Hi there,

I'm Dianne, and welcome to my blog! I'm a wedding pho-tographer based in Southwestern Ontario, and I just love meeting people in every stage of life. I have to admit that love stories are my favourite! I'd love it if you'd grab a great glass of wine, snuggle up on the couch, and browse through everything that I've been up to lately. Go see what there is to know about this amazing DVI community. If you want to learn more about me and my story...

I'm Dianne, and welcome to my blog! I'm a wedding pho-tographer  based  in   South-

western Ontario, and I just love meeting people in every stage of life. I have to admit that love stories are my favourite! I'd love it if you'd grab a great glass of wine, snuggle up on the couch, and browse through everything that I've been up to lately. Go see what there is to know about this amazing DVI community. If you want to learn more about me and my story...

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Our First Annual DVI Gala

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Two weeks ago, we hosted the first annual DVI Gala at our home; in the comfort of our lush, green backyard. We sent out many invitations, and were so excited to have 5 couples join us. This party gave us the perfect opportunity to get to know all of our clients without being a wedding vendor, what a change from a traditional wedding or event for us.  It is nice to actually be able to take the time to chat without a camera in our hands. We entrusted our great friend Amanda Verhoeve to help capture the details of a very fond memory.

Getting Acquainted

Our ideal couple knows that personal connection is so important when it comes to your Toronto wedding photographer, and they value this opportunity as a way to get to know us better before the wedding and continue to grow it afterwards. After all, we also capture maternity and family sessions!

We’d love to introduce you to our guests; we were thrilled that Hannah and Aaron, our dear friends, could make it. Hannah is our kids’ piano teacher and a recent DVI bride. Katie and Sean are getting married this weekend, but managed to fit our gala into their busy schedule! Katie had the most hilarious experience with our little man, Easton, where he let a fart out (an adult-sized one), and blamed it on the photographer. He was beyond proud, and all the laughs helped break the ice. The natural chemistry in their engagement session still makes me smile every time I see their faces.

We got to meet Hillary and Rodney for the first time; they’ve just recently been married and had another photographer who happened to be busy on their date for their big bash next year. Rodney should have received the Best Dressed Award, which we will be starting next year among others (Best Engagement Story, etc.). Kristen and André are getting married at the Elm Hurst Inn next year as well (we get to shoot there twice next year, lucky us!!!), and they were lucky to have two events in the same teeny tiny town on this date.

We are still in the planning stages of Ryan and Robin’s Toronto Island engagement session, and this event gave us the perfect opportunity to get to know them a little better. My favourite part of the evening was when everyone exchanged proposal stories. From sneaky surprises to canoe rides in a beautiful sunset on lake Simcoe, we loved every single one. However, our own is still my favourite. As a Toronto wedding photographer, the proposal stories we hear are really creative and romantic, and we can’t wait to hear more…

Great Food, Better Company

The company of our  DVI couples was fabulous, and the food from To Your Door, To Your Plate was phenomenal. Honestly some of the best I’ve had, and we know who’s catering next year’s event! When I sat down at the table, ready to eat (to be honest, I was starving after putting so much work into the evening), I was terribly nervous, but at the same time feeling soooo blessed. I felt extremely honoured that each of these couples took a few hours out of their busy lives to spend with us, and get to know us and our family better. The kids loved being part of the evening, and have been talking about it since. I love the fact that my kids now know who I’m talking about when I mention some of these couples.

We were planning on staying outdoors all night, but it was the first chilly night in late summer, so we ended the evening in our own living room. While there will definitely be some changes for next year as this year was our first and a learning experience, it is amazing to know that we impacted our couples in this way. We’ve gotten more thank you’s than we can share, and we know that DVI couples are just the best.

The DVI Experience

The DVI experience is about so much more than just your wedding photos. Want to join the next year’s event? Send an inquiry, so we can get you booked on our calendar and start the fun process!

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The Vendor Team

Toronto Wedding Photographer | Dianne Velthove Imagery & Amanda Verhoeve Photography
Favours | Miles Ellis Co.
Stationery Design | Etsy
Stationery Print | GA Printing

Couple, Wedding

September 24, 2020

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Hamilton Gage Park Engagement Session | Sara & Mitch

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Hamilton’s Gage Park holds a very special place in the hearts of Sara and her family. It is near her grandfather’s memorial bench, a touching tribute to an important man. Their family visits this memorial tribute regularly, and while on a visit without her, Sara and Mitch met.

It’s All About Timing

Sara’s father is a pastor and faith is very important to her and her family. Although their backgrounds could not be more different, Sara helped Mitch come to Christ. The story is miraculous! Mitch first met Sara when he started spending more time with the “pro-life crowd”. At first, it was mostly to convince them they were incorrect, but as a fierce protector of the lives of animals, he started to understand their point of view.

