Name | Michelle+Dustin
Date | 18.02.2017
Location | Town of Banff and Tunnel Mountain Reservoir, AB
Ceremony | Tunnel Mountain Reservoir, Town of Banff, AB
Reception | Buffalo Mountain Lodge, Town of Banff, AB
Hair and Makeup | Mountain Beauties
Cake | Kake - Darci Weil
Florist | Willow Flower Co
Veil | Down The Well Designs
Dress | Elite Bridal Boutique | designer Maggie Sottero
Fur Stole | Sisson Furs
Suit | Henry Singer, West Edmonton Mall | designer Coopley
Bride's ring | Artemis Jewellers | designer Noam Carver
Groom's ring | Pete Rhodes Designs | designer Pete Rhodes
1956 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud | Alpine Limousine and Tours | driver Andy
Officiant | Weddings by Rick Kunelius

Today on the blog we have one of our favorite weddings in the Rocky Mountains - we were so excited to photograph it this winter. We met Michelle and Dustin during one of the bridal shows and talked a lot about their upcoming wedding day. Guys loved our photography style and our vision for their wedding day and they booked us for their stylish wedding in the Town of Banff.

Get ready to go through absolutely amazing love story of Michelle and Dustin and a selection of their wedding pictures. Enjoy!

Tell us how you first met? Who, what, when, where, why? Give us details
Well, it was a cold and miserable day in Rocky Mountain House. Michelle had only moved to the right province, (Alberta), a few months earlier and was working as an au pair/farm hand. She just happened to be on one of her few trips into the “bustling metropolis” when she decided to take the opportunity to visit one of the local watering holes, Tim Hortons.
Well, as she was standing in line, the odd guy ahead of her ordered exactly the same thing as she had intended to order, a medium iced cappuccino, on a cold day like today. Well everyone one else in the place was scandalized, but not Michelle, she walked right up to the till after him and ordered one too.


Noticing he wasn’t the only weirdo in Tim’s, Dustin approached Michelle about her strange timing for ordering frozen beverages. They struck up a conversation as their drinks were prepared and continued chatting right out into the parking lot after the drinks were ready. Thinking he’d hit the goldmine, Dustin took the gamble and gave this girl his phone number, thinking there really wasn’t anything to lose. 
Poor Dustin waited weeks with no response and just when he’d given up hope of seeing this amazon again, he received a text from a number he didn’t recognize. It was her! After more than a few days of chatting over text, Dustin took another gamble and asked if she’d like to be his date to the company Christmas party. She accepted and it’s been an adventure from then on.

When did you know he/she was the one? Was there something he/she did?
M: Honestly, I had a special feeling about Dustin our first real date. He drove me back to the apartment above the horse barn where I was staying and instead of saying goodnight, we just stayed up talking about everything. I was drawn to him from the very beginning and we have been incredibly close from that day forward.

D: That first real date was actually to my company’s Christmas party. We went to an after party, drove some other couples home and eventually got to her place. Michelle had planned on going to Red Deer with some other people the following morning and we talked for so long that I was actually able to attempt to drive her to her friend’s place, had the weather cooperated. I’m not sure how many times we went from standing in her entryway to sitting in my truck that night but neither of us wanted to say goodnight or goodbye.
I think when I really knew she was the one was after a really big fight that I honestly don’t remember the topic of, but it sure seemed important at the time. Anyway, Michelle drove off and didn’t have reception so I couldn’t get a hold of her or anything and she was gone for quite a while. I sat at home waiting, hoping she’d be back soon. Turns out she had come on the scene of a vehicle accident and was helping call 911 and make the guy comfortable until EMS arrived. When she finally got home, we both were so excited to see each other again and whatever we’d been fighting about just didn’t seem so important anymore. That was when we really started getting better at working together to resolve any problems rather than trying so hard to bull our way through them.

Tell us about the proposal. Did you see it coming? How long was it in the planning? How did you feel? Nervous, excited, freaking out?
M: We had discussed the direction our relationship was going and he had taken me to look at rings but I was not expecting Dustin to propose to me when he did. He made sure to ask both my mom and my dad first which was very meaningful to me, and my Dad and his family was actually there for the proposal. When I realized what was going on, I was absolutely caught off guard but the decision to say yes was a total no-brainer.

D: When we discussed marriage, I had mentioned to Michelle that it wouldn’t be possible until spring sometime at the earliest. At this time, I already had plans in motion. We started looking at rings and getting ideas, which is good because what she told me she wanted initially and the ring she fell in love with while looking were not even close to the same. I think I bought the ring within a couple weeks after she saw it and I had it for about a month before the proposal.
Michelle’s parents were both coming in the early fall for visits, her Mom and Stepdad first and her Dad second. Not wanting to give anything away, I told her mom it would be sometime in the next few months or so, which is good because apparently as soon as I left the room, her mom was talking to her about it. Thankfully the timeline I gave fit with what Michelle and I had discussed.

