LAUREN & SANJAYA
3 memorable moments from this wedding:
1. Lauren's face walking down the aisle. As I discovered during Lauren's mom's speech, Lauren had a very long list of boxes her potential partner needed to check off:) And at some point, wondered if maaaaybe she should be flexible on some of them? Nope. She waited a long time to meet her perfect partner. Sanj checked every single item on that list. And the look on her face walking down the aisle was one of someone who stuck to her beliefs, and knew not to settle.
2. The ballon drop that surprised everyone. A New Year's Eve wedding was sure to have some epic surprises, and one of them was a midnight balloon drop. The countdown started, the bride and groom readied themselves with the string, they pulled it and....the entire apparatus came down! String, balloons, net, the whole thing. The only thing more surprising than a balloon drop is a surprise balloon fight, as everyone ripped open the net at midnight
3. The countdown! In addition to their ceremony guests, Lauren and Sanj invited more friends to come down and enjoy the party - no dress code necessary! Bu the time midnight came the dance floor was full of new faces, champagne, and a few hundred people ready to party. The couple found their wedding band while at Soho House, and the Motown kept everyone on the floor.
I had no idea that on midnight, as we entered 2020, that every wedding in the coming year would have to reschedule, adapt, or take a pause. It's been a year. But looking back on this amazing celebration has me stoked for all the 2021 weddings!
You'll find all the vendors at the bottom of this post; if you're planning your upcoming wedding, I can't recommend these people enough! We've all had a challenging year, holding onto our businesses and supporting our communities, and we're excited to make magic in 2021:)
Music: Janisa Music and Co.
Photographer: Eldie Photography
Ceremony Venue: Airship37; Berkeley Events
Wedding Dress: Katrina Tuttle Bridal
Wedding planner: The Event Design Co. (Katie Watkowski)
Flowers: Cool, Green, & Shady
Caterer: Berkeley Events
Hair: & Makeup: Toronto Beauty Group
Groom’s tux: Suit Supply
Cake: Gill McIver
Groomsmen’s attire: Suit Supply
Favours: A donation was made to the Multiple Sclerosis Society in lieu of traditional wedding favours. We decorated the tables with NYE themed party supplies.
Officiant: Aileen Dockerty
I don't know about you, but I never really pictured the south of France. I've heard of it - and always when people talked about beauty, and romance, and relaxation. As it turns about, it is all of those things and more.
Becky and Dan decided to marry at her father's vineyard, because why wouldn't you!
This time last year, we were honoured to be travelling over to France and capture their wedding festivities, which included a welcome party the night before their wedding, at a vintage car museum nearby.
(You can find photos from this wonderful night here!)
Surrounded by grapes, hills, and the stunning French countryside, there isn't much more you need to do for ambience. Chairs were adorned with olive branches, and the couple married outdoors under a wooden Chuppah covered in flowers. One of my favourite parts of the day was bearing witness to the signing of the ketubah. A close group of loved ones gathered inside and offered wishes and blessings, while Dan and Becky signed the traditional Jewish marriage contract. Made all the more special because the Rabbi is close to the family:)
The thing I can now say about southern France is this... the light is different. It's warm, and colourful, and creates a dreamy beauty that I couldn't believe. The outdoor cocktail hour took place in the courtyard under the setting sun, where guests were treated to champagne before moving into a white tent for speeches, and a speech in the form of a song from Dan's brother:)
The best thing about a destination wedding? No one is going home at the end of the night, which leads to a full on celebration! They danced, we danced, and at some point the power went out. And no one stopped dancing.
Becky and Dan, thank you so much for entrusting us with capturing your beautiful, heartfelt ceremony, and for giving us the opportunity to see this part of the world. We feel so lucky.
Thank you to your families for welcoming us, and showing us the most lovely hospitality.
Oh, and thank you to Stephanie and Peter for getting married 4 years ago, and having me photograph your wedding, which lead to meeting Becky and Dan:)
I can't rave enough about the phenomenal team at this wedding! The food was out of this world, everyone looked breath taking, and the entire affair was personal and relaxed. If you're planning a wedding or event in France, I highly recommend everyone involved:)
WEDDING DRESS: GLAMOUR CLOSET
HAIR: AGNES CANERI
MAKEUP: YLVA LANGENSKIOLD
GROOM'S ATTIRE: THEORY
FLORALS: AU GRES DES FLEURS
CAKE: MADE IN CAKE
WEDDING BANDS: NORMAN LANDSBERG JEWELERS
OFFICIENT: RABBI SHELLY BARNATHAN
BAND: FUNK MODE
RECEPTION TENT: BE LOUNGE
CATERING: HELEN TRAITEUR
My favourite thing about destination weddings is that your wedding story - meaning your photos, your album, your recording of this time - becomes so much more than a day.
