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Posts tagged Weddings
Kaylha & Dan - Berkeley Fieldhouse Wedding
 

Kindness. Being kind to each other and ourselves. I believe it's one of the most important human qualities.

And that's how I would describe Kaylha and Dan. They care for one another in a most remarkable way, and it's lovely. Then you meet their families and it's obvious where it comes from. True ladies and gentlemen, all.

I arrived in Kaylha's room at the Ritz Carlton and didn't know who to fall in love with first - or second, since I already had a googlie eyes for the bride. Mom, sister, and adorable baby niece, these ladies keep it real. Don't let their breathtaking beauty hide the fact that this was one of the most relaxed "bride-getting-ready" sessions I've walked into. Mostly laughs with a few happy tears when the boys arrived (many many boys - dad, brothers, brother in-law, nephews, adopted uncle and more!)...

The day was wonderful. Dan already exudes warmth and happiness on a regular day, so when he saw Kaylha coming up the aisle he was practically glowing with love.

The night was filled with epic speeches, delicious food, and joyful celebration. Kaylha's mom, it turns out, is a Toast Master! She brought the house down with a speech that was extremely moving and genuinely entertaining all at once. It was the best of times.

 
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A perfect Berkeley Fieldhouse wedding. Thank you Dan and Kaylha for your kindness and friendship! I'm so happy for you and your families, and everything that's to come.

Photographers: Kate O’Connor and Lelania Little
Venue & Catering: Berkeley Fieldhouse

Are you interested in authentic photojournalistic coverage of your Awesome Wedding? Tell me about yourself, and find out if we’re a good match! hello@sweetheartempire.com

 
Michelle & Pawel's Wedding at the Mississauga Grand

One of my favourite parts of shooting weddings is that, after spending some time getting to know a couple, I get to meet their families. It is obviously the couple’s day, but there is no doubt that for many parents it is also a time of big pride, and an overwhelming sense of happiness. Michelle & Pawel’s family were no exception. We arrived before the ladies had returned from the salon, so (after the go-ahead from the bride, of course) I decided to photograph the wedding dress. Before unwrapping it, Michelle’s dad Alejandro cried out, “Wait, wait! I don’t want to see the dress until she’s in it!” and promptly rushed downstairs so that he wouldn’t spoil his own surprise.

This was one of the many little things, throughout the special day, that just made my heart float for Michelle and Pawel. The emotion in Alejandro’s eyes when he saw his hija - his daughter - when he gave her away at the altar, and danced with her later that night; this represented his life’s work – a success. All was worth it for this moment, this day.

And when you set eyes on this bright, twinkle-eyed bride... can you blame him?

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It was a day of natural beauty, fun, and celebration. Michelle and Pawel, thank you so much for sharing your wedding day with us!

Please enjoy this slideshow for more photos of Pawel and Michelle enjoying their wedding day:

Michelle & Pawel's Wedding Photography Slideshow from Sweetheart Empire on Vimeo.

Click here to check out Michelle & Pawel's engagement photos!

Photographers: Kate O'Connor and Lelania Little

Thank you to the creative team!
Band/DJ: Parkside Drive
Cake: Irene's Celebrity Cakes
Ceremony: St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish
Décor: Mississauga Grand
Dress: David's Bridal
Hair: Jini Jung Hair Artisans
Flowers: Eternity Flowers
Men's Clothing: Tuxedo Royale
Reception Venue: Mississauga Grand
Transportation: Jays Limousine Services

Shelby & Ian's more-than Double Happiness Wedding

Oh, if I could only just quote the speeches told about Ian and Shelby at their wedding. I'll use the words kind and quirky to sum them up, but that definitely doesn't do them justice. I met Shelby and Ian more than two years ago, just before Ian went to Italy for a year of studying abroad. We bonded at a local coffee shop over a quote by Captain Jean-Luc Picard on my then-price list. We talked one anothers' ears off about all sorts of things, but specifically food... and more specifically dessert. I remember later using the term "social butterflies" to describe them in an email.

Finally after a long long wait the amazing wedding day arrived this spring, and it was as joyous, fun, creative and touching as ever could be imagined.

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After I got my happy shot on the left, the boys requested a more "traditional" Chinese pose, seen here on the right...

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Classic bridesmaid-moment of last minute stitching. The girls were gorgeous in their silver dresses and Shelby an elegant, classic beauty.

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Since Ian was picking Shelby up in a vintage BMW, we did a "first look" right there in the house. This is one of my favourite moments, and brides, I swear this is ALWAYS when the groom's emotions show themselves. Very special day.

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Shelby and Ian did a traditional Chinese tea ceremony where they were presented with many happy wishes and beautiful jewelry from their relatives in Malaysia. These families never ceased to touch my heart with the love and support they all expressed so openly.

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The weather couldn't have been more perfect for a trip to the Rosetta McClain Gardens for photos and laughs. The wedding party had brought colourful umbrellas in case of rain (always recommended), but we used them for fun shots instead of for shelter.

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The ceremony took place at the Toronto Chinese Methodist Church. It was awesome. Worship included two vocalists, a pianist, an electric guitar, and a percussionist with both a drum kit and bongos. They projected lyrics in English and Cantonese, and basically everyone rocked out. It was so great!

