City Hall Wedding and a Wedding at the Burroughs Pt. I

 
 
 

Once in a while I cross paths with people who truly understand me and the intention behind the work I create. I find it often difficult to articulate a lot of what’s going on in my mind and heart when I’m taking photographs. Wedding photography had put me in a weird place and I was at a crossroads, writing an elegy in my mind when I had initially met Karl & Emeiko at the Wedding Co. Market the year of their wedding.

We probably spoke for a solid hour at the event, going through albums, discussing various facts about ourselves which led to Emeiko explaining her father’s career as a photographer and how analog photography “just made sense” for her wedding. After seeing her father’s work, I felt the pressure, but I was so excited to be using analog film to tell their story all the while paying homage to an important element of her relationship with her father. It’s something I can deeply relate to and made me feel sentimental and nostalgic throughout their wedding day, and those are two feelings I often try to hone in my own personal work so to have it carry over to a wedding was special to me.

 I always find these little things about people that I like to dig into as a photographer to help elevate my ability to photograph someone’s true self. I can’t entirely say for certain, but there was something about these two that made me feel at ease.  Maybe it’s because Emeiko reminds me so much of my older sister, and maybe it’s because Karl has that French-Canadian charm I was became so accustomed to back in Ottawa throughout my childhood and teens  while attending French school. I can’t say for certain what it was that drew me in, but it was sincere.

Leading up to the wedding I got to hangout with them at Toronto Island, where we walked the flooded Island that we had to ourselves and took the late night ferry back to the city as we came down from a midnight wish, staring at the clouds as we felt the wind at our backs. It was one of those hyper-real experiences that you only share with people close to you and people who have no hesitation of letting go and living in a moment within your presence.

Having gone through that I had high hopes for Karl & Emeiko’s two part wedding day that they had set out, with part 1 setting the stage with their Toronto City Hall elopement in the morning. With the Broadview Hotel playing host to both their getting ready’s and their first look.

They played the first part of the day as casually as you can think, starting off bright and early with the groom making a pit stop at the flower shop to pick up his soon-to-be bride’s first bouquet of the day.

The bride and groom decided to get ready together for the first part of the day providing candid moments like Emeiko helping Karl with his tie only to have him return the favour in helping her put the final touches on her white jumpsuit. It was both beautiful and intimate to see them both nervously anticipate what was to come, yet being able to comfort each other through laughter and kind gestures along the way. I’m glad they saved their first look for the second ceremony since I got a unique experience and insight into their relationship and the transition from two people in love, to two people bonded by commitment. 

The Broadview hotel provided a great atmosphere with quirks and sophistication. A vinyl record player in the room adding to the ambiance and allowing Karl and his mom to bond over Tycho’s album “Hours” and discussing how to pronounce the band’s name - we settle of “ ’pti chaud” (small-hot translated from French to English). 

Emeiko looked stunning. A walking editorial ad. A bride that jumped right out of the pages of Aritzia’s lookbook, with utter confidence and stunning beauty making the white jumpsuit seem like the natural choice for any modern bride getting eloped in the city.

After snapping some shots on 35mm film and 120 medium format film around the hotel - we jetted off to Toronto’s City Hall for their elopement in the presence of their immediate family… and us. An intimate elopement if I’ve ever seen one.

Part 1 of the day was capped off with lunch at the Broadview Hotel’s retro bar - where the bride and groom indulged in some fantastic burgers and good conversation.

There’s a lot more I can say about this day, and these two, but maybe I’ll save that for part 2. If you think part 1 was good, part 2 is without a doubt worth waiting for.

Song/Album of the Day

Elegy - Tycho - Hours (album)

- 3B

 
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The Drake Hotel Elopement ft. Courtney & Justin

 
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There’s fewer better ways to end my 2018 wedding season than with a pop-up wedding at the Drake Hotel in Queen St. West.

I’m lucky enough to be part of this “one-stop-shop” that the Drake Hotel has for couples looking for a no-hassle, low-key elopement. A collaboration between some of the Drake Hotel’s favourite  like-minded vendors, Courtney & Justin opted to take advantage of the Drake’s Hotel pop-up elopement option and instead focus on the most important element of the wedding, each other.

There are few places in downtown Toronto that would make for an ideal all-in-one location for a wedding, and with their modern-vintage aesthetic, the Drake Hotel provided an atmosphere that highly resonated with Courtney & Justin’s appreciation for the arts and their love for the unordinary. 

Getting ready in the same hotel room, Justin suited up while Courtney finished the final touches to her hair and makeup, surrounded by the Drake Hotel’s iconic bizarro vintage decor and aesthetic, including a creepy painting of the Queen (?) with her eyes poked out. Those little details, as subtle as they may have been,  without a doubt added to the vibe of the wedding day.

The bride’s background as a ballet dancer was very apparent, with her grace and sophistication being the perfect partners for her authentic vintage dress and style. I’d like to point out, that when I say vintage, I really mean VINTAGE,  a real ANTIQUE of a dress. Dating back to the 1930’s, Courtney’s dress provided this long-lost subtly and simplicity no longer found in modern-day wedding dresses. It was truly a time capsule, and Courtney’s personality fit it perfectly.

Usually couples tend to choose to elope because they want something highly personal and deeply intimate. With a total of 6 people (counting the Bride and Groom), the Drake Hotel’s sky lounge modern artistic flair set the stage for the intimate and emotional ceremony. 

Another bonus of the bride and groom’s choice of eloping at the Drake Hotel was our ability to have the entire hotel at our disposal for beautiful, natural and intimate portraits. With every room and every corner of the hotel adding a new dimension and character to the ambiance, providing endless opportunity to document the bride and groom’s first moments of marriage, absorbing every minor detail, but most importantly, allowing them to gather their emotions and take in the fleeting moments.

It was a beautiful experience to be a part of such an intimate wedding, but what truly made it great was being able to witness first-hand the deep affection that resonated between Courtney and Justin. There seems to be something about elopements that brings out this unwavering love and affection between those involved. It’s incredible and something I look forward to being part of again sometime in the near future, and hey, if it happens to be at the Drake Hotel again, then all the better. It’s an amazing feeling to have two highly-creative people trust you enough to capture something so deeply personal and important to them, and it’s also humbling that such a fantastic venue trusts me enough to include me in such a personalized and intimate experience.

So to the Drake Hotel, to the bride and groom, thank you.



Song of the Day

Labyrinth - Toro y Moi

- 3B

 
 
 
 
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Vendors

Coordinator: The Drake Hotel
Hair and Makeup Artist: Ashley Readings
Florist: Coriander Girl
Venue/Catering: The Drake Hotel
Second Shooter: Ryanne Hollies