Gone are the days of having your bridal party all wear the exact same, probably unflattering dresses. (thank goodness) The new tradition is a little closer to anything goes. Bridal parties are much more creative in their styling, and allow for more flattering outfits that are often better suited to individual personalities, and even encourage couples to include men in the bride tribe. This is amazing, but it can be a bit overwhelming. There are no wrong answers when it comes to your bridal party style, and if you have been struggling with what your bridesmaids (and/or bridesmen!) will be wearing we’ve got some inspiration for you in our round-up this week. From jumpsuits and classic elegance to unique individuality and stylish accessories we’ve got something to suit your wedding style.
Recently Frances took some time out to sit down with the lovely Leah of Makeup by Lee to hear about how she got started and ask her for a few make-up tips for those of us who aren’t regular make-up wearers.
Did you always know you wanted to be a makeup artist?
I think it was probably more gradual-ish. So I used to do a little bit of modelling at home, and it came to the point where I was trying to decide what I wanted to do and there was always a make-up artist there. I was always like “What are you doing now? I want to see what you’re doing”. I was into it. I also knew I didn’t want to be at a desk, so when it came time to choose, it was kinda like well, that’s what I want to do. But it wasn’t like “oh yes! This is definitely what I want to do” It was definitely more gradual, and I couldn’t have made a better decision!!
How did you get started?
I went to school in Orlando, and then I went back home and just kinda started. Obviously I had to build clientele, it wasn’t just going to come straight to me so I worked with a photographer for about a year. He did everything. He did a lot of real estate, which didn’t really help me with make-up, but I got to see how it all worked. How the equipment worked and how it was from the other side of the camera. When we did do fashion shoots or portraits, I would do the make-up but I would also get to see what I needed to work on, or what needed more, because obviously in person and on camera things can look a little different.
I feel like so many people could benefit from working in other areas of the industry. Just to have a better understanding of everything.
Oh 100 percent.
Like even just you doing our make-up for that branding shoot, I mean, I didn’t even wear make-up to my wedding. I put on mascara and that was essentially it, so I was nervous and a little skeptical of how important it was, but the make-up you did for us for that shoot made such a huge difference.
Yah totally. It always has to be heavier in person. It always seems crazy. But then you see photos and you’re like “oh! That still looks like me”
Do you find that you have a lot of people that are taken aback by how much make-up it takes to look good on camera?
Some. I feel like everyone understands it. To a certain point. When they first look at themselves, they’re like “oh wow! That’s a lot” But then as the day goes on they realize it’s not that much. I’ve gotten to a point where I would say natural make-up is my thing. I can make people feel comfortable but I can still get the coverage that they need. So when they look at themselves they still feel like themselves. I haven’t changed their features, just enhanced them.
I would definitely say that that’s what you did for us. It didn’t feel heavy, or like it was too much, I just felt like myself. The foundation was a bit weird, because I never wear anything on my skin, except maybe sunscreen when I’m feeling responsible.
That’s the weirdest part. Because the foundation covers everything, and then I’m the one that brings back the colour. There are little tricks that I do to keep it lighter. In school, I was always taught that you never want to cover everything. You don’t want to cover the freckles, you want the freckles to come through, and I love freckles.
Those little things that make you unique are the things you want to keep.
Have you ever come across somebody who really is uncomfortable with how they look at the end, or it was way more than what they were thinking?
Good question. I think what I’ve come across more is when people bring me photos or their ideas of what they want or what they think they want, and they have no idea how much make-up that would take. So if someone brings me a picture of beautiful make-up, but I know it’s a lot of make-up and they’ve never worn make-up, or they don’t wear make-up often, I always start light. It’s easier to build on it, then to take it off.
That’s a smart way to do it. What do you normally ask people to bring you, or instead of bringing you a picture, what’s a better way for them to express what they’re looking for?
Usually we do a trial and at the trial, if they don’t have pictures I tend to just chat with them about what make-up they usually wear, how they do it and what they don’t like. I also ask them what they’re looking for. That kind of stuff. I just go with that and then I put the colours and everything together that I think would suit. Almost all the time, especially with brides, it’s “I want to look natural, I want to look like myself. I want my fiancé to recognize me.”. I like to see the style of the dress too, so I get a feel of how they want to look.
