Wedding Marija & Nick’s Wedding Weekend in Chamonix
Looking back at Marija and Nick’s wedding day in Chamonix fills me with a lot of happiness, Chamonix makes such a fantastic location for wedding celebrations & Restaurant La Caban makes such a stunning venue.
I was first introduced to the couple by the lovely Estelle from Haute Weddings who was the wedding planner for this wedding celebration.
As with most couples, I first met Marija & Nick on FaceTime before the wedding and it was a pleasure to speak to them. They are based in New York and it was clear from talking to them that we would make a great team as we soon discovered a shared passion for the mountains.
The couple had decided that they would celebrate over three days in the valley as many of their family and friends were traveling from all over the world and all of them were big skiers so obviously Chamonix was a great location for a wedding and holiday combination!.
I was delighted when they told me that they’ve chosen Restaurant La Caban as their wedding venue as I had photographed many a wedding at this beautiful location; it’s just an awesome place for couples as it sits right in the middle of the Chamonix Valley and not to mention the wonderful team that works there. The whole combination of food, location, friendliness makes it an awesome place to have a wedding celebration.
On the first day of the celebrations, many of the key guests and family gathered for a rehearsal at Restaurant La Caban and then after that all of their guests arrived at the MBC (Micro-Brasserie de Chamonix) pub for beers, burgers and lots of fun
On the second day the morning sun was shining in the April spring skies. My second shooter; Chris Teagles arrived to cover Nick, his brother, and the best man getting ready, capturing all the intimate moments of this side of the family being together.
Maria, on the other hand, was in a chalet surrounded by all her friends, bridesmaid and mum and this was where I photographed Maria getting ready and enjoying the building excitement.
Soon it was time for the wedding celebration & Marija looked so happy as she came walking down the aisle arm in arm with her father, you could see Nick was truly overwhelmed with emotion.
After the ceremony, the champagne flowed and there was a real carnival atmosphere. I quickly organized some of the family and friendship group photos. The Sun was shining down on La Caban’s terrace which overlooks the world-class golf course and is surrounded by the magnificent mountains of the Chamonix Valley. The drinks were flowing and it was easy to see that Nick and Maria were having the time of their lives with all their friends. Myself and Chris Teagles positioned ourselves in locations where we could capture all the candid and natural interactions and as you can see from the photos, there was a lot of love going around which was an absolute pleasure to capture.
Soon it was onto the speeches; Nick gave an incredible tribute to his late mother and you could really see how much love there was in the room for the new Mr and Mrs Rhodes.
The time soon flew by & and soon Marija was on the dance floor having her first dance with her new husband and the pair of them couldn’t have looked any happier! Later the dancefloor was pumping and everyone had a great time especially when the Serbian band Qualitet Orkestar appeared out of nowhere and played an incredible musical set of live music which soon had the crowd going absolutely wild. Marija was hoisted up onto many of her family’s shoulders and the atmosphere was electric. The evening was finished off with a great DJ set from DJ Ayhan.
Now, you might think that was the end of the celebrations but it wasn’t because the next day Nick and Marija met me at the Brevent cable car in their wedding clothes and we headed up on the mountain with some of their friends and did a mountain ski session where I captured some group photos of the couple with their friends, with the amazing Chamonix backdrop behind them and even did a little bit of go-pro filming of the couple skiing much to the amusement and delight of the tourists looking on in amazement, it was quite a spectacle!
As you can tell from the photos this truly was an amazing wedding weekend.
Thank you to all of Marija & Nicks family and friends and to Estelle for recommending me along with Haute Weddings and also to Chris Teagles for being such a great 2nd shooter.
A chat with Marija & Nick
Nicholas Rhodes & Marija Ojdrovic (Rhodes!)
April 12, 2019
La Cabane des Praz
How did you guys meet, tell me all?
