We bonded over our love of Edmonton’s Famoso pizza and good wine. Their amazing Oasis Center wedding couldn’t come fast enough! What a special Couple. Kayla & Jay have a talent for making life-long friendships and turning seemingly ordinary moments into extraordinary memories. Just wow. Kayla wanted a fairytale wedding that would be romantic and elegant. It didn’t take long for them to settle on the Oasis, a stunning venue that won 2014 Wedding Venue of the year in Edmonton!
As a kid, Jay wanted to be the Short Stop for the New York Yankees or the Goalie for the Edmonton Oilers. He still loves sports and is an Accountant in the family firm that’s been open since 1946. As a kid, Kayla wanted to be a police officer. ‘I remember when I was a little girl my dad and I would go for a drive and he would refuse to wear his seat belt. I would look at him and in a stern voice say, “dad, you better put your seat belt on or the police will catch you.” He would just smile and laugh it off. I would proceed to tell him, “one day I will be a police officer and pull you over to teach you a lesson.” I still want to be a police officer!’ Kayla now works in Student Aid for the Government of Alberta.
Kayla got ready at the sexy Hollywood Suite at Fantasyland Hotel, which is also where we documented their love with an Intimate Portraits session. 🙂
Jay, on meeting & falling in love with Kayla: ‘We met in the basement of a church before our first hockey game… Before that day my friends and I had only played Men’s ball hockey, but we retired in 2011 and decided to play co-ed rec floor hockey. Soon after, The Lost Boys and Girls were born. I was goalie and Kayla was a scoring machine! We went out plenty after games for quite a while and as we got to know one another outside of the team, we fell in love fast and hard!!’ Kayla, on meeting & falling in love with Jay: ‘I knew him as ‘goalie,’ and had no idea what his name was until the 2nd or 3rd game, but there was something about the way he looked at me that I couldn’t get enough of. Our team would go out for drinks after games to get to know each other better and to celebrate big wins. That’s when Jay and I always ended up sitting across from each other. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t on purpose. There was something about him that I wanted… needed.’ Top three things Jay loves about Kayla: ‘Her Beauty, Her Kindness, Her Love.’ Top three things Kayla loves about Jay: ‘His eyes, His hard-working nature, and his loyalty.’ Ideal day together according to Jay: ‘Sunday. We sleep in late and wake up naked with wine still on our lips. We have nothing more than a football game to watch or dinner at the farm to drive too. We can do anything we want: go for a walk, listen to music, or take photos of each other. If the cats let us sleep in, we give them treats.’ Ideal day together according to Kayla: ‘Days are always crazy and unpredictable; it’s mornings with Jason that I look forward most. He is always up before me and usually has his right arm around me. I think about our mornings all day! Our ideal day would be laying around in bed with nothing to do, think or worry about. Just focusing on each other and the way we want to love on each other.’ Kayla: ‘I appreciate his loyalty the most. I have never had someone love me and respect me the way Jay does. The little things do mean the most, like when he makes me coffee in bed or brushes my hair behind my ear and whispers sweet nothings to me. Also, he makes me dinner every night!’ Jay, on the proposal: ‘I bought the ring first, knowing I wanted to propose before we went on a 3-week holiday to the East coast. Kayla’s best friend lives in Nova Scotia, and I got her help picking it out. The saleswoman asked me when I was gonna do it, and all I told her was that I needed a sunny day on the weekend, knowing Kayla wanted to do some special photos in a special place on a sunny day. Once I had the ring, I needed to distract Kayla for 4 hours to drive to the farm and ask her Mom for permission. So, I got her aunt to take her shopping one day after work – easy distraction! Once I got her Mom’s blessing, one Sunday morning, I encouraged the photo shoot. We got to the beautiful river valley and I set up my iPhone on a new little tripod right underneath our big Nikon (I told her it was set to take pics, but of course it would take video).