Is there a certain style you prefer?
That is a hard one. I do like natural. At first I always wanted to be avant garde and I wanted to be known for that, but then I realized for me, natural is just where I am. It’s my style, and I just embrace that now.
Do you give your clients any prep work that they have to do before showing up to work with you?
I usually give them lots of tips. For example, come with a clean face, have your contacts already in, if you wear them, and brush your teeth. Otherwise the lipstick will come off if you try to do it after. I have a print out, I give them at their trial, that covers a bunch of those things and the frequently asked questions. It’s helpful and it’s not only just for the bride, it’s for everyone else as well.
What would you say is your biggest tip or trick for someone doing every day make-up?
It’s hard because everyone is so different. If there was one thing, I would say maybe brows because they shape your face. Or maybe brows and eyes. For brows, the shaping of them is key. And also not to over pluck. Go with what you have because that’s your natural shape. And also! A lot of people seem to think that your brows are supposed to be identical, and I’m always saying things like “They’re actually sisters, they’re not twins.”.
What are the three products you can’t live without?
I’d say, urban decay brow beater, lip balm, whichever one is closest, and then I’ll say mascara. I like the Estee Lauder one for every day. I also really like a cream blush. I find it just blends in nicely. Throughout the day you still look glowy, but you don’t look made up for something like working out.
When you’re putting on the cream blush, what do you do?
I use my brush, or you can use a sponge as well, and I take a little bit and I put it on in a circular motion. It’s actually quite pigmented so you only need a little bit. Then I put it all around the face so that it’s not clown like, and you have warmth throughout your whole face.
Oh! That’s a trick I wouldn't have thought of. What’s your favourite brand?
I have one that’s my go-to, it’s Joe Blasco in cola.
What is your own make-up routine like?
Sometimes I feel like, as a make-up artist, that I should be wearing make-up every day, but then I think that’s not realistic. I strongly believe in letting your skin breathe. I’m not a cosmetologist, I never studied skin, but I do think that that’s important. Taking care of your skin will give you a better canvas. You can’t expect the make-up will cover everything.
Do you have any special skin care routines that you follow or are you pretty lackadaisical?
Well I’m not lax, but I’m not regimented either. One of the tips that I learned from one of my friends, is not to use the same product always. So when that product runs out, switch to another one, because if you don’t keep your skin working it’s just going to get used to the product and then it’s not doing anything. So that’s something I do. I’m always switching, or I’m adding something in, or trying something out. Just out of curiosity, but also to keep your skin guessing. It’s kinda like a diet, so if you’re eating the same thing every day your body just gets used to it.
Let’s talk lash extensions. Do you do them?
I do them, but I’m also torn. It’s good for day to day, but only for the people who can maintain it and are going to follow the rules. It’s a lot of maintenance. You get them done and you have to come back within 3-6 weeks, to get them filled in.
Oh wow! I thought it was once every 3-6 months!
It depends. People will notice them start to come off when their natural lashes shed but often the reaction is to start picking at them and when you pull them, you’ll pull your natural lashes out too. So there are rules. No sleeping on your side, because they’ll fall out faster. No saunas, no oils, and it all has to be non-waterproof make-up. If you can maintain that then sure, but it all has to be good.
You just determined that I will never get them. I love saunas too much.
For me, I’ve wanted to get them done, but I also like to have all of my make-up off at then end of the day and to feel clean. So I know that I would be one of those that just ends up pulling at them and playing too much and then I’ll regret it.
Thanks to Leah for taking the time to chat with us! Follow her on instagram, @muabylee, or check out her website, www.makeupbylee.com, where she shares tips on her own blog. If you’d like to get in touch with Leah to inquire about her services, you can contact her here.
We’ve all seen it. Boutonnieres that are too low, on the wrong side, crooked, have pins showing or are precariously hanging by a haphazardly inserted pin after a big hug from a family member. Well, we’ve got you covered this wedding season with a simple set of instructions for making sure that boutonniere is on the right side and stays put all day. Read on to become an expert in pinning boutonnieres.
You’ll need 1-2 straight pins, a boutonniere and a lapel.
Position the boutonniere against the left lapel. If there is a buttonhole on the lapel, use that as a guide for where to position it. If the buttonhole happens to be very high on the lapel or there isn’t one at all, a good rule of thumb is that it should be centred between the top of the tie and the pocket square or breast pocket.
