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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Sunny Norfolk County Engagement Session | Nadia & Christian

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A beautiful Norfolk County engagement session at this award-winning botanical gardens. The autumn leaves were the perfect addition as Christian and Nadia explored the French Garden, the gorgeous gazebo, and of course the gorgeous pond area.

As the wind picked up slightly, the sprinkling of yellow, red, and orange leaves became a little thicker. The path between the trees was already covered with the gorgeous fall colours. As Christian looked down at his stunning bride-to-be Nadia, it felt like time stood still. Right here, in the middle of this gorgeous Norfolk County jewel, all was right with the world. These two lovebirds were so excited to spend a weekend together in Ontario, and this Norfolk County engagement session was a highlight of their weekend.

STROLLING THROUGH THE GARDENS

Even though Whistling Gardens is closed to the public at this time of year, we were able to make an appointment. We spent almost two hours strolling this beautiful venue. It never disappoints! And the real fun part is that we find something new every time I’m there! I had no idea that they have a small bird sanctuary, and I was amazed to see some stunning birds there. The peacock is of course a favouite, the gorgeous colours are such a testament to God’s beautiful creation. It’s no wonder that when I was finished my work, Christian and Nadia stayed for a while to enjoy it on their own.

THEIR STORY

Christian and Nadia have conflicting stories of how they met. Christian met Nadia at a concert. She does not remember this, and as he remembers himself having a bad day, he’s not too disappointed. She remembers meeting him for the first time at the Toronto airport, as they started a group trip to Israel. They got to know each other very well during this trip, and the rest is history, they say!

We met Christian at last year’s beautiful, but rainy Vancouver wedding, when Emily and Mark became husband and wife. He was the best man, and his speech was one of the best we’ve heard, to be truthful. At their consultation, it became obvious that these two are so excited to spend the rest of their lives together. Even though they first have to spend some time apart; Christian is studying in Toronto, and Nadia is still working for the RCMP in Vancouver. Christian was just over the moon when Nadia told him that she’d be joining him for her birthday weekend in Ontario. I’m thankful they were willing to work around my schedule to get in some fun practice for their wedding day.

FALLING IN LOVE

Nadia’s sparkler of an engagement ring was a joy to photograph. I always use the available nature around to best showcase it. A few weeks each year that means that I get to use the beautiful colourful leaves, and I love it! It’s no surprise that fall is such a popular season for engagement sessions; and as I love all the colour you will not hear me complaining!

Nadia and Christian, spending last Friday morning with you was such a highlight of my weekend, and I’m just so grateful for clients like you. I still need to pinch myself once in a while to believe that it’s us to get to capture your Vancouver wedding next year. And the fact that it’s on our own 12th anniversary makes it even better! Wishing you all the best as you continue to plan your big day together, even though there are currently so many miles separating you. My fingers are crossed for a gorgeous Greece honeymoon for you!

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Wedding

October 19, 2020

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6 Wedding Traditions to Ditch

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Most wedding traditions were created long ago, with both love and superstition in mind. You might be the most non-traditional bride, but feel the need to stick to many of these traditions, because, why take a chance with bad luck? The idea is, if you follow these customs, you will find eternal happiness with your partner, but traditions can be changed and updated to reflect who you are as a couple. Here are 6 wedding traditions you can ditch on your special day!

Tradition #1 | Something Borrowed, Something Blue

As the saying goes, each bride should incorporate something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. Back in the day, brides took this very seriously. It could come in the form of handkerchiefs, jewellery, or even the dress at times. While this tradition can be extremely special, it can be really challenging to come up with the appropriate items that have significant meaning and look intentional, like they were meant to be a part of your wedding.

Instead of struggling to come up with the perfect things to incorporate, why not focus on the meaningful things that you can add to your big day? My favourite happens to be including the presence of parents/grandparents who are no longer of this earth. It can be as simple as adorning empty chairs in the front row with flowers, or including more sentimental pieces like charms or pins from each individual on the inside of the groom’s suit jacket or on the bouquet ribbon. Make sure to ask your photographer to get a few great detail photos of them, that effort should be seen by your children and future generations.

