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Dragonflies filled the sky for Stephanie and Brian’s rustic wedding at Cosgrove Barn in Havelock, Ontario.  It was something I have not seen before and it was marvellous.

They were an omen for the day to follow.  A perfect spot for a first look.  A groom who kept us laughing all the day long…Stephanie’s smile is dazzling and joyful.  Add in Social Workers for bridesmaids and there were a whole bunch of people who are in touch with their emotions and not afraid to show them.

Let’s review; a barn wedding in a beautiful country stunning, dragonflies everywhere, and emotions for days – it was a documentary photographer’s dream.

The venue was Cosgrove Barn – they can be found on Facebook, it was beautiful and the owners went out their way to ensure the day was wonderful.  Apparently, they still have dates open for 2017, you should snap them up.

A special mention to the caterers, On the Side Gourmet , the food was delicious and they were very accommodating to us.

The flowers fit the feel of this rustic barn wedding perfectly and  were down by Blooms & Blossoms in Havelock, Ontario.

Ontario outdoor wedding ceremonyGroomsmen walkingFirst lookBride and groom first lookBride and groom laughingwedding party at a barn
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Bride and fatherBride laughing vowsLaughing bride and groomemotional brideBride crying wedding ontario-barn-wedding27bride and groom leaving outdoor ceremonyFlower decor in Cosgrove barn weddingMason jar lighting barnGroom pouring wineBridesmaid tearBridesmaids cryingBride laughing at receptionLaughing at wedding Wedding guest laughingGroom talkingBride and mom embracingBride and groom at their receptionGroom emotional momentBride and groom kissing barn weddingCosgrove barn, Havelock, OntarioIf you’re interested in getting in touch about your own amazing wedding, please e-mail me at Rachael@rachaeljoyphotography.com.

By the end of January I always end up feeling that winter is loooong, it’s grey, dreary, damp, cold.  I spend most of my time inside, and if I’m not currently ill, I have been last week or I will be next.  Winter is only good for binge watching netflix.

And then, well, then if you’re me, you are reminded of this ‘great idea’  to shoot an engagement session up at Arrowhead Provincial Park in Huntsville, Ontario.  I muster up some buried excitement, because, though I dislike the cold, I do love the chance to get outside, meet new people  and take pretty pictures.

 I started driving up through the Muskokas, and outside the fluffy snow is arranged artfully, like it was painted on the trees just for photography.  And it’s breathtaking, truly…and I remembered how much I love Ontario.  And maybe, I remembered that I am still a Canadian and that a love of winter is in my bones.  By the time I arrived in Huntsville, I was in awe of Mother Nature.  She puts on one heck of a show.

So by the time I arrived at Arrowhead Provincial Park, I was so excited for a session in this perfect setting.  When I arrived Christine and Ian were a little nervous about a photo session, but a lot excited to be there.  He put on her skates and the way she leaned on him – they were partners.

Christine and Ian skated their first date, skated their proposal and skated to celebrate a wedding that is only a few short months away.

Thanks Christine and Ian for having me along.

Taking a walk in forest in winterSkating at Arrowhead Provincial ParkSkating in HuntsvilleSkating In HuntsvilleSnow Wedding photographyDSC_0124-rSkating during winterSkating at Arrowhead Provincial ParkDSC_0145-rSkating at ArrowheadCouple skating in snowSnowy Engagement session skating in WinterDSC_0066-rDSC_0260-rDSC_0261-rTaking off skates near a fireEngagement Photography at a Frozen LakeFrozen Lake PhotographyWinter Lake Love
Portrait of bride and groom for their engagementWinter engagement session

The charm of winter weddings and engagements is really growing on me.  How do you feel about them?  Leave me a comment!

If you love winter check out this wedding in Grafton, Ontario – http://www.rachaeljoyphotography.com/a-rustic-winter-wedding/ .

  • Dr. Robin W.T Merryweather - February 4, 2016 - 2:07 pm

    Such beautiful scenery and an equally lovely couple! Great images, thanks for sharing.ReplyCancel

One of the greatest things about documenting weddings is seeing how couples bring their vision to life.  When Jenna contacted me saying they were having a Friday wedding with a sunset ceremony I knew it would be beautiful, but I couldn’t have guessed how touching and intimate it would feel to have a ceremony with only twinkling lights and the moon for light.

Jenna and Mark, their family and friends all made beautiful portraits on this day, but it was the ceremony and moments afterward that really stole this photographer’s heart.

It was their favourite people, a lot of love… a coming together and a life begun.  Congratulations Jenna & Mark on your beautiful beginning.

Outdoor wedding chandelierGuests at backyard wedding ceremonyGuests arriving at an outdoor wedding ceremonyCobourg-backyard-wedding_011Groom at his outdoor wedding ceremonyBride arriving with father at wedding ceremonyGroom hugging father of the brideNorthumberland-backyard-moonlit-wedding_007Bride and groom saying vows at their backyard wedding ceremony

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The Shiloh church in Colborne, Ontario is tucked out of the way at the end of a dirt road.  These days it is only open one day a year for their anniversary service, with one exception in 2015.  In 1950 Shiloh Church heard the vows of Allison’s grandparents and on July 4, 2015 the weathered church heard another set of vows.  The personal vows of Allison and Michael.

To know these two is to admire their commitment to each other and their adventurous spirit.  Typewritten letters crossed the ocean to began their journey and Allison embarked on a recent solo trip on the El Camino.  Tomorrow they depart for a little cottage in Nova Scotia.  The rest of their tomorrows will be extraordinary.

