Wedding at Cecil Green Park House Vancouver

bride and groom on balcony overlooking ocean

My first wedding at Cecil Green Park House in Vancouver was a treat.  I’d never been there, let alone photograph there. Keen on producing great images for this couple, I thought it best to visit the venue a few weeks before their wedding date.
Cecil Green Park House is located on the grounds of the University of British Columbia. My biggest worry was drive time in Vancouver traffic on a Saturday. The ceremony was to take place at Queen Elizabeth Park, so I started there. I walked the grounds and found a few locations to shoot formals. The stone stairs were going to be a feature – wait until you see Issy coming down those stairs. I picture it in my mind as though it was in an old Italian movie.
Form Queen Elizabeth Park, I drove to Cecil Green Park House and took note of the time it took to make the drive. It’s always good to know travel times on a wedding day. Scouting a location has huge benefits; the most important being the efficient use of time. I don’t want to monopolize my couples’ time doing photos when they should be enjoying the company of their friends. I think we spent a total of twenty minutes doing photos once we arrived at Cecil Green. At the ens of the day, I felt pretty good about the entire wedding.
I will admit, I still get a bit nervous when delivering images to a couple for the first time. I know we are the most critical of ourselves, so even if I love the images, I secretly wait for the day a bride will be unhappy with her wedding photos. Thankfully that hasn’t happened yet. In fact, rather the opposite seems to be the norm. While there is such a thing as wedding industry awards (which I find kind of surreal) I win every time I receive a letter or Thank You card from a couple, letting me know how happy they are. You can read for yourself, what Issy had to say here. No award is greater than that of a bride’s happiness – period.bride inspects her wedding gownA bride is helped into her wedding dress by her mother and emotional mother with her daughter in wedding dressbride putting on errings in mirrora man showering and shavinga groom in a tuxedo black and whiteWell-dressed men in suits B&Wbest man adjust grooms bowtieMother walks aisle with bride daughterMother gives away bride to groomgroom gets instructions from ministergroom takes the hand of his bridebride and groom exchange ringsceremony overGroup photo of bride with her maidslaughing brideBride posing like a modelA couple sharing a kiss under a treebride descending a stone stairway in a gardenbride hugs her groomromantic kiss on a garden pathCecil Green Park HouseCecil Green Park House GardensBride on stone stepsGroom lifting his brideBlack and white photo of groom kissing brideCouple at Cecil Green Park House gardens at sunsetBride leads her man by the handBride and groom on balcony of Cecil Green Park House.bride and groom cut their cake.speech by bride and groom.Silouette of bride kissing her husband at sunset.Groom dipping his bride during dance.

Vanessa and Tony married at historic Casa Loma castle in Toronto

Casa Loma Castle in Toronto OntarioVanessa and Anthony say “I do” at Casa Loma in Toronto. This wedding reminds me of a Disney animated movie. A princess finds her prince charming in a foreign land, brings him back home and they marry in a castle. To top it off, she was frozen in her elegant backless wedding gown.
I first met Vanessa at her sister, Natalie’s wedding in Kelowna, BC. Natalie married Dan at Summerhill Winery. You can check out their wedding gallery here. That was a few years ago now; I can’t believe how much time flies. It was sure nice to see Natalie, Dan and their families again. I felt less like a hired professional, and more like an old friend.

The first time I met Anthony was in New York during their engagement session. Ever since Vanessa asked me to come to New York, I had been dreaming of all these epic photos I was going to create. Of course, nothing goes according to plan. Nevertheless, the three of us were able to create some awesome photos. Check out their Engagement gallery. I think it’s pretty cool.On this trip, I was lucky enough to have the extremely talented, Ragi Labib with me. Ragi is an amazing photographer in his own right, and he brought with him a creative eye that is refreshing, and yet familiar. I love how we work so well together. See some of Ragi’s work on his website.
Ragi has the benefit of being married to one of Kelowna’s premiere makeup artists – Saara Labib. Saara didn’t do Vanessa’s makeup, but she did do Natalie’s makeup at her wedding in Kelowna, a few years ago. Small world. Saara has her own website as well. If you ever need a team effort, these two are the perfect pins boutonniere on son

