Wenney & Andrew's Beautiful Buddhist Wedding

This wedding holds a special place in my heart because it allowed me to capture on of the photographs that was featured in the Love Actually exhibit at the Gladstone Hotel last year.  Andrew and Wenney wore their hearts on their sleeves, laughed their way through the day together, and created one of the most warm and welcoming atmospheres I have ever encountered at a wedding.  Instead of writing a long caption, I’m going to let the photographs speak for themselves, and include the write up that accompanied the photograph that was on display at the exhibit.  Take a scroll through and see if you can decide what photograph was featured!

This photograph speaks to how love and human emotion transcend the barriers of language and culture.  Much of this wedding day was conducted in Mandarin, a language I do not speak, which made it challenging to understand what was happening at times.  As soon as Wenney stood up to make her speech though, it was clear that she was speaking to her beloved grandmother who couldn’t be there on her wedding day.  I marvelled at how we all laughed and cried along with her, as she recounted stories in Mandarin about her grandmother.  Without even speaking the same language, everyone in the audience understood what the bride was feeling in that moment as she threw her head back to laugh about a fond memory they had shared together, with tears still running down her cheeks from the sadness of recognizing this deep loss just a moment before.

 Vendors:
Florists : Botany Floral Studio
Dress: Leanne Marshall Official
Reception Venue: Doctor’s House 
Ceremony Venue : Fo Guang Shan Temple 

Winter Wedding Planning Tips

I absolutely adore photographing winter weddings.  They have an elegance, cozyness, and je ne sais quois that surrounds bridesmaids in fur stoles, hot toddy’s on the cocktails list, and first dances that feel safe and warm in a cozy hall decorated with Edison lights while snow falls outside.  Winter weddings do require a slightly different type of planning and timeline than summer weddings though in order for us to capture the most beautiful, bright, and airy photographs as you see in my summer wedding galleries.  Consider the tips below when you’re planning a winter wedding, and always remember that this is the perfect opportunity to do things a bit differently, and plan a wedding that is exactly everything you want it to be!

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Get your photographs done early

The biggest challenge we face with a winter wedding is how early the light disappears.  Natural light is the single most important tool I have as a photographer to create those gorgeous, bright, and glowing photographs you see, so getting your photographs done while it’s still light outside is one of the most important elements of your timeline.  I recommend starting your day an hour or two earlier than you would for a summer wedding, planning a first look into your timeline, and getting all of the important family photographs done before the ceremony while we still have light.  As long as we’re shooting during daylight hours, we will be able to create stunning wedding photographs and beautiful portraits that you will adore.

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Plan your ceremony while it’s still light out

If you’re envisioning a ceremony that’s dark and cozy, lit by string lights overhead and candles surrounding you, then this tip doesn’t apply.   Just make sure you own it if you’re planning a ceremony for after dark, and add enough light to the scene that I can capture beautiful ceremony photographs without a flash.   If you’re planning a ceremony while it’s still light out, make sure it’s scheduled early enough that we actually still have daylight flooding in through the windows.  Many ceremonies are right around sunset in the winter, which is a beautiful time of day, however there’s often an imbalance of not having enough natural light, while simultaneously not adding enough indoor light, creating darker photographs that won’t be quite as clean and bright looking.

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Choose a good indoor space for your photographs

Even if you’d like to capture some outdoor winter wedding photographs, the bulk of your images will still be captured indoors where people will feel warm and comfortable.  Making sure that we have a beautiful indoor space to take photographs will make all the difference in your full wedding gallery.  If the venue you’ve chosen doesn’t have an aesthetic that you want in all of your photographs, or if it’s too dark or small for some of your larger family group and wedding party photographs, consider renting an alternate location for a couple of hours to take your photographs.  Examples include nearby greenhouses (allen gardens is a beautiful spot for winter weddings), natural light photo studios (Mint Room Studios is beautiful!), or restaurants or bars (look for somewhere with a beautiful bright aesthetic like Figo).  The sky’s the limit with finding beautiful indoor spaces in the city though, and I’m always happy to help you find the perfect location if you’re not sure where to shoot!

 

 

Katrin & Michael's Winter Wedding at Canoe

I absolutely freeking adore getting to photograph winter weddings, and Katrin and Michael were no exception!  They were married on a crisp, sunny February day in downtown Toronto, on the 35th??????? Floor of …………….tower at Canoe restaurant, and created the perfect blend elegant yet relaxed sophistication for their day.  Their ceremony and reception was simply styled, with the stunning views of the city and CN Tower stealing the show, especially as the sun began to set casting everything in a warm pink glow throughout the restaurant.

            Canoe has a modern elegant aesthetic, with pale mustard velvet chairs, modern light fixtures, and natural wood accents through the bar and walls.  It’s a fantastic venue for a wedding, needs minimal styling, and has one of the best ceremony set up’s I’ve ever seen, with guests seated on either side of the room with the couple in the middle, creating an intimate feeling for larger ceremonies, and creating a space for the wedding party to sit front and center. 

