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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.

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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.

When your mom and I discussed having a newborn session, we talked about two options. One, we could do it within a few days of your birth and you’d be a sleepy, curly, squishy babe or two, we could wait and see if you’d wake up a bit so that we could capture your emerging personality. The joke was on us, because you were the perfect sleeping speciment, the dream of most newborn photographers. We may have gotten a glimpse of those beautiful eyes of yours, but just a glimpse, no more!  Further proof that no matter what, babies come out their own little people.

Baby Bennett, despite your late night crying jags, we all agree that you are just the loveliest, sweetest thing. You fit so perfectedly in your mama’s arms, they were made just for you. And it’s so obvious that your dad couldn’t be prouder.

Oliver, is well, Oliver and hopefully he will be a good furry buddy to you when you are older.

Getting to meet and capture newborns does my heart good. There is something impossibly sweet about a new family and those first weeks when life is put on hold to get to know a new baby.
Thanks Caitlin and Brandon for inviting me to be a part of it.

P.S.  I sent Caitlin this link a few days after our session – Yelp reviews of babies.  It may help if you are looking to make an informed decision.

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Annie and Cam at camp where they were both counsellors and I think that their wedding day was really just a re-enactment of all of the fun and some of the shenanigans that they would have gotten up to there.

It’s only fitting that the outdoors and Rice Lake would play a prominent role for the wedding.  The groom and his men pontooned in to meet his bride, the lake was the background for the ceremony and throughout the evening guests mingled and chatted while enjoying the peace and the loveliness. The day even involved an outing to landmark Rhino’s which as we all know showcases the best Rice Lake has to offer.

And then the reception…Puppies peeking out from under tables, Clark Griswold’s moose mugs and kids breaking in the dance floor…Then, a simple mixture of two incredible bands (including an 80s cover band!) and some killer dance moves around a pole and the reception transformed from fun to epic.

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One.  One is all sorts of new.  It’s wobbly legs struggling to keep up with a will that won’t quit. It’s baby strollers for dolls careening around corners.  It’s all teethy smiles, dimpled knuckles and wrist rolls.

Oh Everleigh, how much fun it has been for me to see your mom and dad become spouses, new parents and now parents of a toddler!  In the past year, you have transformed into a little girl with e spunk in spades (I wonder where you got that from 😉 –  you are only steps away from conquering the world.  You are embracing this new stange in your life and all you want is to go, go, go and then you realise that you are going and all you want is to retreat to the safety of your parents. You pause there for 1.2 seconds, you realise you are holding still and then you go, go, go.  It’s so lovely, and I loved being there to record this part of your story.

I felt like this family photography session was all about what it means to be a parent. Our job is to let our kids go, be independent, make their mark.  And then be there for them when they need a soft place to land.  I just don’t understand why all of the children are in such a rush to blaze through life.  Everleigh, if you stay little just a bit longer, I promise I’ll hold down that darn cat of yours!


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Ahhhh…the elusive sunrise session.  Rarely does anyone take me up on the offer to crawl out of their warm bed to face the dawn in order to be photographed.  Therefore, when Alix and Anthony (enthusiastically) took me up on the offer, my cold Canadian  heart was warmed.

 I grumbled through my alarm on a Saturday morning and stumbled out to be greeted by air that was chilly.  I was on my way to meet Alix and Anthony.

It was lovely to get to know these two.   They’re from opposite ends of the world – warm, sunny Australia meets cold Canada.  Alix has made this incredible leap of faith and found herself in small town Ontario.   Besides her courage, Alix is one of the warmest people I have ever met and asked me a ton of questions about my life.  It was the way an engagement session should be – a bit of a chat, exploring a beautiful place and capturing what makes Alix and Anthony, Alix and Anthony.

You’re invited to our early morning adventure – up the hill and under the apple tree greeting the dawn with blankets and tea and enough adorableness to make you melt.

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Gerry kept an eye on everything.
Horse at farm

If you’re interested in booking a session, email me at Rachael@rachaeljoyphotography.com.