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...
Strolling around the gorgeous grounds of historic Dundurn Castle in the fall is always a pleasure, and with Bijou and Josh in front of my lens at this Hamilton engagement session, we all felt as though we were in a fairytale.
Built in the 1800’s, the Italianate-style villa is the former site of a fortified military encampment established by the British in 1813. You can almost feel the weight of its history when you stand right in front of its gorgeous pillars and look up. Added later in the decade, the Coach House is very different than the main building, and yet it perfectly complements it! Dundurn Castle is also a beautiful option for your wedding, it can suit up to 120 guests! Both of Bijou & Josh’s outfits worked so well at this location, but I have to be honest that their formal outfits were my favourite.
Bijou and Josh met when she was technically “his boss” but not quite (that’s a private joke there). They met early one day in the lunchroom while she was waiting for her interview. His smile was the most genuine and pure that she’d seen in a long time. He was so taken with her that he went to get coffee four times in the next hour. And didn’t drink any of them. A gentleman to the core, he waited for weeks before he took the chance to ask her for her number. And the rest is history, they say!
When Josh proposed with a GORGEOUS purple sparkler, the ring of her dreams, it was only confirmation that they were perfect for each other. Not too much later, the couple decided that he would also wear an engagement ring during their engagement. I think it’s actually a lovely idea, and I know it’s common practice in the Netherlands, where I come from. There the couple actually decides together when they will get engaged, and keep the date a secret from their family until it happens. Western engagements, where the man goes down on one knee, are still my favourite, however! Josh and Bijou just happened to get the best of both worlds.
This unseasonably warm fall day Bijou still got all the fall colour she’d hoped for. We had to reschedule from an earlier rain date, and I’m so glad we did! We started our session with Bijou and Josh in the most gorgeous outfits. Bijou was wearing a gorgeous Fashion Nova design, and she looked and felt like a princess. Josh dressed up very well also, and couldn’t keep his eyes off of her. The light, the castle, the fall colours and then these two; everything felt like a fairytale.
The second outfit was a gentle homage to his passion; music. They looked like superstars, and the guitar was the perfect touch. Josh even took the opportunity to teach Bijou a little more about the guitar, and my heart just filled when I saw them interracting. It’s nice to see that true gentle love in a couple that we get to work with, we’re just the luckiest photographers in the world
We met Bijou and Josh at Ali and Evan’s elopement and again at Virginia and Dave’s intimate wedding. Intimate events seem to be a theme, so we’re super excited that these two are planning an intimate butterfly conservatory elopement for March. Planning their big day together with them is proving to be so much fun; it’s really lovely to get to know all of our couples during this process. Bijou and Josh, we are so blessed to know you and are excited that your wedding is less than 6 months away! If this Hamilton engagement session is any indication, it’s going to be the best day!
The Vendor Team
A windblown engagement session with some of the best views that Toronto and Toronto Island has to offer. Exploring the city and the islands with these two was way more fun than we could have anticipated…
Robyn was at the airport anxiously awaiting the arrival of her new love interest, Ryan. As she saw him come through those doors, she lost all her reservations. Her eyes only on him, she ran into his arms as fast as she could. They shared their first kiss right there in the middle of the arrivals hall, to the cheers of other travellers. Who could have known that only a month after first chatting with Ryan, she was so confident that he was the one? Who could have known that all the moments that had happened in her lives had led up to this meeting? And who could have known that it felt so right, immediately from the start? No, Bertus or I was not present at this moment, but it is just such a good story, we couldn’t help but share it.
Robyn and Ryan “met” while playing an online game. At first, Robyn thought that Ryan was a girl. Even though their first hour was spent arguing (not sure if anyone remembers why), it didn’t take long before Robyn thought to herself that this girl was going to be her new best friend! Not too long after that it became apparent that Ryan was not, in fact, a girl. Both of them felt that something special had just happened, so numbers were exchanged. Robyn, being from Prince Edward Island, was quite intrigued by this young and handsome Ontarian.