Mitch has spent the last few months with Sara’s family, and it has been nice for him to have deep and meaningful conversations with his father-in-law to be. Trying to be discreet, Mitch asked Sara’s parents quietly for her hand in marriage in a yarn store. Sara’s mother didn’t hear, so asked for her husband to repeat what Mitch asked. “Mitch wants to marry Sara”, he said loud and clear. Well, that news was out!

Two years ago, Sara and I met at the Pro-Life crash course (I’m beginning to see a pattern, lol). A kind, extremely generous and warm-hearted human, it’s no surprise what Mitch sees in Sara. He’s wonderful himself, and they are a perfect match. You can see the joy and love between them in every frame. They made the trip all the way from Ottawa to have me capture their Gage Park engagement session, and I’m absolutely honoured! I’m thrilled for their Toronto winter wedding in just over three months.

Sun Showers

Mitch is in school to become a Registered Massage Therapist, so the massage oil that was in their client welcome box was very well-received! Mitch and Sara have been engaged now for a few months, and we were excited to finally get together physically for this gorgeous session. For Sara, this was the first visit to her Grandfather’s memorial bench. I’ve wanted to photograph a Gage Park engagement for some time, and again it happens to be one of my favourite couples who bring me to a new place (although all my couples are my fave, if I have to be honest).

The session started off slightly rainy, but clearing up quickly, giving us a chance to use the stunning umbrellas. Even though the fountain was no longer running, the location was everything I’d hoped for, giving its share of backdrops. And Sara and Mitch just sparkled with happiness. They showed up in a gorgeous outfit and changed into an even nicer one halfway through. I absolutely love well-prepared clients!

Mitch and Sara, I am absolutely giddy with happiness as I blog this session before my vacation yet. I’m seriously so thankful for the two of you, and I’m honoured to have the pleasure of capturing your big day. Your story is amazing, and I know you’ve impacted me personally. May God grant you everything you need in the coming months as you plan your wedding and spending your life together after that! I honestly cannot wait!!!

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Engagement

September 10, 2020

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Cozy Stratford Engagement Session | Oriyana & Scott

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In the summer of 2017, Jonathan, a mutual friend introduced Scott & Oriyana. Two years later, just before the federal election, Scott surprised Oriyana with a proposal. This was completely unexpected. Now, they have been engaged for over a year already. We even managed to fit our first consultation in before the election! The initial plan of a cherry blossom engagement session, including a picnic was interrupted by COVID-19. Scott had planned it to be just like the day he proposed; what a romantic idea! This Stratford engagement session was the absolute perfect way to capture this love story; Stratford, with the beautiful river and adorable shops, is just the perfect little town to leisurely enjoy.

Change in Plans

Scott works for an organization that works to get pro-life people into government positions. He is someone I’ve admired for quite some time. Capturing his love story with Oriyana has been an honour. Oriyana is a paramedic; her job has definitely changed because of COVID-19. The current situation with the virus has made things especially challenging for these two. Scott spent 6.5 months in his home province of Manitoba with his family, as restrictions were not likely to be as severe in Manitoba. He wasn’t sure if he was even allowed to see her at a certain point as she’s a frontline worker, but he’s incredibly glad to be back now!

Oriyana and I first met at a pro-life crash course that I attended a few years back. She taught me so much about how to argue for the life of the preborn, especially the principle of double effect. Knowing that Oriyana and Scott do so much for the lives of the unborn means so much to our family. Especially as our own unborn child (Stella) was in so much danger for 11 weeks of her pregnancy.

I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine

Scott and Oriyana didn’t consider moving their wedding date even once, but they have had to cut it down quite significantly. Especially as certain very special loved ones are not able to attend the big day. It didn’t feel right having a big party without those special guests. It is still going to be an amazing intimate wedding day, however. We are excited to photograph in the same church as Victoria and Jonathan’s wedding again!

This Stratford engagement session was so much like what their actual engagement looked like; it started off sunny and happy, but was rudely interrupted by a very unexpected storm (as COVID did in real life). We sought cover under a bridge, and after a 15-minute downpour, even though the sunshine was gone, we were still able to continue on until we got all the photos we need. Our session went from the beautiful alcove under the trees, to walking along the Avon River, to a beautiful little street with unique storefronts.

Life Changing Moments

In the evening after our session, Scott and Oriyana got wonderful news later that they had secured a place to live together after their wedding. This is sure to take a lot of stress of their plates, and they are now able to put all their energy into putting the final touches on their wedding day, which is less than a month away!

