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Jennifer & Nathan’s Gastown Wedding

I had the privilege of shooting the beautiful wedding of Jenn & Nate last weekend in Vancouver. The day started out with the girls getting ready at the Delta Hotel. Jenn looked breathtaking in her lace mermaid gown. Jenn wore the prettiest Badgley Mischka shoes I’ve ever seen. There ceremony and reception venue were held at Steamworks. There wedding had a rustic/vintage feel to it and Gastown was the perfect location for their special day. The couple had such a fun group of friends and family that attended the wedding. Jenn & Nate thank you for allowing me to capture your wedding day. It will always be a special day I will never forget:)

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Dave Gibbs - Pics look great! Thanks Kim. Next stop our wedding! :)

Chris & Alex’s Sunshine Coast Wedding

I think every wedding I’ve shot this year has been “my favourite wedding”. Chris and Alex’s wedding on the Sunshine Coast is no exception. From the moment our boat caught sight of Thormanby Island I knew it was going to be an amazing day. The wedding and reception was held at Alex’s family cabin on the island. Her family has spent many special times there over the years and it made for the perfect wedding location.  It was possibly one of the warmest weekends of this year and I loved every minute of it. The warm summer breeze, bare feet in the sand and ice cold drinks made it feel like we were far away on a tropical island.

Alex and Chris are such warm hearted and fun people. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting all of their amazing family and friends. I think that they that should all get prizes for the some lot the sweetest speeches and best dance moves I ever seen. Chris and Alex added so many personal touches that made their day unique. This couple loves tequila and they sent all their guests home with mini bottles of Jose Cuervo.  From their DIY details to their personalized vows- the whole day was magical.

Chris and Alex- I can’t thank you enough for having me capture your wedding. It really was like a fairy tale.

A special thanks to my assistant photographer Jen. You are the best!!!

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Kelly Kennedy - Breathtaking and sincere………Kelly K.

Shelley Greenup - OH WOW!!!! Beautiful couple…looks like a fantastic wedding…FABULOUS pictures<3

Sarah Mulder - Kim! This wedding made me excited for next year!! Yay looks like fun!!

Jaymee Hall - Yes Yes Yes!
This is the wedding of my dreams.
The pastel, the sand, umm THE DOG!
I’m a total sucker for the little touches and of course beach weddings.
Congratulations Chris and Alex- Your wedding looks amazing, beautiful, perfect.
Words can’t describe how much I love these photos.
Kim these are gorgeous!

Jen & Albert- Granville Island Engagement Session

Hard work. Determination. Long Distance. Love. Smiles.

These are just a few of the things that make up Jen & Albert as a couple. I was delighted when I first met them at Granville Island for their Engagement Session. Their laughter is infectious. They’ve both been working really hard the past several years to become Doctors. Jen has been studying in Ireland and Albert has been studying in Vancouver. Jen finally finished overseas and is able to make the move back home to Canada. Together they will tie the knot next month in Toronto (Jen’s hometown).

When it comes to wardrobe choices for your engagement session- these two got it right. I absolutely loved both of their outfits. (Jen is wearing a lavender dress from Zara. How cute is it?!)

Thank you for having me capture your engagement session! I hope you have an amazing wedding.

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Melody Huang - 恭喜恭喜!幸福美滿的一對!

Tammy Han - 恭喜,有情人終成眷屬。願神與祂們

同行從今時直到永遠

Iris Hui-Kuang Wu -  真是神所為雙方預備的!最佳拍檔!

Di Don - 祝稫滿滿滿

Di Don - 好登對的一對佳偶,幸福他們,幸福美滿

Cathy Hsiu Chin Hsu - You both look great! What a great couple!

Shayna & Dario’s Wedding At Cecil Green Park House, Vancouver

Shayna & Dario were married last Saturday May 31st in Vancouver. I hate to pick favourites… but this wedding might just be at the top of my list for my most favourite wedding ever! I LOVE everything about this wedding. I hope you like looking at photos because there are a lot on this post today:)

Shayna & Dario chose the Cecil Green House in Vancouver for their wedding venue. The date started out at the Hyatt Hotel and the couple got ready in separate rooms with their bridal party. These two chose to do a “first look” and it melted my heart. The room was full of emotion and it was such a beautiful moment to witness. Following the first look the we took some photos in Gastown prior to heading to the venue. We were blessed with a warm sunny afternoon and it made for a lovely outdoor ceremony! They had so many loving family & friends attend the wedding. Throughout the day there was nothing but love all around. Their theme was vintage/old glamour feel and they pulled it off perfectly. I have so many favourite photos from this wedding I may just have to create a special gallery just for it.

