Bride and Groom

Top 5 Moments of a Wedding Day | Hamilton Wedding Photographer | Moments -by Lauren

As this year's wedding season has already kicked off, I wanted to share some of my favourite parts of any big day that I’m lucky enough to be a part of. Of course, every wedding is unique and comes with it’s fair share of incredible moments, but without fail these are the ones that I wait for and always seem to be some of my faves.

1.     Dad’s First Look

Of course, anyone’s first look at the bride is always such a great moment, but there is something a little extra special when a Dad sees his little girl ready to walk down the aisle. Whether he wells up with tears or is simply beaming with pride, this never (ever) gets old in my books. That same expression is also usually found as he looks on at the ceremony or shares a dance with his daughter at the reception. There’s no way to describe it except #allthefeels.

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2.     The Vows

My favourite part of the vows is all of the nerves that come with them. In what are some of the most important words that will ever be said in their relationship, couples are full of emotion, they sometimes stutter or maybe even need to pause to get their composure. What I love though, is most often they let out a nervous laugh or two along the way. Any way this goes, it’s pretty awesome to see, as there’s no hiding the couple’s love at this moment. They’re in this together.

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3.     Glances After the Signing

Oh boy. This is one that sometimes goes unnoticed, but one that I always try to snag. The couple has finished their vows, the rings are on their fingers, they’ve signed the registry and it sinks in…they’re married. There is always a look of excitement they share that can’t quite ever be replicated. They also probably think no one is watching as the witnesses finalize the paperwork. It’s awesome.

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4.     Speeches

There is no better way to learn more about a couple than through the speeches at their wedding. Their favourite people get up and share their best stories, their funniest moments, and all the love they’ve shared over the years. I don’t think there has been a night of speeches that hasn’t made me laugh out loud at one point or tear up a little bit behind my camera during another. The outrageous, meaningful, hilarious and touching moments all certainly bring about some great moments to capture and I love every second of it.  

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5.     Dance Floor

These are epic. As soon as the party starts, you’ll find me in the thick of the dance circle capturing the best moves the party has to offer. Maybe (probably) even dancing along myself.

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What's your favourite part of a wedding day to see?! Let me know, below!!

Liz + Justin | Oakville Wedding Photographer | Moments -by Lauren

I’m currently sitting here wondering where I should begin this blog post. First off, if you need to be caught up on just how cool Liz + Justin are – go check out their engagement session that hit the blog earlier this year.

[ E-Sesh! ]

Ok, now that we’re all on the same page we can jump to when the three of us met up a couple weeks before the wedding (where else, but at their favourite coffee shop – Saint James). After reviewing their timeline for the last time, I almost insisted we swing back through downtown #HamOnt to use some of their hangout spots as backdrops for their wedding photos.  I mean, if you can’t make time to grab a coffee with your other half on your wedding day – what’s the point of it all?! Haha

After a beautiful ceremony and some family portraits, the whole crew drove into the Hammer to kick back, eat a bit of pizza, and stroll James St N. I couldn’t think of a more perfect setting for these images and after hearing from Liz that these photos “are exactly who we are every day” – I knew we nailed it.

Once we arrived back at the Harbour Banquet Center and glanced around their perfectly executed travel themed reception, everyone was ready to party. The speeches were equal parts touching as they were hilarious, and the kissing game certainly kept the newlyweds on their toes.

It was an epic day for an epic couple and I can’t wait to keep in touch with these beauties. I’m still hanging on to hope for their vow renewal too ;)

 

Enjoy a few faves and check out Liz + Justin’s take on their time with me, below!!

From the Couple:

Personable: the first time we met Lauren we were stressed out because we were quickly realizing how much planning a wedding would actually cost. We prepared ourselves for another sales pitch from another vendor - we found the opposite when we walked into Lauren's studio. She was relaxed, she wasn't trying to sell us anything, she just genuinely wanted to meet us, get to know our story and see if we "jived". It is because of this feeling that we eventually ended up choosing Lauren. Photos are the one thing that you keep looking back on from this special day and to us they were the most important aspect of what we were spending our money on. Lauren felt like a close friend who really cared about our special day and that's why after meeting her we knew she would be our photographer. 

