lina + alex | toronto island wedding at algonquin island association

Lina + Alex got married on October 12, 2018 on Toronto Island at the Algonquin Island Association. Leading up to their wedding day, Lina and Alex were so incredibly laid back, relaxed and so lovely to work with. Corrigan and I met them for a beer one weeknight in our neighbourhood (they live a few blocks over from us in Bloor West Village) to discuss wedding details and we hit it off right away. We knew it would be an amazing day!

After years of being Toronto Wedding Photographers, we still hadn’t shot a wedding on Toronto Island. We are so fortunate that Lina + Alex found us, it was the perfect day, even with some rain.

We started with a first look getting off the ferry at Ward’s Island, wandered the island together for couple photos, celebrated their love with a traditional Russian ceremony, organized a sparkler exit and organized a group photo at sunset with the CN Tower as a back drop.

Thank you so much Lina + Alex, we had so much fun with you both, your family and your friends.

that time we got engaged in Scotland | surprise proposal in Glencoe

This whole trip started to become reality when my best friend got engaged to her other half, who is from Manchester and then she made me her MOH. Obviously I would never miss her wedding so Corrie and I decided that since he had never been overseas before and I never travel to a country without seeing others, that we were going to turn this into an epic trip. When we started planning, Corrie had one request and that was Ireland. I didn't care where we went but with having family in Ireland, we needed to make that happen and whatever else we did I would be a happy gal. So what's between England and Ireland, SCOTLAND! It only made sense to do all three while we were over there, and so we did. 

Before embarking on the trip I reached out to a photographer colleague/friend who I have been following for a long time and who's work I adored, Keith Bridle. I knew he traveled alot but thought "what the heck, worth the try" and wrote him to see if by chance he would be in any of those countries and close by while we were there. Well it turns out, Keith and his other half (Em) were wanting to plan a trip to see her family in Scotland and they wouldn't be too far from us. So, we planned to meet up and for Corrie and I to have couple photos taken together in one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen, Glen Etive. 

If you have been to Scottish Highlands, you have probably driven through Glencoe (and if you haven't you need too). Glen Etive is about 45 minutes away from Glencoe, down a single car road into the "middle of nowhere". Em has been going to Glen Etive since she was a young girl and has since, introduced Keith and it has become a very special place for both of them. Keith always wanted to photograph people there so when I reached out, all the stars aligned.

We piled into Keith's jeep and hit this tiny little road without a clue as to where we were going but were trusting Keith and Em that it was worth it. The entire drive was full of "omg look" "holy @#$! look at that!" "omggggggggg". Everything along the entire road was picture perfect from the deer to the waterfalls cascading the mountains to the rivers to the natural rock walls to the abandoned shed (in our pictures). Everything was perfect...so perfect that Corrie decided to pop the big question. 

Now Corrie didn't have any idea he was going to do this but "brought the ring along for the ride". Did he let Keith know? NOPE! Keith had no idea, Em had no idea and I had absolutely NO idea. Obviously when you get to be our age, people constantly ask "so do you think you will get married" and all those silly questions and of course, I had thought about it and Corrie and I had (drunkingly) talked about it but I never thought this would be the time and place, but I am so glad he did as it couldn't of been more perfect. 

At the end of the road we stopped at this body of water with an old home, surrounded by highlands and Keith asked us to climb down on to the rocks... so we did. As we got down there, Corrie and I just looked around taking it all in and looked at each other and just started cuddling for the camera. All of sudden, Corrie says "can we do adventures like this forever?" and I said something romantic like "ya" (clearly no clue what was about to happen) and then boom, he's on the ground and the first words out of my mouth are "@#$! off!" because well, I am romantic. After I said it a few more times, and continually asking if he gave Keith a heads up (because that was a big concern for me apparently haha), the poor guy was still on one knee asking for my answer and with a giant yes and a bunch of tears, I crouched down and embraced him.

I never thought I would be someone who would have their proposal on camera but I am so darn glad we do. This day will forever be remembered through these beautiful photos and we both can't thank Keith and Em enough for introducing us to their special place, exploring with us and documenting this life moment. 

All photos taken by Keith Bridle

Ring designed by my good friend Tyson Taylor, Taylors Jewellers

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. 

steve + mel | outdoor engagement session at Tiffin Conservation

This is Steve and Mel. Steve and I go way back, like 25 years back (crazy!) and have been through so much together. In college, Steve and I were roommates and one day he brought Mel over and I instantly loved this girl. They are such a fun, awesome, laid back couple and after almost a decade, are finally tying the knot. We are officially at the two month countdown (2 from today) until their wedding and I am so fortunate to be capturing it :)

Here is a peek at our engagement shoot from this past fall at Tiffin Conservation Area. Enjoy!

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

kate + chris | a junction triangle engagement photoshoot

The best thing about photographers in this country (and maybe even beyond) is that most of us support each other, encourage, inspire and mainly, have several social media groups where we post referrals and try and help each other with getting more work and providing referrals to clients when we are unavailable. 

Because of one of these groups this awesome couple, Kate and Chris, wrote me about capturing their wedding. When they described their wedding in their initial email, I had a really hard time not writing back instantly with an email scream "YESSSSSSSS!!". Their wedding is going to be unique and AWESOME!

When we had our initial chat, Kate and I had an instant connection. Live in the same neighbourhood, love the same music and restaurants and when it came to their engagement session, we knew we had to include some of those elements of our lives. 

When it came to choosing a location, I instantly thought "brewery/restaurant, art and the city", and we found exactly that. My friend Mel has recently turned her lofty apartment into a wicked art filled space used for markets, concerts and more, the Junction Art Crossing. They have monthly markets, weekly workshops and live music as well, it's a wicked space everyone should check out. Another reason to head over there? It's directly beside The Toronto Distillery Co. and Junction Craft Brewery.

Mel let us use her amazing space and rooftop during their November event and we decided to have some beers at Junction Brewery before and grab some for the shoot. 

Here are a few peeks from our day!