elaina + andrew | sunny April wedding at St Georges Golf and Country Club

In the summer of 2018 I was contacted by a fellow Save Our Scruff volunteer/friend about documenting a corporate shoot for her full time employer, AMI. When I arrived to the shoot in Muskoka, I met this lovely, positive human named Elaina. Elaina and I instantly got along, had the same vibe and at the end of the two day shoot she asked if I was available for her wedding date as she hadn’t hired a photographer yet. I was over the moon as I knew if I loved her this much, I would only love her hubby the same amount AND her wedding day would be amazing.

Elaina and Andrews wedding was a day full of emotion, SO MUCH LAUGHTER, so much love and the most beautiful venue (St Georges Golf and Country Club) and florals by Rosehill Blooms. I asked Elaina a few questions for this post, and I have to say her answers are just what I would expect. Enjoy :)

tell us a little bit about your love story and how you two met

  • Like all incredible love stories, Andrew and I met at work. While we sort of knew of each other in passing, it wasn't until our Hamilton office was consolidated with our Toronto office that the romance really kicked off... While he was doing some training in Toronto I made a few extra unnecessary visits to his office and after a first date getting beer and then coffee (because, you can't have too many beverages) the rest became history. We couldn't be more different in terms of our likes and interests. While Andrew prefers to tinker with his 3D printer and play the guitar, you're more likely to find me playing pokemon in a park somewhere or at a hip-hop concert. That being said, our love language is food and we are fluent in home cooked dinners and traveling the world in search of flavour euphoria. 

when it came to wedding planning, what made your choose your venue? Florist? Photographer?

  • Many moons ago I was a television producer. With that job came endless hours of research and chase producing. I took the task of planning our wedding with the same vigor. I am, by nature, an endless skeptic. If I am going to be a conspiracy theorist about anything, it's review websites. My preferred method of sourcing anything is word of mouth and spending lots of time pouring over examples of people's work. This research is what led me to the incredible place that is Rosehill Blooms. Sarah Levine's creations are garden inspired magic. Her palette is fully realized whimsy that includes blooms I've only seen in books. Did I mention she is also the nicest human on the planet? Everyone needs to see her work. Meeting our photographer Megan was a journey of chance and one I am so glad to have been taken on! Megan worked with a co-worker of mine on an incredible project for Save Our Scruff, a dog rescue in Toronto. She was booked for a corporate project that I was handed last minute and she was just the greatest joy to work with. On our shoot she put people at ease and had an effortless chill that made me and everyone around her give her immediate trust. I knew I needed her at my wedding. I told Andrew about her and he was sold by my description of her personality. Having someone who our friends and family would be comfortable with was so important to us. Her talent for composition and catching some of the most unique moments of our wedding was a sweet bonus on top of her incredible attitude. 

looking back at your wedding day, would you do anything differently?

  • I can honestly say we have no regrets. There might have been a moment here or there that could have been tweaked, but then, what's the fun in perfection? ;) You need crazy moments or moments of uncertainty to really appreciate the beautiful ones. We couldn't have asked for more amazing people to witness our mega party of love! And the food? The food was over the top excellent. 

any advice for future brides in the midst of planning?

  • I feel like a having wedding is a lot like going out for New Years Eve. You prep and you plan and you put a ton of effort into it but at the end of the day, it's a big party and all that really matters is who you're with. Pay attention to everyone around you, remember what their faces look like during all the moments that are special on your wedding day, because I promise that matters more than the colour of a napkin.

eva + alan | dreamy Ireland wedding at Lough Rynn Castle

In January of this year, my dear friend Tami Klein introduced me to Eva and Alan. Eva and Alan we're planning their wedding in Ireland, where Alan is from, for July of this year and Tami was not able to document it and passed my name along. Not long after the initial introduction did the three of us meet for a Guinness and it was love at first sight haha 

My family reigns from Ireland and it has been an ultimate goal for me to document a wedding or even couple session there and to now have done so, I feel so incredibly thankful and honoured. 

