wedding photography

Argonaut Rowing Club Wedding

Huong + Aaron

People always ask me what my best wedding story is. Usually it’s the time the reception venue had a fire and we had to relocate the reception to the church basement.

Going along with a theme, this is the wedding where my car caught on fire. On the Gardiner Expressway. In the middle of the wedding. On the plus side, I’ve got a really nice new car!

But the day started really great. Honestly.

Huong + Aaron began their day getting ready at Aaron’s fathers beautiful home. I love when couples throw out traditions out the window. Once everyone was ready, they had a really lovely first look in the backyard by the pool. First looks can be a great idea to help smooth out a wedding day timeline and the nerves of the couple. :)

From there we headed off to their church ceremony at the stunning St Gabriel’s Parish in North York. I absolutely love this church, it’s so different than 99% of the churches out there. Clean, modern lines and tons of natural light… A photographers dream. The wedding ceremony featured some beautiful readings, a great singer and some great moments as Huong + Aaron exchanged their vows, rings and a kiss.

We hung out the church for a while, getting some family portraits done and then it was off to the Argonout Rowing Club for the reception… and that’s when my day went HORRIBLY WRONG. :)

Luckily Huong + Aaron’s wedding had a nice break built into the afternoon, plenty of time to wait for the firetruck, get my SUV towed to a dealership and then Uber it over to the reception. Technically, I was only 2 minutes late.

Cocktails and the wedding reception at the Argonaut Rowing Club was great. It’s a beautiful venue right on the waterfront in Toronto, a real rarity. The night featured TWO live bands, some great speeches and a beautiful sunset.

You can see some of my favourite wedding pictures up top and their full wedding slideshow below.

Before you leave make sure to check out some pictures from Huong + Aaron’s amazing Ottawa engagement session.

Tuscany Wedding Pizza Party

Elena + Steve

This is the final post for Elena + Steve’s wedding! You can check out their Tuscan destination wedding, Italian civil ceremony, Tuscan wedding details and cocktail reception.

Elena + Steve finished off their official wedding events with an amazing pizza reception the night after their Tuscan destination wedding at the villa La Sorgente di Francesca. The villa has an outdoor stone pizza oven, I was impressed but I’m guessing this is pretty standard in Italy. A professional pizza chef was brought in and there was an endless supply of pizza’s to feed everyone. And holy hell these pizzas were amazing…. I might have eaten 3. Don’t judge me.

Drinks were had, UNO was played and great conversations flowed throughout the night. It was the perfect end to a perfect couple of days in Tuscany with Elena + Steve and an amazing group of people. I will cherish my time in Italy with them until my final days.

Now, who else is getting married in Italy and wants to take me? Pretty please :)

Tuscany Destination Wedding

Elena + Steve

So this is a big one.

I was so honoured when Elena + Steve asked me to join them in Tuscany for their Italian destination wedding. I’ve known Elena for years now, she’s an amazing Oakville portrait photographer.

The wedding was held at a beautiful villa in the hills of Tuscany called La Sorgente Di Francesca. The wedding had multiple events spread over multiple days and this post is just for the wedding, we’ll get to the cocktail reception, civil ceremony and pizza dinner soon!

The wedding day began with a really nice civil ceremony at city hall… a beautiful Italian city hall… in the nearby town of Pontassieve (blog post on this to follow!)

The entire day, and the entire couple days of the wedding, was super relaxed so we had a break for a couple hours before everyone started getting ready for the second wedding ceremony and wedding reception.

One of my favourite moments of the day was when Elena’s father saw her for there first time, his reaction was so joyful and earnest. It’s was obvious to all the special connection Elena has with her parents.

The wedding ceremony was held just before sunset in the front courtyard of the villa with Elena + Steve’s kids as their wedding party. Hard to top a ceremony at sunset overlooking the hills of Tuscany!

The ceremony was an emotional and tear filled including a really touching sand ceremony involving all the children and Elena and Steve as a new combined family. Since Elena + Steve had already been legally married in that beautiful civil ceremony earlier in the day, all the children were even allowed to sign as ‘witnesses’ during this ceremony.

After being showered with confetti by guests during their recessional up the aisle, a group shot with the everyone at the wedding (including my kids!) and some family portraits in the setting sun it was time for dinner. As to be expected, the food was fantastic and everyone enjoyed a beautiful open air meal under the stars and crescent moon surrounded by the tuscan hills.

The evening continued on with a first dance, a fun sparkler cake cutting and then some intense dancing late into the night. Buy me a beer sometime and I’ll tell you a great story about the DJ. (sorry Steve!)

Check out some of my favourite wedding photographs from this Tuscany destination wedding up above as well as Elena + Steve’s full wedding slideshow below.

