2019 Round-Up Post

Melissa Blunden

My Favourite 2019 Instagram Posts

The end of another year! Well, I wrote a traditional year-end for 2018, but I decided since 2019 was anything but traditional, my review for the year should reflect that.
So the following are some of my favourite Instagram images – I hope you enjoy them as much as I did sharing them.

It’s no secret that I post on Instagram every few days, trying to share a mixture of my professional work, tips & tricks for elopements and parts of my personal life all mixed together.

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Happy New Year!! 2019 is here and I hope you had the chance to celebrate it with those you love!
2018 is over and I have say, what a relief – it was a tough one! Check my stories to learn more about this, and take a look through the Blog to see our year end review. I seriously cannot wait for the adventures that this year is going to bring – our travel schedule is filling up with Iceland, Pennsylvania, Italy (maybe??), New Orleans, Alaska and of course Jasper and Banff almost every other weekend! ♡
Hope to run into you out there!!

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Mindfulness is the act of being present and engaged with what’s happening around you, without distraction. For many, mindfulness is a work in progress, myself included, but I also know of its power and benefits. Do you take the time to reflect on your daily activities (or habits) and ask yourself “is this what I truly want to be doing right now?”? Social media has the tendency to distract us from the present, making way for missing out on the real world. In so many ways, it can breed the opposite of mindfulness, the opposite of being present.

This image of Imran in her wedding day, flying in a helicopter over the Rocky Mountains to her elopement makes me remember to be contemplative. I think it’s so very important to remember to be present, to be mindful and to express gratitude in life ♡

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After a short drive to darker skies, we settled in for the show tonight.
Anyone else get to enjoy the Super Blood Wolf Moon?
But why is it red you ask? Because of the phenomenon called Rayleigh Scattering; as the sun moves position, Earth’s atmosphere bends the red light at an angle towards the moon. So in this moment, we actually get to see all the Earths sunsets and all the Earths sunrises at the same time, and that’s pretty rad!

February 8th, 2019 | IGLOOLIK, NUNAVUT
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The Iceland trip is already delivering, at 37000 feet. I see a horse dancing in the night sky. I can’t believe this trip is finally here!! Off we go to spend a week road tripping and hiking through the most amazing landscapes, with some of my very best friends. I have my phone for wifi usage, but guess what? I PURPOSEFULLY LEFT MY LAPTOP BEHIND!!!! So I might be hard to reach over the next week. It was a ridiculously hard choice, and honestly I had it packed until the absolute final last minute, when I ripped it out and set it on the table instead. I want to be fully present and enjoy my time away instead of working so that I can come home completely refreshed for all my beautiful clients (engagement session season is right around the corner!). Who are these amazing ppl I am leaving life to go halfway across the world to see? The beautiful souls I met in Ireland 2 summers ago on a whim and who make an effort to see each other at least once a year (2018 we had 2 group trips: PNW in March and Mexico in July – and you all virtually met Vicki when she came to visit me in September!) Kristin & Michael just arrived in Reykjavik and the rest of us are getting on our planes and arriving all at the same time from different corners of North America and I seriously CANNOT WAIT to run into them in the airport and scream and cry and hug them close!!! I’ll be posting videos and photos to my story as the adventure unfolds (& as wifi allows!) Love you all & stay tuned to see what we get up to!!!


February 14th, 2019 | SKOGAFOSS, ICELAND
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What a week exploring with these 6 beautiful souls. Better Together definitely applies to us, I can’t imagine having done this adventure any other way.
1 more full day in Iceland, ending with a honeymoon session at Grotta Lighthouse tomorrow with an amazing adventure couple who hired me to meet them here from Brooklyn  ???
Iceland: 10/10. Would recommend.

