June 24th was a first for me in a couple ways. It was my first time shooting a full wedding at the Brookstreet Hotel and my first time shooting a Hindu ceremony! Leading up to the wedding I was very excited to see the colours, the disney infused theme and of course some beautiful sari’s. My day started fairly late int he afternoon, meeting up with the ladies as they hung out in their hotel room taking selfies and having some champagne. The party quickly turned into getting the girls into their Sari’s, which that is a feat in itself. While they played in beautiful yards of fabric, I went to meet with the boys. As I entered the room I couldn’t help but laugh and smile as the guys were dancing away to some old school Usher tunes. They popped their champagne, put on their finishing touches and off we were to sneak some photos before the big first look.
We started off in the lovely lobby where the Brookstreet BumbleBee mascot met up with us and took a few photos. We then wandered around the property as I made the boys do some interesting things that I don’t believe Devin will forgive me for. One of them was amking them all do the ”Blue Steal” look from Zoolander, that definitely got us all laughing! Devin and I then made our way to the secret wooden path by the manmade pond while the groomsmen went and got the ladies, and of course Gillian. The girls looked stunning in their purple and silver sari’s but Gill definitely stole the show with her cream and gold embellished ensemble. She walked up to her fiancé with the biggest smile, gave him a hug from behind then let him turn to see her. I wasn’t sure what to expect out of Devin’s reaction but I was so happy to see this absoluty massive smile come across his face the second he saw his soon to be wife. ♥ From there we spent some time together in the woods, taking in the fairytale-esk scenery, letting them soak in the moment before all the festivities begin. We then brought the lovely ladies in for some beautiful shots before heading to the industrial lot for some fun group photos.
The ceremony was absolutely stunning. The tent was pure white with beautiful draping all across the ceiling, beautiful red chandeliers hung high about and pillars with floral arrangements adorned the aisle with white tulle. Devin and the boys awaited the girls very impatiently at the front as the guests made their way into the tent. But as the sun shined bright all around, the girls made their way in, with Gillian and her father being last, and very much worth the wait. It didn’t matter that Devin had seen Gill prior to the ceremony, it was like seeing her for the first time. His smile was big, and he even told me he teared up (which he hid very well might I add). The ceremony was filled with beautiful Hindu traditions, the pouring of water of the coconut was first as well as Gill’s father joining their hands together.
Devin’s mom, Bina then made her way up who tied a knot with the scarves warn by both the bride in groom. The knot signifies Gillan & Devin’s eternal love and commitment to each other. They then proceed to the Fire ceremony- Agni Puja or Vivah Hom. The ceremonial fire is one of the essential elements and manifestations of God and represents purity. It also honours those who are no longer with us by providing offering. Gillian’s brother made his way up to help the couple in this portion of the ceremony. They also walked around the flames with Gillian arriving on Devin’s left side at the very end signifying that she will always be close to his heart from this point on. Devin then put the Mangalsutra (Marriage Necklace) on Gillian’s neck before their final step in the Hindu ceremony, the Sapta Padi- or Seven Steps. In which the couple each separately, one after another, take a step for each of the seven promises, with the seventh being taken together- they will look towards the mysteries of the future with awe, open-mindedness and inspiration.
After the Hindu ceremony was complete, the couple proceeded with the traditional Christian ceremony. a family friend, Dolores read a verse from the bible, being 1 Corinthians 13:1-8;13. They then lit the unity candle which signifies two people becoming one in marriage. Once the unity candle is lit, the two outer candles remained lit to show that even in unity they may also remain as individuals. The wind was strong so it took a few tries but they did it, they got everything lit! With their exchange of vows and rings, a quick signing of the official documents, these two were, after 10 years, finally husband and wife!
After a few more family photos in the Sari, the girls did a quick change into their traditional bridesmaids and wedding gown for some more bridal party photos. The sun was long go by this point and a storm rolled in but that didn’t stop us from finding some shelter and enjoying the breeze for a few more shots.
The reception was held in one of Brookstreet’s large ballrooms and I gotta say, everything was in the details for this one! Gill made her Disney Fairytale a reality with all the little touches she put into her decor. From disney quotes, Cinderella’s castle seating chart and cake (yes, the castle is on the cake)! Her centrepieces on each table were white roses in a crystal vase and on the head table, a single red rose in a closed off glass dome, just like Beauty and the Beast. Each table was identified not by numbers but by silhouettes of disney characters from their movies. My table was Aladdin which totally worked. Throughout the dinner we heard all the disney hits and theme songs. I swear everybody int he room was moving their shoulders, swaying from side to side and singing, especially me. I had to belt those babies out. The crew danced their way into the hall and made their way to their beautifully draped head table. It was there that the MC’s got started, first off by roasting Devin as much as possible, in the nicest way possible no less. Then by congratulating the happy couple. Beautiful and short speeches were had by mutiple family members including bridal party members but I think the two that stuck out to me were Stephanie and Andrea’s. Stephanie started it off by inviting the bride and groom up to the podium and making them put one hand over one another’s until Devin’s was at the top, to which she then said ;”Devin, remember this moment because it is likely the last time you’ll have the upper hand in this marriage!” *Ba dum, tssss” Gills reaction to that one was pretty priceless as you can see. Andrea’s on the other hand was a poem, a love story if you will of Princess Gillian and her life leading up to, and with Prince Devin. It had Gill and her mom in tears, and everyone else in the room in awe of how amazing it was. I think the highlight of the night though was the Happy Couples first dance. They surprised their guests right after the initial roast with an amazing Walts choreographed by none other than Stephanie. Devin had told me how nervous he was to perform the dance but he honestly nailed it. Helping his beautiful bride glide her way around the dance floor while keeping a smile on his face. Gill was the picture perfect ballerina in a Cinderella dress, I was just totally amazed by their performance.
The kissing game for this wedding was a little none traditional… See Devin plays basketball, nay, he loves basketball. So they made it that people had to hit a 3 pointer with a little ball and PlaySchool hoop to get them to kiss. Well you’d think with the hoop players in the room one of them would get it, including Devin himself but no. A little girl in a dress was the first to sink the ball and get the happy couple to kiss. While everyone else struggled for the remainder of the evening haha.
All in all this day was full of surprises, adventures and of course love. The dance floor was filled with some dancing machines too which made for an amazing end to my night. Thank you Gill & Devin for giving me a few firsts and for trusting me with capturing your big day. I wish you so much love in your marriage and soooo much more Mario Karting in the near future. I leave you with this night time shot of our dip kissing couple xoxox
Hair: Fernandino (Sammie, Tanya & Lihn)
Makeup: Visage Rideau
Flowers: Dolores Cyr (Family Friend)
Wedding Dress: With Love Bridal Boutique
Sari’s: Sai Costumes, Brampton ON
Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Indochino & Moore’s
Cake: Kimberly Dawn Cakes
DJ: Paul Leblanc
Linens & Rentals: Brookstreet Hotel & RK Events
Catering: Ishina Distinguished Catering
Videography: Andrew Ross
Photography: SD photography – Samantha Danis