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Falls-ing in Love…{Lynne & Justin…Engaged!}

Originally when I talked to Lynne and Justin, we had chatted about taking their engagement photos in Paris. However, as the date neared, Lynne gave me a call and wondered if maybe we could hit up Niagara Falls instead as they spend a fair bit of time there…ummmm YES!!!

Sure it would take more time out of the day, but hello! It’s Niagara Falls! Who wouldn’t want to take photos there? Besides, since the groom-to-be also hails from the USA, Niagara seemed like a cool spot given the dual nationalities of both the Falls and the couple!

So, on a lovely Sunday afternoon, I met up with them at their place and we set off to Niagara. Turns out these two lovebirds really do spend A LOT of time at the Falls! They are proud Casino Players’ Card holders, but the funny part is that they don’t actually gamble…they use it for the parking! Clever, clever!! They just really like the atmosphere of Canada’s natural Wonder of the World, so they come to hang out, walk around, take in the attractions, etc.

I had my own personal tour guides to the Falls as we toured around and used some of their favourite spots for the backdrop of their session. I had a blast with these two and I can’t wait for their wedding later this year taking place on the other side of Lake Ontario! Check out some of my favourites from our trip to Niagara!

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Their Big, Fat Croatian Wedding…{Kathy & Kurtis…Hitched!}

I first met Kathy & Kurtis back in the fall for their engagement session and I knew then that Nicole and I were in for a great time at their wedding! It did NOT disappoint! Kathy and Kurtis are a fun and fun-loving couple, and you can pretty much bank on being in stitches anytime you are around them. Now, multiply that by 17 wedding party members and 300 of their closest family and friends and an Oktoberfest band…Also add in that Kathy’s HUGE family is Croatian and you have one HECK of a party!!

It was a BEAUTIFUL day for a wedding…and for garage sales judging by the number of them happening up and down the streets of Kitchener! We first met up with Kurtis and his groomsmen. When we arrived the groom was ready and looking dapper, but there was a mini crisis happening with the rest of the guys…only about 3 of the guys’ tuxes came with the pocket square folded properly…the rest just came in a little cellophane baggie and one guy didn’t even get one! So what does one do when the pocket squares are catastrophic?? Send one guy to the store to retrieve the missing one while the rest look up YouTube videos on how to fold them! This was exactly the scene we walked into…BUT after only about 20 minutes of panic. The squares were folded and we were ready to start!

Have I mentioned Kurtis and his buddies are funny?? Make that hilarious!! And they were up for just about anything, so we had a riot taking photos with them. When we had finished, we headed over to meet up with Kathy and the girls…it was like walking into a scene from My Big Fat Greek Wedding…only Croatian and not Greek! There were bridesmaids and parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins…oh my!! I have never seen so many people in one spot trying to get ready, but our lovely bride took it all in stride and before long she too was ready to rock and roll!

The ceremony was beautiful and it was neat to experience a ceremony a little different from what we have seen before! We headed out to Victoria Park for wedding party photos before getting back to the hall for the party!

And let me tell you…it was a PARTY!!! The amount of food, drinks, music and dancing was phenomenal! There was never a point throughout the night that the dance floor wasn’t full! It was the longest day we have had to date, but we had an absolute riot all day, so it didn’t seem nearly as long as it could have!!

Now for the sneak peek!! Check out some of the favourites from Kathy and Kurtis’ BIG day!

 

It took a couple tries to get it the right video tutorial, but those pocket squares were folded!

 

 The groom looking very dapper!

 

 If Kurtis is looking for a career change…acting could be his calling!!

 Hahaha

 

 There she is!!! Our beautiful bride!!

 

 

 These two have been best friends since kindergarten…I believe there was some sort of sand table incident and they’ve been bff’s since!

The lovely ladies!!

 

 

 It’s official!!!

 

 

Love it!!

 

 

 These two rocked it…even with the threat of ants in their pants and attack geese!!

 

 

 

 Awwwwww!

 Did I mention that not only are these two funny, but they have MOVES on the dance floor!!

 

 Like I said…MOVES on the dance floor…these photos sum up the night wonderfully!!!

Congratulations guys, it was an absolute riot with you and your families and friends!!

We wish you nothing but the best!…oh and we won’t turn down an invitation to any party you guys throw…just sayin!