Wedding at Caldwell Heritage Farm

Caldwell Heritage Farm has to be my favourite location for a wedding in all the Okanagan. This beautiful property is a labour of love for Kritsi and James Caldwell, who not only tend to the cows and chickens, but also run a relatively new wedding venue during the summer months.
In addition, Kristi and James have ventured into the specialty liquid art form that is craft brewing. They hope to turn their craft beer into more than a serious hobby in the next few years. I can’t wait.If you’re one of the lucky few who actually have a yard these days, you will no doubt spend a lot of time and work to keep a yard maintained. Attend a wedding at Caldwell Heritage Farm and you might begin to appreciate the level of effort it takes to look after this beautiful property. James and Kristi work tirelessly when it comes to every-day chores, but they turn things up all the way when hosting a wedding. As a photographer, I sure appreciate their efforts. On top of their admirable work ethic, they are two of the kindest people you will ever meet. This shack used to be a utility shed in the past. Once Kristi and James started hosting weddings, Kristi saw potential in the little shack. She sought the help of Kelowna wedding decorator, Yuriko Larson of Vintage Origami to design and furnish the interior of the shack. The idea was to allow a bride and her bride’s maids a beautiful place to prepare and stage before a ceremony. I love this little shack. Yuriko did an amazing job. Way to go, Kristi, for having a great vision.guests gather for wedding ceremonyGroom watches his bride come down the aislebride and father exchange loving glancesfather hugs bride good byebride puts ring on groomthe kiss at wedding ceremony

Another Happy Couple

Another happy couple express their gratitude in a way that warms my heart. Awards are cool, and being published in a wedding magazine goes a long way as far as street cred goes. But it’s the sincere words of someone who took the time to express their appreciation for the work. Nothing compares to that.
I had the honour of photographing Issy and Patrick’s wedding in Vancouver this past September. I’ll be posting their images in a feature blog soon, but for now, here is what they had to say about their experience.

“While looking for a wedding photographer we came across Neil Slattery, we were immediately blown away by what we saw and didn’t hesitate to hire Neil as our photographer. It was one of the best decisions we made, only second to saying I do! Neil went above and beyond, he traveled (with Ragi, the amazing second photographer) from Kelowna to Vancouver the day before the wedding and spent much of that day touring our venues in order to plan the perfect shots and to ensure that the day ran as smoothly as possible. On the big day Neil arrived bright and early to begin shooting, he tirelessly worked throughout the day and well into the evening, following the specifics that I had requested, but also giving his (much appreciated) advice. The final product was nothing short of jaw dropping. The photographs that Neil took looked as though they were out of a gorgeous bridal magazine, Neil was able to capture every special moment of the day without being intrusive. The photos were even more magical than I had pictured in my mind. I plan to hire Neil again for all future events, as will everyone that attended my wedding. Neil made my dream wedding a reality, and I wholeheartedly recommend him to anyone who would like the most important moments of their lives captured in the most exquisite way possible. Thank you so much Neil!!”

The plated dinner is the killer of great photo opportunities

A groom lifts his bride to allow the sun to kiss her cheek.

The plated dinner is the killer of great photo opportunities. I recently had the pleasure of photographing a wedding reception at Cecil Green Park House in Vancouver. It was mid September, and though rain was predicted (and very probable) it turned out to be a beautiful day. The light was amazing, and allowed me to capture this awesome shot of Issy and Patrick. The problem, all too often it seems, is that this light – the best light of the day – happens to coincide with the dinner hour. Consequently, many couples miss out on amazing images. Think carefully – is it going to be chicken or beef, or epic photos? Thankfully, this couple put their wedding photos above their chicken dinner.

Issy was on the ball when she booked with me more than a year ahead of her wedding. Since I had never been to Cecil Green Park House before, I wanted to see what the grounds would look like at the same time of year. Fortunately I was able to visit the property on the very same day as her future wedding day. I found that the best time for those epic shots was right between 5:30 PM and 6:00 PM. This, of course, was when Issy was planning on having dinner served. Thankfully, Issy and Patrick put their wedding photos above the food on their list of priorities. In order to stress the importance of these types of photos, I call this time of day, “The Epic – Once in a Lifetime – Romantic – Canvas-worthy Photo Session,” or the “Buffet” time.