Votre photographe et guide de mariage intime
Today, I have the honor to share with you one of the most touching wedding stories of my summer. It is Anne-Marie and Frédérick’s intimate adventure wedding surrounded by their close family at the bottom of the mountains of the Gaspesie National Park.
Their wedding proposal at the Gaspesie National Park
For them, being with their family in this majestic park of the SÉPAQ is not unusual. For many years now, they have been road-tripping with their three children from their home in the suburbs of Montreal to stay in the little cabins in the heart of Gaspesie National Park in Quebec.
What makes this place even more special for them is that last year, after almost 20 years together, they got engaged in this same national park they love so much.
Anne-Marie and Frédérick recall that they had just returned from a long hike with the kids to the top of the popular Mont-Abert. They were sitting by the fire at the cabin and Frédérick had secretly asked his children to help him propose by asking them to pretend they had found something in the forest.
“They had only been in the forest a few seconds when I heard my youngest say, “MOM! I FOUND A TREASURE! Then I saw my three children running back with a smile on their faces and with what I thought was a small box. At that very moment, I wasn’t sure what was happening, but I could feel the excitement around me! And when Fred got down on one knee and I realized what was happening. The words he said to me at that moment are not too clear in my memory (the emotions…), but one thing is for sure: I said yes! “Anne-Marie
And it is for this reason that they decided to return to Gaspesie National Park, exactly one year later, this time to celebrate their wedding.
The importance of an intimate wedding
Anne-Marie and Frederick never really recognized themselves in the concept of a big wedding. They wanted to find a way to have a wedding day 100% dedicated to them, while still including their close family members who are an essential part of their story as a couple.
They didn’t want to make their wedding a big show and feel obligated to invite people just as a courtesy. For them, the concept of a big wedding was synonymous with over-consumption, which was not at all in line with their values.
They stumbled upon my website one night and knew right away that the idea of an intimate wedding was 100% right for them. However, they had absolutely no idea where to start to bring the vision for their big day to life.
Our collaboration together to help them plan the intimate wedding day of their dreams
In the few months that we had the opportunity to work together, I was able to guide Anne-Marie and Frédérick through all the steps of planning their dream intimate wedding in Quebec. From deciding on an easily accessible ceremony location that could accommodate all of their guests, to finding the necessary vendors, to creating their wedding schedule with them so that they could enjoy their day in the national park without feeling rushed.
In other words, I am so happy to finally be able to share with you the result of dozens of hours of dedicated planning and collaboration with them.
« We are SO glad we hired Mirona to help us plan and document our intimate wedding! Mirona was an indispensable guide and the precious ally we needed to live our wedding day fully and peacefully by focusing on the essentials. »Anne-Marie & Frédérick
Getting ready before their ceremony at the Gîte du Mont-Albert
Their wedding day started early in the morning as the whole family got ready in the tiny cabin they had rented at the Gîte du Mont-Albert.
When I got there, Frédérick was helping his youngest get dressed for the ceremony.
Not long after, the guys hid in one of the bedrooms and the girls went downstairs to the living room to finish putting on their dresses. Anne-Marie had her daughter by her side to help her tie her wedding dress. Such a heartfelt mother-daughter moment. For the final touch, Anne-Marie put on her white hiking boots, perfect for their nature wedding.
In addition to documenting their last moments getting ready at the cabin, the bride and groom decided to do a family first look when everyone was dressed and ready for the ceremony.
What is a first look?
This is the time when the couple (if they wish) see each other in their wedding attire before the ceremony. Traditionally they only see each other in the aisle at the beginning of their ceremony. However, it is also possible to deconstruct this tradition so that the couple takes a moment just before the ceremony to see each other alone before everything begins. Having a first look is definitely not mandatory and the nearly weds always have the last word, but generally doing one allows them to be so much more relaxed before their ceremony, allows them to refocus on what is important, and makes the logistics of their day a bit more simple.
For the occasion, Anne-Marie and Frédérick decided to do a family first look in front of their cabin.
It was very important to them that their children be an important part of their wedding experience. This day was as much a celebration of their 20 years together as it was a tribute to their family with whom they had the privilege to live all these beautiful memories.
3,2,1…all together, the children and the couple, saw each other for the first time in their wedding attire. The children were as happy as their parents and were so grateful to share this magical moment with them. After all, it is certainly not all kids that have the chance to attend their parent’s wedding, an honor that is well deserved.
After a few group hugs, I left the Gîte du Mont-Albert with the couple to head deep into the woods to their ceremony location. Even though it was an intimate wedding, and their family was really important, they still wanted to leave the cabin alone without the kids and their guests to go to their ceremony location and enjoy some one-on-one time before their wedding.