Holding the boutonniere gently in place by the stem, fold the lapel back and insert the pin vertically, from the top to the bottom of the stem, and then back through the fabric.
If the boutonniere is a bit heavy, you may want to secure it with a second pin. Repeat the above step and ensure the pin crosses the other creating an ‘x’.
We’re back with five more events you’ll want to add to your calendar for July. We’ve already added a couple of these to our calendars, so maybe we’ll see you there!!! We’ve got everything from pop-up oyster bars, to axe throwing, to yoga & vino, to Elvis. We want to make sure you’re in the know. Whether you’re a local, or just visiting, make sure to check out some of these amazing events. Let’s be real, no one likes a case of fomo.
We can’t take credit for any of these cool events. We’ll just be partaking in the merriment, or wishing that we were.
Heather & Kilian
Grandma Lambe’s, Meaford
FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHER:
I love the heart that was put into this wedding. This wedding was held outdoors on a day that most people would have preferred to huddle inside. Being outside was so important to Heather & Kilian, I loved that they went for it regardless of the dropping temperatures. Kilian & Heather made sure all their guests were taken care of. Cozy blankets & heaters kept everyone warm and their love for their families (and each other) stole the show. I think huddling under the blankets in a totally UNPLUGGED ceremony created a very intimate and unique experience for the guests. - Jennifer Van Son
FROM THE COUPLE:
How did you choose your venue?: I knew that I wanted to get married in a barn, but we explored a lot of venues at the beginning. We initially fell in love with a (pricey) barn in the Beaver Valley that was having some trouble getting approval from the Niagara Escarpment Council. Needless to say, we were put on hold for quite some time waiting for the go ahead. We finally got fed up after months of waiting and decided to check out a couple more venues. It was late in the season at this point and not many dates were available but we fell in love with Grandma Lambe’s barn and Steph Lambe. They were so good to us and so accommodating!
What was the most important thing for you for your wedding day?: The photography was my number one most important thing for our wedding day. I wanted to spend the money on an experienced professional so that I could look back at our wedding photos and re-live each moment through their lens. Jennifer van Son absolutely rocked it, in fact we both cried our eyes out when she sent us our initial slide show.
Please describe any unique details from your day and why they were special to you: I come from a very musical family and I wanted to incorporate that into our wedding. I love to sing and have been playing guitar around a campfire since I was 7 years old. I had my 13th birthday party at a karaoke bar and naturally, had to have a karaoke wedding. My nieces have also been taking an interest in music over the last several years. More specifically, my oldest niece Jessie Gosling. She’s a 15 year old singer/songwriter and I asked her to sing with me at our wedding. She absolutely killed it, and let me tell you - this girl is going places! It’s an amazing memory to have.
What was the atmosphere you were trying to create?: I had a very clear vision of a rustic, bohemian, all white and greenery wedding.
What area of your wedding did you save on?: After a few unsuccessful dress shopping adventures, I decided to hire a friend and very talented designer, Jordan de Ruiter. I wanted a simple dress that I would be comfortable and happy in all day. Jordan designed the most perfect dress for me. It was an organic modal gown with lace trim and lace detailing on the sleeves. She even threw in some pockets! It ended up being very affordable in comparison to the boutique store price tags!
What wedding advice would you give to someone planning their wedding now?: I would say to block out everyone else’s opinions and hire a good event planner. My good friends Michelle Green and Tim Reid own Black and White Events and did the most spectacular job keeping me sane. There were so many times throughout the wedding planning process that I thought to myself, ‘this is never going to come together’. Michelle and Tim were always there to pick up the pieces, offer advice, and just comfort us when I was stressed. They are the reason that wedding came together and when I saw it all set up for the first time I truly couldn’t believe my eyes. They are worth every penny!
What area of your wedding did you splurge on? (what was your top priority): My mom really only had one request and that was... drum roll please.. good food. She recommended ‘Justin’s Oven’, a farm to table catering company out of Kimberley, and described him as magic. I took her word for it and went ahead and hired them without doing a tasting. Let’s just say that people still talk about how amazing the food was. I remember we had a few last minute cancellations a couple of weeks before the wedding and about a week before the big day I asked if it was too late to change the numbers. I remember Justin apologizing and saying ‘sorry Heather, it’s too late now - the chickens were slaughtered on Monday’. I thought it was a joke at first but he wasn’t kidding - that’s how fresh the food is!