Shayna & Dario-Thank you so much for having me capture your special day!

A special thank you to my assistant photographer Jen! You are amazing and I can’t thank you enough for being so fabulous.

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A special shout out to Candice Jones and her team for orchestrating a flawless day. You did a beautiful job and thank you very much for helping coordinate the family photos.

Vendors:

Wedding Planner & Decor: Candice Jones – A Day To Remember

DJ Service: Kevin Jones from A Day to Remember

Flowers: Garden Party Flowers

Cake: Harmony Cakes

Wedding Attire: The Bridal Gallery (Bride, Groom & Bridal Party)

Hair & Makeup: Tracey Le, Mink Makeup and Hair

Minister: Terrance O’Shea,  Young, Hip and Married

Invitations: Precious Invitations

Bagpiper: Miles Wilcott

 

 

 

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Renee McFadyen - Thank you so much for sharing these beautiful pictures. What a happy couple. Congrats to all!

Tomo Ivkovic - cestitam sve najbolje

Dalibor IValentina Covic - Cestitam od srca predivni ste :) Mlada je prelipa ti naravno isto pusa Tina :) Jos jednom zelim vam puno ljubavi zdravlja i puno radosti pozdrav od mene i mojih !!

admin - Thank you so much Sabrina <3

Sabrina Patrice - These are GORGEOUS. Love the black + white with the soft light, so pretty.

Natasha & Ryan’s Vancouver Engagement

After returning from Mexico I was really looking forward to meeting up with Natasha & Ryan for their engagement session in Vancouver. I will be photographing their upcoming wedding this summer and this was the perfect opportunity to get to spend some time with them before the big day. On an adorable scale of 1-10 these two are an 11! I’m so lucky to photograph such a sweet couple.

We met up in Coal Harbour and travelled through Stanley Park during their session. We got lucky with the weather and the dark storm clouds that surrounded us in the beginning just seemed to fade away. We ended our session at the beach. Thank you Natasha & Ryan for the lovely evening.

 

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Natasha Layne - We are so pleased with how our engagement photos turned out! Kim is so professional and made our shoot fun and memorable. We’re lucky to have found such a great photographer!

Carol Tan Morris - Beautiful and spectacular!

Kathy Morris Veitch - Lots of good pictures, Nice to be young and photogenic!

Tanja - Beautiful work Kim!!

Our Mexican Adventure

This is going to be a long post! I had been counting down the trip to Mexico for Jess & John’s wedding at The Grand Bahia Principe Tulum since last summer! I was delighted when they asked me to photograph their destination wedding in Tulum, Mexico. I had never been to the Caribbean side of Mexico before and traveling to new places is one of my favourite things to do! I don’t often write too many personal blog posts (although I know I should). I thought it might be kind of cool for everyone to read about our week in Tulum and see some behind the scenes photos from the wedding week. Most of these photos on this post are from our iphones. Nothing fancy. While I love photography, sometimes it’s more important to focus on “being in the moment” rather than lugging my gear around and taking the perfect photo.

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The plane landed after dark at the Cancun Airport on May 3rd. Our flight had been delayed 2 hours so arrived later than we originally expected. We went through customs, collected our bags and went outside in search of our shuttle bus to the hotel. The moment we stepped outside I was hit with that long lost familiar feeling of hot tropical air. It had been a few years since I’d felt that feeling. I knew it would probably still be nearly 30 degrees and humid so I happily changed into a sundress prior to stepping outside. Upon exiting the airport there were beer carts next to our shuttle bus. $12 USD for 2 Dos Equis Cervesas. Hugely overpriced for Mexico but well worth having a cold road beer for the drive down south. The drive from the Cancun Airport to Tulum is just over 100 km… Takes roughly 1 hour +20 min (depending on who’s driving and how fast they are going…). Once we arrived at the hotel we went in search of food. Luckily there was a 24 snack bar open near the beach at our resort. Chicken tacos it was. Then sleep.