Marija’s story (the actual version:)
For the first time ever my parents told me not to come home for my dad’s birthday, and the same weekend, my friends had an intervention and told me I was always quadruple booked and that had to stop. I was confused about the sequence of events. Fast-forward a few days. I was having a drink with a guy on Friday, October 23rd after work. He’d been asking me out for a drink for two years. He texted e the next day saying he enjoyed the drink and asked if I’d join him at a rooftop party that afternoon. A couple of his friends were hosting a “Flannel Party” and I knew a couple other people who were going. I had a few other things planned that day, but, having taken my friends’ intervention to heart, I decided to cancel them all and be spontaneous – go to just this rooftop party… even though I wasn’t really too interested in him.
Joel came by to pick me up and we walked to 43 Jane Street together. On the way there, I picked up a bottle of Jack Daniels for the hosts – they could mix it with apple cider – it was an autumn flannel party after all. When we climbed the 6 flights of stairs to the roof, I asked the guy to point out the hosts, “who should I give this bottle to?”. He pointed to Joey Hegener, in a winter pajama onesie… and to Nick Rhodes… J
My whole day suddenly changed. I couldn’t stop staring at him on the roof. He was surrounded by girls the entire afternoon, totally ignoring me. I met Lisa – a girl that Nick had invited and apparently had been trying to pursue for months (I didn’t know this at the time). It did look like she had come specifically for him though. Lisa and I totally hit it off – she was French Canadian and really sweet. We planned to have brunch the next day. Lisa left. The guy I arrived with I then asked if I wanted to go to the next party with him… needless to say, I said NO.
I then ran into a mutual friend, Aly. I asked her who this cutie was… to which she responded “Oh Rhodes… I dunno if you want to get involved… he’s always on a date”. Some time passed, and I found her grabbing my hand and “accidently” bumping into Nick. She told Nick that I played tennis and told me that Nick spoke French (??:)).
We spoke for a grand total of 15 seconds at which point some blondie surely whisked him away. I next found myself standing at the bottom of the stairs, next to a bookcase, talking to “the guy with the naked girls on his leather jacket”. Nick stood on the other side of me, his back to me, entertaining a group of ladies sitting on the couch. I made my way to the kitchen to get a glass of water, and Nick followed closely behind. I asked him if his friends were doing drugs in his room and vividly remember him saying that he didn’t do that, but he wasn’t sure what they were doing. He then said “I’d like to kiss you”… and did! SO CHEESY but I still remember exactly how that felt. (Also, WHAT AUDACITY!!!) Right after, he said I was never allowed to meet his brother and his best friend. He then immediately proceeded to FaceTime both Pete and Grant so we could meet.
We found ourselves with a smaller group on the roof, having a glass of wine, when Nick suggested we get a blanket and stay up there – it was getting cold and some friends were leaving to go to see some live music at The Red Lion. NO WAY, FRAT BOY. I left and went to a party with my friends.
At the Red Lion, a few minutes after I arrived with some girls, mid-dance floor (and, honestly, probably fireball shot in hand) I look up to see Nick standing a few feet away. The rest is history… we’ve been inseparable ever since. 🙂
How did you get engaged, is there a cool story?
This was the most special day ever! Nick and I were going to Atlanta for Memorial Day long weekend to stay with Nick’s dad, Will. His sister, Anna, was also coming home for the long weekend, and it was going to be a relaxing weekend filled with barbecues and sunshine. It had been an exhausting few weeks at work, and all I wanted to do was sleep in every day. That did NOT happen. Saturday morning rolled around, and Nick was tossing and turning in bed at 6am. He eventually was so annoying I told him to get up! A couple of hours later, he came back in the bedroom, woke me up, and said his dad had a friend downstairs, and we should be kind and respectful and go have coffee with them. So, I got up, showered, put on something decent to meet this family friend for the first time, and followed Nick down the stairs. When we turned the corner and looked into the kitchen, my jaw dropped, and I immediately started crying. My parents were standing there with his dad and sister. I could not believe it! I thought my dad was at home in Canada, and my mom visiting my grandfather in Slovenia! I have no idea how they pulled it off. Nick then took me to the back porch, got down on one knee (while everyone peeked through the kitchen window), and asked me to marry him! It was the most emotional moment I have ever experienced! I had to ask him later what he told me during his little speech – I was so emotional I had totally blacked out! It was so lovely to be able to celebrate that moment and that weekend with our closest loved ones!
