Alison + Gavin

{Aeolian Hall Wedding Photography}

This was such a special wedding for me to photograph – Alison has been promising me for years that when Gavin popped the question, I’d be the one photographing their wedding and when the big day finally came I was SO excited! Their day was so full of love and personality, I don’t even know where to begin to describe what a fantastic celebration it was. My favorite parts: Most laid back bride ever: Alison was reading a book when we arrived!, seeing my favorite bridesmaids (this is the third wedding I have done for this group of friends), an impromptu decision to do their photos in the middle of a street fair downtown (and they rehearsed their first dance there to the delight on onlookers) a very personal ceremony with the whole audience joining them in song, a surprise performance by their friend and professional actor Thomas Alderson (one of my favorite theatre songs – “Younger than Springtime” – just divine!), CREAM PUFFS for desert!!, the groom playing piano and performing two songs he wrote for the bride (tearjerker!), the most amazing dance party (take a look at those high kicks!), Thank you so much for asking me to capture your day Alison & Gavin – it truly was an honor and I loved every wonderful minute of it!

– Heather

Describe the vision/theme you had for your wedding in 5 words or less: Vintage glamour.  Fun and quirky.  Us.

What are you favorite memories of your wedding day?
Bride: Spending a fun and relaxing morning with my favourite ladies.  Doing our first dance on Dundas Street at a street fair (Heather’s idea).  Singing “Bridge Over Troubled Water” during our ceremony while looking into my husband’s adoring face – and laughing together when no one knew the words to the second verse.  Slow-dancing with Gavin while our friends encircled us holding candles – a truly magical moment.  Leaving the wedding in a getaway car decorated by our friends with a handcrafted “Just Married” sign and glittery cans.
Groom: Dancing, and watching everybody dancing.  Impromptu photoshoot on Dundas Street, which was Heather’s last-minute suggestion.  It wasn’t in our original plan, but we trusted Heather to be the most awesome, so we said YES.

Best wedding related decision: 
Bride: Hiring Amy McNall from Unmistakably You.  Staying at the Idlewyld Inn for several nights leading up to the wedding, with our close friends and family – the staff there took amazing care of us and went out of their way to make sure we and our guests had VIP treatment.  Asking one of my best friends Megan Moorhouse to be our emcee – “she should do this professionally.”
Groom: Hiring a great Wedding Planner and amazing Photographers.

Favourite detail:
Bride: Having a croquembouche instead of a wedding cake.  The antique lace-covered votives made by my best friend Emily Walker.  These tiny points of light decorated the stage and hall during the ceremony and created a beautiful, romantic atmosphere.
Groom: Programmes (designed and printed by the Bride & Groom) in the style of a Playbill, complete with cast of characters, head shots and bios. 

Advice for future brides & grooms:
Bride:  Ask for and accept help when you need it.  People want to support you because they love you – let them.
Groom: “Don’t take advice from anybody.”  The wedding is YOUR day and all about YOU. Don’t include/exclude something because you feel that’s how it ‘should’ be done, or because somebody tells you that’s what ‘should’ happen. The day will be more memorable and special if you personalize it.

Would you change anything if you could do it all over again? 
Bride: Nothing – everything was amazing.  Well, maybe I’d eat more cream puffs.
Groom: Have a tech rehearsal at the venue with the Lighting/sound guy.  Hire a videographer (I played the piano during my speech and would have liked a record of that).   Plan MORE events for the days surrounding the wedding.

Best surprise of the day:
Bride: Our emcee Megan Moorhouse gave a speech that included five of our most meaningful musical theatre songs (she and the bride met through doing community theatre), and a surprise performance by our friend Thomas Alderson. 

VENDORS: Ceremony Location – Aeolian Hall | Reception Location – Aeolian Hall | Officiant (if not a church ceremony) – Christine Sharpe from All Seasons Weddings. | Dress (designer and/or store) – Becker’s Bridal | Wedding Planner – Amy McNall from Unmistakably You | Flowers/Decorator – Fellows Fernlea Flowers | Hair/Makeup – Hair: Sharon Belisle, Eden; Makeup – Emily Walker, Matron of Honour | Caterer – Sticky Pudding Catering Company | DJ – Music compiled and pre-mixed by Gavin Taylor; sound technician Chris Babin

WEDDING SONGS: Processional: First Timer Ever I Saw Your Face –  Mei Lee, soprano; Igor Saika-Voivod, piano | Vocal solo: Laudate dominum (Mozart) – Mei Lee, soprano; Igor Saika-Voivod, piano | Sing-a-long during ceremony: Bridge Over Troubled Water | Recessional: Medley of Nintendo video game music arranged by the Groom | Entrance: First Timer Ever I Saw Your Face | First Dance: Moonlight Serenade by Henry Mancini | Parents Dances: Sing Sing Sing

We ran into my little Iris while we were at the street festival and she insisted she join the wedding party for a photo!

THREE lovely couples whose weddings I’ve photographed! Such a treat to get to see them all together!

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