Emma & Neal's Fall Wedding at St George's Golf Club, Toronto

Emma & Neal were married at St George’s Golf Club in Toronto last fall, and I am way too excited to finally share photographs from their intimate, meaningful, and spectacularly beautiful Sunday lunch wedding. 

            Fall is a drop dead gorgeous season for weddings anywhere in Toronto, but St George’s Golf club is truly something special.  As the leaves begin to turn, Ivy stands out across the turrets and elegant lines of the old building, tall pampas grass turns golden and leads you around the property, and colourful leaves swirl past gabled windows with every gust of wind.  Inside the golf club feels like a castle, and is the perfectly cozy location for a fall wedding, with a spectacular fireplace in the rotunda, and an elegant, classic luncheon room with big windows looking out over the golf course.

            Emma has a deep appreciation of all things art and beauty, and along with Neal, is one of the most stylish people I know.  So, it was no surprise that every detail of their wedding was incredibly beautiful and sophisticated, and created the perfect complimentary contrast to the relaxed lunch reception they held for their closest friends and family.  

            Take a scroll through for infinite bride and groom style inspiration, the cutest furry wedding guests dressed for the occasion, and a lunch reception that will make you re-think your whole wedding timeline!  I love love loved getting to work with Emma and Neal to document their day, and cannot wait to share some of the beauty that came out of it.

Vendors:

Florist: Apricot Flowers
Calligraphy/Stationary: Paula Lee Calligraphy & Sally Choi
Hair: Bridal Hair Collective
Decor: The Day Cor
Decor: Vintage Bash
Dress: Lovers Land
Cheese: The Cheese Boutique
Venue: St George’s Golf and Country Club
Music: The Jazz Collective
Coordinator: All Event Videos
Chuppah: Chuppah.ca 
Ketubah: ketubah.com

Samantha and Farhan’s Colourful, Magical, Engagement Session at U of T

I met Samantha & Farhan for their engagement shoot on the University of Toronto campus. As the sun was setting over the city we set out through the iconic stone buildings and arches, finding pockets of greenery and beautiful light to shoot in.  There’s magic that surrounds these two.  Real-life, Hollywood-love-story, magic.  To sum them up, when I asked them to strike up a little dance during their engagement session I was expecting to photograph an little bit of ‘embrace and sway’ type dancing, but they DANCED.  I’m talking breaking into a spontaneous ballroom dancing number with dips, spins, lifts, the whole nine yards.  Samantha’s elegant skirt swirled out around her, Farhan was the picture of chivalry with one hand on his lapel and sharp Fred Astaire style moves, and I had to stop taking photographs to pick my jaw up off the ground and stare.

            Needless to say, I was loathe to put down my camera and say goodbye by the time the sun went down. This shoot left me absolutely itching to photograph them again soon at their three day Indian wedding in the country!  I can’t wait to share photographs from their big event soon, but in the meantime take a scroll through, marvel at their amazing outfits, and join me in wishing that my own life also unfolded in perfect, on-command, musical-worthy moments like these two.

            Thanks for being so amazing and unique you guys! xo 

Stephanie & Alec’s Joyful Spring Wedding at Kings Riding Golf Club

I love love loved working with Stephanie and Alec.  They’re one of those couples whose enthusiasm and happiness is absolutely contagious; they have the most joyful demeanors, and absolutely cannot stop smiling whenever they look at each other.  Remember them from this incredibly happy engagement session I posted recently? Start scrolling down to see how EVERYTHING is a Kodak moment with these two and their big beautiful smiles. Needless to say, I took far too many photographs on this day!  The first look moment below sums them up perfectly, absolutely unable to contain their joy at getting to start their big day together.  I can’t wait for you to see Alec’s reaction to seeing his lovely bride for the first time!

            They were married on an absolutely gorgeous, sunny, spring day at Kings Riding Golf Club in Thornhill, just outside of Toronto.  The ceremony was filled with laughter under a beautiful old tree, a lively lion dance kicked off their reception and startled the kids (and me if we’re being honest), and crispy cream donuts were set at every place setting as guest favours.  There are so many other elements from this day that I absolutely love, I cannot even begin to sum them up here in words.  From Stephanie’s emotional skype call with her grandmother overseas, to their petal-covered recessional back up the aisle, to Alec holding her hand tightly all through the speeches, to their heartfelt parent dances that made everyone (myself included) cry. 

