We had a wonderful opportunity to photograph this glorious 1000 Islands wedding last August and are honestly finding it really difficult to express in words how beautiful, elegant, and joyous it really was. If you’ve only experienced the 1000 Islands in salad-dressing form, we highly recommend that you plan a summer visit to this breezy, historic stretch along the St. Lawrence River that straddles the border between the province of Ontario, Canada, and New York State. Our bride, Micah, and her family have owned their estate for several generations (since 1906) where it served as a jewel on the river, hosting many a black-tie affair including harvest-moon parties where the sound of live music and revelry would echo off the river into the air of night. In the tradition of these parties, Micah and her beau, Joe, made the (presumably) easy choice of having their wedding here. It’s easy to see why. With ample room to host, supported by family heirlooms and exquisite decor, all this wedding needed – beyond the ever-present joy that permeated the day, along with family and friends – was the full harvest-moon to complete the scene (yes, they had that, too).
This 1000 Islands wedding had so many visual treats to photograph, it was almost overwhelming deciding what to point our cameras at. Once we pulled ourselves together and started really ‘looking’, we began seeing all the historically-significant pieces that were preserved throughout their home. Our favourite details to photograph are ones that are sentimental; Micah being driven to the ceremony in the very same car her father drove her home from the hospital in as a newborn. Wearing her grandmothers’ precious cocktail ring as her ‘something-blue’. How the moon rose just above the clouds during their first dance to “Moon River“. Or their wedding cake – baked by her father. Or all the honeybee elements (on her stepfather’s vest and pins family members wore – a family emblem). The details on wedding days should (ideally) play a real supporting cast, reminding you of the love you’re surrounded by, the love you’ll share for many years to come, and the love that will begin a new branch of your family tree.
Details are wonderful and can make photographs that much more interesting, but they’re not the focus of the day, of course. The images that we love taking the most are those of the expressions on faces of the bride and groom, the smiles and tears of their families and friends, and the body language that supports them. Those moments and emotions were abundant at this 1000 Islands wedding, too, and provided us with a visual gift on a day where the real focus was love.
We truly loved this couple, this wedding, and the lasting-feeling it left us with. We hope the photos make you feel the same way.
To see a few more favourite intimate weddings, check out Kallen + Tom’s at home tent wedding in northern Quebec, Holly and Stephen’s Chateau Laurier wedding and Rita and Denis’ downtown Los Angeles Wedding.
1000 ISLANDS WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY Joel + Justyna GOWN Pronovias via Kleinfelds DJ Captiv Sounds SHOES Manolo Blahnik