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Frozen photo-shoot in Lac La Biche leads to summer wedding in Edmonton

Couple has unique winter engagement keepsakes after frozen photo-shoot

LAC LA BICHE - For some couples about to tie the knot, getting cold feet before the big day is a bad thing. But for Lac La Biche-born Loody Fayad and his wife-to-be Sydney Hutton, cold feet will be part of their picture-perfect wedding memories.

Fayad, 27 and Hutton, 26, are getting married in Edmonton this July 22. The wedding day is a full month into the hot Alberta summer — but several weeks ago, the happy couple were in Lac La Biche — in the middle of winter — getting their engagement photos taken at the pond in the Alexander Hamilton Community Park ... actually on the frozen pond ... in the middle of the skating rink carved onto the ice. Fayad in a dark suit, and Hutton in a formal, fitted dress, were a contrast to several skating families, wrapped up with mitts, hats, winter coats and snow-pants on the chilly winter afternoon.

"Oh my gosh, it was so cold. I thought my feet were going to fall off," Hutton told Lakeland This Week with a laugh, remembering the chilly — but wonderful — day.  "It's so pretty in the winter, and Lac La Biche is such a beautiful place."

Lac La Biche photographer Dalyla Abougouche showed the couple images of several local locations for the photo shoot. The park was the clear winner.

"I had already seen the pond in the summertime, and it's such a cute little area," said Hutton, who lives in Edmonton and works for an energy company, "and when Dalyla sent us photos of it in the winter, I said, 'Yep, that's the spot.'" 

But to get to the spot on the ice, the couple had to make their way through knee-deep snow piled around the edge of the frozen community pond.

"I carried Sydney to the ice. Her feet were cold in the snow, so I carried her over," said Fayad, who also lives in Edmonton, and works as a power engineer. The groom-to-be also offered his wife-to-be his suit jacket to cut some of the winter chill.

"Carrying her and letting her have the jacket, I guess that's pretty chivalrous," Fayad said with a laugh.  "She's going to be expecting a lot more of that now."

While Fayad carried his partner, the photographer carried her camera bags, filled with lenses and other photo equipment. She was also packing a few much-appreciated extra items to the unique location.

"Dalyla brought hand and feet warmers. That was so nice," said Hutton.

Also nice are the photos of the day. Fayad said the unique setting and Abougouche's camera talents made for some great images.

"We thought it all turned out great," he said, adding that the setting was perfect since both he and Hutton like the outdoors and ice fishing. "It was such a great setting for us. We were there for the sun setting, and the colours and the ice just made it really nice."

While Hutton enjoys the outdoors and ice fishing, she admits to having some cautious moments during the on-ice photo-shoot — but said her fiancee helped to thaw any concerns. 

"I do love to ice fish — but the ice scares me a little. My mom always drills that into my head, 'Be careful on the ice,' she tells me. But Loody told me it was OK, and I trust him."

The couple thinks they could be continuing the outdoor water theme for some of their wedding day photos in a few month's time, likely having a few pictures taken near the North Saskatchewan River where Hutton's family has some property.

Feet-warmers probably won't be needed for that one, she joked.

Loody Fayad is the son of Lac La Biche residents Helen and Esim Fayad.

Rob McKinley

About the Author: Rob McKinley

Rob has been in the media, marketing and promotion business for 30 years, working in the public sector, as well as media outlets in major metropolitan markets, smaller rural communities and Indigenous-focused settings.
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