A little local love

I need to do some gushing.

I know, I know, what else is new?

But no, seriously. Have you heard about Heather Baker of Photography by Heather? If you haven’t, you need to check out her space.

If you have, then you’ve been let in on one of the best small business owners Galt, Ontario has to offer.

Heather is an incredible family, child and event photographer, working in the Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge and greater Toronto area. As a small business owner, she gives back to her community, promotes what she loves – especially other small business owners in the communities she works in – and really is just an all around kick-ass human being.

Between her heart, her gift for the perfect shot and her ability to put her subjects at ease, she’s an ace!

I have had the pleasure of working with Heather on multiple occasions, in many settings and she never ceases to impress me with her growth in her art.

She’s shot me (with a camera and lens of course) and my sisters, and caught one of our favourite moments to date in frame:

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I’ve worked with her in a more intimate setting as a gift for my future husband:

The 'Mike approved' blog shot - photo credit: Close Your Eyes Photography

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She’s captured Julia’s growing family at almost every stage since she opened her business:

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She was entrusted with Jacqui and Cody’s big day and once again caught some of the most memorable moments:

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I’ve known for a while that Heather would be trusted with many memories and milestones to come for my family.

Just a few weeks ago, she stole our hearts with her generosity with our engagement shoot. While we only have a sneak peak so far, I already know we will love every picture in our gallery.

When she offered to pull a mini-road trip to a special spot to get the kind of shoot we wanted, I was thrilled. While there were some cues, and a few tuckings of this hair and untucking of this shirt, it felt as though Michael and I were on a date, surrounded by love the whole time, instead of posing for a picture. I feel she invested in our relationship, in our memories and in her work.

From planning our session, right down to the very last shot, she took her time to make sure what she knew of Michael and I and how Michael and I feel about each other, would resonate through our photos and be very personal to us.

I am so very happy you were the one to mark a special milestone for Michael and I, Heather. I love our sneak peak:

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I could tell you more, but I really think you should just have a consult or book with her and find out for yourself. To contact Heather, please email her here. I also highly recommend following her here and making sure to like her here.

~ Toni

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Married my Mr. Wright

We are back, and the main reason for our short, but needed, hiatus was that I was busy being a DIY bride who took all her resources (her maids) and used them to their extent! Seriously, I almost broke some of them…and yet they still love me!

Toni and Julia were both my MOH’s and they both, combined, were the most amazing MOH a girl could ask for. Toni took the week with me leading up to the wedding to help me with the running around, cleaning, last minuit detailing…eveyrthing! While Julia made the stationary and hand pies, which were half of our desserts at the reception.

I have written mushy and gooshy posts before about my lovely husband (gotta get used to that…husband), and how excited I am to be a Wright. I can’t wait to get all my legal documentation, to change the tag line on my emails and to officially and legally become a Wright. Because then I will never be wrong (I have been hearing that a lot lately…everyone’s a comedian! Yuk it up people, it’s getting old fast!)

So now for the details! I am so happy I have this platform to rave about all our vendors!

When Cody and I discussed our big day, we both agreed – relaxed and loving – a true representation of us as a couple! We are country bumpkins, and I have pinned so many pictures of barn weddings, bridesmaids in cowboy boots, bales of hay with burlap, lace and colour – so much colour! Based on that, our venue choice was simple – a barn.

We got our venue…now for the food!

For this I went to a seasoned expert: Cody! He wanted a pig roast, or something simple like that. Nothing frufru or with anything we couldn’t pronounce. Toni helped with this one as she connected me to Sean from Wild Boar who took our idea and created one of the best meals that we ever enjoyed (I got to enjoy leftovers, because if you have EVER tried to eat anything in a wedding dress…it’s kind of impossible). I have never had so many people ask me who our caters were, or rave about the amazing meal! The cornbread, the pork, the chicken – all so mouth-watering, and all so good! If you are reading this and are in the Waterloo area with a wedding or any event coming up, call Sean. Seriously, you will not be disappointed!

