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Makoto & Joel

intimate alternative bloedel conservatory wedding


Easily one of the best parts of my job is having the opportunity to work with my own friends and loved ones. I met both these two weirdos separately by getting tattooed by them (Joel—the owner of Black Medicine Tattoo—first, and then Makoto, who works at Gastown Tattoo Parlour). During my first tattoo with Makoto (a flash day at Black Medicine), they were talking about the guy the vacation they went on with their boyfriend, and I asked if I knew him. They said, 'His name is Joel! He owns this place!' Mind blown! 

Since then I've become good buds with the two of them and I was super honoured when they asked if I would photograph their small intimate wedding. We started the day with a celebratory dim sum stuff-your-face-til-you-feel-gross feast at Jade Dynasty with the couple and all their family and friends who had helped with the planning/set-up. Then it was two doors down to their eclectic loft apartment in Chinatown to get ready (check out the amazing details!) and off to Queen Elizabeth Park. We started with our portraits while guests slowly arrived and waited for Bloedel Conservatory to close to the public. 

The ceremony was officiated by a family member of Joel's who did an amazing job being engaging, heartfelt, and inclusive. All around us were the happy sounds of the resident birds, including some extremely loud parrots who would make a huge racket in response to the guests laughing. There were some hilarious moments of needing to stop the ceremony for a minute while the birds calmed down enough to continue!

After the ceremony it was time for a few speeches, then back to Makoto & Joel's place which had been beautifully decorated and packed with yummy food (including a gorgeous and super delicious cake made by one of Makoto's besties!) and an open bar next door which had been converted from tattoo-space to a karaoke bar! We sang and danced and partied til the sun came up the next morning! This one was definitely one for the books.

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