Save Our Scruff - Spay + Neuter Clinic in Dominican Republic

If you follow along any of my social media channels, you know that a few weeks ago I was volunteering with Save Our Scruff down in Dominican Republic. I traveled with 12 other SOS volunteers to go work alongside volunteers from all over the world who were working for our partner organizations: Geo Veterinary International, AAAS and Moringa's Mission.

My main role was to head down there to document the project and give the media (photos + video) to all the organizations to use for future promotions, marketing and fundraising efforts. 

Soon I am going to do a piece on my experience and curate my favorite images, but for now, here is the highlight video I shot and edited. So incredible to be a part of and I can't thank everyone enough for bringing me along. 

christina + zach | an intimate grand bend family cottage wedding

Now I will start this post off by saying that Christina and Zach's wedding in Grand Bend was absolute wedding goals and will forever be one of my favorites. They did everything for them and for those that mattered to them most. 

So Christina and I go back now I believe a decade and met through her brother Jason and we all played softball together (she was good, I am not haha). After years of playing together and hanging out a lot, I got to meet Zach. I don't think I could of ever imagined up a better person and best friend for Christina, they really are two peas in a pod. 

Christina rocked not one but TWO unique and beautiful dresses. The little white top over the first one was made by Christina herself. It was so fun to do a second look with the next dress, on the beach at sunset. 

The venue was their cottage growing up and then a few years ago when Christina's parents were ready to retire, what better plan then to renovate the cottage and live there forever. Their home was so perfect and as you will see, the backyard space was the BEST! To have your ceremony outside, on the water, surrounded by 50 of your nearest and dearest while boats are driving by and honking... perfection.

The night was filled with some of the best first dances, speeches and even live music (by one of my favs Kevin Foster) that I have ever seen. It was one of those weddings I did not want to leave and I am so excited and happy to share it with you all! 

C + Z, THANK YOU!! xo

matt + monika | fun archeo toronto wedding

Monika and Matt found my photography through Instagram and contacted me about five months before their wedding and I am so darn happy I was still available. We scheduled a phone chat to make sure we were on the same page and we were laughing our butts off within seconds and I knew it was going to be a great day. 

Monika and Matt got ready at the Thompson Hotel and then had a outdoor ceremony and intimate reception at Archeo Trattoria. This was my first time photographing at the Archeo (I shot a wedding a week later here too!) and I was blown away by the beautiful decor and moody lighting and the outdoor space is perfect!

It was a day full of laughs, tears and romance. Monika and Matt were so fun to hang out with and so easy to photograph as their love is so natural and it translates through all the photos. 

Since their wedding, I submitted a photo from their wedding to a show at the Gladstone Hotel, The Love Actually Exhibition, and it was accepted. I am so happy to be sharing this milestone with such a rad couple.

The Love (Actually) Exhibition is a group photo-show showcasing the power of love & happiness in real moments during weddings. It’s returning for it’s second time and will be an annual show at the Gladstone Hotel. 

Curated by Toronto photographer Scarlet O’Neill, the diverse images of a variety of Toronto Wedding Photographers will be accompanied by a description of what made this moment meaningful along with a list of the wedding vendors who contributed to making the couples day special. This show shows a deeper view into the wedding world and the vast emotions that make weddings memorable days in people’s lives.

Opening Night Reception: February 8th at 7pm-10pm
At the Gladstone Hotel, third floor.
Cash Bar.

Show run: January 30th until Feb 25th. 
Open daily 12-5

Couple: Matt + Monika

Venue: Archeo

Dress: Davids Bridal

Monika Rings: Peoples

Matt’s Rings: His Grandfathers with more modern gold added by Meg Lizabet (@meglizabet, @bespokejewellery)

Hair: @savannamunro_  from @bobandpaigesalon

Makeup: Bride @monikadarling

leslie + mack: planning a wedding through hard times

Back in January Leslie reached out to me about capturing their backyard wedding and I was super excited. I had never met Mack or Leslie, but we came from the same town and siblings knew each other etc. so I knew this would not only be a fun wedding, but that they were my kind of people. 