            Wrapping up their evening even more perfectly, the sunset that night had the most gorgeous golden glow.  Plus, as if Stephanie and Alec weren’t already a photographers dream to work with, they scheduled almost a full hour at sunset to take their bride and groom portraits together, allowing us time to capture some of my favorite portraits of the whole summer. 

            Pro-tip:  if you’re wearing a veil for your wedding day, consider putting it back on for your sunset photographs like Stephanie did here.  The light tulle catches the golden sunset light beautifully, and makes for some stunning glow-y photographs to wrap up the day!   

Vendors:
Dress: Yeva Yao
Makeup: Vanessa Elizabeth Makeup
Hair:  Reanna Singh
Linens:  Chair Covers Plus
Flower Wall:  Blush and Tie
Centerpieces:  Botanic Florists
Florals:  Gatherings Studio
Officiant: Sherri Murphy
Lion Dance:  Northern Dragon Gate

 

Melody & Edmond's Elegant Engagement at Queen's University, Kingston

Melody & Edmond traveled from Hong Kong to meet me in Kingston where they first met, on the campus of Queen's University.  We explored their their old stomping grounds and favorite haunts around campus, including the library where they spent hour after hour sitting and studying across from each other, before heading into Kingston.  In town we explored the cutest cobbled streets, open squares lined with gorgeous parliament buildings and restaurants, and visited Melody's favorite buildings (I was amazed by how European Kingston can feel!).  We walked past the go-to restaurants of their university days and reminisced, before finishing our shoot together at the waterfront on Lake Ontario.  I love taking a walk down memory lane together with my clients during their engagement sessions, and it was an added treat to be guided around Kingston together with these two!

I can't wait for you to scroll through and see how sweet these two are together, and I guarantee you're going to fall in love with each of Melody's stunning custom dresses.  She even had some of her talented friends come along to do her hair, makeup, and floral crown during the shoot! 

3 Tips to Include your Dog in your Wedding Photographs

I clearly come across as a massive dog-lover on social media (and rightly so!), because so many amazing couples I get to photograph ask me about how we can somehow include their dogs in either their wedding or engagement photographs.  It’s always easy to include dogs in engagement photographs, whether it’s at home or on a hike, we usually end up planning an activity that’s dog friendly and perfect for taking photographs with the whole family.  It takes a bit more planning to include your pup in the wedding day photographs, but with the right preparation it’s easy to make sure everyone is included and no dresses get ripped in the process!

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1.     Hire or appoint a dog handler
It’s key that your dog can be present and included in the wedding photographs without either of you having to worry about keeping them calm and under control.  You’ll have enough to carry with bouquets or drinks in hand, not to mention wearing heels and tight suits, making it difficult to manage your potentially very excited and very distracted pup! 

If you have a dog walker, I often find the best option is to hire them in advance to help make sure your wedding clothes don’t get ripped or dirty, keep your pup from running in excited circles, and make sure they’re perfectly behaved with treats held behind the camera in all the photographs.  Your dog walker can either spend the day with you if you want your dog to be part of the whole event, or can arrange for your dog to be brought to the venue for photographs and returned home when we’re finished.

If you don’t have a dog walker, consider hiring a handler for the day, or appointing a family member or friend who loves your pup and will be able to do a good job of keeping them calmly in check for the photographs.

2.     Set realistic expectations
It isn’t difficult to create great wedding photographs with your dog included, but make sure you aren’t planning anything too extravagant and outside of their usual wheelhouse.  Try not to ask them to do anything new for the photographs such as being picked up, or walking on a busy street without a lead.  Be patient if they’re a little overexcited and not listening like a champ immediately.  Most importantly, make sure to schedule plenty of extra time to create these photographs, it’s helpful to give everyone a chance to slow down and get in the swing of things together!