What was your biggest challenge in the planning process?: My biggest challenge was the fact that we chose a barn. There are so many unknowns and so much involved in planning a wedding in a barn like Grandma Lambe’s. I certainly feel like I’m a professional wedding planner now, that’s for sure. It was worth all of the hard work and obstacles we had to overcome. It was perfect.
What was your most memorable moment of the day?: There were so many memorable moments but the first one that comes to mind is when we cut the cake. We cut the cake to the beautiful music we picked out and as soon as we went to put it on the plate it fell on the floor. Jennifer van Son got a good shot out of that one and everyone got a good laugh!
What was your first dance song?: Millionaire - Chris Stapleton
Photography: Jennifer van Son
Planner: Black & White Events
Flowers: Fresh by Leanne
Food: Justin’s Oven
Rentals: Happenings Party Rentals
Rentals (Decorations): Gettin’ Hitched Wedding & Event Rentals and Croft & Barrell Rustic Rentals
Custom Dress: Jordan deRuiter
Venue: Grandma Lambe’s
Invitations & Stationary: Minted.
Band: The Trevor Mackenzie Band
Facilities Rentals: A1 Toilet Rentals
DJ: Fred Dawson
Cocktail Hour Entertainment: Jessie Gosling
Cake: Lauren Patchell, Seconds Catering
Hair: Leish Grenier, L’Attitudes Salon in Collingwood
Makeup: Courtney Pigeau
This week we reached out to a few Georgian Bay wedding florists to round up a selection of their favourite boutonnieres, because guys can wear flowers too! From classic and romantic to colourful and full of texture, there is sure to be a boutonniere in this list for you to love.
There’s no shortage of awesome events happening all the time in the Georgian Bay area, especially in the summertime. We’ve decided to pull together five events happening locally that we’re super excited about and know you will be too! Anything from pop-up restaurants, to dance parties, to concerts, to cider release parties. We want to make sure you’re in the know. Whether you’re a local, or just visiting, make sure to plug these into your calendar so you don’t miss out. Let’s be real, no one likes a case of fomo.
We can’t take credit for any of these cool events. We’ll just be partaking in the merriment, or wishing that we were.
Sat & Sun —
Where/When: Saturdays 8-1pm Second & Pine St,
Saturdays 8-12:30pm -
114 8th St E,
Sundays 11-2pm -
30 Mill St,
Who doesn’t love a farmers market? Fresh food, talented artisans, open air, live music, and local, seasonal produce. Make sure you hunt down some Ironwood Coffee while you’re there.
The first time I arrived at Coffin Ridge Boutique Winery the very first words out of my mouth were “please tell me you host weddings here!?”. It’s a reasonable question, and one they were asked quite a bit. The location is off the beaten path, and it is magical. Rolling hills as far as the eye can see, cascading lines of vineyards, an old stone foundation, and the Niagara escarpment in the distance. To top all of that off, they have excellent wine and ciders so you don’t need to go far for booze selections for your wedding.
2019 will be the first year Coffin Ridge hosts weddings and we are beyond excited to have them as a new wedding venue in the South Georgian Bay area, for all of the reasons mentioned above and so many more. There is a beautifully appointed home on the property for getting ready, that has a magic garden tucked in the back with loads of ivy. There are multiple options for ceremony locations depending on the size of your wedding and the view you’d prefer.
An extra special element is that you get to work with Amanda Jerome of Amanda Jerome Events as she is their go-to wedding coordinator. Amanda put together a team of local wedding professionals to showcase what Coffin Ridge has to offer as a wedding venue and the multiple ceremony sites they have available. Ashley & I were lucky enough to be part of that team.
The variety of views don’t disappoint but this one, overlooking the valley and the vineyard makes for a stunning and dramatic backdrop for a ceremony.
With such a vast, beautiful green covered landscape the vibrant corals, peaches and pinks of the flowers really shine. Summer blooms like dahlias and gomphrena fill the bouquet and the trailing ivy and reaching stems of lisianthus add movement to the asymmetrical design.
