When Rhea first contacted me and told me that she was getting married at the John M.S. Lecky UBC Boathouse I got SO excited!! I got married at UBC boathouse and I know how insanely beautiful it is. I have always wanted to go back for some type of event as a photographer or otherwise. The venue was definitely on my wedding photography bucket list and so I was pumped.
I was really excited but also very nervous about this wedding, I got ready super early and triple checked all my equipment. Shooting at this venue almost felt like performing in front of one of your idols. That sounds so bizarre, but I really have fond feelings about this place!!
The day started off with some suspicious weather. It had been pouring the night so I wasn't sure what to expect. I know Rhea and Ben really wanted to have an outdoor ceremony so I was really hoping the day would stay dry. Thankfully, it was cloudly but bright for the rest of the day, which was wonderful as we were able to shoot anywhere.
Spoiler Alert: Ben and Rhea LOVE craft beer and specifically Twin Sails Brewing .We actually did their engagement shoot there. It was a hopping good time (see what I did there?)!!
At that shoot Ben suggested I try Dat Juice Citra Pale Ale and it has since become one of my top faves! So, I wasn't surprised to see some of that amazing Port Moody ale present when I arrived at the guys' hotel room.
Ben had some really nice beer glasses engraved for his groomsmen and they enjoyed a drink while getting ready. Actually in complete transparency, they were totally ready when I arrived and I told them to get dressed again, haha! If I had a dollar for every time I have told a group of guys to get undressed well then.... you get the idea. Moving on... this is super common, I think the guys are pretty excited so they are usually ready pretty early.
Ben and Rhea both gave each other very thoughtful gifts on the day of their wedding. Rhea gave Ben (who is a hockey player) a hockey stick tie clip and cuff links with a photo of his dad who passed away and couldn't be present. I really love it when couples really take the time to add these meaningful details. It is so sweet!
At one point someone in the group made the joke "Now is your chance if you wanna take off!!" to which Ben responded - very seriously - "I would never!" oh man, Rhea got a good one!
The girls were getting ready in the same hotel, although it felt like a different city because holy cow! It took forever to schlep myself over to their side of the hotel. Once I got there everything was moving along very smoothly, the mood was great! We got some really cute photos on the bed with the girls and Rhea put her incredibly beautiful dress on which she got from Everything But The Groom (the same place my wife got her dress!). Rhea used her grandmother's mirror from when she was a little girl to get ready, another super cool detail.
Getting married is the beginning of your future with your spouse which is wonderful, but it is also really nice to see couples who acknowledge the past and where they came from as many generations of people getting married and having children has lead to this moment.
Ben also gave Rhea a gift to open after she got ready. She chose to open it, while her grandmother open her gift from Rhea. It was a really nice moment for them.
No surprise here but Ben's gift was also super thoughtful and sweet. Rhea's mom passed away from cancer a few years before the wedding, it happened much faster than anyone thought it would. Rhea and her mom were very close, and her mom was very much present on the day. Ben got her a tie for her bouquet with her mom's photo on it (I'm not crying! You're crying!!").
Rhea's mom was always present through all the sunflowers in Rhea's bouquet as well as in the venue. The beautiful flowers were created by Postmark Flowers. They did a fantastic job!
Once we got into the Limo, Rhea was iced! If you don't know what being "iced" is, it is when a Smirnoff Ice is hidden and when someone finds it they must immediately drink the entire thing! This was obviously not her first icing, she handled it like a champ!
And we were off!!
Ben walked down the aisle to One by Metallica and Rhea walked down to A Tale as Old as Time from Beauty and the Beast. It was so flippin' beautiful!! It's a little tough to ensure you're focusing your camera properly when you're getting misty eye'd, but I managed to pull through.
The UBC Boathouse is such a great venue right on the water. You can get married on the dock, or inside the reception area which is full of light and really doesn't need much decoration. It is along a flight path so occasionally a plane will go past, which can be noisy, but if you have a microphone then you'll be fine.
We didn't have to go far for the portrait photos, we literally just walked up the path a few minutes away from the venue and got some wonderful photos, then we headed back to the dock for a few more and it was time for the reception to begin!
Rhea and Ben have a wonderful group of friends and family members who told great stories about them. One part that stood out to me, and had everyone in the room crying, was Ben recounting the honour he had telling Rhea's mom that he vowed to always take care of Rhea. Anyone who meets Ben will know that he will never let her down.
The food was delicious and their cake topper was really cute. The cake was made by a friend of theirs and she did a really good job!
The first dance was the hit of the night. No one knew that Rhea and Ben had planned a choreographed dance after they did their first slow dance. The room exploded with cheers of excitement when the music changed and the couple busted out their moves!