Grand Bahia Principe Wedding Tulum, Kim James Photography

The first few days were spent relaxing at the resort. I definitely felt like we were enjoying a piece of heaven. We ate lots of delicious food. There is so much food at this resort! Even if you are picky there’s something for everyone. We really enjoyed walking around the resort, and of course lounged by the ocean & pools. We were surprised at how big the resort was. It was almost like a mini town. Prior to arriving we thought Grand Bahia Principe Tulum,  Grand Bahia Principe Akumal, and Grand Bahia Principe Coba were all separate resorts. They aren’t really. They are all joined and basically just used as different check in points/lobbies. Matt and I walked between all of the resorts a few times. It does take some time to do that though. Luckily they have these mini shuttles (long golf cart looking thingies) that shuttle between all of the lobbies. Many of the drivers will also drop you off wherever you need to stop. When you book at one of the resorts you have access to all of the facilities at the other resorts which is kind of cool (buffets, a la carte restaurants, discos, pools, etc…). There are lots of activities here. You could keep yourself busy all day long or choose to relax. This is a resort for people of all ages. We were very impressed by the staff. There are a lot of employees here and they work extremely hard to please the guests.  Whatever you need someone is usually on standby to serve you. It was a little disheartening to learn that the average worker here works for minimum wage. We were told that it’s slightly above $5 USD… A DAY. That’s a reality check for most of us. Tipping is technically included in your stay, but it would honestly be rude and unfair to not tip while you are here. These people work hard and deserve compensation. I believe there are just over 100 villas (each villa looks like a mini apartment and may have approx 18 units). The resort was completely full during our stay. I did the math and if each one had 2 guests staying in it there would be over 3600 guests at the resort. Many people travelled here with their families etc so it’s possible that there were even more people here. I really enjoyed this resort and my time here. I know my same experience was not shared by everyone travelling with the wedding group. However, I can only speak for myself. I think there is a lot of worry when people travel about getting sick. The best piece of advice I can give you is to wash your hands right before you eat or don’t use your hands (think about how many people touch those tongs/serving spoons at the buffet lol).

Tulum, Grand Bahia Principe Tulum, Grand Bahia Principe Wedding Tulum, Destination Wedding, Destination Wedding Photographer, Kim James Photographer, Mayan Rivera Wedding, Coba, Vancouver Wedding Photographer

Jess & John’s Wedding- Two of the nicest people out there and a dream wedding destination-what more could I ask for?! I felt so lucky to be able to see these two each day leading up to their wedding. In most cases I don’t get to see bride & grooms that often before their wedding. Having the ability to chat about details and wedding plans leading up to the wedding was awesome. One afternoon before the wedding I even had a chance to sit it the ocean with a drink and chat to Jess and her sisters. This never happens back home. (Future brides- If you want to meet me at the beach in Vancouver for a drink I will happily oblige;)). Jess & John invited me along to meet with their wedding planner in person. It was really great hearing the plans in person.  I wish every wedding could be like this one. The backdrop is so dreamy. I need to shoot more of these types of weddings. My husband Matt helped me out the entire day. This was Matt’s first full wedding with me. I will be forever grateful for him brining me water and carrying my bags. The heat was intense and I couldn’t really carry my own bag because I had a massive sunburn on my shoulders. I usually like to think of myself as the sunscreen queen. I’ve come to terms with the fact that SPF 30 just doesn’t cut it for me outside of Canada ;).  Below is  photo of their awesome group of family & friends that flew down for the wedding. It was a real treat getting to meet everyone! To see preview photos from their wedding visit this blog post: http://www.kim-james.com/2014/05/16/jessica-johns-wedding-at-grand-bahia-principe-tulum-mexico/

 

Tulum Destination Wedding, Grand Bahia Principe Destination wedding, Kim James Photography

A special thanks to Matt for snapping this photo of me with the whole bridal party below:)

Kim James Photography,Tulum Wedding, Grand Bahia Principe Tulum

Adventuring outside of the resort… I would consider myself a curious person and while I loved being at the resort I definitely wanted to explore the surrounding area. I didn’t really know much about Tulum. The city (more like one way street town) was located approx 30 minutes south of our resort. There weren’t really any excursions going there, but I still wanted to check it out. Our travel rep said if you are adventuous you can take a collectivo (Mexican bus/van that holds 12+people and stops along the side of the road every once in awhile. It only costs $3 USD so I thought why not? The price is right. Matt thought the whole idea was a bit sketchy, but he decided to go along with it. A few quick notes about the collectivo I discovered after taking it: There are no seat belts… and they drive really really fast. I don’t know if many tourists use this option…  We made it to Tulum and got off the bus. To my surprise it was not at all what I was expecting. I thought with so many tourist resorts it must be a cute little tourist town. I was wrong. It was nothing like the sparkling surroundings of Cabo San Lucas nor did it have many of the amenities of the nearby cities (Playa Del Carmen or Cancun). Hmmmm. I think we spent about 10 minutes there and then took the next collectivo out of there.

