Today I am thrilled to share this breathtaking mountain vow renewal in the beautiful Canadian Rockies on the shores of Emerald Lake.
Images were captured by Red Bloom Photography.
I hand over to gorgeous Bride Beth of ENV Photography to share her recollections of her stunning mountain vow renewal…
Last May Derek & I decided to run away to the mountains for a few days to finally get our dream mountain vow renewal.
We were originally married in May of 2007 in Edmonton, it was a small wedding with just 70 guests & it was a lovely day.
I had a white poofy gown that I actually loved & Derek looked amazing in his suit, and we had quite a formal ceremony & a beautiful reception (and we ended the night with an after party at a pub that we loved).
I had originally wanted to wear a black wedding dress for our original wedding but back then it was really rare and being a plus-size bride made it even harder to find something amazing to wear). We didn’t have a photographer for our wedding.
That unfortunate detail is the biggest thing that disappoints me about the day, really our only regret. We had someone & then they had a scheduling conflict with another wedding.
For that day I took some photos of Derek & our bridal party & a few details but there’s no good portraits of Derek & I together from our wedding day.
So that’s partly why we decided to run to the mountains for a vow renewal!
Fast forward 12 years, photographing over 500 weddings in my own Wedding business & being entirely entranced by the mountains, Derek & I decided to do a vow renewal.
Why at 12 years? Why not? Why do 5, 10, 15, 25? We were ready for at 12 years. I’d become a little jealous of the couples that I had been photographing in the mountains & I knew we had to plan a dream mountain vow renewal.
Planning a vow renewal is much like planning an elopement or an intimate wedding & since I work in the Canadian Rockies so much, it was pretty easy for us to quickly put together everything to make our dream mountain vow renewal happen.
One of my favourite places in the Canadian Rockies is the Natural Bridge in Yoho National Park so it was easy for us to pick Emerald Lake Lodge to stay since it’s so close.
Next was seeing if our photographer was available. I gave Monica at Red Bloom Photography a couple dates to choose from & we worked around her schedule to book the day as having a great photographer was essential.
Next was lining up hair & make-up for me. I knew my faves were Lilies & Lace Beauty Co so I didn’t even ask anyone else.
Having worked with Jordanna & the styling team for many weddings over the years, I knew they were the right ones for me.
For our florals, I chose FaBLOOMosity in Edmonton. I just knew they would create something amazing & we travelled down with the flowers the day before.
I also spent ages searching for the perfect black wedding gown with a pretty decent budget so I could find the perfect dress.
I initially bought a poofy tulle skirt & black lace body suit but that combo didn’t work for me. I then bought a black silk box pleated gown with three quarter sleeves but I didn’t love it.
When I had just about lost hope I found this amazing black lack & tulle dress from DH Gate & it ended up being my perfect black wedding dress only costing me $250!
I have always loved ballgowns & I feel like they just have the most princessy vibe, and this dress was meant to twirl!
To complete the look, I found the perfect black beaded Badgley Mischka flats as I find heels uncomfortable.
I then headed to Etsy to find dark accessories which included a black freshwater pearl necklace, copper headpiece & a raw moonstone ring.
On a whim I found a black beaded capelet from Wish that I used for the ceremony.
Derek also had a dark vibe going with a burgundy tuxedo that we ordered from Macy’s, he looked so frickin’ handsome! Like our original wedding, Derek also rocked black steel toed boots (and we wouldn’t have it any other way!).
We arrived at Emerald Lake Lodge the day before our mountain vow renewal & got a great night sleep.
We woke up on the day & had breakfast together and then I went for a hike around the lake & Derek lounged.
I set the day to start at 6 pm for photos because I wanted to get the best light & I knew that ending photos around 9 pm would be perfect.
The girls from Lilies & Lace Beauty Co. came to my room at Emerald Lake to transform me, and I’m still shocked that they made me look so amazing!
Once hair & make-up were done, we got dressed together and it made for some great moments & some laughs.
We decided we were about to renew our love for each other so why spend the day apart?
Once we were dressed, it was time for photos to start!
We walked from our cabin at ELL & stopped by the Lake for some photos to get the green water.
Since it was early May, there was still snow in some parts & the bigger side of the Lake was still frozen so we stayed on the Cilantro side.
Then we headed out to Natural Bridge (with a stop to have photos in the middle of the road, something I love to do with my couples! It turns out those are some of my favourite photos of us too!).
Derek & I opted to not have an officiant for our renewal , instead choosing to write our own vows to each other & we also recited the awesome vows from the Corpse Bride (something I wanted for our original wedding but didn’t happen).
Because we didn’t have an officiant, we weren’t held to a set time to do the ceremony. We went to the Natural Bridge & did portraits there first, then when it was quiet & no people were lingering, we set up our ceremony florals & the tray to accompany.
Derek waited on the edge of the river as I walked toward him. We read vows to each other that still make me cry when I think about them from cute vow books (PRO TIP: always have a vow book, they just look so good in photos!).
We exchanged new rings, and then lit the candle & had a shot of Jameson from super cute copper shot glasses I found (a 26er of whiskey made me less shy the night I met Derek back in 2001 so it was fitting for the occasion!).
It was the perfect ceremony for us, very personal, especially since we were beside the rushing water, even Monica couldn’t hear what we spoke to each other, it truly was just for us!
We stayed at the Natural Bridge for photos awhile longer until the sun went down.
We then parted ways with Monica (& her husband Paul who was there too) & went back to Emerald Lake Lodge for a late dinner to celebrate, just the two of us.
Our day was everything we dreamed it could be!
Photography – Red Bloom Photography
Dress – DH Gate
Shoes – Badgley Mischka
Jewellery (black freshwater pearl necklace/ copper headpiece & a raw moonstone ring) – Etsy
Black beaded capelet – Wish
Hair and Make Up – Lilies & Lace Beauty Co
Groomswear – Macys
Florals – FaBLOOMosity
To Contact Red Bloom Photography
Website – http://www.redbloomphotography.com/
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org