O’Hara Mill and Roslin Hall Elopement Photography

I’ve been keeping this warm and rustic O’Hara Mill and Roslin Hall Elopement to myself for way too long. While the photos tell the story of a perfect day, it’s Elizabeth & Maury’s insight on their day and relationship that really warms the heart. Hopefully, sharing this giant blog post during a quieter time of year gives you time to really let their words sink in.

Tell Us Your Story / How Did You Meet?

We met in the summer of 2015, on an army course (we are both reservists in the Canadian Armed Forces). We both knew from day one we needed to be together, and although there were many obstacles in our way, we made some major choices to allow or lives to end up working out that way. We both lived in separate provinces (Nova Scotia & Newfoundland) and so Maury took the ferry to NL all the time, and we made it work between our jobs, and when Elizabeth got a job pretty early on in the relationship in Peterborough, Ontario, Maury came with her, and the rest is history! And here we are now married and feathering our little nest together. You have to choose sometimes to take a step back to let the other person take a step forward, but in the end it’s just to be together, and it’s for the best. Don’t second guess yourself if you think you’ve made the right decision.” 

Do You Have Any Wedding Planning Advice for Newly Engaged Couples?

Before you start planning a single thing, enjoy your engagement and take that in. Do not rush into planning or even setting a date. Then when you’re ready, take time together to identify 2 things: 1) what is important to you as a couple, aside from weddings (so for us it was Sunday mornings, coziness, coffee, nature, simplicity). Then you can ensure these things feature strongly in your day. 2) think about the standard wedding, and identify which components are truly important to you. For us it was the ceremony, and immediate family’s presence, and for Elizabeth it was a lace dress and lilac bouquet her mom picked from home, and for Maury, it was a kilt in his family tartan. If you do this, you will save money and stress! Ultimately, we suggest you do what YOU want! Don’t go with a crazy huge budget just to serve people you never see their choice of chicken or fish. Don’t have 100 people there if you don’t want to, and make it what you want to do instead of following someone else’s wedding format. It’s YOUR day, so do it with only yourselves in mind. It should be the one day in your life where you’re entitled to be selfish, we think, and your family in turn will love how “you” the event was.” 

How Did You Choose Your Wedding Photographer?

We loved the fact that Christine uses amazing light techniques, doesn’t over edit pictures, and knows how to keep the focus on the shot. Especially we loved that her “posed” photos still felt so real and authentic, and not stiff and staged. Then, we met her in person, and she was super friendly, outgoing, and more than accommodating. Christine was also very creative with her out-of-the-box ideas. With such intimate shots, we needed a person we both felt comfortable around, and she was totally it. She could have taken 6 months to complete the editing, and it would have been worth it, so the fact she completed everything so promptly is a credit to her skill as a photographer first and foremost and editor second. We are so in love with our photos – thank you Christine! 

Drake Devonshire Wedding Photography, Prince Edward County

While it’s gaining popularity with tourists and their beach-front makes for perfect wedding photography opportunities, it’s the Drake Devonshire’s side garden and Glass Box that I love for intimate weddings. It’s a quiet space and perfect for celebrating with your closest family and friends. Before we get to the photos, let’s learn a little about the couple that chose this space to celebrate their wedding day.

1.  Tell me your story / How did you meet?

 “We met in a coffee shop in 2011, it’s not the most romantic story.

2.  What was your favourite moment from your wedding day?

I loved when they brought family members upstairs before the ceremony, I was feeling a bit anxious at that point and it was both lovely to have moments with them before everything started and a distraction from how nervous I was feeling.

3.  Do you have any wedding planning advice for newly engaged couples?

I think it is important to sit down and have an honest conversation about what both of you want and expect from the day. When we started planning we sat down and discussed how much we wanted to spend, what type of wedding we both wanted, and we also made clear what aspects of the day were important to us individually. So once we’d established these basics it made making the big decisions a lot simpler because we were both on the same page from the beginning.

4.  How did you choose your wedding photographer?

We looked through portfolios online and found photographers that had the style of photographs we were looking for. You should make sure that whoever you decide to go with is someone who’s work you actually like.

5. List of vendors who helped make this day come together:

Coriander Girl “The flowers were perfect, we didn’t have any other decorations so it was important to get those right and the blooms on the tables smelled amazing

The Spah/The SalonTook care of hair and makeup for the day, their team did a great job

Runway Bridal – For THE dress.

The Drake Devonshire – “They did a fantastic job, they took care of everything, and everything went perfectly. Most brides have a story about something that went horribly off the rails, the staff at the Drake made sure that didn’t happen.

Serenity Cottage Owen Sound Destination Wedding – Part II

As promised, here is Part II of that beautiful Serenity Cottage destination wedding in Owen Sound. Just when I thought the first half of the day was fun, the fog and the fun stuck around for the second half, making it truly special to capture. Before we get to those photos, here is the rest of Jen & Trevor’s story:

What Was Your Favourite Moment from Your Wedding Day?

