A Backyard Family Wedding in Chatham, ON

 

Danni and Jake got married in Jake’s grandparents’ backyard in the small town of Chatham, ON. Danni and Jake met and live in England but decided to return to Jake’s hometown to celebrating their wedding with all of their family. Danni’s parents and sister even flew in from Scotland for the special day.

Living so far away from where they had their wedding, Jake’s mom played a big role in the planning and organizing of the day. Everything was DIY from the string light ceremony backdrop to the flowers on the harvest tables to the wedding cake that Jake’s mom made herself. I think my favourite DIY detail was the leather “just married” jacket that Danni designed and made herself. She is, however, a talented graphic designer, so I wasn’t surprised at all that she pulled it off so well.

After the ceremony, it really felt like these two families had become one. An atmosphere of inclusion and love was amplified by the warm lanterns, the gorgeous sunset and the Jack Johnson playlist that filled the air. The joy that could be felt is really not easily explained in words but it was felt in the energy. There were many moments of tears, but they were always happy tears, as this new family was so grateful to be sharing such an important and wonderful day together.

It might have been the quaintest of weddings but it was full of emotion and without a doubt, it was memorable.

 
 
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A Lakeside Wedding at Hidden Valley Resort

 

For some reason it always surprises me, at least just a little, that I come across people through my work that I have a lot in common with. Megan and Collin were no exception. With Meagan being an ex-varsity soccer player and Collin being an ex-varsity baseball player we had much to talk about when it came to sports. I really admire that Meagan followed her talent from Ontario to the United States, as I can appreciate how much courage and dedication it had taken her to get there. It only makes sense that following her passion led to her to the man she was going to marry. Meagan and Collin now live in Miami and have left a trail of family and friends all along the way. 

For their wedding day, Meagan and Collin drove all the way from Miami so that they could bring along their handsome bulldog, Murphy. Their family and friends from all the different times and places in their lives came together in at a small lakeside resort in Muskoka. 

They said their vows along the waterfront, with a cameo from Murphy as he walked down the aisle. There was only a small little hiccup when Collin dropped Meagan’s ring before the exchange (it’s OK, it didn’t fall in the water) but other than that it was a profoundly genuine and beautiful ceremony. Their personalized vows had everyone in tears, Meagan and Collin both professed their gratefulness for the serendipitous meeting and their love for each other. As they walked back down the aisle and Mr. and Mrs. Starnes they dragged Murphy behind them, as he was a little tired from the days events. 

As the cocktail hour on the veranda turned into the indoor evening reception, Meagan’s brother showed a surprise video that he had put together. The video was a bunch of congratulations, well wishes, and apologies from special friends and family members who were not able to make it to the day. Seeing Meagan and Collin’s reactions to each message was both heartwarming and heartbreaking. Again, they had all their guests in tears. The warmth and closeness that was shared in a room full of people who may not have necessarily known each other or had anything in common could all appreciate and celebrate the love of Meg and Cas.

 
 
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VENDORS
Second Shooter - Brian B Bettencourt of 3B Photography
Hair and Makeup - Glitz Galz
Wedding Dress - Anne Jean-Michel from La Vie en Blanc
Groom's Suit - Jos A Bank 
Bride's Shoes - Nine West
Florist - Cottage County Flowers
Venue / Catering - Hidden Valley Resort
Cake - Whimsical Bakery

 

Urban Oasis Wedding at Airship37

 

I first met Ali and Alex over drinks at The Drake Commissary back in May.  After spending a couple of hours talking and laughing over drinks I knew these people were my kind of people. They decided to say their vows at Airship37 on a very warm day in July. Airship37 is located on the outer edge of the Distillery District and is a modern, urban oasis. With a few DIY touches courtesy of Ali's mom, the ceremony space became uniquely theirs. 

During their ceremony, Ali and Alex performed a rose giving ceremony with their mom's as well as a lighting of a unity candle with each other. All the thought and meaning they put into the small details of their ceremony really made it a personal and memorable experience. Alex's mother, Grandmother and a couple of other close relatives flew in from Italy to be there to witness their vows. Ali's side was also a very close knit family which includes two little nieces, one even being the miniature version of Ali with the same hairdo and flowers to match. Seeing the strong bonds between each and every family member, on both sides, was really heartwarming and inspiring.

We spent the rest of the evening celebrating the love between Ali and Alex and soaking the the gorgeous sunset that lit up the sky. After a secluded slow dance under the string lights, Ali and Alex partied hard into the night, but no without a couple of very sweet dances between Alex and his Grandmother.  Ali and Alex put together a intimate and simple wedding day where they were able to share a very meaningful day with their closest.

 
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VENDORS
Second Shooter - Brian B. Bettencourt of 3B Photography
Makeup Artist - Angela Xuereb
Hairstylist - Ashley Shantz Bridal
Wedding Dress - Madison James
Bridesmaid Dresses - Vera Wang Collection
Groom's Suit - Freeman Floral
Florist - Quince Flowers
Coordinator - Derek Drapala
Venue / Catering - Airship37 (Berkeley Events)
 

 

Intimate Toronto City Hall Wedding

 

I met Anjo and Cam through a mutual friend as they were planning their city hall elopement. In a few short weeks they pulled together an intimate, beautiful, and emotional family gathering. Cam's traditional Scottish roots lead to the inclusion of bag pipes, kilts, and a few sgian dubh's (knives that you put in your sock) and Anjo's family travelled across the country from B.C (arriving the day before) for the wedding. They had their ceremony at Toronto City Hall followed by a quick photo stop at Osgoode Hall and finally, The Broadview Hotel, where they stayed the night and hosted their family for dinner.

Despite the short turnaround from wedding planning to the actual wedding, there was still a lot of anticipation for the day. Anjo and Cam's parents had never met, and when they did there was instantly so much love and kindness professed by both sides. This celebration was really an accurate reflection of Anjo and Cam and the love they shared with each other and their families. You could tell that this marriage wasn't just uniting two people, but uniting two families. It was special to be included in a such a deeply personal and intimate moment in their lives. It's a true gift as a photographer to be in the presence of such sincerity and love, elements of life like those are what I love capturing and remind me that photography is the gift of memory, and through the images, we can relive fleeting moments in our lives.

 
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