For her Dad, originally he was coming for a few days but as we got closer to his arrival, it turned into just a single night, cutting my opportunity to ask him away from Michelle to almost none. He was bringing some really nice bottles of wine so Michelle was making a really fancy steak dinner for everyone and I ‘accidentally’ invited my family as well. Anyway, Michelle’s Dad went for a nap before dinner and Michelle asked me to go wake him up. I dropped the bombshell on him while he was still only half awake that I would be asking Michelle that night at dinner. He nearly gave it away too as he immediately got very emotional and went downstairs and started telling Michelle how much he missed her and was good to see her and everything. Thankfully Michelle was too busy cooking to really notice he was acting kind of funny.
Anyway, we had a delicious meal together and as it ended and everyone was sitting together chatting, Michelle had to run upstairs to grab something. I asked her to grab a very sneakily placed book off the shelf on her way back. At this point, everyone at the table other than Michelle knew I was going to propose that night and were starting to wonder what was going on and why I hadn’t yet. Michelle came back with the book which had our picture on the front. I had had the book made and put a bunch of pictures of Michelle and us and her adventures since we started seeing each other. So as she flipped through, laughing at the pictures and memories, I had the ring ready in my pocket. On the last page was a picture of the ring with the words “Will you marry me? Yes_ No_.” Stunned, she looked up and I was holding the actual ring for her. Her first words before “Yes” were ‘”You a$$hole!! Why’d you let me drink so much wine?!” I just smiled and helped her get the ring on. (Michelle says I laughed maniacally at this point but I don’t think I did) My brother Josh then grabbed a pen and made her check the yes in the book.

As it turns out, and we didn’t find this out until over 6 months later when we were getting the ring cleaned, they hadn’t actually sized the ring as had been discussed. So Michelle had somehow excitedly jammed a ring on that was like 3 sizes too small and had not removed it until then. Getting that off and sized correctly was an adventure in itself.
As far as how I felt asking Michelle to marry me, I couldn’t have felt more confident. I was more nervous telling my family and asking her parents but asking her was easy.

M: The best part is that none of this is exaggerated!!

Tell us the one thing you love most about each other
M: It’s impossible for me to pick the thing I love most about Dustin because there are so many qualities of his that I truly value. He is kind and patient with a big, generous spirit and a wicked sense of humor. I know I can always count on Dustin to be there for me- despite our differences- through thick and thin. He is my very best friend in the whole world and I’m just crazy about him!

D: That’s a tricky one to narrow down actually. For one, she’s one of the few who actually finds my sense of humor funny and she’s a heck of a great cook, but those are just sort of icing on the cake. One of the biggest things that I love about her, which in some ways could be seen as a negative to many people, is her opinion and defense of it. She’s not afraid to voice her opinion and let someone know how something should be done, even if it’s not in her own best interest. She’s definitely not afraid to argue with me and anyone who knows me, knows I like to argue. And after it’s all said and done, even if it had turned into a bit more of an argument than either of us intended, she still sits down on the couch and cuddles up to me to watch TV or something together. Even if we don’t see eye to eye on some things, we still know we’re in this together and we’ll figure it out. That it’s absolutely worth figuring it out and being together.

If you feel comfortable, share with us something silly or quirky the other person does
M: When I’m sad and or/grumpy, Dustin will come up to me, look me straight in the eyes very seriously, give my face a lick and run away! It’s totally weird and it never fails to catch me off guard and make me laugh.

D: At night, we have to have two separate blankets. If we try to share, I usually wake up with nothing and Michelle has the whole blanket completely wrapped around herself like a sushi roll.
Or when it comes to Michelle’s horse, Toby, that horse can do no wrong. As we were getting settled in the new house, we didn’t have fence around the yard and Michelle’s horse was in messing with vehicles. I would get in trouble for hitting the car alarm to spook him but he was literally chewing on her car and she thought it was cute.

M: Dustin is the exact same way with his dog….

Besides getting married, what's the one thing you are looking forward to on your wedding day?
M: I can’t wait to see my family! My Mom and Stepdad and Dad and Uncle are all flying in from Ontario and it will be so wonderful to spend time with them!

D: It will be good to have everyone together at once. I’m really looking forward to finally seeing Michelle and her wedding dress though as she keeps trying to give me hints and false clues to drive me nuts and confuse me on what it looks like. Oh, and the food because the tasting we did at the lodge was amazing.

What's your favorite trend for weddings right now?
M: Are small weddings a trend? Small weddings are great!

D: Trend, what’s a trend?

What inspired your décor or theme?
M: The outdoors and rich natural jewel tones.

D: Yeah, what she said.

What's one thing you wish you would have known earlier in regards to planning?
M: In hindsight, I would have liked to have hired a planner even though we are having a small wedding.

D: The planning wasn’t all that bad, I just should have counted on the “Michelle factor” requiring just a little bit more planning than I had originally figured.