The Most Hamilton Themed Wedding in the History of Ever

Almost 2 years ago I had the pleasure of being a part of one of the most captivating wedding days, filled with so much love, laugher, and a medley of awesomeness in the heart of Hamilton, ON.

Power couple Jacklyn and Rick, owners of John Street Tattoo, were getting married and, as excited as they were, they also had all of zero spare time to be planning a wedding. Having recently purchased a commercial building, with the hopes of opening the doors to their new business and having a place to call home, they found themselves in the middle of a massive renovation. During the busiest time of their lives they turned to their wedding vendors and myself to finalize all of their wedding details, allowing them to concentrate on building their future, as Mr. and Mrs. James.

As hard working as they are, Jacklyn and Rick are also some of the most kind and genuine people I know, which I now have the pleasure of calling my friends. Getting to know them and understanding their values, vision and style made for an easy transition in taking over their wedding plans. As much as their wedding was about celebrating their love, they ultimately wanted it to be a day that everyone could fully enjoy, and that is exactly what it was.

The evening before their wedding, out of town guests were welcomed to the city at Mezcal Tacos & Tequila Bar for Jacklyn and Rick’s rehearsal dinner.  Incidentally, Rick built the bar, tables, shelving and light fixtures at Mezcal!  When guests returned to their hotel rooms they found “You Can Do Anything in Hamilton” tote bags, filled with Hamilton themed gifts.

The next morning began with a visit from the talented sisters, Photographer Elizabeth (Beth) Kaye and MUA Sarah Smith. For years Jacklyn had modeled for Beth as a “fake bride” for wedding styled shoots, so it was only fitting that Beth was a part of their actual wedding day. Although Beth was invited to the wedding as a guest, they surprised Jacklyn’s mom the morning of with getting ready shots. While Sarah was busy making the bridal party look even more breathtaking then they already are; Beth captured every stunning moment creating the most perfect, dreamlike wedding morning.

The day continued with a trip to Locke Street for a beautiful ceremony at one of the cities oldest churches, followed by photos captured by the talented Dave Andrews, at the Cotton Factory, one of the city’s former industrial buildings from the 1900s. Something that I found absolutely fascinating was to see was the contrast of photo styles from the morning’s events to evening celebration between the two photographers, which perfectly encapsulates Rick and Jacklyn’s personalities.

Jacklyn and Rick’s cocktail style reception was hosted at Mills Hardware, an event and concert space in downtown Hamilton, owned by Sonic Unyon Records. Being the first and only wedding ever hosted at Mills was a super cool and unforgettable experience. With interior brick walls and dark romantic vibes, it made for the perfect backdrop. Adding some stunning florals from I Fiori, string lights draped along the celling and an array of candlelight was all we needed to transform the space into the party… I mean wedding, of their dreams.

The evening kicked off with an incredible, live performance by Hamilton’s very own folk and roots band, The Dinner Belles. Chef Mike Hutchinson designed multiple canapés to emulate their favourite dishes from Rapscallion, as well as a 10 ft. meat and cheese board. Johnny Blonde Food Truck pulled up to cater the night, offering guests a variety of sandwiches, flat breads and mac and cheese balls for dinner, YUM! A late night appearance from Detour Coffee was perfectly timed for guests to have a little caffeine pick me up before a night of awesomely embarrassing dance moves. By far, one of my favourite parts of the night was covering everyone in temporary tattoos. Such a small, yet creative, way to incorporate the bride and groom’s business, John Street Tattoo.

Ultimately, their wedding was not only an authentic representation of Jacklyn and Rick, but also of Hamilton as a whole. Incorporating their story, values and loved ones in the heart of this beautiful city made for an extraordinary celebration.

I have been a part of many awesome weddings since and will continue to do many more in the coming years, but this one will always hold a special place in my heart.