Best of 2018: Weddings

Iā€™m Allison.
Welcome to my blog! This is where I'll share past weddings, my favourite wedding tips, and sometimes I'll even throw in some sage photography advice or a personal blog post or two.
TOp categories

2018 was one for the books! It brought many new challenges and exciting adventures. I photographed 13 weddings and countless portrait and engagement sessions! I had originally intended for this post to be a mix of both weddings and engagements but when I looked at the folder for the blog post and saw over 300 pictures I knew I had to do a separate post for just my weddings!

This past year I photographed 4 weddings at the Nor’Wester, 1 at Chippewa, 1 at Fort William Country Club, 1 in Lustsen, 1 at the Valhalla, and 2 at The Chanterelle. I had the chance to work with the most amazing people (couples and vendors), participated in 4 styled shoots, attended the Showit United conference in Arizona and photographed Luxy Chair and her beautiful chairs not once but twice!

Thank you to everyone who was a part of my year this year. Business wise, it was a great year! I learned so much and have some great ideas to take with me in to 2019 to hopefully make 2019 even greater than 2018!

Here’s a look back at some of the highlights from the weddings and inspiration shoots I photographed in 2018!

My first wedding was for Lis, who is a venue coordinator! Talk about pressure! But she and her husband, Juel, are so sweet and I had an amazing time photographing their beautiful March wedding at the beautiful Nor’ Wester! Her gorgeous flowers and decor were done by Maggie at the Posh Posy/ Maggie’s Magical Occasions!

The winter months can be kind of slow photography wise so I am always so excited for any excuse to get out and take pictures! When Andrea of Luxy Chair told me about her vision for a photo shoot that would introduce her chairs to Thunder Bay I was so excited to help out! Andrea, Brittany of Thuja Floral Design, and I worked together to make this beautiful shoot that show cases Luxy Chair in all it’s glory come to life!

In June I photographed my first elopement and it was so amazing! Getting to spend quality portrait time with my bride and groom on their wedding day is one of my favourite parts of the wedding day so getting to photograph an elopement was a dream come true because it was all about them! Izzy and Will decided to forego the whole big wedding thing and have a small intimate wedding at city hall with their little Yorkie Rocky and myself as the only witnesses! Afterwards, we went to FWHP for some pictures! It was my first time getting to photograph inside the park and I have to say I am in love! Also, how beautiful is Izzy’s bouquet from Thuja Floral Design?! This girl kills it EVERY.TIME.

I was so excited for Erin and Yorgo’s wedding! Not only are they a seriously impressive couple and so so sweet, it was going to be my first time photographing a wedding at The Chanterelle and working with State & Co (who I’m pretty sure is a fairy god mother disguised as a wedding planner) Erin was a classic and stunning bride in her simple Mikaella gown and Thuja Floral Design made the prettiest bouquets and centrepieces for their big day that perfectly complimented the simple elegance of The Chanterelle!

My last wedding in June was a personal one for me as it was my cousin’s wedding! Candace and I grew up more as sisters than cousins in some ways. Since I was an only child, she was the only girl, and we were only a year a part in age we spent A LOT of time together when we were younger! Between me moving to southern Ontario and her moving to Alberta just as I was moving back home we haven’t spent a lot of time together the past 10 years or so so it was so much fun to get to be a special part of her wedding day!

This picture right here is one of my favourite from the whole year and really reminds me why what I do is so special. This is Candace’s boy Titan. He had had major surgery a few days before the wedding and they weren’t sure how much time they would have left with him. We brought him out for his own special photo shoot with Candace and I’m so glad we did because about a week after the wedding they lost him šŸ™

One of my favourite parts of planning styled shoots is getting to hand pick who I work with. I get the opportunity to work with so many amazing talents throughout the year that by the time I am planning a styled shoot I know exactly who I want to help out with it! Jenn and Julian were one of my couples from last year who I really hit it off with! Not only are they super good looking, they are so insanely sweet! I was also so excited to work with Unveiled Bridal Boutique, J.B Evans, Little Duck Calligraphy, The Chanterelle, and Velvet Rope Floral! I also can’t forget about Gracie Myers Beauty who not only did an amazing job on Jenn’s hair and make-up but stuck around during the shoot to be Jenn’s own personal glam squad, making sure her hair and make up looked perfect during the whole shoot!

A special shout out to my mom who tagged along with me during the last part of this shoot to be my dress fluffer!

It’s not often than I don’t get to meet my couples in person before their wedding. Aside from one Skype call when they were first booking me for their wedding, the first time I met Kendra and Cliff in person was on their wedding day! This made me a little nervous because usually I have an engagement session with my couple to get to know them better and to give them an opportunity to get comfortable in front of the camera but my nerves were for nothing. Kendra and Cliff were complete naturals in front of the camera and pulled off so many amazing shots! I loved everything about their day! They kept their wedding small and intimate and had one of the most relaxed timelines I’ve ever seen! Kendra was an absolutely stunner in her Mikaella dress and the flowers from Velvet Rope Floral were so beautiful! It was also so much fun getting to work with Shalini from Maid for the Bride during the reception, she kept everything running so smoothly!

Kendra’s sister had asked if we could do a shot where we showed off the stunning train on Kendra’s dress. My answer? Absolutely!!!

Kendra’s mom made this cake and I took an embarrassing amount of pictures of their cake because I loved it so much!