Scott & Oriyana, your love story is inspiring. I can truly say that I’m incredibly impressed at how you’ve navigated all the obstacles during your engagement. And also incredibly glad that you (hopefully) never have to spend that much time apart again. Your wedding day is exactly a month after this session, and we are incredibly excited!!! Wishing you God’s help during these last few weeks as fiancés, and we’ll see you in October!

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Engagement

September 8, 2020

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Joyful Cambridge Mill Race Park Engagement Session | Anna & Mathew

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On this gorgeous Saturday afternoon, I had the absolute pleasure to meet Anna and Mathew for their engagement session at one of Southwestern Ontario’s most beautiful little spots; Mill Race Park in Cambridge. The light at this location is just absolutely amazing, especially when it nears the end of the day. The wind was brisk, and I almost regretted not taking a sweater. Anna’s windblown hair got in the way at times, but it added the perfect movement to these photos at their Cambridge engagement session. Anna and Mathew shared countless amount of giggles as they trusted my vision, and it made for one of the most joyful sessions I can remember capturing.

On their journey

I met them at Mathew’s brother’s wedding (see that HERE), and I am so lucky to photograph both of Mr. and Mrs. Clow’s sons’ weddings! It was only a few months after Julia and Andrew’s wedding that I saw Mathew and Anna’s exciting announcement on Instagram. I still remember receiving the inquiry from them; apparently I must have done something right when they saw my work (wink,wink!) We had initially planned on a beautiful spring engagement session, and their wedding day was supposed to be this past month. However, like we all know, a lot of plans have had to change, and these two have just gone with the punches and stayed positive through it all. We are now excitedly planning their April Holland Marsh Wineries wedding, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Mathew and Anna have known each other since she was in tenth grade, approximately 14 years ago already! They’ve been together almost ever since. I can so obviously see the respect and admiration that these two have for each other. It is no wonder that Mathew knew exactly what kind of ring Anna would like. And a gorgeous one, at that! Photographing beautiful rings while the couple changes their outfit is always one of my favourite parts of the session!

Laughing all the time

This Cambridge engagement session was absolutely epic. Anna was one of the first brides to receive my physical copy of the DVI engagement sessions style guide. This has been such a blessing to them and myself. My couples have been showing up looking like models ever since I started that. Anna’s makeup and hair were done to perfection, her dress was sweet and stylish, and the perfect compliment to Mathew’s suit (worn at Andrew’s wedding). I cannot even believe how amazing all these details made this blog post.

Anna and Mathew, thank you for trusting me with this important part of your journey. If you continue laughing together through life, you’re off to a great start. You two have already had your share of struggles and losses, but as long as you continue to hold each other’s hand through it all, and with God’s blessing, I can only imagine how amazing your future will be!

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The Vendor Team

Hair | Maurizio’s Hair Studio
Makeup | Kate Sandwell Makeup
Floral Dress | Calvin Klein
Suit | Tip Top Tailors

Engagement

September 4, 2020

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30th birthday

Thirty Accomplishments Before My Thirtieth Birthday

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September 2, 1990. Thirty years ago. An early Sunday morning when a young mother gave birth to her and her husband’s first child. A little girl. Dina Dianne (Dutch pronunciation: Dee-na Dee-yah-ne) they named her. Dianne for short. She became a big sister only 367 days later. And had 5 more siblings in the years after that. That little girl is me. And today is my 30th birthday!

Thirty years old! I remember my father being 35 when I was 8 or 9, and really sitting down to think about how old that was. You couldn’t even triple it and it was already over 100. Now I’m only five years away from that. And I have to admit that the last weeks I have been dreading this day. But now that it’s here, I’m filled with gratefulness. There have been so many ups and downs through the last few years. Even this past year has been quite something. And I thought it would only be fitting to get it all on “paper” to really get a picture of what my life has been like.

Even though I’ve had my struggles, I cannot help but be grateful today. God has been there for me through everything. Stella’s pregnancy and NICU journey will always stick out to me when I think of our struggles. And she is a daily reminder of how much God has done for us. I know I forget once in a while, but I make an effort to never take her or anything else in my life for granted. Now that I have all that off my chest, I’m going to get to my big list. I hope you take the time to read through it and celebrate this big day with me!

