Shireen & Jonny's Bronte Park Engagement

September 30th, 2018

Bronte Park Engagement Photographer

I met Shireen and Jonny on a lovely, albeit cloudy, late September afternoon. I had previously shot a maternity session at Bronte Provincial Park, but never an engagement. This couple was up for a nature adventure, so I thought they might be the perfect models for this gorgeous spot! I was totally right.

We started our engagement session in the tall grass and fields, playing with some silly directions and learning a ton about each other. The first thing I asked Shireen and Jonny was “How did you get engaged?” Jonny replied, “I asked her to marry me at the top of a mountain.” Oh! Okay! The bar has been raised! These two are so frikkin’ romantic and adventurous!

After frolicking through the fields and re-enacting Children of the Corn, we made the trek down into the valley of Bronte Park. Despite Shireen’s gorgeous heeled boots - she did not complain or fall once! We found some fallen trees to play on before making our way to Bronte Creek.

The water was chilly, but that didn’t stop these two lovebirds from kicking their boots off and hopping into the water! After their feet had frozen, we took a short break on another log so that Jonny could sing “Baby Shark” into Shireen’s ear.

We climbed back up to end off where we started. Shireen jumped up onto Jonny’s back and they rode off into the sunset… Thank you both so much for allowing me to capture your engagement session at Bronte Park!

Juliana & Jordan's Brantford Wedding

September 7th & 8th, 2018

Rope Factory Wedding

Juliana and I used to work together, so when she asked me to be her wedding photographer I was ecstatic. There is something so special about working with people who you already know and love - and it always shows in the photos. Our first engagement session was in December of 2016 (seems like ages ago!) and that’s when I met Jordan. We spent a chilly afternoon in Bronte capturing some romantic winter engagement photos before sitting down for lunch together. Getting to know my couples is one of the best parts of this job - and it’s so important to get to know them as much as I possibly can so that I can capture the real essence of their relationship in our portraits. I could tell you how perfect these two are for each other, but I would much rather show you…

Our next engagement session was just under a month before their big day. These two thoughtful lovebirds wanted to make their parents albums as thank you gifts, plus who doesn’t love a summer golden hour photoshoot?! I really love that Juliana brought a whole Pinterest board of photos she wanted to try - some photographers don’t like this, but I think it’s great to use other great photographer’s work for inspiration - and it’s always fun to try new things!

A couple of weeks later, it was time for Juliana and Jordan’s traditional Vietnamese Tea Ceremony, which takes place the day before the wedding. I had never captured a tea ceremony before and I was so excited to see all of the vibrant colours and intricate outfits. I had done some research beforehand to see what the afternoon would be like, but nothing I read prepared me for the intimacy, emotions, and family bonding that took place that day. Before Jordan arrived, Juliana’s sister and Maid of Honour helped her get ready along with their mother and grand mother. This has got to be the most beautiful three generations of women I have ever seen!

Jordan arrived a little later with his offerings. Both Juliana and Jordan’s families were all there to greet him with hugs. Juliana came down then for the Tea Ceremony. Their family members took turns accepting tea from the couple and, in exchange, they offered them marriage advice. I was in awe at the pride that beamed from their parents during these intimate moments.

After the Tea Ceremony, we took family and couple photos outside in the garden. Soon everyone was ready for lunch, and I left to get ready for the big day!

I arrived in Brantford at 11am on September 8th. The first order of business was to hang with the girls while they got ready, and to take some photos of Juliana’s gorgeous dress, shoes, flowers, and the rings. I adore how every wedding has its own unique little details - like Juliana’s robe that her cousin had embroidered with three dates: two of her cousins’ wedding dates and her own, all in their wedding colours. Each cousin had worn the robe on the morning of their weddings - it was her “something borrowed” <3 Just down the hall, the boys were getting ready, so it was easy to bounce between the two groups to get lots of “getting ready” shots! My favourite being Juliana and her sister jumping on the bed in their robes.

Once everyone was all dolled up, we headed to Whistling Gardens in Wilsonville, just a short drive away. I had seen the gardens for the first time on a site visit with Juliana, Jordan, and their wedding party a few weeks before their wedding. It is absolutely gorgeous with tons of amazing spots for photos. We picked the spot for their first look together, so Jordan was already there waiting for us when we arrived.