The ring was in my backpack, so I sent her to the car to ‘get my sunglasses.’ Some old dude was taking pictures about 10 feet from us, in a huge area with no one else around, so I showed him the ring and asked him to scoot! Finally, when we got to the last remotely-shot frame, I asked Kayla to keep facing the camera and told her that I want to promise my love to her. I was down on one knee. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING,” she said … followed by “OF COURSE” and lots of smoochies…’ Kayla, on the proposal: ‘I had no idea he was going to propose. No clue! I saw a fun idea of taking a photo in the same place year after year holding a photo frame with the previous photo in it and Jay mentioned that this particular day would be perfect start for that memory. So, we drove to different areas in Edmonton looking for the perfect spot to take our first photo. We found the perfect location and Jay spent some time playing around with the tripod and camera settings, even placing his iPhone on a tripod. I had no idea he was getting ready to pop the question! I burst into tears of happiness at the sight of him on one knee, and of course said YES! The rest is history. It was perfect!’
Jay’s favourite gift from Kayla: ‘The surprise party she threw for my Birthday!’
Kayla’s favourite gift from Jay: ‘He wrote me a song for Christmas and had it produced professionally. It was amazing!!’ Jay: ‘I love getting text messages from Kayla. She sends me lots of them throughout the day, and each one, even if they are her complaining about something, make me feel loved and needed.’ Kayla: ‘My life completely changed the moment I met Jay. I look at everything in a positive way, live each moment as if it was my last, challenge myself and have confidence in everything I do. To be honest, my self-esteem was very low to the point where I was scared to show any emotion towards anything. Since I met Jay, I’m not afraid of anyone or myself.’ Most romantic memory together according to Jay: ‘When we were at a show on a cruise, the cruise director was pulling audience members on stage, and of course he grabbed Kayla. When he asked her about her life she said she just got engaged. So, he pulled me on stage in front of 1,000 people and got me to say how much I love her, then walk sexy to the middle of the stage and give her a massive kiss. Everyone in the crowd went crazy! After that we got lots of hellos and congrats from strangers on the ship.’ Most romantic memory together according to Kayla: ‘Jay is a romantic. He surprises me when I least expect it. The most romantic memory was when he took me to Seattle to see The Tragically Hip preform. We really grew as a couple that weekend. It was full of music, wine, yummy food and intimate moments that I can’t describe….we had the penthouse suite at this amazing hotel with a huge shower and outstanding view of Seattle. It rained for most of the trip but that didn’t matter. It just meant we had to stay warm inside for most of the day. I will never forget that trip.’ Jay: ‘I didn’t realize that something was missing from my life until I met Kayla, she made my life complete and I’ve been a happier, more put-together man ever since.’ Jay’s nicknames for Kayla: ‘I call her my Trophy Wife, mostly because she wants to retire and stay at home like a Trophy Wife. Really, I just call her KK or Babe.’ Kayla’s nicknames for Jay: ‘Love bug.’ Jay’s favourite things to find in the fridge: ‘Cold beer. Leftover Pizza. Blueberries.’ Kayla’s favourite things to find in the fridge: ‘White Wine, cheese, lunch meat. Also, Macaroni loaf (I have loved it since I was little. Everyone I know thinks it’s absolutely disgusting)’ Jay’s hidden talents / hobbies: Writing. Anything creative. Photoshop. Kayla’s hidden talents/hobbies: Piano. Cat enthusiast. Avid wine drinker. Jay’s favourite guilty pleasures: ‘Wine. Football.’ Kayla’s favourite guilty pleasures: ‘Wine. Cheeseburgers.‘ Gorgeous design & decor by River City Events. Delish cake from Vienna Bakery. Favours: Homemade Jam and Salsa lovingly prepared by Kayla’s Mom. Jay’s favourite movies: ‘True Romance. Grand Budapest Hotel. Wall-E.’ Kayla’s favourite movies: ‘Pretty Woman and P.S I love you.’ Lisa Donnelly … where do I start with this uber talented beauty?! Lisa flew out to Edmonton from Los Angeles especially for Kayla & Jay’s wedding. She wowed us with 10 songs over the course of the Day, a number of which were written by Jay and Kayla! Lisa is absolutely incredible, as an artists and as a human being. We connected over our love of Burning Man and living in charming beach towns… Lisa!!! You rock! 🙂 Elizabethan Catering Ukrainian Buffet… OH YEAH. Kayla’s best friend couldn’t make it to the celebration … and sent all her love from Halifax (through a very touching surprise video message). Oh sweet flower girl Halle. Kayla: ‘She hates when we smooch in front of her, but we do it anyway!’ 🙂