The location Eva + Alan chose is what dreams are made of. Lough Rynn Castle was stunning from the old building to the walled gardens to the lake, it couldn't be a more perfect venue. I spoke with Eva about their planning, their love story and their wedding. Have a read! 

How did you two meet? Tell us a little about your love story

E: "Alan and I were both working in financial services at the time, and "met" initially through email when we were working on the same client. Slowly our work emails started including more and more personal updates, and we had to start a separate email chain just for chats. Eventually Alan got up the nerve to ask me out on a date and it was the best first date I had ever been on - we both laughed SO hard the whole evening, and neither of us had anything to drink. We went to a board game cafe and found out after arriving that they didn't have a liquor license."

A: "One day Eva called me on an issue (we still hadn't met yet) but she was really sick at the time. We joked that she was going to get me sick over the phone. Eva thought it would be funny to send me a Strepsil through interoffice mail just incase. Unfortunately for me the Strepsil arrived at my desk when my supervisor and manager were standing there and they both asked me - "Why is Eva Curtis sending you mail? What is it?". I reluctantly opened the envelope and out dropped the Strepsil, my co-workers were super confused, but I thought to myself, I think I might marry this girl."

With you being from Canada and Alan from Ireland, how did you decide where you would have your wedding?

E: "After travelling to Santorini a couple years ago, we both decided that was where we wanted to get married. But after doing some research realized it would be difficult for people to get there from Canada. We then started looking at other options outside of Toronto and eventually decided on Ireland. We have built a home in Toronto, but Ireland is where Alan lived most of his life, and we liked the idea of incorporating it into our story by celebrating there."

How did you guys choose Lough Rynn?

E: "We went home in July 2017 to look at wedding venues and start the legal process for us to get married in Ireland. We had a couple venue appointments setup, based on researching online, and weren't actually planning to see Lough Rynn. Alan's friend mentioned he had attended an amazing wedding at Lough Rynn recently, and highly recommended we check it out. We scheduled a last minute appointment to take a tour and it was the third venue we saw. As soon as we drove up the driveway we were pretty much sold. It is such a beautiful venue and the grounds are stunning. After taking the tour, we were so impressed by the professionalism of the staff, we knew that they'd do a great job and would be easy to deal with while planning an overseas wedding. We cancelled all our other appointments after the tour and signed a contract that day."

What was most important when it came to your wedding, what did you want to make sure was included?

E: "There were three things that were super important to us (aside from each other and our wonderful guests) - great food, good music, and a photographer who was able to capture the events of the day in a candid style."

Looking back, would you of changed anything?

E: "The whole day went perfectly - we were both shocked how smoothly everything went. Honestly neither of us would have changed a thing."

Did you find it difficult to plan a wedding from another country? How did you find your vendors?

E: "Planning a wedding in Ireland, while in Canada, was definitely challenging at times. But our vendors were all SO amazing, they made the process extremely easy and were very helpful throughout everything. It also helped having Alan's family and friends in Ireland, as they helped out as well. Special mention to our wedding coordinator, Michelle at Lough Rynn. She was so helpful and made sure the day went smoothly without any issues. We found our vendors through a mixture of family/friend suggestions and suggestions from Lough Rynn."

Your wedding was flawless and not one thing went wrong BUT is there any advice you would give to couples planning their wedding? More specifically, from another country?

E: "Planning a wedding from another country - I would suggest picking a venue which provides you with a designated wedding coordinator - someone who will help you throughout the planning process and also be there on the wedding day to make sure everything goes as planned. That really helped to alleviate some stress, and made the planning process a lot easier for us. I would also highly suggest having a first look - we were both nervous the morning of the wedding, but as soon as we saw each other the nerves melted away and we were both super excited for the day."

Is there a moment that really stands out from your wedding day? 