Something Old Something New Something Borrowed Something Blue Wedding Traditions

Tradition #2 | Identical Bridesmaid Dresses

When Bertus and I got married back in 2009, our bridesmaid dresses were an undesirable (almost-lime) green colour. I had picked the colour from a small swatch and was sorely disappointed when they came in. That being said, we made the best of it, and the wedding day itself was absolutely stunning. The photos were great, except for the fact that the girl’s side looked like one large lime-green blob.

Your dresses don’t have to be a specific colour or pattern in order for it to look overwhelming. One easy way to combat this is to ensure that your photographer takes some wedding party photos where the guys and the gals alternate. To really change things up, you can choose to have different bridesmaid dresses, all in the same colour family. A huge benefit of this choice is that each bridesmaid can choose the style that works best with their figure, complexion and preference. That last one is the most important! Imagine how awesome is it if you love your bridesmaid dress so much that you want to wear it again, possibly to a fancy dinner party or a new year’s eve bash?!?!

Bridesmaid Dresses Wedding Traditions

Tradition #3 | Exiting in a Shower of Rice

Rice tosses have long been a staple in many weddings; it’s said to bring many children to a marriage. Having watched some chick flicks where they’ve been included, I have to admit they look really fun… for the guests. Have you ever looked at the bride and groom’s face in those scenes? It’s no wonder the bride and groom try their best to grin and bear it through that ordeal, because the truth is, being rained on by rice hurts! It can also go into all the most inconvenient places. Seeing how much work it can be to put on your gorgeous gown, I’d recommend not causing the need to undress, especially if you’re limited on time. Wedding traditions shouldn’t be painful!

There are so many other, less painful traditions you can try instead of rice showers, such as bubbles or sparklers. They are much more gentle, and also don’t need any crazy amount of cleanup. Just make sure that someone has a place to put the used bubble containers or burnt out sparklers (watch the heat with these!) As bride and groom, you’ll still feel so special, and you won’t have to worry about the aftermath!

Walking Down the Aisle Wedding Traditions

Tradition #4 | Receiving Line

You’re married! You walk back up the aisle, trying to keep from tripping while at the same time, working to keep your eyes on your new spouse. Your guests are happy, waving at you, and you’re eager to get to the back of your ceremony venue. You are excited to spend an hour or so together with your photographers., capturing the best portraits in the most amazing light. But wait… first, the receiving line.

The first few guests are your parents and the bridal party, that’s not so bad. Next come the aunts, uncles, distant relatives, friends from work, neighbours you forgot about, and anyone else who happened to know about your big day and wanted to see your happiness celebrated and what you were wearing. It doesn’t take too long before your face starts hurting from smiling. And you don’t even want to know where all those hands that shook yours have been. This is not what you imagined your wedding day to be like. At all! Following all these wedding traditions can be overwhelming.

Instead of allowing the receiving line to cut into your precious portrait time, why not spend a little time with each and every guest later at the reception, also giving the chance of getting photos taken during that time. As a photographer, I’d rather stay half an hour extra to allow your dances to start a bit later, instead of trying to cram all the portraits that you know you want in a shorter time. And, you don’t even have to worry about your bill if I’m your photographer, as I’m yours all day!

Tradition #5 | Pointless Wedding Favours

We have come home with our share of useless candles, and monogrammed coasters (the couple’s initials, not ours) from weddings. While the kids are always excited about them for a day, they never get used. I know that each couple who we received favours from spent time and energy deciding on what to give their guests. Sadly it often isn’t worth the effort.

