cristina + derek | contemporary Toronto wedding at la maquette - berkeley events

Last year I photographed a beautiful wedding at Bark Lake Leadership Centre for an amazing couple, Andrea + Shane. A + S surrounded themselves with such kind and fun people and I was sat at a table with all of Andrea’s work friends, a group of nurses from Sick Kids Hospital. Well, within that group there were some amazing ladies and one of them being Cristina and about a year later she contacted me about her upcoming wedding.

Cristina + Derek had asked to meet downtown and talk wedding photography and as soon we sat down, I knew we would be a great match. They are kind, positive, laid back people who I am so happy and honoured to of met. Weeks later, they moved to my neighbourhood and we went on a sunrise adventure for their engagement photos, it was beautiful.

Cristina + Derek planned a pretty low-key day filled with so much laughter and time with their loved ones. La Maquette was the perfect venue for them and their group and it created such an intimate atmosphere even when the guest list was well over 100 ppl. We had the perfect day weather wise and were able to explore the area for photos and stopped at both Copetin + St James Cathedral . A highlight of the day and something that I think more people need to do, is all the time they planned relaxing and having a drink with their parents and bridal party. We all went to Copetin and were able to enjoy some time together before heading to the ceremony.

C + D, thank you so much for everything and I am so so happy to of met you both. Can’t wait to hang out again!

-Megan

vanessa + robert | intimate city hall wedding in Toronto

katie + alex | rustic Parry Sound wedding at camp tapawingo

As a couple planning a wedding it is so important to find a wedding photographer who’s work you love but also that you love them as a person too.

As a wedding photographer, I make sure to meet my couples beforehand, even if its just a call, to make sure everyone is on the same page and that the couple are my kind of people.

Alex + Katie couldn’t be more my kind of people and their day/cottage weekend was so my jam.

Katie’s family has a cottage on Georgian Bay and a lot of her life and now their time together as a couple, has been spent up in the Parry Sound area so when it came to choosing a location, it was pretty easy and Camp Tapawingo was perfect!

They planned a weekend with their family and friends where everyone stayed in the kids camp bunks/cottages, swam lots, had campfires and was able to spend more then just an evening together which is pretty special.

My favorite party of the day? (other then hanging out with all of these amazing people) their dog Rory was a huge part of the day and has so much personality from greeting her momma in the “aisle” (the dock), to sleeping/snoring through the ceremony and to crashing the reception and jumping into her parents lap. She was just the best!


Here is a peek at their day! Thank you so so much Alex + Katie for having me xo

Venue: Camp Tapawingo

Florist: Pardon My Garden, @pardonmygarden

Caterer: Glenn Burney Lodge

MU: @beautybydaniellejones

Hair: kaileedixonn

Blog Curated by: Tallie Garey

laura + scott | laid-back Owen Sound wedding at Serenity Cottage

I have been dying to share this Serenity Cottage wedding since Corrie and I documented it. Not only is the venue perfect, intimate and unique but these lovebirds are some of my closest friends AND I introduced them! I will take credit for their relationship forever :)

Laura + Scott planned the best weekend get away turned wedding filled with relaxation, water sports, dancing and more.

I asked Laura a little about their love, their wedding and what they would recommend to future couples planning either a cottage wedding or an intimate one.

Have a read and enjoy these beauties!

Tell everyone a little bit about your love story…

Scott and I heard about each other in December 2010, when he saw my picture on Megan’s Facebook. After he asked her who I was and what I was all about, she thought it would be great if we met. Megan organized a night out downtown where a bunch of us just hung out, drank and danced. We instantly became the best of friends and hung out basically every day from that day on. Throughout our year as "just friends" we continuously heard many of our friends say "you two will be married one day". Those comments quickly started to feel like that could become true when we evolved from the just friends status to boyfriend and girlfriend. We have a bond that is so special and rare and has been since day one. My dad once told me that in order to have a successful and happy marriage you need to be best friends before lovers, and that quote rings true about us. After 6 years together, right before Christmas, Scott came home with a journal (which I had asked for for Christmas) for me to open, Swiss Chalet take out, and wine. I opened the first page of the journal and began reading a beautiful letter Scott wrote me and looked up to find him on one knee. The answer was obviously yes (followed by a few 'holy effs'), I couldn't wait to marry my best friend.

At what point in the planning process did you guys decide to keep it small and intimate? and then a wedding weekend?

