Jenny and Deklon at Liberty Grand

 
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When Jenny and Deklon first approached us to photograph their wedding it was clear to me what they had in mind for their special day. Deklon being an entertainer by nature and Jenny being the outgoing free-spirited person she is, I had no doubt that the wedding was going to be a real celebration, a legitimate party where they’d be surrounded by all their family and closest friends to bare witness to their expression of love to one another.

Something that strikes me when I’m documenting a larger wedding is the union between these two large families and collective of friends. An ever-lasting bond amongst them all for generations to come. There’s something captivating about that element of a wedding that I sometimes overlook but this day was a kind reminder of the importance of family.

The entire wedding was a beautifully orchestrated day of entertainment and joy for their friends and family. Caricature artists drew personal portraits for the guests during cocktail hour, a presentation of capoeira (a beautiful dancing art-form that combines element of martial arts and dance) was performed during the reception, not to mention a parody of the movie Mr and Ms. Smith featuring the bride and groom themselves as an introduction to their first dance together as husband and wife. An intimate ambiance amongst a sea of delicate and unpredictable moments like the Bride wiping tears away from her father during their dance together or the groom sharing funny and beautiful candid moments with his mother throughout the wedding day.

The vintage vibe of Liberty Grand’s authentic old-Toronto architecture and design was the ideal location for such a showcase of love and fun. To match, the Gladstone’s beautifully artistic interior and incredible bridal suite was the perfect atmosphere to capture the essence of Jenny and Deklon.

 

Song of the day

Hypnotize - The Notorious B.I.G.

 

- 3B

 
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VENDORS
Stylist: Fusion Hair Lounge
Ceremony: St. Anthony's Church
Photo Location: Gladstone Hotel
Reception Venue/Catering: Liberty Grand
Second Shooter: Ryanne Hollies
 

 

Rochelle and Jason at High Park

 
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Spending your first wedding of the summer within the beautiful grounds of High Park is without a doubt a great experience. Despite being a huge urban city, Toronto has its fair share of fantastic outdoor venues. Being West-Enders who love the outdoors, Rochelle and Jason chose to hold the first part of their wedding day at Colborne Lodge, a beautiful rustic venue hidden within High Park. Another factor I’m sure that played a role in their decision was that the venue and grounds are dog friendly, so their beautiful rescue dog Betsy was allowed to be in attendance and escort the bride and groom down the aisle and watch over them throughout the entire ceremony. The beautiful pup provided more than a few amazing candid moments, outside of the stunning Bride, Betsy got her fair share of attention, hugs and kisses (and hot dog treats of course!).

It was a beautifully eclectic melange of old and new traditions. Upholding their traditional Chinese values, Rochelle and Jason started their wedding celebration with the traditional Chinese Tea Ceremony inside the rustic lodge, followed by a beautiful outdoor ceremony among the trees behind the Colborne Lodge Museum. The vintage elements and aesthetics were naturally at the forefront due to the Colborne Lodge’s authentic setting. The first half of the wedding day was intentionally private and intimate, with immediate family exclusively being present to witness Jason and Rochelle commit their love to one another. It was special to be part of such an exclusive and small wedding ceremony. To be among such important people (and animal) in the couple’s lives isn’t something lost on me and it’s something that’s always really sunk on for me within the moment.

To cap things off, they had their closest friends and family unite at the George Restaurant on Queen Street East in Downtown Toronto, a well kept secret in the heart of the city. The hidden and secluded outdoor back patio made for the perfect atmosphere for Jason and Rochelle to mingle with their friends and family prior to their outstanding dinner.

I really admired how both Jason and Rochelle structured their entire wedding day. It goes to show that you can get married in Toronto and still keep things intimate and modern without completely letting go and abandoning who you are and the culture you grew up with, sometime I can personally relate to coming from a European immigrant family myself. A small intimate wedding within High Park’s forest, what more is there to say?

 

Song of the day

Another Good Morning - Breakup Shoes

 

- 3B
 
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VENDORS
Stylist: Karima Sumar, Bar None Beauty
Cake: Little Pebbles 
Ceremony: Colborne Lodge
Reception Venue/Catering: George
Florist: Rosehill Blooms 
Second Shooter: Ryanne Hollies
 

 

Clarissa and Peter at The Chase Downtown

 
 
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It’s that time of year where warm weather is frustratingly close, but the longer days and frequent sunshine create this unwavering ability to help me see an intrinsic  beauty in every day life. Spring is without a doubt my favourite time of year. The congruence of the death with new life, the plain brown colour palette of the world slowly transitioning to bright greens, it all brings together a larger picture while playing close attention to finer details that are otherwise overlooked.

