royal botanical gardens family portrait

There's something poetic about returning to the same place at different, important points in a life. You come back and all appears the same, but you have been changed by each passing day and every infinitesimal shift in your life between then and now. In the year and a half between the last time I photographed Marion at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington, she has had many exciting changes happen in her life. Perhaps most notably, she has since become a mother. On a hot, sunny day this summer, I photographed Marion with her mom and daughter for a "three generations" portrait session. I'm only sharing a few images today as M and her husband wish to maintain their daughter's privacy, so I've selected some where little Adelina's cute face is just out of sight. Marion, thank you so much for inviting me to photograph three generations of kind and beautiful women in your family.

lasalle park wedding | karolyn & blake

On the morning of their wedding day, Karolyn was surrounded by a particularly wonderful group of loved ones. Together, they sipped mimosas and laughed their heads off, chilling out and truly enjoying themselves before the festivities kicked off. Just outside her hotel, her longtime love, Blake, waited by the lake. Once she put the finishing touches on her look, Karolyn swept the long train of her gown over her arm so she could move more quickly, and walked across the park to meet him. Immediately, they both burst out laughing, as they often do when they're together. Blake's wisecracks and antics punctuated the day, continually making Karolyn grin throughout the festivities. Of all the weddings I've photographed, I think theirs contained the funniest moments and most laughter.

They had chosen to marry at Geraldo's at LaSalle Park, a lovely and expansive space where they could dine and dance al fresco just steps away from Lake Ontario. The venue was gorgeously styled by The Event Room, one half of which (Jennifer) did double duty as a bridesmaid. The beautiful floral design was provided by Karolyn's own mother, Helen. The ring bearer was none other than the couple's adorable puppy, Thor.

Karolyn and Blake, thank you for inviting me to photograph both your engagement and wedding. Your day was beautiful and super fun and it was so great to be the one documenting it all. Wishing you guys so much happiness and humour in the years to come.

Karolyn and Blake chose to see each other before their ceremony and do a first look. This allowed them to hang out together and spend time with their wedding party, relaxing and laughing. It also meant they would have time to enjoy cocktail hour with their guests later on.

They arrived at Geraldo's at LaSalle Park, where both their ceremony site and reception space were gorgeously styled by The Event Room.


Venue: Geraldo's at LaSalle Park // Planning and styling: The Event Room // Officiant: Jim Matz  //  Photography: Dallas Curow Photography //  Hair: Refresh Salon & Spa  // Makeup: Dallas Curow  //  Florist: Helen Hardmeier  //  Baker: The Sweet Spot Cupcakes  //  Stationary: Laura Forbes  //  Bride's dress: Maggie Sottero, purchased at Jealous Bridesmaids  //  Bride's shoes: Nine West  //  Jewellery: Stella & Dot  //  Groom and Groomsmens' attire: Moore's  //  DJ: Walter Hohman, Entertainment by Design  //  Ceremony musician: Sean Royle

burlington family portraits | burns family

I first met Sarah and Paul nearly seven years ago when they were my very first engagement session clients. This year, we reconnected when I commissioned Sarah to make some sweets for my Feeling of Fragrance gallery show. She did an outstanding job and her treats made a lot of guests very happy. I met up with her in November and it was an absolute pleasure to follow around their sweet family with my camera. I always love it when families invite grandparents along to their portrait sessions, so having the children's nana, Lynn, join in the fun was extra special. To the whole Burns family, thank you for spending a morning with me and for being such a joy to photograph!

burlington performing arts centre wedding | aarti & bhavesh

As he recounted in his speech on their wedding day, Bhavesh clearly remembers exactly when he realized he was falling hard for Aarti. While out in Toronto one day in the early stages of their relationship, they witnessed a confrontation between strangers. As soon as she realized what was happening, Aarti sprang into action. She flagged down a police officer, gathered witnesses, and made sure the victim was safe. All of this, she did without hesitation, and Bhavesh felt incredibly lucky to have met such a brave and decisive woman. In that moment, he knew he wanted to keep this courageous and compassionate person in his life.

Aarti and Bhavesh share a love that is warm, strong, and full of humour. They deeply inspire each other and consistently push one another to pursue their greatest dreams. In fact, Aarti defended her PhD dissertation only a month after their wedding, so when she wasn't wedding planning, she was writing and prepping like crazy, and Bhavesh encouraged her every step of the way. These lovebirds recently reunited after a year of living long-distance, just in time for their wedding festivities to begin. And oh, what a series of celebrations it was!

I am deeply grateful to my longtime friend and her lovely new husband for the incredible amount of faith they showed in asking me to document their day. Although I've attended many Indian weddings, they knew this was the first one I've captured as a photographer. When I asked Aarti about different traditions and certain moments, she outlined a few key things and then said that she trusted me completely. I can't overstate how much it means to a photographer to know that you have a person's complete trust. Aarti and Bhavesh, you put your faith in me and Brian and we are so appreciative. It was an absolute thrill on every level to photograph your wedding day in all its vibrant glory. Wishing you so much happiness and love, and congratulations again, doctor!

Okay guys, get ready for an explosion of colour, love and joy. I will warn you I've gone overboard with how many photos are included, but there are so many amazing traditions that I wanted to include them all. I'm sure you'll be as obsessed with the beauty of their wedding as I was.

The day really kicked off with the baraat, in which drums and singing heralded the groom's arrival, by bicycle!

Then the milni, which is the meeting of both the bride and groom's families

While the milni took place, Aarti secretly watched from above, though I was spotted by a few guests!

Then it was time for the ceremony, which was spectacular

Then it was time for the doli, where the bride leaves her family to join the family of her husband. It is traditionally a bittersweet ceremony, given the bride's mixed emotions of excitement about her marriage and her sadness over leaving her family home. Though she certainly did her best to remain solemn out of respect for tradition, there was the occasional smile.

We headed to Spencer Smith Park for some portraits.

The sweet owners of Kelly's Bake Shoppe kindly let us step in for a few photos. Aarti is a huge fan of cupcakes, so it was pretty great.

Then Aarti and her gorgeous sisters headed to the studio of South Asian makeup and hair guru Shirley Wu to prepare for the reception.

Once they were ready for the party, Aarti and Bhavesh and I headed to Brampton for some more portraits. Two amazing looks and two portrait sessions? It was a photographer's dream!

Thanks for indulging me with this next photo, A + B! I couldn't resist.

The day culminated in a reception with incredible food, heartfelt speeches, a really, really awesome dance floor and an epic dessert spread that included a milk and cookie bar!

Oh, and I almost forgot to tell you about one other awesome thing they did! Aarti and Bhavesh love Nuit Blanche, and were sad to miss Toronto's version for, you know, their wedding day. They decided to bring a little of the spirit of Nuit Blanche to their reception, and included this beautiful poem in their dessert buffet area. So cool!


Ceremony Venue: Burlington Performing Arts Centre  //  Reception Venue: Embassy Grand  //  Photography: Dallas Curow Photography, with Brian Fauteux  //  Makeup & Hair: Beauty Concept by Shirley Wu  //  additional credits coming soon!