I could easily call Joey and Raymond's special day the wedding of the year and it’s only February.
J & R threw a colossal party, honestly making guests feel just as special as them. It was a true celebration of the love between the two of them and the love that surrounds them.
I enjoyed meeting the grooms and their mothers in the planning stages – don't be afraid of bringing whoever you want to your wedding photography consultations! I personally really enjoy meeting you and the people who are most important to you!
I do think of all the weddings I shoot as special – everything is special in it's own way, and Joey and Raymond's wedding was truly unique. Many of the weddings I shoot I could easily describe as pretty, beautiful, and lovely. I recall listening to Shalini from Maid for the Bride saying “we had to think.. how do we style a wedding for two men?” She had ideas. Echoing the Great Gatsby; this was a party styled in a 1920's manner, including extravagant decor, wonderful live music, a cigar bar, and even a signature drink. Masculine, classy, and beautiful, right?!
The look was seamlessly pulled together by a great team of local vendors as you'll see in the photos.
For me, the day started off during set up, I got to watch the room come together as we began with family and wedding party photos. It being February, we opted to do all photos indoors, using their ceremony and reception backdrop for group photos and later, various nooks for other posed shots. After group photos, we waited for guests to arrive so the wedding festivities could begin starting with the ceremony. I don't think there was a dry eye in the house as we watched Joey and Raymond declare their love.
The coordinators and venue staff were able to pull off a huge room flip, from 350+ guest seats for the ceremony, to dinner settings for reception while the party moved next door for a fancy cocktail hour. The cocktail hour featured a drink service, live jazz music, a giant buffet of hors d'oeurves, breads, and antipasti, an amazing champagne tower and heartfelt and hilarious speeches from some of the wedding party.
I had a chance to sweep the guys away and do some portraits of the couple together and I will be honest when I say that I sometimes find building interiors to be inhibiting (think: non-photogenic carpet, distracting art on the walls, background colours or patterns that just do not match my subjects), however quite the opposite was true – I found areas in the Valhalla to be quite inspiring, feeding well into the Gatsby theme (thick wooden paneling, sheer fabrics and manicured courtyard).
For the reception, we came back into the original room which now had a totally different vibe. We entered into a room that was dressed to the nines - both impressively elegant yet full of energy. Blues and golds, lights and shimmering reflections, rich colours and fabrics, feeling close to others around us regardless of being in such an immense space.
The newlyweds shared a first dance and the real party began: great food, drinks, live performances, and dancing into the night. What a memorable wedding, these guys sure know how to throw a party, and boy are they surrounded by love and support! Congratulations to Joey and Raymond!
Planning & Coordination & Rentals: Maid for the Bride
Decor & Florals: Glamour & Glow Events - Thunder Bay Wedding Decorators
Venue: Valhalla Inn
Photographer: Flashback Photo
Hair & Makeup - Wedding Party: Glamour by Grace
Hair & Makeup - Family: PNEUMAticity Hair Salon & Day Spa
Uplighting: Maverick Entertainment Group
Stationery Design: Knotted Design
Printing: Corporate Graphics
Metal Artwork: Despres Design
Cake: Sweet Escape Cake Cafe & Bakery
Ceremony Vocalist: Sam Biasio
Reception Vocalist: Nancy Freeborn
DJ: 2tone Music Productions
Jazz Band & Pianist: Danny Johnson & Band
Cigar Bar: Thunder Cigar & Vape Shoppe
Grooms' & Groomsmen Attire: J.B. Evans Fashions & Footwear
Bridesmaids Attire: Irma's Bridal Boutique & Unveiled Bridal Boutique