            Given the temperatures we’d been having last winter, we decided to schedule Allen Gardens for all our wedding photographs earlier in the day.  The staff there are wonderful and block off a private area to take photographs away from the crowd, and it was so lovely to get some photographs in amongst the greenery, even in the middle of February.  Their first look together was one of the best moments of the day, with their wedding party cheering them on in the background, helping everyone relax, live in the moment, and have a good time.  We even made it to Canoe after the photographs with time to spare so that the bride and groom could enjoy a champagne toast and some snacks with their friends and family before the ceremony began. 

            Katrin and Michael were so relaxed and happy throughout their wedding day, and watching them interact it’s clear that they make the best team together.  It was wonderful getting to photograph them quietly supporting each other, sharing jokes, relaxing one another all day, and making sure to enjoy every moment together.  Winter weddings create a sense of cosy intimacy I find, and it suited these two perfectly. 

Vendors:
Hair piece:  Chelsea Jamieson
Dress: Blu Ivory
Florals: Burlap & Lace
Hair stylist: Irene
Band: Electric Blonde
Officiant: Juliana Belinko
Custom wedding band: Leeanne Crawford

Samantha & Farhan's Three Day Indian Wedding

It’s difficult to find the words to describe how magical Samantha & Farhan’s three day Indian wedding was this summer.  They chose to hold their wedding at Silver Springs, a gorgeous private estate close to Collingwood where they could host their closest friends and family from overseas with them in the giant manor house that sits on the property.  All of their guests kept saying that magic surrounds these two, and over the course of the three days I spent with them I saw that this is truly the case.  Samantha and Farhan are the perfect match together, going so far as to be able to break out into spontaneous choreographed song and dance numbers together, just like a couple out of a musical, but they’re freeking for real.

            You may remember them from their incredibly stylish engagement session at U of T that I posted a while back.  If you thought they looked good for that shoot, just take a scroll through the photos below and soak in all the style and incredible outfit changes that F&S fit into their three day wedding.  From a stunning yellow dress on the first night, to a white bridal gown and veil for their church ceremony and a flowing pink number for their nikah ceremony, to the most beautiful soft green outfit for their final reception, every outfit that Samantha put on was jaw dropping.  Farhan was not to be outdone though, and chose an incredible white suit that created one of my favourite photo sequences ever while he was carefully getting dressed. 

            Over the three days everyone cried with them, laughed with them, performed amazing dance routines for them, and joined them on the dance floor for the most amazing Bollywood flashmob choreography that I have ever seen.  Have you ever seen an entire wedding reception burst into the same dance together?  Me neither until this day, and it was truly something amazing to see!

            I could write pages about this spectacular wedding with this beautiful, creative, joyous, and kind couple, but this is really one of those instances where the photographs will have to speak for themselves.  Take a scroll through, marvel in all the beautiful colour this wedding contained, and always always picture Samantha and Farhan with magic surrounding them.

Vendors:
Make up: Green Orchard Studio
Catering: Royal Cumin
Videography: QT films
Props: Little Wee Prop Shop
DJ: DJ Mehndi
DJ Reception: Johnson
Music on Nikah: Sahar Reza
Tent: Happenings Tent Rental
Venue: Silver Springs

Jaclyn & Lars: An Elegant Alternative Wedding at Queens Landing, Niagara on the Lake

It’s no secret that I freeking love getting to photograph winter weddings.  They’re always so stylish, unique, and have a je ne sais quios making them endlessly classy.  Jaclyn and Lar’s December wedding at Queens Landing in Niagara On The Lake was no exception, and I have to say, I had been looking forward to photographing these two again alllll year after their fall engagement session the year before!

            First off, you’re going to melt when you see Jaclyn’s amazing wedding dress.  She decided to go the non-traditional route with her dress (she’s a girl after my own heart) and rocked a stunning forest green sequined number that oozed silver screen goddess sex.  Paired with Lars’s Fred Astaire style white tux, together these two looked like they’d stepped right out of a film noire movie.  Needless to say, I spent all day grinning behind my camera lens and making excited noises after every photo set.

            Despite the cold, they were game to take photographs outdoors, which is one of the best parts of a winter wedding.  The December landscape looks so different and beautiful, and it’s the perfect excuse to snuggle up nice and close to each other to stay warm!

            Their wedding was the perfect combination of sophisticated yet relaxed.  Their style was out of this world, I mean, they could have gone to a red carpet party post-wedding and fit right in.  Their ceremony took place in the ballroom as the sun went down over the lake outside, and friends and family took part in a Hershey’s kiss kissing game that had everyone in stitches throughout the reception.  By the time I left everyone was rocking the dance floor the way only family can, and I drove back to Toronto with that cozy happy feeling that I always get from intimate weddings that are really just all about the love. 

 Vendors:
Pianist: Frank Krahn
Venue: Queens Landing
Florist: Roses & Twine
Makeup: Beyoutiful Brides