Happy Valentine’s Day lovies! We’ve been hanging onto this editorial shoot for quite some time, waiting for the perfect occasion to share it with our online readers. Valentine’s couldn’t be a more perfect day to share Amina and Alex’s ten year anniversary shoot. Last Spring, Amina and Alex celebrated their ten year anniversary with their three beautiful children. We trekked the family of five out to the beautiful Town of Banff for some spectacular photos. Our team of vendors (full list below photos), created a stunning wedding setup atop Tunnel Mountain. If you tied the knot before the world of designers, blogs, instagram and pinterest – we hope this mountain anniversary shoot inspires you.
Kristilee and Sam met in high school but didn’t start dating until three years later, when they reconnected with a friend’s help. Sam’s romantic proposal took Kristilee on a journey of their relationship.
Sam planned a picnic date and had Kristilee guess the location–the park where he first told her he loved her. After dinner he asked her when their first date was. After a few wrong guesses, he produced the ticket from the improv show they went to. He had her turn around to guess what was for dessert, and when he started saying her full name Kristilee hugged him before he could finish asking the question. A hidden photographer caught their smiles and tears on camera.
The Big Day
Kristilee and Sam wanted their wedding to reflect their personalities: fun and relaxed. Kristilee handmade all of the decor with the help of friends and family, and the whole bridal party had a blast travelling in a school bus. To top things off, the couple treated guests to a sundae bar in lieu of a traditional cake.
Kristilee: “There were so many amazing, hilarious, fun and breath taking moments during are day. But my favourite one would have to be standing in front of all the people we love and care for and saying our personal vows to each other. There was a moment when we both just looked at each other and I whispered “Holy there is a lot of people here.” And there were, they were all there to support and cherish that very moment with us. It was an incredible moment.”
Sam: “After I picked my jaw up off the floor seeing Kristilee walk down the aisle, I looked at the crowd and there wasn’t a face in the crowd that wasn’t some mix of amazement and love. Kristilee is truly an amazing person and my favourite moment of the wedding was seeing her impact all 200+ people the same way she impacted me.”
Engagement Ring Cut
‘You are the Best Thing – Ray Lamontagne
“Do what you want, don’t get caught up with what other people are telling you. Stay off of Pinterest, as much as you want to check out all those beautiful weddings it is not realistic with everyones location/budget/etc. Travel with your bridal party – the drive on the school bus with our bridal parties was one of the top moments for us. And for all you brides out there remember – if your dress isn’t dirty, you didn’t have enough fun. Be fearless in your dress; climb fences, run through horse pastures, sit on gravel roads, you have one day to wear your dress so make the most of it.”
Looking Forward to Most Now Being Married
The newlyweds look forward to settling into their home, traveling the world and eventually having a family.
Sparks flew the first time Renee and Devon met. Living only a couple of blocks from each other, destiny couldn’t help but have their two paths connect. Devon is known for his magnetic personality and he captured Renee’s heart through his wit and humour.
Devon surprised Renee to a secret weekend destination for their anniversary. His one hint: “It’s a place where we’ve been but never been before.” The answer: Seattle! During a romantic dinner at the Fairmont, Devon asked the server to take the couple’s photo. Renee remembers that a string trio was playing “Moonriver” in the background, a song from one of her favourite movies. After the first photo snapped, Renee noticed Devon shifted so she did a fun new pose for the camera too. Only after the server squealed in delight and started snapping away did Renee notice that Devon had gotten down to one knee and was asking her to marry him. Through her tears of joy and shaky hands from all of the commotion, Renee said yes. The newly engaged couple then had a stroll through the rainy streets of Seattle just living in the moment before calling home to all their friends and family to share the news.
The Big Day
Renee and Devon knew they wanted to get married outdoors to fit with their small-town souls. They needed a location that had a back-up option for bad weather. Low and behold they came across the Cochrane Ranchehouse which offered the outdoor and indoor options along with a beautiful mountain backdrop.
The couple spent a great deal of thought into designing their big day so that was memorable and fun for everyone who could attend. The theme of the wedding was earthy-romantic with coral, ivories and moss greens. As the bridesmaids ranged from 5’2 to 6’ tall, each had a unique dress to compliment the girls and added a personal touch to their individuality.
