Best Moments of 2016 - International Documentary Wedding Photographer
This is my favorite blog post to write each year! I get to look back on so many moments that I got to witness thanks to the couples that chose me to be the one to document this chapter of their love story. Looking over thousands of photos can be pretty daunting, especially when there are so many great moments to choose from, but I managed to bring it down to a manageable number and categorize them! My heart is still broken for the thousands of photos that were left out! This was the hardest blog post I've ever had to put together! The categories are as follows in this order; Bloopers, Emotional, The Morning Of the Wedding, Kids + Fur Babies, Adventurous, Sentimental, SO Happy, Funny Story, Let's Break Out the Booze, Party.
23,752 - photos delivered in 2016
18,855 - km driven
26,457 - km traveled by air
53 - couples photographed
Almost kisses make me laugh :)
She totally pulled back on the string, let it go, and it smacked him so hard under the chin!
Well I must say this was a first. A bridesmaid suggested that she was going to launch underwear at me as a joke - lol
Dad cooling down in the breeze haha!
He got her first, and she had no mercy lol
Can you tell she didn't like the food she tried?
This pictures is kinda creepy looking! It looks like they share a set of teeth!
Not even sure how to caption this .. LOL
It was SO HOT that day, that her dress got stuck on her + we all laughed that her butt was hanging out for a while there LOL
"Now dance just cuz!" I told them.
Alex's bridesmaid desperately trying to hand her her flowers before she run back up the aisle lol
Grandpa was enjoying his chicken so much that he didn't realize he was photo bombing lol
He was appalled by her double jointed-ness.
She turned around + didn't realize I was there lol
There's a lot going on in this one. Being barefoot in a forest, groping, and pretending that the tree stump is a motorcycle lol
The most awkward hug of life.
She beheaded her man in a leaf fight.
I told her "whip your hair back + forth" lol
I couldn't help but laugh when Taro had to poop during their session + Dat was so disgusted to pick it up.
The non glamorous part of a Paris elopement lol
Yup. I kept shooting lol
They were so embarrassed to be sitting in the middle of the boardwalk as people walked by haha
We were loosing light and needed to move on from the cooking part of the shoot to the snuggle part. So they started to scarf down their food as fast as possible lol
Opie kept photo bombing!! lol
LOL I think the wind blew something unpleasant in her mouth!
Mother daughter dance <3
Reading a card from her bridesmaids <3
Her dad seeing her in her dress for the first time <3
Her dad seeing her for the first time that morning <3
Reading a letter her parents wrote her <3
Father daughter dance <3
Heart wrenching speeches <3
Group hug after the ceremony I think Rachael was overwhelmed with gratitude here <3 Dad giving his speech <3 Her girls wishing her all the best before her 1st look with her man <3 Mom seeing her in her dress for the first time <3 A moment of prayer before the ceremony <3Her dad passed away. With these pictures in her bouquet, she had him by her side all day <3 Chelsey overcome with emotion after opening the gift Chris got her <3 Chris overcome with emotion when he held her hand but couldn't see her yet! Mom watching the first dance <3 The three most important women in Claire's life, all in one photo <3 These two look as in love as ever! They waited a long time for this very moment <3 Emotional speeches <3 Giving her mom a hug at the ceremony <3
THE MORNING OF THE WEDDING
Hattie was so emotional reading a letter that her brother gave to Katherine that Katherine burst out laughing!It was adorable how excited Katherine was! Boys being boys. Parents being parents. Even while being all dressed up on their daughters wedding day, they were still cleaning! Kimberley practicing her dance with her dad :)So many hands were needed to put on the dress! Kim + her bridesmaids screaming at the top of their lungs on Gladstone Hotel's rooftop in Toronto from excitement :) Sexual jokes while putting on a wedding dress? Why not? Magdzia's mom seeing her in her dress for the first time <3 I arrived where Meg was getting ready + I was greeted at the door by her bridesmaids eating pickles - lol. I love random moments like that! Meg turned the fan on, but it was so old that it broke! Mel getting ready out of her car in Tobermory for her elopement! The one in the middle. Yup he just got sacked lol Straight from the bottle is the way to do it :) Morgan getting emotional after seeing herself in the mirror <3 The mom yelled down to the dock at the top of her lungs to her husband "Did you remember to bring spare underwear!? It's really hot today!" annnnd they all burst out laughing as Rachael the bride (in the striped shirt) is dying of embarrassment hahaha! The guys just hanging out at the dock skipping stones! Going in for a quick dip before getting dressed! Her girls reacting to her hair + make-up! Rachael is known for her love of food, I caught her digging in the fridge before putting on her wedding dress lol The bridesmaids laughing