Madsen's Greenhouse Wedding

Andrea + Chris

Here's the blog post for Andrea + Chris' amazing wedding at the Madsen's Greenhouse in Newmarket, just outside of Toronto.

Sometimes when I photograph a wedding I form a real bond with the couple and their family and I almost feel like family by the end of the day.  Well, since this was my 4th (maybe 5th????) wedding with this same family it's safe to say this was like a family reunion for me.  It was awesome seeing so many of my past couples and their kids and soon to be kids!

I started the day at Andrea + Chris' brand new townhouse for some hair and makeup with the girls and then met up with Chris and the guys for a little ball hockey.
Once the guys let Chris score enough goals to make him happy, we all headed over to Andrea's parents house for the traditional Chinese door games. Some light bribery (including a Presto card!), modelling the latest in thongs and a little Backstreat Boys karaoke and the guys made it into the house!

Until Andrea + Chris, I had never heard of Masden's Greenhouse but I have to say it is easily one of the most unique wedding venues in Toronto I've ever seen... and I think I've seen most of them.
This place is literally a greenhouse converted into a wedding venue.  They have a beautiful indoor ceremony space and reception venue.  They also have all kinds of nooks and cranny's around the grounds which we used to good effect for their first look and portraits which was great since it decided to rain most of the day.   The traditional Chinese tea ceremony was held in a beautiful little spot with a nearby fountain... very tranquil.

One of the things you have to be comfortable with as a wedding photographer is working in front of a crowd.  And every once in a while when your'e working in front of a crowd you do something stupid like knock the alter flowers over during the ceremony.  There aren't words to express that level of embarrassment so I won't bother.  Suffice to say, for the 100th time... I'm sorry.  :)

Even a clumsy photographer couldn't ruin an amazing ceremony as Andrea + Chris were surrounded by their closest family and friends as they exchanged their wedding venues in a really beautiful setting.   We even managed to duck outside for the 10 minutes the sun made an appearance right at sunset for some more beautiful portraits.

The reception was filled with a beautiful first dance, great speeches and two of the most energetic MC's I've ever seen!   The night carried on with some epic movies on the dance floor.

Thanks you to Andrea + Chris for having me along and being a part of your wedding, it was an amazing day and so great seeing so many of my past wedding couples there!

You can see some of my favourite wedding images above and their full wedding slideshow below!





 

Toronto Wedding at the Jewel Event Centre

Sabrina + Zach

 

Sabrina + Zach's wedding at the Jewel Event Centre in Woodbridge was such an amazing day full of really memorable moments.

Zach and his two brothers started the day with my second photographer Nick at what has to be the coolest barber shop I've seen, the Cabin in Mississauga.  Strait razor shaves for everyone!

The girls spent the morning at Sabrina's salon and then headed over to her parents house where all her family had gathered the way Italian families always do at the brides house before a wedding to wish her well.

The Roman Catholic ceremony was held at St Dominic's Church in Mississauga.

Sabrina had a great aunt who's a Dominican nun who flew in from Italy for the wedding.  She even brought an official papal blessing that she read during the ceremony!

Once the ceremony was over, Sabrina + Zach spent the day riding around in an amazing 1949 Rolls Royce vintage car.  We all headed over to Adamson Estates on the waterfront for some relaxed family portraits on the lakefront.

The reception started off with one of those amazing Italian antipasto tables as Sabrina + Zach greeted their guests and then made their grand entrance with dinner and speeches to follow.

I always love seeing the little family traditions that pop up at weddings, In this case, it was a rousing karaoke version of Piano Man sung by.,. well, everyone.  :)

Once you shoot over 350 weddings you tend to think you've seen almost everything but at almost every wedding I see something new (one of the reasons I enjoy this job so much!).   Sabrina's parents were married 30 years ago and the same wedding band that played at their wedding also played at Sabrina's... Amazing.   They even called her parents out onto the dance floor and let them dance to the same song from 30 years ago.

After the cake cutting and the rest of the speeches the dance floor was opened up and Sabrina + Zach spent the rest of the night dancing the night away with 250 of their closest family and friends.

A big thanks to Nick from Artanis Collective for doing a great job second shooting this wedding.

Mackenzie from Kenzerama Productions did a beautiful job with the cinematography and was really a pleasure to work with all day.   Trust me, this isn't always the case with video crews.  :)

You should also check out their beautiful farm engagement session!