Intimate wedding ceremony in Gaspesie National Park
Soon, we arrived at the beginning of the hike to their ceremony location. After a busy morning of getting ready at the cabin and making sure we didn’t forget anything, it was so nice to see Anne-Marie and Frédérick finally relax and enjoy this last hike together before their wedding.
When we arrived at their ceremony location, it was still early in the day so we had this stunning location all to ourselves.
Shortly after, the couple’s parents and their close family along with their children arrived at their ceremony location.
Since Anne-Marie and Frédérick opted for a legal ceremony in the heart of the forest of the Gaspésie National Park, far from the big cities, the idea of having one of their guests as the day-of-celebrant for their wedding ceremony was perfectly suited to their situation. It was the father of the bride who had the responsibility and the privilege of officiating their wedding ceremony on the side of the lake at the foot of the gigantic Chic-Chocs mountains. Indeed, in Quebec, it is possible to designate a close relative or guest as your wedding officiant.
Apart from their celebrant, each of the guests had the opportunity to give a heartfelt speech during the ceremony. It was particularly moving when it was their children’s turn. Then it was Frédérick’s turn to read his wishes, followed by Anne-Marie. It was so touching to see the love they have shared for 20 years.
By the time they finished reading their wedding vows, everyone was crying, children, couple, and family all together! After the exchange of rings and the announcement that they were now husband and wife, the whole family celebrated together.
Not long after the end of the ceremony, the guests already had a first surprise for the newlyweds. Their oldest son had brought his guitar with him to the lake to sing a song for them. With the guests, he had planned to sing a modified version of the song “On va s’aimer encore” by Vincent Vallières. “Vous vous aimerez encore” could be heard in the middle of the national park. Music is an important part of their time together as a family, so this was the best gift the couple could receive to celebrate the beginning of their newlywed life.
Anne-Marie and Frédérick then opened a bottle of champagne to kick off their intimate wedding celebration. After a great time with their guests on the lakeshore, they headed to the parking lot.
However, the guests had one more surprise for them. As they left their ceremony location, the guests stood in lines to shower the couple with soap bubbles and celebrate their wedding in a fun and eco-friendly way.
The importance of respecting the Leave No Trace principles on an intimate wedding day
The usual paper confetti may be fine in front of a church or in a reception hall, but choosing to have an intimate wedding in the middle of a protected natural area such as a SÉPAQ national park is also committing to following the Leave No Trace principles. Respecting these principles during your intimate wedding helps protect the local nature and wildlife while keeping these beautiful natural spaces open to the public.
Lunch at the Gîte du Mont-Albert
Back at their cabin, the couple had lunches prepared by the Gîte du Mont-Albert and hosted a small family picnic.
During dinner, the children shared handmade cards and drawings they had created for Anne-Marie and Frédérick. At the end of lunch, the bride and groom headed with their two oldest children to their tiny cabin to sign their marriage license, as their children were also their legal witnesses.
Wedding photos by the sea at Cap-Chat in Gaspésie
Later in the afternoon, after their well-deserved nap, I joined the newlyweds for a short romantic getaway by the sea in the town of Cap-Chat in Gaspésie.
We took advantage of the large cliffs, the views of the St. Lawrence River, and the wind turbines to take some intimate couple photos. Anne-Marie and Frédérick were so relaxed and grateful for the beautiful day they had just experienced together. A day to celebrate their intimate wedding, yes, but more importantly to celebrate their relationship in a way that is truly their own.
” Our wedding would never have been as perfect (and we would never have been as relaxed!) without her collaboration and her essential presence at every step! Thank you Mirona for making the trip to the Parc de la Gaspésie! Thank god you were there! We were more than satisfied, you went far beyond our expectations! “Anne-Marie & Frédérick
Gastronomic dinner at the Gîte du Mont-Albert
Back at the Gîte du Mont-Albert, the newlyweds and their guests went inside the large dining room of the gîte to share a gourmet and local meal together.
Evening around the fire
As night fell and the moon and stars gave us a magnificent show, the whole family went to the side of the campfire at their cabin. Frédérick took out his guitar and everyone started to sing together.
It was, for them, the most beautiful way to end this dream day. An intimate wedding that truly FELT like them alongside their close family. Anne-Marie and Frédérick couldn’t have asked for a better way to celebrate the beginning of their new married life.
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The suppliers who worked on their intimate wedding:
Intimate wedding photographer and guide – Mirona Photographie