Hilary & Jordan
epic seaside west coast sunshine coast rockwater resort wedding
Photography: El Dunfield Photography
Video: Kord & Co.
Venue/Caterer: Rockwater Secret Cove Resort
Coordinator: Katherine MacLeod Smit
Officiant: Brenda Mesaros
Florals: Ann-Lynn Flowers
Decor: Bespoke Decor
Stationary: Madison Higginbotham
Wedding Sign: Brooke Higginbotham
DJ: Denise Woodley (DJ Little D)
Bridal Gown: & For Love
Bride's earrings: Christie Nicolaides
Bride's shoes: Alohas
Rings: Junior Fox
Groom's Suit: Made to Measure Bespoke Suits
It's finally here!!
I am legit obsessed with this whole day and everyone in it!!!
After being put through the absolute ringer with a venue falling through on them after months of being strung along, Hilary and Jordan finally secured a date (June 11, 2022) and a Sunshine Coast venue (Rockwater Secret Cove Resort). The both of them residing currently in Toronto for their graduate studies, the original plan was for us to get together sometime in the spring on one of their planned pre-wedding trips to the coast. As time drew short, though, they requested that their connection session be used as a day-before session before their rehearsal BBQ which Jordan's parents, who live in Gibsons, were hosting. You can see the adorable sun-soaked pics here!
It's hard to even know where to start with this truly epic day..... At the beginning, I suppose!
My day started bright and early, still clad in my cozy morning sweatpants and hoodie, I hustled over to the resort from my airbnb to document the couple and their best (and bravest) friends taking a pre-wedding ocean dip! The sun peeked out just in time to warm everyone up post-chill, and I headed back to the airbnb to prep for the big event.... and down a few cups of coffee.
Lunchtime found me back at the resort starting off with Hilary's getting ready photos in a cozy little yurt along the rocky bluff on the south side of the resort, while my 2nd shooter Kathryn got started shortly after with the boys in one of the north-side cabins. Hilary is blessed not only with a huge group of friends (I'm serious- FOURTEEN honorary bridesmaids in total!), but they are also a talented bunch who completely took care of her gorgeous, natural, perfect-for-a-seaside-wedding loose waves and subtle make-up. The videographer, Emery, who was an absolute GEM to work with all day and makes the most GORGEOUS wedding videos, arrived as I was setting up detail shots while Hilary had her hair done.
What started as a small group of gals quickly grew to all 14 of her floral-clad ladies (OBSESSED with the multicolour floral dresses- so incredibly fresh and chic!!), plus her, plus Emery and I, crammed in the yurt! We ushered the girls out to the adjacent deck while Hilary got into her dress and brought her out for the SWEETEST first look reaction I think I've ever seen. Like.... seriously, where can I find friends like that?! Hilary looked like an absolute vision in her backless modern And For Love linen gown paired with statement Christie Nicolaides earrings, quirky-cool split-heeled Alohas sandals, a bright multicoloured bouquet from Ann-Lynn Flowers, and her something borrowed- her unique nude floor-length veil, from a friend previously married earlier this year.
After a photo-heavy walk along the scenic boardwalk while trying to avoid Hilary being seen by errant guests from below brought us all the way down to the main building. A quick check-in with our awesome day-of-coordinator Kat (another rockstar vendor!) and Jordan, and it was go-time for the beautiful ocean-front lawn ceremony. Jordan had a totally heart-melting reaction to seeing Hilary for the first time coming down the aisle, and as soon as we got going the happy tears from all sides were flowing non-stop, especially during their beautifully written personalised vows. I definitely got choked up myself! It was a beautiful ceremony expertly steered by their officiant Brenda Mesaros. Vows recited, "I do's" said, rings on, glass stomped, first kiss kissed, the newlyweds were showered with fresh flower petals as they passed by their emotional friends and family back down the aisle.
We played a little fast & loose with the timeline figuring out the photos, so once all the papers were signed (one of their witnesses turned out to be a guy I went to elementary school with in Calgary- smallest world ever!) we went straight into family photos so the kids could be released to run wild ASAP. After, the portrait session which we flew through in order to get Hilary and Jordan where they wanted to be the most: mingling with their guests. You'd never know we got through them in about 20 minutes for how lovely they turned out!
As the ceremony site turned over for the reception, couple & guests gathered on the upper deck of the resort's main building for drinks and congratulations, and the start of the speeches. Then it was down to the sun-bathed reception to dance a very boisterous hora, and getting settled in for dinner and more speeches!
YOU GUYS. THE SPEECHES. I have never heard so many speeches! Such lengthy speeches! Yet such amazingly enjoyable speeches! Every one seemed to one-up the last- tears were shed, laughs were shared, ad infinitum, and continued all the way through the reception and 3-course dinner catered by the incredible in-house resort staff. Honestly the speeches were more like comedy routines than normal wedding speeches- the entire vendor team was marvelling at the effort and time that clearly went into each one, and the guests were absolutely loving it!
As the night wound down, Hilary & Jordan slipped away for some last sunset shots with Emery and I before giving their final speech and heading straight to the dance-floor for their first dance, joined quickly after by all their guests who were eager to make the most of the time left til DJ Denise Woodley had to shut it down per the resort's rules! Tuckered out but glowing from the most amazing day spent with these amazing people, I left them to tear up a rug or two!
Truly, I'll never forget this one and I wish I could go back and experience it all over again! Thank you SO much Hilary and Jordan for having me, and I hope we'll see each other again!