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Bebhinn & Ian's Wedding at Le Select Bistro
 

I met Ian years ago, when he got me a job at a coffee shop where he was working. While he soon left that shop to open his own store, Extra Butter Coffee, we stayed in touch and I was thrilled when Bebhinn (said like “bev-in”) contacted me about their wedding photos.

This was a magical wedding… An intimate affair at Le Select Bistro with a few close friends and family, including my sister! I was honoured to capture this very very very special day.

One of my favourite parts of the day was photographing Bebhinn & Ian at home getting ready together, with their adorable cat, Rolin. Rolin definitely suffers from FOMO (fear-of-missing-out) and wanted to be wherever the action was. Bebhinn was 7 months pregnant, so of course they were having a second breakfast, and Rolin decided to join them.

Ian & Bebhinn had the most gorgeous bespoke wedding clothes, including custom wedding rings, by Anna Lindsay MacDonald Contemporary Jewelry. I know I don’t usually post detail shots, but the way they were set up in Bebhinn’s sewing room was just irresistible, don’t you think?

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The flowers, by Van Harten & Tossell, were gorgeous, and look at that pocket square! This was a first for me, and I loved the look of it so much!

Now… One of my favourite moments was when Ian & Bebhinn got dressed. They had joked around and said they wanted to do a fake “First Look” because they thought it was super cheesy and funny and, to be frank, Ian thought a real first look was sort of a fake thing to do…

But when they got dressed, Ian needed help with his tie, and Bebhinn needed help with her dress. Being pregnant can restrict your movements, obviously, so they helped one another out… And the moment the dress came on and Bebhinn stepped back – so Ian could see how she looked – he was overcome with emotion! It was a real first look! I was soooooo happy.

Then they did the fake first look too (posted on my instagram - check it out) and we all laughed.

But boy, was I satisfied when the accidental, real first look happened. That’s the thing about a first look. It’s not the set-up that matters. It can be inside, outside or upside down. It’s the fact that YOU ARE GETTING MARRIED TODAY, GUYS. And when folks see each other all dressed up and ready to go, well, the only thing more exciting is actually doing it!

We piled the wedding things into the car and drove towards Le Select Bistro, BUT FIRST we made a stop at the bench where Bebhinn & Ian had their very first date. These two met online, and sat on the most random bench for a cup of tea… The rest is history.

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Friendship and community is very important to Ian and Bebhinn, and their wedding reflected that.

They both baked pies for the dessert table, and six of their friends brought pies ranging from gluten free to vegan (for Ian) to full (extra) butter. They also chose to make their wedding favours as part of the West End Food Coop Canning Share, which is closed now, but taught about canning, while helping farmers and the community.

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Finally the big moment.

Played in by Bebhinn’s BFF, the ceremony was officiated by the lovely Martin Frith, and included a ring-warming ceremony. The wedding rings were passed from hand-to-hand through every guest, to bless them and infuse them with positive vibezzz. I have seen this ritual before but honestly, the guests were so moved, and the love was so palpable, I can guarantee those rings are powerful enough to move mountains.

The readings were sweet. The vows were funny. The kiss was triumphant. This wedding ceremony filled my heart.

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We sneaked out to the back parking lot of Le Select so the newlyweds could have a few moments alone. Laughing and “We did it!”-ing, then squeezed together, with smiles as big as watermelons. And the baby started to kick. It was a happy happy moment, and I’m so lucky to have been there documenting.

Making our way back to the party, the evening that followed was delicious food, moving and inspiring speeches (the best man’s included mention of meeting Ian in a women’s studies – like, can these people be my best friends right now, please?!), much laughter, tears, and all-around celebration.

Bebhinn & Ian, words can’t describe how honoured I am, that you picked me to document your life in this way. I am grateful for the opportunity, and for the thoughtfulness, kindness and love that you have chosen to guide your life with. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Kate
xo

Thank you to the creative team:
Hair & Makeup: Tanya Phillipovich
Favours: West End Food Co-op
Flowers: Van Harten and Tossell
Rings: Rings by Anna Lindsay MacDonald Contemporary Jewellery and necklace by Heather Rathburn
Groom’s Suit: Indochino, vegan shoes by Novacas
Officiant: Martin Firth, Ceremonies with Choice
Venue: Le Select Bistro
Wedding Dress: Designed by Black Crane, custom alterations by Lori McMahon

 
2018 Year In Review
 
 

2018 was a magical year.

I witnessed the beginning of life, and the end.

I documented happy tears, sad tears, a 3 year-old’s accidentally-bit-my-own-finger tears.

I witnessed motherhood in the deep, quiet content of bonding during baby feeding, the it’s-not-quite-working very newborn breastfeeding, and the tumultuous toddlers doing yoga while eating feeding.

I observed dads kissing-better said bitten finger, and various other upsets. And granddads. And grandmothers!

I photographed best friends getting married, not getting married, making out, not making out, supporting one another, scream-laughing, chugging, doing the limbo, crying together, and just being present.

I could go on.

But instead, here are some photographs I made.

