Emily & Mike
A Backyard Ontario Wedding

I’m almost positive every couple has a mental image of what their wedding will look like. A little glimpse of the day if it were to start and finish without a single hitch. Now, I believe we all know a wedding wouldn’t be a wedding without a deviation (or six) from the plan but hey. For myself it would be a dreary day. Low hanging clouds or fog. A landscape that melds into itself at the horizon. Where sound is muted and eerie. Where colours all fall on the same spectrum. But having said that I am positive I will celebrate on a day with not a cloud in the sky, the sun glaring, and obscenely high temperatures. Because that’s just how life rolls. But it won’t matter, because I will be marrying my favourite person. And that is exactly how Emily and Mike embraced their completely downpoured upon day.

Emily grew up outside the small town of Brighton along Lake Ontario. A quaint place that reminds me of the town my grandparents lived out their days that I adored to visit as a child. Several perfectly set roads, full of aging brick buildings with the necessary shops. Where you are likely to know a handful of people you meet on a daily basis. A perfect place to celebrate her and Mike’s married life. The day began getting ready in her sister’s home, a place with history and character. In the backyard the preparations were being finished and extra measures were taken as the forecast called for a deluge of rain in the early afternoon. The laughter of the ladies and the sounds of children playing was the soundtrack. People came and left running errands. It was the subtle happenings that highlighted the morning. Emily’s mother’s reaction to seeing her makeup finished, her bridesmaids’ following reaction, the scurrying of the ladies when Mike pulled up in front of the house before planned. A calmness.

One of my favourite moments of the day is when the final touches are done and the bride sees who they love for the first time. How Emily gathered her dress and made her way down the stairs to her father’s proud gaze amid the chaos. How that moment was so unscripted and perfect. How that moment was exactly as the first time she saw Mike. Pride, relief, joy, awkward laughs and tears. Truly a day of people who absolutely adored each other.

We rushed into the countryside for their portraits. The storm visibly closing in. Fields, forests, roads, whatever we could get in the time allotted to us. More delightful awkwardness, dancing and finally a retreat from the rain. We returned to the house were Emily and Mike listened to a voice message from a grandparent, where the children waged war with Mike’s tie, waiting for when they could leave for the church.

It was a ceremony suited to Emily and Mike. Loving and with laughter. The children unknowingly taking some of the attention with their antics. As I feel is required in a small town, they rang the church bell at the end of the aisle before exiting the church to one of the best ‘firsts’ of married life. Oh how when that umbrella turned inside out and their reaction. Oh how it brings a smile to my face. Now for one of the most wonderous moments of their wedding. They wished to be piped back to their backyard reception. Regardless of the weather that would be happening and whoever wished to join were invited to. They enthusiastically gathered their friends, distributed umbrellas and off they went. Marching and celebrating through Brighton to bagpipes. Swerving around puddles, waving to passing vehicles. It would have been no different on a sunny day. All smiles and all happiness.

As the guests rounded into the backyard and took cover in the tent there were hugs and congratulations. The evening quieted to speeches that spoke of the wonderful people Emily and Mike are and how perfect they are for each other. At times the rain stopped, but only for a brief time before thundering back onto the tent. Never before have I seen parents’ speeches send the guests into fits of laughter. Never before have I seen a child dressed as a dinosaur so melancholy at a wedding. Never before have I witnessed two people so overcome with embarrassment of the most tolerable nature from stories of their past. As the evening stretched on there was dancing and celebration.

Congratulations you two wonderful people.

Ceremony | Trinity St. Andrew’s United Church in Brighton, Ontario. Reception | Emily’s sister’s house . Flowers | Rosehip Florist in Trenton, Ontario . Make-up Artist and Hairstylist | Janine Holmes . Catering | BBQ on Wheels . Cake | Friend of the family, Lynda . Musician | Mike Barnes . Videographer | I am the Storyteller

Bagpiper march from ceremony to reception in Brighton, Ontario

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