"Love, don't you worry, I'm running down the aisle."
I read this text to Kyle over Allison's shoulder while she wrote it, and knew immediately I would need tissues for the day. Friend's since school, the two didn't start dating until later in life. But throughout my time with them - meeting, planning, getting ready, vows - I felt these two didn't step into this lightly. They took the commitment seriously. They both fought back tears will making their vows beneath a huge tree and the setting sun.
I will also forever remember the speeches. I have never encountered such amazing speeches from friends and family - folks, if you spoke at this wedding, and you're reading this, you should probably give lessons on wedding speeches. Heartfelt, honest, and not a single cliché. It was clear that this couple is a rock for so many people - dependable, reliable, and generous.
Maid of Honour Nicole brought the house down with the most hilarious, touching, and well-planned speech I've ever heard. Heck, she had props she had saved since grade school! A guten-free brownie bar and outdoor bar set the scene for an insanely fun night where people danced inside with giant balloons, chatted outside underneath the trees, and started off this marriage with a whole lotta love.
Venue: Healy Farms
Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero
Makeup Artist: Meghan Lawlor
Bridesmaid’s Attire: David’s Bridal
Groom’s Suit: Moores
Groomsmen’s Attire: Moores
Floral Design: Roxann Brown (Sister-In-Law)
Cake: Gluten-Free Brownie Bar
Officient: Don McRae
I rarely make it down to the Toronto waterfront (which is odd, because I grew up on the ocean and miss being near the water). My avoidance is purely due to the mass of people that tend to congregate during the warmer months to go sailing, take in the view, and bask on the many patios. As lovely as all of those things are, I have this association with solitude and being near the water.
Kat and Bryan schooled me though - just go on Sunday evening! Or, even better, go on Sunday evening when it's RAINING. No one will be there! And I got it all - the view, the solitude, and those misty waters I love so much. I harassed their cat at their apartment, took full advantage of their rooftop terrance, and grabbed a drink and Boxcar Social (which is quickly becoming my favourite haunt. Seriously, the drinks are perfect and the staff treat you like best friends).
Afterwards I was treated to a little tour around the waterfront, and up around the Skydome (I will still always call it the Skydome). Kat and Bryan, I will not wish for rain on your wedding day but c'mon, you look pretty damn great in it:)
STEPH + CHRIS
My favourite details at a wedding are often hard to photograph. For example:
1. The sole of the groomsmen's shoe is currently being held together by chewing gum
2. One of the bridesmaid's is a super organized teacher, and has set 27 alarms for the wedding day. Alarm 1 - wake up! Alarm 2 - brush teeth....alarm 16-getting dresses on.....alarm 24-don't forget to pee....
3. Bud Light Lime is not, in fact, swill. It is incredibly refreshing, and I will likely have another one in my lifetime.
4. If your mom is your best friend, she will shame all your friends on the dance floor. Maureen, I just want to hang out with you all the time. I want to hang out with you and drink Alabama Slammers.
5. Sometime's a bride's best friend is Blistex.
Pictou Lodge was the perfect setting for this wedding, where Steph, Chris and their families could take things slow. The morning was spent languidly in cabins, and the evening festivities spilled out to the grass, the docks...the other side of the pond....
I am in no way a master of hashtags, but if I had to use #CoupleGoals, it would be for these two:)
P.S. A huge thank you to Jessie Redmond who was the second photographer for this amazing group - and always a favourite to work with:)
VENUE: Pictou Lodge
SECOND PHOTOGRAPHER: Jessie Redmond
WEDDING DRESS: David's Bridal
HAIR: Cara MacInnis, Tidal Hair Lounge
BRIDESMAID'S ATTIRE: JJ's House
GROOM'S ATTIRE: Tiptop Tailors
GROOMSMEN'S ATTIRE: Tiptop Tailors
FLORALS: McKean's Flowers
WEDDING RINGS: Fawcett's Fine Jewellery
OFFICIENT: Mary Beth Moriarty
JENNA + CURTIS
I tried hard not to squeal when I met Jenna and she told me where she was getting married. As a local-loving, vegetarian-eating, farmer-crushing east coaster, there are few places that fill me with as much glee as a farmer's market. the Halifax Seaport Farmer's Market is no slouch - it boasts sweeping ocean views, a rooftop patio, and floor to ceiling windows in the main atrium.
