Jon & Jen's Destination Wedding | Chateau Fronenac | Old Quebec City, Canada | International Wedding Photography
Heather and I love road trips. Being trapped in a car with someone for several hours is the ultimate make-it-or-break-it for a relationship and after the first one you pretty much know how the relationship is going to go. We like to fill ours with silly games to pass time with the occasional deep talk about various human rights issues or whether we’d prefer to be a reincarnated as a carrot or an apple. Our eight-plus hour drive from New York City to Quebec City was no different.
We were originally going as guests for Heather’s friend, Jon, but wound up as on-call photographers for his French-inspired wedding in the Chateau de Frontenac overlooking the St. Lawrence River. I’ve never been to Europe or France but the rustic buildings that hug one another over the cobblestone streets of Old Quebec City had me saying “bonjour” in a dreadful attempt at honoring Quebecois culture between mouthfuls of savory and sweet crepes (we had them every morning we were there, no regrets).
The first time I met Jon and Jen was an annual old time Jazz celebration on Governor’s Island, a short Ferry ride away from New York City. They’re the kind of couple that is as artistic as they are lovingly humble, welcoming you into their lives with their eyes and smiles as well as their paintbrushes. Jon hand-painted their wedding invitations with a night portrait of the Chateau de Frontenac with scattered windows warmly lit up in a yellowish hue that cued that bedtime was nearing for each room’s lucky inhabitants. I remember picking up the card and feeling and knowing that it came from Jon’s home rather than some massive production facility.
Jon and Jen’s ceremony took place in the wine cellar of the chateau and I remember their officiant singing both the man and woman’s roles in various songs that they handpicked. The child in me thought it was hilarious and came close to laughing out loud but the adult in me knew better. You could tell that Jon and Jen had an intimate relationship with this man and have probably laughed harder together than I would’ve that day but I’m glad that my maturity won the battle for once.
For their first dance Jen choreographed a sequence that swept them from corner-to-corner of the lavish ballroom floor with swift dips, spins, and smiles in between. Jon had been excited to show us this number for months, sure that he would falter or stumble somewhere, but I’ve noticed that when love has the wheel the bumps in the road magically disappear one after the other in the rearview mirror. If I didn’t know them I would call their movements graceful because they are, but because I do [know them], I just see them as familiar actions of Jon and Jen.
Here’s to a couple that anyone would be lucky to call friends that just had their first child, Shea, who will carry on a tradition of artistic love and humility.