Within a month, Ryan decided to check out flights to PEI, and somehow “accidentally” purchased one. As his father drove him to the airport, he was begging Ryan to reconsider. He believed deep down that something wasn’t quite right, and his parents wanted the safe return of their son. Well, now his parents couldn’t be more thrilled with their new daughter-in-law, and we can see why! That first embrace in the airport has led us to this moment. Robyn moved to Ontario only a few months later. Now this accountant and this early childhood educator are engaged and looking ahead towards one of the best years of their lives.
The weather might have been cold and windy. However, from the start I knew that these two were going to create absolutely magic in front of my lens at this Toronto Island engagement session. While waiting for them to arrive, I’d found a gorgeous city street that encompassed everything there is to love about Toronto in the fall. Beautiful trees that were starting to turn colour. Gorgeous and impressive skyscrapers that made Robyn’s cityscape-loving-heart smile. And then, of course; these two! We spent a little time in this gorgeous sheltered side street, and Ryan and Robyn, like every DVI couple, trusted my guidance and vision completely.
We made our way to the ferry (with some obstacles, but they made for some great memories). As the ferry started to pull away from the mainland, this “country-girl who loves the city lights” (yep, that’s me) just couldn’t believe I was living in this moment. Getting to spend so much quality time with such a sweet couple in an epic location. I really, REALLY love this thing you might call a job. For me, it’s so much more than that, but anyway, that’s not what this blog post is about!
As the fall colours and the cityscape competed with each other in the background, the clear winners were Robyn and Ryan. Robyn just loves being close to her fiancé, and she used that to her advantage. He didn’t mind one bit! We had the chance to get to know Robyn and Ryan at our first annual DVI gala already, as well as their consultation. This session trumped all of those, however, so we can’t even describe how excited we are for their wedding day.
As we took the ferry back to the mainland, our hearts were even more overcome. Not just by how epic the session had been, but even more so the Toronto skyline by night. It definitely competed with the starry night, and the CN tower took center stage as we neared solid ground. Ryan and Robyn, we can’t even begin to tell you how blessed we are that you took us to Toronto for your engagement session. Yes, there were some bumps in the road, but if we look back at this year, I guess there have been worse. We’re so excited to see what this year brings for you. As you start your family (oh, did we forget to mention that these two have a surprise baby on the way???) and continue planning your big day, we’re so grateful to be part of the entire journey. Wishing you God’s blessing and true happiness with each other and in Him.
The Vendor Team
Makeup | Alyson Elizabeth MUA
Hair | details to come
How lucky can you get in October, when your Ancaster Mill wedding day is warm, filled with autumn colour and golden sun? That is was in the air when we gathered to celebrate Alexis & Clayton on a gorgeous summer day.
Clayton’s nerves and excitement was palpable. She was so near him, and he had only to turn around to see his gorgeous bride. The waterfall was roaring right beside him. He heard her voice and turned to see… Alexis. His almost-wife, his best friend, and the love of his life. Within a few strides she was in his arms, and both their eyes filled with tears. It was good that he’d come prepared for it with some facial tissue in his pocket. After so many years as being the most important person in each other’s life, and they would finally get to call each other their spouse. They couldn’t have been more ready!
At the end of this fall season, in Ontario, Ancaster Mill was awash in the most gorgeous colours that Canadian autumns have to offer. The historic venue was the perfect backdrop for the biggest day of Alexis & Clayton’s lives; their wedding!
This Ancaster Mill wedding day started at Alexis’ parents picturesque Burlington home. We felt so incredibly blessed as we got to use all the natural, soft light that this house had to offer. Buddy, the family dog, was lounging around, enjoying the attention from all the ladies. The amazing team from Candice Jones Hairstyling & Makeup worked their magic as the 5 bridesmaids enjoyed delicate tea sandwiches with champagne. The style and architecture in the Harrisons’ living room was a photographer’s dream. Along with the lighting it allowed us to capture some unforgettable memories that you can see below.
