Emily + Todd | Wedding | Kitchener Wedding Photographer

When Emily first connected with me, we clicked right away.  A fellow photographer, she is warm and friendly and she had some pretty huge plans for the day she and Todd would exchange their vows.  She was crafting busily, making backdrops, props and just generally glitter-bombing their apartment in preparation, while her parents readied their lovely property near Breslau and her future mother- and sister-in-law were whipping up not one but FIVE cakes! And then... it rained.  Not a little bit, but poured buckets and the wind howled.  Well, crap.  There was so much beauty in the carefully-made and colourful decor that it was a terrible disappointment, but everyone rallied and my second photographer Kayla and I did our best to capture as many of the details as we could for posterity.  And we did manage to nab the one shot that the bride had planned as a surprise for her groom and wedding party - smoke bombs!

Fortunately, we had a back-up plan for the photos - a colourful paper-flower backdrop for the bridal party (including 9 kids!) and Belgian Nursery's cactus room and greenhouse for some portraits of the bride and groom.  Phew!  Once the ceremony was over and the delicious tapas-style dinner of comfort food was served, everyone hunkered down in the soggy tent to listen to heartfelt, hilarious speeches and watch the multiple cake cuttings.  We snuck outside for one final shot in the (literal) dark, where Emily & Todd gamely mimicked blowing away with their balloons in a humourous nod to the weather demons. I can only speculate about how much fun everyone had stomping on the wet dance floor in their high rubber boots after I left, but it sounds like the party was pretty good.

Thank you both for being such good sports and for letting me have some chocolate ice cream from that awesome ice cream truck.  Best day ever when you get free ice cream and photograph a spectacular wedding.

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Amanda + Joel | A Thanksgiving Backyard Wedding | Kitchener Wedding Photography

If I could go back in time, I would have a backyard wedding.  Casual, intimate, personal - all of the things that really make a wedding fun.  Joel & Amanda had just such a wedding. I was contacted by Amanda shortly before the big day, and quickly agreed to head out to her family's beautiful rural property to photograph the backyard bash they were planning.  The day dawned, sunny and crisp on Thanksgiving weekend.  I arrived in the early stages of getting things together and was immediately welcomed by her large and loving family.  The celebration was to be at sunset, with a BBQ and relaxed socialization leading up to the big moment.

I got to work photographing all of the action, watching the kids climb on the swingset, dodging marsh-soaked dogs who were playfully chasing each other and soaking up the fall sun.  As the sun slowly dipped down to an early fall sunset, we gathered the family for photos, a chance for everyone to gather their love and support not only around the happy couple, but also around Amanda's gravely ill Mom, who was an exceptionally patient trooper, sitting through the multitude of combinations that we planned.  It was such an amazing honour to see and feel the love that this family has for one another.

As sundown approched, Amanda snuck away to change into a lovely white dress to surprise Joel, and onlookers gathered on the large deck and on the lawn below to watch them exchange their vows. One of my favourite parts ofthe day was watching Amanda and Joel being gathered into a spontaneous group hug by all of the kids after the ceremony - a big hug full of love and excitement.

Thank you to Amanda and Joel and their entire families for welcoming me into your lives and hearts that day.  I won't soon forget it.

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Jen + Brad | Pillar and Post Wedding | Niagara-On-The-Lake

Sunshine. Love. Happiness. Joy. Celebration.  All of these things came together to make this wedding a day the bride and groom will remember forever. Surrounded by family at the Pillar & Post in stunning Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, this couple took their vows and bonded their families together with love.  I especially loved the portion of the ceremony when Brad promised to be a great Dad to Q - heart melted!

It was amazing to be a part of such an intimate day, with just a handful of guests to witness their commitment to one another.  This is EXACTLY my kind of wedding.  Moments of tenderness and unabashed laughter.  Relaxed smiles and casual conversation.  Small personal touches in all of the planning and decor.   It fosters a feeling of togetherness that is hard to match at a large event.  And these two pulled it off with unparalleled success.   Of course, that was likely due in large part to their amazing wedding planner Sandra, as well as an extremely detailed wedding binder... :)

Thank you both for choosing me to be a part of this amazing day, the beginning of your journey together as a new couple and family.  I felt so welcomed by your families and I can't wait to photograph your family through the years as it grows.  You are wonderful!!

Enjoy the images!

M xo

PS: A special thank you to my hubby Carl, who acted as my chauffeur/room-service-orderer/bag lugger and sort of second-shooter for the weekend.  Your love and support are more important to me than you will ever know.


Side Note to Future Brides + Grooms:

Are you planning a small, intimate wedding? A backyard DIY affair perhaps? Or in a tiny, historic chapel with a handful of friends + family? Elopement?

Then I am your photographer!

I am taking a limited number of wedding bookings for 2014 + 2015 for small, unique weddings with a maximum of 6 hours coverage. Even the smallest wedding should have beautiful photography to help you remember and cherish every moment.

Please connect at info@mandyblakephotography.com to share your love story with me!