James & Diana'sRavine Winery WeddingWedding Prep at Woodbourne Inn

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Something I like to spend time writing about here for our wedding and engagement session posts is featuring wedding venues, and offering real wedding tips for wedding’s in Niagara. Today will be no different as we’ll be featuring Ravine Estate Winery as well as the Woodbourne Inn. Okay, so without a doubt Ravine Estate Winery is one of Niagara’s top wedding venues to host your wedding. It’s truly an all in one location in the heart of St. David’s. The food is amazing, the atmosphere is incredible, the staff is professional and friendly and it’s surrounded by some of the most beautiful Bed & Breakfasts in Niagara for any out of town guests (or for your lovely bridal prep). James and Diana hosted their vineyard wedding at Ravine and rented out the gorgeous Woodbourne Inn for their family and friends to stay from out of town. What an incredible way to celebrate together; with family and friends all getting ready under one big beautiful roof. I honestly can’t say enough about the Woodbourne Inn. It along with a few others make up the best prep locations in Niagara, especially from a wedding photographers perspective. If you’ve never experienced a wedding at Woodbourne Inn or even stayed a night there I would highly recommend it! (Check out this shoot that also took place at the Woodbourne Inn earlier if you want to see more). The Woodbourne is located just around the corner from Ravine and makes for the ultimate prep, rehearsal, or even honeymoon location for any Ravine Winery wedding.

james and diana 3james and diana 4james and diana 2 james and diana 5 james and diana 6 james and diana 7 james and diana 8 james and diana 9 james and diana 10 james and diana 11 james and diana 12 james and diana 13 james and diana 14 james and diana 15james and diana 17 james and diana 18 james and diana 19 james and diana 20After a quiet morning of getting ready we enjoyed the first look and did some photos on the grounds there before heading to Ravine Winery, where we continued to do the wedding photos before the ceremony in the vineyard. This is one other thing that I really love about a Ravine Winery wedding, it actually features the vineyards in the ceremony as well as around the tents for the reception. Ravine’s wedding reception tents are also something to mention. Large and permanent, (two words that aren’t always spoken of wedding tent rentals). It also has panoramic views of the vineyards and the sunset. james and diana 21 james and diana 22 james and diana 23 james and diana 24 james and diana 25 james and diana 26 james and diana 27 james and diana 28 james and diana 29

Speaking of sunsets, a Ravine Winery wedding is never complete without capitalizing on sunset photos during golden hour. Here’s a small set of images from our sunset photos with James & Diana.

To view more Winery Weddings check out this wedding, or click here. To see another Ravine Winery weddings click here.

Vendors: Prep & First Look: Woodbourne Inn, Ceremony, Reception, & Catering: Ravine Estate Winery, Florals: Lush Florals, Decor & Rentals: Simply Beautiful Decor, Hair & Makeup: Allure Hair & Makeup, Entertainment: Liquid Entertainment

Evelyn & Josh'sAnniversary Session in NiagaraNiagara, Ontario

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ANNIVERSARY SESSION

Let’s talk about Anniversary Sessions for a minute. A session that’s much like a beautiful engagement session but rather than celebrating your engagement your session is now back with a celebration of the year(s) you’ve been married and madly in love. A session that celebrates your marriage, your commitment beyond the “big day” and reminds us of the continuing story of your daily life after “I do”. It’s so beautiful when you look at it that way. It makes me wonder how Anniversary Sessions are second only to weddings! I myself was guilty of this for some years. Emma and I were married for 5 years before we had someone other than us photograph us and that was simply because we were expecting our little Zoe.

As life goes on, as our marriages grow in years and couples become families, let’s not forget that photos are the memories of those stages. Our kids won’t remember what we don’t photograph for them, and our adult memories are never as good as we think they are. Emma and I have now committed to documenting our lives and growing family on a minimum 3 year basis with a professional photographer. Meaning every 3 years we celebrate our Anniversary with a professional photo session not shot by me! We want to remember our lives well, we want to remember our kids lives well, and we want our children and grandchildren to know the life stages we lived together. I’m talking about creating images that mean something and will stand the test of time. Not images that live and die on you cell phone, social media account, or hard drive. Pictures that are viewed, loved, and remembered.