The couple’s first dance was choreographed ballroom to Boyce Avenue’s acoustic cover of Rhianna’s “We Found Love”. The dance lessons leading up to the wedding were likely more fun to Renee than Devon, but they never thought they could pull off a Foxtrot.
They also had a kids’ play area with balloons, crafts and activities to keep the little ones entertained.
Guest brought home mini-succulents which were grown in their backyard by the bride, and planted in mismatched crystal glasses and tea cups purchased at FIND, a second-hand store where proceeds go towards helping Edmonton’s homeless community.
The bridal party and family stayed at the The Crossing at Ghost River where they hosted their rehearsal dinner and day-after barbeque.
Renee: “I was really nervous about the weather, we drove through a hail storm on the way to the ceremony. When we arrived, there was a pocket of blue sky. A clap of thunder sealed the exact moment of our first kiss – it was perfect.”
Devon: “Everything about our wedding was about creating memories – there were so many great ones that it’s hard to just pick one. My favourite part of the wedding was when the doors opened and I saw Renee walk down the aisle. I also loved how our wedding allowed having close friends and family together.”
Engagement Ring Cut
‘We Found Love’ – Rihanna (Boyce Avenue Cover)
“Like everyone says, the day goes by so fast that you barely get to experience it with the person you’re sharing it with. We chose to do first look photos, and although this isn’t for everyone, those quiet moments we spent together before joining the rest of our friends and family were so special to us. It was like a bubble of time that was free from stress and so much excitement for what was still to come.
If you’re planning a mini-destination wedding go and experience the city for yourselves months in advance. You’ll find all sorts of authentic vendors (we found our guitarist at a local coffee house) and unique locations for rehearsal dinners.”
Looking Forward to Most Now Being Married
“Not having the stress of wedding planning. That, and looking forward to growing old together while starting new memories that will be a part of our life story.”
Sharon and Justin met over ten years ago at the golf shop where they both worked. She worked in the clothing department and he was in shoes. After working together for over a year Justin and his friends decided to take off and travel the world. It wasn’t until he returned a year later that the two became more than co-workers, they finally went on a date and three months later Justin was convinced that they were dating.
The proposal was 8.5 years in the making, and well worth the wait according to Sharon. It was the day before her 30th birthday, they went out shopping and had a quick bite to eat at a local burger joint. Sharon was convinced that her 30th would go by without a proposal. She had told Justin that she wanted to be engaged by 30. She was certain that it wouldn’t happen, so admittedly, she was a bit grumpy following dinner. They drove home in separate cars and arrived on the driveway at the same time. She walked in to the house first and heard music playing, then noticed rose petals leading down the hallway. Justin had managed to find a wine bottle from one of Sharon’s favourite vineyards with “Say Yes” engraved all around it. There were roses and a sign made up that read “Sharon, Will You Say Yes?” and the ring of course. There had been plenty of opportunities where Justin could have planned a romantic proposal but none would have surprised Sharon as much the one in their own home. She shares, “It was absolutely perfect!”
The Big Day
Sharon has always dreamed of having her wedding at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald. The regal building in Edmonton really captured the feeling she wanted on their wedding day. It was the first venue they looked at and the last! The minute Sharon walked in to the Wedgwood room, she knew they had to make it work. Shopping at Kleinfeld Bridal for a wedding dress is on nearly every girls dream list, Sharon was lucky to have all of her bridesmaids travel to New York to find the dress she’d wed in. The couple worked together and planned every detail of the wedding from the flowers to the place cards. Justin won big points for being a supportive and involved groom. Sharon and Justin had several family members travel from Scotland and England to be present for their special day. The highlight of the day was to have her 86 year old Grandma travel so far to witness her last grandchild get married!
Sharon: “I would have to say that the moment those doors opened for me to walk down the aisle would have to be my favourite! Seeing my best friend waiting for me at the end, looking so handsome, and knowing that we were finally going to say our vows to each other was a great feeling, along with all our family and friends that had traveled from all over to be there witness it, really meant the world to me.”
Justin: “The whole day was amazing, but my favourite part of the wedding was the last song and dance. We had asked the DJ to play Mumford & Sons (Our favourite band) – Little Lion Man to cap off the night, all our remaining guests filled the dance floor in a huge circle with us in the middle, it really was the perfect ending to a day filled with love and support from our family and friends.”