There was no shortage of places to take portraits but the garden at the back of the house with it’s lush, ivy covered walls and tall shrubs create a magical and private space to share a moment or two with your partner.
One of the many stunning spots Coffin Ridge has to offer is the old stone foundation, or ruins. The space is maintained and complete with a coy pond full of toads, but still remains wild with virginia creeper climbing the old stones.
What’s not to love about vineyards? They are typically in the most stunning locations, perfectly straight lines of rich greens cascading down hills. Coffin Ridge’s vineyard is no exception. We love the farmlands in the distance and the seemingly neverending greenery.
Follow the winding stone lined path past the tasting room and you come to another beautiful ceremony location. The stone lined path creatives a natural aisle that leads to a view of the vineyard. We created an alternative modern arch with copper pipe and dried grasses to give the space a focal point.
The stone foundation ruins provided a beautiful spot to set a table for an intimate dinner under the stars. Cafe string lights and candles provide a soft romantic glow as the light fades. Sunset peaches and pinks pop against the neutral table linen and the smoky grey plates add contrast and interest to the tablescape. Little bits of ivy and pink pepper berry placed amongst the copper votive candles add texture and tie in the lush greenery surrounding the ruins.
As the sun sets over the escarpment, this beautiful landscape becomes even more picturesque. Would you ever consider a golden hour ceremony with these vineyards and escarpment as your backdrop?
Photography: Frances Beatty Photography
Planning & Styling: Amanda Jerome Events
Flowers & Styling: Ashley Elaine Florals
Hair: The Parlour by Stephanie
Makeup: Makeup by Lee
Dress Boutique: Exchanging Vows Bridal Boutique
Venue: Coffin Ridge Boutique Winery
Invitations & Stationary - Amanda Jerome Events
Rentals: Four Seasons Party Rentals
Spring. It’s the time of year we yearn for everything green and new and fresh. It’s the season of new beginnings and the reminder that warm summer days are on the way. Between the budding apple trees and lilacs, bright yellow forsythia and many other signs, the Georgian Bay landscape is showing lots of promise. To celebrate this beautiful shift in season, here are a few of my favourite spring flowers to design with.
No spring arrangement would be complete without tulips. With so many kinds of tulips out there, the options are seemingly endless. There are tulips with double the petals, ones with frilly edges, exotic looking parrot tulips, single tulips and many more. To enjoy tulips in your garden, plant the bulbs in the fall once temperatures start to drop for a beautiful show of blooms come spring. Though they are also loved by animals such as deer so if you are in a spot frequented by tulip loving animals, be prepared to lose a few blooms. When it comes to arranging with tulips, my favourite is the double tulip. They are full of petals, also known as peony flowering, and put on quite the show as they continue to open and change.
Typically blooming in mid spring, muscari stems are made up of little bunches of blue bell shaped blooms. Also known as grape hyacinths, the bulbs multiply easily and will provide flowers in your garden year after year. As a cut flower, these blue beauties may be delicate in size and shape but they pack a colourful punch when paired with other favourites like narcissus or poppies.
Grown in a wide range of colours, ranunculus are known for their long vase life and layers on layers of delicate petals, making them a must have for many floral designers. While they aren’t seen as often in home gardens as other bulbs such as tulips, they are a very popular and highly sought after cut flower. I like to use them as an accent, floating gently above heavier focal flowers or feature them in a more minimal style arrangement and let their beauty truly shine.
Whether you’re looking for inspiration for your bridal bouquet, your kitchen table or for what to plant in your garden, these three beauties are lovely options. Tulips, muscari and ranunuculus will add that extra pop of colour we’re all craving by April & May.
Do you have a favourite spring flower? Leave a comment and share with us!
From the towering trees of the Bruce trails, to the turquoise waters of Georgian Bay, this engagement session not only features the varied beauty of the area, but also the warmth of two people very much in love. Leah & Ryan’s affection for each other is truly endearing and their long distance love story makes this session from photographer Allison Milne that much more captivating.
Leah & Ryan
Craigleith Provincial Park
FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHER:
Leah and Ryan chose trails close to their home for the first part of their session, as they frequent that trail often when they go hiking in the Blue Mountains, and it was pretty special to them both. The views are undoubtedly beautiful, and the thick of the forest is pretty magical too. The trail quickly transforms into this oasis in the trees where the canopy towers over you, and the forest floor is covered in ferns. It caught me surprise, as I had never hiked it before. I figured out right away why they love it so much there!