Crossing the Atlantic

  • Moved across an ocean to start a new life as a farming family just north of Norwich. I still remember my first steps on Canadian soil. It was quite something for an 11-year-old to be leaving a world where all her family lived within an hour drive to a place where you could drive 10 hours and still be in the same province!
  • Learned a second language. Yes, English is my second language. I get told once in a rare while that I still have a slight accent, but I think most people just got used to it. People have guessed that I’ve come from Ireland, Scotland and Germany. The Netherlands is one that is not usually guessed.
  • Made it through some very difficult high school years. I won’t go into details as this is supposed to be positive post, but it was one that needed to be mentioned.
  • Honeymooned in Europe. My home country of the Netherlands, to be exact. We had a wonderful second reception in my old hometown, Uddel which most of our Dutch family attended. Among our activities were a trip to Giethoorn, attending the most magnificent air show, and spending lots of quality time with our grandparents.
  • Lived in 8 different houses, two of them in our marriage.
  • Lost two of my grandparents, which means that I still have two sweet grandparents in their 80’s living in the old country. I was never able to attend the funerals of the two that I’ve lost, and that makes me cherish the two that I have left all the more. I am looking forward to bringing my whole family there to meet them within the next few years, the Lord willing.

Through the Ups and Downs

  • Been married for 11 years to the most wonderful man; someone who’s brought out the best in me, stood up for me, and did what was right no matter how hard it was. Read our last anniversary post HERE.
  • Butchered a turkey by myself! It was a cold spring morning when my dear husband came home with a freshly shot turkey, took a shower, ran out the door to get to work on time as he told me that he shot a turkey and if I could be so sweet and butcher it. Ummmm, okay then! A few hours later, and we had a set of roughly chopped breasts and some legs ready for the freezer. Don’t ask me what happened to the rest, I’m sure it looked real pretty!
  • Grown from a teenage mom of a teeny girl to a capable multitasking working from home + homeschooling mama. I remember the day that we brought home our less-than-6lb baby. As a 19-year-old, it’s quite daunting to bring home your own child. Having been married for just over a year, living together was still new. Add a baby to that, and it’s a whole other ball game. I can’t even believe how much I’ve changed. If I even remember how close-minded I was about certain things, I have grown and opened up my life to all the amazing people that are in it right now and what they’ve taught me.
  • Experienced two miscarriages. The pain that I felt when things went wrong with Stella’s pregnancy was one that I’d felt before. Knowing that the life that was growing inside of me had ended is a pain I cannot describe.
  • Grown in my faith. I have been through a lot in my life, and through it all, I’ve always been able to turn to God and His word. From the difficulties through my bedrest during Stella’s pregnancy, to the struggles that Bert’s job stress added to our marriage.
  • Gave birth to four sweet and sassy kids in four different hospitals, every delivery was different.
  • Took a one-year-old and four-year-old across the ocean to meet my grandparents. Anyone who has travelled with children knows how much of an accomplishment that is! I was incredibly grateful for the on-board entertainment system both ways!

Becoming a Photographer

  • Started a very successful business ALL BY MYSELF, but not without the support of my family and close friends.
  • Survived blood poisoning.
  • Saved the life of our preemie by standing up for her life when my pregnancy started to go wrong.
  • Took one cross country trip with four kids in an old minivan. The fact that we made it home in that thing still surprises me! From the gorgeous peaks of the Rocky Mountains, to the stunning blue waters of Lake Geneva; what a trip it was!!!
  • Bought a brand-new car, a 2019 Kia Sorento that has taken us 60000 km already.
  • Was missing a front tooth for almost a year, having had it removed last September 5 and it being replaced with a ceramic one just a few weeks ago.
  • Photographed a gorgeous wedding in Vancouver, B.C. that will always be one of the highlights of my career.
  • Hired my husband as the most amazing second shooter that I’ve worked with. His creative captures put the very unique touch on all wedding galleries that we’re so proud of!
  • Paid for 5 years of private school, and our last payment went through last month as we are now homeschooling. I don’t know if this is a permanent thing, but we sure are enjoying it at the moment!
  • Tried a handful of diets. From Keto to intermittent fasting, they’ve all had their benefits, but at the end of the day I love chips too much to lose all the weight that I’d like to.

Going Through Everything that God Put on our Path

  • Was a teacher’s wife for 11 years, marked countless true and false and multiple-choice questions, and volunteered at his place of employment for several years.
  • Stuck with our convictions during one of the most difficult times in our marriage, even though the consequences were harsher than I could have imagined. Doing what is right will always trump doing what is easy for us. It has meant the loss of some great relationships, a career, and the way of life that we knew. Do I regret it? No, because it was the right thing, and to be truthful, the lesser amount of stress that my husband has on his face makes me happy every single day.
  • Survived a “pandemic” and all the restrictions that the government has and is still implementing. We will continue praying for God to give guidance to the leaders of our countries, and to do things in an ethical, moral and biblical way. No matter how unlikely it seems, it is our responsibility to continue to do so. It’s been a struggle even for our children
  • Photographed 23 weddings and have 16 more booked. I still have to pinch myself sometimes that this is really my life. It’s hectic, it’s crazy, but it’s oh, so rewarding!
  • Bought a new-to-us boat! It’s not quite ready for the water, but we’re working on that. We’re excited to take it up to French River in less than 2 weeks. When all the school-going kids are riding the bus, our kids and we are spending a relaxed week up north!
  • Come up with this crazy long list, which was actually quite hard, so to give me a freebie and to give myself a pat on the back I’m throwing that one in there as well.
  • Experienced 10960 sunrises and 10960 sunsets. Not every one of them was beautiful, and I’m sure that I there were times where I was working or sleeping (as a baby), but every single one of those days has shaped me into the woman I am today.