As a creative individual, I’m always looking to creative industries outside of my own to learn something new and find creative inspiration I can use in my own new and unique ways. Meeting Clarissa and Peter was a gift since they are both incredible architects with a beautiful creative eye for modern, minimalist design. They designed and built their home together, and were kind enough to have me over to photograph them over the course of a morning and afternoon. (Check out the beautiful in-home session we did together here)

The entire wedding had a nearly methodical planning that directly and indirectly related to their lives as architects.

Their first look location at the Bay-Adelaide was an homage to Clarissa’s career in architecture. She worked for the firm responsible for the building’s design and watching her take the long walk from end of the building to the other was truly a special moment.

It goes without saying that their venues were in themselves a love story to the art of architecture. St. Michael’s Cathedral in downtown Toronto, followed by The Chase Restaurant in the Financial District showcased an extraordinary polarity between the classic and modern takes on architecture and design.  Clarissa played on this dichotomy and had two wedding dresses for each venue. A traditional, modern and minimal gown for the church ceremony, and a more modern lace cocktail style wedding dress for the ceremony that elegantly harmonized with her urban surrounding. 

A great bonus for me, outside of the most amazing food I’ve had at a wedding, was the opportunity to shoot some 120 and 35mm film. The Hasselblad 501 c/m and Leica M4-P were fed Kodak Tri-X and Portra generously throughout the day. It was the perfect opportunity for this since I got to share in the wedding day shooting experience with my very talented friend Erich Deleeuw. His approach to art and photography is one I truly respect. His approach to fine-art documentary photography is very similar to mine, so it was a natural partnership.

Classic, vintage, modern, fine art, minimalist and urban all mixed into one. Leave it to a pair of architects to flawlessly execute such a naturally eclectic combination with unexcelled results.

Downtown Toronto vibes written all over this one.

 

Song of the day   

Kendrick Lamar - LOVE, Feat - Zacari

 

- 3B
 
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VENDORS
Hair: Puzzle Creations 
Makeup: Karen Kim
Wedding Dress: Martina Liana 
Shoes: Malone Souliers
Suit: Armani
Reception Venue/Catering: The Chase
Florist: Bloom Plus
Second Shooter: Erich Deleeuw
Lodging: Shangri-la 
Invitations: Silverplate Press

 

Ashley and Carl - Muskoka Ontario

 
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The term Love Celebration is absolutely perfect for this situation. Wanting to avoid being disingenuous, it was important for Ashley and Carl to label this as something that isn’t a wedding, because in the traditional sense of sense of the word, it wasn’t, and they didn’t want to feel like they were lying to themselves or their loved ones. This authentic approach to their day really stuck with me after our initial chat over Skype with them. 

Currently residing in the U.K. , Ashley wanted to celebrate her love to Carl with her friends and family back home in Toronto and surrounding areas. Ultimately choosing to have their celebration in the Muskokas to showcase the beauty that Ontario has to offer to all of Carl’s family members and friends visiting from England. 

Ashley was without a doubt a stunning, authentic, boho bride. Not because it was something in trend but because it was who she is. Ashley and Carl’s wedding day style and look were the ultimate tandem to go along with the beautiful vintage lake house aesthetic provided by the Sherwood Inn and the Muskokas. Her Rue De Seine dress from Loversland couldn’t have been more perfectly chosen to create an aura of consistent feeling everywhere the Bride went on the grounds. She was authentically effortless in her romantic bohemian style wedding dress. Something out of a scene from a movie at times. 

Maybe I’ve been watching too many 80’s flicks and listening to synth heavy bands at that time, but it’ll be something burned into my mind’s eye now when I look back at these photos. There’s something special about shooting in Muskoka for me, being able to escape the chaos of downtown Toronto is welcomed once in a while. Breathing in fresh air, and enjoying the smaller details in life, like watching a sunset with someone important in your life and forgetting to check Instagram or whatever social media platform is taking over your life right now, is something everyone should experience. I'm lucky that my job provides me with incredible opportunities to live and understand my own life better and grow as an artist and person.

It was easy to feel the magic of the tone of the day’s atmosphere, clearly it stuck with me. Documenting something so palatable as the love felt and shared by everyone from far and wide was an experience that every photographer craves. 

The sailboat, the lake house, the vibrant flowers, the sound of waves hitting the dock, the orange light seeping through the windows from the sun setting, the love… all of it, truly made for an unforgettable experience.

 

Album of the Day -  Ruby Haunt - Hurt

- 3B
 
 
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VENDORS
Hair and Makeup: Bride
Wedding Dress: Rue De Seine - Loversland
Venue/Catering: Sherwood Inn
Second Shooter: Ryanne Hollies