The Grand Imperial is where Nana and Sam’s wedding story is finally complete in a BIG way. We started this journey with downtown Edmonton engagement photos “way” back in 2019. Last year I had the privilege to witness their micro wedding at the gorgeous Farm Fresh Florals in Sunnybrook, Alberta. They made it official last year while we were at the beginning stages of battling COVID. This year the celebration was huge and most definitely worth the wait. It was a wedding photographer’s dream! Let me break this down into themes to tell the story properly.
Representation of the Bride’s African Roots Throughout Was EPIC!
There was certainly a sense that Nana’s home country was with her despite the thousands of miles separating them. First of all, her bridesmaids and flowergirls all wore dresses made by local seamstresses in Ghana, where she is from. It was important to Nana that she support the small businesses of her home. Those gorgeous, rich yellow bridesmaids dresses stood out in the wedding photos, but also in downtown Edmonton where we took photos of the bridal party. We received comments on social media about the dresses from many people who saw us there!
It is tradition to have a fabric custom woven and made into a dress for the bride. You’ll see a hot pink dress below. That dress was also made by a seamstress in Ghana, where the fabric was created. The groom also had an outfit made specifically for him. There were no measurements taken. Only photos were needed to give these professionals they information they needed to custom make an outfit on the other side of the world! Can you believe that? The couple wore these briefly at the wedding reception venue that evening.
During dinner we enjoyed the amazing sounds of a Mbira. I have to say, that was a first for me! It was the most beautiful and calming sound. After dinner The Grand Imperial ballroom lit up with an incredibly energetic African dance and drumming performance which was gifted to the couple by friends. Such an amazing performance and truly a special gift.
All in the details.
The details are nice and photographing them is great, but my heart is always in capturing the emotions first and foremost, and secondly details that have sentimental value to the couple. Luckily for me this wedding was full of both.
Let me tell you about some of the details of the day that stood out for me.
- Post wedding ceremony ice cream, provided by Too Cool Cookies & Cones! Who doesn’t love ice cream smashed between two fresh cookies?? These two love it so much that we incorporated it into their engagement session as well! Of course, their wedding guests loved it, too.
- I’ve already mentioned the dresses made in Africa, but that’s a detail worth listing here again. They
- The sweets table! It had macarons, donuts, cookies (homemade by the bride), popcorn, and cotton candy. Anyone that knows Nana knows that she is serious about her sweet tooth, and you’ve likely received some of her amazing homemade cookies.
- Our bride is quite the hobby cake decorator. In fact, you can follow her on Instagram under Sweets & Cravings. She worked with her friends at Confections Cake Co to design the wedding cake of her dreams, and then they designed the set up to suspend it. No big deal!
The Vendor List: A lot of people were required to pull this extravagant event together. Some of them are mentioned above, here are the others:
Planner: Our Jonrah Events
Venue: The Grand Imperial
Calligraphy: Jars of Clay Calligraphy
Catering: Selasi’s Grill Restaurant & The Grand Imperial
Dessert Table: Party & Confetti
Drumming Performance: Sangea Academy
Florals: Florals by Anita
Hair and Bride MUA: Beauty by Alyssa
MUA: Reemake Studio and #Glam Studio
Photobooth: Edmonton Mirror Photobooth
Videographer: B.Maine Videography
Vintage Car: Val Gal Motors
Donuts: Donut Party
Ceremony Location: St. Joseph’s Cathedral
Wedding dress and cathedral veil:
Wedding Photographer: Chrystal Stringer Photography
Looking for more wedding detail inspo? Check these weddings out:
Edmonton Muslim Wedding at the Fairmont Hotel MacDonald
Fort McMurray Winter Wedding Photos (as featured in Weddingbells Magazine!)
Northern Alberta Outdoor Wedding Photography