Recently we’ve started seeing more unique options at the weddings we’ve been privileged to photograph. Here are some great options:

  • Candy/donut bar
  • Wrapped cookies
  • Honey
  • Tea/hot chocolate mix
  • Seeds
  • Succulents

If none of these speaks to you, there is always the option of making a donation to a charity that is near and dear to your heart in the name of each of your guests. Ensure that you’re choosing an option that your guests can still see as authentic, and that they will be grateful to be part of.

Tradition #6 | Bouquet & Garter Toss

Yep, I did this one too! I feel like my wedding back in 2009 probably would be a great example of not-to-do’s for wedding traditions. I’m okay with that. I had a special toss bouquet made by my florist to save my own bouquet from damage. Can I remember who caught the garter or bouquet? Nope, and they themselves might not even remember… Your photographer is usually long gone by the time this happens. Even if they still happen to be there, both of these are notoriously difficult to capture. You can thoughtfully substitute your garter & bouquet toss by spending your time connecting with your guests. They are here to celebrate your love.

If you are looking for other wedding traditions, interrupt your guest’s conversation by staging a fake exit with sparklers! It’s a fun way to change things up, make sure to do this before your photographer leaves. And then it’s worth it, because these photos are absolutely epic!

Just have Fun!

In 1840, a 20-year-old Queen Victoria started the trend of the white wedding dress. Before this, women wore their best dress to their wedding and normally in colour. Start a trend. Your wedding is about celebrating you as a couple, not checking the boxes on a bunch of old customs that don’t represent who you are. Focus on creating fun, lasting memories for you and your guests. People will be talking about your wedding long after the day is over!

Tips for Brides

October 17, 2020

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Old Mill Toronto Micro Wedding | Oriyana & Scott

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The best man and maid of honour waited at the back of the church. They stood in front of the closed tall wooden doors until the processional music started. The moment they were halfway down the aisle, the doors opened slowly; revealing the most gorgeous and regal DVI couple of 2020 at their Old Mill Toronto wedding.

As Scott elegantly escorted his bride up the aisle, his face was still filled with the enormity of the moment. Oriyana was glowing with excitement and happiness that not even her veil could hide. It brought us right back to watching the most beautiful royal wedding back in April 2011; the one of Catherine to William, Prince of Wales. It was not the only moment that I experienced hints (big ones) of similarity between both stunning occasions. That walk down the aisle would be our favourite moment we captured of the entire day; and that is saying a lot.

ALL THE ELEGANT DETAILS

This Old Mill Toronto wedding day started off a little hectic with us missing an exit on the 401 in the middle of Toronto. Anyone who lives anywhere near the GTA can only imagine how frustrating that was. Especially on Saturdays, now that they shut Lakeshore down for social distanced exercise, which only added to the congestion. This is when it’s so awesome to realize that we’re with you as long as you want us, and we plan on being at the bride’s getting ready location with plenty of time to spare, giving us a much more relaxed start.

That being said, we were super grateful to finally see the Old Mill of Toronto appear; an absolutely gorgeous location that reminds me a lot of Germany and Belgium. An impeccably maintained grounds with the little touches that just pull it over the top. It suited the image that I had in my head for Scott and Oriyana’s wedding to perfection.

Their stunning engagement session in Stratford was just over a month ago, it was so nice to see them so soon again. Oriyana was one of the most chill brides, and for her knowing that the love of her life would be her husband at the end of the day made her so confident. One of our most graceful brides, the chignon she’d requested suited her perfectly. She had always wanted satin and lace in her wedding dress, and this gorgeous Rita Vinieris creation suited her to perfection.

A ROYAL TOUCH

When I walked into the bridal suite, Oriyana was lounging on the chair. Her maid of honour’s makeup was getting the final touches. She is always the epitome of grace, but today she was especially relaxed and elegant. Her hair was finished, and seeing her dress hanging there, I could only imagine how amazing she was going to look. I told her that I got a “Princess Kate” vibe, especially when I saw her very minimal, but gorgeous, bouquet. Her precise answer to that was, “Well, I can’t say that Catherine’s wedding wasn’t the inspiration for my entire day.” Giggles ensued.

