New Year’s Day – a time to celebrate change and look forward to what’s coming in the next 365 days.

What better way to celebrate than to ask someone to marry you?  I personally think that’s pretty romantic, but throw in the fact the proposal is taking place at the annual Oakville Polar Bear Dip, a Canadian guy is asking a Florida girl, and that girl has never experienced winter in Canada – let alone decided to brave heading into a freezing Lake Ontario….. well, you’ve just upped the adventure factor exponentially, and created a perfect photography scenario.

That’s exactly what I thought when Matt’s inquiry came to my inbox a few weeks before Christmas.  He had all the details planned, he had the plan down, and he knew she’d say yes — after I knew all this, how could I refuse!

Mind you – this was my first time out at this annual event too. ( The closest this Cali girl has come to a polar bear dip is to watch the evening news reports.)  Fortunately, this winter has probably been the best of any since I’ve arrived here to spend an afternoon at the lakefront.

Matt and I had worked out all the details about meeting, so I tried to blend in with all the other photographers and locals at Coronation Park that afternoon.  I didn’t want Andrea to get too suspicious as to why I kept taking photos of them, so I kept my distance, which was great because it was so fun to document the two of them together just having fun.

 

Matt had told me they were entering the costume contest, in case you don’t remember or haven’t see the movie Castaway – think Tom Hanks and ‘Wilson’.

There was some tough and creative completion out there.  Cute kids, the New Years ball, Star Wars movie characters, the Oakville Piggy, and the Santa Gang including their pug.

 

 

 

But in the end Matt and Andrea WON! …  And were surrounded by even more paparazzi who wanted to get their photos and story.  This afternoon was getting even better…

Afterwards, it was time to get into the water, and it was announced that the mild weather had brought out over 800 people to take the dip…

Yes Andrea – you really went into Lake Ontario, and I don’t even want to know how cold that water was!

Finally, it was time to get dried off and changed, and then time for the real reason I was there.

 

Loved so much that Matt did it all perfectly as big flakes of snow started to fall…

He got down on one knee, told Andrea how much he loved her, and asked her to marry him!  Which took her completely by surprise.

And he had a photographer there to document it all (yaay!) – exactly what he knew Andrea had wanted.

She said yes — but of course we knew she would  😉

So that’s the story of one very happy New Year’s Day 2016 ….

Thanks so much Matt and Andrea for letting me be there to shadow you and capture this moment in time for you.  And if your wedding plans include a big adventure – you know I’m your girl!  🙂

xx’s and oo’s

Judy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • January 10, 2016 - 8:10 pm

    Mike Hopkins - This make me very happy for Andrea & Matt.

    Good stuff recorded and posted on this site.ReplyCancel

It’s been a whirlwind summer for this wonderful couple!  Katie and Tony planned a seaside wedding in Italy celebrating his family heritage, and a beautifully intimate reception in a place where their relationship first began.

Katie was so lucky to be able to put on her wedding dress for a second time!  And the two of them together couldn’t stop sending loving looks each other’s way every time they were in the same room.  We had a beautiful late afternoon in the gardens doing couples and family photos, and then moved on to the reception where their guests were treated to a video and photo presentation of their week in Italy and highlights of their wedding day.

Don’t they make a fabulous couple?

xx’s and oo’s

Judy

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Planning your wedding locally can be a stressful process, but my couples who plan from a distance always have even more stress I’m sure.  I can’t imagine what it must be like selecting vendors and trying to make plans without being there personal to oversee everything.

When Zoe and Pete contacted me about photographing their Royal Botanical Gardens wedding, it was all the way from Australia! They had wanted to share their day with immediate family here in Southern Ontario, and Zoe had chosen the secluded Laking Garden to hold their ceremony.  I was so excited to be a part of their intimate wedding day filled with bright sunshine.

Zoe incorporated many English/Australian traditions into her day, including carrying horseshoes for good luck along with her bouquet, and having children as her bridesmaids, including their adorable daughter, who couldn’t give her mom and dad enough hugs and kisses as they celebrated.

While Pete kept his eye on the time, Zoe and her little girls enjoyed being barefoot on the garden grass.

 

xx’s and oo’s

Judy

 

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The bride has an infections smile and laugh.  The groom is an artist and DIY pro who designed and freehand created almost all of the wedding decor.  Together, they’re a selfless couple that gave their time and talents every day to help others.

It was no surprise then that they chose one of Toronto’s most hidden away small wedding venues – tucked between busy Queen Street and the Grange Park area behind the AGO.  St. George the Martyr Church was filled with vintage florals, linens, and babies breath.  Their family style BBQ reception was filled with toast and speeches from their friends and loved ones.

Because of their involvement in the L’ARCHE community, Hannah and Matt opened their wedding o making sure their community friends were included in all parts f the day, from the interpretive dance at their wedding ceremony, to leading out dancing to “The Hustle”

Hannah and Matt asked several of their LARCH community family to do an interpretive dance to poetry during their ceremony.

After the vows, Hannah and Matt showed their devotion by washing each other’s feet at the altar.

St. George the Martyr borders along Grange Park, just behind the AGO.  We started wedding party photos first, and then wandered down alleyways right across from the church.

Loved this impromptu version of ” I Want to Grow Old With You” from the movie The Wedding Singer.

xx’s and oo’s

Judy

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Sometimes are the most beautiful wedding days don’t have a lot of sun, but the threatening skies didn’t stop Michelle and Michael’s wedding day at the Royal Botanical Gardens here in Burlington from being full of family traditions and wedding party fun.

The day started at Michelle’s home in Burlington where her family shared traditions with her parents, sister and grandmother.

 

Before we left for the ceremony, Michelle’s family performed a traditional Polish wedding blessing for their daughter.  It was simple and sweet, and there were lots of happy tears.

Michael and his guys shared lots of funny moments at RBG for their photos!

Michelle and Michael chose Hamilton’s St. Stanislaus Catholic Church for their traditional Polish wedding mass.  St. Stanislaus is one of Hamilton’s oldest churches, and the inside is filled with Eastern European style and tradition.

After their ceremony it was off to Royal Botanical Gardens for family and wedding party photos.

Michelle was a stunning bride!

Showers never stop romantic wedding day moments!

xx’s and oo’s

Judy

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