February 16th, 2019 | GROTTA LIGHTHOUSE, ICELAND
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Saying goodbye AGAIN to both Iceland and these beautiful souls has been a heartbreaking and bittersweet experience. Currently flying over the Northwestern Passages, flipping through my images and smiling about how perfect this week has been. From working with adventurous clients to photographing in outstanding locations and roadtripping with some of the very best people I have ever met.
This week was full of deep belly laughs, cozy nights in cottages sleeping under a glass wall looking for the northern lights, exploring ontop of glaciers, caves and waterfalls, getting lost in wonderous sights, the ever lasting quest for Icelandic ponies, completely making up our own card games, hot dog odysseys and just so many bucket list items checked.
Thank you ♡ My heart is so so so full ♡

February 17th, 2019 | REYNISFJARA, ICELAND
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Home from Iceland to find out my computer isn’t working anymore and one of my memory cards from Iceland is failing – but luckily I have a dual card slot in my cameras, meaning I instantly am shooting all of my images onto 2 separate cards. So everything is instantly backed up safely! One of the bonuses to hiring a professional photographer is that we take things like this into consideration when we purchase our gear! And I am actually excited to go this week and buy a new computer, everything will be so so so much faster and more efficient!! I’ve been editing all of your beautiful photos on a 2011 Macbook Pro. IT IS TIME!!! Always looking at the positives!
PS. Isn’t Brittany gorgeous in this handmade dip-dyed skirt made by Vicki

February 17th, 2019 | REYNISFJARA, ICELAND
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This stunning boho gown was handmade specifically for this trip to Iceland by the very talented Victoria at Gypsy Bride and Alexandria wore it like a queen. I wish Instagram would let me post the entirety of this image – you can see the whole mountain and cliff top, with all the nesting Icelandic Sea Bird Ducks… (A very technical and scientific term I have given to them)

March 11th, 2019 | SOUTHROAD, ICELAND
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I cannot believe this epic roadtrip was already a month ago in Iceland! One of my favourite things about renting cars vs being on a tour bus, was the ability to pull over anywhere we wanted to while driving – and on the southroad, that meant a lot of screams in the back seat of Michael’s car “THERE IS A WATERFALL – PULL OVER!” or “PONIES!” or the eloquent “AAAAHHEBEIANWIWNKOQN!!!!!” At one point I actually turned my phone off airplane mode and called the girls in the car ahead of me to tell them to turn around ? it was a long day traveling with me for Michael ♡ memories for a life time though, right?!

March 17th, 2019 | NORDEGG, ALBERTA
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We witnessed a beautiful spring celebration yesterday in the forest ?

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I’m thinking of printing this glacier image from Iceland for my new office space. Big and bold. Think 33×46. Or bigger. But what do you think is best?? Should I print it on a sheet of metal with my lab at Laminart Industries? Or archival quality linen paper and frame it?! Decisions decisions… Let me know what you think I should do in the comments!

March 23rd, 2019 | NORDEGG, ALBERTA
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Did you know it is National Puppy Day? I know posting twice in one day is a lot, buuuut I’d be remiss if I didn’t post about this handsome puppers ?

April 22nd, 2019 | NORDEGG, ALBERTA
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I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

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Trust your heart if the seas catch fire, live by love though the stars walk backward⠀

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This weekend was wild! Over 1200kms driven, 16kms hiked, 3 adventure sessions, wolves, Grizzlies, rams, wild horses and one tired doggo!! Kate and Dave came all the way from Australia to road trip through the Rocky Mountains and I loved showing them all the secret quiet spots I have found over the years! We even discovered a few new ones! I can’t wait to show the rest of the images from this weekend – I hope everyone got to enjoy their May long weekend as much as we did!

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I can’t believe it’s been 2 years already since this amazing elopement at Cedar House Chalets in Golden BC! Literally just Emily and Drake! This was second shot for the amazing Beth from ENV Photography during Canada Day weekend 2017!
Can you guess what waterfall this is? A hint: it’s the 2nd largest waterfall in all of Canada! And it’s one of my favourites, my dad and I used to go to it all the time on our way to Field!

June 7th, 2019 | EDMONTON, ALBERTA
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It’s been a whirlwind of a week!! If I haven’t replied to your inquiries or emails, please give me a little extra time as we are starting our busiest time of the year! For the next 16 weeks, I am working 7 days a week – but I promise to have you answers by the end of the weekend.
On another note, I am stoked to be heading back to the beautiful Highlands Golf Course so soon for an epic wedding ?✌?

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Can I tell you a secret? These two dancing under the setting sun at the Top of the World is one of my favourite memories from this past summer. Initially they were going to have their first dance inside, but we suggested the patio and I couldn’t be happier about that!
Tailor making all your wedding day memories!

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I am teary eyed writing this out

My whole life this location has been something I hoped to see, but never really thought I would. It was a “someday” bucket-list item on my long long list of places – you either canoe 14kms each way in hyperthermic inducing waters, or you can pay for a guided cruise out. Every time I went to Maligne Lake, I would stand at the boathouse and lookout towards these distant peaks, thinking “one day, but not today”, feel a little defeated, and then go back to my car.