 
 

I can’t wait to post each of these sessions in full, but in the meantime please contact me if you want to see more.

It’s been a while since I posted a Year in Review, but here are some old ones, if you want to see:
2014 - the year of San Francisco
2013 - the year I started Sweetheart Empire!

And Happy New Year!

- Kate
xo

 
 
Elizabeth & Tom's Leslie Spit Engagement Photos (Tommy Thompson Park)
 

When Elizabeth and Tom suggested Leslie Spit for engagement photos, I was thrilled. Have you been there? If not, go immediately! FYI this is also known as Tommy Thompson Park, and there’s a light house, and you may or may not be able to make a camp fire (*ahem, not endorsing illegal activities, just saying). Any time of year, this reclaimed land on Toronto’s east-side waterfront is home serene, natural beauty – including a bird sanctuary, wild flowers, and biking, walking, and jogging for miles. We went at sunset (obviously!) and couldn’t have asked for a more magical setting.

…But actually we could have asked for more, and we did! You see, Tom and Elizabeth are a very special pair.

These are two of the most interesting and talented humans you’ll meet.

I first met Elizabeth when she had recently finished blogging 52 weeks of DIY projects. Yes, I said fifty-two. And this is also how I met the inimitable Shannon Lee Simmons (who later became my accountant). Some people’s awesomeness is hard to do justice in words, so just scroll down to the juggling photos, to get an understanding of why these two hold a special place in my heart.

 
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Thank you, Tom & Elizabeth for putting your trust in me to do your engagement and wedding photos. It has been an unending pleasure!

 
Ashley & Dave's Aberfoyle Mill Wedding
 

Ashley and Dave had got married on the beautiful grounds of the Aberfoyle Mill. Surrounded by weeping willows swaying in the breeze, it was truly a perfect summer day. 

There were so many moments that made Ashley & Dave's wedding special and unique, starting with Ashley's dress. Worn by both her mother and grandmother, Ashley had the dress shortened and altered to fit her perfectly. 

 
 

One of my favourite things about watching the bride and her mother get ready, was seeing just how close these two women are. The easy going support and fondness touched my heart, because I also consider my mother one of my best friends. 

 
 

Over at the groom's getting ready, Ashley & Dave's adorable little corgi – Millie – was all dressed up for the festivities. 

 
Groom putting on his tie; Aberfoyle Mill Wedding
 

Ashley & Dave had a really sweet first look – they were so excited to see each other, and once they did, they could finally relax and enjoy a few moments together before the ceremony. 

 
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Bride and groom holding hands; Aberfoyle Mill Wedding
Bride and groom holding hands and walking together; Aberfoyle Mill Wedding
Bride and groom walking together outside; Aberfoyle Mill Wedding
 

Under blue skies, Dave and Ashley stated their promises to one another, and set a golden lantern floating down the pond, in memory of Ashley's father. Hearts were overflowing. 

 
 

The ceremony was followed by an evening of celebration that lasted long into the summer night. 

 
Guest having a good time during reception; Aberfoyle Mill Wedding
Guests mingling during reception; Aberfoyle Mill Wedding
 

Congratulations Dave and Ashley – I wish you and your families a lifetime of happiness! 

To check out similar weddings, click here...
Vanessa & Mark's Oakville Golf Club Wedding
Charlie & Charlie's Garden Party Wedding
J
essie & Allan's Cottage Wedding

Photographers: Kate O'Connor & Jenny Blair

Thank you to the creative team: 
Cake: Laura Becker
DJ: Wing Night/ Matt Jameson
Dress Alterations: Isa Romero
Event Planner: Liv Chic Events
Hair: Savija Ellis
Flowers: Patti's Flower Boutique
Makeup: Meghan Barbour
Officiant: Norma White (bride's aunt)
Rings: Bride's mother, groom's grandfather
Venue: Aberfoyle Mill

 
How to Stop Time, in 3 Easy Steps.
 

Back to school, Thanksgiving, Halloween… How is it the middle of November!?

Maybe you got married this year.  Maybe you said goodbye to your “baby” as they got on the school bus for the first time. Either way, it happened fast. If only there were an invisible photographer at the bus stop to capture that look on your face – crying, laughing, glaring with over-protectiveness:  love, your way.

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Ask this Magic Question

We all know it's impossible to "stop time” but there are ways to enjoy right now and make sure your memories stay with you. One way is the practice of Reflection.

Stop right now and answer this question in your mind: 
What was my favourite part of today, so far? 

A coffee? A kiss? A bathroom break? (Just saying!)
For me, it was writing in my journal first thing in the morning. I felt grounded, connected and safe.

How Reflection Stops Time

Reflection helps us focus our minds on little pieces of life that would otherwise go unnoticed.

  1. The noticing leads to a memory;

  2. The memory brings up a feeling;

  3. The impact of the feeling helps our brain flag that moment as a "keeper" in the sorting & filing of the mind.

Reflection is that invisible photographer you wish for. I ask every single one of my couples this question on their wedding day: 
What was your favourite part of today, so far? Whatever they say in the answer, they will remember for the rest of their lives.

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