E: " There were a couple moments that stand out, when we look back on the day - the first look was really special and emotional. It helped to kill our nerves and allowed us to spend some alone time together before being with everyone. The second moment was our vows during the ceremony - we both wrote our own and it was an incredibly special and emotional moment to share with our guests. The third was after dinner - we decided to take a walk and found some chairs down a hallway. We sat there for about 15 minutes and reflected on the day. It was really nice to be present in the moment and appreciate what a special day we had had so far."

pearl + howard | film noir toronto wedding at the Eglington Grand

I started doing work with a foundation called JDRF a few years ago. Each year I document a few events to help raise awareness and funds for Juvenile Diabetes research, a disease that holds a place in my heart and families. 

Through documenting these events I have met some incredible people, one being a lovely human named Stephanie (who's wedding I am photographing next week!). Stephanie introduced me to her equally awesome sister, Pearl, and I am so fortunate she did. Not only did I get to document Pearl and Howard's wedding at the Eglinton Grand, but I get to photograph Stephanie's at The Great Hall too! Love these gals, their hubbies, and their families. 

I asked Pearl + Howard to talk a little bit about their wedding day, how it came about and more. Have a read! 

What are 1-2 favorite memories/moments of your wedding day?

Pearl: I have been so blessed to have found such great friends whom I got to share my special day with as my bridesmaids. We are all "grown up" now and live pretty far away from each other, but the wedding was an opportunity to bring my besties all together in one place, for one big party! Getting all dolled up with them and taking our RBF pics along with the remake of "Bridesmaids" photo was absolutely hilarious moments. I will also never forget the pure joy that was felt after Howard and I were named husband and wife.. and then when we turned to the crowd and walked back down the aisle to see everyone there for us was such an overwhelmingly happy moment.

Howard: Seeing Pearl for the first time, seeing all of our friends from different times in our lives joining together and having such a great time and creating new friendships

When you were planning the wedding, what things were most important?

Pearl: When planning the wedding, we really wanted to keep things simple. Looking at bridal magazines and pictures on the internet can be overwhelming with the amount of "things" one could have at a wedding. Being our thrifty selves, we found ourselves with the opportunity, tools, and desire to do some DIY projects for the wedding and I think that it gave us a feeling of fulfillment that we had our own special touches to our day (and were able to save a few bucks!). Also, our dogs are very important to us and we hated that they could not make it. We tried to figure out a way to incorporate them into our big day and decided to name our signature drinks after our sweet pooches. Hopefully they didn't give too many people headaches!

  ** Sidenote: when we were looking for photographers, really early in our search, I made it very clear to Howard that as much as we were trying to "penny pinch", I wanted him to know that the photography was really important for me and I wanted someone that was worth the price. Photography captures more than just an image, but rather a feeling that has the ability to take a person back to a special moment, and relish in it. That's powerful stuff, and I wanted to thank you for being able to capture these memories that we will be able to look back on for years to come and share for the generations that come next. You were an amazingly positive energy, and that shows in your work.... Again, THANK YOU! **

Howard: Getting the big things in place before sweating the details, having an organized and creative fiancé!

Why did you choose Eglinton Grand?

Pearl: We wanted to find a place that held its own charisma where we didn't feel pressured to fill any voids that some venues may have. We somewhere where we could do our reception and ceremony at the same place, so people could relax and enjoy themselves without facing the city traffic. The venue felt special even without any decor. It's history of being a movie theater immediately drew my attention because I know how much Howard loves a good film. I'm pretty sure we hit a home run with having our big day at The Eglinton Grand! We have nothing but amazing reviews for the Eglinton Grand, from it's own natural beauty, to the food, and then to its wonderfully helpful staff!

Howard: We felt that it was a grand enough venue for our special day but not over the top or too lavish, I like movies and old movie theatres so respect that they have retained elements of the buildings past in its current use.

 If you could go back in time, would you do anything differently?? if yes, what and why?

