How To Throw A Surprise Wedding - Darien and Myron - Point Farms Provincial Park, Goderich, Ontario

Darien is a fellow photographer and what we share is a love of observing and documenting the beauty found in the everyday moments of family life.

This shared passion is the reason we connected. Darien and I were planning a documentary style photo session of her family, including partner Myron and their two sweet children Jace and Nora, in their beautiful heritage home in Seaforth Ontario. I never imagined I was about to be asked to capture a spontaneous, unique and genuine expression of love and union.

We were chatting back and forth about the plans for the day, and just before we zeroed in on a date, I was surprised and delighted when she sent me a new proposition, "Hey, we were chatting last night and decided to get married! Can you photograph our wedding instead?" Of course, I was delighted and thrilled to reply, "absolutely!!" 

My excitement grew as she filled me in on the details! I learned they were not only planning an intimate, casual wedding in the woods, it was all going to be a surprise event for both their families. Darien and Myron; having been a loving couple for years, as well as parents to two beautiful children, decided that what they both wanted, was to "make it official" while sharing an occasion with close friends and family that remained true to their relaxed and offbeat personalities.

With all of that in mind, the couple had to ensure their family and friends would attend without giving the game away. The annual family camping trip on Myron's side of the family and their daughter Nora's first birthday became the perfect pretence for them to spring their impromptu nuptials. Aside from a small number of Myron's family (who were only told a proposal was coming), just four people were told of the real plan. Four people to bring it all together, and me. Being entrusted to be "in the know" is a very special feeling.

On the day, I was impressed by all the detail and effort carried out by a few dedicated and loving friends, who were clearly committed to making this special day and unique surprise go off beautifully.

The day had arrived. Camp was set up at Point Farms Provincial Park in Goderich, Family and friends had spent time together and everyone gathered to celebrate Nora's first birthday with gifts and a lovely little smash cake. Well loved family barbecue fare was plentiful thanks to a friend and chef at Mercer Hall. When it seemed that the day had concluded with a good meal and a good time had by all, Myron stood. He thanked everyone for coming of course, but he had another announcement; the party wasn't over, he and Darien were getting married - Right now!

Myron's father is a pastor who has performed the marriage ceremony for many of his children. He was surprised and thrilled to do the same for his son and his soon to be daughter-in law, gathered in the embrace of the trees and under the warm glow of twinkling lights and decorative torches.

To accompany them on their walk down the aisle, Myron's brother and brother in law (thankfully never caught without their guitars), played a very pretty rendition of "Book of Love" by Peter Gabriel. Darien's brother helped baby Nora fill her role as flower girl, carrying her down the aisle while their son Jace was the happy ring bearer. Myron's mother joined in the ceremony with a moving message of kindness and love, a blessing for them both.

Before the vows, Myron accompanied by his brother on guitar, serenaded his Bride, singing "I Wanna Grow Old With You", a sweet and touching Adam Sandler song from The Wedding Singer. An exchange of vows, rings and the seal of a romantic kiss was followed by a light hearted trip back down the aisle for hugs and high-fives with everyone who helped the newlyweds make it happen and the family and friends who made their day so special.

It was an absolute joy and privilege to document and be part of this amazing day of celebration, laughter, family and true love.

Congratulations Darien and Myron!


Food: Mercer Hall
Hair: Courtney Henry
Makeup: Loreen Sawatzky with Beauty by Preen

Wedding bands rose gold with rough cut amethyst and titanium
Blush wedding dress with off white lace overlay hanging in the window
Bridal party preparations with champaign and orange juice
Bridal preparation makeup artist applying rose lip stain
Bride being greeted by her dog out of black truck window
Family camp set up and preparations picnic tables and cars with family members and friends
Playing with a colourful parachute at family camp ground outside among the green trees
Picnic table set with mix and matched plates and votive candles in mason jars against backdrop of green trees and grass
Birthday celebration with pink and white balloons gifts family sitting on a blanket surrounded by family and friends sitting and standing and watching in a camp ground wooded setting
Baby girl dressed in pink being held in the air and smiling at her dad dressed in blue and wearing a green sun hat in front of green trees and a string of pink and white balloons
Family gathered around a BBQ meal while camping including salads, buns, hamburger and hotdogs and all the fixins.
Family and kids eating BBQ meal at long wood picnic table with green trees and wooded back ground
Five friends sitting at a picnic table eating BBQ and sharing a laugh
Baby in a pink dress and flowers in her hair being held by mom dressed in a white floral shirt and dad in a blue striped shirt is holding out a small blush frosted cake and baby is tasting the frosting
Baby girl in pink dress and white flowers in her hair with fingers and face covered in white icing sitting in the grass
Mom getting into wedding dress as little boy watches from behind in a tent
Bride getting into her wedding dress while bridesmaid helps fasten her back buttons
Bride brushing her teeth in a tent after getting into her wedding dress
Bridesmaid gathering white and purple wildflowers for the bride's bouquet
Bride and bridesmaids taking a selfie after getting into their dresses
Groom putting on his tie in the reflection of a car window while his groomsman looks on both in white shirts and black suspenders
Two men in hats sitting on a picnic table playing acoustic guitars
Groom sees bride as she is escorted down the asile by her dad
Groom wiping away tears of happiness after seeing his bride standing beside the minister and his two groomsmen
Happy bride and groom in front of their minister looking back at their family and friends with a smile
Groom looking at his soon to be wife and his daughter dressed in blush and pink
Groom serenading his wife while his brother plays guitar
Groom looking lovingly at his soon to be wife
Bride looking lovingly at her soon to be husband
Bride placing the ring on her husband's finger
First kiss between the bride and groom surrounded by candles, twinkly lights and green grass and trees
Bride and groom best man and bridesmaid sign the wedding registry licence on a picnic table
Bride in a blush and lace dress groom in beige pants brown vest and white shirt walk down the aisle surrounded by family friends trees and twinkly lights
Bride and groom giving high fives to their bridal party
father of the bride hugging the bride as the mother looks on crying
black and white photo of bride and groom hugging one another until the canopy of the trees