L + M started the planning process before reaching out to me and had been searching for the perfect venue. Everything they looked at, wasn't what they wanted, then Mack's Dad came to the rescue. 

"We wanted to get married on the Sweet property because we love it there! Mack grew up there and his dad built that house so it was pretty special to get married there. We were looking around at different venues for a while (always saying the Sweet house was the dream), and we weren't finding anything we liked when one day Mack's dad offered to have the wedding there, which was kind of perfect!"

Planning a backyard wedding is not for everyone and can really test your organizational and planning skills, but L + M knocked it out of the park!

"Our advice for planning a backyard wedding is to be prepared for details! A lot of planning goes into a backyard wedding and once we got some of the big things out of the way (tent, caterer, bathrooms) we thought it would be smooth sailing from there, but a lot of last minute things we didn't think of came up in the weeks before the wedding. We had a lot of great help from our friends and family though, which is something we recommend, call in those favours! Haha"

L + M and I had exchanged a few emails leading up to the wedding day in regards to the day of schedule and shot list, but not much beyond that. When I arrived on the day of, Leslie informed me of something they had been going through, something I never expected to hear. 

Three months before the wedding, Mack was diagnosed with Leukemia. L + M had been tossed a curve ball and their lives instantly changed. 

"Mack had to be hospitalized for 30 days in a hospital in London, which is about three hours away from where we live, since there were no beds available closer to home. At first we didn't know if the wedding would still happen, and in a way it seemed like the last thing on our minds. All of our focus just shifted to getting Mack through this. The doctors told us that Mack might not be feeling the greatest, but that the wedding would be something for us to look forward to once he got out of the hospital. Which was true, it was nice having something to look forward to and visualize together. Since we were pretty far from home I did quite a bit of wedding planning from my hotel room in London, I even sent out my invites from there"

You never know what life has in store for you and to those of you who are planning a wedding, and may being going through something similar, Leslie has some advice for you.

"To anybody going through something similar...stay positive. It's unfortunate that it takes something like this to put things in perspective, but it really does. Your wedding is your day to have fun and celebrate and not worry! It's really hard not to, but don't sweat the small stuff! The small things that don't turn out or that were overlooked don't matter at the end of the day. It's not exactly ideal to plan a wedding while going through something difficult in life, but it can and does work out. And, as for Mack, he's been busy kicking cancers ass and is doing great"

I am so incredibly honoured to of been able to work with Leslie and Mack and to of captured such true emotion and candid love. We laughed together, cried together and these two will forever inspire me to push through anything life throws my way.

 

Flowers: Tottenham Foodland 

Leslie's engagement ring is by Heidi Gibson, wedding band Bluboho in Toronto.

Mack's ring: Madani, Richmond Hill

Dress: Sash and Bustle in Toronto, by Theia Couture. 

Caterer: Little Red Catering co., Newmarket

Bartenders: A Great Mix, Barrie

Bridesmaids dresses: Dessy, from best for bride in Barrie. 

kate + chris | a relaxed wedding at The Spice Factory in Hamilton

Over the last few months, some amazing photographer friends put together all black and white blog posts (Jessy and Jennifer to name a few..) and I was super inspired and thought "I need to try that!". Well when I started editing Chris and Kate's wedding at The Spice Factory, every single black and white I did was so emotional and beautiful and thats when I knew this was the one to share this way.

Kate, Chris and I met through a fellow photographer who sent them my way when she was unavailable for their wedding date and I am SO happy she wasn't available haha I feel like these two have become friends and before the wedding, we explored our neighbourhood for their engagement session and were even drinking beer at 10am on a rooftop, it was amazing. You can see the session here.

