Toronto Wedding Photography - Stephanie & Conor's Spring Wedding - Rosewater + One King West Hotel

Stephanie and Conor's wedding at the luxurious Rosewater in downtown Toronto was filled with so many special moments and emotions that it is difficult to summarize in a short blog post. We had come to know Stephanie and Conor quite well through our two previous engagement sessions and learned a lot about their relationship and how the big day would be the first time Conor's family, many arriving from Ireland, would meet Stephanie's family. So, Sheena, Vivek and I were all excited to be a part of the day and watch the events unfold as we tried to capture as many moments as we could. Sheena and I first met Stephanie getting ready in her fancy bridal suite at the Omni King Edward hotel that was not too far from the church or the venue. Plus, the King Edward is such a gorgeous hotel and it gave us even more great options for pictures as we started the day. Vivek, meanwhile, met Conor at the church nearby to capture the details of the historic church. After spending about an hour with the ladies at the hotel, we made our way to the church just in time to see Stephanie and her bridesmaids pulling up in their polished white limo. Despite the astounding size and presence of the church once inside, there was a very intimate feeling inside as the warmth and love from Stephanie and Conor's friends and family made the space feel small and cozy.

Right after the best part of the day, when we see a bride and groom exchange vows and seal the deal with a kiss, we were off to one of our favorite venues in the city to photograph - One King West hotel. Stephanie and Conor had mentioned how much they love the chandeliers at the hotel so we made a point of including them as much as possible. It was great working with a bit more time in the schedule that we're used to having so we had extra time to have fun working with different corners and walls around the venue and to make sure we didn't forget about the amazing wedding party hanging out with us. Next up, we walked east on King St. West toward the Rosewater and, as the bride and groom were getting honked by almost every car driving by on this busy Saturday, we made a few extra stops like a small tucked-away Irish pub (what a coincidence) and spent a bit of time at the Rosewater before joining all the guests at the reception upstairs.

Stephanie and Conor's reception included a complete spectrum of emotion. Some of the most memorable moments for us were the touching surprise video messages sent from Conor's family who were unable to make the trip to Toronto, the extraordinary Irish dancers who kept the guests and us well entertained (we still can't believe how fast these girls could move their feet), the fun extra-long cake-cutting experience and a special dance rehearsed and flawlessly performed by the newlyweds after dessert. It was such a pleasure working with both Stephanie and Conor before and during this special day and we really could hear, through all the speeches we listened to throughout the night, just how special both of these individuals are to their family and friends and how happy everybody was to see both families become one. Thank you for trusting us and having along for the ride. We wish you both all the best in life as you start your brand new lives together!

Gary, Sheena & Vivek

Toronto Bat Mitzvah Photography - A Special Evening with Sydney - Uptown Loft

We were really excited to be a part of Sydney's bat mitzvah at the Uptown Loft after hearing about some of the fun details and surprises that were planned for the night. Sydney's bat mitzvah ceremony was also going to take place at the beginning of the evening which would give us ample opportunity to photograph more of the intimate moments and subtle glances that tend to take place as family and guests are much more reflective and connected during the spiritual aspect of the event. Prior to the guests arriving in the early evening, we had some time to take family pictures as well some fun images with the bat mitzvah girl. We had learned that Sydney loved her penny skateboard and journaling so we made sure to remind her to bring these meaningful items with her to add a personal touch. We were really tight for time as the service was about to begin so we found a quiet spot in the venue and quickly had Sydney pose and show off her fun side. I wish he had more time as it was great working with Sydney and seeing just how excited she was for the big night, but the rabbi was ready to begin and we didn't want to get in the way of an important turning point in Sydney's life.

The service brought the room together and it was so nice to see guests holding each other and making such an effort to follow along and join in with Sydney and her family as they read prayers and personal reflections about Sydney and her family. However, this night was all about the party so, as soon as Sydney was bombarded by the traditional throwing of the candy to officially recognize Sydney's milestone, it was time to take the night to another level. Apart from the dancing, singing, prize winning, getting your own personalized lip balm, and playing Sydney trivia games, Sydney also made sure to include a part of night that gave to others less fortunate. So, what we thought was such a fabulous idea, Sydney had set up a part of the room with various items that are needed for school and had everybody fill up a funky backpack while leaving a personal note for the receiving student. It was a powerful part of the night and reminded everybody the importance of thinking about others even when it feels like the entire world is celebrating with you.

Sydney and your family, thank you for having us spend this amazing evening with you. We know how special these moments are and love being a part of them. All the best in life to you and we hope you enjoy your pictures as much as we do!

Gary + Sheena

Toronto Bar Mitzvah Photography - Tanner's Big Night Out! - The Uptown Loft, Midtown T.O.

It was another crazy Saturday night in mid-town Toronto as Tanner's family and friends celebrated his bar mitzvah in major style at the Uptown Loft. It was the first time that we have photographed two consecutive parties with a very similar group of family and friends so it was nice to recognize lots of the same faces and stand-out event production like the Magen Boys. We arrived early in the evening while the venue was being set up to take more of the 'formal' pictures of Tanner and his family before all his guests arrived and anxiously awaited Tanner's big entrance atop his friends' shoulders which was quickly followed by everybody hitting the dance floor for the traditional hora circle dance. The entire night was blur of amazing music, movement, excitement, and emotion. On top of the insane dance pit where prizes were plentifully awarded to the best dancers as the night progressed, there were also quiet reflective moments like Tanner's friends' organized speeches, a thoughtful slideshow of Tanner's life through the years put together by his dad and a few slow songs where some of the parents and grandparents had a brief moment to get close during a night that was definitely reserved for the kids. We always leave events like this one with a big smile on our faces watching so many people of so many different ages having a blast and stepping out of their regular routine for one amazing night to celebrate. Mazel tov, Tanner, and thanks again for having us photograph your special day and hanging out with all your famiy and friends!

Gary + Sheena