I don’t fancy myself a writer.  On the other hand, I can read like nobody’s business.  And I have to tell you that reading Michael’s sonnets completely blew me away.  They are a combination of touching and funny and feel like real life.

Like this one – the perfect match for the day:

Good morning, beautiful bean.

Your dreams have sprouted,

grown and bloomed like today.

I count your petals, she loves me,

she loves me, she loves me, she

loves me, etc.  I wouldn’t pluck

you and fix you in your hair.

I wouldn’t pluck you to put

in a vase.  I’ll water you with

kisses, I’ll kiss your glistening

lips.  I’ll watch you grow,

little bean.  I’ll love you like

a man loves a bean who

will one day be his wife.

(Michael Casteels)

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Port Hope wedding photographyCobourg Wedding Photographerbride and groom reception entranceBride groom entranceGroom bride first danceBride dad danceGroom dancing with his mother receptionGroom at wedding reception Bride at wedding receptionWedding reception at the Mill in Cobourg, ON\


  • Lori Gillespie - July 28, 2015 - 2:14 pm

    These photos have totally captured the quaintness and serene setting of this little country church, where I have been so fortunate to live beside most of my life. The candid quiet shots are breathtaking and of course the beautiful bride in her vintage style attire just makes everything perfect!! Excellent photography!ReplyCancel

Winter…it’s the season we all love to hate.  I have nothing, but admiration for Alix and Anthony and their decision to embrace the season and have their wedding in January.  As it turns out, this was the right decision.  Ontario’s winter beauty was the perfect backdrop for an intimate and handmade wedding celebration.  And instead of being a drawback, the winter temperatures seemed to make everything a little bit cozier, a little bit more special and a whole lot heartfelt.

From getting ready in the Grafton Inn’s beautiful Pumpkin House to cutting the cake, the day was filled with emotion. I have a small tendency to find myself a little choked up at wedding celebrations.  I love to hear the speeches and witness all of the love everyone has for the couple, and this wedding was especially bittersweet.   Alix’s family and friends flew in from a balmy Australia.  They landed on what may have been the coldest, iciest day of the winter.  Some of them had never even seen snow!  Despite all this, the frigid temperatures did nothing to damper the joy of everyone gathered. The day was cozy and intimate.  It was a pleasure for me to witness and document the delight of these two to have found each other.

Amazing Venue is the Grafton Village Inn.

The wedding was impeccably coordinated/planned by Sylvia Coretti of Garden Girl Events in Cobourg.

The cake was beyond delicious and was provided by the bakery at Ste Anne’s Spa.

I cannot rave enough about the catering, Be Catering from Peterborough.

wedding ringsPhotograph of groom getting readyGroom getting readygroom putting his shoes onPortrait of groomGrafton-village-rustic-winter-wedding005Grafton Village InnReception at the Grafton Village InnToronto Ontario winter weddingPlace setting at Grafton Village inn wedding receptionGrafton-village-rustic-winter-wedding010Wedding reception details at the Grafton Village InnGrafton-village-rustic-winter-wedding008Grafton village inn wedding receptionPumpkin house at the Grafton Village InnVintage-lace-wedding-dressBride getting ready at the Grafton Village InnNorthumberland-winter-wedding-photography015Bride getting readyNorthumberland-winter-wedding-photography018
Bride and bridesmaids getting readyBack of lace wedding dressBrideBride in lace wedding dressToronto Documentary photographerRustic-Toronto-winter-wedding001Rustic-Toronto-winter-wedding003Rustic-Toronto-winter-wedding005Rustic-Toronto-winter-wedding006Rustic-Toronto-winter-wedding008Rustic-Toronto-winter-wedding010Rustic-Toronto-winter-wedding007Rustic-Toronto-winter-wedding009Rustic-Toronto-winter-wedding011Rustic-Toronto-winter-wedding013Rustic-winter-weddingRustic-Toronto-winter-wedding014Rustic-Toronto-winter-wedding015Rustic-Toronto-winter-wedding017Rustic-Toronto-winter-wedding018Rustic-Toronto-winter-wedding019Rustic-Toronto-winter-wedding020Rustic-Toronto-winter-wedding021Rustic-Toronto-winter-wedding022Rustic-Toronto-winter-wedding023Rustic-Toronto-winter-wedding024Rustic-Toronto-winter-wedding025Rustic wedding ceremony at the Grafton Village InnIntimate and rustic winter wedding in OntarioRustic-Ontario-winter-wedding-photography033Rustic-Ontario-winter-wedding-photography035Rustic-Ontario-winter-wedding-photography034Rustic chic winter wedding at the Grafton Village InnRustic chic wedding ceremonyRustic-Ontario-winter-wedding-photography037Rustic-Ontario-winter-wedding-photography038First KissBride and groom during wedding ceremony, documentary weddingRustic-Ontario-winter-wedding-photography041Brdie and groom just married
Rustic-Ontario-winter-wedding-photography043Rustic-Ontario-winter-wedding-photography045Rustic-Ontario-winter-wedding-photography046Bridal party portraitBridesmaids at a Ontario winter weddingBride portrait in Ontario winter weddingRomantic photograph of bride and groomWinter wedding Grafton Village InnVeil shot at winter weddingPort Hope wedding photographyBridePortrait at the Grafton Village InnRustic-Ontario-winter-wedding-photography071Rustic-Ontario-winter-wedding-photography073Rustic-Ontario-winter-wedding-photography074Rustic-Ontario-winter-wedding-photography078Documentary wedding photographyPhotojournalistic wedding photographySparkler exit at Winter wedding

Would you like to discuss photography for your winter wedding?  Get in touch, Rachael@rachaeljoyphotography.com.