Cocktail hour took advantage of the rooftop ocean view, and I've never seen guests so calm and relaxed:) During dinner we watched the gorgeous sunset bowing down over the Atlantic. One of my favourite personal touches was a piñata; guests filled a heart-shaped piñata with notes to the couple, and on their first anniversary Jenna and Curtis get to bust it open and revel in all the love!
Once dinner finished the dance floor filled. Guests emptied the grappa before 10 p.m., and I can only imagine the late-night notes that ended up in the piñata:) Jenna and Curtis, thank you so much for trusting us to capture a day that you put so much into! It was a long time coming, but worth the wait:)
Hair: Jessica Fletcher, True Beauty Salon
Makeup: Allison Kirby
Bridesmaids dresses: BHLDN
Wedding dress: Watters/WTOO from Felichia Bridal
Groom's attire: Calvin Klein
Groomsmen's attire: Calvin Klein
Florals: Chelsea Lee Flowers (Jenna could not say enough good things about her flowers!)
Catering: Certainly Cinnamon
Decorator: Golden Dog Productions
Music: True North DJ Services
Wedding rings: Fawcett's and Fireworks Gallery
Officient: Jenny Csinos
JEFF & IRENE
What happens when two mathematicians get married?
It's not too different from when two non-mathematicians get married, actually. There were no long division place cards; no number-themed wedding cake; No "1+1=2" sign (although that would have been adorable).
Instead, Jeff and Irene weaved their quirky and hilarious personalities throughout their wedding, including:
1. Scrabble-themed decor for two fellow logophiles (that's word-lovers, for you non-Scrabble-folk)
2. Gorgeous hand-painted signs, designed and created by Irene herself
3. (My favourite) the world's best wedding hashtag - #GiveHerSomeVowels. I took one look at Irene's last name, strung up in Scrabble-tile-formation across the barn, and burst out laughing. V-R-B-I-K. Yup, give her some vowels.
I first met Irene and Jeff via Skype, from 3 different time zones: Halifax, where I was staying; Montreal, where she was working; and British Columbia, where Jeff was living. One of the happiest parts of their wedding day was that it took place very soon after these two finally moved to the same city after years of distance.
Their wedding day was perfect! Amazing weather for an outdoor ceremony and cocktail hour underneath a canopy of trees. Guests were treated to lobster tails, steak, and red curry peanut noodles. It wasn't long before the party moved back out under the stars:)
Look closely and you'll see Jeff from his undergrad days - or at least, a photo of him, made into a poster and paraded around for guest photos. I guess you can move forward together, but your past is coming with you:)
Congrats Jeff and Irene!
BETH + MARCUS
Every time I've gotten together with Beth and Marcus I'm struck by the same, beautiful thought - this is what it means when two people balance each other. Beth is calm, focus, detail oriented - I feel calmer and more organized just being in her presence. And then there's Marcus - a huge, hearty laugh living inside a quick smile, all wrapped up in having fun.
Regardless of the scenario, Marcus can make Beth smile - a huge, quick, authentic smile, at any time - I love it. I watched it while we were walking on the beach; I watched it while they were talking about wedding planning, and I watched it when Beth walked down the aisle. While getting ready she was focused, calm, serious, considering everyone around her. But the second Beth saw Marcus - she melted.
A huge thanks to the couple's dear friends who let us crash their beach house in Green Bay! Some crazy eat coast winds kicked up during our photo time, and we alternated between running around on the beach and running for drinks on their porch.
Try and not fall in love with their beautiful bridal party (that colour palette tho!), who came from all over the world to celebrate this magic couple.
Here's to years and years of smiles and adventures Beth and Marcus!
VENUE: Best Western Plus Bridgewater
HAIR & MAKEUP: The Look 4 U
BRIDESMAID'S ATTIRE: David's Bridal
GROOM'S ATTIRE: Hong Kong Tailor
FLORALS: Tulipwood Inc.
I was dying to share a few images from this shoot, but I had to wait until all their holiday cards had been received:)
Well the holiday cards have been sent and received, the presents have been opened, and now I can show you the world's happiest baby- Winnie!
