Andrea and Shane were recommended to me by one of their friends who has been a guest and bridesmaid at several weddings I have shot (thanks Robyn!!). When we initially met for a coffee, it was love at first sight (photographer and couple sort of love) and I knew we were a great fit. They had booked Bark Lake Leadership Centre, which for the most part is a kids camp, but you can also book for weddings too. When they described their wedding, they used the words "fun, relaxed and personal" which are the three words I would want for my wedding too, it doesn't get much better then that.
"When we looked for our venue, we wanted a place that would hold all of our friends and family together for a weekend. We saw our wedding as an opportunity to bring everyone we loved together and spend quality time with them, instead of being rushed through an evening. Bark Lake gave us the opportunity to have an outdoor wedding with our favourite activities, while having the added bonus of being an absolutely stunning place to get married. We loved having everyone stay over and having brunch with everyone the next morning- we felt surrounded by love the whole time. The staff at Bark Lake were also very flexible and open to our ideas when we met with them, and were happy to support our visions, like finding room for an amazing twelve piece band to help us dance the night away, and having the groomsmen paddle in in a voyageur canoe
Obviously a venue like this isn't for everyone and it can take a lot of blood sweat and tears to make it perfect and personal, but Andrea and Shane did it, with flying colours.
"I don't think we realized when we booked our venue that getting married in an less traditional location would require extra work and coordination, as we live in Toronto and we tried to get vendors that were local to the area. We ended up doing a lot more DIY work than we originally thought we'd have to, and our biggest stress was trying to figure out how much alcohol to bring in to the woods. But we were lucky to have a supportive family, and a venue that was so open to talking with us (maybe a million times!!) to figure things out. In the end, it was totally worth it, because we really got to design every aspect of the entire weekend, and we truly felt like the wedding was a perfect reflection of who we are as a couple. We also had to be a bit flexible with the weather which was stressful on the day; we received multiple tornado warnings and weather alerts. We were so lucky that our dream came true and we got married under the trees... but we hid from a massive storm for the rest of the night!! If you're doing something similar, make sure you have a solid rain plan in place!"
As a photographer I continue to try and grow and improve but more importantly, find those couples who make their day about them and aren't afraid to throw tradition to the curb and have fun with their wedding and make it unique and relaxed. When I find those couples, the connection is much stronger as I find those couples are my kind of people and whom I would want to be friends with and surround myself by. These two were positive, fun, candid, so deep in love and overall, a fun amazing couple who I can't wait to hang out with and hopefully work together again in the future.
Love you guys!
xo - Megan