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Amanda & Larry's Wedding at The Grand Luxe

When I photographed Amanda & Larry’s at-home engagement session, we decided the grounds of their condo were the perfect place to do their wedding photos too. This couple was ALL about baking things beautiful and easy. Hallelujah!!

They literally had the PERFECT weather for a beautiful autumn wedding. It was happy, colourful, and truly everyone you could ask for!

Amanda & Larry had lots of personal touches at their wedding, including skull shaped liquor bottles, custom made tea packages, and an incredible DIY backdrop for their ceremony at the Grand Luxe in Toronto… But one of the most special moments was surprising their guests with their first dance. You see, they had actually won a call-in radio prize and had the brilliant USS come play their first dance, and DJ for the night! Needless to say, a fantastic time was had by all.


The day was amazing and the night was even better.

Check out Larry & Amanda’s at-home engagement session here.
Check out Gacia & Alex’s wedding at Eagle’s Nest Golf Club - for more wedding bar hijinks - here.

Photographers: Kate O’Connor and Johnny Tang

Thank you to the creative team:
Hair: Bridal Hair Collective
Ceremony, Reception, Catering & Bar: The Grand Luxe Event Boutique
Music: Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker (USS)

Elizabeth & Tom's Farm Wedding in Prince Edward County

This was the most fun wedding I’ve ever been to.

During wedding planning, many couples face the conundrum of feeling pressure to do things they don’t want. Some elements have no interest or meaning personally, and other elements may cause tension in the family or community. In my experience most couples muddle through and do it anyway, due to pressure from society and/or tradition. Tom and Elizabeth, on the other hand, decided to do things their own way. What’s more, they went about it in the most organized and laid back way.

Building a wedding that aligned with their values, interests, and personalities was important to Elizabeth and Tom.

I think their own words sum it up better than I ever could:

“We love biking, puppets, board games, beer, and burritos. Tom loves juggling and ukuleles. Elizabeth loves trying to make things herself, and sometimes goes overboard. The theme for this wedding is ‘all of the fun’ and is a mash-up of all the silly things we love. We're hoping to create a space that's casual and light hearted, but also meaningful and inclusive of the wide variety of guests that are coming.

Special things that we've built in that reflect these ideas include:

  • Pedal powered sound system & bike themed clothing

  • Non-traditional dress for the men (western shirts! including a bike themed one, a dinosaur themed one, and a steam punk themed one!)

  • Planting a white magnolia tree as part of the ceremony

  • Stations with bocce ball, juggling clubs, hula hoops, and board games

  • A scavenger hunt, crafts, and a puppet show in lieu of speeches

  • Making lots of the decor ourselves (a monster-themed card box, the bunting and bolo ties, the huge piles of jam as party favours, the place cards)

  • Having our friends camp with us on our wedding night!

We've also been intentional in drawing on the services of independent, small, local businesses that share our values. The meal is all local/organic/vegetarian. The desserts are from friend who is a raw vegan chef. Small Pond [Arts] is an artist retreat centre run by dear, creative friends. The shirts and rings came from small independent places. The flowers are local. And most of the above (including the photography) are female-run enterprises.”

I must add, Elizabeth once blogged a DIY craft project for 52 weeks in a row (mentioned in my post of their wonderful engagement session), so of course they made all their own paper lanterns and flower arrangements. And Tom works in tech, so it’s no surprise that their homemade scavenger hunt included QR codes painted on rocks scattered about the farm grounds.

A few of my personal favourite moments included:

  • Elizabeth’s bouquet included ivy grown from a clipping from her mother’s wedding bouquet

  • The officiant’s mention of the zombie apocalypse

  • The recessional: they had planned to walk through a field and the farmer who mowed the path through the field the day before made it a twisting, winding, turning aisle much to everyone’s delight!

  • Tom’s surprise ukulele and song for Elizabeth

  • Elizabeth’s surprise video messages to Tom from friends who couldn’t attend

  • A bunch of guests’ surprise video messages throughout the night for Tom & Elizabeth to receive later

  • Sitting around the campfire late into the night making s’mores and singing along to live guitar

  • And the moment when they had to decide whether to turn off the bicycle power for the night, and decided they had faith that their guests would come through for them (they kept the bicycle-power going, and guests were practically lined up to take turns spinning!)

Honestly, I can’t say enough good things about this wedding. Just look at the freaking photos & enjoy!

This beautiful hand-built belt went perfectly with Elizabeth’s red vintage shoes and Tom’s chain-stitched shirt, both from Fort Lonesome.

Bentwood wedding rings by Stout Woodworks, and vintage family heirloom jewelry for the bride. Homemade DIY bolo ties for the groom and groomsmen (Tom’s BFF, officiant and bride’s dad).

Gotta love when the bride and groom choose a jumping shot for their formal family portrait.

Hay-stacks were laid with hand-packaged linen for guests to sit on.

There was an adult scavenger hunt and one for kids. In both cases, everyone was highly entertained during the cocktail hour!

Elizabeth and her friend Jill made homemade jam for the party favours, and she also sewed all her own wedding bunting.

After a highly entertaining puppet show (in lieu of speeches) the newlyweds thanked their guests, and had a few surprises for each other.

The next morning I went at sunrise to take some more photos of Small Pond Arts. The natural beauty of Price Edward County, combined with sunrise, and with my very full heart of happiness for these two special people…

This was a magical day. Elizabeth & Tom, I am so honoured to have been there documenting these moments and I wish you a lifetime of love, laughs, and bicycle-powered adventures!

Check out Tom & Elizabeth’s engagement session at Tommy Thompson Park (AKA Leslie Spit).
For another outdoorsy wedding, check out Rosemary & Alastair’s summer camp wedding.
For another indie weddings with a vegan twist, check out Bebhinn & Ian’s intimate wedding at Le Select Bistro.

Click here to read Elizabeth & Tom’s reviews of their wedding photography experience!

Thank you to the creative team:

Photography: Kate O’Connor and Jenny Blair

Bicycle Power: Toronto Bicycle Music Festival
Bride’s sash & groom’s shirt: Fort Lonesome
Cake: Allison Orr
Caterer: Urban Herb
Flowers: Flora Lora Flowers
Groomsmen attire: Rockmount Ranch Wear
Location: Small Pond Arts
Rings: Stout Woodworks

Maureen & Lesley's Backyard Wedding Ceremony

After years together, Lesley & Maureen finally decided to make it official, tying the knot in 2014. They held a backyard party for friends and family, attended by their VERY popular pups - guests of honour - Bella & George. These two brides also made their own custom wedding rings at The Devil’s Workshop in Toronto, and celebrated with a chill afternoon of bubbly, laughter, and good times in the comfort of their own garden.

I love small weddings like this so much.

One of the best ways to avoid wedding stress – or reduce it altogether – is to only invite the closest of family and friends. Not only do you get a chance to spend time with your loved ones, but the pressure of being the centre of attention is also alleviated… Well, especially if you have adorable wedding doggies, like these two. And another way to decrease wedding stress is to have your wedding at home! I mean, Lesley and Maureen couldn’t have made it any easier on themselves!! But in addition, without all the extra pressures of pop and circumstance, a celebration like this allows everyone to focus their love on you completely. The feeling of intimacy amazing.

There’s nothing better than celebrating with your absolute nearest and dearest in the world. Happy Anniversary to this gorgeous family, with all my love!

Having a small wedding of less than 40 guests? For more intimate wedding ideas, check out:
Bebhinn & Ian’s wedding at Le Select Bistro
Laura & Jeff’s Toronto Island Wedding “Elopement”
Ariel & Thanh’s Destination Wedding in Jamaica

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.


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.