Engagement Ring Cut
Ray Lamontagne – “You are the Best Thing”
Father-Daughter & Mother-Son Dance(s)
Van Morrison – “Tupelo Honey”
“Enjoy planning it! Try not to get to caught up in the little things, you will be the only one who knows that those little things didn’t turn out quite as you wanted. If it’s in the budget get someone to help you pull the day together, having a day of coordinator was the best thing for our peace of mind. All the details were executed just as we had envisioned and there was no stress, no need to enlist family members to help set up details either, they were also able to come and just enjoy!”
Looking Forward to Most Now Being Married
“We have lived together for over 6 years, so it isn’t much of a change in our daily lives. It’s a bit cliché but finally being able to call each other husband and wife is the biggest change we are looking forward to. It still feels weird when we say it.”
Camping in East Africa
With a portfolio that boasts best-selling books, work for high-profile clients, and frequent television appearances, it is more than likely that at one time or another, you have encountered Preston Bailey’s immaculate work. It is hard to imagine that the first ten years of his career as a floral designer were spent working out of his one bedroom New York apartment. Years later, Preston Bailey Designs would come to occupy three floors of a building in New York City where Blush was invited to shoot our Fall|Winter 2012 cover in collaboration with Preston and his team. Although his work has been shared on the covers of several international publications, his work with Blush is the first cover that Preston has done with a Canadian magazine.
While it has taken some time to establish and develop a relationship between Preston and Blush, everything seemed to change drastically, over one weekend. We had introduced ourselves much earlier, had visited the studio and e-mailed, but it was only upon meeting in person that our future would be determined. A special guest at the Edmonton Bridal Expo, Preston also launched his most recent book, Flowers, in Edmonton. At the end of his trip to Edmonton, Preston extended an invitation to our editor-in-chief to work together; an invitation that she graciously accepted. Speaking in reference to Blush, Preston shares that when he saw the magazine, he said “‘oh my god this is beautiful’ and being the subtle person that I am, I said ‘why don’t we do a cover?’”
Like many in the wedding and event industry, Blush is amongst the many admirers of the awe-inspiring work of Preston Bailey. His opulent designs and intricate floral mastery inspire brides and the event industry alike, so to be granted an opportunity of this magnitude was completely unexpected. We wanted to share the news with everyone that Preston Bailey, The Preston Bailey, had invited us to work with him on the most elaborate cover and photo shoot Blush has ever done, but we waited until we were finally in New York. As a result, this was Blush’s best kept secret.
We are excited that Alberta’s brides and grooms will be introduced to the remarkable work of Preston Bailey, through his collaboration with Blush. With six months of careful planning, we shot our cover at Preston’s New York studio at the beginning of April. We travelled across the continent to meet the final members of our New York based team, a team that we had only met over the telephone and e-mail.
The day before the shoot, we were invited to visit the workroom where preparations were underway. Buckets were filled with the 435 beautiful stems that were flown in from California and transported from New York’s floral district the day before. The finest blooms of peony, hydrangea, roses, calla lilies, stock, and poppies were used on the two headpieces and cascading bouquet designed specifically for our cover. It is hard to believe that the pieces were designed on set, without so much as a sketch. With a floral designer and an accompanying assistant, it took approximately ten hours to assemble the headpiece alone. When asked how long it typically takes to design something like this, Preston responded saying: “you know the time, it’s interesting. People always ask how long it takes to design something. It doesn’t matter, because it’s fun and seeing it come to life, it’s such a pleasure.”
There’s something very Rio de Janeiro about this design. Inspired by Pantone’s colour of the year, tangerine, we wanted to incorporate the sophisticated, yet playful colour. Traditionally an autumnal hue, the seductive colour suited our overall inspiration for the cover of this special edition. Adhering to the exotic nature of our colour palette, Preston designed a headpiece reminiscent of something adorned by Carmen Miranda. We paired Preston’s exquisite floral design with the “One & Only” gown from designer Reem Acra’s Royals line; the chic ruffled skirt, another touch of Rio. The texture of the various flowers used, the layers of the bridal gown on the surface of the white wall and old hardwood floors combined to create increased depth in the photograph. This was our first destination shoot, and quite possibly the most prestigious first shoot that we could have ever hoped for. I may be biased, but I don’t think that this shoot could have been more perfect!