Neither Monica nor Nik had ever been to Spirit Island either, but they knew they wanted to have a Jasper adventure and trusted me to create it – and so my ‘someday’ turned out to be today because I have these amazing clients who trust me; who let me help them make the best experiences – crafting something personal and just for them – something worthy and memorable enough to help mark their epic love story.
On top of that, these two listened to me when I said we needed to get the premium tickets, so we could be at the Island for 30+ minutes, not 15 minutes.
They drove 5 hours to get there. Sat on a cold boat for 2 hours in snow and rain, with smiles on their faces and laughter in the air.
They trusted me completely and they loved every moment of today and my heart is so full!! This is what it is about ♡ and this weekend has been everything ♡
There are so many images to go through, because we also went to 3 other spots during their half day adventure session – but here are a few of my favourites from Spirit Island.

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Small business owners:
How do you practice your “work-life balance”? And how do you know when you’ve found this mythical balance? —
I’ve been feeling so swamped and exhausted lately with my nonprofit job soooo, I took this afternoon off work (GASP ???) and went to a hair appointment for a fresh new look and to help me relax (it took TWO HOURS into my appointment for me to stop checking my phone and ‘turn off’ my brain!) and am taking @doggorue to the dog park tonight to play! We both need it ?? —
Here’s some helpful cues to check if you’re “balanced” or not: —
You know you’ve found balance when:
You are satisfied with your work and home lives
You can fulfill your multiple responsibilities at home, at work, and in the community without guilt or regret
You have good physical health, emotional stability and strong social connections
You have a sense of control over your life
You feel that any decisions you make are informed choices rather than sacrifices
You have realistic expectations about what you can and cannot do

How do you know when you haven’t got it?
You’re constantly tired and feel like you’re running uphill all the time and getting nowhere
You feel like you have no choices or control
Life seems to be happening to you instead of you managing your life
You can think of more things that aren’t getting done than are getting done
You’re frequently challenged by guilt and regret that you’re neglecting areas of your life

July 14th, 2019 | CANNON BEACH, OREGON, USA
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The Sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever. —Jacques Cousteau

I’ve been longing to get out to the ocean again lately which is strange for me – as I love being in the mountains so so much!
But it’s been over 7 months since I’ve stood on a beach (Reynisfjara) and watched the tide slowly come in and out, and that is just something I could do for hours.
Does anyone else ever feel this way?

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Aliens invaded the moon, 50 years ago today.
#moonlanding #strangerthings

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Raise your hand if you love spending time in wild places, doing things you only dreamed of! ??‍♀️??‍♀️??‍♀️Ya, me too!
Lucky you, I have a whole blog post all about how to plan an epic elopement, with resources, example timelines to help visualize your days and even some of my favourite vendors and locations available on my website now for everyone to read, enjoy and soak in.
I don’t know about you, but I might have to add in “flash the mountains” or “go skinny dipping” to some of the sample timelines!
but for real, check the link in my profile and give it a look and let me know what you think! I so hope it is helpful to some of you adventurers!!!

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Isn’t it amazing to be alive on the planet right now? Isn’t it amazing to be who we are and have the opportunities we have? Do we still have work to do – Absolutely. Do we need to work hard to make sure everyone has the same opportunities and invitations to greatness? Heck yes! I think we are all, by design, 100% worthy and as a worldwide community, we need to do better to uplift ourselves, each other and this precious planet we have been given.

So this is why I am so stoked to announce my new carbon offsetting plan!!! This is part of my business that I am so excited and pumped up for. I am partnering with some amazing companies in Canada( Tree Canada, Alberta Forestry) that help offset carbon footprints and emissions.

Last year, when I rebranded my company, chose a new name and even wrote down my vision, mission and value statements – this was part of my bigger plan! I am excited to share that for my 2018 business year, 100 trees were planted in Canada in the Grow Clean Air program and with #OperationReLeaf for the work against the Alberta Mountain Pine Beetle (if you’ve been on a mountain adventure with me, you’ve heard all about this already!!)!
— This is something you can do as an individual, or as a business and they even have a calculator on their website to help you figure out what exactly your footprint is. When you’re making a decision, it is really important to honour that intention and this is exactly how I want my company, my work, and my passions to align to protect this gorgeous part of the planet I am so privileged to live in, and proud to keep exploring, with my business, Cedar Lane Weddings, as a 100% carbon neutral business. ?you can read more about it on my website?

