Before you delve further into todays beautiful Nova Scotia wedding by NICOLE LAPIERRE PHOTOGRAPHY, I suggest you go and grab yourself some tissues because if you're anything like me you'll need them just looking at the emotional images, let alone reading the story behind them. I think it's the first time I've really cried putting together a feature. I don't usually feature so many images of a first look by the emotional captures of the bride with her parents tell such a beautiful story they had to be involved 

Whilst looking back over the day will forever be tinged with a mixture of joy and sadness for Hannah & Cale, it was also one heck of a celebration, enjoyed at ATLANTICA OAK ISLAND RESORT. Picture this: 100lbs of lobster, 30lbs of mussels, bonfires, a surf & turf bbq, boating, a spa and all of your family and friends - who have travelled to Nova Scotia especially - staying in chalets and villas for your wedding weekend. It was a true maritime experience and celebration for their guests. Read on for more on their beautiful story.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROPOSAL: I'm not into the big elaborate proposal, and I'm also not someone who likes a lot of attention drawn to myself. Cale proposed in a very sweet and thoughtful way. It was a long work week and when he picked me up from work, we went home with the intention of relaxing and hanging out. Now, Cale isn't big on social media and isn't one to "post" things often. In fact, he will often poke fun at me when I ponder about what captions or filters I should use when posting photos on Instagram. On this particular day, we were hanging out when he suddenly calls from the other room: "Hey, Hannah, what do you think about this Instagram picture I'm about to post?". Clearly, I was confused and then worried what he could possibly be posting(?!). Asking him to show me, he walks in passes me his phone. In my head I was thinking to myself, 'What did we do recently that he could possibly be posting on Instagram?!' When I took his phone and looked, and it was a picture of a beautiful engagement ring. When I looked back up at Cale, the ring from the picture was the ring he was holding in his hand, down on one knee. It was perfect because it was not too elaborate, yet he still managed to catch me off guard (which he is rarely able to do!). Our relaxing plans went out the window, and we had wonderful weekend celebrating and telling our family and friends. 

TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR WEDDING DAY: Looking back, the entire day feels like such a blur! I know I hardly got any sleep the night before and woke up with excitement, anticipation and butterflies! The day started bright an early for the girls as we all got ready in one of Oak Island's villas. The guys started their day with a morning round of golf at Chester Golf Club before getting ready at their chalet. We all had a fun morning getting ready, it was relaxed and just nice to spend some time with my bridesmaids and my mom. I know I can say the same for Cale and his groomsmen - these guys have been friends since their childhood and whenever they are together there is always lots of reminiscing and lots of laughs. Things really started to feel real when my hair and makeup was done, and I got into my wedding dress. We planned a first look with my parents which was a really special moment and one of the highlights on the day (more details below). 

Our ceremony was held in a beautiful church in Chester. It was so amazing to see all our friends and family gathered together, but it was even better to finally see Cale standing at the end of the aisle. It was a beautiful, meaningful ceremony. We were lucky to have two of our two friends (Pat Wardell and Agnes Flanagan) play the piano and sing during our ceremony - they did an incredible job. After the ceremony we took some photos (outside the church, Chester's back harbour, Downey's greenhouse, Oak Island). The reception was held at Oak Island. The reception decor was beautifully put together by Katelyn Hipson of Elegant Productions. From the chairs, to the centrepieces, to the beautiful flower arrangements by Chelsea Lee Flowers, everything was stunning. Oak Island did an amazing job with the food and our gorgeous cake (which tasted just as amazing as it looked) was made by Krista LeBlanc of Polka Dot Cakes. There were lots of laughs and tears during our speeches (my favourite part of the reception); then the rest of the night was spent with all of our family and friends on the dance floor! We truly couldn't have asked for a more incredible day. It was everything we had wished for and more. We are so grateful to all that were a part of it.

WHAT MADE YOUR WEDDING SPECIAL AND WHAT WERE THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS TO YOU: The most meaningful thing about our wedding was definitely having so many people that we love all be together. Cale and I have been together for over 10 years and have built so many strong friendships along the way. We also have large families- many who travelled long distances to make the trip to Nova Scotia. It was truly so special to see everyone and celebrate the most important day of our lives with them. 