Wedding

September 2, 2020

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Elegant Toronto Wedding

Elegant Toronto Wedding | Victoria & Jonathan

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As her mother put the final adjustments on Victoria’s veil and train, emotions ran high. Jonathan was only a few steps away. Close enough to touch. As we all stepped back to allow these two their moment, Victoria was visibly shaking with excitement. The little squeal as he started turning around to see her made all of our hearts skip a beat. As our cameras clicked and Jonathan’s eyes first landed on Victoria, everything felt right. The air filled with their excited giggles, they hugged, and Jonathan just couldn’t even believe how beautiful she was. His contagious giggle lifted the gravity of the moment for a short moment.

As their faith is so integral to every part of their relationship, it was the perfect spot for their first look. All the details that Victoria so carefully selected, combined for this elegant Toronto wedding into one perfect, beautiful wedding day. The day they became Mr. and Mrs. Lesarge.

Faith & Fate

Victoria and Jonathan met two years ago when they were both staffers at Queen’s Park. Sparks flew right from the start. Victoria would often use Jonathan’s office for work; she found it was more convenient for her. They got to know each other very well in the time that she spent there. Very early in their relationship, they learned that they shared the importance of their faith, which was an integral piece of what they were each looking for in their forever partner. One of their first dates resulted from Victoria inviting Jonathan to Latin Mass at Holy Family Catholic Church in Parkdale, Toronto – the church where they would eventually wed. Their engagement session was one for the books, you truly could see the love between the two of them.

The wedding day started at Victoria’s mom’s house. While the hair and makeup artists worked their magic, I got to play with loads of beautiful florals that the florist had provided. If there was ever a florist who made my dreams come true, it was Therese. It’s no wonder she only takes referrals and is very choosy with which weddings to work with. Her work is absolutely astounding!

Thoughtful Details

When Victoria put on her Pronovias gown, I just knew that the wedding day was going to be something I was lucky to witness. She looked absolutely breathtaking! And I told Jonathan that when I first saw him as well. The florals were the absolute icing on the cake.

Victoria & Jonathan were most excited about the portraits which were captured in the church, while catching a break from the Toronto heat. The couple was thrilled to personally welcome each of the grandparents to the ceremony as they entered the church during this time as well.

The kindness of Victoria’s mother extended beyond expectations. She kindly provided lunch for both of us and even brought water to us at the portrait location because of the extreme heat. She was probably the best mother of the bride we’ve ever had the pleasure of being with.

The Wedding

The 1.5 hour ceremony was everything that the couple wished it was. They were still gushing over it hours later. When it’s your own, the wedding happens to mean more than you can ever imagine, and we can say that from experience. Jonathan’s family was so excited to watch him get married. Especially his step-mom has a special place in her heart for him.

At Osgoode Hall, we used the golden light to take more beautiful portraits of Victoria & Jonathan. As the veil floated in the breeze, they went from looking in awe at each other and their rings, to sharing private jokes and giggling uncontrollably. On our walk to and from the portrait location, we even used the traffic and the crosswalks for some epic “Toronto photos”. One TTC driver was very excited to be included in such a special time of their big day, and it made for the perfect background!

The reception at Drake’s Commissary was the perfect end, with delicious food, the perfect ambience, and a very good MC. Activities were limited because of COVID, but the couple had organized a Trivia game including topics about religion and politics, normally very polarizing subjects, but the range of beliefs of the people in the audience made it all the funnier. Jonathan even forgot the last word in the Bible amidst all the fun.

Looking Ahead

Victoria and Jonathan are excited for their future together, and that is very evident. They planned the most amazing honeymoon (even amidst Covid) in Quebec City, and as they shared little tidbits over this last week about their experiences, I can honestly say that I was jealous. But they deserve it! They are moving to Montreal later this year, and made sure that they could spend their big day with as many of their loved ones as possible before that happened.