Scott and I are the most laid back people so wedding planning just kept getting put on the back burner. We instantly knew we both wanted something small and intimate, that was never a question or thought for us. We went back and forth with the idea of just having a ceremony in a field, and a cool dinner out. But after talking we kept saying we didn't want dinner to be done than the night was over. So we looked into a few places where our guests were able to stay over night. We stumbled upon Serenity Cottage which would sleep the perfect amount of people for our immediate family and wedding party. We thought this would be the perfect way for us to celebrate our wedding, with our best friends and family. We are so so happy we followed through with our wants because the whole weekend was so perfect and just completely us.

What were 3-5 things that were of most importance to you both?

The most important things for us were: 1. It was done our way. 2. it was laid back and easy 3. the food was good. 4. the whole environment was pretty and chill 5. everyone would have fun.

For anyone planning a small intimate wedding, do you have any advice for them? 

My advice for anyone planning a small intimate wedding would be to only think of the two of you, what it is that you two want to do, what will make it 'you guys'. Pick five things that you feel are the most important to you and focus on those and do not worry about the little details. Our five things were 1. Great photographer (nailed it x1000 - we couldn't have asked for better) 2. Food is delish (it was unreal.. major shout out to Justins Oven) 3. good tunes 4. good wine 5. an environment that everyone will feel themselves and relaxed. Another piece of advice my sister gave me, was to take a minute during your big day and just look around and appreciate everything that's going on around you. While all of our guests were having a drink on the downstairs patio before heading down to the ceremony, I sat on the back porch in my dress with my dad and just talked about how awesome this moment was and looked around at everything and everyone. It is a moment I will always cherish.

What made you decide on serenity cottage?

We chose Serenity Cottage because it was beautiful, rustic, and on Georgian bay (we both LOVE that body of water). Serenity had so much to offer for everyone attending. It had a kids play ground, horse shoe pit, a seadoo, stand up paddle boards, darts, and so much more! It allowed our guests to do whatever they felt like when ever they felt like it. Everyone enjoyed all that Serenity had to offer throughout the weekend. It allowed for our environment to be chill, relaxed, and so much fun. The cottage also had enough rooms to sleep all of our guests, and enough space for everyone to comfortably get ready for the wedding. I would definitely recommend Serenity Cottage to anyone who wishes to have an intimate (perfect) wedding.

Looking back on your wedding weekend, would you do anything differently?

The only thing we would do differently was make it a tad longer!!! I know everyone says their wedding was perfect... and I could totally say the same thing... but ours was just completely "us" and that is the most important thing!!

Curated by: Tallie Garey

Second Shot by: Corrigan, Megan Michelle Photography

Venue: Serenity Cottage

Skirt: Breeyn McCarney, @breeynmccarney

Florals: The Flower Place, Barrie, @theflowerplacebarrie

Caterer: Justins Oven

emily + josh | beautiful Orangeville wedding at Hockley Valley Resort

As a gal who grew up “North of 9” I always love heading back up there to document in the small towns I once explored when I was younger. As someone who often went to Orangeville + Hockley Valley for many friend hang outs or school trips, the area quickly became a favorite of mine. Now, the area is booming and much larger then it was but still holds on to such beautiful hidden gems like Hockley Valley Resort.

Emily + Josh live in the area and when it came to choosing a location, Hockley checked all the boxes. A girl I grew up with, Michelle, passed my name along to Emily for photography and I am so so happy she did.

Their day was filled with laughter, rain, love, the most beautiful dress and one of the best dance floors I have ever seen.

I asked Emily a few questions about their day, their love and advice for future brides. Have a read and take a look at their incredible day below!

- Megan Michelle xo

Can you tell us a little about your love story, then and now?

 Josh and I met at a highschool grade 9 dance (14yrs old). We started dating in second year university (20 yrs old) and have been together ever since! We got engaged (25yrs old) and are now married (27 yrs old) so we've known each other for 13 years and have been together for 7.5 years!!! We own a house and 2 dogs together and our favourite things to do are going to the cottage, going to hikes with the dogs and spending time with our family and friends. Since we've known each other for so long our friends are almost all the same which makes get togethers a blast ... and a really big party. 

What sort of personal elements did you include in your wedding? 

I like to think that i added personal touches to almost everything in the wedding! my favourites are: Garter Toss ("Iced Groom" when we went under dress to get garter), Our wedding favours (we made homemade wine with customer labels and boxes to give away), Polaroid Guest Book & Keep sake frames (had custom frames make to hold the Polaroids that guests could keep)

When it came to planning your wedding, what were the 3 most important things to you 

Alcohol, photographer and food

You guys did a proper dance routine for your 1st dance, how did this come about? 

One request that I had from Josh for our wedding was that I wanted our dance to be amazing and not just public school dance

Do you have any advice for anyone planning their wedding right now? 

