These two are so dear to my heart, so when they asked (and gave me the honour!) of photographing their wedding, I was jumping up and down saying, yes!
To create the perfect blend of traditional meets modern, a streamlined invitation suite, leather jackets, and fun sunglasses made the transition from St. Joseph’s Basilica to the smooth architectural lines of the Art Gallery of Alberta seamless. Tropical touches were added as we celebrated the warming weather of the Spring season, and with Ally & Pawel pulling some of Edmonton’s best together for their wedding, the music kept spinning and we danced all night long.
As featured in Wedding Bells Magazine
Allison is the third generation to slip into the heirloom dress she wore on her wedding day. Her mother and grandmother wore this dress for their own weddings, and the very personal touch was felt by everyone as all three women later posed for a family photo together.
After a few finishing touches and quick drink with the gents, Pawel stepped out for the first look with Allison.
Should you have a first look?
I love first looks because it’s a private moment you get to share together (even 5 minutes is perfect), and gives you time to pause and breathe it all in. Once the proceedings of the day start, all eyes are on you and with family and friends thrown into the mix, you may get pulled in many different directions.
Some couples who are more private with their affections might also favour first looks instead of seeing each other for the first time down the aisle, first looks can also serve as a grounding moment before heading into the fun and festivities of the day.
We chose downtown Edmonton as well as the church’s gorgeous courtyard for our photo locations as the tones and architecture helped transition the traditional elements of the church to the striking lines of the Art Gallery of Alberta.
The first look took place at the location of the downtown farmer’s market, as Allison & Pawel had went every Saturday morning when Allison previously lived in the apartments above the street it was held on. It also gave us the cool sunny morning in Brooklyn feeling that we were after.
To make things even more too cool for school (yes, I went there), the girls wore heart sunglasses (Allison’s say: LOVE), and slipped into fun leather jackets for some edge.
We popped into the Common, Allison and Pawel’s favourite spot to dance the weekend away for a quick drink and some photos with their bridal party before we were off to the reception.
Guests were greeted with the coolest DJ in town spinning tracks on the rooftop, a photo booth on the second floor of the art gallery, and personalised his-and-her cocktails to get the party started.
The wedding cake was made by Pawel’s sister, and the seating chart and menu was written in English and Polish; the Polish a nod to Pawel’s background and to welcome his family who had flown in from around the world for the event.
But the party didn’t really start until Allison & Pawel arrived, Pawel’s parents and guests greeting them at the front door with a “welcome bread and salt” ceremony, a Polish tradition. The bread signifying that they can never go hungry in their life together, and the salt to remind one of life’s difficulties. One shot glass was filled with water, the other vodka – and whomever got the vodka would be in charge of the relationship. As it turns out, they both got vodka.
With dancing, laughter, and vodka shots all around, Allison and Pawel were sent off with a sparkler exit and snuck out to the food truck providing midnight lunch before strolling down the block as newlyweds, the perfect way to end their night.
Ceremony venue: St. Joseph’s Basillica
Reception venue: Art Gallery of Alberta
Bridal gown: Vintage from the bride’s grandmother
Reception gown: Xscape from Hudson’s Bay
Bridesmaid gowns: Hudson’s Bay
Groom’s tux and groomsmen attire: Indochino and Simon’s
Hair and makeup: Mai Makeup
Florist: Nature by Design Floral Artistry
Caterer: Art Gallery of Alberta, Zinc Restaurant, and The Crooked Fork
Cake: Aleksandra Zygmunt
Stationery: Beetle and Lark
Custom coasters: GM Designs Co.
Favours: Black Diamond Distillery
Music: DJ Joses Martin
Officiant: Father Roger Niedzieki
Limousine: Platinum Limousine
Photobooth: Revolution Entertainment