I can’t ever thank Elena + Steve enough for bringing me (and two of my kids!) along for the trip of a lifetime. Oh the pizza… I ate so much pizza.

Tuscany Wedding Details

Elena + John

And now for something a little different from me!

We’ll get back to posts about the wedding soon but I just wanted to share some little details of the villa La Sorgenta di Francesca that I loved during my 3 days there. To say I loved my time in Tuscany, and all of Italy, would be a huge understatement.

Check out my blog post for the Tuscany destination wedding and their Italian civil wedding ceremony.

Tuscany Wedding Cocktail Reception

Elena + Steve

This is the 4th post of I’m guessing 5 at this point from Elena + Steve’s destination wedding in Tuscany. check out other posts about their Tuscany destination wedding, Italian civil ceremony and some villa details.

Elena + Steve kicked off their multi day Tuscany destination wedding with a beautiful poolside cocktail reception the evening before the wedding at the villa La Sorgente di Francesca overlooking the gorgeous hills of Tuscany.

This wedding had guests from across Europe and North America so this was a great opportunity for everyone to get know each other over cocktails and a beautiful antipasto spread.

And then there was the moment when I was photographing a group shot of the guys when I finished I
JOKINGLY said ‘Okay now throw the groom in the pool!’ and well, then this happened.

Tuscany Destination Wedding Ceremony

Elena + Steve

Part two of who knows how many blog posts about Elena and Steve’s amazing destination wedding I was privileged to photograph in the hills outside of Tuscany, Italy. Please check out my blog post about the Tuscany destination wedding and reception.

In Italy, you only have two choices to legally get married… in a church or at city hall. Elena + Steve chose to get married at the city hall in the closest town to the villa La Sorgente di Francesca. And I have to say the charming little Italian town of Pontassieve was the perfect choice. I think Elena + Steve just figured this civil ceremony was something they just had to do to make things legal but in my opinion it was actually one of the most charming parts of the entire trip!

Elena + Steve got ready at the vila and then we all piled into vehicles for the drive into town (Steve bravely driving the mini bus himself!). To say I enjoyed my 4 days driving around the hills of Tuscany in my little VW Polo stick shift would be an understatement…. of course, on this drive I got twisted around and lost Steve. I panicked and parked to ask for directions when I realized I had accidentally parked right at city hall and was in the right spot. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. :)

City hall wedding ceremony’s in North America, while usually heartfelt, tend to be a little on the drab side… usually in small, dimly lit rooms. Of course, this being Italy, city hall was a beautiful old building in the heart of town and the ceremony room itself was massive with soaring ceilings and windows!

Steve and Elena exchanged vows in front of about 20 of their guests in a wedding ceremony conducted by a city official in Italian. Elena + Steve hired a translator but honestly this guy did such an amazing job and it was really nice to hear the ceremony officiated in Italian. One of the best moments was when Elena and Steve were surprised when the city official presented them with a beautiful etching by a local Artis to commemorate their wedding day!

After the ceremony we hung around for a few quick portraits in the town square (it was SOOOO hot out) we all headed back to the villa for a nice champagne toast in the courtyard followed by a nice little siesta before the rest of the days festivities got started.

Check out some of my favourite images from the ceremony and come back soon for the next post for Elena + Steve’s wedding!

Liberty Grand Wedding in Toronto

Katherine + Kosta

My day began with Katherine and her family getting ready at the Hyatt Regency in Downtown Toronto in a beautiful hotel suite. Kosta began his day at his parents place getting ready and having some family pictures done with my second photographer for the day, Ryan Rowell from Rowell Photography who did an amazing job helping me out for the day

The wedding ceremony was held at the beautiful St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Downtown Toronto. I love shooting Greek Orthodox weddings for a couple of reasons… the churches are beautiful, there’s some great and unique traditions and the priests are always cool with me moving around to get pictures (they usually motion for me to get closer!)

After the ceremony we all piled into the party bus for the short ride over to Osgoode park for some pictures with Katherine, Kosta and the wedding party. Osgood hall is a great option for wedding pictures because of it’s central location, it mix of nature and architecture and it’s free…. a very rare thing in Toronto!

From Osgoode Hall it was off to Liberty Grand for some extended family pictures and a great cocktail hour.

A huge shoutout to Alusha from A Lush Affair. Alusha is an amazing wedding coordinator and one of my favourites to work with in Toronto. The day went off flawlessly and the ballroom looked amazing!

The wedding party made an amazing entrance and then Katherine + Kosta had their first dance followed by dinner and speeches. Once the bride and groom gave their speech everyone headed to the dance floor for some traditional Greek dancing and then a great party late into the night!

