Fairmont Banff Springs Shotgun Wedding

Fairmont Banff Springs Shotgun Wedding

This wedding was recently featured by Calgary Bride magazine.  You can read the article here: http://www.calgarybride.ca/ins…

Donna & Matt’s Fairmont Banff Springs Wedding.

Weddings are exciting events in and of themselves, but Donna & Matt had an even bigger surprise planned for their family than just getting married!

When Donna and Matt contacted us about being the photographers for their wedding at the Fairmont Banff Springs, they had a catch that made the job simply irresistible.  At some point during the day, they were going to announce to their unsuspecting guests that they are expecting a baby.   They wanted the announcement to be captured on film and were looking for ideas to make the event unforgettable. Wow.

The next couple of weeks were spent emailing ideas and Pinterest pictures back and forth with Donna until a suitable plan took form.   The announcement would be made during the family portraits. I would pull out a sign that Donna had made, hand it over to her and take the picture.  Then I’d read the sign and catch everyone’s reaction to the news. Simple. Sweet. Effective.

All Donna had to do was keep her secret a secret, which proved easier said than done as 4 weeks of morning sickness threatened to sabotage the plan, not to mention make Donna’s wedding experience uncomfortable. Oh yes…there was also the gown to consider…she had to fit into it!  Another challenge, as her baby pooch began to show.

Donna was convinced that someone in the family was going to catch on, but took comfort in the notion that no one in their right mind would ask a bride if she were pregnant!  Matt and I agreed. At the worst, I told her, they will assume planning the wedding was stressful and that she had been hitting the Tim Bits too hard.

The wedding day was soon upon us and Donna had managed to keep her secret.  The dress was a teensy bit tight, but whose isn’t?

It turned out to be a beautiful day.  The ceremony was held in the Angus Room at the Fairmont Banff Springs.  I love the Angus Room as it is charming and intimate.( I love every room in the FBS.  It’s my favorite place in the world. And not just because I got married there myself, although that does help.)  

Matt and his family spent most of the morning building —from scratch!—a wedding trellis for Donna based on an image she had seen on Pinterest.  (Now that is a devoted and handy groom if I’ve ever seen one.  You chose well, Donna!)

By the hour appointed for the ceremony to start, the room had been transformed.  The wedding arch was completed, decorated and all power saws and drills had been replaced with flowers and paraphernalia significant to the soon-to-be married couple.  

Donna & Matt met in their first year of Biochemistry where we created a study group together. There were old fashioned microscopes, complete with the thin rectangular glass slides and flasks that brought me straight back to my high school chemistry class, to commemorate the connection to the roots of their romance along with old-world globes to signify their love of travel.  It all felt very turn-of-the-century National Geographic Society.

The music was provided by Lynae Dufresne and company from the Calgary folk band, Pear, who graced us with lively Celtic inspired duets played on the bass cello and violin.

Alberta marriage commissioner, Rick Kunelius, freshly tanned from his time in Mexico and looking dapper as usual, officiated the ceremony.  His rugged, western, old-school charm fit right in with the 18th-century exploration theme.

After the ceremony, we took advantage of Matt’s lovely wedding arch by using it as the backdrop for some family portraits.   A hot chocolate reception awaited the guests, while the Angus Room transformed once again into an exquisite dining room fit for a queen.  (I do believe that this was the very room in which King George VI and Queen Elizabeth dined while visiting the Banff Springs Hotel in the 1930’s.) 

Warmed and energized by the nuptials and sugar, everyone reconvened on the Rundle Lounge balcony for more family portraits and Donna & Matt’s big announcement was revealed!

After heartfelt congratulations, hugs, some teasing and much laughter, we stole the newlyweds away for our portrait tour.  

Matt & Donna, it was an honor to be your photographers on your wedding day.  Thank you for making us co-conspirators in your secret and trusting us with capturing your family’s reactions to your fabulous news.  It was a day I’ll never forget!  Now you can for hit those Timbits hard for real and make a yummy, sweet baby.  We are looking forward to hearing more good news.


Troy & Shirleen Burnett

No wedding happens without a lot of skilled help!  A big thank you and shout of recognition to the team of vendors who made this wedding day so special:

Emilie D’Amours, Conference & Wedding Services Manager at the Fairmont Banff Springs. ( bshweddings@fairmont.com) Not only does Emilie have the most romantic name in the history of names, but she was instrumental in keeping everything on target and even found the time during her busy schedule to hold lights for me in a pinch.  Thank You, Emilie!

Rick Kunelius, Alberta marriage commissioner, https://kunelius.com/  ph. #1-403-762-3852.  It is always a pleasure to work with Rick.  He is truly one of Banff’s gems!  If you want to contact Rick, you’ll have to call him. 

Linda Sahoo, Professional make-up artist, http://www.lindajsahoo.com/linsahoo@gmail.com  I can’t say enough good things about Linda.  She uses a special foundation that looks amazing in high definition video & photography. Her brides always look glamorous and radiant which I why I love working with her and recommend her so highly.  Her talent and quality make-up make my job so much easier!

Lilies & Lace Beauty Co. http://www.liliesandlace.ca/, hello@liliesandlac, A fabulous Canmore based mobile hair styling and make-up company.  I don’t know how these gals manage to do what they do, but they do it wonderfully and in less time than it would take me to brush my hair! Can’t recommend them enough!

Lynae Dufresne and company from the Calgary folk band, Pear.
Cathy at Chintz and Co. in Calgary. http://chintz.com/,  Donna’s lovely bouquet and floral arrangements.
The Bragging Bride in Calgary, http://thebraggingbride.ca/, thebraggingbride@yahoo.ca, suppliers of that gorgeous bridal gown.