On a gorgeous, late summer day in August - Lisa & Ryan said "I do".
I had the pleasure of meeting with Lisa and Ryan just once before their wedding day. Some of my couples opt out of engagement photos which doesn't give us a whole lot of time to connect before their celebration, but we clicked when we met and I had no reservations about shooting the big day.
Having never been to Villa Caledon Inn previously, I was blown away by this venue. Just west of Bolton, ON you will find their restaurant and event tent surrounded by luscious greens and the most beautiful blooms. While the restaurant remains open during events, Villa Caledon only hosts one wedding per day, offering their couples full use of the property and enough privacy to keep things feeling intimate. Lisa & Ryan kept things intimate themselves with a guest list of 50. Most weddings I shoot host over 100 guests, so this was really special for me. When the guest list is small, I'm able to get a lot more portraits of your guests than I normally would.
Shortly after we arrived and toured the property, Lisa arrived with her girls. With the help of her wedding coordinator, we decided where we were going to have the first look with Ryan. It's no secret that I ADORE first looks. Not only are they a great opportunity for candid, un-posed shots, they also free up your wedding timeline to allow the bridal party (and sometimes family) photos to be taken before the ceremony.
Ryan and Lisa were both so calm that afternoon - excited to see each other, but so at peace. I always find that the energy my couples are giving off when I arrive is what I can expect to see all day. These two were no exception. Before the first look, Lisa had told me that Ryan knew very little about the dress. She had hinted that it was a ballgown (very poofy) and when we asked Ryan about it, he told us what Lisa had said, but shared that he knew she would look beautiful in anything. First looks are always very special, but this one was so great because Ryan had likely pictured the dress Lisa described in his head but turned around to see her in something quite different - a romantic, fit and flow gown. After some incredibly sweet photos of these two hugging it out, we knocked the bridal party photos off the list before the ceremony. The fun and easy-going nature of their group made our job so darn easy.
The ceremony that followed was perfect. Illuminated by the warm sun behind the trees, Lisa & Ryan exchanged the vows that they had personally written, bringing tears to most of their guests and the ladies of the bridal party. I, of course, cried too. And when the time came for them to be announced as husband and wife, Ryan scooped up his beautiful bride for their kiss; a perfect start to cocktail hour!
Their guests gathered at the bar to get their celebratory drink and waited for their moment to embrace the newlyweds. We rounded up their immediate families for photos and they are easily among my favourite family photos of all time. The way they easily joked with their siblings, and embraced their parents was so freakin' precious. While these are typically the most "formal" photos of the day, this group was seemingly determined to have it feel anything but stuffy. Following cocktail hour, the guests found their seats under the beautiful white tent while we snuck away from the group for a few more portraits of Lisa & Ryan.
Their reception was filled with so much laughter, so many hugs, and the most delicious food. We watched as their friends became kids again while playing the hilarious party games put on by their DJ, and the happy couple had everyone in stitches during the shoe game! The tears flowed again when we watched Lisa dance with her Dad, Ryan with both his mom and Lisa's, and of course when the Bride & Groom shared their first dance as husband and wife. Shortly after the dance floor opened to everyone, it was time for us to depart. But not before enjoying the McDonald's sandwiches that Lisa & Ryan had brought in for their late-night snack! While we were heavily encouraged to stay and party, we had to depart. We didn't get out of there without hugging and waving to what felt like half of their guest list - and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Congratulations again to Lisa & Ryan - we wishing you nothing but joy & love in your life together and we have to thank you again for choosing us to be part of your celebration! We're so happy the Universe crossed our paths.
Lots of love,
Venue & Catering | Villa Caledon Inn, Caledon ON
Makeup & Hair | Justyna @jkglam
Florist | Popis Flowers & Boutique
Dress | Essence of Australia
Suits | Tip Top Tailors