I met Armand in another life- in a life where I have not yet picked up a camera and where I was still teaching at a high school. I was never passionate about teaching, but unlike me, Armand is a very passionate teacher and incredibly good at his job. He’s like the teachers that you see in the movies. Like in Dead Poet’s society where the kids fall in love with their subject because their teacher goes above and beyond to teach them with a fire in his heart.
I remember one day he came waltzing into the staff room with a massive smile on his face. He plopped himself next to me and simply said: “I asked out a beautiful girl.” The rest feels like a blur of happiness and smiles until he plopped himself next to me once again a year later and said: “I’m going to ask that beautiful girl to marry me.”
And so he did.
After their engagement, Armand and Yoanelle asked me to be their wedding photographer. I was so thrilled! We met up one night for some burgers and discussed all things wedding. They mentioned that they would like to do an outdoor ceremony at night. I knew this was going to be a new experience for me in terms of lighting. Usually wedding ceremonies are during the day. However, I was more than up for the challenge and couldn’t wait to see what their summer celebration would have in store.
Finally the day of their wedding arrived. It was a hot summer’s day in December. The venue (Arotin Game Lodge) was the perfect backdrop of lush thorny trees and beautiful hills. It was the perfect escape from the city life. The reception area had candles and succulents in every direction. Splashes of white and orange where to be found in all areas of the wedding venue. Everything was beautifully decorated for Armand and Yoanelle’s big day.
We decided to do the couple shoot before the ceremony. Most couples shy away from this option but I would highly recommend doing a “first look.” (“First look” refers to the couple seeing each other before anyone else sees them. Usually before the wedding ceremony.) It was so intimate and beautiful to see these two marvel at each other and having a chance to be excited together before they tie the knot. It was such a fun shoot filled with tons of laughter and silliness.
As the sun set, everyone took their places for the ceremony. There was an excitement in the air as the guests made their way to their seats. The veranda had candlelight glowing everywhere.
Then it was time for Yoanelle to walk down the aisle. When Armand set eyes on his gorgeous bride tears came flowing down his face. “Wow,” he gasped. The ceremony was beautiful and heartfelt. They both kept sneaking a glimpse in each other’s direction smiling as big as their faces would allow them to smile. When the ceremony was done, the guests used sparklers instead of confetti. I was absolutely crazy about this idea! I love unique and quirky wedding ideas, and this was definitely a unique and quirky wedding idea. The guests loved it and hopped around playfully with the sparks flying about.
The reception was a beautifully intimate celebration. The guests had a blast and the conversations were filled with joy and laughter. When Armand got up to give a toast to his beautiful bride he was filled with emotion. He told everyone the story of how he fell in love with Yoanelle and he kept saying that he’s the luckiest guy in the world to have a woman as wonderful as her as his wife.
There is absolutely no doubt about it- Armand and Yoanelle are two pieces of the same puzzle. These two love each other with a blazing passion. They have only kind words for each other and buckets full of understanding and compassion towards each other. They are a fairytale that stepped out of the pages and came to life.
Thank you so much for making me part of your special day, lovelies- it was such a joy to capture all of these happy moments.