It's your arrival, and your friends' arrival. It's your family unloading luggage, and hugging relatives from the other side of the world while everyone is wearing shorts. It's the site visit, the preparation, the party, and more.
We arrived in France for Becky and Dan's wedding a few days early. (I like to ensure we have time for jet lag, travel, potential delays, etc.) After arriving in Paris, we boarded a train for Avignon, and then picked up a rental car to drive the remaining few hours to St-Remy-De-Provence. I marvelled at the rolling hills, the simple, beautiful architecture of the homes and their wooden shutters, and the soft warm air.
The next day we met with becky and Dan at her father's vineyard, where the wedding would be held. We combined a creative shoot, a venue visit, a wedding rehearsal, and a rehearsal dinner all into one night! We could feel the excitement in the air, as people arrived from all over the world. The only place big enough to accommodate this rehearsal dinner/welcome party was a nearby car museum, which made for an awesome and relaxed background.
I'm so excited to share photos from this STUNNING wedding, but let the day before be the amuse-bouche :)
TOURING THE VINEYARD
THE WELCOME PARTY!
I adventured to Toronto Isand early one morning with Pauline, Edwin, and their adorable pooch Harley! We were early enough to beat the crowds (and the sun!) for a walk, and then indulge in brunch and a wet ride back to the ferry! The water was high on on the island, but we weren't the only ones willing to kick off their shoes and give it a go:)
I always love escaping to Toronto Island... so close to the city, but an oasis free of cars, free of stress, free of Tim Horton's. But more and more, we're able to travel there less and less. At least once a year, the Island is lost to flooding. I had a wedding who had to reschedule their ENTIRE WEDDING the week before because their island venue was flooded!
The island is beautiful, and home to memories for so many Torontonians...childhood at science camp, teenage years of freedom, new parents taking their kids on adventures, and so many instances of love.
I don't say this to be a bummer, but so many beautiful memories exist on that island..and it's disappearing. Our impact on this beautiful world is creating less of it, and as the land disappears it takes our ability to revisit it - our ability to relive those memories - with it.
So on this earth day, I hope you think about your favourite places. And think about how it would feel to never again visit the place you met, the place you first kissed, the place you married.
And now think about what we can do to prevent that.
Things have changed a lot since I started in wedding photography 10 years ago; there used to only be a few choices but now couples have so much more freedom to do it their way. You can get married in a field, a church, a barn, a restaurant… anything can be a venue! You also have a lot of say in how much DIY you want to take on. If you have an inner Martha Stewart, your wedding can be a great opportunity to take on projects - centrepieces, chandeliers….I even had a bride who made her own origami bouquets (and they were stunning).
But if, like me, you’re not a crafty person, making it all yourself seems daunting. I talk with my couples all the time about investing in the few big things that are important to you, and then letting the rest fall into place. If you aren’t an event planner, this may be the first time you’ve ever had to consider hiring a caterer, choosing a florist, or selecting invitations. If you’re looking for some to DIY it for you, I highly recommend Basic Invite.
I’m a huge fan for the simple reason that with them you can do a little, or a lot. Maybe you just need invitations and RSVP cards, or maybe you need the whole shebang. But they make it super easy to make a few quick choices, and in return get a beautiful, custom stationary package. Your guests will swear that you must have had a custom designer; Basic Invite has over 180 different colour options, over 40 different envelope colours, and over 900 Wedding Invitation Sets. Their almost unlimited colour options mean you'll have unique, modern stationary that fits your style.
All of my full day wedding packages have what I call a creative shoot. Back in the day it was an engagement shoot, because people would post about their engagement in the newspapers. Now, I use this little photoshoot before your wedding as a chance to get to know each other, and see how you two interact together (which makes our time together on your wedding day so much smoother!) I’m also a big fan of every couple having gorgeous photos of themselves that aren’t just on your wedding day!
A lot of my couples use their creative shoot photos for a guest book on their wedding day, which I love. Basic Invite has so many options, you won't be stuck with something too stuffy or formal. You can choose from dozens of styles, from romantic to art deco, and ensure your guest book ties in perfectly with your wedding vibe.
I’m also super into their Seal and Send wedding invites; they have a tear-off RSVP card, AND your guests names are printed right on the front of each invitation which means…. NO SEALING 100’s OF ENVELOPES! All you have to do is share a link, collect guest addresses, and upload them onto your design. Once your invites arrive all you have to do is add postage, fold, and secure them with a sticker! Simple and easy.
And also, saving 100’s of extra pieces of paper:)
If you're excited to DIY your wedding, Basic Invite is an awesome way to customize your stationary. Or if you're ready to hand over some of the wedding decisions I highly recommend having a look to see how they can help you create a beautiful, unique wedding guest book with just a few choices! I paired with Basic Invite because I'm a big fan of letting couples do it their way:)