Afterwards we made our way down to Craigleith. The views of Georgian Bay from the shoreline can make someone feel pretty small - which is a great feeling! Anyone who is familiar with the bay, no matter which side you’re on, can appreciate this sentiment. I thought the waterfront was the perfect compliment to the Bruce trail, and it really helped pull their Georgian Bay, Blue Mountains session together!
FROM THE COUPLE:
How did you choose your location?: I think Craigleith Provincial Park was Alison's idea and she couldn't have chosen better spot by incorporating the lake into our shoot, making me feel very at home, being an island girl and all.
How did you meet?: It's a bit of a long story, yet shows how small the world is! I was born and raised in Barbados and Ryan in Caledon, Ontario. However, Ry's dad was originally from Barbados, before moving to Canada. Ry visited his dad's side of the family in Barbados every Christmas and it being a small island, we knew of each other but had never met. We chatted a bit through Facebook and then he came to Barbados for his usual visit and we met. Basically that was it. The world gets even smaller as his aunt also married a Bajan and funny enough taught me at school when I was about 8. I also danced with his cousin on a weekly basis before meeting Ryan years later.
How did you fall in love?: Being from two separate countries, we did long distance for 5 years and in that time as challenging as it was, we felt it well worth it, if it meant that we could be together.
What's your favourite thing about each other?: I love his heart, how happy he makes me & getting one of his hugs/ snuggles can turn my day around. We make a great team and push each other out of our comfort zones when it's needed and his smile can light up the darkest of rooms.
When/where did he propose?: Ry proposed in Barbados on a pier on one of our go-to beaches.
Katie & Alex
Camp Tapawingo, Parry Sound
From the photographer:
I have never met a more down to earth couple in my life. From the minute we spoke, I was in love with these two and their day was so relaxed, fun and them. Also, Georgian Bay holds a special place in their hearts as Katie's parents own a cottage on the Bay and she has grown up there. What made this wedding unique was their arrival by her dad’s boat, which he brought over from his cottage. There were canoes filled with drinks in multiple spots, their adorable puppy was part of the entire day and since Camp Tapawingo only takes a couple weddings a year we all felt very lucky to be in such a beautiful location.
From the couple:
How did you choose your venue?: We knew we wanted to get married right on the shoreline of Georgian Bay as soon as we got engaged. It was the first and probably the most important thing we decided on right off the bat, and so the search for venues on the bay began! We toyed around with the idea of having our ceremony on the rocks near my family cottage and booking a reception hall elsewhere, but the more we considered that, the more we realized that would be very hard to pull off logistically! Then my mom found out from a friend of her’s that Camp Tapawingo in Parry Sound does private events a couple weekends each fall. We called Liz at the camp, and it turned out they had one weekend left that coming September! We were up in Parry Sound at the cottage that week for Christmas holidays, so we dropped by the camp the next day and met with the camp groundskeeper. We both immediately loved it... the Georgian Bay shoreline was beautiful (albeit frozen at the time), the cabins were rustic and we could tell the camp had a super fun energy about it. We locked in the venue and date the next morning!
Please describe any unique details from your day and why they were special to you: My dress. Wedding dress shopping was very daunting to me because I just felt like there was so much pressure to find this magical dress that somehow takes away all your body image issues and insecurities. When I started trying on dresses, I was pretty much immediately defeated. I felt insecure, uncomfortable and totally unprepared for how expensive they were. With our wedding being at a camp, I didn’t want to wear anything too over the top and I really wanted to feel comfortable. I shopped on multiple days with my sister and my mom, and just couldn’t find anything I wanted. A few weeks later my sister texted me out of the blue “I just bought your wedding dress”. I was like what do you mean?? She called me and explained she was walking by a sample sale at French Connection and they had this white dress on a mannequin that she loved, so she popped in and tried it on (my sister and I are very close to the same size) and loved it. Then she found out it was on major clearance... and only costed $50! So she bought it and never looked back. That weekend I was staying with her in Toronto, because my husband and I had a wedding in the city to attend. The Sunday morning, nursing a post-wedding hangover, I tried the dress on in my sisters apartment with my sister and husband there, and loved it. It felt like the most difficult decision was made easy as pie thanks to my lovely sister.