After their first look, Jordan left to greet guests with his best men at the ceremony site, while we got some adorable portraits of Juliana and her sister.

I quickly trotted over to the ceremony location to catch some guests arriving. This was when one of Juliana’s aunts noticed that I wasn’t wearing a coat, and went to GET ME ONE! I was really touched that a complete stranger was so worried about my comfort. Don’t worry, I remembered to give it back to her at the end of the night!

Juliana and Jordan’s ceremony was short and sweet - and what made it so personal was that the officiant was the mother of the best men! It’s always lovely when you can have someone close to you officiate for you <3

After their receiving line, we got through a thorough list of family photos before moving on to some portraits of the wedding party. I have to give some credit to the amazing videographer Akil McKenzie who was not only a blast to work with, but came up with a ton of these brilliant poses!

When we were finished with the formal photos and the guests were done viewing the beautiful gardens, everyone made their way to The Rope Factory for the reception. The wedding party made their entrance and the buffet was open. The decor was exceptionally beautiful - and it was all done by Juliana, Jordan, their family, and friends! The Maid of Honour and Best Men made their speeches, and then it was time for the first dance. Soon after everyone was up and dancing - and even doing the limbo!

We went outside to take a couple of night portraits before it was time for me to head on home. I have to say a huge thank you to Juliana and Jordan for having me capture their engagement sessions, tea ceremony, and wedding day. It was such a blast and absolutely gorgeous to witness. They recently adopted a puppy, so life is not dull for these newlyweds! I wish them all the best in this new chapter of their lives together <3

Nighttime Wedding Portrait with Off Camera Flash

Justine & Kevin's Firefighter Wedding

August 18th, 2018

Firefighter Wedding

This was one of my favourite weddings that I have ever had the pleasure of capturing. It was also one of the shortest times I’ve spent working a wedding, the furthest in Ontario I’ve ever travelled for a wedding, and the only time an ambulance was needed!

I met Justine and Kevin over FaceTime while they were at the Firehall one evening a few months before their wedding. I knew we’d get along because they had their dog with them (and I’m dog-obsessed) and also because their dog’s name is Nala (and I’m also Lion King-obsessed). I also learned that these two met while volunteer fire-fighting, in the same hall where they were calling me from, and the same hall where they would be holding their wedding reception… sign me up!

On August 18th I made the four-hour drive from Oakville to Haliburton. I had never even heard of Haliburton, but my trusty GPS led me north through a whole lot of trees until I finally arrived at my quaint little motel. As I was checking in, the lady asked me “are you here for the wedding?” and when I told her I was photographing the wedding she said “you don’t have far to go!” She pointed, I turned my head, and there was the bride’s house right next door! I headed over to Justine’s around 3:30pm just in time to see her slip into her dress before snapping a few family photos before heading to the ceremony. (On a side note: Justine warned me that I wouldn’t get a photo with her brother smiling - challenge accepted, and mission accomplished!)

I arrived at the ceremony location and was instantly amazed… it was a little opening in the forest off a dirt road right on the edge of a stream. I asked the guys where the benches came from and they replied “oh we made those earlier today!” Just after I arrived and the guests were seated, Justine and her father pulled up in their vintage car. The ceremony was short, but sweet. My favourite part was the reading of Dr. Seuss poem “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” (Side note: Dr. Seuss and I have the same birthday!) And of course their baby girl Nala was the guest of honour!

As soon as the ceremony ended Justine, Kevin and I hopped in the car and drove a minute down the road to take a few pictures of the newly-weds. We then returned for more family photos before heading to the firehall for dinner and their reception.

It’s time for my favourite photos of the evening! Justine had this idea to take photos with their firetrucks and gear. It was honestly a photographer’s dream… and she set it all up on her own!

After our firetruck extravaganza, we went inside for Justine and Kevin’s first dance to Tracy Byrd’s “Keeper of the Stars”.

After the first dance, it was time for dinner. While everyone was eating, I ran out to my car to grab something. When I came back in, everyone was crowded around one of the guest tables. I asked someone what was going on and was told that Justine’s grandfather was not feeling well, and nobody knew where Justine had gone. Next thing I knew, an ambulance pulled up and out hopped Justine! Turned out that Justine was feeling overwhelmed and went for a walk. She saw the ambulance parked around the corner on standby - and since she works with the paramedics, she stopped to chat with them. She then heard a call come in requesting the ambulance at her reception!