We also love how everything felt about the wedding. The church was perfect- it was charming and cozy, the music was beautiful and it was a lovely ceremony. We loved the reception decor- from the beautiful cross-back chairs to the soft romantic feel of our centrepieces, everything fit our theme perfectly. 

TELL US ABOUT THE STYLE OF YOUR WEDDING: We were going for a timeless, elegant, yet rustic and relaxed seaside theme. We wanted to have a light and airy feel, with soft colors. We loved the combo of the bridesmaids' mint/sage dresses with the guys' navy tuxes. The soft rosy and peach tones of the flowers with the greenery and texture helped tie everything together. 

We knew this was the theme that we wanted to have since we live on the water on the South Shore (Mahone Bay) and the ocean is such a big part of our lives. We spend a lot of time on the water in the summer and we love being able to call this place home. We wanted our guests to get a taste of "home" and to enjoy the beauty that surrounds us on the South Shore. 

YOUR TOP THREE MOMENTS: 1) First look with my parents. This was a truly special moment that I will always cherish and remember. My parents have been there for me every step of the way in my life and I wouldn't be who I am today without their guidance and unconditional love. Still, I don't think any of us expected this moment to be as emotional as it was... It was genuine in every way. 

2) Mom's standing ovation at the reception. We have had such a difficult past year as a family. Last fall, my mother was diagnosed with cancer. Needless to say, moving forward and planning the wedding was not easy for anyone. Mom had been through so much physically, mentally and emotionally over the months leading up to the wedding and all I wanted was for her to be there and for us to enjoy the day together. When my parents went up to deliver their speech, she was received with a standing ovation from our guests. Having everyone acknowledge her strength and what she has been through made me feel so proud of her. I know my mom was incredibly touched by this gesture and I know it gave her that extra support that she needed. This moment meant the world to me.    

3) Speeches. We are clearly very close to our families, so it was no surprise how meaningful this part of our wedding was for us. Everyone delivered heartfelt speeches that shared endearing memories, displayed some humor and of course pulled at the heart strings. Our family is everything to us and hearing them speak made our day complete. 

WHAT WAS YOUR WEDDING SONG? "Build This House" by Jimmy Rankin. We love this song so much. We feel it is so symbolic of our love and of our relationship. The lyrics of the song are about building a house; but for us, the house is a metaphor for our marriage and how a strong marriage starts from the ground up with a solid foundation. It's about making sure our marriage "stands strong" as we grow old together. We wanted this song to represent the beginning of our marriage and the life we plan to build together. This song was also meaningful as we love the talent in our local NS artists/musicians and we had just bought our first house together after we got engaged last year.

TOP THREE FAVOURITE THINGS ABOUT YOUR WEDDING? 1) The flowers. They were exactly what I wanted and more! The colours and arrangements tied everything together perfectly. They were absolutely stunning!

2) My wedding dress. I loved how I felt in this dress. It was beautiful, simple and timeless and it made me look and feel exactly how I thought I would on my wedding day. 

3) Music/dance floor. We had a bumpin' dance floor all night! Our friends and family love to dance and have a good time. Our playlist was perfect and there was never a lull all night! We were so thrilled to see everyone having such a great time.

A few other things: The venue. Oak island was such a great venue for the entire wedding weekend. We had family and friends in the chalets and villas and enjoyed boating, the spa, bonfires, fireworks, and an AMAZING surf and turf BBQ put on by Cale and the groomsmen. We had over 100 lbs of lobster, 30 lbs of mussels, 80 oysters, 60 scallops, smoked chickens and sausages- it was a SPREAD! The whole weekend was a true Maritime experience for all of my American relatives :)

Our rings. Cale had my engagement ring custom made by Fawcetts in Halifax, as were our wedding bands. They were simple, timeless and meaningful - exactly what we wanted. 

Mom's dress. We had mom's dress custom made by Katrina Tuttle, We wanted to do something special for Mom, and we wanted her to feel beautiful and comfortable at the wedding. Having this custom dress was perfect. It was such a fun process - from deciding on the design, colour, fabric, details and going to fittings. In the end, Mom looked like a queen! Simply gorgeous. Working with Katrina was amazing. She did such an incredible job and made the process so fun and easy.