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Ian and Shelby had breathtaking sunset-light on the grounds of the Columbus Event Centre. After a few more photos, now as husband and wife, we headed inside to eat, drink, and celebrate. As Reverend Chris mentioned while saying Grace, "We thank you for the partying that is about to happen." And so it did.

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Shelby, Ian, what can I say? It's been so awesome getting to know such welcoming, warm, wonderful people. Thank you for having Rudo and me there, to document your wedding. We had a fantastic time and we wish you all the best in the years to come!

Check out Shelby & Ian's sweet "Up"-themed engagement photos!

Photographers: Kate O'Connor and Rudo Vacula

Thank you to the creative team!
Ceremony: Toronto Chinese Methodist Church, Rev. Chris Yu
DJ/Music: Music Unlimited, David Beal
Décor: The Wedding Decorators Inc., Sherisse Bhimani
Makeup: Lina Truong
Reception: Columbus Event Center, Agostino Chorine

Mary & Phil's Musical New Year's Eve Wedding
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When Mary contacted me, she asked me if I'd ever photographed an "older couple". I said no, and she replied, "then we'll be your first!" Despite Mary's classification, I soon observed that this couple are more active and involved than most of us (I speak for myself)... and as in love as school kids. In fact, Mary and Phil actually dated in high school. Life separated them, and they both went on to have happy and fulfilling marriages for 20 and 30+ years. Then life brought them back together... As Mary, in a stunning one-of-a-kind Hugo Nicholson dress, came downstairs to meet Phil on their wedding day, I could see the excitement and love between them. Phil with his kind eyes, smiling from ear to ear, extended his hand to her.  There was something about that chivalrous motion that seemed so tender. So true. It was New Year's Eve day, and we arrived at York Mills Presbyterian Church to celebrate what Rev. Ferne Reeve called their lives as polished diamonds, as opposed to the raw material that young couples start out with. After the procession (which consisted of the cutest little granddaughters ever), I stood and photographed from the door of the chapel for the entire ceremony. I observed the family and community that had gathered to support this amazing, vibrant couple, and I listened to the thoughtful words and readings. I felt truly honoured to attend such an event. Mary and Phil love music. The ceremony was filled with a choir, a singer, a pianist, an organist. The reception took place at the Badminton and Racquet Club, where we were graced with a jazz duo, and later an incredible group of vocalists who opened up the party unannounced (flash-mob-style!) and serenaded us with pop tunes, old classics, and a final rendition of Auld Lang Syne. The energy in the room was uplifting, heartfelt and nostalgic, as everyone joined hands, singing together, celebrating this new beginning for the New Year. Mary and Phil, thank you for the privilege of documenting your wedding. It was a wonderful day and night!!

Photographers: Kate O'Connor and Lelania Little

Thank you to the creative team!

Cake: Roxy Cakes Caterer: The Badminton & Racquet Club of Toronto Ceremony: York Mills Presbyterian Church Dress: Hugo Nicholson (one of a kind!) Flowers: Ginger Flower Studio Venue: The Badminton & Racquet Club of Toronto

Tell me about your wedding and find out if we’re a good match:

Phone: 416-878-3802 Email: hello@sweetheartempire.com

Sarah & Pierre's Wedding at the Bata Shoe Museum

Most brides tell me that they basically want two things on their wedding day - they want to look beautiful and they want to throw a kick-ass party. And hey - for one of the biggest milestones of your life, I don't think that's too much to ask! I photographed Sarah & Pierre's wedding at The Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, and I can tell you right now that Sarah lived the dream of every bride. Both she and Pierre were total knockouts; their friends and family were awesome; the party was unforgettable.

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Sarah looked absolutely stunning on her wedding day. Her hair was styled by Judy Marini, and her makeup by Noemi Lavoie; surrounded by the special women and girls in her life, she seemed to almost glow.

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Both the ceremony and cocktail reception were held at the museum, against a backdrop of floor to ceiling windows and a candle-lined staircase. It was an unexpectedly romantic setting, and the perfect stage for this highly emotional and joyful ceremony. I loved Sarah's look of triumph as she and Pierre were proclaimed husband and wife, by their Humanist officiant Mary Beaty.

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Before the cocktails, we roamed through the museum. We had the whole place to ourselves, and it felt like being in a playground! It was also a fashion- and vintage-lover's haven, with shoes from all over the world, throughout the ages.

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After all the preparation, ritual, reflection, food and drink... what came next was a party of epic proportions, and these people like to get down.

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Sarah and Pierre met and fell in love very quickly. They experienced life in all of its craziness, and their passion and commitment to one another has only grown. To hear the touching words of their friends and family on this joyous occasion, and to feel the gratitude in the atmosphere for being present on that day... actually it still puts a lump in my throat, and I feel pretty honoured to have witnessed it.

Thank you Sarah and Pierre for including us in your amazing day.

Photographers: Kate O'Connor and Rudo Vacula

Thank you to the creative team! Caterer: Encore Food with Elegance DJ: Andrew Graham Hussey Dress Designer: Allure Bridal Dress Shop: Becker's Bridal Invitations: Adam Patterson Favours & Gifts: Donation to Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research, Princess Margaret Hospital Flowers: Margo's Flowers Makeup: Noemi Lavoie Men's Attire: Freeman Formalwear Venue (Ceremony, Reception, Décor): Bata Shoe Museum, Victoria Pereira