Victoria and Jonathan, to say that your wedding day was a highlight in our career so far is an understatement. To watch you pledge your love in front of God and your family, and to lock those memories in on digital files for you was more of an honour than we can ever explain. May God bless you and keep you. May He be your guide through the ups and the downs. We wish you nothing but the best in the future, but we know if there are some less-than-best times, you have the perfect person for you standing right by your side and God in your hearts. -xo

 

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The Vendor Team

Dress | Pronovias at Mona Richie Bride
Shoes | Nine West at The Bay
Tux | Andrew’s Formals
Hair | Uno Jo Bridal Hair
Makeup |  Super Fox Makeup
Rings | Tallie Jewelry, Peoples Jewellers and Zen Moissanite
Styling Mat | Thistles & Lavender
Florals | Therese Guidolin
Ceremony | Holy Family Catholic Parish
Reception | Drake Commissionary
Cake | Drake Commissionary
Invitations | Minted

Wedding

August 31, 2020

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Sunny Brantford Engagement Session | Cheryl & Stanley

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This sunny Brantford engagement session featured Cheryl & Stanley. They initially met at a Brantford volleyball drop in. Cheryl used to drive in with some other guys from Oakville and Stanley had to check with them that she wasn’t going with one of them before he asked her on a date. It was romantic in a way she wasn’t used to. And she was jealous of his spikes. They’re so goofy together and just really admire one another. They bring out the best in each other, you know it’s going to last forever.

 

STUNNING & SIMPLE

When they arrived at their engagement session, my first thought was they had arrived in their second outfit. I always recommend starting in the more casual option, and then halfway we change to the dressy option. Cheryl was wearing a gorgeous floral flowy dress, which suited her to perfection. Stanley didn’t want to look away. They were extremely nervous but it only took 5 minutes and me showing a few photos from the back of my camera and they relaxed.

Their second outfit was a beautiful soft pink dress and a button up shirt and slacks. These suited them to perfection. We also snuck a few photos of them doing what they love to do, Cheryl reading and Stanley watching the football game.

 

WHEN TWO BECOME ONE

Their second outfit was a beautiful soft pink dress and a button up shirt and slacks for the sunny Brantford engagement session. We also snuck a few photos of them doing what they love to do, Cheryl reading and Stanley watching the football game. They are getting married in a two-day event next year, and I’m lucky enough to capture both their backyard Buddhist souk-won and their western wedding at St. Joseph’s Banquet Centre in Oakville.

When you look through these photos, I’m sure you can understand why I kept clicking that shutter button until the light no longer allowed us to continue. They were just that photogenic and fun to capture, and were great with every idea I threw at them! Cheryl and Stanley, thank you for trusting me with this huge responsibility. As I mentioned, I don’t take that lightly. Capturing your Lao-English fusion event next year is going to be an absolutely blast, and I feel like it will be a highlight of 2021. Stay well, and best of luck as you continue planning!

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Brantford Locations
1) W. Ross Macdonald School
2) Rivergreen Park

Engagement

August 25, 2020

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Caledonia Countryside Wedding

Caledonia Countryside Wedding | Virginia & Dave

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Selfless. Gorgeous. Caring. Always putting others ahead of herself. These were just some of the descriptions given about Virginia during the speeches. What was said about her husband to be, Dave was not much different. Incredibly kind and happier than he’d ever been when Virginia and he started dating. Within the first month of dating, he told his brother, Wade, that he was going to marry her. (Virginia didn’t even know that until the wedding day.)

While the speeches were funny and laughter-inducing, the content meant the world to both bride and groom. These were their parents and best friends telling the story of V & D in their perspective. The friends’ version had a little more mischievousness, (no surprise), and the parents’ version really allowed one to understand how Virginia and Dave are so perfect for each other. They can laugh together, cry together, and are now standing in front of a life that they get to spend together navigating whatever comes their way. Wedding days are not the definition of a marriage, but to start a marriage off the way Dave and Virginia did is the absolute perfect start.

Meant to Be

Right away, Dave’s mom had a good feeling about Virginia. Virginia did a pedicure for Dave’s mom three years ago, who then asked her if she was single. Dave reached out via Facebook Messenger to ask her on a date. They grew up in the same town, attended the same school and there were many of their parent’s friends that thought they should be set up many many years ago. Dave proposed at Pillar and Post in Niagara, where they’ll be headed for a short honeymoon as well.

The Dress

Virginia wanted a simple dress without a train. Finally, after trying on 14 dresses at two different appointments, she found the most gorgeous elaborate dress with a train longer than she knew existed, and couldn’t help falling in love with it.

The Importance of Family

Virginia has two brothers, Adam and J.D.. J.D. lives in California and did everything that he could to try to get back home for the wedding. He was sorely missed, but “stick J.D.” was a quiet and cooperative stand-in for all the wedding photos. He would likely have been the center of attention if he’d been there.

We were told by Virginia’s mom that as COVID was wrecking all the plans for Dave and Virginia’s dream wedding, her grandfather also passed away. Virginia started questioning whether all of this meant that maybe their nuptials weren’t meant to be. By their own admission, it was more amazing than they could have imagined, and we agree.

