JOYFUL WINDSOR ONTARIO WEDDING WITH PERSONAL TOUCHES THROUGHOUT
Krista and Bryson's late-spring Windsor Ontario wedding took place at Urban Field House and included personal touches that nodded to the bride's Japanese heritage and couple's passion for supporting local. The bride and groom incorporated a special petal toss during the recessional with dried flowers from personal bouquets.
Krista and Bryson first asked us to shoot their wedding in 2020. As luck would have it, their date got pushed - multiple times. And so did their venue. Looking back on it now, fate was stepping in and promising picture perfect day for a picture perfect Urban Field House wedding in Windsor, Ontario.
Getting Ready Photos in Kingsville, Ontario
The couple each got ready at separate locations with their respective parties, just down the street from each other in Kingsville, Ontario. Bryson and his guys prepped for the day at The Grove hotel where he and his party spent most of the morning relaxing on the balcony, cheersing to the festivities ahead. The interior was small and relatively dark, providing us with an opportunity to play with light and shadows. Bryson passed out hunter green suspenders and Yeti coolers to thank the guys for their support and agreeing to stand with him on his big day, while the guys laughed and joked about their made up history of Windsor.
Bryson looked dapper in his fitted, black Tiger of Sweden suit with sashiko embroidery work on the sleeve by his soon-to-be mother-in-law. This allowed him to carry a bit of Krista's Japanese heritage with him throughout the day. In the words of Krista, Bryson looked incredibly dashing on the day. I have to say, we agree.
Krista and her party got ready at Leslie & Main. We can't recommend this space enough for a bridal suite. The home offered multiple rooms, brightly lit and minimally decorated. Upon arrival, Krista was having her bridal hair and makeup touched up by the fabulous JM Bridal (hair) and Mariane (makeup) before moving into the scheduled events of the day.
The bride's Julia Cork gown hung from a bay window in the living room where flat lay details were prepped and ready for shooting before we even arrived - talk about a wedding photographer's dream! Krista spent time designing a wedding look with a wedding dress and accessories sourced locally from independent designers and small businesses. Julia Cork is an Ontario-based dress designer who works with delicate, intricate lace and moveable, luxurious secondary fabrics. A bridal bouquet made exclusively from local flowers and designed by Blackstone Flower Farm sat on a chair next to the dress with the brides thrifted shoes and hand-dyed veil. The mother-of-the-bride dyed the once-white veil with coffee grounds to better complement Krista's deep ivory wedding dress. She also hand-stitched flowers onto the edge of the veil using a traditional method called sashiko embroidery. The personal touches didn't stop there. Krista's engagement ring was hand-crafted using gold melted down from her late-grandmother's bracelet, a gentle reminder of love that spans generations. The bride took a flower design course in advance of the wedding and created all boutonnieres and corsages for her parents and the wedding party herself from locally sourced dried flowers. She also created delicate floral hair pieces for her bridesmaids.
The couple's wedding invitation suite was designed by Krista's brother to include their cat, LC. We love when couples incorporate their pets into their wedding day, especially when they are unable to join in person!
Getting the Most out of Getting Ready Portraits
As soon as we arrive for getting ready photos, we quickly introduce ourselves and ask that everyone continue on as though the camera is not present. As a wedding photography and videography team, our job is to capture moments as they happen. We provide insight into how to create a fun narrative throughout the gallery without making the morning feel scripted. It's a big part of why our couples book us and it's how we deliver photojournalistic wedding galleries that tell a story.
Ultimately, we believe the most cherished wedding day photos are the candids, not the posed.
If we think an image or video frame would look best with a smile looking directly into the lens, we'll let you know. Otherwise, carry on as if we aren't here!
Krista was intentional about creating moments for her wedding party. She wanted them to move with her throughout the day and observe big moments - such as her mom zipping up her dress.
An Emotional First Look
The couple decided to do their first look inside. Krista would walk down to her groom, standing at the foot of the staircase.
Not a single person could have prepared Bryson for his first look with Krista. Earlier in the day, he was cool, calm, and collected. Seeing his bride for the first time, that all went out the window.
As a wedding photographer and videographer, we have to say it: there are countless benefits to a first look. For many couples, they provide an opportunity to get the nerves out early on in the day. A first look allows for raw emotion - there is no need to hold back when it's only the two of you. Lastly, first looks provide comfort. You're marrying your best friend, the one person who knows you better than anyone else. By choosing to do a first look early in the day, you enter the ceremony united and in control of emotions that often run high.
For those who opt out of a first look, we would be thrilled to work with you on creating special moments like this without having been seen by each other. You can still get that special moment and ease the nerves.
Outdoor Wedding Ceremony on the Urban Field House Lawn
Krista and Bryson exchanged vows during a meaningful ceremony under the sun at the Urban Field House Lawn. Paper cranes made by members of a Japanese-Canadian seniors center hung from the arbor set against a sprawling field of green grass and oak trees. Complementary vintage books housed the couple's vows and a jar of flower petals dried and saved from personal bouquets was used for a special petal blessing.
We collected flower petals from bouquets Bryson had gotten me, including ones while we were quarantining apart during COVID, flower petals from our apartment's backyard garden and ones from our current home over the last two summers while we were engaged. These petals were used in a "petal blessing" where we had cones of petals that our guests were welcome to take and then we sprinkled our own special blend of memory petals into theirs, stopping to see every person during our ceremony, it was so special.
Lawn Games, Portraits, and Cocktail Hour Candids
Following the ceremony, guests were invited to enjoy cocktail hour on the lawn. Little Bird Event Co. guided guests to enjoy lawn games, add their photos and signatures to the Boho Bus guest book, and enjoy popcorn, passed hors d'oeuvres and cocktails while the bride and groom greeted guests.
The photo bus (Boho Bus) was one of the first elements that inspired me. It's a peach colored VW bus that we could take photos inside. It screamed adventure, boho and cute to me and it was one of the first vendors we picked because of the look, feel and locality out of London, Ontario, just a few hours away from our wedding venue.We wanted our reception to be really laid back and had lawn games during the outdoor cocktail hour. My brother is big into disk golf and brought his net and a bunch of disks to teach guests how to play. We had corn hole and ladder golf but the big hit was Daniel and his disks! We had a signature mocktail from me, a ginger punch with a recipe by my best man and a bourbon lemonade from Bryson, both were big hits!
We're big fans of cocktail candids and strongly encourage all clients to build time into their day that allows for them to enjoy cocktail hour. Doing so adds variety to the gallery and shows a complete story. It also provides an opportunity to slow down and breathe on what is otherwise (usually) a very busy day. Don't feel that you need to limit cocktail hour to 60 minutes. If opting for no first look, plan for a 90 minute cocktail hour. This should provide 45 minutes of portrait time and 45 minutes to relax with guests!
A Message from the Bride on Finding Inspiration
My favourite part of the planning was thinking of all the little details. There were so many DIY and vintage elements for our wedding! We wanted to create mini moments that were very "us" through the day and I think it really helped tie it altogether.We love farmer's markets and shopping local, vintage and secondhand.
Almost everything was sourced secondhand first if we could. We wanted as many of our vendors to be local, with a focus on freshly grown where possible. I thrifted and found a ton of great finds on Facebook Marketplace for a lot of the decor including golden frames, flower planters, instamax cameras and film.
I got to involve my family and Bryson's family a lot during the planning as well which was so special. Bryson's mom made all of the desserts. Our wedding cake, 5 other cakes and 4 different kinds of cookies and tarts were made by Bryson's mom Linda. Linda always bakes the most amazing things for every birthday and holiday. Each birthday I ask for a chocolate cake with white icing and that's exactly what I wanted for our wedding too. She made it and my sister in law Pauline decorated the cake with flowers from the flower farm.
My mom and dad helped source and look after more than 60 plants that became our table settings and eventually, favors for guests who wanted to take them home!
We decided to ride Segways into the venue as our wedding entrance and people were floored. We have friends who work for a Segway adventure company and so they were able to bring them for us as a special treat. We incorporated them into a Final Countdown choreographed dance and it was so much fun. We love Arrested Development and wanted to have a Job moment of our own with a little magic thanks to our DJ. Our friends and family were laughing and hooting and hollering and it was the best reaction we could have dreamt of! It was the best!
Our venue had a ton of wonderful props since they double as a theatre so we had a lot of fun playing around and building a mock stage where people could come up and take photos during the reception. A lot of it was inspired by having fun with what we were able to find and make the most of out of it and our budget.
Wedding Reception and Sunset Portraits
Krista and Bryson planned their day with intention and incorporated meaning everywhere they could. They allowed time for their wedding party, parents, and siblings to speak throughout dinner and included parent and family dances. Coverage ended just after sunset but that didn't stop the couple from dancing into the night with their favorite people.
We are so honored to have captured this special day and will be thinking about it for years to come.
MADBOU Photography & Films is a Washington DC-based photography and videography team and enjoys working with all Canadian wedding clients. Expanding into the Ontario wedding photography community excites us! We love returning to the province we once called home!