Numerous times throughout this Old Mill Toronto wedding day I really felt like I was photographing royalty. Photographing her details allowed me to get to know a little bit more about her and her maid of honour’s relationship (they are both medical professionals, so whatever happened that day, we knew we were well taken care of, thankfully we didn’t need it).

I found out that Ewa (pronounced Eh-vah) was also at the same pro-life crash course that I was at in 2018. Sadly I can’t remember that. Ewa went to medical school in her home country of Poland. She is now deciding on her speciality, hopefully either paediatrics (I can see why) or family medicine. She’s going to be such an amazing doctor to her patients. In one way I hope I’ll never see her in her official capacity (same with Oriyana, of course). However, if I have to see a doctor or paramedics, seeing either of these amazing women will make the situation better.

BIG MOMENTS

Scott was just checking into his suite when we arrived at the hotel, and when we went to his suite later, we could really see that he was taking the gravity of the nuptial mass very serious. In a world where marriage is taken so lightly, it was amazing to see a husband-to-be really dwelling on the fact that this was a really big deal. Scott, your disposition on Saturday really made us look at our job in a different light for the day, and we just want to say thank you. It is nice to get that reminder once in a while. Oriyana is so blessed to have you by her side.

The first look, albeit a bit rushed, was stunning. Scott was so thrown by Oriyana’s beautiful appearance that he didn’t even kiss her right away. That moment it really hit him that this was the beginning of their forever together. It’s quite something if you think about it that way.

A REGAL ENTRANCE

We got to join the couple and wedding party in their limo to the church. The church was as beautiful as I remembered, although it was a lot emptier. The setup for the livestream allowed all their Ontario and Manitoba guests to attend virtually in the best way possible. Every moment in this church was amazing to capture. Our favourite happened to be the moment that Scott was going to walk his new wife back up the aisle; when she was surprised to hear one of her favourite pieces of music being sung by the choir (I was told it was a Polish song of congratulations). The way that Oriyana looked up at the handsome man beside her cannot be described. This Old Mill Toronto wedding was just full of special little moments.

THE ENDING OF A GORGEOUS DAY

We departed with the Limo back to the Old Mill Hotel, where we spent the next few hours in our glory capturing this couple in as many ways we could. The bridal party was so laid back, and up for anything. A blast was had by all, and by the time we got to dinner it was like we were old friends. After partaking of some of the most amazing appetizers we’ve had for a while at the Adega Restaurante, we said our goodbyes. I don’t think we’ve ever spent the entire trip home talking about every single favourite moment of the day, but we did it this time.

Scott & Oriyana, your wedding day just flew by. We know there were things that you’d hoped to have different, but we just want you to know that your wedding day has left us feeling so blessed. Capturing your beautiful love story was a special honour, and getting to know you is something we’ll always cherish. We wish you both God’s blessing as you start this new part of your lives together, but also in your respective occupations. May God be with you through the ups and downs; we know with Him all things are possible.

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The Vendor Team

Venue | Old Mill Toronto
Dress | Rita Vinieris
Hair & Makeup | Michele Gomes
Florals | Oleander Floral Design
Tuxes | Moore’s Clothing
Bridesmaid Dress | Petra Van Lagen
Shoes | Naturalizer
Rings | Reesor’s Jewellery
Videography | Ben & Krys Films

 

Wedding

October 9, 2020

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Dorchester Backyard Wedding | Katie & Sean

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Some things are just meant to be. Katie & Sean met over 7 years ago, she, was his boss’ daughter. His first message to her (on Facebook) was “Hey, sup?”. Here they are, recent homeowners and now husband and wife!!!
I met Katie and Sean at their consultation last year, and before the consultation was even over, he slid his phone over to her under the table with a message saying, “Let’s do it!” Katie is now a dental assistant and he is still a diesel mechanic at Penske. They are completely in love, we experienced it first hand during their engagement session. The way that Katie’s eyes crinkle and sparkle when she looks at him is 100% evidence. We clicked instantly, and I’m so grateful for their friendship!