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High School Sweethearts…{Kristine & Jim…Married…Finally!}

What a day we had for Jim & Kristine’s big day! The sun was shining…it was HOT and it was the Saturday of the May long weekend! Perfect right? Well the wedding was perfect! Jim and Kristine are perhaps one of the cutest couples we have had the pleasure of photographing thus far…they are just ridiculously in love and it shows! They have been together for a LONG time (since a high school Student Council Campaign from what I gathered through the speeches) and it seemed that almost everyone who spoke throughout the day commented that this day had FINALLY arrived! We were very honoured to be given the task of capturing the day that had been so many years in the making!

As for the heat…as a cold-blooded Canadian, I thought it was perfect! Sure, it was a little bit hot out in the sun, but as every Canadian knows…May 2-4 is generally one extreme or the other, and I am more than happy to tolerate the heat and accompanying humidity if it means not having to weather snow, sleet, windchill, etc. However, our groom and his family hail from the good ol’ USA…the Western States and Florida…they, on the other hand, were NOT big fans of our Ontario humidity. Fortunately, they didn’t have to be out in it for too long. The ceremony was held at the Ellis Chapel just outside Cambridge and was officiated by the groom’s brother…who did a FANTASTIC job by the way! It was one of the most personalized ceremonies I have ever seen and I LOVED the Last Kiss Ceremony that was a part of it!

After a quick stop at the McDonald’s drive-thru, we headed out to Waterloo Park to battle the concert-goers invading the park for some fun photos with the wedding party. Then it was off to the reception for a wonderful dinner, lots of dancing and a delicious candy buffet full of all of Jim and Kristine’s favourites in coordinating blue and brown.

It was really a beautiful day (both weather-wise and wedding-wise) and we couldn’t have been happier to have been a part of it!!

Now on to the less-than-perfect part of the day and the lesson I learned…

I was super organized for Jim & Kristine’s big day…I am always organized, but for some reason I took the extra few minutes to look-up and write down a few extra numbers, print off a couple extra items, etc. I had everything all ready the night before and left my house early the morning of the wedding as there was one stop I planned to make en route to the hotel (which is only a 25 min drive from my house). Well folks, one thing you can’t plan, control or organize is traffic. Sure you can listen to the radio traffic reports and avoid trouble spots, but in this case the problem happened as I was coming up to it and I was stopped between the last exit I could have gotten off at and the one I needed. And this was not your average slow moving traffic due to rubber-neckers gawking at the fender bender on the shoulder…No, we are talking COMPLETELY stopped…closed in both directions. Cars were turned off, people were touring around, walking their dogs, the kids from the mini-van beside me were running around having a water fight. We were going NOWHERE! I’ll admit, I was more than a little panicked….I will also admit that for a few moments I contemplated paying the nice couple in the Ford Explorer just ahead of me $50 to drive my car to the hotel once traffic was moving while I hiked down into Cambridge and called a cab! I quickly concluded that this was probably NOT a safe option, so I had no choice but to call the bride. FORTUNATELY, my regular second shooter, Nicole, was unable to help that day (we normally travel together), so I was able to get a hold of Jeannine and asked her to go ahead early and capture the stuff I was clearly going to miss whilst stuck in traffic…and she did…BIG THANK YOU Jeannine…you are a talented photographer and a lifesaver!!! Also another HUGE THANK YOU to Kristine who was one cool and calm bride and didn’t freak out on me when I called to give her my status updates and the new back-up plan!! I was two hours later than I had planned, but I did eventually get there…before the ceremony!! And I may or may not have done some illegal stunt driving to get off the highway…we won’t go into details on that since I know there are a number of folks in law enforcement who may read this…including the GROOM!

Moral of the story? 1. It’s in my contract, but I have always wondered what “acts of God” could keep a photographer from getting to a wedding….now I know one! And 2. NEVER take the highway to a wedding…I know my grandpa Bill (a big “scenic route” guy) was watching down on me, shaking his head and laughing while saying “I told you so”…I for one will be taking the back roads from now on!

Now, on to the photos!!!

 

 

 

 Are these girls not the cutest pair of sisters!!

 All of the girls were looking fabulous and knew how to rock it for the camera!

 

 Kristine is one happy girl coming down the aisle…she’s only about to marry one of the sweetest guys I have ever met, so no wonder!!

 They did it!!!

 

 

 I love, love, LOVE this photo!! It took some convincing from Jim, Jeannine and myself to get Kristine on board, but TOTALLY worth it! The two of them used to work at this very McD’s back in the day and it just so happened to be on the property directly behind the chapel!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The inscription on the cake is from the very first card Jim ever gave to Kristine when they were dating!