 

Archeo Wedding in the Distillery District

Cindy + Enrico 

Cindy + Enrico had a beautiful, intimate wedding at Archeo in Toronto's Distillery district.

Everyone spent the morning hanging out and getting ready at the beautiful Hazelton Hotel in the Yorkville neighbourhood in Toronto.   I must have walked by this hotel, and it's amazing suites, a dozen times in the past and never even knew it was there.

Once everyone was ready to go we piled into the limo for the ride down to Archeo and their outdoor wedding ceremony.

The ceremony kicked off with a truly special moment when one of Cindy's son's walked her down the aisle while her other son sang for her (He's in the band Magic!).

Cindy and Enrico incorporated so much of their own heritage into the wedding ceremony... a native tradition of honouring the four directions and elements, an Italian wine blessing and an Irish hand fastening.   They also had a ring warming ceremony which is fast becoming one of my favourite wedding traditions. 

After exchanging vows and a kiss, Cindy + Enrico were showered with bubbles by their guests as they danced their way down the aisle.  We made a quick trip out to the historic Distillery District for some wedding party portraits and then back to Archeo for cocktail hour and an amazing meal.

I'd like to pause for a second and take a minute to thank Alusha from A Lush Affair for doing such an amazing job with this wedding.  The room looked great and everything went off without a hitch.

When you have such an artistic group of friends (Cindy + Enrico were both actors, Cindy still teaches acting) it's no surprise that these two were treated to several performances during their wedding reception.   Enrico's father recited a beautiful poem in Italian... Well, I assume it was beautiful, all the Italians were tearing up!  :)   And to top it off, two of their closest friends sang and their mentor gave a beautiful toast to the happy couple.

After giving their own heartfelt speech and toasting their guests, Cindy + Enrico did an amazing job getting the dance floor open with their first dance... the party was still going strong when I left late in the night!

You can see some of my favourite wedding photographs up above and the full wedding slideshow below.

Also be sure to check out Cindy + Enrico's amazing Toronto Beaches Engagement session.

Hart House Wedding

Linda + Andrew



Linda + Andrew didn't choose Hart House on the University of Toronto campus because it looks cool (it does).  Or because of the how good the food and service are (they're great!).

They actually met on the campus as teenagers attending a summer camp and Andrew later attending for engineering so the entire campus holds a special place in their hearts.

And as luck would have it, I chose the exact spot where Andrew proposed for their first look... I swear I didn't know!

We made great use of the campus for portraits, since they're was no wedding party we were able to move quickly getting lots of great pictures!

Linda and Andrew then held a traditional Chinese tea ceremony for their relatives quickly followed by a western wedding ceremony held outdoors in the Quad at Hart House.

The wedding ceremony was held outdoors in the courtyard of Hart House.

I had a great time during cocktail hour as the DJ played movie themes trying to guess which one it was... it's not as easy as you think without the visuals in front of you!

We got lots of great family pictures and everyone had a chance to sample the amazing appetizers and enjoy a cocktail as the sun began to set.

Linda and Andrew entered their wedding reception and performed a beautifully choreographed first dance for all their guests!

The dinner itself was really relaxed with only a few speeches which gave Linda and Andrew plenty of time mingle and socialize with all their guests.  Too often at a modern, hectic wedding this can get overlooked.

One of the best moments during the reception was when Andrew flexed his singing muscles and serenaded Linda with a song.

Once the dance floor was open the DJ did a great job of getting everyone up and moving and keeping them on the dance floor... which of course makes my job easier.  :)

You can check out some of my favourite wedding images above and their full wedding slideshow below!

Ontario Backyard Wedding

Kristin & Adam

As a wedding photographer every year there is one date that you get inquiry after inquiry for once you're already booked.  And this year it was for Kristin and Adam's wedding day.   Thank god their wedding was truly amazing, one of my favourite weddings in years.

Planning a wedding is never easy.  Planning a wedding in your own backyard for 150 people while you have careers and a young family is one hell of a challenge... but I have to say that Kristin & Adam pulled it of amazingly well. 

It was a really relaxed morning hanging out with the girls and then the guys as they all got ready for pictures and the ceremony.   

The first look took place on Adam's stepfathers's dock overlooking Lake Simcoe.  Such a beautiful spot for this!   Afterwords we headed over to a nearby abandoned building and forest for some pictures with the family and bridal party.