3.     Make sure your dog has a good day
Help your pup be successful in front of the camera by making sure they get well exercised in the morning, and have plenty of treats and water on hand.  If you’re planning on having your dog spend the whole day with you, make sure they always have someone with them (dogs tied up at the side tend to howl pitifully during ceremonies), and consider whether they’ll do well with situations that are crowded, loud, quiet, and anything in between!  If you’re not sure, you can always get your dog walker to bring the pup home later in the day so you can dance the night away without worrying,

Finally, and I’m sure this goes without saying, don’t surprise your photographer with this the day before the wedding!  If you think you might want to include your dog in the wedding photographs, try to make sure you find a photographer who likes dogs, and will be relaxed and comfortable with this added element of excitement in the photographs.  When you plan it out properly, there’s no reason why you can’t have wedding photographs with your whole family, furry members included!

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Laid back Urban Wedding at Propeller Coffee Co.

Codi & Jon chose Propeller Coffee Co. in Toronto's west end for their intimate wedding ceremony with a laid back, urban vibe.  Everything about the day suited them perfectly.  After their first look, they took the subway together to the venue, their cake cutting moment was swapped out for the 'cracking of the creme brulee' in honor of their favorite dessert together, Codi's beautiful electric purple shoes were flashing under the layers of her dress all day, and Jon's chef's knife cuff links made several appearances along with the matching pair his best man was sporting. 
Scroll down through to the bottom and take a look at their cracking of the creme brulee sequence.  It's easily one of my favorite 'cake cutting' moments to date, and is the perfect example of how making the wedding day your own will create photographs that feel perfectly natural and like 'you'.

Vendors:
Venue: Propeller Coffee Co.
Caterer: P+L catering
Florist: Sweetpea's
Dress: Truvelle
Hair: Parlour Salon
Shoes: Kristin Cavallari
Rings/Cufflinks: Studio 1098
Suit: Suit Supply
Officiant: Wayde Salmon
 

Sneak Peek: Kristen & Matt's Elegant Collingwood Wedding

Kristen and Matt traveled all the way from the east coast of Canada to be married in Collingwood, Ontario with their friends and family.  They chose the beautiful Alpine Ski Club with it's brand new James Bond-esque club house as their venue, and took a limo to the gorgeous Tremont Cafe in Collingwood to capture their wedding photographs and avoid the stormy weather that we've had this summer.  These two looked so absolutely elegant together I couldn't resist firing off a couple extra rolls of film that day, so this sneak peek is composed almost entirely of film photographs because those ones always end up being my favorite!  Highlights include a sweet happy couple running from the rain and still enjoying every moment of it, a father of the groom looking SO unbelievably happy and proud, the bride looking adoringly at her groom, and both of them absolutely cracking up during their couples portraits (always my favorite!)

I hope you enjoy this quick sneak peek, more photographs from this elegant Collingwood wedding to come later this season!

Also, shout-out to the Tremont Cafe and their awesome staff for welcoming us into the restaurant to take wedding photos, and making a fun spontaneous champagne toast happen.  They rocked it.

xo
-c

Sneak Peek: Susie & Tristan's Colourful Country Wedding

I'm continuing my sneak peek series from this summers' weddings so far because I'm soooo excited to share the photographs but can't manage to keep up with full blog posts (stay tuned this winter!).  Today I have some sneak peek photographs to share from Susie and Tristan's beautiful, intimate, and emotional wedding at their family farm just outside of Toronto.  Highlights include the most beautifully colourful wedding you'll see all season, the sweetest first look ever, a whole pack of cute wedding kids, the most love I've ever photographed between two best friends, and an absolutely stunning bride and groom.  Also, I had to include the first film image because it looks like a painting with a little bit of soft blur as she twirled, I'm in love.  Enjoy!

xo
-c

Vivian & Curtis's Downtown Toronto Engagement

One of the foundations of what I do is getting to know my couples as well as possible in the time leading up to their wedding.  As such, I always include an engagement session in my wedding photography packages, and encourage couples to plan an engagement session with me that really feels like 'them'.  Instead of what you typically envision when you think of engagement photos, I try to treat these shoots like mini wedding day practice sessions, slash a massive couple/photographer hangout time, and do my utmost to keep it all as relaxed and 'un-posed' as possible.  This makes my job much easier when I show up for a wedding day and already know who I'm photographing, and I get to have a wonderful time getting to hangout and photograph so many unique and interesting couples!