They had Justine’s grandfather in the ambulance for a few minutes while everyone waited anxiously. Finally they told us he was fine and had just gotten dehydrated… but needless to say, the bride and groom needed a moment to themselves. Justine had mentioned earlier that she would like to have some sunset photos taken down the road, so once we knew her grandfather was alright, we headed down to the beach just the three of us.

When we arrived at the beach, I told Justine and Kevin to take some time to themselves. It is rare that a bride and groom get any alone time on their wedding day - which seems ridiculous but is so true. Also these two definitely needed a breather after the unexpected and emotional events of the evening. After a while, I started taking photos of them, asking them to slow dance or whisper things into each other’s ears. I eventually pulled out my sparklers and they certainly had fun with those! We stayed at the beach for nearly an hour before it was time for me to go and time for them to get back to their reception, and it was the most romantic part of any wedding I had ever seen. If I could give one piece of advice to every couple, it would be to take time on your wedding day to just enjoy each other (and of course bring your photographer to stalk from afar).

Carmel & Jon's Toronto Wedding at The Carlu

August 5th, 2018

Toronto Jewish Wedding

I first met Carmel and Jon at a Starbucks in downtown Toronto. Right away I could tell how calm, collected, and in-sync they were as a couple. After a lovely meeting over some coffees and lattes, I hoped and wished that they would choose me to capture their big day! A couple of weeks later the contracts were signed and we were all set for their big day on August 5, 2018.

We did an engagement shoot in May at the gorgeous Guild Inn Estates in Scarborough. Carmel and Jon had requested a second photographer for a couple of hours on their big day, so the talented Matt of Matt Besenyodi Photography joined us at the engagement so we all had a chance to work together before the wedding. The adorable intimate images we captured during the engagement had me even more excited for their upcoming wedding! Not to mention the practice bouquet that Carmel brought as a prop… crocheted by her mother - absolutely beautiful.

Finally August 5th arrived, exactly five months after our first meeting. The day began with the girls getting their hair and make-up done in the rooftop lounge at Carmel and Jon’s Toronto apartment. I got to see all of the intricate bouquets and boutonnieres all hand-made by Carmel’s talented mother.

Carmel went to get her dress on while Jon came in to get himself ready. He went outside to the rooftop patio to await his bride. When that elevator door opened and we all saw Carmel’s stunning pink wedding dress, we were all in love! She then headed out to the patio to meet Jon for their first look.

After their first look, Carmel, Jon and I headed out to get some portraits of the two of them. We found this gorgeous park across the street from their apartment that made for the perfect backdrop! I never would have imagined finding such a luscious, green spot for wedding photos in downtown Toronto.

After their formal portraits, Carmel and Jon shared an intimate lunch with their family. We then headed to The Carlu for some family photos and a cocktail hour before the ceremony.

Carmel and Jon had a traditional Jewish ceremony. After signing the official documents, they joined back-to-back in a circle of their family and friends. This was one of the most meaningful moments I have ever witnessed as a wedding photographer. Their Rabbi asked them to think of each other’s faces the first time they ever saw each other, the first time they said I love you, when they became engaged. Tears were streaming down everyone’s faces as the couple turned to face each other, and the Rabbi announced that they would remember this look on their partner’s face for the rest of their lives. It was breath-taking.

Afterwards, the more formal ceremony took place under the Chupah, including bubble boys, flower girls, and of course stepping on glass! We then moved into the Round Room at The Carlu for my next favourite part of the day: the Hora — note the chairs hand-painted by their parents!

Carmel and Jon’s friends and family gave some very moving (and sometimes hilarious) speeches while everyone ate dinner. After that it was time for fun, games, and dancing — starting with the first dance that invited everyone onto the dance floor while “Time of My Life” played. (The Dirty Dancing fan inside of me jumped for joy!)

Thank you so much to Carmel and Jon for choosing me to capture such a unique and memorable day. All the best to both of you! <3

Monic & Cody's PEI Engagement

July 28th, 2018

PEI Engagement

My first-ever engagement blog - how exciting! Monic and I go way back… I met her when I moved to Prince Edward Island in grade four. We used to catch mice around her farm house and smuggle them into school in our pencil cases. And now, 17 years later, here she is ENGAGED to her very best friend!

Prince Edward Island Engagement

Monic reached out to me when she saw a post I made offering engagement sessions. Since I live in Ontario and she’s back home in PEI, she asked when I would be on the island again to take some shots of her and her beau! I was travelling back to the East coast to shoot my cousin's wedding in July, so we set up a session for the day after the wedding. Living near Lake Ontario is nothing compared to the smell and feeling of the ocean, so I naturally asked if we could shoot on the beach!

My partner Dan and I met Monic, Cody and their pup, Shelby, at Kinlock Beach in Stratford, PEI. The best thing about south shore beaches in PEI is that you can walk for miles when the tide is out and the water is shallow and warm - not to mention all of the picturesque sandbars! We walked for a bit, catching up and leaving behind all of the tourists and their families who came out for an afternoon swim.

First I got some shots of Monic, Cody and Shelby walking up and down the beach, while my partner Dan screamed dad jokes at them: “The price of velcro has gone up and it’s such a rip-off!” Then we climbed up onto some famously red PEI rocks while the dad jokes got more raunchy.

Although making people laugh is my all-time favourite thing to do, I also love capturing some serious, intimate moments during my sessions. This is easy when you ask people to touch foreheads, noses, or just stare into each other’s eyes… until someone licks someone else’s nose.

Next we braved the attack of the hermit crabs to get these gorgeous shots - it was totally worth it.

Then our brave couple decided to climb up a cliff! Meanwhile Shelby waited at the bottom, guarding mom and dad in case of danger (or more hermit crabs).

What we really came for was a new album cover for their band “Shelby and the Shades”.

After an hour of fun, it was time to go. I want to thank Monic and Cody so much for asking me to capture these moments with them, and wish them all the best with their wedding next September!

Kinlock Beach, PEI

Ryan & Paige's PEI Wedding

July 27th, 2018

Charlottetown Wedding

When my cousin Ryan and his girlfriend Paige announced their engagement, I was over the moon! When they asked me to Emcee their reception - I was ecstatic! You see, I had offered to be their wedding photographer, but they had already hired the photographer who took their beautiful engagement photos in Alberta (where they live). So I was happy to still be involved somehow - and truth be told - I would make an amazing Emcee…

But a few weeks later, Ryan messaged me to say they had thought it over and wanted me to be their wedding photographer after all! Now I could stop pretending to be happy with the Emcee job - and REALLY get excited! Not only are Ryan and Paige two of the sweetest humans I have ever met, but they also happen to be gorgeous creatures who I knew would make the photos extra special. Though I could not have imagined though the beautiful moments that we ended up capturing on their big day.

The day started at 8am when my partner Dan and I met the boys at Fox Meadow Golf Course in Stratford, PEI. They were well into their full game of golf, and let us follow them around for an hour to get some candid shots of the game, as well as capture the groomsmen receiving their gifts.

Next it was time to meet the bride and her girls at the salon! For the first time ever, I did not know where the bride was getting her hair done until the morning of the wedding… that’s right - this bride was so chill, she did not make an appointment for her hair until the day before her wedding! And she was happy as a clam with her choice. We hung out with the bride, her maid of honour - who is also her mother - while the talented hair dressers at Cleopatra Hair Design worked their magic.

We then drove to CNG Country Cabins where the wedding party and many of the guests stayed. This is where the bride and her girls were to do the rest of their getting ready! Paige was surrounded by her family and her dog - and some of Ryan’s family joined in. One of my favourite moments during this part of the day was after Paige’s mom had helped her daughter get into her gorgeous dress, she went to get Ryan’s mom, Cathy, to put on the veil. It was one of those moments when two families become one, where a mother knows how much a moment like this means and wants to share it.

After a beautiful and emotional time getting ready with the girls, it was time to head back to Stratford to meet the boys at Ryan and my grand-parents’ house. There were many beers and laughs involved!

We got to Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Parish Church in Stratford as all of the guests were arriving. Ryan and his groomsmen greeted and sat everyone, and then took their place at the end of the aisle. The girls arrived soon after, and everyone piled in except for Paige and her parents. I loved watching the last moments before their ceremony, as Paige and her parents shared a laugh outside of the church.

Church Wedding

Ryan and Paige had a traditional Catholic ceremony. Afterwards, they exited the church to greet their family and friends, followed by a few family photos outside the church.

Next we went back to Nana & Grampy’s for a quick beer stop before driving to the picturesque Victoria Park in Charlottetown. Here we took photos by the water and then headed to the baseball diamond to get a few shots as Ryan is a baseball player. Incredibly, there were two teams about to play, and they lent us their gear and the field to get a few pictures!

Ryan and Paige’s reception was held at the wonderful PEI Brewing Company. As guests ate dinner, the couple entertained us with the adorable shoe game. They then made their way to the dance floor where they had their first dance, and father-daughter dance.

Last but not least, we went outside to take some night shots followed by one last miraculous photo in front of the PEI Brewery’s unique lamps. It was one of the longest days I have ever captured, but felt like the shortest thanks to these two vibrant gems. Thank you dearly to my cousin Ryan and my new cousin Paige for allowing me to be a part of such a wonderful day.

Alinka & Chris' Barrie Wedding

June 23rd, 2018

Bride and Groom

A few years ago I was cast in a musical called “MUTE”. This brilliant woman wrote and directed it! When she reached out to ask me about doing her wedding photography, I was so happy for her - and beyond excited to capture her big day!

Wedding Dress

As per my usual routine, I arrived at the hotel where the girls were getting ready and went straight to work on the detail shots. Believe it or not, Alinka got this wedding dress from Value Village for $100! Of course I’ve always loved Value Village, but it blew my mind… it was honestly one of the most beautiful dresses I’d ever seen. I also couldn’t resist setting these gorgeous wedding shoes in front of the window with Alinka’s engagement ring.

Wedding Shoes and Engagement Ring

After driving over to check in on the boys, I came back to the hotel to catch Alinka getting into her gorgeous dress. Her mother and bridesmaids all helped her get dressed, but I especially love this shot of her Maid of Honour looking like she’s on a mission!

Maid of Honour

Next came the tiara - fit for a princess - and then it was time to head over to Liberty North for the ceremony <3

Bridal Tiara

The ceremony got off on the right foot as the bridal party DANCED down the aisle! Nothing gets your guests in the mood for a party like a good dance down the aisle - let me tell you. Then when Alinka floated in like an angel, things got emotional. They proceeded to exchange vows in a beautiful ceremony surrounded by fairy-lit trees.

We then went outside to take a few formal shots while the guests enjoyed a cocktail. I think they made the parking lot look glamorous!

Next it was time for the reception! Liberty North was beautifully decorated by Alinka and her crew. The bridal party made their entrance, and then came the newly-weds for their first dance. Chris’ dad played the guitar for one song, and Alinka sang another for her new husband - talk about romantic!

Last but not least, Alinka and Chris’ families tore up the dance floor! I have never seen a more talented family when it comes to dance moves. Overall, the day was perfectly beautiful. Thanks so much to Alinka and Chris for having me. All the best in your beautiful future together <3

Kristin & Matt's Earth to Table Wedding

June 9th, 2018

Kristin & Matt's First Kiss as Husband and Wife at Earth to Table: The Farm

I met Kristin and Matt for their engagement session last fall, and right away we clicked. They had been engaged for a few years and were eager to be finally getting married! I can't believe how fast June 9th came along... but it was certainly worth the wait.

DSC_6234.jpg

I spent some time with the ladies while they got ready and shot some of the gorgeously rustic details. All went smoothly until the mother of the bride's zipper broke on her brand-new dress! Kristin's mom and dad drove off to get her mom sewed into the dress for the day while we took some pictures with the classy antique cars parked across the street. Soon I was off to hang out with the boys for a bit before the ceremony.

Bride and Bridesmaids in Antique Car

When I arrived at Kristin and Matt's place to see the boys, they were already into the beer and cigars! Right away we had nicknames for each other and we were swapping celebrity impressions. I'm pretty sure that I won though with my Christopher Walken...

When I arrived at Earth to Table: The Farm I was in awe at the beautiful decor! The set up for both the ceremony and reception was absolutely breath-taking. Guests had already started to arrive and the crowd was filled with smiles and hugs. Now all we had to do was wait for the girls to arrive.

The ceremony was short and sweet with just the right amount of tears and laughter. I had pre-planned a shot for the first kiss with the help of the amazing officiant Ian (Kettle Creek Weddings) and it turned out even better than I could have imagined (see top photo). Afterwards the bride, groom, bridal party, family and I all walked over to a prime photo location to take some formals and portraits. This venue is packed full of prime photo spots as you can see below.

Reception time! After a gorgeous receiving line, the bride and groom went right into their first dance to John Legend's "All of Me". Then came an amazing dinner sprinkled with speeches by family and friends. Beautiful father/daughter and mother/son dances ensued. Then came the great DCF Wedding Music that got everyone out on the dance floor for a party! 

Before it was time to go, we snuck out for a few sparkler shots (my all-time favourite thing to do). I then left the newlyweds to celebrate with their guests after a beautiful day <3

Andrew & Heather's Surprise Proposal

Friday, June 1st 2018

Engagement Ring

When Andrew emailed me a couple of weeks ago to ask if I would be available to capture his surprise proposal to Heather, I was ecstatic. I have always wanted to be a part of the excitement and romance that comes with a proposal. All I knew before arriving in St. Catherine's that day was that Andrew wanted to propose on the back deck of a gorgeous home he and his family had rented especially for the occasion. Little did I know that Andrew had flown in his and Heather's parents from Scotland, and everyone had a hand in planning the most beautiful proposal I could have imagined.

The decor and attention to detail were remarkable! The huge home was covered inside and out with decorations and banners. Andrew’s mom scattered rose petals along the path Heather would take to the back of the house where huge “MARRY ME” balloons were perfectly situated on the outside wall. The deck, where Andrew was waiting for his future wife, was adorned with heart-shaped candles. He had music playing while Heather turned the corner, already sobbing. Their families hid in the living room, overlooking the yard, with phones and video recorders going strong. I was up on a balcony with a perfect view of Heather's approach. She was not shocked - Andrew had sent her on a scavenger hunt all day, giving her gifts such as getting her hair and nails done.. She was still so overcome with emotion (who wouldn't be?!) at just how perfect the day was turning out to be.

Once Heather reached Andrew, they wrapped each other in a love-filled embrace before Andrew knelt down on one knee to ask the question. It took less than one second for Heather to say yes! Andrew slid the shiniest ring you've ever seen on to Heather's hand, and then signalled up to the balcony where the family came out to greet them. Heather broke into tears of happiness when she realized their families, all the way from Scotland, were there to witness their engagement. Heather and Andrew quickly ran inside and upstairs to see everyone.

Once inside, Heather was greeted with the most loving hugs I have ever witnessed.  Her parents, Andrew's parents, Heather's sister, brother-in-law, and nephew were all over the moon for the newly-engaged couple.. Champagne was immediately popped and everyone joined together for a drink to toast the couple! Homemade food was served while a calm settled over the home. Everyone got Heather up to speed on all the sneaking around they had been doing over the past couple of months; Andrew said "I'm so glad I never have to lie to you again."

Andrew, Heather and I then went back out to get some photos of the couple now that their nerves had calmed. Heather took in all of the details laid out for her, and realized that all of her dreams and wishes had become a reality. I left that house feeling like one of the family and knowing how lucky these two are to have found each other. Thank you so much to Heather & Andrew for letting me a part of this incredible day! I wish them all the luck in the world and know they are going to live out their happily ever after.

Katie & Cal's Ancaster Mill Wedding

Saturday, April 21st 2018

My co-worker Kathy came up to me at work one day and asked if I shot weddings. I said yes, excited at a new opportunity! She explained that her daughter Katie was getting married in just four weeks, but she had tears in her eyes as she told me. I asked if everything was okay, and she went on to tell me that Katie's dad, Larry, was very ill and not doing well. Katie wanted her father at her wedding. 

A Bride and her Mother Getting Ready on her Wedding Day

Everyone held their breaths for the next few weeks, hoping that Katie's dad would be able to make it to the wedding. On the morning of Saturday, April 21st - I still wasn't sure where or when I was going to meet the bride! The family was taking it minute by minute, to see if Larry could make it to the chapel for 4:30pm. Around 1 o'clock I got a text saying "Meet us at the venue at 3!" This meant that Katie's dad was going to make it!

I couldn't have been more excited for my first wedding of the season. I got to Ancaster Mill early - because I am always early, but also because I was too excited to wait any longer. I walked up to Suite One on the second floor of the Special Events Office and immediately fell in love with the decor, the lighting, and the energy of the place. To add to my excitement, I was told we could use any of the suites since there were no other weddings that afternoon!