Winnie's full name is Winter, and for me she is a reminder of how wonderful this season can be. I photographed Jared and Patricia's wedding several years ago, and for their creative session (the time before their wedding when we have some fun!) we created one of my favourite photos - two people in love, hanging on the couch, throwing popcorn! Now that their family has grown by 1, it only seemed right to include her in the fun:)
Curious to see how much these two have changed? The answer: not much:)
Happy Holidays from me and mine to you and yours! May your Winter be as fun as this one.
As I've come to terms with being a dual-city lady, I'm amazed how many other people I meet who also call Toronto and the East Coast home. Just this week it's included the following: The UPS delivery man, 3 baristas, a dog owner at the park, a dog owner on the street (I pet a lot of dogs), and John, of John and Sarah:)
These two have one of my favourite meeting stories ever. It includes John jokingly impersonating his friend on Facebook while talking to Sarah, only to develop an attraction for this US babe. Online flirtation and a few visits later, they both call Toronto home but will be tying the note in Nova Scotia.
An amazing reason to visit home! It also allows us to work with a few more outstanding by's this summer, for which we are always thankful:)
My favourite thing was how we swore up and down that we would not visit the Distillery Market. As lovely as it is, the market is insane during the holidays, and usually full of dozens of couples. We laughed about how we would be different - until I saw an entire grove of pink Christmas trees and forced them into a pink forest.
Sarah and John, I can't wait for your wedding!
*Please note, no puppies were harmed in the taking of these photos. She thoroughly enjoyed the slide.
Meet my cousin Nicole. She seems to have come from the deep end of our gene pool, and is as smart, funny, and kind as she is beautiful. She has found her physical and mental equal in Alex, just as stupendous.
Last year I received the sweetest email from Nicole, letting me know that they would really love me to be their wedding photographer, but would love more if I could be a guest. As much as I will have photo envy from not being the one to capture what is going to be an insanely gorgeous, fun, emotional wedding, I am so damn excited to be a guest at their wedding this summer!
But that didn't stop us from getting together for a fun shoot at the site of their beginning - Queen's University. My family in no way pushed anyone into a certain university, but it does seem we've become an accidental "Queen's family." My parents met and fell in love on campus; actually, they even married at the campus chapel! My brother attend Queen's, working for the radio station, and met his wife, then working for the Queen's Journal. I followed suit, and spent 5 years in Kingston riding cafeteria trays down Summerhill and dissecting things in the Life Sciences building.
Nicole and Alex met at Queen's, where she was a dancer and he was on the basketball team. It was a hilariously sweet and memorable day to come back with the two of them, roam the campus, and feel old. We also had a beer with Nicole's younger brother (my cousin) who has jumped on what is becoming a family tradition.
Thank you Nicole and Alex for letting me a part of your story, and I guess we also need to thank Queen's for arranging half our family marriages:)
I will forever remember the scene of a bride , hair and makeup done, calmly braiding her daughter's hair while the chaos of pre-wedding planning whirled about her. One child calmly eating spilled Cheeze-its off the floor, while the other screamed that she didn't want to wear her flower girl dress (Which, for the record, she was super excited to wear 5 minutes before).
My favourite things about weddings is that you can do whatever you want; Get hitched whenever and however you want to. The old adage 'first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the two with a baby carriage' is as out of place as the term adage is. Katie and Frank met, fell in love, moved to Europe, had two beautiful kids, moved back to Canada, and tied the knot. And I can't imagine it occurring any other way.
Having their girls present at their wedding really hit home that this is a family - and I think it hit home for Katie too. She was on the verge of tears most of the morning:) Katie and Frank have also been blessed with two families, it seems - their Nova Scotian/Scottish clan, and the family they mad for themselves in Europe. People came from all over the world - literally - to celebrate this important chapter in their life together.
I'm not sure if drinking beer out of a shoe is a Scottish tradition, a Nova Scotian tradition, or an Austrian tradition, but I wouldn't mind seeing more of it:) Also, any photos where it looks like the bride is screaming at someone are actually a bride singing Paradise By The Dashboard Lights with her husband.
Brian and I will forever remember this wedding, which proved to us that there is no maximum on how much love and how much ridiculousness you can pack into one weekend!