Tulum, Grand Bahia Principe Tulum, Grand Bahia Principe Wedding Tulum, Destination Wedding, Destination Wedding Photographer, Kim James Photographer, Mayan Rivera Wedding, Coba, Vancouver Wedding Photographer

Next stop the Tulum Ruins which was less than a 10 minute drive away. We arrived at the ruins and discovered we were in for a long walk. I read somewhere that round trip walking it’s 4km. Not sure if that’s accurate but it sure seemed like it. When you get off the bus you have to walk down a long road to get to the ticket place. We were meeting Jen a fellow photographer from Nanaimo and headed for the beach next to the ruins. From there you need to walk down another long road. In  the sweltering heat it’s quite the distance. Once you reach the beach it’s totally worth it. Turquoise waters and white powdery sand. Not to mention a view of the watch tower on top of the cliff. We had some cold drinks at a little beach side pub (thanks Jen!). After that Jen & I started photographing each other while my husband lounged by the beach! I am so happy to have made a new photography friend. Jen is such a lovely person and I hope to meet up with her again one day. How gorgeous is she!? and that beautiful flowing dress! Stay tuned next week for the preview of those photos on the blog:)

Tulum Ruins, Tulum Wedding, Grand Bahia Principe, Vancouver Island Wedding Photographer

 

Tulum, Grand Bahia Principe Tulum, Grand Bahia Principe Wedding Tulum, Destination Wedding, Destination Wedding Photographer, Kim James Photographer, Mayan Rivera Wedding, Coba, Vancouver Wedding Photographer

 

We spent our last full day on an excursion with Mayan Treasures Tour company. In the morning we headed to the Coba ruins. This is a huge archeological site. We had time to visit a few important parts. With that said it would have taken days to explore the whole place. We were lucky enough to have a Mayan guide (Juan). He was excellent. His family was originally from Coba and he told us that he played with his siblings on the steps of the Ixmoja Pyramid as a kid. Matt climbed to the top and I watched in the shade. We had already walked so far in the hot sun and I wasn’t feeling up to it. As part of our tour we had a lunch with traditionally cooked mayan chicken (coated with spices, wrapped in banana leafs and cooked in the ground). There were also some other yummy things such as rice, pasta, veggies, guacamole, salsa and a few special hot sauces.  After lunch we headed to a private Mayan Cenote (underground cave swimming hole). It was not open to the public which was nice. Only available through this tour company and all payments received go to that mayan village. It was really cool! The walk down the steps were a little scary. Once down there it was fine. The water was “cold” as far as mayan standards go, but it was incredibly refreshing, crystal clear and exactly what I needed after being out in the hot sun at Coba. Our last leg of the tour was to a Mayan Village. It was incredibly humbling to see how the Mayan people live. We visited 2 families and their homes. Each home consisted of a 1 room open air hut. Cement floor, thatched roof and hammocks to sleep in. I think both of the families we visited had about 10 people in their homes. I’m really not sure how they all manage to fit in there and sleep comfortably. We were told that girls are often married between the ages of 14-19 (to a boy who is the same age or 1-2 years older). We were told that in their culture if a women is not married by the age of 20 her life will almost be over (yikes. not sure what that means). In many families here it is common to have 9-10 children. They hope to have as much help in the corn fields as they can. They had some handmade goods for sale at their homes. We bought a couple things. We were told they use the money for milk & school supplies. I wish I would have known- I would have brought more cash along and perhaps some school supplies. I also noticed the children didn’t have any shoes. While on this trip I was reminded to focus on “what I have” rather than “what I don’t have”. Sometimes it’s easy to focus on what we don’t have, the things going wrong in our life, our failures etc. That’s just the opposite of what we should be doing. We are all leading very blessed lives and have a lot to be thankful for. With that said these families seemed very happy. They were growing a few fresh plants & herbs. They had lime trees, papaya & banana trees in their yard. They had a bunch of really cool animals roaming around. Dogs, Toucans, Squirrels, a Coati (long nosed racoon type creature) and even a little monkey. The monkey was probably my favourite. He was a real character and posed for a few photos from a distance. At the second home we visited the Mom of the family, Maria made handmade tortillas over the fire in her hut. Our guide said she was making an offering to our group to try them. It definitely felt wrong accepting food in this situation. They were proud to share their homemade specialty and you know what it tasted great (I don’t think it really gets more authentic than that).