at Dave (the groom) making sure his hair is on point with the hair artist lol Alex being a goof <3 The girls reacting to her hair + make-up <3 I just thought this was so cute! The girls seeing the bride for the first time <3 Enjoying some banter together <3 The cork got stuck in the Scotch, and it became a full out operation to get it out! Claire so excited for the ceremony just around the corner <3 Everyone seeing Courtney in her dress! Erin so excited to get her dress on!! This was moments after Erin + Chris shared a private first look on their own! Erin hanging out with her sis + best friend in her childhood room before getting ready! Putting on her dress in her childhood room <3 Gotta make sure to boobs look right! lol The thank you cards the groomsman received from the groom!! #BestThankYouCardsEver The groom is the one that is dressed in this picture. The one blow drying his hair was still in his towel getting ready lol Best.Bridesmaids.Shirts Jess getting ready on her own for her Paris elopement <3 Kandace + her mom reminiscing over old photos :) Super excited for a toast :) A very good storyteller lolKatherine loving her make-up :)
KIDS + FUR BABIES
So focused. Their dog joining in on their 1st dance <3 Seriously how happy does Opie look!? So tired! Enjoying that bottle :) PROPS! Time out? Those girls on the right looks like they are doing the tango! lol Otis is all dressed up + ready to go! She was exploring + taking pics <3 Selfie! Peek-a-boo! Grandma mimicking the little one's face :) So thrilled by the wind from the fanning :) So happy :)
I love that they had the balls to stand there for me in front of the Arc de Triomphe for some EPIC photos! They laughed at me because it was my first time using underwater gear, and I had a wave crash down on me + got salt water all up in my mouth lol But it was so worth it for this shot!He proposed to her...IN A HOT AIR BALLOON!!! We only had seconds left with the smoke bombs so I told them to run through! They really wanted a starry night shot. This was my first, and I must say I'm pretty happy with it! It was a good challenge having two drunk peeps stand really still so they don't end up blurry! lol After their elopement in Tobermory <3 The newlywed hiking with her pup through the woods in Tobermory <3 Caitlin changing from heels into cowboy boots + Dave loading up the truck! Adventuring with these two at Cathedral Grove in Victoria! Bundling up to keep each other warm because the water in Bruce Peninsula is FREEZING! They are such troopers because they went in the water for me to get the shot below! After sharing a drink at one of their favorite watering holes, they ended up venturing into an art store + goofing off :) BEST. VINTAGE. CAR. DRIVER. EVER. He drove us all around Paris for 4 hours and was such a jolly ol' fellow! <3 That time we arrived at The Louvre + they JUST closed it off to the public. I asked a security guard to let us in for 2 mins. We ran in, I only had 2 minutes to get the shot, and we ran out! What an experience. You can see Jess + Sean running out below :)
They love taking bubble baths together <3These two are OBSESSED with pizza. So I photographed them at their favorite pizza place. They are regulars! Portland Variety is one of their favorite places <3 Their first place together <3When Blair was in 3rd grade, her father made her wear a jean jacket to match his at the father daughter dance. She thought it was so ugly and threw a fit before the dance. So on the day of her wedding, she surprised him with the jean jackets to remind him of that father daughter dance :) He surprised Erin by telling her that he made his bow tie from his old high school uniform (they met in high school!) Erin got to visit her horse that she used to ride in high school on her wedding day <3 Evelyn + James spent most of their time together studying at York U, so to the library we went! The city is a big part of their lives + I wanted to document that <3 This is where they used to sit, in this EXACT classroom when they first met! They LOVE their coffee dates <3 They love to go on walks together at Lynde Shores + feed the animals!The basketball court in their building where they shoot hoops :)
Watching their drunk friends frolicking in the water :) SO happy they just got married! HUGS <3 Everyone admiring how adorable the couple looks together! Pronounced husband + wife! The way he looked at her <3 Their favorite colours are green + orange! They were so happy I surprised them with green + orange smoke bombs!! Hilarious speeches <3 Blair + her girls <3 The way she looks at him <3 These two were super competitive + Kat was so happy she was #winning lol Some sweet words were said + the bride looks very pleased :) So happy to be dancing with her dad <3 JUST married <3 Laughing at this little child being oh-so-cute! THIS is Alex's expression every time she sees a dog! LOL Watching the 1st dance <3 1st look!! I love the way they looked at each other! Taking a moment to take everything in together! Planting a tree together at their cottage in Muskoka where they got married in the woods! <3 Seeing all their guests for the 1st time! Exchanging rings :) Haha just a little drunk were we? ;)JUST eloped!