 

Professionalism: when you are planning a wedding there are a million things going on all at once and the last thing you need is another person you need to check in with, check up on or be worried about. Lauren's organizational skills impressed me right from the beginning. When she explained the process of how she books everything and takes care of every single detail herself, we were sold! It was one less thing we had to worry about. Her communication was on point, she always answered our questions quickly and we loved that every exchange of information was easily done online. 

 

Fave part of working with Lauren: Getting your picture taken, for most people, is very scary and awkward. What we loved about working with Lauren is that most of the time we didn't even feel like she was there. In both our Engagement shots and on the big day, Lauren managed to take amazing photos of us just being us. Nothing was posed or forced, it was all natural. I think that's what we loved so much, that when we look at the photos we actually see ourselves reflected in them and not something that is posed or forced. We also loved that we were relaxed and laughing from beginning to end. Even our wedding guests couldn't say enough about how much they liked that the photographer wasn't in the way. They have since also been in awe at our photos. 

I would recommend Lauren to anyone because there hasn't been a day since our wedding that we haven't looked at our photos in one way or another and been so glad we chose her. She is professional, personable and most of all passionate about her photography. 

 

VENDOR TEAM

Florist –  Gatto Flowers

Makeup – Fatima Lao

Transportation – White Shadow Limousine

Wedding/Event Planner – Fatima Lao

Catering/Venue – Harbour Banquet Center

Wedding Dress – Promises and Lace

Bride’s Shoes – Solee Shoes

Bridesmaids Dresses – Saratina

Suits – Charles and Hunt

Videographer – Qids

Cake – LaCakery

Second Photographer - Megan Muir

Meaghan + Jeff | Berkeley Church Wedding Photographer | Moments -by Lauren

As 2017’s wedding season is coming to a close, let’s jump back to where it kicked off.

 

Meaghan got ready at her parent’s house, where I walked in to find 7 lovely ladies sitting around the kitchen table – almost as if it was what they did every weekend. There was not a stressed out vibe in the room as they laughed, shared a few sips of their bevvies and watched one of their best friends get her final touch ups. The excitement carried through to everyone’s first looks of Meag in her dress as we packed up to go meet Jeff who would be waiting at the front of the aisle.

 

Berkeley Church hosted their perfect ceremony that brought lots of happy tears (that first look!!) and even a few laughs, with their nearest and dearest looking on. As soon as it was official, we snuck away to Osgoode Hall for some portraits with a backdrop that had a personal connection to the bride and groom. Not only did this entire group bear the freezing cold, but there was not one complaint and a serious team effort to rotate the coats when it wasn’t their turn in front of the camera. I’ll tell ya though, I realized there’s nothing like plummeting temperatures to keep everyone’s attention and get everything done hella fast.

 

Not only did this group have a ton of fun, but the boys had me laughing out loud behind the camera on more then one occasion – and it was amazing. Total #weddingpartygoals across the board.

 

We explored inside and grabbed a few epic frames for the newlyweds before heading back to the party that was eagerly awaiting their arrival. The delicious dinner was served, the incredible speeches followed and all of the fun was had once that dance floor opened.

 

Everything that went into Meaghan + Jeff’s big day made it a very high bar for all the ones that were to follow this year. Lucky for me, the trend continued. 

VENDORS:

 

Florist –  Joseph Flowers

Hair – CE Bridal Hair Artists

Makeup – Megan Vance

Transportation – Exotica Limousine Service

Invitations – Vista Print

Catering/Venue – 1871 Berkeley Church

Wedding Dress – Maggie Sottero

Bride’s Shoes – Le Chateau

Bride's Accessories - Family Heirlooms

Bridesmaids Dresses – Assorted Vendors

Suits – Your Suit

Cake – Yummy Stuff Bakery

Officiant – Maria Speyer

Second Photographer - Alex DelBello

DJ - Maximum Music DJ

Brittany + Devin | Mount Pleasant Wedding Photographer | Moments -by Lauren

One year later.

A few favourites of Brittany, Devin and their adorable smiles. 