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I am beyond excited for this gal who is quitting her job to follow her dreams!
2 more days love!!! So tell me- If you could quit your 9-5 and do ANYTHING in the world, what would it be?

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I feel like every few months I go through my Instagram feed and think “hmm. I should post more black and white images” and then I make a post about promising to post more B&Ws… and then a few months later….. You get the idea.⁠
I can’t help it! I love the colours of my sessions and locations so much that I feel almost sacrilegious in posting B&Ws of them! That all said – I do LOVE black and white images and I always give black and white edits to my couples and include them in their galleries as I find them to be timeless and gorgeous in their own rights. So here is the biggest test I guess, a black and white of a glorious couple at the ever stunning Moraine Lake.

September 5th, 2019 | LANCASTER, PENNSYLVANIA, USA
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Excuse me while I cry all over again from remembering this magical wedding I got to second shoot for Vicki Moyer

September 10th, 2019 | CLE ELUM, WASHINGTON, USA
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Spent a little time yesterday with some of Seattle’s best in Banff ??? #seattlesbest ☕
One of the best things that has come out of this career I have made from photography is the “networking opportunities”. More than 90% of the time it’s not networking – I create lifelong friends with my peers from across the world!
It warms my heart to be able to not only show people around this beautiful country that I love, but to be able to visit them in the places they call home! Henry and Viet are two soulful people I met a year and a half ago at the @wanderinggetaways and they’ve been killing it since! It’s been a privilege to see their businesses grow!! Some of my very best friends I met on a workshop in Ireland, and if you’ve been following me for more than the last 6 months you will notice that the same characters pop up in my stories a lot!
3 more weeks until I head to the Island for my last workshop (@thekindleworkshop @henrysdiary is joint-teaching it!! What!!!) booked for 2019 and I cannot wait to see who all I meet and get to learn from there and the relationships that we will build!

September 16th, 2019 | BANFF NATIONAL PARK, ALBERTA
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Epic adventures from late last night ✨

September 24th, 2019 | BANFF NATIONAL PARK, ALBERTA
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You’re planning a wedding and at some point during selecting how many chairs you need, between table linens and steak or chicken, you decide the most fitting way to get married is to go on a wild adventure together in a place that sparks inspiration and joy. When we get to the summit, the first time the wind hits your face, you know you’re somewhere epic, somewhere in the world that is special — somewhere that’s perfect for you two.⁠
Standing there, you commit your life to each other in an unbelievable setting that you’ll never forget… and just like that, the day you married your best friend has become your adventure yet.⁠
This is what it’s like to elope – planning something that is wildly yours

September 27th 2019 | CANMORE, ALBERTA
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The first snowfall of the year, magic. Pure magic.

September 29th 2019 | BONNEVILLE SALT FLATS, UTAH, USA
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Heading out on the road again for the next few weeks!! If you’re in Banff Sept 29-30, Victoria Oct 1-5, Lake Louise Oct 6, New Orleans Oct 9-14, or Golden Oct 25-27, hit me up for a drink!
Love to meet new people everywhere I go ♡

September 30th, 2019 | BANFF NATIONAL PARK, ALBERTA
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3000 followers!! Wow! Thank you all so much for being a part of this crazy journey with me! In 2018 I rebranded my business and it’s been a massive project! I thought I would take a minute to introduce myself with some random facts so you can all get to know me a little better:
1. I’m Melissa and I’ve been photographing elopements and weddings for 5 years and was a travel photographer for like… a million years before! I am branching into videography in 2020 and am so excited to offer adventure highlight video addons to my clients!

2. ??? My pets have my heart – Rupert and Sky ♡ both are rescues, @doggorue I have had for almost a year now and Sky for over 11 years!! They honestly complete me!

3. I studied anthropology, history & museum studies, which lead to me living abroad in both Italy & Peru working on archaeological sites! In 2015, I came back to Canada where I worked for 2 years across our beautiful country. I found some pretty amazing artifacts in my time – swipe to see an image of me cleaning the 1100 year old human splanchnocranium I uncovered in a chullpa high in the Andes of Peru ?