BRIDE & GROOM POST-WEDDING REFLECTIONS:
1) What did you love most about your Wedding? ‘Finding one thing specifically that we loved was very difficult, because we loved every minute of the entire day!!! Kayla’s first thought was to say the “Atmosphere” of the day, but we thought that was too general… WE both said Kayla’s walk down the aisle. Having the talented and wonderful Lisa Donnelly sing the song Kayla and her specifically (and perfectly) wrote for that moment, having the doors swing open and only being able to see her silhouette for the first few steps, and feeling the swell of emotion run over us both – that’s what we love more than anything else that day.’ 2) Do you have any regrets? What would you have done differently if you could? ‘We have very few regrets. Allowing for an extra half hour for photos before dinner would be one, but that’s selfish because it would only be for us, and there were 200 guests waiting for us! We know Katya and Rob have so many amazing shots (even though I know we missed out a few at sunset that they tried to organize us for). Really, the one thing we messed up was the seating arrangements. We had put our parents in the front row, not really thinking that we would be on stage and the better seats to see the reception program were not the ‘front.’ We should have thought more about which tables would have the best views.’ 3) Kayla’s 3 most memorable moments:
- ‘Kayla took a sneak peak of Jay waiting to walk down the aisle, just before the doors swung open, from outside the Bridal suite;
- Having her Mom and Allan walk her down the aisle;
- Jay’s speech to Kayla, not only the words, but him literally putting her up on a pedestal.’
Jay’s 3 most memorable moments:
- ‘Our first Dance, again with the amazing Lisa Donnelly singing the song that Jay and her wrote, 2 years before, with that moment in mind;
- Hearing Lisa sing Kayla’s aisle walk song for the first time during rehearsal, it was the first time we heard her sing it live, and not only did we both have tears in our eyes, Ray, the A/V tech from the Oasis was teary-eyed as well, he turned to Kayla and said he’s been married for 33 years and that song brought him right back to their wedding day and how much he loved his wife;
- Our parent’s speeches. Each one spoke from the heart and delivered amazingly perfect speeches.’
4) Comments about venue / vendors etc ‘We prioritized what was most important to us and selected our venue, vendors, and team accordingly. Picking the Oasis was easy, it’s a fairytale place that made all our dreams/visions come true. Anne was amazing and went over and above, I think she saw how hard we worked to make it a magical day, so she thrived off our energy (and vice-versa). Photography and Music are very important to us, so we did everything we could to make sure we got our favourite photographers ~ not just for their photos, but also for who they are and what they represent in life! Meeting and having Lisa Donnelly not only record our songs, but be able to come and sing them for us was out-of-this-world amazing.’ 5) Advice for future Brides / Grooms?! Kayla:
- ‘Take 10 minutes with your husband, find a quiet place out of the way, and watch your own Wedding. Take in the people, the sounds, the view, and enjoy a precious moment of peace together. Those are truly rare during the wedding day.’
- ‘Be involved in the planning more than history/tradition would state, and you’ll feel like the wedding day belongs to both of you, not just your Bride, all that teamwork is a great way to start a marriage.’
Kayla & Jay: you two are so special to us! Thank you for sharing your magical love story. Hugs & kisses from sunny Dominican (come visit us already!) xx K+R. view our portfolio | facebook | pinterest | our reviews | we’re on bdw.com | instagram @katyanovaphoto | email us