The last wedding of summer 2015 was extra special as it was one where my friend from high school finally wed the love of her life. Kat and Ray's love story began as a tale of two besties who their friends had already deemed a couple long before they made it official. When Ray finally popped the question over 8 years later, their long time friends couldn't be happier! Kat and Ray are both incredibly easy-going, fun and genuine people who definitely earned the loyalty of many friends. Their special late August wedding was a collective effort of dozens and dozens of pairs of hands who tirelessly, but enthusiastically made it a day to remember.
Earlier in the summer, we brought Kat and Ray to Granville Island for their pre-wedding video shoot that would later be played at their reception. Their laughter was just infectious and it was so easy to capture those genuine moments as just looking at each other gave them the giggles. You know it's a good time when the bride calls a "Time out!" so that she could finish laughing. They gave our stomachs a good workout from all the laughing!
In the early August morning at the tail end of summer, the LoveBug team arrived at Kat and Ray's place where the preparation action was already in full swing. All was calm and dandy on Ray's side at the laneway house, while the bridesmaids prepared for the multitude of obstacles that would test the groom and groomsmen's perserverance. Being from a Chinese background ourselves, we've seen our share of fun door games, but none compare to the cutest one that we saw at Kat and Ray's. You may recall from Edward and Helen's blog about Yue Lao, a deity whose sole mission is to connect the fate of two lovers by knotting their red strings. Kat's bridesmaids played up this old folktale by adding a few modern twists. Ray was presented with a galore of red strings and he had to successfully locate the one that was tied to the finger of his new bride (who awaited upstairs in her bedroom). Of course, as fate would have it, love doesn't always come so easily. Ray found himself with several questionable garments at the end of those strings until he finally found his bride! Alas, Kat emerged in her stunning beaded and delicately threaded 2 piece qua (Chinese wedding gown) as Ray led her downstairs. The tea ceremony that followed afterwards was a sight to behold as Kathleen is an only child and the jewel of her family. The smiles on her families' faces could not be replicated.
The afternoon took us to the rustic London Heritage Farm in Richmond, where dozens of friends busily set up the adorable refreshment tables and ceremony. It was a gorgeous and hot sunny Saturday with feathery clouds. We often catch grooms breathing sighs of nervousness as they anticipate for the arrival of their brides. Ray was unlike the others as he was very calm and collected at the front of the altar. He had a look of certainty and confidence, and you could tell there was no doubt in his mind he was destined to be with Kat. Guests were graciously entertained by a prelude of adorable flower girls and ring bearers, each bearing pieces of advice for the groom. When Kat and her father finally stepped out, all eyes were immediately fixated on the beautiful bride in her elegant and romantic lace ballgown. Friends and families alike only had the sweetest and most sincere well wishes in their eyes as they witnessed the exchanges of vows.
Both Kat and Ray value their family and friends to a high degree, so it was extremely important that everyone enjoyed themselves. Ray, being a true enthusiast for craft beer, made sure that the best of the best brewed gems from around town were available on hand. It was truly a celebration for the young and old alike, from little toddlers racing across the dance floor, groups of friends taking turns serenading the couple, and finally dozens of clinging glasses and hugs.
Lots of adorable personal touches surfaced throughout the day to remind us of the genuine and playful nature of the couple. Ray's favourite animal (penguin) and Kat's unwavering love for Mickey Mouse influenced touches from the treats to the center pieces. What stood out to us was to witness firsthand the strong and supportive network of friends that Kat and Ray have gained for themselves. As mentioned before, Kat and Ray consider their friends an extension of their family. I remember when we first started looking at scheduling their pre-wedding shoot, Kat's schedule was very full with volunteer work and also with special times set aside to help her close friends. You could see that Kat and Ray wholeheartedly give to those around them, which was why their special day was a true indication of not only the impact that they have made on each other, but the mark they have made in the lives around them.
Congratulations, Kat and Ray! It was simply amazing to witness your special day!