Kate and Chris' wedding brought me to a venue I had never been to before (which I always LOVE) and when I walked in and saw all the exposed brick, old wooden beams, the staff were SO friendly, I knew I loved this place. As the day went on I kept saying "Um, I want to get married here" :)

"The minute we walked into the Spice Factory we both just knew it was the place we were going to get married.   It was unique, relaxed and felt like our kind of place.  We didn't want an overly formal wedding and the space is anything but formal.  We loved all the old features like the brick walls, original hardwood floors and the tin roof.  We loved the fact that the reception space opened up onto a large outdoor patio.  We could instantly picture our family and friends mingling, dancing and having a blast there. Everyone at the venue was extremely receptive and accommodating in letting us utilize the space to make it our own.  It was also really important for us to chose a location that would be convenient for the majority of our guests to get to so that was a huge bonus!"

Kate and Chris' planned one of the most "untraditional" weddings I have shot too date. They still included traditional elements, but with their own spin. Like the ceremony, they wrote letters to each other to be read by the officiant in front of all their friends and family. 

"From day one neither Chris nor I envisioned having many traditional elements for our wedding- we really just wanted to have a big party to celebrate our marriage. Over the course of planning stages, we decided to include a few traditional things that were important to us however we put our own spin on them to keep the overall vibe less formal.  Our ceremony was completely personalized, we decided to have a late start and serve cocktails and apps in lieu of a long sit down dinner, we did have speeches but they were intermixed throughout the night.  Instead of the traditional father-daughter/ mother-son dance, we had the band learn a few sentimental songs to play during their sets so we could still enjoy a special moment with our parents."

Another favorite moment of quite possibly any wedding I have photographed or attended, Kate and Chris had us photograph a family tradition where they write beautiful messages to her mom on balloons, who had passed away a few years ago, and release them into the sky. To witness something like this, and document it, is something I will never forget. 

Chris and Kate are beautiful souls who I feel were a perfect match of photographer and couple. The day was emotional, unique, relaxed and will forever be a memorable one. K + C, thank you from the bottom of my heart for including me in your day, it was nothing short of perfect.

- Megan xo

sarah + francine | a beautiful wedding at Sandos Finisterra Los Cabos

Almost three years ago I was sat at a table at a wedding I was photographing with Sarah's family and Francine. Francine asked me "do you shoot destination weddings?" and followed with "when we get married, you are coming with us and photographing it".

Well, fast forward to mid-April and I am boarding a plane to Los Cabos with Sarah, Francine and 25 other friends and family members.

The week away with everyone was amazing. F+S surround themselves with some great people and the resort they chose was so unique and beautiful. It was really incredible to photograph a destination wedding that had desert, beach and mountains. 

With S + F getting ready together to a ceremony on the beach to a rooftop reception with a 360 view of Los Cabos, everything was a dream.

I feel like I have gained some great friends from this week together S + F and I can't thank you both enough. Can't wait to work with you both in the future xo 

mackenzie + brayden | an in-home engagement session

A few weeks back, Mackenzie and Brayden went to NYC where Brayden popped the big question. This beautiful couple is now getting married in 2018 and I am SO stoked for them.

When Mackenzie contacted me about doing engagement photos, she was interested in some forest shots and I have been itching to do a in-home engagement session, so we made sure to make BOTH happen. From forest to knitted blankets to couch cuddles to pillow fights to boozy drinks to warm up, this session has it all! 

Thanks so much for having me m + b! I hope to work with you guys again soon xo

lindsay + kyle | a backyard wedding in alliston

First off, I am so honoured to have been chosen by l + k to capture their day. After them being together for 9.5 years, and myself knowing them for all of that time, I again, am so thankful I was the one to capture their love!

When you think of a diy wedding, you think of cute crafts, some homemade decor etc. but this was SO much more then a DIY wedding, it was the perfect wedding. So much love,  sweat and tears went into every moment and every detail of the day. From the bouquets made by the girls (other then lindsays bouquet, which was made by Karen at Schakel Greenhouses), to her dad making the bar, to an uncle making the cafe lighting outside the tent to the mothers growing the lavender themselves that you see through all the arrangements, so incredible.

L + K, I hope I captured your day perfectly and I can't wait for you guys to see ALL the pics 

xo Megan