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High school sweethearts Chelsea and Josh’s Ancaster Mill wedding was one for the books! Romantic as ever, their wedding was set at this beautiful historic mill just outside of Hamilton. Their love story began when they met as teenagers at work (McDonalds!), and as they say, the rest is history. Seven years later, the day before their 7 year anniversary, Josh proposed to Chelsea. “I came home and the lights were off and candles were lit. He was waiting in the dining room on one knee. He also had cooked an amazing steak and seafood dinner for us!”- Chelsea.  

Their wedding was filled with just as much romance as their relationship. The ceremony took place in a light-filled hall with incredible wooden archways, hanging candelabras, large windows on all sides and a statement floor to ceiling stone fireplace. It was a classic wedding with white florals and a touch of rustic elegance. One of the best parts of having an Ancaster Mill wedding though is the surroundings. What’s more romantic than a portrait session on the terrace in front of a waterfall?! Plus there’s plenty of greenery to escape to right on site!

When I asked Chelsea if she had any advice for couples at the beginning stages of planning and what surprised her the most on her wedding day she talked about how fast the day went by. Her advice: “Focus on having fun. You only plan your wedding once (if you’re lucky of course lol)”.       

It was such an honour to capture Chelsea and Josh’s wedding and to watch their love be celebrated among friends and family. If you’re looking for more wedding inspiration check out Melissa and Jay’s Bloomfield Gardens wedding!

VENDOR TEAM

Bride’s Dress Designer: Maggie Sottero
Bridal Boutique: Bliss Bridal
Hair Stylist: Pretty in Pink Mobile Makeup & Hair
Shoes: Chinese Laundry
Rings: Peoples Jewellers
Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal
Groom’s Suit: Tuxedo Royal
Floral Company: Fascination Flowers
Sweets Table: Betty’s Pies & Tarts
Officiant: Grank Shenkar, Kettle Creek Weddings
Invitations/Seating Chart/Menus: Fleur Stationary & Design
Blog curation: Tallie Garey

Melissa and Jay’s Bloomfield Gardens wedding was a romance long in the making. The pair first laid eyes on each other in high school back in grade 11 and reconnected after post-secondary school when Melissa was on the hunt to see what Jay was up to. A friend did some finagling, and she got her wish, they chatted at a house-party and the rest was history!! “I always thought he was a total babe and the feelings were mutual!” – Melissa

Jay proposed on Christmas Eve, which is also Danish Christmas – something VERY special to Jay. He proposed at 2:30 am by their Christmas tree after they had returned from his parent’s house with “gin & tonic liquid courage”. Their sweet pup Mya was also there to celebrate with them and played a part in the wedding too. Jay said he admires Melissa’s generosity, commitment & compassion for others, and Melissa said she admires Jay’s passion, pride and big dreams. Talk about a positive power-couple!

On the big day, Melissa got ready at home with her bridesmaids and mother. The bride and groom shared their first look at Bloomfield Gardens in front of a charming white house with a turquoise door. Melissa and Jay wanted to see each other beforehand to settle their nerves and give them time to enjoy cocktail hour with their guests. Melissa said she would absolutely recommend a first look for other couples.  “We got to have a very intimate and private moment together and we didn’t take time away from our guests.” It was also one of her favourite moments of the day. “I was bubbling over with love during our first look.” Another special moment was walking down the aisle with her dad and getting to share that moment with all their favourite people. “But my most favourite would be after we said our vows, our officiant encouraged us to face our guests and relish in the moment. It is forever engraved in my memory. Cue goosebumps now!!”

It was important to them as part of their wedding to include their German shepherd Mya in some way and featured her cartoon face on cookies as guest favours. SO adorable! But the best part and the biggest surprise from her wedding day was noting how incredibly relaxed she was.

It was such a pleasure to capture Melissa and Jay’s special day, and to witness their love celebrated among friends and family.