4.Traveling to new places and experiencing new cultures is my biggest passion in life. On a whim, my sister @mother_earth83 and I spent 30 days trekking through the Nepali Himalayans and it was easily been one of the hardest & amazing experiences of my life. Outside of Canada, I’ve swam in glacial waters of Iceland, sandsurfed in Peru, hiked volcanoes and rainforests in Costa Rica & Nicaragua, explored the streets of Europe, and so much more. Where to next?? You tell me!

5. I own Cedar Lane Weddings, but what you probably didn’t know is I am also the Executive Director for a Historical Society! This means I run 2 museums (financials|exhibit design|programming|everything inbetween), sit on 4 boards as Chair and authorize the historical building inspections and designations for the area. It’s a pretty crazy schedule, but I love both my photography and my history worlds too much to pick one career over the other.

If you made it this far, well you’re just amazing!! Tell me about yourself in the comments ♡ what has been your biggest adventure in life so far?

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Head. Heart. Hands.

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This is how I sit for breakfast – WBY?⁠ ??‍♀️?☕
Also it was so crazy, but Cole and I got to talking over lunch and it turns out he knows my original yogi crew over at Lotus & Lettuce!

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Did you know if you stare at this image hard enough, then bring your phone to your ear you can hear all the colours of the wind ?

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Heading out of country for a few days for a wedding, in a location I’ve always wanted to visit, with some of the most AMAZING people on the planet! Literally cannot wait!!
I will be on airplane mode and will return any calls and texts when I get back to Canada next week – otherwise you can email me and I will try my hardest to reply in the evenings!!! Can you guess where we’re going this time?

Hint: ????

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Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! This year I am away from home for the holidays working which can be kinda lonely, but am so thankful for all the opportunities I’ve had over the last year with Cedar Lane Weddings! It can be hard to travel a ton for work, and balance timelines, sessions, schedules and homelife but I couldn’t do it without my team! I am blessed to have some of the most amazing friends and clients, all over this world – literally on every continent! It definitely helps with the travel!

And I’m grateful for such a supportive community online and in-person. It truly means so much! ? I photographed my last wedding for 2019 on Saturday and am excited to dig into all the fall and winter sessions upcoming!! ?✨ for now it’s the journey home to see my family; Skyline and @doggorue!

October 31st, 2019 | NORDEGG, ALBERTA
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Happy Doggo Halloweeno everyone!!! ? #imaspookyghost –
What are you doing tonight? Rue, Sky and I are watching the classics tonight – Hocus Pocus & Practical Magic – and ordering in some pizza!! I hope everyone gets to enjoy their night xx

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Do you live for the next adventure?
Just under 24hrs left to enter to win our first ever adventure themed giveaway!!!
Check the previous post to learn how to enter ♡ ✨✌? in the meantime let’s swoon over this next adventure session being delivered this week!! #thatbluetho

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ERRRMGOSH MY FIRST ADVENTURE CONTEST JUST CLOSED!!! A $100 @mec gift card just to celebrate their rad AF teams awesomeness and mine too, dur!
I am getting ready to go live and do the draw right here at 6PM MNT! So stay tuned for the announcement!
To tie you over, let’s play a little game of “B&W or Colour” from E & J’s intimate mountain adventure that I delivered today…
It’s not often I deliver the same image in both options, that’s because I shoot with either in mind for every image I take. But sometimes an image looks too good either way and I just can’t pick 1 over the other!
Take a swipe left and right and let me know which edit you prefer, B&W or colour!

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Utah called, and I answered ✌?working on these hella hotties this week and can’t wait to send them the whole gallery ??

November 20th, 2019 | BANFF NATIONAL PARK, ALBERTA
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Putting my nose down into retouching the past few weeks and I was beyond excited last night to send off Robert & Denises intimate wedding! A few weeks early and full of nothing but love!⁠

I don’t often talk about my museum world here, but… this week I submitted our reapplication for museum status to the Alberta Museum Association, which gives us our accreditation as a recognized museum. I have been working on this 120 page document since February and it is a huge weight off to have it done! THEN – because of how good the reapplication I made was, they asked us if we would like to be seen as a leader in the museum world in the province! A huge recognition and I couldn’t be more excited to have achieved this for the little museums in town here.

What is something you’ve accomplished recently that you are proud of? I want to hear it! Whether it’s a small feat or something big you have been working on for a while – please share it with me ??