This was hard to choose! One of our favorite moments was coming in from taking photos on the cold misty day and seeing the tables setup up and candles lit for dinner. From the smell of fresh eucalyptus from the table garlands to the sounds of conversations and laughter, we were able to see everything we envisioned setup making it cozy warm intimate environment that we dreamed of. At that moment we purposely tried to be present and take in the moment as the wedding day goes by very quickly.

How Did You Choose Your Wedding Photographer?

We chose Christine for a few reasons. We had seen that she was familiar with shooting our venue Serenity Cottage through other couples online blogs and admired her beautiful photos that she had captured, especially the candids. Through back and forth emails she helped us feel confident in her because her upbeat and positive personality. We believed that finding a photographer that could make us feel comfortable, goofy and 100% ourselves in front of a camera which was very important to us. Christine you exceeded all expectations!  You also had us at “I love a bottle of red wine in the afternoon, the smell of bacon in the morning”

Do You Have Any Wedding Planning Advice for Newly Engaged Couples?

Make lists, lists and more lists. There is a certain satisfaction of crossing things off a list and feeling accomplished. Hire people that you trust. We found that by hiring the  experienced vendors that we did, we were able to have full confidence in that the job would be done seamless, and that alone made us feel less stressed. Lastly, have the wedding that you as a couple envisioned and not what you think other people would want. There will be a lot of people who share their opinions and judgments. It is okay to break traditions to make the day your own.” 

List of Vendors Who Helped Make the Day Possible

Catering – Culinary Designs
Florist / Room Decor – Linda DeBoer Decor
Hair & Makeup – MBA Mobile Hair & Makeup
Dress – Bridal Temptations (Hanover)

Serenity Cottage Owen Sound Destination Wedding – Part I

It was impossible to narrow this Serenity Cottage destination wedding down to one simple blog post, so I’m splitting into two parts. There’s just too many fun memories to share from Jen & Trevor’s day! I have traveled to Serenity Cottage for weddings every year for the last 4 years, but this year was truly unique because Georgian Bay was covered in fog for the big day. Most couples might be bummed about the foggy skies, but we were all obsessed with the ambiance it created and the photos turned out amazing. No harsh light = no squinting!

Before we get to the photos, let’s start with the first half of their story:

Tell Us How You Met

“We will cut it short, sweet and very unsappy. Trevor was receiving cancer treatment at the hospital I work at, we bumped into each other a year later. The rest is history. “

Do You Have Any Tips / Advice for Newly Engaged Couples Who Want to Plan a Small Wedding?

“Make lists, lists and more lists…. There is a certain satisfaction of crossing things off a list and feeling accomplished. Hire people that you trust, we found that by hiring the  experienced vendors that we did, we were able to have full confidence in that the job would be done seamless, and that alone made us feel less stressed. Lastly, have the wedding that you as a couple envisioned and not what you think other people would want. There will be a lot of people who share their opinions and judgments. It is okay to break traditions to make the day your own. ”

Part two of this Serenity Cottage wedding will share their favourite moments of the day and how they chose their photographer. In the meantime, here’s some moments to help inspire your own day.

What to Wear to Your Engagement Photo Session

Fact: I’m not afraid to get a dirty to take your photos. If you tell me you would like photos by the water, chances are I’m getting my feet wet. If you tell me you want photos done at your family farm, I’m probably wearing rubber boots and ready to get muddy.

But What Should YOU Wear to Your Engagement Session?

Wear something comfortable, but makes you feel confident. It’s okay to pick up some new threads for the session, just make sure you’re not tugging at it to make it fit where or how it should. Also, try to avoid clothing with large logos or distracting designs. Patterns are totally okay! I’m a huge sucker for anything plaid and floral prints can totally work when paired with something neutral. Don’t be afraid to layer or accessorize, especially in the fall. Things like jackets, scarves, sweaters or mixing textures can be fun!

It’s important to think of the location too. If we’re working on a rocky beach, heels are probably a bad idea. If we’re on your family farm (like the engagement session posted below), then totally pack your rubber boots or Blundstones and get ready to off-road. There is also a chance we might be sitting down. I usually pack a blanket, but it’s no good if you’re pants are too tight to sit on the ground cross-legged.

Lastly, be yourself. Don’t wear something that you’re going to look at later and cringe because it’s not something you’ll ever wear again. These photos are more than just a formality. They are meant to capture your relationship as it is now, so you can look back and remember how you were when this new chapter was about to start.

I’m going to use Jackie & Kyle’s engagement session below as an example of keeping it real. These guys dressed comfortably, and included elements that says a lot about who they are as a couple, like their cute pup, lilacs and some fun four-wheeling…. (and I cannot wait to see again for their farm wedding this fall!)