Glenerin Inn Wedding in Toronto

Cheri + Chris

Cheri and Chris had a beautiful friday summer wedding at the Glenerin Inn in Mississauga surrounded by their closest friends and family!

The is a beautiful historic building located near the University of Toronto Mississauga Campus (which is also beautiful and we visited for some wedding party portraits).

Cheri started the day in a stunning suite at the Glenerin having her hair and makeup done by the girls from the onsite spa. She was joined by her sister, mom and soon to be mother in law. Chris and his family were getting ready in the suite literally next door so it took a little juggling to make sure no one accidentally ran into each other.

Once we had some family pictures done we awaited the beginning of the ceremony. The smiles on Cheri + Chris’ face as they said their vows were contagious. Once the ceremony was over we packed up for the quick drive over to the U of T Mississauga campus for some portraits of the wedding party and the bride and groom.

Cheri + Chris decided to cut their cake at the beginning of the cocktail hour, something I’ve never seen but was a brilliant idea (mmmmm…. cake). The dinner was filled with some touching speeches and real moments of laughter.

Cheri and Chris decided to do an amazing waltz for their first dance… all the practicing really paid off!

The DJ was awesome and travelled all the way in from Sudbury after meeting Cheri and Chris at a resort in the Caribbean the year before!

Thanks again to Cheri + Chris for allowing me to be a part of their wedding day

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

If you have the super secret password, you can view their entire gallery over on my wedding proofing website.

Enoch Turner Schoolhouse Winter Wedding

Joelle + Mike

What a fantastic winter wedding Joelle and Mike had at the historic Enoch Turner Schoolhouse in downtown Toronto!

The weather gods were smiling on these two as it was a beautiful day for a winter wedding and we were only cold for about 20 minutes.

The day started at the beautiful historic King Edward Hotel in Toronto with the girls and the guys getting ready in separate suites. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, that I love this arrangement for the morning. It simplifies and the schedule so much and lets everyone relax.

Although I will say Joelle and her girls had a WAY nicer room than the guys. :)

Joelle and Mike decided to have a first look which is always a great idea for winter weddings because we’re fighting that early sunset and if we can get pictures out of the way it makes life easier for everyone. After our first location for the first look was a bust we headed outside to do it in front of the hotel. From there we jumped in an Uber (the only way to travel downtown) and headed over to the Distillery District to my super-secret-no-permit-required-because-its-just-across-the-street shooting location. We hit a bit of a wind tunnel and this was honestly the only time we were cold all day!

From there we headed over to St Lawrence Market for some more pictures… this is actually where Mike proposed so it was great to visit somewhere that they had a connection to. Both families met up at Enoch Turner School house for some family pictures and then it was on the ceremony.

Following the ceremony (wedding flowers by Coriander Girl) Joelle and Mike went a little outside the box for dinner and had some amazing food stations for a cocktail like dinner. I usually get to eat pretty well but anytime you give me flank steak with bacon bit infused mashed potatoes I’m a very happy camper. Their caterer, En Ville, did an amazing job. The speeches followed dinner and were really great and touching.

Joelle and Mike took the dance floor for their first dance and were then followed by Mike’s grandparents doing a waltz before the dance floor opened up for the party!

Thanks again to Joelle and Mike (and their amazing friends and family!) for having me be a part of their special day.

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

Archeo Winter Wedding

Anne + Tim

Lunch time weddings… why has no one told me about these before? They might be my new favourite thing!

Anne and Tim had a beautiful winter wedding at some of my favourite wedding spots in Toronto…. the Intercontinental Yorkville, Trinity Chapel at the University of Toronto and Archeo in the Distillery District.

Began the day nice and early (unavoidable with a 10am ceremony!) at the Intercontinental Yorkville Toronto hotel with the Anne and her friends and family as they all got ready for the wedding. Since the hotel was so close to the wedding chapel, Anne decide to she could easily walk there. Luckily the polar vortex had ended the day before so it was only a respectable -5 for the walk over. Anne also made the very wise decision to no wear her dress for the walk and instead get dressed at the chapel.

The ceremony went great even with a reluctant (but still adorable!) flower girl leading the way for Anne to walk with her mother down the aisle. Trinity Chapel is one of the most beautiful wedding venues in all of Toronto but it does have some strict conditions on photographing there but even with those conditions I managed to great some great shots and even made it up to the balcony for some nice scenic shots of the ceremony.

After the ceremony we hung around for some family pictures and then we all headed down the the Distillery District for some pictures with just Anne and Tim…. and their adorable dog! Anne and her friends also have this great tradition of a leather jacket with ‘Just Married’ bedazzled (???) on the back that they pass down from wedding to wedding!

The reception was great, the staff at Archeo always do an amazing job! The reception featured some great speeches and a fantastic sprinkle cake as requested by Tim!

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