Bloomfield Gardens Wedding - Blush wedding dress hangs in window.
Bloomfield Gardens Wedding - Woodblock name accent
Bloomfield Gardens Wedding - shoes jewelry and invite details
Bloomfield Gardens Wedding - bride and groom first look
Bloomfield Gardens Wedding - first look hug
Bloomfield Gardens Wedding - first look kiss
Bloomfield Gardens Wedding - bridal portraits white house teal door
Bloomfield Gardens Wedding - bride in teal doorway
Bloomfield Gardens Wedding - bridal bouquet
Bloomfield Gardens Wedding - bride and groom on garden path
Bloomfield Gardens Wedding - black and white portrait under tree
Bloomfield Gardens Wedding - bride and groom laughing in gardens
Bloomfield Gardens Wedding - guests arriving
Bloomfield Gardens Wedding - barrel alter
Bloomfield Gardens Wedding - flower girls walk the aisle
Bloomfield Gardens Wedding - bride and groom kiss at the alter
Bloomfield Gardens Wedding - bride with sunglasses
Bloomfield Gardens Wedding - reception decor
Bloomfield Gardens Wedding - dining tables
Bloomfield Gardens Wedding - table decor
Bloomfield Gardens Wedding - guest book
Bloomfield Gardens Wedding - bride and groom reception entrance
Bloomfield Gardens Wedding - bride and groom at reception
Bloomfield Gardens Wedding - bridal party at head table
Bloomfield Gardens Wedding - bride and groom speech
Bloomfield Gardens Wedding - guests at reception
Bloomfield Gardens Wedding - Bride and groom kiss at dusk
Bloomfield Gardens Wedding - bride and groom kissing at dusk

Some thoughts and feedback from the bride:

Looking back, is there anything you would have changed or done differently?
Omg, I wish I would’ve eaten more food! I didn’t get a chance to eat any appetizers because we were being so social! Haha

What was your favourite moment of the wedding day?
So many favourite moments! I was bubbling over with love during our first look. I loved walking down the aisle with my Dad and sharing that moment with all of our favourite people!! But my most favourite would be after we said our vows, our officiant encouraged us to face our guests and relish in the moment. It is forever engraved in my memory. Cue goosebumps now!!

Would you recommend other couples have a first look?
Absolutely!!! 1. We got to have a very intimate and private moment together. 2. We didn’t take time away from our guests and we were able to attend our cocktail hour!!!

What surprised you on the wedding day?
How incredibly relaxed I was!!

VENDOR TEAM

Ceremony and Reception location: Bloomfield Gardens, Newcastle ON
Bride’s Dress Designer: Essence of Australia 
Bridal Boutique: Becker’s Bridals
Hair Stylist: Lynsey @ Revolution Salon and Spa 
Make-up Artist: Meg @ Revolution Salon and Spa 
Shoes: Kate Spade 
Engagement Ring: Ben Moss
Wedding Bands: Peoples Jewellers
Bride’s Earrings: J Crew 
MOH dress: Adrianna Papell from Nordstrom
Bridesmaids dresses: Sorella Vita and Bari Jay from Jealous
Groom’s Suit Brand: Custom Canadian Suit from Moore’s Clothing for Men 
Floral Designer: Bloom Field Gardens Floral Studio 
Caterer: Pilar’s Catering 
Wedding Favours: Cookies & Other Creations (Laurie Saunders-Fryer)
DJ: Jay Chambers from Step by Step
Ceremony music: Beaux Strings 
Officiant: Sonja Shepherd 
Stationary: including invites, table number, wine labels & welcome sign created by Lisa Sorensen
Blog curation: Tallie Garey

There’s so many beautiful locations in and around the Durham Region area. Scarborough Bluffs one of my favs, is such popular spot for with the dramatic backdrops, but tucked away are so many little nooks that don’t receive much attention. In addition to the open water and cliffside, I’m drawn to those quiet areas with my couples for the privacy and some nice light diffusion. 
We shot this session near the bottom of the Bluffs on an unusually warm late September evening. At 30 weeks pregnant, Alana was STUNNING! This maternity session is one of my all time favourites. I met Alana and Shawn over five years ago at their wedding consultation and I knew right away we were a great match. After working through the wedding process together I was hoping we would stay in touch. When I received Alana’s email announcing her pregnancy and inquiring about a newborn session I was of course so excited for them and honoured to document another milestone in their lives. I couldn’t wait to capture this special time for them and maternity photos were a must! This session was shot about 2.5 years ago. I’m clearly not amazing at keeping a blogging schedule, but have lots in the bank and I’m on a roll so I wanted to share this one. They now have a precious little girl who my daughter just adores, and they just welcomed their second, a baby boy only a few days ago. I’m heading over later this week to meet their newest addition and to photograph his newborn lifestyle session as well. Looking forward to sharing a peek from that session and also their first newborn session too.

