Srusht + Shazan | Guelph Lake Conservation Area Wedding

When Shazan's sister called me to tell me about the small, personal ceremony that was being planned for Srusht + Shazan, I could just tell it was going to be fun.  They did not disappoint! 

We convened on a bright but overcast day on a slope overlooking Guelph Lake, where a handful of family members and friends waited for them to take their vows.  Srusht beamed as his bride made her way toward him down the aisle, with shouts of encouragement and happiness from all in attendance.  Once her father gave her hand to Srusht, Shazan looked happily at her groom as her junior bridesmaids gently laid down her train. 

As the ceremony progressed, things quickly relaxed, with the bridal party and guests moving about freely to take photos and video of the ceremony - it was fun to see how close everybody was willing to get for just the right shot!  I was dying laughing when one bridesmaid starting taking selfies at the end of the line of girls - everyone was so awesome! It felt a wee bit like a media scrum, as the best man loudly translated the vows, which the couple faithfully repeated in both their native language and English as required, and I jostled with the crowd to get the best angle for myself!  Honestly, I know a lot of photographers may have been frustrated or annoyed by the melee but it was vibrant and exciting and an experience I won't ever forget.

The vows made and rings exchanged, they signed the paperwork before making their way back down the aisle, with everyone following them in joyful song, dance and hollering.  For as small of a group as we were, no one failed to make up for it in volume.  My talk loudly voice was for once appreciated and fit right in with this family!

A few portraits and bridal party shenanigans before I left them to finish celebrating the day, as they headed toward the beach, intent on dipping their toes.

All in all, it was one of the most dynamic, fast-paced two hours I have ever spent at a wedding and I loved every minute of it. It was a really, really good day.

Thanks Srusht + Shazan (and Jwan!) for trusting me to photograph this day!

M xo

Michelle + Gareth | Hacienda Sarria Wedding | Kitchener Wedding Photographer

Gareth + Michelle got married on a sunny, chilly Friday in March.  The Hacienda Sarria was a warm and welcoming place to celebrate, with the winter sun streaming through the windows.  My awesome second photographer Hannah Yoon and I hung out with the super-chill couple and their attendants as they readied for the day.

Once the bow tie was secured and the veil steamed, Gareth went down to see his bride, waiting as her mom helped her into her gorgeous vintage dress, which was lovingly refurbished and looked like new. Gareth's mom met him for her own little "first look" and a hug before Michelle made her entrance and took everyone's breath away.

Once they decided between them that they were both free that day and agreed that getting married was a good way to fill the calendar, we sneaked around the building for some portraits.  When we finished, a family pizza party saw garbage bag bibs passed around and happily full stomachs ready for the real fun to begin.

After the guests arrived for the evening ceremony, the lights were dimmed and the fantastic lighting design became evident, with mood-inspiring up-lights and a spotlight for the VIPS on the raised stage.  Michelle came down the aisle with her dad, sharing a dance with him before she joined Gareth onstage. Between the Welsh sticks and the Scottish whiskey toast, talented friends and family sharing their vocal talents and plenty of memories conveyed through speeches, the ceremony was steeped in tradition and love.   As they sealed it with a kiss, the crowd cheered and they raised their arms in victory. 

After a break for some food and drink, the newlyweds asked for some crowd-participation during their speech, soliciting people to add them both as Facebook friends, to reach the required arbitrarily-chosen number that they discussed as a joke years ago, celebrating as they made their marriage official (because we all know Facebook is the only real official).  Gareth then surprised/horrified Michelle by claiming he was going to serenade her, before he let the pros take over and escorted her to the dance floor.  They looked happy and beautiful and the night was complete.  Except for the party.  And it sure as hell got started.

Thank you Michelle + Gareth not only for choosing me to celebrate with you, but for always welcoming me as family.  You know I love your whole damn clan. 

M xo

Amy + Lucas | Guelph Arboretum Wedding

Lucas + Amy were married on a sunny evening in July, at the glorious Guelph Arboretum.  They had planned for a small, meaningful and intimate ceremony, an exchange of vows in front of their very nearest and dearest.  She rocked a cool bustier pantsuit and he looked classic in a tailored blue suit and they were ready to seal it with rings and a kiss.

After they completed the formalities, the champagne was popped and a toast was made, and then Grandma started offering sips to the kids - god love a feisty Grandma! We took a few images of them with their family and kiddos before finding patches of sunshine and greenery for them to bask in while we captured some of just the two of them.

I love a good elopement/intimate ceremony this one was certainly not a disappointment. I love being able to get right in the middle of the action and weddings like this allow me to do just that.  Sometimes I'm literally in the middle of the toast circle, champagne in one hand, camera in the other!

Thank you Amy + Lucas for welcoming into your circle for the evening.

M xo

Hannah + Charles | Waterloo Backyard Wedding

Hannah + Charles had one of those weddings where it felt incredibly unique and intimate and small and yet they had so many people there to celebrate their love.  That is my kinda day!

Hannah is a very talented photographer (and a friend) so I was determined to document her day they way it happened and to give her images that would not only frame the key moments of the day, but would let her see all of the little things that are easily missed when you are a busy bride. 

We started at her parents' home in Waterloo, behind which sat the lovely park where the ceremony would be happening.  Charles and his guys were across the road at the neighbour's, and everyone was getting ready in a flurry of hairspray and makeup and dresses and ties and boutonierres and so many shoes.  Even with eight attendants on each side of the wedding party though, there was a calmness and relaxed vibe that carried through the day.

After everyone was ready and a quick downpour of rain had ended, they were all dispatched to another nearby park for the first look.  This was one of the sweetest, most emotional first looks I have seen - so. many. tissues. After a round of tearful hugs from the gang, we set off to take portraits of the group and of just the two of them. 

The sun was in a mood, not sure if she was going to come out from behind the clouds, but she eventually graced us with just enough gorgeous patches of light to have some fun. 

We made our way back to the house to get ready for the ceremony, where the bride's sister and brother-in-law, one of the bridesmaids and some friends warmed up for their music during the ceremony and the guests got seated after the chairs were dried.

The ceremony itself was very special and personal, with the father-of-the-bride and -groom both having roles to play, and so many beautiful words were spoken.  After they made it official and were lauded by their friends and family, the champagne was popped in one of my favourite moments of the day. Cheers were made and the bubbly flowed and everyone was just so darn happy. 

Then everyone made their way to the backyard of the Yoon house, to eat, celebrate and just enjoy a beautiful August afternoon before heading off to the reception.  The perfect way to wrap up such a heartfelt wedding.

Thank you to my second photographer Dana Lauder for her contribution to the story of their day.

And a huge thank you to Charles + Hannah for trusting me to photograph your rad wedding.  It was truly an honour.

M xo