VENDORS

Florist - Brantford Blooms

Hair - Hair by Drea

Makeup - Cailey Brammer

Decor - Special Events Rentals / Classic Party Rentals

Catering - Mercasa Catering

Dress - Michelle my Belle Bridal

Shoes - Modcloth

Suit - Moores

Groom's Shoes - Allen Edmonds

Officiant - Susan Zakamarko

Jaime + Travis | Cleveland's House - Muskoka Wedding Photographer | Moments -by Lauren

Every time I think back to Jaime + Travis’ big day, I remember the feeling that the entire day just felt like being at home. Even a full year later, it still makes me swoon reminiscing about all the love that surrounded them all day.

 

Both Jaime + Trav got ready at Jaime’s family cottage in Muskoka, separated by only one flight of stairs before making their way to the dock for their first glimpses at each other. Typically my couples request that this moment is more of a private one, but this duo definitely wanted the rest of their crew right next to them looking on, and sharing it with them.  From there, I don’t think the smiles stopped for the rest of the day.

 

We spent some time hanging out at the cottage, adding to the list of memories that this group had seen there over the years. We headed to their gorgeous outdoor ceremony at Cleveland’s House, cocktail hour on the deck and then an epic set of speeches, tributes, and laughs that brought us into the evening. Of course, we popped out to the dock for a few final portraits before their first dance as husband and wife.

 

This cottage wedding brought together Jaime + Travis’ favourite people and it seemed like everyone under that roof had such a bond that it was just infectious. And one thing’s for sure, these people knew how to party. 

VENDOR TEAM

 

Florist – Sharon Skiperis

Hair – Brittany Buchanan

Makeup – Brittany Buchanan

Catering/Venue – Cleveland’s House

Wedding Dress – Becker's Bridal

Videographer – Ripeful Heart

Cake – Kayla Standen

Officiant – Maryanne Beaudin

Second Photographer - Megan Muir

Taylor + JJ | Burlington Wedding Photographer | Moments -by Lauren

I may sound like a broken record when I talk about the love I have for telling someone’s life story... but here we are again. I’ve been lucky enough to document a few chapters for Taylor + JJ so far, and I must say it’s all been pretty epic since the first frame of their engagement session.

What I love about these two is how comfortable they are not only around each other, but around everyone. They know how to have fun, they don’t hold back their laughter, and they were up for anything from the get-go. Their wedding day was no different! Both Taylor and JJ got ready with their families + friends before heading off to a personalized service held not too far from their home.

We all survived the heat as we took in the waterfront before kicking off cocktail hour back at the Burlington Convention Center. Their personalized donuts + root beer were a perfect welcome for their guests as they got their first greeting as Mr. & Mrs. Jones. Their formal introduction, capped off by a perfectly executed handshake led into their touching first dances (which finished off with the most adorable flower girl interruption). The moving moments continued as the speeches got underway. The whole room reminisced, they remembered those who were there in spirit, and they also shared a lot of laughs. It was the perfect combination of tributes + touching moments…and JJ actually still holds the trophy for the longest groom speech I’ve been able to capture ;) haha.

I can’t believe it’s already been a year since they tied the knot, but I still feel so lucky to have joined them.  The icing on the cake…the just welcome their first little one - a baby boy - last week.

Happy Anniversary, guys! I can’t wait to see where life takes your little family next.

 

Crazy story. When Taylor + JJ picked their wedding date I realized it was the day after I was to be a bridesmaid for one of my best friends. No biggie, right? The only snag was that the wedding I was lucky enough to be in was in Vancouver.  Eeek! I knew I couldn’t pass up seeing one of my favourite ladies walk down the aisle in BC, but after knowing Taylor for close to 20 years I couldn’t imagine not being able to tell her wedding story. What’s a girl to do? I cleared it with both brides, booked a red-eye and had one pretty epic weekend.  Then one pretty epic Sunday nap. 

