As I am sure you can probably tell from my website and all my other blog posts, weddings are my thing, my specialty, my heart and soul. But because Canada is not exactly ideal for weddings nearly 6 months out of the year, I wanted to expand my horizons and try something new.
Before falling into photography, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I have a degree in Communication, a degree in Tourism, and even before all that, I was pretty set on being a kindergarten teacher. I did internships working in a few kindergarten classrooms in high school and even throughout college (my mom works in kindergarten so I'd often help out). Because of my experience with young children, I qualified to work as an au pair which I did for nearly two years! So despite not actually becoming a kindergarten teacher, I've always enjoyed working with children and cuddling babies.
Having a child is such a huge life moment and I'm sure all moms can agree that they'd give anything to keep their babies small for just a little longer. It's so special to have photos that freeze the fleeting newborn stage.
This handsome boy was so good and his curious big sister was still in mom's tummy last time I saw them! I love the natural style of in-home sessions. Unposed, in their natural environment, is my favourite way to capture little babes. There is something special about lifestyle that I think is so timeless and real. I know I would love to look back on photos and see the home we took baby home to, how they sleep, how they stretch, and in this case, how the dogs are so gentle and protective (how sweet, right!?)
Newborn photos are definitely a new favourite of mine to capture.
When I met with Lauren and we discussed engagement sessions, I mentioned to her that although it's not necessary, an option for a photo location is a place that is sentimental to the two of them. Right away she knew The Willistead, the location of their first date, and the Ganatchio Trail, where they love to walk their two dogs, Remy and Oakley, together. That way we'd get some romantic indoor photos and some fun outdoor photos!
A little bit later, she e-mailed me to bounce the idea of potentially doing some photos at the Cross Fit gym (where her and Pete met and where she works!) but she was worried that the photos would turn out cheesy. So I made it my mission to make them fun and natural and totally not cheesy (I'll let you be the judge but uh, yeah I'm obsessed!)
When booking a wedding package with me, your engagement session is unlimited. I don't like to put a time limit on these because engagement sessions are the best opportunity to get to know the two of you! (Plus, to be honest, multiple location/outfit engagement sessions are my fave). And come your wedding day, I want all those inhibitions about being in front of the camera to be washed away so that you can truly just enjoy the entirety of the day!
Let's hang out, let's be friends, let me take photos that you'll love for years to come!
Location 1: The Willistead Restaurant in Windsor, Ontario
Location 2: The Ganatchio Trail in Windsor, Ontario
Location 3: Windsor Crossfit in Windsor, Ontario
The theme of this styled shoot was "Winter Velvet Wedding" and the colours were deeps reds, greens, gold, with of course velvet accents. I found the green velvet one-shoulder top that the bride wore at Urban Planet and from there the ideas were just pouring out of me and I realized I couldn't NOT do this photoshoot!
As a wedding photographer, I don't photograph weddings for about 5 months of the year because couples tend to gravitate towards summer and fall weddings, so I want to show couples that a winter wedding can be just as gorgeous and you would be able to utilize things like velvet, fur wraps, hot cider stations, and other cozy things! I hope this photoshoot inspires engaged couples to consider having a winter wedding. (Plus, the hot cider station is such a unique wedding addition. Placed right near the door so the guests can warm up with some cider, and a basket of blankets was placed right next to the table for a little extra bit of coziness!)
The decorator, Kathy of Renaissance Weddings in Windsor, was phenomenal! She pulled up to the venue space with a huge fan just filled to the brim with things - including a couch! Our coordinator, Aubyn of Little Bird Event Co, even strapped a real live Christmas tree to her car that we were able to utilize! Everyone involved was so accommodating and genuinely excited to bring this vision to life! Each vendor was given the theme and colour scheme and from there were able to get creative. It all pulled together so wonderfully and I love that it showcases the talents of Windsor, Ontario, and that each vendor had a chance to be creative after we all had such a busy wedding season come to a close.
Putting the bride in something a little less traditional, while still staying bridal with the tulle skirt, was the main inspiration behind this photoshoot. Velvet is such a cool, in-style fabric for this winter season and going with green (rather than red) allows for the look to feel edgy yet earthy and not too much like a Christmas party outfit. The fur shawl adds to that winter look while also keeping the bride cozy! We decided to go with a more casual look for the groom, as well. So we ditched the jacket and added suspenders and a velvet bowtie.
The cake - which was real and so delicious (all the vendors devoured it after the photoshoot!), being adorned with non-traditional winter fruit was a lot of fun to collaborate on. Laura from Sweetbay Cakes does lots of cakes with traditional things like flowers and strawberries and really wanted to incorporate fruit that you would not typically think to put on a cake. Pomegranates, blackberries, cranberries, and our personal favourite, figs! The colours were rich and stuck with the colour scheme and also just looked super cool. We wanted to inspire couples to step outside the traditional wedding cake toppings.
All the vendors involved hope to inspire engaged couples to go against the grain and consider a winter wedding, or wear something non-traditional, or include little pops of colour where you might not expect (like the emerald stone in the gorgeous engagement ring from Phoenix Jewellers).
The models are a real life newlywed couple! I photographed their laid-back backyard wedding just three weeks before the styled photoshoot. They were so natural with one another on their wedding day (plus Chelsae is former Miss Universe Canada 2011, so she's a natural!) that I jumped at the opportunity to include them as the photoshoot models.
Make sure to peep the bottom of this post for everyone involved in this photoshoot!
Photographer: Jessica Ruxton Photography
Coordinator: Little Bird Event Co
Decor: Renaissance Weddings & Events
Florist: Emily Elizabeth Florals
Hair: Michelle from In The Chair
Make-Up: Lauren Stanko
Stationary: Elle & Em Event Design
Venue: The Old Mill Harrow
Models: Chelsae & Chris Letteri
Ring: Phoenix Jewellers
Cake: Sweetbay Food
Christmas Tree: Warkentin's Cut-Your-Own Christmas Tree Farm
Back in January, I started 2017 off with a bang by photographing the wedding of Nicole and Corey in the beautiful Playa del Carmen, Mexico!
It was a fun-filled few days of warmth, sand, endless drinks, and a crazy dance party on the beach!
We started by heading into town with the girls where they got their hair and makeup done at a cute salon in Cancun called Rose
We then headed back to the resort (which was perfect for a destination wedding btw) and caught up with the guys before heading back over the the girls and accompanying them to the alter.
Like I said, the resort, The Grand Sunset Princess in Playa del Carmen, was just perfect for an intimate wedding. The ceremony was private and beautifully decorated with an aisle and alter and a ocean backdrop.
After some group photos - the party really started! Their dance floor was right on the beach and it LIT UP. The drinks were flowing, the dance floor was LIT (get it .. get it???), and it was exactly as weddings should be: fun, relaxed, and surrounded by the bride and groom's favourite people.
Congrats again to Nicole and Corey and thanks allowing me to start off 2017 with such a fun wedding!
(Get ready for a total overshare while I relive this gorgeous day)