North Vancouver Forest Wedding | Katrina & Kenji
A couple who plays together stays together. Luckily, North Vancouver offers plenty in the way of playgrounds, from mountains to rivers to forests to the sea; a fact that Katrina and Kenji have spent their lives taking advantage of, so theirs should be a long and happy union.
Their initial meeting, however, came from a bit of an unusual (though very modern) place. Katrina put it best, “It’s a match! Kenji and I met on Tinder… which was unexpected for both of us. Right from the start, the conversation was easy and genuine. Despite my conviction that I wouldn’t talk to, let alone meet up with anyone off of Tinder, I actually ended up being the one asking him out for coffee. We first met in person a couple days prior to our first planned ‘date’. We (…well maybe more ‘I’) talked for hours on that first date and we saw each other almost every day that first week!”
To celebrate their commitment to one another, we went on a mini sampler tour of some of these North Vancouver playgrounds. Shooting among the towering trees of The Baden Powell Trail and along the shoreline of Deep Cove, the couple was definitely in their comfort zone. In fact, they love the trees so much that, apart from their fantastic photographer (yours truly), they invited only the powerful pines to witness the very first time Katrina saw Kenji and Kenji saw Katrina in their full-on-wedding-day-get-ups. She gingerly tiptoed along the earthy path to tap him on the shoulder, he turned and his statement socks were promptly knocked-off by his blushing bride. They shared a joyous embrace, he admired her beauty, another loving embrace, a few playful seconds, he couldn’t take his eyes off her. Sheltered by their secluded spot in the woods, these moments embodied all the warmth, depth, and laughter of Katrina and Kenji.
The tour’s grand finale took place on the wedding day itself, October 7, with a bird’s eye perspective of both the North Shore mountains and the Pacific Ocean from The View on Lonsdale’s impressive patio. Katrina and Kenji’s love of the great outdoors was apparent in everything from their choice in photo locations, to Kenji’s scenic socks and the mountains on his cufflinks, to their choice of venue. The View on Lonsdale was a perfect fit, and not just because of the patio’s breathtaking vistas. The building is also so green it’s gold, LEED Gold Standard, that is. Which means some serious thought went into minimizing waste and maximizing efficiency in the interest of being kind to the planet we all share. That being said, those vistas were pretty great, too.
The Lonsdale venue’s namesake views were thoroughly enjoyed by everyone as wedding day stress was kept to a minimum by the planning talents of Smitten Events’ seasoned professionals, Robyn and Francesca. Also helping to make the day a resounding success was Maid of Honor Krysta Shore and her husband Paul, both are an important part of Katrina and Kenji’s easy going, fun-loving crew. They also happen to be great friends of mine and actually recommended me for this job, which will go down as one of my all-time favorites, so Krysta and Paul, here’s your special shoutout! Krysta, along with the other ladies of the wedding party, looked gorgeous in a sophisticated, yet sultry, wine-colored dress. For each soft, floor-skimming skirt, there was a sharp blue suit, but, no surprise, Katrina stole the show with whispery overlays adding texture to her stunning white gown.
No doubt the wedding party was a knockout as far as style is concerned, however the focus was far from such material things on the big day. Katrina and Kenji have their priorities in order, a fact that was very apparent in the way the whole day centered around family and friends, not dresses and details.
Throughout my time with them, I felt their positivity and genuine love for each other, both of which were a joy to capture through my lens.