rustic country wedding photos - Sand Road Maple Farm wedding portrait at night

Any wedding that let’s me work Milli Vanilli into the slideshow music has to be considered a success, right? Adam and Tessa got married at Sand Road Maple Farm on a soggy day that didn’t faze either of them. I was so impressed with how relaxed they were about the weather!

But let’s start from the beginning. Tessa and my younger sister were almost inseparable as children. She will long be remembered by my family members as the little girl who came to our front door in the middle of an Alguire family portrait session, when we had about 25 of us squeezed into my mom and dad’s living room, and rang the doorbell. Every 10 seconds. For 5 minutes. :) At least 15 years have passed since I last saw Tessa, so when she got in touch to ask about wedding photos, I was thrilled to connect with another familiar face from our family’s past. (Three “kids” from my old Rosedale days got married this summer and included several other neighbourhood kids in their wedding parties, so it has been awesome to see these faces that I used to know from babysitting or riding my bike around the neighbourhood.)

Adam and the boys got ready in Riverdale and headed for a stroll down the street for their portraits before going back to the house for a BBQ and a visit with the best man’s brand new puppy. The girls got ready at the bride’s parents’ house practically around the corner and by the time I arrived, it was a hive of activity. I was so entertained when Sylvia was helping Tessa get into her gown; the look on Sylvia’s face as she (successfully) struggled through the lacing of the corset is one of my most favourite bridal prep photos. :) Even though the rain had started and we couldn’t head outdoors for portraits, the sitting room made for a bright and cheerful spot to get what are now some of my favourite bridal party photos.

Once everyone had arrived at Sand Road and the girls had figured out a plan for how to make it down the sloping lawn to the tent without wiping out in their platform sandals, we were in for an unexpectedly entertaining little ceremony. Denise Labelle-Gelinas has really started hitting her stride as an officiant, but was a little nervous about not being able to be heard when she discovered that she didn’t have a mic. Well, once she accidentally announced that we had gathered to celebrate the marriage of  “Tessa and Craig”, she quickly realised that everyone could – and DID – hear her. :) The laughter helped to ease the nerves and the rest of this very lighthearted ceremony passed smoothly. Sylvia did a great job of holding back the tears, none of the bridesmaids wiped out, and Tessa and Craig – er, Adam – got the job done.

One of the great things about Sand Road – apart from it being an exceptionally cute venue – is that the trees form a pretty solid canopy. Umbrellas were available for the wedding party and were used between shots, but it wasn’t a big deal to put them aside for the photos because the foliage on the trees blocked out so much of the rain. Win! We did a few photos with the wedding party and got a super fun shot of all of the bridesmaids in their boots, and then Adam, Tessa and I went for a walk together in the woods to get some unique portraits that we couldn’t have gotten if this wedding had taken place anywhere else in the Cornwall area.

The reception was definitely a party unlike many I have seen! People were in the mood to take advantage of the shuttles being provided and the bar was hoppin’. The speeches were a great opportunity for both sides of the family to tease Adam – and they did – and for Adam’s sister to welcome Tessa to the family “as the sister (she) never wanted.” Don’t worry, Krysten – I know it sounded better in your head, but it sure got the room laughing! :) Al Merizzi, a former teacher of many of the attendees, got the dance floor going right off the bat and, while standing across the room manning the photo booth, I witnessed my first-ever speaker dancing session, complete with a jump off.

As a side note – and I’m not including this to boast about preparation or camera bodies or anything else – I had a very important detail confirmed for me during this wedding when one of my Mark IIIs had a complete electrical malfunction. Brides and grooms, for the love of photography, memories and all things artistically sacred, always, ALWAYS make sure your photographer either works with two camera bodies or a very good backup camera in case of trouble. When mine stopped working, it took me two minutes to test other batteries and conclude that it was a goner, and then it was simply a case of stripping off my harness (no need for it with only one camera) and getting back to work with my remaining Mark III. No big deal. But it could’ve been, had I not been prepared…. (Side note to my side note: camera’s back from Canon and is fully functional again :) )

I have a feeling there may have been a few sore heads the day after this wedding, but what a party! Congratulations, Tessa and Adam! I’m so thrilled to have been there with you.

Here are some highlights:

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I’m Ang – a Cornwall, Ontario-based photographer with a passion for capturing light and photographing natural moments as they happen, whether during a fall wedding or a summer engagement session. My goal is to capture memories that you will cherish once your wedding dress is wrapped up and the flowers have dried. I love working to create rustic country wedding photos and getting in amongst the wedding day bedlam so that I can document the emotions and truly special moments. Please explore more of to see more examples of Cornwall-area and international wedding photography.