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.

lindsey + niall | intimate winter wedding in Durham

Lindsey and Niall unfortunately had a bit of a tough time when it came to planning their wedding. Sadly, someone very dear to them had become sick and for that reason, they pushed their wedding date forward in hopes that that person could be present.

They planned an intimate day which included those dearest to them as well as locations that meant something special. From the church Nialls family attends to photos in front of Nialls childhood home with the Lovers Lane street sign to a gazebo they love finished with a cozy dinner at KB Food in Whitby surrounded by everyone they love.

Such a special wedding in Durham region and so happy that Jennifer See Studios passed our name along to these two.

Thank you so much Lindsey and Niall xo

kayla + brandon | autumn wedding at Elora Mill

Elora Mill is a building that’s over 175 years old and is part of a quite a unique and picturesque community. In 2010 Pearle Events decided to purchase the building and convert the beautiful area into their next venue and spa, and am I ever glad they did!. Elora Mill has very quickly become almost every photographers favorite spot to photograph and now I really understand why.

Kayla + Brandon contacted me back in September 2017 about not only documenting their wedding, but some engagement photos at their home too. From then until the wedding, K + B were so amazing (and easy) to work with. Kayla was so organized and together they planned such a perfect day.

From the old buildings to the incredible florals by WR Designs - The Flower Co. to the hike down into the gorge (thank you again K + B for being troopers and doing that!!), the whole day was amazing.

Here is a small little peek at Kayla + Brandons day, thank you so much you two and cant wait to see you again soon!

Vendor information:

Second shot by: Tami Klein

Curated by: Tallie Garrey

Flowers by: WR Designs - The Flower Co

Hair + Make up : @bbbeautybtq

Dress Maker: @amandalinasoffical

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

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!