Jen and Josh had a beautiful day out at the Nor’Wester and I had such a great time working with Karly from Sunnycreek Studios! Jen made an absolutely stunning bride and I loved Josh’s suit!

Melissa and Mike were my second wedding out at the Nor’Wester in August and I was so excited for it! Melissa and Mike live just outside of London and had a bunch of family coming from the UK to their wedding! I am a total sucker for British accents so I pretty much melted every time anyone spoke during their wedding day <3 Fun fact: Before their wedding, Melissa had warned me not to ask the guys to put their hands in their pants because across the pond, pants means underwear. I made it through the whole wedding day without slipping up!

If I could redo their wedding every weekend then I would! Melissa and Mike are seriously the sweetest couple ever and when I finished photographing their wedding I got in my car and cried happy tears because I can’t believe this is my job and I get to work with amazing people like Melissa and Mike every weekend!

Mike’s reaction to seeing Melissa coming down the aisle was the sweetest thing I have ever seen! You could feel the love they have for each other. Mike, I’m sure all future grooms thank you for setting the bar so high!

I just knew that Justine and Dan’s wedding was going to be beautiful! Justine is so stylish and modern that I knew it would be a sight to see but my goodness! Shalini of Maid for the Bride and Velvet Rope Floral pulled together one heck of a wedding reception! The Fort William Country Club was the perfect backdrop for their wedding day and it couldn’t have been the more perfect day!

When Justine said she wanted a picture with rose petals falling around her and Dan I could barely contain my excitement! It’s one of my favourite pictures from the whole year!

I have to take a second to talk about this picture because ladies, if one thing is going to be a game changer for how your space looks, it’s the chairs! Chairs can be such an easy thing to over look but replacing the venue chairs with chiavari chairs completely transformed the space and made it look super high end!

Tiffany and Chris were the first wedding during my one double header weekend this past year! Their wedding was my third one at the Nor’Wester in a month and I wasn’t even upset about it because it’s such a beautiful venue! I absolutely loved Tiffany’s dress; she looked like a princess!

My second wedding during my one double header weekend belonged to none other than Brianna and Sean! One thing you need to know about this wedding, aside from the fact that it was so so beautiful, was that the bride was none other than Brianna of Brianna Photography! If you have a baby or an interest in newborn photography you know that Brianna is an absolutely rock star and an amazing photographer! I had a few people ask me if I was intimidated to photograph her wedding since she is such an amazing photographer and my truthful answer was no. Over the year and a half that we knew each other, Brianna and I had become friends and so it felt less like I was photographing another photographer’s wedding and more like I was photographing a friend’s wedding (because I was!) Brianna also has amazing taste and is so up to date with current trends that I knew that her wedding was going to be a sight to see, and it really was! She had Thuja Floral Design do the flowers, Letterelle make custom invitations and signs for her, and rented a beautiful peacock chair from Heirloom rentals to take bridal portraits in! I may have died and gone to photographer heaven several times throughout the day!

Bree and Matt’s wedding was the first wedding I have ever done in Lutsen! It was such a wonderful weekend! The weather was a little chilly at times but Lake Superior put on a beautiful show and we got to capture some of the rough waves in the background of Bree and Matt’s wedding pictures! One of my favourite moments was when the waves started crashing really hard on the rocks right as Matt turned around to see Bree for the first time during their first look, as if they too were approving of how beautiful she looked!

Dan and Dave’s wedding was so fun! I loved getting to spend the day with these two! At the end of the evening Dave wanted to get some pictures wit his gym buddies which meant a whole bunch of men taking their shirts off for a picture. It didn’t suck.

The moment I met Danielle and Dave I knew I really wanted to photograph their wedding. When we had their engagement session and I learned more about them (one of the most important things being that Danielle and I are both Hufflepuffs) I could barely contain my excitement for their day! Danielle and Dave kept their wedding simple yet elegant and they incorporated so many parts of who they are and their relationship in to their day! Dave is from Australia and had some of his family in town for the wedding. I once again died and went to heaven every time someone spoke. The accents are just so beautiful!

This set of images is from the first styled shoot I did while in Arizona! It was designed by the former editor of The Knot wedding magazine so I knew it was going to be good! Something tells me in the next few coming years bright colours are going to be making a come back!

I was so excited for the second shoot I did in Arizona! This one was done the same day as the one above but later in the afternoon! Ryann Lindsay Photography designed and hosted the shoot and after meeting her at United a couple of years ago I knew that she hosted some of the best styled shoots ever and I wasn’t disappointed! The dress, the bouquet, the location, the details, the couple… everything about the shoot was perfection!!

After being so inspired at United, I was super excited to come home and host a mini styled shoot of my own! Now, the thing about this shoot is NOTHING except for the couple and the outfits went according to plan. However, I am still super in love with how the pictures turned out and it was so fun to work with Kayla and Aaron again, they’re so fun and sweet! After meeting them last year I immediately knew I wanted to work with them again and this was the perfect opportunity!

To end the year I did a last minute shoot with Luxy Chair! It was so much fun and I loved being able to show up and take pictures! Andrea and I designed these tables capes on the fly with items we had pooled together and they served as the perfect backdrop for her beautiful chairs! My favourites from the day were these gorgeous ivory Chiavari chairs and I may have fallen in love with the cake stands as well!


Follow along on Instagram for sneak peeks, behind the scenes, and more!