Dave has one brother, Wade, who was the best man. He followed Dave everywhere from high school to college, and so on. Wade’s speech was heartfelt and brought tears to Dave’s eyes. Lauren (one of the two in the wedding party, don’t ask, it was a little hilarious at times) was maid of honour and her speech made it clear that she was a teacher. According to Lauren, the definition of “selfless” in the Webster Dictionary is incorrect, it should just say Virginia. We can see that. She has been a trooper throughout all the changes in her plans due to COVID. What was supposed to be a gorgeous and lavish Copetown Woods Golf Course wedding, became the sweetest and most intimate backyard wedding at Dave’s parents’ place.

The Wedding Day

All the girls met at Virginia’s parent’s house in the morning and had their hair done by Patrick’s Hair. A delicious (ABSOLUTELY AMAZING) lunch was provided by Jones Bakery in Caledonia. The guys met at Dave’s parents’ house just a few minutes away. The stunning Caledonia Countryside wedding ceremony was in Dave’s parent’s backyard after Dave’s mom put a painstaking amount of work into keeping the garden looking happy and well cared for.

As Virginia walked up the aisle to her husband-to-be, that man had trouble keeping himself composed. The tears that we all thought were sure to come didn’t make it at that point, but to be honest he did laugh to the point of tears when he was “rudely” interrupted by the electric speaker that started talking Chinese out of nowhere. It took a few moments before the whole crowd had composed themselves again before he was able to continue.

Nearby, Ron Clark’s gorgeously landscaped property was the perfect backdrop for the wedding party photos and the bridal portraits. The dock was one of our favourite little spots, but the florals in the gardens came a very close second! Portrait time was quite rushed. Thanks to great practice at the engagement session we were still able to get lots of gorgeous captures (see below.) We arrived back to the reception at Dave’s parents’ house and started the evening off with their first dance. Dinner was the perfect continuation of the day, as it also was delicious. Heartwarming speeches were followed by the parent dances and the night finished off with socializing. At this point, the weather was a little more bearable as well, which made all the difference.

Always an Honour

Having a huge wedding party with seven friends on each side, there were definitely moments of chaos, but the love and camaraderie between each and every one of them. We’re so lucky to have had the pleasure of capturing Dave and Virginia’s close friend’s elopement earlier this year, and we’re so excited to see them at Ali and Evan’s big party again next year.

Dave and Virg, I hope you had a wonderful mini-moon in Niagara-on-the-Lake (back to the moment where this wedding-planning journey started). We look back on your wedding day with such joy in our hearts, and are so honoured to have gotten to know you. We know that God is looking out for you on your journey through life, and wish you His blessing in the future.

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The Vendor Team

Bridal Gown | The Bridal Boutique
Groom & Groomsmen Attire | RW & CO.
Rings | Barry’s Jewellery 
Hair & Makeup | Patrick’s Hair and Esthetics
Florals | Jean’s Flower Shop Hamilton
Bridesmaids Dresses | David’s Bridal
Wedding Cake | Cravings by Brittany Bakery
Catering | Caledonia Fair Board
Ceremony & Reception | Ron & Patti’s Backyard (Groom’s Parents)
Invitations | Paperless Post
Rentals | Kayware Event Decor & Floral Design

Wedding

August 20, 2020

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6 Things You Need to Know About your Wedding Invites – Written by a Stationery Designer

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Meet Rachel, a talented wedding stationery designer and owner of Lavender + Lace Design. Nestled in the picturesque town of Norwich, Ontario, Lavender + Lace Design has been offering graphic design and print services since 2015. Rachel designs one of a kind stationery pieces for her clients for weddings, birth announcements and events.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAMILY

I am married to a very supportive husband and we have two equally beautiful daughters! Having a supportive partner means so much to me and is very beneficial to my business.
Lavender + Lace owner

HOW DID YOU BECOME A WEDDING STATIONERY DESIGNER AND START LAVENDER + LACE DESIGN?

Since the age of 12, I worked in a print shop and have always had a great passion towards graphic design. When I was 21 years old, the year of 2015, I knew that I wanted to pursue it further, therefore I started my own business. What a dream come true, here I am five years later, focusing mainly on custom wedding stationery, my greatest passion! I absolutely love working together with brides to create the invitation suite of their dreams.

