Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Claudia and Renato's Wedding on île Notre Dame

Claudia and Renato, originally from Mexico, have spent the last decade travelling the world together. When they decided to tie the knot in Montreal, they chose an appropriately international location to host their guests, who came from as near as the Plateau and as far as Mexico, South America, and Europe: the Expo '67's Jamaica Pavilion.  

Here are some of our favourite highlights from the day:

Shooting the wedding dress: we had a hard time finding enough room to shoot the entire garment so we suggested hanging it from the balcony. Though we knew the idea was sort of ridiculous—it's a white dress and what if it got dirty?— Claudia was all for it! Her sister (and maid of honour) Christina happily got down on her hands and knees and held the dress while we shot it. It wasn't the most successful photo, but it really set the tone for the rest of the day—we knew we were documenting a wedding where anything could potentially happen!

The sky was a little foreboding, but the rain held off until the outdoor ceremony was finished. Three pairs of couples walked down the aisle—Claudia's parents, Renato's parents, and finally Claudia and Renato, who wanted to symbolize their commitment to each other as following in their parents' footsteps. We were especially touched by this measure of respect and humility.

The day was filled with so much music and dancing! The couple performed a series of  folk songs with their friends. Several members of Claudia's family performed Mexican and Peruvian folk dances in full costume. An incredible Cuban band played through the night. Even the cutting of the cake was accompanied by chants of "¡ Queremos pastel, pastel, pastel !" ("We want cake, cake, cake!"). 

Need we really mention the food? Taco station. Mezcal. YUM!

And quickly:

The props! Claudia's mother brought bags of toys, noisemakers, maracas, masks and necklaces, which were handed out intermittently throughout the night. Surprise! Here's another toy! 

The bouquet and boutonnieres: all handmade by Claudia from what seems like either paper or dyed coconut leaves.

After the marathon 13-hour shoot, we left exhausted but so happy, having spent the day, welcomed more as guests than the invisible photographers. Claudia and Renato, we hope you enjoy this preview! Thank you for including us in your beautiful day!

Photos by Alison Slattery and Farah Khan.

©Alison Slattery. All Rights Reserved.