To keep your sanity and to make sure that you get everything you want without tears!! First: by booking all things that have a date restriction: venue, flowers, photographer, officiant, etc. (the worst thing you can do is fall in love with something and than they are booked and you cant have it :( ).  Second: move to all things that take a while to order or have lots of people involved (bridesmaids dresses or suits) and finally: do all the fun little things that can be done as small tasks throughout  :) . I would also say so definitely use helpful wedding apps!!! i used wedding wire - they are so great for keeping you on track and you can customize it to include additional tasks that you need to remember to do. 

Blog curated by Tallie Garey

Second shot by Lindsay Nemeth

Florist: https://seasonsfloralstudio.com/

Caterer: http://www.hockley.com/

Hair + Make up : http://www.hockley.com/ , Racheal Ellery

Dress Maker: http://www.sherrysbridal.net/

lindsay + edwin | intimate St Mary's backyard wedding

briar + clayton | charming Grimsby wedding at Beamer Falls Manor

Briar + Clayton planned the most beautiful, relaxed and colourful wedding filled with so much emotion, incredible people, personal elements and one of the best dance floors ever.

We sat down with Briar and Clayton to talk about their wedding and how they went about planning the most epic day.

Enjoy!

1. tell us a little bit about how you met

Clayton and I both grew up in Grimsby, which is the kind of town where everyone knows everyone. Our families lived down the street from each other, we went to the same high school, my grandfather and his dad knew each other from the gym... but our paths didn't cross until about 7 years ago when we met at a party hosted by a mutual friend of ours. We officially met then, but for the first couple of years we were just acquaintances that would occasionally see each other at social gatherings. I recall a couple of Halloween parties; Clayton insists we were at the same New Year's Eve party one year but neither of us can be sure. We even went on a big group camping trip one summer (during which I might have taken a motorcycle ride with a complete stranger, but that's another story). This was all in the first two years we knew each other, and during that time the most in-depth conversation we had was probably something like "hey, nice to see you" / "yeah, you too".

In April 2014, two days before my birthday, we both found ourselves in Grimsby hanging out with our friends Wes and Brennen, which was completely unplanned but wonderful. The four of us went out for a pint, and it was really the first time we ever had a conversation that was more than exchanging pleasantries. Pints at the pub turned into a backyard bonfire at Wes's, which eventually led to Clayton asking for my number. As I was giving him my number, he realized that it was already in his phone. Small towns, I tell ya. Anyway, he texted me the next day and we went on our first date about a week later, and have been inseparable ever since. 


2. when it came to planning your wedding, what were three of the most important things to you

I'd say that the big three for me were the venue, the dress and atmosphere. We wanted an outdoor venue in Grimsby, and we fell in love with BFM right away. I knew exactly what I wanted my dress to look like and the lovely Caroline Yoon of Champagne and Cupcakes made it happen (I didn't go to a single bridal store and I have zero regrets). We both knew what we wanted the day tofeellike and the kind of atmosphere we wanted to create for our guests - welcoming, laid back, fun - and I think we accomplished that. 


Clayton's were the venue, ceremony and food. Making our ceremony feel like "us" was really important to both of us, as was choosing a humanist officiant. We met Katherine Dimou of Lifetime Ceremonies and immediately knew she was our person. The food was one of the first things we decided on and we were both so excited about it. Chef Brad Rempel and his team are absolutely phenomenal - they took care of all of our rentals for the day including the tent, tables, chairs, linens, etc. as well as our bar, staff, set up and take down... seriously, wedding dream team. 

3. What made you choose Beamer Falls? did you look at other venues?

In my early twenties, a friend of mine did catering and they needed an extra bartender for a wedding at Beamer Falls Manor. Even though I grew up in Grimsby and had been to Beamer Memorial Conservation Area countless times, I had no idea that BFM existed until then. Shortly after Clayton and I got engaged, I remembered BFM and we decided to look into it. We went for a tour with our families and met Brian, who was so lovely. He and his wife Nancy had just taken ownership of the manor earlier that year and had done extensive renovations that made it even more magical than I remembered. We loved it so much that we booked it right away - we didn't look at any other venues. 

We loved that we had the venue for the weekend and that it included accommodations for some of our wedding party and their partners. We arrived on Friday afternoon and got our guests settled into their rooms before doing some decor set up and having drinks by the pool, followed by our rehearsal dinner. (We were going to have a bonfire but the weather had different plans.) Our hair and makeup team arrived on Saturday morning and met us in the parlour, where we had coffee and muffins... along with leftover and pizza and caesars. After the last limo left on Saturday night, those that were still standing who were staying at the manor gathered under the patio lights to drink the last remnants of wine and take literal bites out of our wedding cake as it got passed around to everyone, which was hilarious. It was all hands on deck on Sunday morning while we tidied up and got ready to head out, all the while exchanging stories of the day and night before. Having a venue for a weekend made all of those moments possible, and they're some of our favourite memories. 