1. WHY SHOULD BRIDES CHOOSE CUSTOM DESIGN OVER PURCHASING USING PRE-CREATED TEMPLATES?

Invitations should be unique & one-of-a kind, just like your wedding will be! There are SO many options for stationery and often I have brides coming for a consultation and feeling very overwhelmed. They usually have a lot of ideas but can’t visualize how it will look all together. That is what custom wedding stationery designers are here for. I take pride in the process, working together with you to bring your vision to life, from initial concept designs, through to material selection, printing options and even delivery. When purchasing a pre-created template you don’t have those one-on-one customer service benefits and custom design options.

Stationery Designer

Everything You Need to Know about Your Wedding Invites Written by a Stationery Designer

2. EXPLAIN YOUR DESIGN PROCESS FOR YOUR WEDDING CLIENTS.

The design process starts with a consultation. We’ll discuss styles, paper types, envelopes, and other aspects of the project related to investment. One we have narrowed down the options, we’ll prep and approve a quote and begin the design work. We’ll start by creating a variety of digital design samples. These will be sent to the client via e-mail and based on the client’s feedback we’ll make adjustments as needed and create the final design files. As soon as the final proof has been approved, we will send them off to be printed and complete the production process (my favourite part!)

3. HOW MANY STYLES OF INVITATION SUITES EXIST AND WHICH ONE SHOULD BE USED FOR WHAT TYPE OF WEDDING?

When discussing options together with the bridal couple it is important for a stationery designer to know your wedding style. Is your wedding more casual and outdoorsy? Or is more classic + elegant? When opening up the invitation guests should get a feel of what your wedding day will be like. You may ask how can this be done? One way is to make sure the colour palette of your invitation matches the colours of your wedding. If your wedding is dusty blues and greens then your invitation should not be yellows and golds. Another idea is; if your wedding is more casual and outdoorsy, you could exclude formal titles on the invitation, add twine around the card. If your wedding is going to be classic + elegant you can add gold foil, laser cut details, silk ribbon, and in the wording, choose formal titles, elegant fonts etc.

Everything You Need to Know about Your Wedding Invites Written by a Stationery Designer

4. WHAT SHOULD AN INVITATION CONSIST OF? (PIECES & INFORMATION)

There are main details that need to be included on an invitation.

  • Names – Some couples include their parent’s names, if including the parent’s names then only your first / first and middle name need to be shown. If the parents name aren’t on the invitation then it is a good idea to add the couples last names, that way guests won’t be confused.
  • What the celebration is for – An example of this is ‘request your presence at the celebration of their marriage’.
  • Location – where will the wedding be taking place? Make sure to have both the ceremony and reception location listed. If the invitation is looking to busy, then you can add these extra details to a details card.
  • When – what time is the ceremony and reception taking place? For a formal invitation I like to write out the wording (in the morning) or for a more casual invitation then I generally put a.m. or p.m.
  • RSVP – most venues have a specific time in which they need to have the final numbers by. Therefore, it is beneficial to add a date in which they need to have RSVPed by. Depending on your budget, there are some options on how this can be done.
    • Include an email / phone number on the main invitation
    • Use a separate rsvp card with an email / phone number rsvp
    • Have a separate rsvp card with a printed rsvp envelope for your guests to mail back to you

 

5. WHAT SHOULD EVERY BRIDE KNOW ABOUT THE DESIGN PROCESS?

Start early! It is never too early to start the design process for your invitations. When creating custom stationery design I take great pride in the design process and if brides are last minute, it can make the whole process feel rushed. When designing I like to put a lot of time and effort into the product ensuring that my clients will receive digital proofs similar to what they envisioned. Invitations should be ordered five months before the wedding, so that they are ready to mail roughly eight weeks before the wedding.

Everything You Need to Know about Your Wedding Invites Written by a Stationery Designer

6. WHAT SHOULD EVERY BRIDE ASK THEIR STATIONERY DESIGNER?

Brides need to know what type of style and character they have. I consider myself to have a minimal design style and I love any type of unique detail such as foil printing, letterpress, torn edges, wax seals and beautiful paper types! The wording, fonts, images used, colour scheme, this all should match in order to compliment the designs that I create, attracting specific clientele!

WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST SURPRISING THING YOU’VE LEARNED ON THIS JOURNEY & WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT BEING A STATIONERY DESIGNER?

Throughout this journey, what has surprised me the most – is how much I’ve grown since I started out! And that is so satisfying to see, that hard work truly pays off! When I first started my business, I offered any type of design service (logos, brochures, Christmas cards, and the list goes on) and in the past years I have narrowed it down to mainly custom wedding stationery! It is so much fun working together with clients from start to finish. Starting with save-the-date cards and ending off with thank you cards and their wedding album! They also put so much trust in me and that is why I take so much pride in my work and am not satisfied unless they are satisfied! Seeing the finished product is what I love the most, each unique order, I will say it over and over again, it really is the best part!

Lavender + Lace Owner

Tips for Brides

August 11, 2020

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