Weddings at the Esterel Resort and Spa are a wonderful way to invite guests to enjoy a country wedding not far from Montreal. This resort is only about 1.5 hrs from downtown Montreal.These are photos from Casey and Wayne’s wedding last August. Casey got ready in one of the beautiful and modern suites overlooking the lake with her bridesmaids and her two beautiful daughters. (There is even a little private beach outside each of these hotel suites.)The plan was for the bride to drive around the lake and board a pontoon belonging to a family friend. The pontoon was to take her across the lake where she would disembark at the site of the outdoor ceremony and walk directly down the aisle. But things don’t always go as planned…
The bride did drive around the lake. We took some beautiful photos in the gardens of a friend of the family on the way to the dock where she did board the pontoon – glass of champagne in hand. Everything was going as planned.
But as we began to cross the lake, the sky began to darken and the wind started picking up. The boat began to hit the high waves and bounce around. At one point, I even put the camera down in order to help shield the bride and close the flaps of the pontoon.The wind was whipping into the boat. The rain was coming down in buckets and seemed to be coming at us horizontally. Everyone was laughing at the extreme turn in the weather and there were three umbrellas protecting the bride as we approached the wedding site.
In the meantime, guests were ushered very quickly into an indoor location for the ceremony.
To Casey’s credit, she was laughing the whole time. It was an impossibly ridiculous turn of events. The sun had been shining only 10 minutes earlier. To her credit, it only made the day more memorable and I have the photos to prove it! As a photographer, I love this documentary side of weddings. I love documenting the day in a beautiful way to create the memories that couples will have forever, especially the unpredictable moments.Once the pontoon was close to the beach, friends rushed outside to help carry the bride into her suite at the Esterel Resort.
After the very personal and moving ceremony, guests were invited to cocktails (inside) while the bride and groom slipped away to have a few minutes alone and do a few photos by the dock. If you don’t want to spend a lot of time away from your guests, your photos can be done in as little as 10 minutes.
The reception room was beautifully decorated with a wall of windows overlooking the lake. In the evening, guests were invited to step out onto a large wrap-around deck connected to the reception hall where they could have a drink outside in the beautiful clear night air (as the rain had stopped shortly after the ceremony).This was one of the most memorable and fun weddings I’ve ever photographed. A fantastic couple with great friends and family. The bride and groom even thought to have an ice-cream stand for the kids to make their own Ice-cream sundays.
This is the lesson: you can’t control everything, especially not the weather, so just enjoy it!
Tips for an Outdoor Ceremony and Potential Rain Plan:
- If you are planning an outdoor ceremony, always make sure to have a back-up plan in case of rain.
- Rain is beautiful in photos and makes for a memorable wedding day!
- Remember that people are there for you and don’t care about the weather.
- Be sure to ask if your photographer brings umbrellas. My trunk is always packed with white golf umbrellas – because you never know… Weather forcasts can only get you so far…
- The bride should plan to have a shawl or something to keep warm in case the weather changes as well as a pair of shoes that can get wet. It can easily be removed for photos. It will make the photo session more enjoyable.