A wedding at Elora Mills in the spring is music to any Toronto based wedding photographer. The opportunity to leave the chaos of the city and enjoy some small-town charm is a welcome change, not to mention the town of Elora has incredible green spaces and outdoor photo locations that I was eager to explore with the bride and groom. For the first spring wedding of 2019, we lucked out and only got a bit of rain, but luckily, Elora Mill is full of character and charm of its own, so we had no shortage of great shooting locations.
The rustic charm of Elora Mill could be found in every corner of the grounds, including the spacious bedrooms where the Bride and Groom got ready before their first look surrounded by stone walls and old-time charm.
Chelsey and Justing wanted to take the opportunity to read their personal vows to each other in private, so that they could be openly express their emotions and love for one another with all focus being present in that very moment. We snuck down to a cave-like room where the bride and groom exchanged an emotional set of words as we could hear the rain slowly tapping on the windows. It was an incredibly beautiful moment, atmospheric and genuine. It was a kind reminder that it’s so important to take a few moments throughout the wedding day to actually share a sentimental moments with the person you love, because most of the day is incredibly fleeting you’ll thank yourself for absorbing a shared moment in time on the wedding day.
Elora, a quaint town that has so much character in addition to the stunning greenery and local landscapes, including the Elora Gorge, where the bride and groom opted for wedding photos, was unlike any place I’ve photographed for a wedding. The bride packed her trusty Blundstones and was equipped and ready for our short hike down to the gorge and waterfall. Adventures on your wedding day will always result in fantastic wedding photos, it’s almost a guarantee.
I was pretty excited to get such a breathtaking location (within Ontario!) to set the scene for some natural and beautiful portraits. On our hike down to the Elora Gorge, Justin was telling us about some childhood and teenage memories he had with his siblings playing in the water and by the waterfall, and how returning here for his wedding photos was incredibly surreal and amazing at the same time. I had no idea that the groom had this deep and authentic sentimental attachment to the location, which just added a new layer of depth to the images that can’t ever be seen or understood by anyone outside of their circle. The nostalgia added a new cinematic and moody element to the bride and groom portraits, as it was obvious through Chelsey and Justin’s interactions with one another, that this place really meant something to them and they felt like they could really be themselves in that moment.
The wedding ceremony was held at Elora Mill and was beautifully and elegantly staged with blooming florals and greenery, creating a romantic mood that balanced out the funny in-between moments between the bride and groom as they exchanged rings and their first kiss in front of their closest friends and family.
The wedding reception at Elora Mill had rustic and vintage vibes, incredible food, hilarious speeches (that included a guest appearance by Chelsey’s lifelong teddybear) and a painter, who was creating a dynamic and unique work of art influenced by the wedding day itself. Seeing the painter create this incredible custom artwork in that very moment was unlike anything I’ve ever witnessed at a wedding before. The final piece is a portrait of the bride and groom dancing, surrounded by an abstract representation of Elora Mill and the reception space. It’s an unbelievably unique and creative element that Chelsey and Justin added to their wedding day, and they have a lifelong keepsake as a result.
A wedding at Elora Mill in the spring, sure it might rain, but if you’re anything like Chelsey and Justin, you’ll make the most of it and live through an incredible wedding day experience.
Song of the Day
Golden Haze - Wild Nothing