 

Congratulations guys!! It was a beautiful day!!

**And lastly, I just wanted to take a second to say that while I was incredibly stressed and late, I arrived at my destination safe and sound in the end…the same cannot be said for one of the individuals involved in the crash that caused the traffic that day. My thoughts are with that gentleman’s family and friends…I feel pretty small complaining about being 2 hours late when he never arrived where he was going.**

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1 Random Act of Kindness…{Christina & Andrew…Engaged!}

The story reads like this: A pretty, young university student (we will call her Christina) had just returned to campus after riding the Grey Hound back from a visit home. As she was struggling* to get her two large suitcases up the steps and into her dorm, a voice from behind her asked her if she would like some help. She muttered “yes” before turning around to see that the voice had come from one VERY handsome stranger (we shall call him Andrew) and quickly reiterated that “YES! I would LOVE some help!” So, being the generous dude he is…and lets face it, he was trying to pick her up…Andrew helped Christina with her luggage. A couple days later, Christina took him for a coffee to thank him for his help and the rest, folks, is history!

These two lovebirds are getting ready for a June wedding on Christina’s family farm…I am very excited to have been asked to capture the day as we all know that this photographer is a sucker for farm weddings…especially dairy farm weddings!! Can’t wait!

Anyways, on to the task at hand…I always suggest to couples that we shoot the engagement photos at a place that is significant to them and their coupledome, so with Christina and Andrew we went back to where their story began and met up on the campus of their alma mater, the University of Guelph.

It was a BEAUTIFUL Sunday evening…honestly, it couldn’t have been a better night for a photo shoot! It was warm with not a lot of wind and the sun was purrrrrrrfect! We started out on campus and later headed downtown to a couple of other favourite spots along the river! In case you haven’t noticed…these two are gorgeous!! They rocked EVERY shot…even when Ricky Bobby (read: Andrew) wasn’t always sure what to do with his hands. I had a VERY hard time choosing the photos for this sneak peek, but I had to narrow it down! So, after much deliberation, check out some of my fav shots from the shoot!

* – I say “struggling” but really only for literary appeal as we all know that a dairy girl like myself would never be struggling to move anything! Haha

 

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April Showers…(Holly & Paul…Married!!}

The day was a little rainy and it was flipping cold, but that definitely didn’t put a damper on Holly & Paul’s big day!! In fact, mother nature seemed to know that we had photos to take outside, because she was kind enough to stop the rain…it was still cold, so she wasn’t THAT nice, but it wasn’t raining and we were able to head out on the golf carts with the guys and goof around on the golf course with the whole wedding party!

I have shot at the Paris Grand before, but it was during the peak golfing season and we didn’t have a course employee (*ahem* Paul) on our team, so this time we were able to have a little more free reign on where we went and when! Yay! Not that there weren’t golfers…there were…in toques and gloves…seriously people, if you have to dress for winter, it’s probably NOT the best day to golf…but anyways…since there weren’t a lot of golfers, the club let us take a pile of carts and go wherever Holly and Paul wanted to go!

I also have to say…Holly & Paul are the parents to one of the CUTEST little dudes ever!! Mr. O was such a little ham and had a blast joining in on the festivities…including stealing the minister’s bible and taking off down the aisle will mommy and daddy signed the registry! Haha.

Despite the somewhat uncooperative weather, the day was beautiful and I was very happy to have been a part of it!!

As well, I also have to extend a HUGE thank you to Miss Nicole who came to rescue me! Honestly, wedding photographer’s worst nightmare…being sick on the wedding day! It happened…not cool…I toughed it out for the majority of the day, but Nicole was kind enough to come and relieve me for the reception. THANK YOU!!! And thank you so much to Holly & Paul who were very understanding!

Anyways, on to the photos! Check out some of my favourites from the day!!

 

Looking good boys!

O sees mommy all dressed up for the first time!!

LOVE!

 

 

 

Holly and her bodyguards!

 

Paul’s sister’s face is priceless!! This makes me laugh EVERY time I look at this picture! hehe

Beautiful girls!!

 

 

 

I think O is telling us he’s had enough photos? Ha!

 

Probably not the most technically correct photo, but it is super cute and the only photo we managed to catch of Mr O as he stole the bible and took off down the aisle!!

They did it!!

 

My FAVOURITE photo of the day!! So candid and natural! I LOVE it!

 

 

Congratulations guys!! It was a beautiful day!!

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