East Room Wedding ft. Kelly & Tyler

 
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Kelly and Tyler’s East Room wedding in downtown Toronto was the perfect mix of old and new, it’s only fitting that two extreme horror movie buffs would pull off such a modern industrial wedding with cinematic flair. 

There were a few amazing coincidences that really brought out a natural and heightened creative perception in me when I was documenting Kelly and Tyler’s wedding at the East Room. First, I’m a huge cinema fan, horror especially. I think the week leading up to the wedding I watched the following movies - “Mandy”, “Beyond the Black Rainbow”, “Drive” and “Only God Forgives”. For those unfamiliar with those films, let’s just say they are highly visual films with unusually beautiful visual aesthetic.

Second, a lot of my personal photography projects revolve around photographing and documenting anachronistic scenes reminiscing of my childhood and many other nostalgic factors, the majority being old vintage cars. 

As you’ll see further throughout the blog post, Kelly and Tyler unknowingly set up the ultimate locations and scenarios for me to create some of my all-time favourite portraits of a bride and groom on their wedding day. 

To honour both the bride and groom’s appreciation for the cinematic, along with my creative subconscious pulling me into a specific direction, I photographed several frames throughout the day in 16:9 format to truly encompass that cinematic an documentary feeling of the wedding day. It only makes sense to pay homage to that by showcasing those images exclusively in this blog post.

Grab the popcorn. 

The day kicked-off with the bride and groom having an intimate and candid moment together with a first look in front of a genuine vintage poster, followed by some bridal party photos outside of the East Room. On any normal day, the vintage and rustic vibe of the East Room’s red brick and industrial setting would be more than enough to capture some great images. The bride and groom really kicked things up a notch when they got (tricked?) one of their wedding guests to let us use his vintage Chrysler. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make Tyler and his brothers look like the new leads in a remake of Reservoir Dogs.

To continue with the trend of cinematic mood, the bride and groom made the most of the East Room’s interior vintage industrial space to capture some candid moments together and ultimately enjoy some time alone before the whirlwind ahead. 

Aesthetically, I think the whole neon vibe was subconsciously present, something which the East Room delivers with their beautiful neon artwork staggered around the building, providing Kelly and Tyler some incredibly dark and moody locations to have a little bit of their appreciation for the dark and gloomy come through in their portraits. 

Although the first part of the day seemed like being on a movie set, or like an editorial photoshoot, it didn’t feel that way at all. Kelly and Tyler naturally gravitate to these elements and I’m glad their authentic selves and their genuine personalities came through in those moments.

The ceremony and reception were held inside the East Room’s main area, providing an incredible environment that showcased old Toronto aesthetic with their brick walls and industrial elements, the vintage leather couches and chairs popped in contrast to the beautiful reclaimed wood furniture. That modern-cool 70’s aesthetic was alive and well, and it couldn’t of been more exact to the entire vibe and mood of Kelly and Tyler’s wedding day. 

Just because the day naturally played out in cinematic fashion doesn’t mean there wasn’t plenty of genuine and emotional moments, quite the opposite in fact. The bride’s sister / maid of honour, with the help of the live band, kicked off the reception with a professionally executed parody of The Dixie Chicks “Goodbye Earl” in which the lyrics tell a story of Tyler and his creepy horror movie memorabilia collection that foreshadowed Kelly’s impending doom. Roasting Tyler about this aspect of his life was an ongoing theme throughout the evening’s speeches. I will admit however, that for a guy who’s so into blood and guts, he did manage to provide me with one of the cutest moments (sorry Tyler) I’ve ever captured at a wedding when I caught him wiping away his bride’s tears with his tie. 

With good drinks and amazing food by Grand Electric, a homestyle BBQ serving of fried chicken and ribs, the stage was set for an evening of letting loose and creating memories with their loved ones.

