A Toronto City Hall wedding is something I’ve become quite familiar with over the past few years. I’ve photographed roughly 15+ weddings and elopements at Toronto City Hall in my short career as a Toronto wedding photographer, hell, in 2019 alone I’ve photographed a handful so far! I can openly admit though, that no two City Hall weddings have ever been alike. Sure, the beautiful and futuristic architecture of Toronto City Hall remains the same over that time period, but it’s never truly about that anyway, what has truly made each experience unique is the people involved in the intimate experience of eloping or getting married at City Hall. I think in order to be one of the best Toronto wedding photographers it’s key for me to be able to revisit the same places with a different outlook and perspective. Overtime I quickly realized it’s not about where people get married, but WHO is getting married, the nuances between them and the space, that is the key for me as a wedding photographer and I can thank my 5+ years of experience working as a photojournalist to acquire the patience and mind’s eye to anticipate the images I envision, but more importantly, I’ve learned how to connect with the couples I work with in order to create a catered and unique experience through the images to tell THEIR story, which the wedding venue only plays a partial role.
Dana & Marc reached out to me roughly a year before their scheduled wedding at Toronto City Hall, we grabbed a few beers along Queen West and they explained to Ryanne and I their ideas and vision for their wedding. Their enthusiasm and excitement for working with us on the wedding day really propelled my own excitement and vision for what we could create.
The bride and groom opted for a late spring City Hall Wedding, with Marc’s family and close friends travelling from Montreal for the occasion. It was nice to be around other French speaking people for a change, since moving to Toronto from Ottawa I often miss speaking French in my day to day life so that simple notion of language allowed me to bond and connect with Marc and those in attendance.
But before any of that happened, Dana and Marc opted to have a first look within the grounds of Toronto City Hall. The first look was the perfect combination of surprise and overwhelming emotion as both Marc and Dana took a moment to appreciate one another’s wedding attire before naturally embracing for what seemed like a minute suspended in the infinite. A striking moment for me as the wedding photographer was when they both took a minute to step off and to express some unrehearsed personal vows to one another. I opted to give them the space they needed to allow themselves to live in the moment and really dig deep in what was easily the most intimate and deeply emotional moment of the entire wedding day. That quiet and emotional moment between the bride and groom opened up a level of natural emotion that easily translated to the portraits that followed. I could feel their happiness and love as I watched them through my camera, an incredible privilege and something I never take for granted as a wedding photographer.
Something I love about weddings at Toronto City Hall, and something that isn’t often talked about, is how there is a limit to the number of people that can attend the actual ceremony. Due to the small space and limited numbers, the ceremony always feel intimate and private, the energy and emotion is felt by everyone and it’s impossible not to be present in the moment since both the bride and groom’s family and friends are within touching distance throughout the entire experience. The ceremony was simple but extraordinarily beautiful at its core. A mixture of humour, laughs and tears, Dana and Marc exchanged meaningful vows before sharing in their first kiss as husband and wife.
Another key benefit of having their Toronto City Hall wedding in the late Spring was the fact that the cherry blossoms were in full bloom at Osgoode Hall where they opted to capture some beautiful and intimate portraits following the wedding ceremony. Who knew that you didn’t have to fight off crowds at High Park to appreciate mother nature’s transformation and make the most of them for your wedding day photos! Once again, Osgoode Hall is a place I'm quite familiar with, but the subtle changes over the course of the year, and the people in front of the camera made me feel like it was a completely new space to work with altogether. The combination of nature and old architecture aren't something common within Toronto's downtown core, but Osgoode Hall gave us the diverse landscape to help tell Dana and Marc's wedding day story in a natural and stunning location that few wedding venues in Toronto could ever provide.
This wedding was memorable for many reasons, but something I absolutely loved was the editorial vibe and route that Dana took with her bridal fashion and look. Ditching the idea of a traditional wedding dress and opting for a white jumpsuit, Dana had the glow and essence of all things editorial and fashion, straight out of an Aritzia fashion ad. The contrast between her wedding jumpsuit and the vibrant florals around Osgoode Hall create an epitome of perfection to capture, combined with Marc’s ability to naturally express his connection to his bride, I was presented with every opportunity to create timeless and cinematic imagery that wasn’t forced or staged.
Weddings at Toronto City Hall aren’t boring or typical, far from it, and this wedding day was all the evidence I could ever need to disprove that misconception.
Song of the Day
Tuesday Feeling (Choose To Stay) - Blood Orange