Love Always Wins

COIVD-19 has created many last-minute changes, but through all the restrictions from the Government, Katie and Sean have managed to stay so positive and adjust to every one of them. Even though they had just their best man and maid of honour stand up with them, but the entire wedding party was in attendance.
As the officiant said, each and every guest was specifically chosen to be there, that day for that special moment, and it was an honour that I was able to be there as well. An intimate backyard wedding with so much love can only be the perfect sign of a happy marriage, don’t you think?
 
Sean was incredibly nervous as we arrived, visibly excited to see his beautiful bride. Katie was in tears from happiness, every time she even thought about seeing Sean. As she walked up the aisle, a lovely blend of laughter and tears surrounded the couple. I’m not sure if there were wagers on who was going to cry more, but it was pretty equal, so I think everyone won.

Their Perfect Love Story

Unanimously, everyone agreed that Katie’s vows told their love story perfectly. Starting from their beginnings, that interesting first Facebook message, she shared their history. Her words touched everyone in attendance while she spoke emotionally about all the wishes for their future. I hope and pray that God will fulfill all your hopes and dreams, Katie and Sean.
 
After the ceremony and some family photos, we snuck out for a very short portrait session with Katie and Sean at a beautiful pond with a stunning pair of swans. What is it about swans that just makes one swoon, anyway? They just have that thing, don’t they?
 
Knowing that we get to do this all over again at Goodwill Industries, London next year makes me so incredibly excited. So thankful for amazing clients like Katie and Sean, they truly make this job feel nothing like work. 
Ring Detail Dorchester Backyard Wedding Beautiful bride walking Dorchester Backyard Wedding Handsome Groom Waiting for Bride Dorchester Backyard Wedding Dorchester Backyard Wedding Dorchester Backyard Wedding Smiling Couple Getting MarriedDorchester Backyard Wedding Dorchester Backyard Wedding Man and Wife Dorchester Backyard Wedding Couple Giving Vows Couple Giving Vows Dorchester Backyard Wedding Dorchester Backyard Wedding Dorchester Backyard Wedding Man and Wife Dorchester Backyard Wedding Dorchester Backyard WeddingBeautiful Bride Signing Man and Wife Happy Couple Just Married Bridal Party Wedding Party Welcome Sign for Wedding Father and Bride at Wedding Dorchester Backyard Wedding Wedding Flowers Dorchester Backyard Wedding Ring Detail Happy Couple Just MarriedRing Detail Happy Couple Just Married Dorchester Backyard Wedding Dorchester Backyard Wedding Ring Detail Dorchester Backyard Wedding Ring Detail Dorchester Backyard Wedding Dorchester Backyard Wedding Ring Detail
Dorchester Backyard Wedding Dorchester Backyard Wedding Dorchester Backyard Wedding
The Vendor Team
Shoes | Le Chateau
Rings | Michael Hill
Makeup |Alisha Miller

Wedding

October 5, 2020

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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!

Toronto Wedding Photographer Toronto Wedding Photographer Toronto Wedding Photographer Catering Toronto Wedding Beautiful Table Setting Catering Toronto Wedding Beautiful Table Setting Catering Toronto WeddingHappy Guests Toronto Wedding Dianne Velthove Toronto Wedding Photographer Catering Toronto Wedding Photographer Happy Guests Toronto Wedding Guests Smiling Toronto Wedding Photographer Happy Couple Toronto Wedding PhotographerHappy Guests Toronto Wedding Photographer Kissing Couple Toronto Wedding Photographer Catering Toronto Wedding Toronto Wedding Photographer Happy Guests Eating Toronto Wedding Catering Toronto WeddingHappy Guests Eating Happy Guests Eating Dianne Velthove Toronto Wedding Photographer Happy Guests Eating Happy Guests Eating Happy Guests Eating

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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