Jacqui & Stefano - October Chateau des Charmes Wedding

This blog is a wonderful example of an autumn wedding at Chateau des Charmes winery in Niagara on the Lake, where the typical wedding day timeline was turned upside down with BEAUTIFUL results. Jacqui & Stefano only required about 7 hours of photography coverage because they decided on an evening ceremony, meaning they had a "reveal" or "first look" which allowed for beautiful bridal portraits and family portraits beforehand - perfect timing for the October sunset! Originally planning on an outdoor ceremony, the weather had left the ground quite soggy and everything was moved inside. Talk about a breath-taking backup room for a wedding ceremony though! The glow of the chandelier & candlelight made for a magical effect on the room as the sky outside gradually got darker & darker. 

You might call this post an "oldie but a goodie" as they say - this was shot in 2012 (pre- renovations at the Chateau) and it will always remain one of our most memorable weddings, especially because it resulted in a 4 page feature in Weddingbells Magazine! Join me as I reminisce and have a look at how timeless and romantic Jacqui & Stefano's day was! 

Bridal Gown: Eli Saab

Bridesmaids Gowns: Vera Wang

Hair & Makeup: Colourations by Irene Sy

Planning: Erin Elizabeth Events 

Officiant: John Shore - Cathy Davis & Company 

Decor: Simply Beautiful Decor

Florals: My Bouquet


Ally & Dave - Stratus Winery Wedding

Goodness, where do I begin with describing Ally & Dave's wedding day last month? Julie & I had such a fun time with this couple and their family and friends. We were blessed with perfect weather, and beautiful details to photograph. The fact that these two newlyweds were beaming from the moment their day began, until the very last kiss at the end of the night goes to show how deeply in love they are. And their joy translated into absolutely everything that day - you could really sense the pride, excitement and emotion from all of their loved ones as they witnessed such a special moment in their lives. 

Ally & Dave, we had such a wonderful time getting to know you, thank you for trusting us with capturing your memories! 

Ceremony: Willowbank Estate

Reception: Stratus Winery 

Venue Counsellor: Laura Beck

Officiant: Paul Fletcher from Cathy Davis & Co.

Florals: Cathy Martin Flowers

Decor: Simply Beautiful Decor

Stationary: Defining Moments Stationary 

Hair: Jessica Martin (@styledbyjessicahannah) & Cobie Durie (@herstudioinc) 

Makeup: Amanda Zack (@hair.makeupbyamandazack)

Bride's Dress: Petrov Bridal, London ON - Eddy K is the designer 

Veil: Petrov Bridal, London ON - Pronovias is the designer

Bridesmaid dresses: Revolve.com - Jarlo is the designer 

Groom's tux: Channer's Mens Apparel Waterloo 

Groomsmen tux: Channer's Mens Apparel Waterloo 

Cake & Donut Wall: Q's Cakes and Café

Cake Topper: The Printing House Limited, Toronto

DJ: Justin Ruggeiro


Engagement Photo Sessions - What to Expect

You're engaged, HUGE congratulations! This season of your life is one of the most thrilling experiences that you and your fiancé will share as a couple. We LOVE that couples are taking the opportunity to showcase this exciting stage in their relationship by scheduling engagement photo sessions to share with their families and friends. But did you realize JUST how important these sessions can be with playing a role in your wedding photos as well? Think of your engagement session as a test run - with getting to know us as your photographers, and learning what to expect from us when we work together. When we arrive on your wedding day not only will you know us better and feel more comfortable with us, you will know what we will ask of you for photos, and be more comfortable in from of our cameras!

We are located in the beautiful downtown area of Niagara on the Lake, and this is where all of our engagement sessions take place. We know you'll love the area directly around our studio as a backdrop to your photos. Not 5 minutes away there are orchards, vineyards and old historic buildings that will provide the perfect environment to tell your story. 

We are often asked to send out a bit of information to help our clients prepare for our time together during engagement shoots and we want to maximize every minute together and make sure that you both truly enjoy the experience. This blog post will hopefully shed light on some of the unanswered questions you may have when preparing for a photo session! 



Be Aware of the Season

Living in Canada we are so fortunate to have access to all four of the seasons, but this can make the weather very unpredictable. If time allows, we can reschedule an engagement session that is rained out, or we can opt to shoot in the rain (on covered porches, inside a cafe, or running outside with umbrellas)! Because we are right beside the Lake, weather reports are often wrong, and we won't know exactly how the weather will turn out until just before the scheduled shoot.

We encourage you to thoughtfully plan your shoot around what time of year you will have access to for your engagement shoot, and be sure to dress appropriately (cool in the hot humid months, and warm in the winter). Each season has it's beauty and we love each month for entirely different reasons!


Choosing Outfits

Feel free to bring one change of clothes: I love to offer the opportunity for an outfit change halfway through the session. This gives you the opportunity to get a few different looks and feels with your session while maximizing our time together. Many couples opt for one dressier option and one more casual option. 

It can be very helpful to try on your outfits together before you arrive at your shoot so that you are sure that they work well together. Nothing has to be too "matchy-matchy" but pull in pieces from the same "colour family" so that they are pleasing to the eye. Try to stay away from large or obvious logos on your clothing, but don't feel like you need to stay away from patterns. Accessories are a fun way to add that "finishing touch" to your outfits and make them more personalized! If you have some statement jewelry, fun shoes or a snazzy tie that speaks to you - make sure to bring it!


Treat Yourself

A lot of our brides opt to get their hair and make up professionally done for their session. Make sure you allow enough time to enjoy that experience prior to the photos. Having manicured nails to show off your ring is also helpful! Just remember that going into a session feeling your absolute best will make all the difference in your confidence during our time together! 



Pets, Props & Extras

If you’re wondering about how you can make your experience personal and memorable, feel free to bring along any props that are special to you. I want your session to scream YOU, so if that means bringing your four legged friend along or props that tell your story, please do! We can incorporate them into your photos in a fun way! Maybe it’s something from your proposal or a hobby you both love and share, maybe it’s a food you love or a bottle of wine that is special. Whatever you want in your photos, I’ll do my best to make it happen!


Be Yourselves 

It’s more than okay to feel nervous! Please know that I do not expect you to be models. My job is to direct you in a way that helps you relax, feel natural, and be your true comfortable selves in front of my lens. You do not need to practice poses, study Pinterest pins or let the nerves take over. Don’t worry if you are feeling nervous, I’ll be sure the end result is something you will love!


You can view recent engagement sessions here: https://www.geminiphotographyontario.com/#/engagements-1/ and check out our Pinterest Engagement Session inspiration board here:  pinterest.com/geminiphoto/inspired-by-engagements/