 

Vendor Team: 

Florist – Satellite Gardens Hamilton

Hair – Giorgios Mystical Circle

Makeup – Robin Dunn – Mac Makeup Artist

Transportation – Star Night Limousines

Décor – Classic Creations

Invitations – Taryn Thomas

Catering/Venue – Burlington Convention Center

Wedding Dress – Maggie Sottero – Heirlooms Bridal

Bride’s Shoes – Vince Camuto

Bridesmaids Dresses – BCBG

Suits – Moore’s Clothing

Videographer – Calicocat Productions

Cake – Homemade Sweets by Ashley

Officiant – Ray David Glenn

Second Photographer - Alexandra DelBello

 

Josie + Bryan | Hamilton Wedding Photographer | Moments -by Lauren

Last year’s love stories have been long overdue here on the blog, but I’m so excited to kick things off with Josie + Bryan’s big day!

If you remember their engagement session, you’ll know that Bryan and I go way back and that I got to meet Josie long before these two became an MBL couple. That being said, all the details leading up to their wedding had me so excited not only as their photographer – but also as their friend… and it definitely didn’t disappoint.  

Through all the genuine moments of the day I don’t think I would be able to pick a single favourite, but I can say that the smiles these two have on their faces will certainly bring one to yours. From the false start down the aisle…to the quick break for McDonalds, the laughs this group shared can almost be heard through your screen.

From the moment you stepped into their cocktail hour at Michelangelo’s, you were thrown back into the 20’s with Josie + Bryan’s on point décor and flapper dancers that joined everyone through dinner. A perfect dice game brought out some epic dance floor moments that had everyone ready to celebrate this awesome couple in style for the remainder of the evening.

It goes without saying that I was honoured to tell their wedding story and I’m so happy to finally share it. Check out a few moments from their Gatsby inspired day that was filled with love, laughter, dancing and of course champagne. 

 

Hair + Makeup –  Makeup Worx

Transportation –  Exquisite Limousine

Invitations –   Rita Bruno Gallo Designs     

Catering/Venue – Michelangelo’s Banquet Center

Wedding Dress –  Angie’s Bridal

Bride’s Shoes – David’s Bridal

Bridesmaids Dresses – Mirella’s Ladies Boutique

Bride’s Accessories – Frilly Bits

Suits – Tuxedo Royale

Groom’s Shoes - Aldo

Videographer – Patty Menedez

Second Photographer – Marek Michalek 

30 Under 30

I'm still coming down from cloud nine after hearing on Friday that I was chosen as one of the top 30 Under 30 Wedding Photographers in Canada by The Canada Photo Convention!! (...so crazy to be typing that!) 

I'm beyond thrilled and humbled to be surrounded by a group of such amazing photographers and loved scrolling through the album of winning images! I'd love for you to go check them out here - see my own featured page and interview here - and also see my winning set of images below!!

 A HUGE thank you to my brides and grooms for trusting me with their big days, as well as everyone who has supported me along this amazing journey as I cross this off of my list of career goals! Can't wait to see what the rest of this year brings as wedding season gets into full swing in a few weeks! Woohoo! 

**does happy dance**

Ashley + Brendan | Hamilton Wedding Photographer | Moments -by Lauren

I’m so happy to finally be sharing the story of Ashley + Brendan’s big day from the fall.

The entire day was so laid back and effortless for this group, which started from the moment I joined the girls at Ashley’s parents house. I immediately picked up on the bond these ladies shared as they sat around the island in the kitchen laughing, gabbing and taking turns getting the final touches on their makeup.  Just like any wedding day, the excitement grew as the girls got into their dresses and headed down to Liuna Station to meet Brendan and the other half of this killer wedding party.

Their nearest & dearest surrounded them as they tied the knot – which was officiated by a close friend of the family, making it all the more special.  We snuck out after the ceremony and headed to Dundurn Park where we dodged the raindrops perfectly (literally, down to the second…). The gloomy skies were no match for this fun loving group of family and friends as we definitely spent the majority of our time laughing before kicking off the celebration properly back at their reception.

Similar to the crowd, I listened to fond and funny memories about the newlyweds in between their courses and emotional first dances – and felt so lucky to be joining them for all the fun.

And now, I’ll take a cue from Brendan’s speech as I wrap up this blog post…as “any good one should be like a woman’s skirt. Long enough to cover the subject but short enough to keep you interested.”

All my love to these high school sweethearts! Check out the story of their day, below!