectly.
Riley and her bridesmaids had their makeup done at the gorgeous Strathmere Retreat (seriously, if you haven’t been – treat yourself). When I arrived it was quiet, and calm. There was no rushing, everything felt easy. And while the girls were having their makeup done, the boys were at their home in Kemptville getting ready.
Something really special about this day was time spent just before the wedding. After Riley and the girls were ready, Riley had a first look with her father in the gardens at Strathmere. Not a dry eye around from anyone who witnessed that moment. It was beautiful. And after that, Riley’s parents, in-laws, and both sets of grandparents each presented her with a gift in the garden. Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. This was something that I had never seen happen before, but it was such a sweet quiet moment to spend with some of the most important people in her life. I loved it.
Kevin & Riley opted not to do a first look. So all eyes were on Kevin as Riley walked down the aisle. It was beautiful. Ten years together (four of which were long distance while they went to university) had lead them to this moment and eeee, I’m a sucker for an emotional wedding. A beautiful ceremony followed, complete with handwritten vows and a hilarious high-five from them both at the end. And off they went for family photos, a drink in the garden with their wedding party, and soaking up the sunset together as they finished up their photos before partying the night away with their families and friends.
The speeches were funny, sweet, and emotional all at once. My favourite part was when Riley’s dad told the story of how he kept the cigar from the day Riley was born. He had kept it in a safe all these years, and had brought it with him to the wedding. He planned to light it up outside on the back deck, under the twinkle lights after dinner. And sure enough, after dinner the family all went out and passed the cigar around. Again, I thought my heart would explode. One of my favourite photos that I’ve ever taken is the very last one included in this blog post: Riley smoking the cigar with her grandparents on either side of her.
Love love love. I love a strathmere wedding, and this summer day was just brilliant! Can’t wait to see where this next adventure takes them. xo
Venue: The Lodge at Strathmere
Videography: Peaking Zebra
Photography: Carley Teresa
Second Shooter: Mariah Hilton
Florals: Floral Reef Design
Hair: Ashley’s Hair Design
Makeup: Strathmere Retreat
Bridal Dress: Sinders Bridal House
Groom’s Attire: Tip Top
Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal