September 7th & 8th, 2018
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