Pearl: Having an unplugged ceremony. It really wasn't a main thought until after when we realized some moments may have been missed or ruined due to people having their phones up and over their faces.  (I will be sure to clarify this to my family before Steph's wedding!!)... I would also go back and eat more than the one bite of cake I had! 

Howard: Stood closer to Pearl at the Alter (!!!) 2. Remind family and friends ahead of time that they would all be getting lovely photos from our brilliant photographer after the wedding so that they could focus just on enjoying the day vs. taking pictures!

Curated By: Tallie Garey

Caterer: IG: @eglintongrand

Hair + Make up : Make Up IG: @judylim.makeup

Dress Maker: IG: @casablancabridal

Other Vendors you are using:: cake/desserts IG: @cakecreationsbym

deanna + josh | picturesque wedding at black creek pioneer village

Where to begin with Deanna + Josh's beautiful, perfect, fun and emotional wedding at Black Creek Pioneer Village in Toronto. From start to finish I was laughing, crying, laughing again and we are so darn happy to of met Deanna and Josh. 

This was our first time shooting at Black Creek Pioneer Village and I really hope we get back there, it is a dream to photograph at and also, the guests just love it too! 

"As soon as we saw Black Creek, we knew it was the right place. We loved the simplicity of it. We have some guests with limited mobility, and the ease of our ceremony/cocktail hour/reception being on the same lawn and area was super helpful. We loved the backdrop too. The juxtaposition of this old, rustic village with our guests all dressed up and fancy just made it more unique. It was exactly the type of comfortable we wanted, where there were lots of places for people to talk, chat with guests they haven't met before, dance if they chose to, or walk around the village to check things out." - Deanna

Deanna and Josh made sure to have so many personal touches throughout the day that made their day so special and all about them and not only what they want for their day, but for their guests too. 

"Before we had a venue or any concrete plans, we knew small details. Like, our baby pictures at each table and the memory table honouring loved ones who had passed away. The three things we kept in mind were concepts - we wanted comfort, warmth, and an intimacy. We wanted the guest list to be limited to people who knew us well and loved us. We wanted the venue to be comfortable with a lot of places to hang out so people could move around as they wanted. And we wanted the night to be celebrating us and our families, with small details (like the baby pictures/memory table) to warm the heart." - Deanna

"This is easy...the OPEN BAR.  Our families love to drink and have fun and they did just that! Some maybe a bit too much but they were having a blast." - Josh 

When we first met with Deanna and Josh, their main want for photography and what attracted them to our style was the candidness, moments and emotion we document. We asked them both what their favorite images were after seeing their whole gallery:

"The image of Deanna and myself with my Grandfather was something really special. He has Alzheimers but that day he knew exactly what was going on and even asked if he can walk down the isle with us! (cue tears) . He also said "thank you so much for letting me be here with you guys" which I just don't have the words to describe how special that really was." - Josh

"I will pick two because our pictures were so gorgeous I cannot possibly choose one. The first is the image of Josh and I hugging/dancing at sunset. We sort of went away and I remember feeling awkward, but Josh and I do awkward best and the picture is totally us. It's so beautiful and honest and I love the balance of our outfits against the natural trees and leaves. The other picture (or many of them) are the dancing photos right at the end - it was a real moment of pride to see our family join in the dancing and hold each others hands or watch each other for support. Macedonian dancing is quite intimate, so you're super close with people who you may not know, either holding hands or hugging shoulder to shoulder. There's no room for shyness or questioning who is who, and our guests totally ran with it. You can see the joy in everybody's faces. It's exactly the vibe we wanted. "

D + J, THANK YOU! We could not of had a more fun day and we are so thankful to of met you both. Such a perfect wedding that will be a favorite for years to come

Blog curation by: Tallie Garey

Second shot by: Tami Klein

Florist: @rootsandwildflowers

Hair : @jodi77 (hair)

Make up : @maquillagebypriya (bridal party), @catmaikeup (bride)

Dress Maker: @mikaellabridal

DJ - @djintrinity

Furniture Rental: Marvelle Events