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Right after they eloped in Glacier National Park ✨
The deeper I dive into my work, the reasons behind why I do what I do become more clear and the easier it is to recognize the people who value the same things in life as I do.

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Just dropping an epic image with a quick note that I’ll be out of service for the next 48 hours on an epic adventure in the mountains. I’ll be checking and replying to all your inquiries and emails upon my return Tuesday evening!!! ♡ in the meantime, remember to get out there and adventure folks!!

November 30th, 2019 | BANFF NATIONAL PARK, ALBERTA
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It’s been 1 year this weekend that I officially launched the new website, focusing solely on YOUR elopements and mountain adventures!
Feeling so, so much gratitude to all my clients and supporters who have been following along Cedar Lane Adventure Elopements & Weddings.

To every couple who has invited me into their most intimate moments over the past year… I want to give you my sincerest THANK YOU. ? I cannot wait to keep exploring and sharing with you all this year, there’s already over a dozen elopements for 2020 booked including Kananaskis, Nordegg, Yoho, Banff, Jasper, Fairmont… I’ll be updating my travel schedule shortly, so keep tuned for that as well (hello Alaska and Iceland!!!)
Remember to stay brave, choose your dreams and keep adventuring ??

December 1st, 2019 | LA FORTUNA, COSTA RICA
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I’ve been spending some much needed time the last two weeks with my family and friends! It’s been a great recharge after a very busy year here. I worked 18 weeks in a row, straight, with little more than a few hours to myself and my pets. To all my clients that are ever so patiently waiting for their galleries, I love you to the moon and I’m digging right back in this evening to editing and send off a few more adventure and intimate sessions and my very last elopement of the year by the end of the week!
Thank you thank you thank you

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Thinking about my very first trip to Costa Rica, back in 2011 when I spontaneously packed up after finals and skipped a snowy Christmas at home to explore this lush country. I fell in love with it and have been so fortunate to go back 4 times since!!

So incredibly stoked to announce as of yesterday I will be going back in 7 weeks with one of the most amazing couples on the planet. ??? I might be biased on it, but I truly think all my clients fit that definition!!

PS. I am only taking on a few more clients for 2020, so please contact me soon if you’ve been thinking about it! Because I dedicate the same amount of love and attention to my couples regardless of if you book me for 4 hours or 4 days, I am limiting the number for 2020 I take on so I can give each of you my all, and still have time for myself, my family and that other job I have!

Check out my travel schedule on my website to see if we are going to be in the same areas at the same time or if you want to help me plan somewhere new to add to the list! ??places I am dying to visit include Alaska, Patagonia, Switzerland, Italy & Morocco!

This image was taken using an old 5 megapixel 2001 Fuji Underwater ‘Adventure Edition’ camera, and won a 2016 international award in the Wanderlust category ?

December 10th, 2019 | GOLDEN, BRITISH COLUMBIA
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Wind swept hair is my favourite.

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Currently struggling through a head-cold and am curled up on the sofa with a cup of tea, trying to read a new book gifted to me last night, with Rupert at my feet and Sky beside me.⁠
I have a phone consult tonight (for 1 of the 2 spots left in my 2020 calendar!), so please hit me up with your best tips to shake off a winter cold!⁠

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This week was International Mountain Appreciation Day! AND I MISSED IT!! December 11th. Oops!! I thought I better get something on here about it quick because if there was ever someone who appreciated the mountains, it was me! ⁠
I count myself so lucky to be able to work here <3 ⁠
What is your favourite part of the mountains?⁠

December 17th 2019 | PENNSYLVANIA, USA
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With the holidays here, I know can be an overwhelming time for a lot of us, so I am going to take a step on the vulnerable side to talk about something that has been heavy on my heart the past few days.
This ability I have created in myself over the years -a homebody, normally shy and awkward person- this capacity to connect with couples from around the world, who then invite me to share in their most sacred of moments, who are vulnerable and open with me. It is a 2 way street. This takes so much courage on their part to be able to trust a complete stranger with one of the most significant parts of their relationship.
It is SO important to me that my couples are happy, comfortable and feeling EXCITED to be partnering with me. To have booked me – to know I don’t book every client that wants to hire me because I work really hard to make sure my connection is real with each and every one of my couples and can only fit so many elopements into my schedule.

