Five Amazing Years

If you like a love story, you’ll definitely want to read this one… Its a story about five amazing years.

Last year myself, and Jess were away for a little pre-wedding season retreat, planning the coming year, and just generally relaxing. While there, an idea sprung into my head about how to surprise Jess with the most amazing 5th wedding anniversary ever.

The idea would be a complete wedding, right down to a new dress for her, and about 35 of our closest friends and family celebrating five amazing years of marriage, and the kicker… she would have ZERO idea that it was happening.

Now as we all know, when it comes to wedding planning, this tends to be 9.5 times out of 10, something that the bride does most of… but I wanted to create something totally magical for Jess, something that she would never forget.

The ball started rolling, and I was on a quest to find all the perfect little things for the vow renewal, flowers, dish wear, new rings, a hand made bow tie, a new suit, and most importantly, I had to find the absolutely perfect dress for Jess.  I searched high and low for the dress, and finally found one from a designer in New York.  The hardest part of course was getting all of the measurements for the dress, but hey, when you need to do something so important, you’ll find away… actually just one day, I asked Jess if I could ask her for something and she could never ask why lol, and that’s how I pulled that off.

Another large part of the day was getting in touch with my buddy Shane who was the best man in our wedding.  Firstly I had to convince Shane to fly in from Toronto… check not a prob, secondly I had to get him to learn the song that Jess and myself walked down the isle to originally, again check not a prob.  As time progressed, we decided we would both play the song when Jess first came out, then I would join her and walk down the isle.

For the ceremony part of the day, I called my dad (who officiated our actual wedding) to see if once again he would be willing to preside over the ceremony. For a wedding party, I asked our very good friends Michelle + Melissa if they would join us as our quote unquote wedding party.

All the other details slowly started falling into place as well, decore for the day, food, and all those little things that help make the time more magical. All the guests had RSVPed and sworn to secrecy that they wouldn’t mention anything to Jess about the plan.  I was on top of the world and so very excited for this day to come… We had always joked about having a wedding at our place, but it was always that, just a joke, but now it was getting very, very real.

In the end I didn’t quite make it to the day without telling Jess what was happening.  Just before the renewal date, I ended up giving Jess the new ring I had made, this made her super hyper ventilate… I thought to myself, if I don’t tell her about the rest, she will probably have a heart attack as she walks outside onto our patio, and 35 guests are there.  So, as we sat there, and I told her about what was to come in about 3 days, the smile on her face was from ear to ear, and tears rolled down her cheeks.  That moment, as well as, every moment on the day of the vow renewal was one I will always cherish.

She is my world, she is my home.

And not to toot my own horn… but not a bad little wedding hey? Considering it was all planned by a dude. Maybe when I retire from taking pictures, I’ll get into event planning ;-) lol

And of course I couldn’t have done this without some amazing people :

The AMAZING Video – Mark from Paperback Films with help from his amazing wife Melissa
The AMAZING Photos (which will be posted soon) –  Dwayne Larson, who is part of the Kampphotography team
The Beautiful Flowers / Decore – Little Flower Shop
Hair – Our great friend April
Make-Up – Janique
Food – The man with the magical meat smoker Devin
Wedding Dress – Leanne Marshal winner of season 5 of Project Runway
Head Piece – Be Something New
Rings – Jen Pott
Bow Tie – Fox & Brie
Suit – Mexx
Jake’s Shoes – Jose & Markham
All the folks that helped with picking up, and dropping off stuff for me, couldn’t have done it without you!

  • Melissa said:

    This is hands down the sweetest 5 year anniversary celebration I've seen! Congrats you two love birds!

  • Roberta said:

    Very cute! Glad to see two cute photographers celebrate in an amazing way!

  • Noella said:

    So sweet, I bawled.. Im such a suck! Jake you are THE man, Jess you are so blessed!

  • pam said:

    jeez! tears of pure happiness that you guys have found eachother. EVERYONE should be as lucky

  • Jake said:

    Thank you so much everyone =)

  • Tracy Tailor said:

    You guys are two of the most awesome people I've met and I'm so happy that you two could renew your vows in such a special way. You two are both so deserving of each other and I'm so happy that you can experience how it feels when we relive our weddings through your photos. Congratulations again and keep being that example that the people of today need.

  • Leanne said:

    Jake, Thank you so much for sharing this with me. And it was my absolute honor to make Jessica's dress for this incredible occasion.
    It brings actual tears to my eyes. I am so touched.
    The very best wishes to you both and congrats on 5 years!

  • Jessica said:

    This is so sweet and beautiful in so many ways! Congrats on your 5 years!

    I love the song playing in the video – any idea who it's by? :)

  • Just beautiful to see all the love and joy in this video. Maggie and John, you must be so happy with your son and daughter in law. Pilgrim greetings from Holland :)

  • Rosie said:

    This is all sorts of crazy awesome!! You guys are so lucky to have each other! And Jess you look ravishing in that dress!!! Jake, not too shabby looking either ;) xoxo

    • Jake said:

      Lol thanks Rosie, I try to clean myself up now and again =)

  • Truly beautiful!
    Last year (March 17th), me and Marcelo, my hubby got married again after five years. We had 17 people invited and so cozy, romantic, a little synagogue, decor made by my mom and grandma.
    I loved your story!