Photographing a wedding on a traveling streetcar through Toronto was definitely a unique experience, and on one my favourites to date. In case anyone reading this is in the early planning stages of an intimate Toronto wedding, and still searching for something a little different (and budget friendly), I urge you to consider contacting the TTC about a ceremony on board. 

This love story has been in the blog queue for a while now. A+G have the biggest, warmest hearts and most contagious smiles. Their genuine love filled day was was stress-free, fun and completely them.

Adrienne got ready in her bedroom of her childhood home with her mother and best friend. She and Gavin shared an emotional first look in the backyard followed by some photos and lunch before guests made their way to the streetcar yard. Coolers of champagne and guests slowly filled the car and soon enough we had arrived at Adrienne’s stop. You may already know that I adore working with couples that are madly in love and can get lost in a moment with each other. Meet Adrienne and Gavin. These two have that amazing deep love connection and the ability to let go and just be present with each other.

As Adrienne stepped onto the streetcar, through a huge smile Gavin’s eyes immediately filled with tears. I asked Adrienne about seeing each other before the ceremony (below), as I often have couples concerned that it will spoil ‘the big moment’. I’m not here to talk anyone into a first look, but it seems it only settles nerves and allows couples to have that time together with just each other. As a bonus, you get to attend cocktail hour!

After making it official aboard the streetcar, we made one more stop for some photos before arriving at our final destination for their reception at The Rushton. Hugs, beer, and good eats took over from that point.

I adored their day and the personal details that went into it including the photo of Adrienne and her late father carried in a locket on her bouquet and the custom beer cap boutonnières worn by the groomsmen – so cool!! A little shout out to Flying Monkeys, proudly represented on Gavin’s lapel, my favourite local brewer and Gavin’s employer. I’m excited to finally share some highlights from this beauty day. Our gorgeous joyful bride and her and handsome groom with his glorious beard are so perfectly paired and madly in love. Grab a pint a take a look!

Some thoughts and feedback from the couple:

How did you meet?
As many people do these days, we found love in the digital era through our phones. You could call us a Tinder success story!
We bonded over great conversation about shared passions: travel, beer, our love of running and an enthusiasm for trying new things. From there, it just seemed to come so naturally. Since bonding over a pint on that beautiful September night in 2014, we’ve shared many adventures and much laughter. We now live in Hillcrest Village (blocks from where Adrienne grew up), with our cats: Starbuck and Apollo. Gavin still pretends that he is not a cat person.

How he proposed
Gavin surprised me when I came home on a Sunday morning in December. He said wonderful things about his love of our life and the adventures we would go on in our future. As soon as I realized what he was doing, I started crying and said yes yes Yes Yes YES! He said “I haven’t asked yet” haha.  He then pulled out a beautiful antique ring and got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.  I said yes with tears streaming down my face and giggling at the same time. So excited to marry my best friend and the most loving man I have ever known!

What was your favourite moment of the wedding day?
Our first look meeting. It allowed me to connect with Gavin without everyone around. It gave us a chance to get rid of the nerves and share a laugh. So much joy in that moment. And my second favourite was when I arrived at the front of the streetcar, our officiant told me to turn around and look. I did and felt a wave of emotion as I took in all the wonderful faces.

What surprised you on the wedding day?
How I was able to completely let go of the day and enjoy it so completely. I said to myself that morning “I’m going to be married to the best guy today, so nothing else matters”. This allowed me to focus on what was important and not stress about details or things that went wrong

Would you recommend other couples have a first look?
YES! For two reasons. Firstly, you get this incredibly intimate moment together on a day that is filled with other people and responsibilities. Secondly, it allows for photos to be done early when everyone is fresh. No need to be pulled away from the action after the ceremony

Any advice for couples at the beginning of the planning stage?
Pick the 3 things that are most important to you about your wedding. Then spend your time and money to make those happen. And don’t worry about anything else.