The wedding ceremony took place in their backyard under one of the most beautiful old trees I've ever seen.  I seriously would have bought that house just for the tree.

Their little boy and girl did an amazing job and ring bearer and flower girl before Kristin walked down the aisle on the arm of her father for their wedding ceremony that was standing room only.

The ceremony featured lot's of smiles, laughter and great moments but one of the most touching moments during the ceremony was when Adam's grandfather gave a traditional blessing.

One of the great benefits of having a backyard wedding is you get to do whatever you want... including heading straight to the bar after the ceremony for a first drink as a married couple.  The other thing you get to do is have taco's for dinner.  That's right, I said taco's for dinner.   Take that prime rib.  :)

The cocktail hour and the rest of the night was really relaxed with speeches and dancing throughout the night.  I loved how Kristin and Adam just gathered everyone around them at the bar and gave their speech outside under the stars.

And of course, they had a Smoke's Poutinerie truck pull up in their driveway for some late night munchies. 

You can check out some of my favourite photographs above and their full wedding slideshow below.

 

Markham Museum Wedding

Jennifer + Andrew


Jennifer + Andrew threw one hell of a party for their wedding at the Markham Museum a couple weeks ago and I was thrilled to be there to photograph it all.

And hats off to these two, planning an entire wedding from 3000 miles away in Alberta and pulling it off perfectly!

After everyone spent the morning getting ready, we all met up at the Markham Museum.  I had never been to the Markham Museum but I was really impressed with the historic buildings and beautiful setting was great for portraits of the family and wedding party.

Dodging the sudden downbursts we get their first look out of the way amongst the historical buildings of the museum and then gathered the family and wedding party for some portraits.  

The outdoor ceremony was touch and go for a while there with threatening rain clouds but they held off and we had a beautiful outdoor wedding ceremony!

Jennifer + Andrew were lucky enough to have some friends sing and perform during the ceremony, they did an amazing job!

The dinner was in intimate family style affair under canvas that featured some really amazing and heartfelt speeches and a tennis ball autographed Genie Bouchard....still not sure I 100% believe that one.  :)  

After their first dance everyone, and i mean EVERYONE, hit the dance floor for a great party.

I've posted some of my favourite wedding images above and you can check out the full slideshow below!

You can also check out their engagement pictures that we did at the Markham Museum here.

Intimate Langdon Hall Wedding

Teresa + Robert

Teresa and Robert were joined by about 30 of their closest family and friends for an intimate wedding at Langdon Hall just outside of Cambridge, Ontario.

Robert spent a relaxed morning with a swim and a round of tennis,  taking full advantage of all the amenities Langdon Hall has to offer!

Teresa and their daughters spent the morning in the beautiful bridal suite having their hair and make up done.

Teresa and Robert opted to have a first look and used the beautiful new Summer House attached to the Firshade Room.  I really loved Robert's reaction to seeing Teresa in her dress for the first time!   

We took some time for some portraits of the happy couple and then it was off to the outdoor ceremony which took place in the old orchard and featured a string quartet, a very talented soloist and several really touching readings.   As soon as the ceremony was over and Robert + Teresa danced their way down the aisle everyone headed to the Orchard Room terrace for cocktails and canapés while we took a few family photos.

Dinner at Langdon Hall is always amazing and of course this meal was no exception.  Teresa and Roberts daughters both gave really moving toasts followed by the couple themselves.   The beauty of a smaller intimate wedding like this one is you have so much more time to interact and spend time with your guests. 

After dinner Teresa and Robert kicked off the dancing with their first dance and then everyone joined in for some fun!

You can check out some of my favourite photographs from their wedding above as well as the full wedding slideshow below!

Toronto Beaches Engagement Pictures

Cindy + Enrico

Had a great evening hanging out with Cindy + Enrico for their engagement pictures in Toronto.

They turned me on to what might be new favourite location in Toronto for pictures, the R.C. Harris Water Treatment plant in the Beaches neighbourhood in Toronto's east end.  It has waterfront, beaches, classic architecture, open spaces...  It's really great!

Cindy and Enrico (both former actors) were absolute naturals in front of the camera to the point that sometimes they seemed to forget I was even there and were having fun in their own little world.  

I'm super excited to be photographing their wedding in a couple weeks at Archeo in the Distillery District in Toronto.