Michael and Danielle’s wedding offered some new opportunities for me. I got to shoot a first look at High Park, followed by an emotional reading of their personal vows in front of a beautiful willow tree. The entire wedding and reception took place at Boehmer Restaurent in Toronto’s West End and it truly felt like being inside someone’s rustic living room, which made sense since Danielle & Michael set out to create an “industrial & rustic at-home” vibe for their urban city wedding.
I also got to collaborate with my good friend Nam Phi Dang, a very talented fellow photojournalist / editorial photographer. It’s always a special treat when I get to work alongside some of my dearest friends in the industry.
Our very different style and approaches allow for such differentiating perspectives and purposes, but somehow it seems to work out well since we all tend to be on the same wavelength and can all appreciate the art of storytelling within a single frame and how that single frame fits into a larger purpose. A nice bonus is that both Nam and I shoot film for most of our work so it was nice to have somehow with a fond appreciation for the photographic process.
Danielle & Mike were the perfect pair for us to work with, and their wedding creating a fantastic atmosphere that lent itself so well to our photography style.
Here’s Danielle’s POV on the wedding
The only thing more important to Michael and I, other than food, is our friends and family. We wanted to create a beautiful evening where people's only obligation to us was to show up at our wedding and eat, drink and leave feeling like they had a phenomenal time.
We decided on Boehmer Restaurant at Queen and Ossington. The family style meal we had was delicious, and the space was intimate and casual enough for our laid-back style, but elegant enough for a wedding. I got my dress at The Brides Project, which was really important to me - I wanted to be able to give back to an amazing organization but also save a bit of dough! My in laws made the seating chart and helped me find mismatched vases for the centre pieces. We donated the flowers that were not taken home by guests to a women's shelter the next day.
It was really important to me that my husband and I write our own vows. We read them to each other in High Park right after our first look. We decided to take our photos before the wedding so that we could focus our time and attention on our guests. Our family observed our ceremony and our friends joined us afterwards for the reception. Because our wedding was more laid back we were able to spend a lot of time with our guests - which is the whole point of having all your favourite people in the same room, right?
We loved having Brian and Nam with us to document our day. We felt like we were hanging out with old friends. They were so thoughtful and considerate, and we knew that they really, truly cared about us. Seriously - Best. Day. Ever.
I’ll never forget that first look and vow reading in front of that incredible willow tree, evidence that creating personal and honest moments is achievable within a chaotic wedding day. Oh, and, I'll also never forget how amazing it was that Danielle's grandmother wore her vintage / retro dress that she wore to Danielle's mother's wedding, one of the coolest details I've ever seen at a wedding!
Album of the day - Owen - At Home With Owen