Evelyn & Josh are these people. Evelyn is a phenomenal film photographer herself and knows the value of my rant above. Here’s a little insight into our time together in Niagara last year.

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If you yourself have been putting off doing an anniversary session or it’s simply been 5 or more years since you’ve really created portraits of you relationship or family, I urge you to consider doing something about that! The future you will regret not investing in these moments. You’ll never look back on your 25th wedding anniversary and say to each other: “you know what was a bad investment… that anniversary session we did for our 5 year and those family photos we got of the kids”. Never. Almost everything you buy in life is temporary, images are forever. Think about that now, so the future you doesn’t need to regret the passed years.

James & Karen'sGrand Victorian Wedding with Reif Estate WineryAs Seen on Vineyard Bride

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Grand Victorian Wedding

Welcome to the mini insights of James & Karen’s stunning Grand Victorian Wedding day! Honestly, this has to be one of our favourite weddings in Niagara to date. I know it seems that all weddings in Niagara lead to incredible wedding photos but this wedding had something special to it! Not only were James & Karen the most kind groom and amazing bride but the entire atmosphere created by the Grand Victorian in Niagara on the Lake perfectly lined up with who they were as a couple. It’s hard to even start. I think a lot of brides have their own dream and vision of perfection for their day, but often it’s tough for bride’s to channel that into the full execution of creating that perfect day. I think it’s safe to say that Karen & James did a pretty good job, so let’s use their wedding to lay out a few tips for every bride to beautifully execute their dream vision for their wedding day. Let’s start with the venue. A Grand Victorian wedding is for couples looking for the perfect combination of an elegant wedding design combined with that down to earth friendly cocktail hour vibe. It carries all the beauty and grandeur that a wedding day demands without any of the arrogance. For me a wedding a couple looking for this harmony can’t go wrong with the Grand Victorian on the Niagara Parkway. Let’s also talk about the florals. K&J didn’t skimp on their wedding flowers, and it paid off. I feel like flowers are often the untapped x-factor that many couples miss out on. Do yourself a favour and meet with a quality wedding florist and let me consult you on what they see for your wedding. Shout out to my girl Melanie from Lush Florals who totally killed it at K&J’s Grand Victorian Wedding. Thirdly, light. If you want great photos to remember the day by I’d really recommend choosing a location where natural light is an option. Good light, good photos.

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Cocktail Hour Oysters – Tide & Vine  |  Florist –  Lush Florals  |  Venue – Grand Victorian  |  Dinner – Robin Howe Catering  |   Rentals- Southern Charm Vintage Rentals – Entertainment –  Mashed  | Late Night Food: Jonny Blonde | Entertainment – St. Royal Entertainment – | Makeup: Lucky Bromhead – Hair – Justin Rousseau

As Seen On Vineyard Bride

Audrey & Jonathan's Dundurn Castle EngagementA historically modern Hamilton engagement

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Dundurn Castle Engagement

Audrey & Jonathan’s Dundurn Castle Engagement session in Hamilton really changed my perspective of this location! I’ve heard many photographers don’t really like Dundurn Castle as a photo location but I’m here to say I think it’s one of the not-so-hidden gems of Hamilton for engagement and wedding photos! As with most shoots we do (spoiler alert) the weather isn’t always as nice as it seems in the photos. We had a blistering hot day and poor Jon was in some slick looking attire that was definitely too warm for the comfortable smile he had on! Honestly, for engagement and wedding photos in southern Ontario, you always have to be prepared for some intense weather! This should be a comfort to know though that many of the engaged or married couples on our blog here didn’t have the “perfect day” for their wedding or engagement photos. In fact, most of them didn’t have ideal weather, but with the right attitudes approaching less than desirable weather and temperatures any couple can get incredible images from their engagement session. After all, engagement photos themselves aren’t hot or cold themselves!

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