If you are one of my past or present clients, you can attest to the multiple phone calls, emails, texts, the in-depth questionnaires I hand-crafted to get to know you as a couple better. The amount of hours I happily put into making your custom location and timelines and the pure love I have for this crazy life journey.
I am not about “taking a few quick images in front of a pretty backdrop” and moving on. I do things differently than other photographers. We are not going to spend your day cramming in as many posed portraits in front of that rock, or over by that tree. Instead we’re going to take our time and enjoy every moment, and while you two are being your most authentic selves, I’ll be along for the ride, documenting it unfold naturally.

I believe that adventure is for everyone; that the best times are when we embrace our passions. When we get our feet dirty and our hair is messy in the wind. Connection and trust create all sorts of good things: true friendships and relationships with real people, real emotions and real soul. Authenticity. That is my goal and I am so excited for each and every one of my couples, past and future, who have given me the opportunity to be their third wheel and make magic ✨

See the Instagram Favourite Post here

I took my staff out today for a Christmas lunch as we are winding down for the holidays in the office.
What some of you don’t know maybe, is that I have a full-time job outside of my photography business running 2 non-profit museums. It’s something I am equally as passionate about, as I have a bachelor’s degree in anthropology, an after degree in museum studies and spent 3 years working as an archaeologist across Canada and internationally.
2.5 hours later for lunch today instead of our usual 1hr lunch break (being honest, as the boss I skip my breaks daily as I have too much on my plate to take time), but today was so worth it. It was nice to say “don’t worry about it” when they asked if it was okay we were staying long at the restaurant. It was nice to make them feel appreciated and special for all their hard work this year! –
“But Melissa, what does that have to do with this FIRE image?” you may be asking.
Absolutely nothing ??

December 25th, 2019 | BANFF NATIONAL PARK, ALBERTA
See the Instagram Favourite Post here

However you celebrate the holidays (or don’t), I hope it is filled with love! Sending love and light to everyone who are missing loved ones tonight ? If anyone needs a safe space to chat, drop me a PM <3 I will be awake a few more hours finishing up a couple galleries before Santa swings by to fill Rupert & Skyline’s stockings. ⁠

See the Instagram Favourite Post here

Currently wrangling up my year end blog post and looking back at these two beautiful souls ♡

If you enjoyed this 2019 Year Review – Favourite Instagram post, please make sure to read my Best of 2019 Weddings & Elopements & my 2018 Year Review Post


  1. Sean Oblizalo

    WOW your year looked amazing! Gimme all the Canada photos!

  2. Meagan Lawler

    Eeep! So beautiful! I especially love the hands and moon image and the bride running on the beach. Plus that B&W of the couple in Banff is STUNNING. What a great year recap!

  3. Trisha

    OBSESSED with December 15th post in Banff!!!

  4. Deanna

    My goodness your 2019 looks so fulfilling and adventurous. Definitely glad I clicked on your website through the Wanderlust group. Way to make your dreams come true doing what you love. So inspiring! Keep up the great work!

  5. BreeAnna Lasher

    woww! It looks like you had an amazing year! Your work is stunning!

  6. Kostas Petsas

    Oh what an amazing year 2019 was! And your pictures do justice to these amazing places. Gave me the chills. Of course Iceland is one of my favorite places on the planet, but maybe my favorite shot is the one on the helicopter.
    Wish you the best for 2020.
    Big hug from Greece

  7. Jessica

    Congratulations on an absolutely outstanding year in photography, Melissa! I know that 2020 will be filled with more gorgeous elopements and adventures for you!

  8. Traci

    Those Iceland photos <3 So much magic!

  9. Caroline

    Wow these are so beautiful! Particularly love your night skies and the Iceland shots! Well done on an amazing year!

  10. Stephanie Betsill

    What an incredible year!! I loved reading through your 2019 chronologically! I can’t wait to see what 2020 has in store.

  11. Kate Hampson

    WOW INCREDIBLE. What a year!! I took so long reading this to really absorb the images. Speaking of – are you selling prints of the moon? SWOON

  12. Autumn

    Your 2019 looked amazing and so fulled with adventure! I am excited to see your 2020 review ❤️.

  13. Paige N Weber

    Congratulations on your killer year!! It sounds like you have a ton on your plate but your images are so beautiful ( :

  14. Lauren

    These are all SO dreamy and gorgeous! Banff National park looks out of this world amazing, and I need to visit soon!


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