I find it's rare that the bride and groom actually get to enjoy their wedding day. Like, really enjoy. It may sound crazy if you aren't in the industry or have never gotten married and it's so unfortunate, but so true. Many people get swept away in the stress and craziness of it all and are so wound up on their wedding day that they don't end up enjoying themselves fully.
What I loved about this wedding was that Jess and Zhenya did just that. They enjoyed every single minute. They soaked it all up and they were present in every sense of the word. All day. It was the best.
Jess and Zhenya - I just can't gush enough about how much I love you two together and how I just adore your family. Even though I only spent a short time with you, I just feel that you are completely meant to be. Thank you, thank you, thank you for picking me to document your day, I can't wait to see you again when you are back from Thailand!!
The day started off with a first look at Jess's parents back yard in Cadboro Bay with friends and family watching from the deck above. It was so sweet and I just loved Zhenya's face when he saw his beautiful bride for the first time.
The first look was followed by a champagne toast. Obvs.
Next I stole the couple for a few photos in the back yard.
Following the first look, we headed to the Government House for some more photos with the wedding party which consisted only of Jess' sister and one of their good friends. It's so awesome working with a small wedding party :)
Jess, Zhenya and I had some extra time to drive around Victoria and stop for photos along the way. First up was Oak Bay Marina followed by Cattle Point. Jess's mom had a photo of the girls at a certain rock at Cattle Point and it was very important to her to get a photo of Jess on her wedding day at the same location - how awesome is that?!
So I have this "thing" with ladybugs. I see them EVERYWHERE. 5 of my most recent brides all had ladybugs on their dress or veil when I was photographing them. I try to take pictures of them all. My grandma used to say they are good luck. Here is Jess' ladybug :)
Quite possibly my favorite photo of the day:
The wedding ceremony was held at a semi-private residence in Cadboro Bay. The back "yard" (if you can call it a yard because it's huge) is very wild and rustic looking with lots of gorgeous flowers and greenery. Zhenya and Jess wrote their own vows and I don't think there was a dry eye in the house, including mine. Guilty!
I'll end with their first kiss as husband and wife. Pure happiness.