VENDORS:
Bridal Dress Shop: Jealous Bridesmaids
Brides Shoes: Tieks
Hair Stylist: Asumi at Hairplay salon
Make-up Artist: Justine Feeley
Jewelry Hair Comb: Bridal Project (Etsy)
Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal
Groom’s Suit: Surmesur
Groom’s tie clip: ThingsUncommon (Etsy)
Groom’s tie: Frederick Thomas of London
Flowers: Delta Dawn
Reception Venue: The Rushton
Wedding Cake: Jennifer Valencia Curtin
Officiant: Derek Strachan
Blog Curation: Tallie Garey

Popping champagne in the street, vintage cars, stunning florals, inside jokes and all the love.

I’ve been looking forward to sharing some highlights from this gorgeous University Club of Toronto wedding for a while. I’ve fallen majorly behind on sharing love stories that I intended on blogging and I’m finally challenging myself to share at least a few favourites from the past 3 seasons, starting here.

Dana + Ben are two of the loveliest people. Kind, thoughtful, career driven and super fun. They also have great taste when it comes to fashion and home decor, (view a preview of their in home engagement session here) and so I knew their wedding would not disappoint.

Dana got ready at the University Club of Toronto with her sisters and mother and Ben got ready at home with the guys. It was THE hottest day in September that I can recall in a long time. So so hot. Dana was secretly pregnant and oh did I feel for her in her gorgeous gown in that heat with first trimester nausea. Somehow she remained perfectly poised and moved so gracefully in her Jimmy Choo’s the entire day.

Their day was filled with the most important people in their lives and many sweet moments. I loved that they shared an exciting little secret together and that nothing ever felt rushed or forced throughout the day. Exactly the way it should be. D + B thank you for sharing your special day with us. I’m so happy to have met you both!

University Club of Toronto Wedding details
University Club of Toronto Wedding getting ready
University Club of Toronto Wedding details
University Club of Toronto Wedding getting ready
University Club of Toronto Wedding bride getting ready
University Club of Toronto Wedding bride getting ready
University Club of Toronto Wedding bride getting ready
University Club of Toronto Wedding, Bride Portrait
University Club of Toronto Wedding, Mother and bride in car
university club of toronto wedding groom getting ready
university club of toronto wedding groom getting ready
university club of toronto wedding groom getting ready
university club of toronto wedding groom getting ready
university club of toronto wedding groom getting ready
St Mary's Church Toronto Wedding
Toronto Wedding St Mary's Church Ceremony
Toronto Wedding St Mary's Church Ceremony
Toronto Wedding St Mary's Church Ceremony
Toronto Wedding St Mary's Church Ceremony
University Club of Toronto Wedding
Osgoode Hall Wedding Party Photos
Osgoode Hall Wedding Photos
Osgoode Hall Wedding Photos
Osgoode Hall Wedding Photos
Osgoode Hall Wedding Photos
Osgoode Hall Wedding Photos
Osgoode Hall Wedding Photos
Osgoode Hall Wedding Photos
Osgoode Hall Wedding Photos
University Club of Toronto, reception details
University Club of Toronto reception
University Club of Toronto reception
University Club of Toronto reception
University Club of Toronto reception
University Club of Toronto reception
University Club of Toronto reception
University Club of Toronto reception
University Club of Toronto reception
University Club of Toronto Wedding


Vendors
Ceremony: St Mary’s Church, Toronto
Reception: University Club of Toronto
Portrait location: Osgoode Hall
Florals: Ashley Elaine Florals
Wedding Coordinator: Laura Scott – Tula Events
Stationary: Paper & Poste
Wedding Cake: I Do! Wedding Cakes
Bride’s gown: La Sposa
Bridal Boutique: Kleinfeld Canada
Bridesmaids dresses: Dessy
Hair: Ritual
Makeup: Ritual
Brides shoes: Jimmy Choo
Rings: Mike Uditsky
Jewelry: BHLDN
Groom’s Suit: King & Rook
Groom’s Shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo
Second Photographer: Amy Buck
Photography Assistant: Lyndsay Alves