STEPH & ASH
Oh hi, I've found my new favourite type of wedding to photograph - a road-trip wedding!
I knew from first speaking with Steph that her and Ash's wedding would be something special:) Steph was calm, collected, and very sweet and she talked about their plans. A ceremony and fun party at Healy farms. Their dogs would be there, which is always a selling point for me:)
Then I met Ash - the complete opposite. Boisterous, excited, and always laughing. But the best part was watching these two together - how Steph relaxes and laughs all the time around Ash, and how Ash becomes calm and chills out in Steph's presence. These two are perfect for each other.
After getting ready together in Halifax, we loaded into two cars with way too much champagne for a photography road-trip to their ceremony in The Valley. We spent hours visiting the ocean, cornfields, a gas station, and generally just having an amazing Nova Scotian time. If anyone ever wants a suggestion for photos, that's mine - grab your photographers, and hit the road!
The pure love and emotions of these two as they walked towards each other during their ceremony....ugh, not a dry eye in the house. This is what finding the right one looks like. After exchanging vows under a huge oak tree, Steph and Ash popped some champagne, played some games, and then moved everything into the barn for one hell of a party. Party highlights included:
- Ash tending bar quite *ahem* enthusiastically (photos below)
- Ash setting off a confetti cannon inside (photos below)
- Ash dancing so hard she split her pants (sorry, no photos) and exchanging pants with the videographer
But the things I remember most are the words from their friends and family: how their home has become a home for so many; their epic brunches; their endearing and reliable friendship. They haven't just made a marriage, they've made a community.
And I wanna attend a brunch:)
Photos by myself and amazing second photographer Jeannette Gallant.
See below for all these great vendors!
CEREMONY AND RECEPTION: HEALY EVENTS
WEDDING DRESS: CHESTER AND FELICITY
SHOES: SAM EDELMAN
HAIR: DIME SALON
MAKEUP: DIME SALON
BRIDE'S SUIT: RAG & BONE
OFFICIANT: ROBERT COSTELO
As a wedding photographer, there are some things I dream of; a perfect cloudy day, an epic wedding train, a dog in a wedding ceremony....but sometimes, the world gives us the thing we never dreamed of but so badly needed.
For Jenna and Andrew's creative shoot, that dream came in the form of a CosPLay Groot falling in love with Jenna. During our romp downtown we hit up Sumach Espresso, the underpass art, and then accidentally stumbled upon a CosPLay photoshoot. These two are clearly into each other (and their wedding this past weekend was one for the books!), but on this lovely Spring day it was clear Groot was also into Jenna:)
SJ + RODDIE
For all the couples I meet who ask about doing weddings differently.....a non-traditional location, wacky attire, modern twist on the menu, special favours, or just finding ways to express yourself in your wedding day...THIS ONE'S FOR YOU! One of my best friends recently got engaged, and was asking about having her wedding in Toronto. She was asking about non-traditional venues and smaller parties, and it made me realize how much inspiration there was here, thanks to SJ and Roddie's unique personalities (if you didn't already, check out their sweet Toronto rehearsal dinner at the non-defunct The Steady)
SJ and Roddie's Scottish/Toronto lovefest involves the following:
- Custom late-night tattoos
- Matching t-shirts
- Delectable tacos
- A bridesmaid in a wheelchair
- A 2 a.m. trip to Disgraceland (well, really, to the herb store next to Disgraceland that was the site of their first kiss)
- A late-night mooner
Originally planned for Toronto Island, the flooding in the spring of 2017 meant a last minute venue change. Luckily, Album Studios turned out to be the perfect venue - and a photographer's dream! Some of my favourite moments included SJ's bridesmaids reaction to seeing her red wedding dress for the first time, Roddie's family coming in from Scotland, and of course....the wedding mooner. When I talk about staying until the end of a wedding, this is why. around 3:00 a.m. everyone close to these two were packing up the venue, simultaneously helping out and passing out, before ambling to their apartment for an after party. Those are the moments you can't plan for, but I know you want to remember:)
FOR ALL THEIR AMAZING VENDORS, SCROLL DOWN TO THE BOTTOM:)
VENUE: ALBUM STUDIO RENTALS
WEDDING DRESS: REFORMATION
MAKEUP: JENNIFER TOPP
CATERING: BARQUE EVENTS
OFFICIENT: JANIS DALY
ALEK + JESS + FIELDING ESTATES
Now that the world is thawing out, I'm getting excited for all the incredible couples I'll be photographing this Spring/Summer! It also reminded me that I did so many beautiful creative shoots last Fall.
What is a creative shoot?
I guess it's what some people would call an engagement shoot. But when I think of an engagement shoot, I think of two things:
1. Photographing the moment you get engaged (which I've done, and is amazing!)
2. Having photos taken to announcement your engagement in the newspaper
But that's not for everyone. Every couple I work with has what I call a creative shoot. I like it for three reasons:
1. We get to spend some time together, which is great because I'll be with you for some very upclose moments during your wedding day
2. You get a chance to be in front of the camera. This is advantageous because you get used to having my camera around, and I get an idea of how you feel in front of my camera. This means that on your wedding day, I don't need to waste time figuring out what makes you most comfortable, and how you two interact together. We're already close buds by then
3. You two get gorgeous, professional photos of yourselves that aren't only on your wedding day!
Sometimes our shoots are doing something you do every day (getting coffee, walking the dog). Other times it's something fun that you don't normally get to do (rock climbing, visiting a vineyard. Either way, we get to hang out and make photos.
In this case, Alek and Jess had an amazing day planned at Fielding Estates. We drove down together, sampled some wine, had some laughs, and made some photos. All in all, an amazing day that has me extra stoked for their wedding!
This past year I witness more real love than I knew existed. I'm completely floored by how these amazing couples find me - couples who want to marry in a way that is natural, fun, and true to who they are.
Couples who had their first dance on a rug they brought from their kitchen; couples who only goal was to drink champagne in a corn field; couples who've waited 25 years to make it official; couples who understand how badly I want to meet all of their pets (very, very badly).
Planning a wedding is a huge undertaking, and so is a life together. I hope today you all celebrate the life you're building together, and that this past year you managed to carve out time in your lives to celebrate each other and the people who love and support you.
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY NEWLYWEDS!
And happy Pink Triangle Day:) *
* Pink Triangle Day, also celebrated on February 14th, is Canada's only annual gay holiday, celebrated since 1979
A flooded island can't keep these two lovebirds from tying the knot! With Toronto Island half under water, a late-in-the-game venue change wasn't what they had in mind:) But these two are calm under pressure and an amazing team - I have no doubt their marriage will be full of fun turns, quick thinking, and loads of adventure!
Happy wedding day SJ and Roddie!
I can't wait to share your wedding story with you today, but in the meantime, here's a peak into that super fly rehearsal dinner at The Steady.
Have you picked up the latest issue of Wedding Bells Magazine? In addition to a stunning editorial by Chris Nicholls (my favourite!) and some dreamy dresses, Jenna and Curtis' wedding day is featured in the Real Weddings section! You'll want to have a look if you love:
- Farmer's Markets
- Happy people
Thank you Jenna and Curtis for choosing me to capture your thoughtful, love-filled day! To see more of their story, and find out who their amazing vendors were, check out our post from their wedding!
"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