Congrats, Heidi & Greg!

When I first met with Heidi and Greg, a few things were clear. 1. They are very much in love and in sync with each other. 2. They had a clear vision for how they wanted their wedding day to be; relaxed, fun, natural and low-key, just like them.

Top five favourite things:

1.) First Look. The “First Look’ is becoming more frequent these days as couples are preferring to have a private moment, alone, in order to see one another before the ceremony. Heidi and Greg not only had a first look after they were dressed and ready, they also met up during the morning in-between hair, makeup and all of the goings-on. A very cute moment was when they both said the same thing to me, but at different moments. The sentence “I’ve had more phone calls today, than any other day of my life” was said to me, by both Heidi and Greg, at different times in the morning. See? I said they were in sync.

2.) Priorities. Every bride and groom need to prioritize what is important to them on their wedding day. For these two it was ceremony, time with loved ones, and atmosphere. Their ceremony was personal and emotional, (lead by celebrant extraordinaire, Julia Kiska, julia_kiska@hotmail.com), they opted out of floral arrangements and bouquets, made their own cake and cupcakes, and as avid campers and hikers, their decor perfectly circled the outdoors.

3.) Shoes Off! When Heidi landed at the top of the aisle for the ceremony, her legs were so wobbly she just had to kick her red pumps off of her feet, and land on solid ground. I love moments like this.

4.) Wagon Rides. When hosting a wedding, Saunder’s Farm offers many activities and fun on their grounds for all in attendance. There is a bouncy pad, ship wreck playground, corn mazes and wagon rides. Greg, Heidi and their wedding guests enjoyed all of these activities, including a wagon ride in the late afternoon when I tagged along, for the sake of photos of course ;)

5.) Sandy. One of Heidi’s bridesmaids, such pure fun and laughter, all day long. Thank you for making my job so easy, Sandy!

Highlights of the day:

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Congrats, Joel & Virginia!

Although I went to school with Joel a million years ago, I never met beautiful Virginia, or “Gin” until I arrived in her hotel suite on her wedding day where we instantly connected and felt like we had known each other for years. Joel and Gin planned their Ontario wedding from Alberta, which I always find amazing, as it adds a whole other level of uncertainty and stress. Luckily, after visiting Strathmere Lodge upon arrival, they knew all would be well for their wedding day.

Top five favourite things:

1) Joel and Gin’s daughter. She enjoyed her parents’ wedding day happy and content (except for the brief time when she had to be put in her flower girl dress) giving toothless smiles, flashing her giant blue eyes, and giggling, giggling, giggling. I could have photographed her, and just her, all day long.

2) Juxtaposition of getting ready and the ceremony site. There are so many ways to go about getting ready vs where a couple actually gets married. Joel and Virginia both got ready in the heart of downtown Ottawa, steps from the Peace Tower and Parliament. It was so much fun to take their photos in the city and send them off in their limo, only to meet them in the heart of the country of North Gower for the wedding.

3) Kissing Game Dice. If you were a guest at Joel and Virginia’s wedding and wanted to see them kiss, you had to get up, roll a giant homemade dice, and follow whatever side it landed on. Some options were “Kiss Someone of your Choosing”, “Do A Little Dance”, and “Charades: Act Out an Animal.” It was lots of fun.

4) Simple Ceremony. I think when planning a wedding the most important thing is to keep it true to you. For Virginia and Joel, a simple and short ceremony is what they wanted, and what they executed. Officiated by Virginia’s aunt, it was personal to them, and with their daughter up front and centre in her little wagon, they were married.

5) Slideshow. Joel’s mum put together a beautiful slideshow of photos and music for everyone to enjoy and reflect upon together. It even got me misty!

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Continuing a Family

Making and continuing families is an amazing aspect of life. Two years ago when a loving couple was not able to bring a child into the world they turned to a surrogate. That surrogate was Amy. After some chats, exchanges, tries, Amy finally came to carry and deliver a little girl, allowing this family to grow to three members.

Now here we are, two years later, at the birth of this little girl’s sister, who was also carried and delivered by Amy. She arrived happy and healthy, earlier than expected, to finally meet and complete her family.

Moments of the day:

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Congrats, Erin & Andrew!

Erin and Andrew had a warm Spring wedding day among the blossoms and fresh green grass. Having travelled to multiple countries around the globe together, they chose a travel theme throughout their wedding day. This theme was perfectly executed thanks to Brittany (at glossdecor.ca) in the form of globes, vintage luggage, compasses and maps adorning every last inch of their reception space right down to their cake.

Top five favourite things:

1) Humour. Every time Erin, Andrew and I met to talk about their wedding plans one thing was clear: they do not take themselves too seriously. They themselves are funny, this is clear, but also their group of friends are funny, their families are funny and their colleagues are funny. They favoured photos which showed this side of themselves and their wedding party, leaving me to have fun with it and think of crazy things to make people laugh.

2) Erin’s Father’s Service Dog, Dill. Dill is the sweetest dog. He is a member of the family and someone who watched over the day and all of the guests, enjoying the party and the company. At times I felt as if I was doing a photo story more on Dill than anything else!

3) Blossoms. I have to say my favourite visual element for Springtime are the tree blossoms. In Ontario, the blossoms are sometimes fleeting and only last a few days, other years we have them for longer. No matter what, they are very unpredictable and hard to plan for (I have tried many a photoshoot!) Erin and Andrew completely lucked out as their wedding day was smack in the middle of full-bloom Spring flowers. Every tree on the grounds of Billings Bridge Estate was fluffy and pink, snowing petals down all day long.

4) Facial Hair. Andrew and his groomsmen took their roles very seriously and chose not to shave in honour of the wedding. They all produced giant beards aside from one who opted for a moustache, and one groomsmen who, well, couldn’t produce. This theme of facial hair came up so many times leading up to the wedding day and on the wedding day we had some fun with it in the photos as well. :)

5) Beer. Andrew and two of his groomsmen brew their own beer which they proudly served at the wedding. Their passion for beer and brewing shone through in Andrew’s groomsmen gifts, giant beer pong game, red solo cups and proudly displayed draft beer bar.

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Natalie & Keith, love and tulips

One hazy and hot spring morning I met up with Natalie and Keith to explore what springtime and the Ottawa Tulip Festival had to offer. In the end, what mattered was watching Keith and Natalie laugh, love, and steal moments together. The flowers, the light, the water, and the willows – offered nothing in comparison to the ease that these two have. Stay tuned for the wedding (!)

Some of our favourites:

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Blaire & Dave are engaged!

Although these two live in the heart of downtown Toronto, they have a big soft spot for peaceful green-space. For our rainy spring afternoon of photos we met at Blaire’s Uncle’s beautiful farmhouse down a dirt road in the heart of the country. Umbrellas on hand, wandering the fields and barns, I got to capture the love between this joyful couple in an absolutely gorgeous setting.

Here are some favourites:

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