When Shaina & Jeff had to postpone their wedding because of Covid, it made them think about what they really wanted – to be married! So rather than cancel everything altogether, they regrouped and decided to downsize their wedding and host it in Shaina's parent's backyard (and I use the word backyard loosely, as it's more of a sprawling, gorgeously maintained, full-of-variety magical wonderland and photographers dream).
Once upon a time...
Ending up as Shaina & Jeff's wedding photographer started many, many, many years ago. Once upon a time this lovely, inside and out, woman named Daniella wrote me, asking if I'd shoot their wedding down in Sombra (trying to explain where Sombra was to me...but I already knew because it's right near where I grew up!). Her sister Elisa was in her wedding, and as a result, I ended up covering Elisa & Mick's gorgeous wedding at the Kortright Centre for Conservation a few years later...Mick, being Jeff's brother! In between there, too, have been a handful of other friends and family's weddings – it's always so nice when I get to see and work with familiar and friendly faces, over and over again!
I also need to note – all these signage you'll see in Shaina & Jeff's gallery was handmade by themselves! They're not only lovely people, a blast to work with and gorgeous – they're also super talented!
Be sure to follow their work, and place some custom orders at Created by Shai & J on Facebook.
We started with a quick first look in the woods, followed by some bride & groom photos while the bridal party wrapped up (and looked after all the little people!). We spent some time on photos with the full wedding party, then hopped on the golf cart and head for the cornfield and pond near the back of the property.
I know, right?
This is the entrance to the woods...like, I could honestly shoot in this space forever and be okay with it.
I guess "backyard" is an understatement...
I wasn't exaggerating when I said I could shoot here EVERY DAY – especially with a couple as chill and laidback as Shaina & Jeff! This property - and the two of them - blew my mind! It was crazy sunny all day but the space lent itself to so many perfectly shaded and beautiful backdrops, I could have kept shooting for 10 more hours and not run out of inspiration!
We're almost at the ceremony!
Did you forget Shaina & Jeff still have to get married?
We made it! Time to get married!
I told you this location was epic – and the ceremony space was set up down near one of the ponds (yes, "one" of the "ponds") in all it's backlit glory, next to a tiny little cottage. This is the stuff dream weddings are made of.
The lovely Elisa!
Hands-down, my most photographed client of all time (well, of 14 years of doing this!). From her sister Daniella's wedding, through her engagement photos, wedding, then subsequent at least 2 (now 3?) weddings she has been in (and referred me for – big love!!)...plus more next year! I hope to keep this up until I'm shooting her beautiful daughter's wedding in 20 or 30 years haha!
...time for some family photos!
Time for a First Dance...and Pizza!
Did I forget to say that their gorgeous, rustic and intimate little reception in the backyard included delivery from Byron Pizza? It sure did and it was amazing! With plates of appetizers being dropped at each table, the pizza arrived right on schedule and of course we had to have a little fun with pics...because, well, pizza.
Shaina & Jeff also had a cute Polaroid guest book, so everyone was snapping shots of each other, and pasting them into the guest book with their best wishes (and Shaina's lovely mom grabbed one of a very super sweaty me, too LOL!)
The First Dance
Just steps from where the reception was set up was a gorgeous stone patio, perfectly suited for Shaina & Jeff's first dance – to. one of my all-time favourite songs – How Long Will I Love You? by Ellie Goulding (it's technically a song by The Waterboys, and Ellie covered it beautifully years later!)
Of course, because these two are amazingly talented, they had custom made their own wooden sign with the lyrics on it.
And, because of Covid...
Shaina's Mom stitched together some adorable Bride & Groom face masks! So of course we needed to grab a couple cute shots of them wearing them before I left for the day!
Which, as we all know...is just the beginning!
I couldn't have asked for a better day, or better company, to spend the day with, and couldn't be happier for these two! Congratulations (and thank you!) to both of you – can't wait to do it all again next year!