Vivian and Curtis are getting married later this summer and I absolutely can't wait to see what they're creating for their wedding after photographing this awesome and unique engagement session with them.  They really took it to heart when I suggested picking several locations around the city that resonated with them as a couple, and we ended up moving around three locations in the east end of Toronto, Odin Coffee, Wonder Pens, and Cherry Beach.  I always love starting at coffee shops or cafes where we can sit down for a drink, chat, and take a few photographs on the side to get everyone relaxed and feeling comfortable.  From there we headed down to their favorite pen store they visit whenever they're in the area, and got to learn more about Vivian's love for calligraphy and her budding creative business.  Finally, we finished by taking our shoes off and strolling along Cherry Beach, taking photographs, and talking more, because who doesn't love being barefoot by the water on a warm summer day? 

Take a look through some of their photographs below, and don't hesitate to get in touch about brainstorming the best engagement session activities and locations for you.  Whether that's making dinner at home, walking your dog in the park, or mountain climbing, I'm always up for any kind of adventure and am already looking forward to getting to know you!

xo
-c

The Great Hall Bridal Look Book Video

This spring, a group of Toronto wedding vendors got together to create a bridal look book filled with wedding style inspiration and ideas for the upcoming wedding season.  You saw a few of my photographs from the shoot on the blog a few weeks back, and now I'm here to add the beautiful video from the day created by Jessica from Charuk Studios, who was both our videographer and concept stylist for the day. 

Hooked on that bright, airy, minimalist vibe, we of course chose The Great Hall as our wedding venue.  With its' perfect high ceilings, wooden floors, white walls, and big windows, this venue is a photographers' dream! Jessica pulled together a variety of styles using different dresses and accessories from local designers and stores like Maureen Patricia Bridal, Ferre Sposa, the LuvyT Shop, and florist Mimi & Ry.  Many of the dresses were beautiful shades of off-white, from a lovely dove grey wrap dress, to a soft blue tulle piece, to compliment the pastel colours of the spring wedding season, and to play with some more creative bridal looks.  Our hair and makeup team UnoJo and Prerna & Co. did a fabulous job of creating several different and beautiful hair and makeup styles for our bridal looks.  From soft wavy curls, to elegant up-do's, to beautiful waterfall braids, I had so much fun shooting such a variety of looks!

Take a look at Jessica's stunning video below, and checkout the rest of the photos from my blog post a few weeks ago if you missed it. 

xo
-c

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A Branding Shoot With Leaf & Bloom

Jaimie and I spent the day at her farm foraging, styling, and taking photographs to help her with the re-brand of her business, Leaf and Bloom.  Jaimie is a passionate florist with an eye for wild arrangements, incredible blooms, and unique bridal bouquets.  I had the pleasure of getting to know her at first when I photographed a wedding she created the floral work for.  Needless to say, it was spectacular; and when I shared the photographs with her I just had to mention that I would love to work with her again! 

I was so excited a few months later when I received an email that she was re-branding her Toronto based floral company and needed some new photographs for her website and social media accounts.  This was one of my first forays into the world of small business branding photography, and it's quickly become work that I feel very passionate about and hope to do much more of in the coming years. 

I shot a mixture of film and digital work throughout the day as Jaimie created stunning bouquet arrangements, styled delicate boutonnieres, and put together a beautiful tablescape despite the wild wind we were working with that day.  Her dogs roamed the farm around us, quietly becoming part of many of our shots, and we finished the day sitting on the back porch chatting about life and business as the sun finished setting.  Since then I've been hooked on branding photography and working closely with other entrepreneurs to craft photographs unique to their business.   

I truly can't recommend Jaimie's work enough.  In addition to being the most lovely woman to work with, her floral styling work is absolutely stunning, and I always look forward to our next styled shoot together! 

Take a look at her Website and Instagram account here to see more lovely work from Leaf and Bloom.