This is one of the several Chateau Le Parc weddings I shot recently at this beautiful venue. Compared with some other events where the couples start the big day at their home, then continue with a church ceremony, park photo shoot, this day was totally different. The bride and groom decided to spend the whole day at this modern event space. We started photographing around noon when the groom and the groomsmen arrived. We took the opportunity to document his preparation and we took out the guys for quick photo shoot in front of the venue. Despite the fact the parking lot is not the most photogenic place in the world, we used a smoke machine to create a mysterious atmosphere and we took plenty of photos that the guys really loved. As the beautiful bride was getting ready in the upper bridal suites, myself and the second photographer used the time to take a few photos of the dress hanging on the rail and of her Badgley Mischka shoes. Once the bridal party had their hair and makeup done, we escorted the couple downstairs in the main lobby for their first look.
Professional Photographer's Tips
Depending on the type of wedding down the bride has, she might be at times reluctant to go out for the first look is walking outside, especially in the rain or snow, my ruin her beautiful gown. I even had brides who bought two dresses to ensure they look perfect for the ceremony. That actually is an amazing idea and allows the bride to enjoy the special day without worrying all the time about the dress. I find that the more comfortable my couples, the better their wedding photos. As such, during my first consultation, I always suggest that they hire not the best photographer but the brother the one that makes them feel comfortable. Being photographed adds stress and that is compounded if something goes wrong on the wedding day. For example, the shoes might be too tight, the bouquet might be the wrong colour, the bride might not like the groom's suit and so on. In retrospect those are small issues but on the wedding day, when everybody is tense, such minor thing might ruin the mood and derail the timeline.
One of the best pieces of advice I can give to new wedding photographers in Toronto is to be very selective when it comes to documenting the couple's best day. Yes, it is very important to be active and photograph every weekend, but on the other hand, you need to make sure that he can meet the clients' expectations. Booking a couple just because you need the money knowing that you can not deliver a solid product and experience is not fair for the bride and groom and a bad business practice. I know we all need to pay our bills but on the other hand we also need to think about our long term strategy and to make sure that we actually build a strong brand by delivering an outstanding experience and imagery to our couples.
Unplugged Outdoor Ceremony
The wedding ceremony took place outdoors on the patio on a hot summer day and it was one of the few unplugged ceremonies I did that wedding season. It is becoming more important for couples to see their guests reactions and to allow us, professional photographers, to capture those moments and genuine emotions. Often, overzealous guests view the whole ceremony through their cell phone screens missing - in fact - the joy of the beautiful day. From a photographer's perspective, that is a disservice to the couple. First, because in every single picture you see a bright screen that distracts attention from the bride and groom. Second, because we cannot see the guests reactions but rather the back of an iPhone. As such, minutes before the ceremony, the DJ announced that the couple wanted everybody to enjoy themselves and asked them not to take photos during the ceremony. At this particular time, the groom used his phone to take a picture of the audience, which I found hilarious.
After the 30 minutes ceremony, we headed to the cocktail hour in Hall B where the couple had a few surprises for us. Big fans of Mickey Mouse, they hid a few silhouettes around the hall so we went on a treasure hunt. My favourite shot was creating the Mickey Mouse silhouette using red lights as you can see when you scroll down the gallery through the reception part. As usually, around 7 PM, the bridal party made their grand entrance, which was shortly followed by a first dance and the traditional father daughter and mother son dances. During the dinner, the best man, the maid of honour, the parents and the newlyweds gave speeches, followed by the party. At the end of the night we invited the couple around the edifice for a few night shots. It is always a good idea to provide clients a variety of looks by using different focal lengths, types of lighting and, where possible, locations.
I absolutely loved this event and I cannot wait to go back for another one at this beautiful location.