Tulum, Grand Bahia Principe Tulum, Grand Bahia Principe Wedding Tulum, Destination Wedding, Destination Wedding Photographer, Kim James Photographer, Mayan Rivera Wedding, Coba, Vancouver Wedding Photographer

Tulum, Grand Bahia Principe Tulum, Grand Bahia Principe Wedding Tulum, Destination Wedding, Destination Wedding Photographer, Kim James Photographer, Mayan Rivera Wedding, Coba, Vancouver Wedding Photographer, tulum cenote

On our departure day Matt slept in. I’m more of the morning person in this relationship and I wanted to make the most of our last few hours. I decided to go have breakfast by myself. I sat quietly in the dining room eating. I was definitely going to miss the endless amounts of yummy food and me not having to cook any of it. I was going to miss the beach walks and the picturesque scenery. I could feel the warm ocean breeze as I reflected about the trip. As I looked around I noticed a mimosa bar. I had walked by it everyday and not noticed what it was. Darn! For future travellers- it’s located just past the main entrance of the main Tulum Buffet walkway to your right along the wall. It’s hard to believe this wonderful trip came and went so quickly. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about our Mexican Adventure! I probably could have written several more pages about our trip. I know I’m leaving out some stuff. If you have any questions about this resort, the wedding, the area or the excursion please feel free to leave a comment.

I will leave you with a few photos from The Tulum Ruins Beach. Jen was so sweet to grab a couple snaps of us before we left. Matt had been swimming right before we took these. So happy to have them. These were the only photos we had taken of us on the trip besides our best attempts taking photos of ourselves. Thanks Jen! You can check out Jen’s website here: http://www.jennifer-jayde.com

Tulum Wedding, Grand Bahia Principe Tulum, Tulum, Kim James Photography, Destination Wedding Photographer, Vancouver Wedding PhotographerTulum Wedding, Grand Bahia Principe Tulum, Tulum, Kim James Photography, Destination Wedding Photographer, Vancouver Wedding Photographer

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Sarah Mulder - so fun! Gad you got to have a little R&R beach time! Love the “husband day care” that’s so awesome!

admin - Thanks so much Jen!!! I really appreciate you taking the time to read all about the trip and thank you for all your sweet comments. It’s really cool that you visited the same place. I had a wonderful time and I’m so grateful for this experience. I’m really looking forward to meeting up again soon! We’ll have even more to chat about this time around! P.S-Totally had the same grilled chicked… Amazing!

Jessica Moors - ahhh I LOVE this!!

Jen - I’m so glad you had an amazing time in Mexico Kim and I’m happy you had the chance to relax in between a little work! The resort sounds absolutely amazing, it’s much bigger than the one that we stayed at in Playacar. I love how the three resorts were essentially joined together and those mini golf cart shuttles between the different lobbies sounds like so much fun! We stayed at the Rui Palace Riviera Maya and had full access to the other two Rui hotels in Playacar but there were a couple hotels between ours and those so it was a little bit of a walk, we went over to one of them one afternoon but our hotel was far more beautiful so we didn’t return. Mexico is so amazing for an all-inclusive vacation, the idea of not having to cook (or even really lift a finger) is so nice when you’re looking to relax. I loved reading about your day trip to Coba, I’m pretty sure we went on the exact same excursion! We visited the Mayan Village, toured around Coba, climbed the pyramid, had a delicious lunch of grilled chicken (probably the most amazing chicken I’ve ever eaten) and swam in a private cenote! I’m so happy you visited Tulum, it was something I really wanted to do, but was swayed by my brother-in-law who had visited the ruins on a previous trip and said they were boring and I should go on the excursion to Coba that he and my sister-in-law had organized instead. I still regret listening to him as I had researched and seen the beautiful scenery from Tulum prior to leaving for our trip. If we ever return to Playa del Carmen, they’re at the top of my list to visit! I can’t wait to see more photos of you and Matt, the teasers are so beautiful! It’s so nice to have a few photos of you two to frame!

xx jen

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