Back in January Leslie reached out to me about capturing their backyard wedding and I was super excited. I had never met Mack or Leslie, but we came from the same town and siblings knew each other etc. so I knew this would not only be a fun wedding, but that they were my kind of people.
L + M started the planning process before reaching out to me and had been searching for the perfect venue. Everything they looked at, wasn't what they wanted, then Mack's Dad came to the rescue.
"We wanted to get married on the Sweet property because we love it there! Mack grew up there and his dad built that house so it was pretty special to get married there. We were looking around at different venues for a while (always saying the Sweet house was the dream), and we weren't finding anything we liked when one day Mack's dad offered to have the wedding there, which was kind of perfect!"
Planning a backyard wedding is not for everyone and can really test your organizational and planning skills, but L + M knocked it out of the park!
"Our advice for planning a backyard wedding is to be prepared for details! A lot of planning goes into a backyard wedding and once we got some of the big things out of the way (tent, caterer, bathrooms) we thought it would be smooth sailing from there, but a lot of last minute things we didn't think of came up in the weeks before the wedding. We had a lot of great help from our friends and family though, which is something we recommend, call in those favours! Haha"
L + M and I had exchanged a few emails leading up to the wedding day in regards to the day of schedule and shot list, but not much beyond that. When I arrived on the day of, Leslie informed me of something they had been going through, something I never expected to hear.
Three months before the wedding, Mack was diagnosed with Leukemia. L + M had been tossed a curve ball and their lives instantly changed.
"Mack had to be hospitalized for 30 days in a hospital in London, which is about three hours away from where we live, since there were no beds available closer to home. At first we didn't know if the wedding would still happen, and in a way it seemed like the last thing on our minds. All of our focus just shifted to getting Mack through this. The doctors told us that Mack might not be feeling the greatest, but that the wedding would be something for us to look forward to once he got out of the hospital. Which was true, it was nice having something to look forward to and visualize together. Since we were pretty far from home I did quite a bit of wedding planning from my hotel room in London, I even sent out my invites from there"
You never know what life has in store for you and to those of you who are planning a wedding, and may being going through something similar, Leslie has some advice for you.
"To anybody going through something similar...stay positive. It's unfortunate that it takes something like this to put things in perspective, but it really does. Your wedding is your day to have fun and celebrate and not worry! It's really hard not to, but don't sweat the small stuff! The small things that don't turn out or that were overlooked don't matter at the end of the day. It's not exactly ideal to plan a wedding while going through something difficult in life, but it can and does work out. And, as for Mack, he's been busy kicking cancers ass and is doing great"
I am so incredibly honoured to of been able to work with Leslie and Mack and to of captured such true emotion and candid love. We laughed together, cried together and these two will forever inspire me to push through anything life throws my way.
Flowers: Tottenham Foodland
Mack's ring: Madani, Richmond Hill
Dress: Sash and Bustle in Toronto, by Theia Couture.
Caterer: Little Red Catering co., Newmarket
Bartenders: A Great Mix, Barrie
Bridesmaids dresses: Dessy, from best for bride in Barrie.