Jessica + Peter: Under The Big Top

I only have eyes for you

I only have eyes for you

I realized I posted a sneak peek of Jessica and Peter’s spectacular carnival-themed wedding at the end of August, but hadn’t posted the link to their preview album, so here it is! (Best viewed as a full-screen slideshow, or view the smaller slideshow at the bottom of this post, which I’ve limited to 100 images so this post will actually load!)

Jessica and Peter’s wedding had such incredible details that it took three photographers to try and capture it all. I had a second-shooter, Don, and a third photographer, Q, who was there to learn. Between us there were seven (!) strobes firing at the Gladstone Hotel, but I’m proud to say I was the one who nailed the bouquet toss! It was no ordinary bouquet, it was made of gumballs and lottery tickets — hence the wild grab and what appears to be an almost wardrobe malfunction… you can spot Don in the crowd and Q’s flash fired off at the back at precisely the moment I clicked the shutter.

Lucky Bouquet: gumballs and lottery tickets!

Lucky Bouquet: gumballs and lottery tickets!

Tower Suite, Gladstone Hotel

Tower Suite, Gladstone Hotel

The day started off at the Tower Suite in the Gladstone Hotel, which is my new favourite hotel room. It’s a full suite on two levels, the bedroom at the top of the stairs with a 360-degree view of the city and amazing light for photography. The only thing missing is a door that unlocks and lets us out onto the roof! Oh well, can’t have everything.

lower level of the Tower Suite

lower level of the Tower Suite

the shoes, aka "toe killers" (photo by Don)

the shoes, aka “toe killers” (photo by Don)

Tower Suite, Gladstone Hotel

Tower Suite, Gladstone Hotel

From the Gladstone Hotel half of the wedding party plus kids, Don, and I took a short bus trip up to the CNE by the Dufferin Gate to meet the rest of the wedding party, surprising the entire bus.

all aboard the wedding bus!

all aboard the wedding bus!

At the Canadian National Exhibition, Jessica drew some attention in her tea-length dress, especially from a Maclean‘s photographer who followed them around for a while and took their photo. It was the busiest day of the fair, hot and sunny, but we managed to get in a train ride, cotton candy, corn dogs, some beach time, a photo on a fire truck, carnival prizes, hula hoops, and some water-gun games:

shoot-out

shoot-out

The Ex

The Ex

The Canadian National Exhibition

The Canadian National Exhibition

It was back to the Gladstone Hotel for a break before the guests arrived, which is what we all needed — Jessica changed and got her hair touched up at the salon while Peter did his sound check with the band, Don got detail shots in the ballroom, and I took a shower and changed! What a luxury! I never have time to take a shower in the middle of a wedding, but after shooting for hours in the blazing sun I felt like a million bucks after a shower and a change of clothes.

Jessica and Peter chose to have a strolling reception, which encourages people to mingle. I’m all for a strolling reception — it’s like having a cocktail hour last all evening but with their ceremony in the middle of it. Oh, and a magician.

I have to say, their officiant was hilarious — it was only his fourth wedding! — and after seeing these ceremony photos, you probably wonder what on earth is going on… Peter’s wiping his brow, Jessica is giving an OK sign, and her sister is covering up her face with their bouquets. (Ask me about it sometime.)

one of the funniest ceremonies I've ever witnessed

one of the funniest ceremonies I’ve ever witnessed

this photo needs some audio

this photo needs some audio

registry signings can look dramatic with the right light

registry signings can look dramatic with the right light

The decorating committee is a very creative bunch!

the wedding rings are in this shot, if you look closely

the wedding rings are in this shot, if you look closely

45s! (photo by Don)

45s! (photo by Don)

props for the photo booth (photo by Don)

props for the photo booth (photo by Don)

even Lego people get married (photo by Don)

even Lego people get married (photo by Don Kwan)

Jessica’s mother made the photobooth backdrop herself, which was simply amazing!

The Greatest Show On Earth

The Greatest Show On Earth

Peter’s band Reaganomics, which included his best man, played the earlier set of ’80s covers and his pals The Swillingtones of Windsor played a late night set.

Reaganomics

Reaganomics

Peter played the drums but he also sang, at which point Jessica’s mother was so stunned she turned to me and said, “I didn’t know Peter sang!!” It was cute.

Peter, doing double-duty as Vocalist and Groom (photo by Q)

Peter, doing double-duty as Vocalist and Groom (photo by Q)

The Swillingtones, from Windsor

The Swillingtones, from Windsor

Aaron Stanton of The Swillingtones

Aaron Stanton of The Swillingtones

As weddings go, this one was a real treat: full of eye-candy, full of sweet moments, and chock full of ACTUAL candy — lots and lots of it! I couldn’t stop eating the cheesecake pops (cheesecake on a stick), and Don couldn’t stop eating all the other food that was rolled out during the reception. We were all terribly sad when it was over…

Jessica and Peter, we wish you all the happiness in the whole wide world, and thank you for letting us take part in The Greatest Show On Earth! :)

Click on the slideshow below to view the set as thumbnails:

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the shoes, aka "toe killers"

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Jessica + Peter

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Gail at Large
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Gail at Large

Canadian freelance photographer on 4th expat adventure. Previously: USA, Scotland, and Australia. Portugal became home in late 2013.

Blogging daily for more than 13 years. With 5,400+ posts across 95 categories, there is something here for everyone, especially travel photography.

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Gail at Large
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2 thoughts on “Jessica + Peter: Under The Big Top

    • This is exactly the kind of wedding I would love to attend as a guest, and it blew away my second-shooter, Don, who has only ever photographed traditional weddings before. It was the first time he’d worked with me, and now he thinks all my weddings are like this :D — I wish!

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