Any other special details?: We (the girls) arrived in my Dad’s boat! We used the dock at the camp as the “aisle”. Our crazy puppy Rory (she was 5 months old at our wedding) got to spend the whole weekend at the camp with us which was amazing. My sister and Alex’s brother Ian walked her down the aisle. She slept the entire next week straight.
What was your most memorable moment of the day?: Alex and I both agree that the ceremony was our favourite part. We wrote our own vows and it was really incredible, I’d recommend it to anyone. By writing my own vows I was able to vow things that are important to us in our specific relationship, like how I vowed to make the bed and do the dishes at least once per year!
It felt like our whirlwind engagement and months of chaos raising a puppy/planning a wedding all came to this amazing standstill. I remember taking it all in and thinking it was pretty surreal to be surrounded by all our favourite people, in our favourite place, holding hands with each other and getting married. I felt so happy.
.... and then we had a sweet dance party. Alex serenaded me on the dance floor to Pony by Genuine and there is some pretty humiliating footage of it out there!
Our friend Braydon also invented the shot “teginskeymeisters” which helped contribute to the dance party shenanigans. :)
What was the most important thing for you for your wedding day?: Fun. We wanted our wedding to be super fun and relaxed for us and all of our friends. We didn’t want to take it too seriously, or worry about the small things... which was easier said than done! Half way through planning I actually had to delete my Pinterest page because I was getting overwhelmed by all the beautiful weddings and their incredible details and I was forgetting that our day was about us and what we wanted.
What was the atmosphere you were trying to create?: Fun and inspired by Georgian Bay. As much as possible, we wanted our wedding to feel like how you feel sitting on the dock at the cottage after a long work week sipping on a beer.
Our wedding was a weekend event for most of our guests, arriving at the camp on Friday and leaving Sunday morning. Friday night our friend Shawn led trivia in the camp dining hall, and then we had a big campfire. Saturday morning our friend Nick was supposed to lead yoga on the dock but he slept in :) Then Saturday all day our guests had access to camps waterfront, canoes, SUP boards, lawn games and other camp activities.
What was your first dance song?: Angel by Jack Johnson
What area of your wedding did you splurge on? (what was your top priority): Good food. Chef Rons’ Georgian Bay inspired menu was amazing. Location. Our happy place is at the cottage. We live in Newmarket but home to us is on the bay. Photographer. We chose Megan because she had such a great personality and it was worth every penny. She was fantastic and we can’t imagine our day without her there.
What area of your wedding did you save on?: My dress (see above), minimal floral decorations, we borrowed decorations from friends like lanterns, candles etc., we had butter tarts for dessert instead of a wedding cake,
What was your biggest challenge in the planning process?: Pressure to please everyone. And we really didn’t want to exceed our $20000 budget! (Which we did, but only by a little!)
What wedding advice would you give to someone planning their wedding now?: Just remember the real reason for the day. Try not to get too caught up in wedding planning and try not to take yourself too seriously. In the end, if you marry the right person, the day will always be the best day of your life whether or not you had a confetti exit or a calligraphy seating chart.
Ashley & I met at a wedding years and years and years ago. We were both playing double duty that day, Ashley the florist and maid of honour, me the photographer and a guest. That’s how things go in this industry sometimes. The other thing that tends to happen in this industry is that you become friends with the people you work with, and that’s exactly what happened.
Of course, it took both of us moving 2.5 hours north of Toronto (where we were both living at the time we met), to do so. But so it goes.
We re-met over coffee after we had both moved up to the South Georgian Bay area. We needed friends, after all. We talked about the wedding industry, our love of flowers, our mutual friends and their growing family, we probably even casually mentioned our love for mint chocolate anything. It’s weird making friends as an adult sometimes. You almost feel like you’re asking someone out on a date, but I’m glad Ashley asked me out on that coffee date. I left resolved that we were going to be friends. I was right. (I’m rarely right, so I’m excited to announce this here)
Fast forward a year or so, many weddings together, tons of coffee dates, marvel movies, countless photo shoots and so much laughter your belly would ache and we both found ourselves in the quandary many entrepreneurs find themselves in. Working long hours in front of a computer. ALONE. Let’s be real, we were just plain lonely. Slowly we started working together. Not really on the same things, but just enjoying each other’s company while working on our businesses. Asking opinions, sharing frustrations, eating lunch, high fiving over wins. You name it. It’s become our typical Tuesday. Your place or mine?