For the first time as a documentary wedding photographer in Toronto, I was spoiled with literally having every single element of my creative influences come together in one moment in time.  The East Room’s industrial vintage modern 70’s aesthetic, the vintage car, neons signs and vintage movie posters / records, it all had the essence of Kelly and Tyler, and that’s what really came through in the images and I’m grateful to have been included in such a naturally cinematic moment in their lives.

 

Song of the day

Night Drive - Part Time

 

- 3B

 
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VENDORS
Wedding Dress: Avenue 22 Bridal
Bridesmaids Dresses : RenzRags
Suit: Tom's Place
Florist: Moswen Florals / East Room Toronto
Venue: East Room
Catering: Grand Electric / Electric Mud BBQ
Invitations: Esco Invitations
Coordinators: Dream Weaver Events
Second Shooter: Cole Burston
 

 

Afsheen and Nikola at Pray Tell

 
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Calm, cool, collected, that’s Afsheen and Nikola. Emphasis on the cool. I guess those are the characteristics you need to possess to pull-off a pop-up wedding in the middle of a Toronto Park, followed by signature cocktails and hors d’oeuvre on Pray Tell’s patio in the west-end.

To continue with the trend, Afsheen’s bridal fashion composed of a white jumpsuit with polka dot, blue suede heels and rayban sunglasses. Nikola’s groom style was the casual and classic look of a fitted blue suit, no tie and white sneakers.

The wedding day started at the U of T campus at the very location the bride and groom met, we strolled through the campus and even through the hallways where they formerly had classes. A trip through time where nostalgia fuelled their quiet moments together allowing them to relive the infancy of their love story.

The theme for their photos were based exactly on capturing that feeling. The next stop being Sneaky Dee’s bar that holds significance to their relationship followed by a walk through Kensington Market, another cool and telling location for this Toronto bride and groom. With the summer’s air fresh and the breeze cool, the bride and groom strolled through Kensington market where we made a couple of stops to take in the atmosphere along with all the character that Kensington market has to offer. The eclectic vibe contrasted beautifully with Afsheen and Nikola’s elegant downplay of the modern bride and groom.

Their wedding ceremony was literally a pop-up wedding in the middle of a Toronto City park, surrounded by trees, friends and family. They shared their vows to each other, a first kiss, and a family union through breaking and eating of blessed bread in the park. It was simple, genuine and quite frankly, beautiful.

Afsheen and Nikola are very down to earth people who never wanted to go the traditional route with their wedding, and Pray Tell’s atmosphere and aesthetic was the perfect restaurant wedding venue to hold their low-key party. Cocktails were flowing, people were laughing, hugs were shared, a perfect environment mixed with mingling and candid moments that made for great images. To make things even better, they had a literal CHEESE-CAKE, not cheesecake, but actual wheels of fine cheese stacked together in form of a wedding cake. Literally, a cake of cheese, a cheese-cake wedding cake, a cheese wedding cake. Whatever you want to call it, this should be a trend going forward for all weddings. I guess that’s what cool, modern, city brides and grooms do, set their own trends.

Ironically, there’s something highly intimate and beautiful about restaurant weddings, especially those in the Downtown Toronto scene. To make things more incredible for me as a photographer, having photographed this entire wedding on 120 film was a dream. Afsheen was keen on having me use my Hasselblad for a majority of the portraits and the process of analog film added to the calm demeanour of the wedding day.

Pop-up weddings photographed on analog film, literal cheese wedding cake, Pray Tell’s food and cocktails, good people. This is why I love being a wedding photographer in Toronto

 

Song of the day

Hope - Blood Orange

 

- 3B

 
 
 
 
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VENDORS
Stylist: Black & Co.
Wedding Dress: Loversland
Bride’s Shoes: Saks Fifth Avenue
Jewellery: Jennybird
Suit: Harry Rosen
Florist: Sweet Peas
Venue/Catering: Pray Tell
Real Cheese Cake: Nancy’s Cheese
Invitations: Timothy Horizon
Second Shooter: Ryanne Hollies