Bride & Groom: Alex Antle & Tyler Bennett
Photographer: Hatt Photography (hattphotography.com)
Wedding Date: September 5, 2020
Guest #: 5
Ceremony Location: Gros Morne Mountain (www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/nl/grosmorne/activ/experiences/randonnee-hiking/mgm-gmm)
Colour Palette: “The theme of our wedding centered around love for the land and culture. We spent our entire wedding day hiking to the top of Gros Morne Mountain, being entirely surrounded by nature. Tyler and I are both Mi’kmaq and it was very important for us to include some aspects of our culture into our wedding ceremony. My dress was inspired by a traditional ribbon skirt and was made by my lovely friend Jennifer Brake-Strickland. I made accessories that featured moose antler and moose hide and we included a smudging ceremony.” – A
Tell us your story!: “Tyler and I met when we were in high school, I was 15 and he was 17. We were introduced by our best friends who are also a couple and ended up being our maid of honour and best man. We became best friends instantly and a year later we started dating. That was 10 years ago and we’ve been together ever since! We got engaged in May of 2019 on Lanikai Beach in Hawaii. We instantly knew that we wanted an adventurous wedding so we decided to do it on top of a mountain!” – A
How did you find your photographer?: “I thought it was going to be near impossible to find a photographer who was willing to climb a mountain to take wedding photos but I was so wrong! I posted in a local brides group on Facebook looking for recommendations on a photographer who might be interested. I received A LOT of comments from people who were interested in photographing our wedding. Darren Hatt reached out to me personally and said that he would love to photograph our unique wedding. I took a quick look at Darren’s previous work and I knew that he would perfectly capture our day.” – A
Biggest Challenge: “There were two main challenges with planning a mountaintop wedding. One was that weather had an extreme impact on our ability to get married, we did end up with some terrible weather on top of the mountain but luckily it cleared up for long enough for us to get married. The other challenge was that we absolutely could not forget anything – there was no going back once we started! The thought of forgetting our weddings rings or marriage license kept me up for weeks before the wedding.” – A
Best Memory: “The best memory of our wedding was actually the part that “went wrong”. We were supposed to get married on the very top of the mountain but when we got up there it was raining, hailing, windy, and freezing. Everyone was wet and cold but we were all laughing and having a great time anyway. We kept hiking and ended up with a beautiful view and perfect weather on the back of the mountain so it all worked out!” – A
Any advice for couples planning their wedding?: “Plan whatever kind of wedding you want to have! There are no rules to wedding planning, you don’t have to wear a white dress, you don’t have to get married in a church! Plan a day that you will enjoy and remember.” – A
Note From the Photographer: “I’m usually a passive observer at weddings. Floating around like a fly on the wall. Never has a wedding demanded so much of me that I find it hard to separate what I was there to capture and my own feelings about capturing it.
Back in June 2019 when Alex and Tyler first posted on the local wedding board about looking for a photographer to shoot their ceremony on a mountain I immediately threw my hat in. Experiences like these are exactly what we moved to Newfoundland for. After a family health scare earlier this year, the thought of not being able to meet my commitments as their photographer terrified me. As a result, I made serious changes to my diet and relationship with exercise over the last 6 months. I’m glad I did because completing this hike was the most physically challenging and one of the most rewarding experiences and of my life!”
“What made the occasion even more special was Alex and Tyler are Mi’kmaq and this influenced Alex’s AMAZING custom made dress and aspects of their ceremony.
The ceremony was to be held on the summit but when we reached the top we were greeted by rain, hail, and 100kph winds. We found refuge in some rock shelters while Alex and Tyler rested and decided on the next step. They made the tough decision to abandon the original location and find another further down the trail. After another hour of hiking, the weather broke and we came to a beautiful valley on the back on the mountain. It made a perfect backdrop for photos!
Ok, let’s recap! Two people who loved each other so much decided that despite a global pandemic that they were going to get married on a mountain. Together with five of the most loyal, supportive, ride or die friends, hiked 26km, climbed what can best be described as a wet rockslide, up into the clouds, through treacherous weather, and came out the other side. On top of that, they pulled off one of the most beautiful ceremonies I’ve ever been witness to.
Special thanks to Alex, Tyler the rest of the group! I was 10 plus years older than the next oldest person on the trip. Even though I had a stupid heavy backpack it was easy to feel like I was slowing down the group. They were always so patient and encouraging.
After some time, self-reflection (and after my legs stop hurting) I have a feeling there is some profound lesson that this day was meant to teach me about what it means to have a wedding. I don’t yet have the words, all I can say, for now, is that this was special.” Darren, Hatt Photography