On one particular Tuesday, Ashley & I were working together, drinking cider at Coffin Ridge Boutique Winery. It was grey and cold outside, but we found ourselves musing on how lucky we both were to have found such an idyllic part of the world to settle in and call home. Even luckier that we get to create in that space and work with couples who love it just as much as we do.
It’s a little crazy to me that more people don’t know how amazing a destination this area is for weddings. How stunning the landscape is, how amazing the local wedding professionals are, how good the restaurants are, how much is happening all the time.
So here’s what we kept getting stuck on…. We want to share this with the world. But where? It started with a spark. I created an account on instagram called Georgian Bay Bride. Not really thinking much more of it other than “I like this. I want to do it. There it is”. And there it was.
Georgian Bay Bride— The website, the brand, is here to tell more of the story. To dive deeper. To give you more of the heart of the matter. To introduce you to the beauty that lies just north of the city. To inspire you for your upcoming wedding. To introduce you to the incredible wedding professionals you have right here. To maybe even convince you that this is the area YOU want to get married.
The moral of our story here is that you should always surround yourself with people you trust. Friends who will tell you you’re being crazy when you are, shut you down when your idea is full on whackado, laugh at your idiosyncrasies with you. They should also be the people who encourage you when you’re onto something, help you out and lift you up, push you just that extra bit further. Even better if they’re ready to jump on board completely and be a part of something that could have just been another idea left to collect dust.
I am proud to have a partner in Ashley.
When we set out to do our branding portraits for Georgian Bay Bride we had all kinds of crazy and elaborate ideas (you’ll see those one day. promise), but the weather had other ideas. We ended up on the same couch we have spent so many hours on together. Working, emailing, laughing, talking, eating, drinking, planning, and definitely watching a Marvel movie or two.
We clearly have a hard time taking ourselves too seriously. A good chunk of our photo session was spent in stitches. I haven’t laughed that hard in ages.
Also, we thought it would be helpful if we finally answered the question everyone having their photo taken wants to know… WHAT DO I DO WITH MY HANDS?
you’re welcome. ;)
Natalie & Josh’s engagement session in Owen Sound is exactly what we love about the Georgian Bay area. Set in a sweeping field full of warm tones and autumn textures they wanted to take advantage of the naturally changing scenery as their backdrop but were delightfully surprised by the first snowfall of the season. The surprising contrast of the flurries against the fading green of the landscape added to the romance of their cozy engagement giving them an extra excuse to get close. What makes this session even more beautiful is the personal, family connection between Natalie & Josh and their photographers, Megan & Chris of The Photography Co.
Natalie & Josh
From the couple:
How did you meet?: Josh and I met when we were 18 at a friend's party. That night, Josh and I went for a walk together and he made a move and tried to kiss me but I rejected the kiss. We really liked each other back then but the timing just wasn't right. I was preoccupied with school and Josh was preparing to serve a mission in Utah for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
How did you fall in love?: When Josh returned to Toronto 2 years later after his mission, he claims he saw me at a get together the summer of 2014 and said "hello", but apparently I ignored him. I don't remember that happening at all! Later that year, I asked Josh to hang out with a couple friends at the cavalcade of lights in Toronto. We shared an awkward almost-kiss at the end of the night, and I mean awkward. Josh had his plans for the new year in mind. He was planning on going to school in Utah in 2015. Later on in our relationship he confirmed that he didn't want to start a relationship just before he left for school, hence the 2nd kiss rejection. We dated other people and reconnected in April 2015. Turns out going to school in Utah was out of the picture and everything just sort of fell into place after that.
What's your favourite thing about your partner?: His patience and loveableness.
When/where did they propose?: January 1, 2016. During a walk at High Park. We later celebrated by watching the latest Star Wars movie and having dinner with our family.
How did you choose your location?: The location we chose is where Josh took me on our first date up North where he grew up. We love nature walks and visiting Harrison Park whenever we visit our family.
Photographer: The Photography Co