What made you choose your wedding venue, did you look at many?
We originally thought that we would get married in Atlanta. Nick grew up there, and I grew up in Toronto. Atlanta weather is better, so why not? We spent an entire weekend visiting venues all around Atlanta and settled on a ranch – it was exactly what we wanted – or so we thought! Upon our return home to New York, we spent hours and hours each week discussing details about our Atlanta wedding, and somehow just couldn’t confirm anything. Finally, one evening, over a cocktail, we thought to ourselves – where have we been the happiest together? Chamonix immediately came to mind. We thought – why wouldn’t we bring our best friends and closest family to the place we love most and celebrate our wedding there?! The next day we realised that the Caban was where we wanted to have our wedding, and we never looked back!
What was the inspiration/theme of your wedding?
Apres-ski! We wanted everyone to have FUN, party in the sunshine and have plenty of rose and Aperol spritz with saxophone and mountains in the background. So many of our favorite people in the world were in one place – we wanted to create a weekend to remember!
What is your first song and why?
“This Will Be”. We wish there was a better story to this. We had been thinking about what we wanted to dance to for our first dance, and there were a couple of funny, memorable songs as contenders, but our families would not have approved! One night, we were at the wedding of two of our dear friends, and this song came on as the song for the father, daughter dance. Immediately we looked at each other, and knew it was the one!
What would be your number one tip to other couples planning their wedding?
Don’t stress the small stuff. Pick your top 3 priorities and don’t worry too much about the rest. Our goal was to ensure everyone was having FUN and that that fun was captured in an authentic way so we could cherish it forever so our priorities were 1. Photographer, 2. Music and 3. Fun Drinks! We didn’t worry too much about anything else, and in the end, that is what kept us sane!
Planner: Haute Wedding – Estelle de Paoli
Venue: La Cabane des Praz
Music: I Will Sax (sax player) — amazing) & DJ Ayhan & Brass Band (for Serbian music) Qualitet Orkestar
Flowers: Fleuri Cimes
Drinks: Conroy Vins et Spiritueux
What was it like having Charlie as your wedding photographer?
We are so grateful that Estelle, our amazing wedding planner, put us in touch with Charlie Davies. We were initially drawn to his authentic candid portraits of people at weddings, feeling real emotions, expressing real joy, and is captured perfectly in the most natural way. We then met Charlie, and it all made sense. By the time the week of our wedding had arrived, it was clear that whether Charlie was our chosen photographer or not, we would have wanted him at the wedding as a close friend. Amazingly, he is now not only a close friend (who was loved by everyone at our whole 3 day wedding weekend) but was also the most professional person w could have ever dreamed of as a photographer. Charlie took the time to FaceTime and text with us regularly before the wedding. He wanted to get to know us, and understand what we were looking for and how we acted around each other. We had an amazing day in Chamonix a few months before the wedding, taking engagement photos and enjoying endless laughs all together. This really set the tone for our interaction during the wedding weekend and made us all feel so comfortable together. It was as if we had known each other for years. We decided to ask Charlie to spend three days with us – the rehearsal dinner, the wedding itself and ski & apres ski day after the wedding – and we are so glad we did! The shots we got from all three days from Charlie were incredible and we are endlessly thankful. He is a kind, fun, caring person, with an absolutely unique and undeniable talent behind the camera. We could not be happier that he was there to spend time with us and capture the happiest memories we have ever made. Nobody could have done a better job. THANK YOU, CHARLIE!! Nick & Marija
SEE THEIR VIDEO STORY HERE 🙂