Clayton and the guys were super relaxed as they got ready at the Marriott in Hamilton. They enjoyed beer and champagne as Bertus captured some details. Being ready perfectly on time, the gents headed outside to be met with a limo that was just pulling up. The driver greeted them, and they all got into the back. Flash forward 5 minutes later, one of the groomsmen figured out they were heading very much the wrong way! The benefit? An interesting tour of Hamilton. Thankfully they made it to the right limo, and to the right location, where the girls were waiting for them.
Ancaster Mill is best explained as a historic place of pride of the community, with modern touches to bring it to the 21st century. Alexis and Clayton chose to have their first look in front of the dam. Just as it was about to happen the light shifted to favour us. The videographer and the two of us were able to capture this beautiful moment from all angles, and as we were editing, we just couldn’t stop looking at the two of them. And the love that is so evident on their faces.
Alexis and Clayton chose to sign their papers before the actual ceremony. This gave them the opportunity to have no waiting time for their guests at the chapel. And to have their dear friend Dylan officiate the ceremony. Dylan, who had the dual role as groomsman and officiant, might have been nervous, but his service was the most intimate and beautiful thing. He himself had shared so many memories with the couple. He was even present at the moment Clayton asked Alexis to be his wife on top of a mountain. The ceremony included so many special people including grandparents that were still able to attend. We absolutely love it when the preceding generations can see their kids and grandkids (and sometimes even great-grandkids) marry the one who captured their soul.
It was no surprise that we did some portraits inside the wedding chapel at Ancaster Mill, with the gorgeous 6 foot floral display behind them. Those florals were later moved to the head table. Brad from BBBlooms has some serious talent; his designs were such a joy to capture!
Family and wedding party portraits were visited with a sprinkle of rain, but even that couldn’t ruin this gorgeous fall day. It is said that rain is good luck on a wedding day. We’re not sure if Alexis and Clayton needed it. From popping champagne (that ended in a photo where the bubbly actually shaped a heart; you need to scroll down to see it!) to finding some other gorgeous little hideouts at this venue, Alexis and Clayton were up for any guidance and were just so easy to photograph! We truly wish we’d had more time to capture just the two of them at this Ancaster Mill wedding.
The meal was started with prayer by Alexis’ grandfather, and our eyes filled with tears. Not just at the words, but the fact that he sounded so much like Dianne’s grandfather in the Netherlands. It made us miss him so much, but we were so privileged to capture some special moments between him and his granddaughter throughout the evening. The surf and turf at Ancaster Inn is one of the main reasons we hope to go back someday. That and the absolute attention to detail, of course. You can see that in the venue photos we managed to sneak in there.
This family felt like our family by the time we left. We especially loved getting to know Clayton’s mom and sisters. We wish we could adopt them right into the family. Truthfully, all of our weddings leave us feeling like family, and they should. If we don’t, we haven’t done a good enough job getting to really know you. And by getting to know Alexis’ family, we have come to see that she’s kind and generous to a fault. And Clayton, well, like his family, he will go out of his way to ensure that everyone feels loved and taken care of. The entire evening was absolutely heartwarming! Even now our hearts are overflowing with thankfulness for clients like these two. With their recent purchase of a new house, we’re sure their home will be filled with decades of joy, blessings and prosperity.
The Vendor Team
Videographer | Jenna Mae Turner
Planner | Sparkle and Twine Events
Dress | Truvelle Bridal from Sash and Bustle
Girl Dresses | Azazie Official
Menswear | Eph Apparel
Hair & Makeup | Candice Jones Hairstyling
Rings | Diamond Boi
Invitation Suite | Vistaprint
Florals | BBBlooms
Venue | Ancaster Mill
Cake | Matamiese Cakes
Cookie Favours | Sweet Pea Cookie Co.
Calligraphy | Bon Paper House
Vow Booklets | Our Vows
Styling Mat | Jaime Arlene
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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?!?!
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!
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!
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:
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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…
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 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!
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.
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.
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!!!