Next came the dress – I originally went to David’s Bridal in Cambridge, where I felt like my idea and my dream wedding dress was not possible, and I would have to take a dress they had and alter it, which in a lot of cases people have to do! I had a good chunk of my cheering section with me – my momma bear, two older sisters who are my maids of honour, and two brides maids Andreah and Ashley. When they saw how defeated I looked, they reminded me that I shouldn’t settle, and this was only the first store I went to. So on we went – it was a Sunday as this is the day that worked the best for me…because I was the bride…so we were limited to the stores that were open. Something about Sunday being for Jesus?

Anyways, Julia had previously posted on my Facebook timeline about a store in Guelph where a chunk of their proceeds go back to building the green belt called Something Green – I had never heard of it, unlike David’s, but they were open so we went!

It is a small store downtown Guelph. We walked in and Jess, one of the owners, greeted us with the biggest smile (fun fact: the other owner is her mom!). I told her my budget and my dream dress. As I was talking she was walking and pulling gowns, all the while telling me that I should not be settling for my dress. I tried on two dresses – the second one I tried on I was grinning from ear to ear even before the curtains were pulled open for my big debut. Jess decided to add a veil for the full effect because we both knew: this was the one. THE DRESS! Now every time one of my Facebook friends get engaged, or asks for a bridal boutique to go to, I shout from the keyboard Something Green!

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My dress, from Something Green; Nicole on the left and Kim on the right, two of my bridesmaids, dressed by EmmaPaige

Now that I had my dress, it was time for my girls! I was in a wedding in September 2014 for one of my oldest friends Kim (in the picture above!) and her bridesmaid dresses were made by Paige of EmmaPaige Designs, whom Kim and I also went to high school with. Paige was a dream – she took exactly what we wanted in a dress, within an EXTREMELY reasonable budget and created different dresses for all the girls, which is exactly what she did for my ladies! Each one had a different style, and colour. Paige, again is someone who I tell EVERY bride to go to. She is flexible and so unbelievably talented! Instead of going to a bridal store and getting a cookie cutter dress which some girls may have to order in ridiculous sizes, why not get the luxury of a custom dress which is created for each girls body type!  She also created my getaway dress – an adorable ivory wrap dress with a big bow and ruffles around the collar which I danced the night away in!

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Me with one of my amazing bridesmaids, Ashley – both of our dresses are EmmaPaige originals.

All my stationary my designed and created by my amazing sister Julia who is starting up her own business! From our place cards, invitations, thank you cards, and even our programs for the day – EVERYTHING was handmade by her! The mom of three psychos! She is also the one who made the hand pies (which are literally pies you fit in your hand) for our desserts! 150 of them to be exact in four different flavours!!

Our photographer extraordinaire is the one and only Heather Baker of Photography by Heather. (click that link if you want to see an amazing sampling of some our big day). She is amazing! She has worked with our family on so many occasions whether it was our family photos or pictures of my nieces and nephew! She usually doesn’t do weddings, but she said yes to mine! She was so relaxed, yet was able to handle the insanity of my family and Cody’s. Every picture she has shown me is absolutely perfect, and I can not believe I get these amazing memories of our day!!

My bridesmaid Kim did all the decor, including the centrepieces using silk flowers. She made it so I…*we*…could set up the night before and leave it. But I wanted fresh beautiful, full, wild-flower bouquets for all my girls! Krista from Flowers…More Often met with me, looked at all my swatches, listened to all my crazy ideas and then took those ideas and ran with them! I trusted her wholeheartedly as she has an amazing talent! When the bouquets were dropped off the morning of the wedding at the hotel room, I cried. Okay, I bawled! They were perfect. Absolutely amazing. They were romantic, full of colour and EVERYONE said that they were beautiful!

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Photo credit : Photography by Heather; Bouquet – ALL KRISTA at Flowers…More Often!

I literally look back on the day, and see all of our loved ones who came, all of our family and friends who worked so hard to help us out, all the late nights, the running around hunting for the perfect touches, everything, and it was so worth it. I would never do it again in a million years, but it was totally unequivocally worth every extra grey hair on my head.

~ Jacqui