We only had a limited amount of time to get a photo of the two of them with her horse. The horse was pretty wrestless and kept moving. I quickly yelled "kiss her! kiss her!" and Liam kept kissing the horse + not Erin. Me and Erin were dying laughing that he had his lips locked on the horse for as long as he did LOL During a part of their Korean Ceremony, Dat had to run around in circles with Janet on his back LOL Justine + Will got married in Casa Loma. Casa Loma is usually full of tourists on the weekend, sooooo this happened haha! Grandma was chatting up the man in uniform - haha (who was a guest btw) They were waving to all their guests from across the pond, but little did the guests know... :) Now this is the way for a bride to get to her ceremony. In the back of a mini van on a scorching hot day! LOL Twas a sunny day, until Rachael started saying her vows + some rain drops started falling. No worries though guys, it was only for a couple of seconds! This was the part where Jared accidentally saw Alex's wedding dress on her phone when she was trying to show us pictures of the venue! Hahaha! Amanda + Rob had a first look so we were taking some pictures before the guests arrived. Some came early, and she didn't want them to see her, so the groomsmen + umbrellas came to the rescue! Someone mentioned Gong Gong (Amanda's Grandfather) in a speech, he got up, gave himself a thumbs up, and everyone roared with laughter! This was the part where Andrea realized that the rings were left behind. She assured everyone it would only take a minute LOLErin was having a hard time sliding that ring on! Haha
LET'S BREAK OUT THE BOOZE
A flask on an adventure engagement session is always a good thing :)Yup. This is the part Katie sprayed me! Hahaha. She felt so bad but I thought it was hilarious :) On a hot day, a drink in hand is necessary. Especially on your wedding day! Ok. These home-made cookies were the best cookies I've had in my life!! #spikethaticedteaBe free guys. Have your beers!
Brother + sister spinning around as fast as they can! What a dip! A guests reaction when he saw there was a cigar station! haha She got him back goooood! lol I guess it was time for the socks to come off! lol Father of the groom having his moment lol Amanda surprised her man with a dance! Reception entrance! Singing their little hearts away! yesss to barefoot brides!! <3 I had to get up on a 7 foot ladder to get this shot. It was pretty interesting..meaning pretty scary! LOL Hungry? Sharing a laugh with her girls <3 They surprised everyone with a "Watch me nae nae" dance routine! (father + daughter dance)Dat's mom was so embarrassed to be the centre of attention! It was so cute! Janet surprised her man with a flash mob!!! This was the most epic entrance I've ever experienced at a wedding! Lego!? Really!? So AMAZING! Mom + Dad had to show how they wanted the bride + groom to kiss lol They just started to chug! lol "I whip my hair back + forth" Singing at the top of their lungs to get the bride + groom to kiss! Surprise fireworks in Muskoka for all of their guests! Acapella performance! Everyone doing a shot at the pool at once! Hilarious resort games! Jammin' out to Celine Dion HARD The goal was to be the first guy to dive under her legs LOL Energetic entrance! LOVE getting so many people dying of laughter in one picture! Father daughter dance lolGuys. I actually got THE MIC DROP!I'd say this is a great way to end this post! :)
Follow me on Instagram for bonus posts + a behind the scenes peek into my personal + work life!! --> @saramonikaphoto
Toronto Documentary Wedding + Portrait Photographer for Free-Spirited & Adventurous Couples - GTA, Algonquin, Muskoka, Toronto, Vancouver, Caledon, Alberta, Guelph, Cambridge, Worldwide, International, Destination