I had the pleasure to be Julia and Simon’s wedding photographer last weekend which took place at Chateau Vaudreil West of Montreal. One of the things I love most about doing what I do is that I get to know a lot about couples on their wedding day that I end up knowing them on a personal level. I wanted to share this couple’s special story with you and it goes like this:
In February 2009, Simon took on a 6-months work contract in Chengdu, China to help train a team of new hires at Ubisoft’s newest studio. It was on March 2, 2009, Julia’s first day in the company, that they both met. During Simon’s remaining time in Chengdu, the pair fell for each other. Simon was hesitant about starting a relationship knowing that he would have to go back to Montreal when his contract ended. In addition, office rules forbade trainer/trainee relationships.
In the year following Simon’s return to Montreal (July 2009), Julia and him wrote to each other regularly, chatted through MSN and Facebook, and eventually started making calls and video chats via Skype. For a few months, they entertained the idea of Simon returning to visit Julia in Chengdu, but it was only on June 25th, 2010 that this idea became a reality.
During this brief visit to Chengdu, Julia & Simon got a glimpse of what it meant to be a real couple. They decided to take on the challenge of a long distance relationship… a VERY long distance relationship.
Every morning and every evening, they would chat for an hour on Skype while one would walk to work in the morning and the other would get ready for bed in the evening.
In October 2010, they planned a trip for Julia to come spend Christmas with Simon’s family in Monrreal. Unfortunately, a month later, they got news that Julia’s Canadian Visa Application was denied. The couple quickly put together another plan that involved Simon flying back to China once again for 3 weeks during the Holidays, however they chose to stop in several destinations this time around, including Shanghai, Sanya, and a final stop in Chengdu.
On December 31, 2010 as Julia and Simon were in their hotel room in downtown Chengdu, getting ready to meet their friends for New Yearâ€™s Eve celebrations, Simon got down on one knee and asked Julia to marry him, to which she said yes.
On January 7, 2011 their long distance relationship routine resumed. In February, they began the long and tedious process of filling the immigration forms and putting together all necessary documents. It would take 6 months before getting an answer.
In the meantime, they continued talking daily over Skype on their walk to work. Rain or shine, they never skipped a day. In June 2011, Simon’s father had been planning a trip for the whole family to France. He got the idea of inviting Julia to meet them there. Having already been burnt once by a visa refusal, Julia and Simon were apprehensive, but they gave it a try anyways. To their surprise, it was accepted. On August 16, in Charles de Gaulle airport, Julia met Simon’s family for the first time. For the next 2 weeks, Simon’s family got to know Julia as they all traveled together around France.
In early November 2011, Simon received news concerning Julia’s immigration application. It was accepted. After over a year of long distance relationship, Julia could finally travel to Canada as a Permanent Resident.
On November 24th, Simon greeted Julia at Montreal’s Dorval airport. It was a surreal moment.
On December 23, 2011, a few days shy of their one year engagement anniversary, Simon invited Julia to a Cirque Du Soleil show. On their way out, the air was cold and it began to snow. Simon asked Julia to pull out his hat from his backpack. Instead, she found a gift bag. Simon asked her to take out the bag and look inside. Inside she found a small silver jewelry box. As he had done nearly 1 year ago, Simon got down on one knee and repeated the words “Will you marry me?” A new ring was slipped onto Juliaâ€™s finger. The purpose was to recreate the moment in a more spontaneous and magical way than the first proposal in their hotel room in Chengdu.
The following 6 months between January and June 2012 were incredibly busy with the wedding planning, family gatherings, outings with friends, and unbelievable memories as a couple, happy to finally be living together in the same city.
What a romantic story!
The couple celebrated their wedding with their friends and family at Chateau Vaudreil’s beautiful garden overlooking the water on a beautiful sunny day. Julia’s parents could not be their physically. Instead they got to experience the whole thing live via a skype connection over the iphone. Amazing what can be achieved with technology nowadays! 🙂
I put together a slideshow of my favorite shots from the day here: http://vimeo.com/beautifoto/juliaandsimon
Here are some more of my favorite shots from this beautiful wedding: