styled winter wedding at chateau ramezay

The first time I came to montreal was on the darkest days of winter in 2005. Some friends and I drove here to spend our reading week exploring the city. We arrived at night and set out to see what Montreal had to share with us. I remember walking into the wind on a wide boulevard, the air so cold it froze the tears on my cheeks. Just as my legs began to be immobilized by the chill, we found a pub and gleefully rushed inside.

That became a common theme throughout the week - wandering until the cold made it impossible to continue, then warming our hands and spirits inside some cozy place or another. During the days, the winter sun sparkled off the ice-crusted streets; at night the golden light of a bar warmed by fireplaces glowed from its windows like a beacon. To this day, that's what Montreal winter feels like to me, and why I'm still in love with this city.

For this styled shoot, I was fortunate to collaborate once again with the divinely talented Elyse. We first worked together to create the fall wedding shoot a few months ago. Even before we wrapped the last shoot, we were excitedly discussing what it would be like to do a winter wedding. Logistically, yes, we knew it would be tough to lug things around and photograph a couple outdoors during Montreal winter. The more we talked about the challenges, however, the more we began to imagine how amazing it would be if we could make it work.

We wanted to show engaged couples how beautiful a winter wedding can be for those daring enough to consider one. We sought to showcase the lovely juxtaposition between portraits in the blue, cold light of winter and a reception in a warm room under the glittering light of antique chandeliers.

From this point,  Elyse began her creative process:

The inspiration for this shoot came when I was busy planning the last one. Scouring a rental site for props that might come in handy, I came across a chair. Not just any chair: an antique wing back chair with dark, curvy wooden legs and plush emerald-velvet upholstery. I was in love. It was pure elegance -quietly glamorous and luxurious yet incredibly cozy and inviting. I immediately pictured it in a bank of snow with a glowing bride perched on top, enveloped in a sea of tulle.

While the chair itself didn’t end up making it into the shoot (logistics, logistics), the feel of it was everywhere. From the rich woodwork and warm glow of the chandeliers in the Chateau Ramezay, to the Kenneth Pool gown boasting just the right amount of sparkle, to the graceful curves of Paper and Parcel’s invitation lettering, the elements of that chair that made me stop and take note were the jumping off point for almost every detail and decision. The cherry on top (or anemone in this case), was the beautiful cake created by the divine Cake Whisperer. Its ruffles, gold accents and deep emerald colour were just like my original inspiration – pure elegance.

In the end, the shoot became proof that you can build an event around just about any item that inspires you, from a trinket that catches your eye at a flea market to a family heirloom you hold close to your heart. If you adore the combination of textures, materials and colours on the object, it’s safe to say you’ll love it at your wedding too!

This time, I was privileged to photograph real-life newlyweds Sarah and Peter, a couple whose love - much like their personalities - is incandescent. As you will see momentarily, they adore each other. I don't think I've ever met a couple with such combined charisma. They're the kind of people who draw friends and admirers everywhere they go, dazzling people with their kindness, generosity and their zest for life. Sarah and Peter, thank you sharing your weekend and your magnetic personalities with us. We're all so happy for you, and wish you all the happiness in the world together!

We also had a new collaborator this time around: my sweet friend Jenn lent us not only her incredible skills as a makeup artist, but also helped us with the flowers and pretty much everything else on the day of the shoot. Jenn, thank you for everything.

Lastly, I was just thrilled to have my husband Brian join me in photographing this shoot. With him by my side, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.

Okay, let's get started! This first photo, as it happens, is by Brian.

This one below by Brian

These next three by Brian as well :)

The ones above by Brian

This  one by Brian too

This stunning cake was made by The Cake Whisperer, and the wine sleeve by Paper and Parcel.

The beautiful stationary suite was created by Paper and Parcel.

Beautiful guest favours created by Elyse

Green tea and mint truffles

And now, the truly breathtaking Chateau Ramezay:

Peter's suit by Emporio Armani; Sarah's gown is "Amour" by Kenneth Pool, provided by Mia Bridal Co.

For dessert, wedding cake with iced Baileys and cookies, and hot chocolate with whipped cream

Thank you everyone for a truly amazing experience.

Elyse's inspiration board
My inspiration board


Bride and Groom: Sarah Lolley & Peter Drake  //  Venue: Chateau Ramezay  //  Photography: Dallas Curow Photography  //   Styling + Coordination: Elyse Cragg  //  Makeup: Jennifer Johnson  //  Hairstyling:  Dallas Curow // Cake: The Cake Whisperer  //  Stationary and Wine Sleeve: Paper and Parcel  //  Floral design:  Elyse Cragg, Dallas Curow, Jennifer Johnson  //  Bride's gown: Kenneth Pool "Amour" compliments of Mia Bridal Co.  //  Bride's shoes: Nine West  //  Bride's coat: vintage  //  Groom's suit: Emporio Armani  //  Groom's shoes: Kenneth Cole  //  Drivers/Best People Ever: Jim Cragg and Barbara Woodward