As soon as Katie and her crew showed up, I got to work on the details. Her dress and bouquet were simple and stunning. The natural light streaming in through the big windows made for perfect shots! I knew I needed to get a picture of the rings, as Kathy told me that Katie and Cal MADE each other's rings at a workshop in Toronto... how romantic could this wedding get?!

Wedding Bouquet and Wedding Rings

After Katie's mom helped her get dressed, her sister-in-law did up the buttons, and her best friend (and maid of honour) did up her shoes, we all had a sip of champagne as they took it all in. This is one of my favourite parts of a wedding day - when everyone realizes the magnitude of what is about to happen.

We took a couple more shots of Katie's last moments as a single woman before I slipped out to get to the chapel.

Bride Before Her Wedding

I passed a buzzing group of select friends and family waiting outside the chapel, patiently waiting to support Katie and Cal in their union. I set up camp and had my first groom spotting! Up on the balcony of the chapel, Cal and his best man laughed and went over his vows during his last moments of being a single man. I spotted them leaning over the railing to take a look at the room of loved ones there to witness this milestone in their lives.

Groom and His Best Man

Larry - Katie's father - was wheeled down the aisle to await his daughter. Once the wedding party was all present, Larry stood up and everyone got a chance to exchange hugs before Cal took Katie's hand and they both walked up to the Minister.

Mother and Father of the Bride

One of my favourite things during the ceremony was that Katie and Cal kept squeezing each other's hands back and forth... It was one of those things I don't know if anyone else noticed, but it made my heart flutter. Even as someone who didn't know the couple super well, I could tell this was a perfect fit.

Bride and Groom Hold Hands During Ceremony

After a beautiful ceremony, we stayed in the chapel to take some pictures. Katie had mentioned that she and Cal weren't very comfortable in front of a camera and that they would need some direction. Well, I didn't give one direction to these two all gosh-darn day! I just watched and clicked as they spent their first moments together as husband and wife. They kissed and laughed and cried and it was the most beautiful thing in the world to witness.

When Katie's dad came back into the chapel for photos, he took off his oxygen tank and stood up with his daughter. Tears were everywhere, but Cal was right there by Katie's side to wipe them away and make her smile.

Happy Bride and Groom after the Ceremony

This photo of Katie is one of my most favourite images that I have ever captured. After the ceremony, the bride and groom greeted their guests in the lobby of the chapel. Katie took a beat to soak in the moment, and instinctively turned her face to the natural light pouring in through the windows. The look on her face shows such pure, raw happiness it takes my breath away... what an angel!

Happy Bride After Ceremony

Then we went to take formal photos of the bride and groom. Again, these two were perfectly in love - and it shows in the gorgeous photos I had the pleasure of capturing. 

Bride and Groom Kissing on their Wedding Day

After making a round of the gorgeous grounds at Ancaster Mill, the bride and groom had an hour to spare before dinner. While the two lovebirds ran off for a bit, I set up for the reception while guests enjoyed a fun-filled cocktail hour on the patio.

At 6:30pm dinner was served. After three amazing courses and lots of wine, the speeches began. One of Katie's brothers kicked things off as the emcee, then came her maid of honour, followed by a friend of Cal's, another one of Katie's brothers, Cal's father, and an incredibly intimate performance by Cal's talented best man. 

Best Man Performing for the Bride and Groom on Their Wedding Day

After the cake-cutting, Katie, Cal and I explored the beautiful Ancaster Mill at night for some more portraits of the couple. We visited both bridges and the waterfall for some unforgettable shots. 

Bride and Groom Kiss on Bridge at Night During Ancaster Mill Wedding

After the night shots came the first dance - which was perfectly rehearsed. Then came the mother-son/father-in-law-daughter dance. It didn't take much to get the rest of the guests up on the dance floor! Soon after the first dances, it was time for me to pack up my gear. I said my goodbyes and left the newly married couple surrounded by their closest family and friends on the dance floor.

Bride and Groom's First Dance at Their Wedding

I got home and went straight to editing a few highlights from the day - I get far too excited after a wedding to sleep. I already had in mind a dozen photos that I just had to finish first. Looking back on the photos from the day, I felt honoured that another couple trusted me with the responsibility to capture the memories of one of the biggest days of their lives.

Enjoy the slideshow below with a few more sample photos from the amazingly intimate Ancaster Mill wedding of Katie & Cal <3