4. when it came to your colours and florals, you went outside the box (which I LOVE), how and when did you decide you were going to do it your own way

For followers of The Bridechilla Podcast, you'll be familiar with the concept of the FIB (fuck-it-bucket). Flowers were in mine. It's not that I didn't care about flowers at all, it's that they weren't a huge priority for me because most bridal bouquets aren't really my style. I set a modest budget and took on the attitude of "we'll figure something out". 

Originally, I was going to go the wholesale-from-Costco route (which I still think is a great option) but then my mother-in-law expressed interest in growing the flowers for us at their home (I know, how sweet is that?). She suggested that we head down to the Grimsby Farmer's Market and inquire with the floral vendor, Jen from Wendalane Farms, to see if they had any recommendations before we dove into the project.

I hadn't been to the market in years, but when I lived in Grimsby I used to buy a bouquet from Jen every week. They'd most often be filled with colourful zinnias which I absolutely loved. So while my mother-in-law and I were down there asking Jen whether she thought we could take on the task of growing our own flowers, which unsurprisingly was starting to sound like quite a lot of work, I asked Jen if she ever did weddings. Thankfully she said yes, and that was that! I didn't provide her with a ton of instructions or specific requests - I just said that I liked what she does at the market and told her that we wanted everything to be bright, colourful and local. She did my bouquet, the bridesmaids bouquets, our centerpieces, our aisle flowers, the flowers for the arbour and all the boutonnieres and corsages. We were so happy with how it all turned out!


5. do you have any advice for anyone planning their own wedding right now

  • One of the best decisions we made in planning our wedding was having a 2 year engagement. This gave us our first pick of vendors and plenty of time, so nothing felt rushed and we actually got to just enjoy being engaged.

  • Use technology to help you plan - we used Wunderlist to stay on top of our to-do list, and had spreadsheets for our budget, weekend timeline, etc.

  • Don't be afraid to delegate. That was difficult for me but when it came to the week-of, the moms were on duty. Thank you, moms! 

  • If you're in Toronto, I'd also highly recommend joining Bunz Wedding Zone. I scored some great trades including #thejustmarriedjacket and some bunting that we forgot to set up (lol) but more than that, I found a community of people who were so incredibly supportive every step of the way. Love you, bunz <3 

  • I highly recommend booking a month-of coordinator. Jane of Jane Suh Weddings was absolutely phenomenal to work with and was worth her weight in gold. It was so reassuring to know that she was there to pull all the pieces together. We'll never be able to thank you enough, Jane!

Clayton said "Take everything step by step and don't panic, everything works out in the end. Also, marry someone who is type A because they'll be super organized." So there's that, haha. 


6. looking back, would you do anything differently?

There really isn't anything either of us can think of! 

Second shot by: @ashleamacaulayphoto

Blog curated by: @talliegareyphoto

Planner: @janesuhweddings

Florist: @wendalanefarms

Caterer: @chefbradrempel

Hair + Make up : @prettyinpinkmobile

Dress Maker: @champagne.and.cupcakes

steph + peter | playful Toronto wedding at The Great Hall

Stephanie and I met back when I was documenting events for the JDRF foundation. After a few events and Stephanie and I working side by side on a few occasions, she emailed me about her wedding. Within a week of her contacting me about her wedding, her sister Pearl did as well. I love working with families numerous times and getting to know them along the way, it always makes me feel like part of the family!

The Great Hall has become many photographers favorite venue to shoot at in Toronto and now I know why. All the clean white walls, the natural light in every room and the old theatre style reception space. Stephanie and Peter planned an amazing wedding filled with so much genuine laughter, love and puppy cuteness.

Thanks so much Stephanie and Peter xo

brayden + mackenzie | elegant Ancaster wedding at Earth to Table Farm

I have been absolutely dying to share this wedding for so many reasons and I am happy I finally can! 

I go way back with these two who have now been together nine years. But I have known Brayden for 15-17ish years which is pretty crazy to think and say. To have been asked to photograph their wedding was quite the honour and what a fun and perfect day it was with such amazing people. 

Brayden + Mackenzie planned the dream wedding to not only be at but also to photograph. They thought of every little detail from a custom painting of the venue for people to sign to the simple + elegant decor of the reception to the live music to the best style (Braydens burgandy suit + Mackenzie's dress...like come on!).

This was my first time photographing at Earth to Table: The Farm and boy I cannot wait to go back. It really is the dream venue and everything from the grounds to the barn to the lighting is absolute perfection. 

Take a peek and enjoy looking at these gorgeous humans and their amazing friends and family!