st johns wedding photography

Sarah & Blair : ENGAGED // St. John's Wedding Photographer

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Sarah and Blair are the perfect example that love and commitment have the power to overcome so much.

Blair is a veteran, and has been in recovery from a traumatic brain injury for some years time. Sarah has stood by his side through his healing and now that he is stronger, they are finally getting married this December!! They are the sweetest couple and kindest humans who aren't afraid to be silly, and have such a heart for adventure.

Sarah is an absolute angel and I’m totally obsessed with her. She’s also clumsy like me so we became fast friends, LOL.

For their engagement session, we spent an afternoon, simply, doing the things they love the most. Hanging out with their pup Hank (who, by the name, I assumed was a tank but you’ll see), skating at The Loop, and having lattés in a cozy coffee shop.

I had such a wonderful day laughing and celebrating love with Sarah & Blair and am SO excited for their wedding this December! Thank you for the happy vibes and puppy cuddles you guys!

Much love and light, XO - Maddie

Thank you Blair for your service and for being an honest voice online for traumatic brain injury recovery!

Katherine + Dylan's Wedding at Marble Mountain // Newfoundland Wedding Photographer

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On a September weekend in Steady Brook, Katherine and Dylan said I do surrounded by family, friends, sunshine, and a whole lotta love.

Their wedding was the perfect blend of relaxation, laughter, and little outdoor adventures that made for the best day ever. Such a sweet, laid back celebration that had everyone smiling ear to ear.

During their first look, I witnessed something pretty amazing. Katherine has a helicopter tattoo in memory of her dad, and at the moment the couple saw each other for the first time, a chopper flew overhead in the most beautifully serendipitous coincidence. Talk about a sign. <3

Congratulations to two of the warmest, most kind people! It was incredible to spend the weekend with you last summer!

Much love and light, xo - Maddie

5 Reasons To Have An Off-Season Wedding

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SO, you’re engaged and planning your wedding, but have literally NO idea what you’re doing (spoiler alert :) -it’ll all be OK!).

You know you need to start with a venue before anything else, because in St. John’s, places book up QUICK. Everyone’s fighting for the same 5 month window of June-October dates.

But WAIT…

What if there was a solution? One that wouldn’t leave you pressured, and struggling to make all your dream venue and dream vendors line up?

Ouuu, GIRL. Welcome to the magic of off-season weddings!! Insert sparkles and fairy dust here, LOL.

Off season weddings are like the old forgotten gift cards at the bottom of your wallet that actually have $50 on it. NAY- $100. Yep. That level of unexpected awesome.

As part one of a two-part series, I’m gonna talk with you today about FIVE REASONS to have an off-season wedding. Ya ready? Let’s gooo!

 
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#1

YOUR PHOTO LOCATIONS WILL BE WONDERFULLY DESERTED

When you’re trying to do your photos at the city’s most popular spots in the summer… so are a hundred other people. Tourists, folks enjoying the sunshine, and other wedding groups alike. It can be so congested, causing your schedule to be thrown off and for you to feel rushed. Get married November-May… Poof! People Problem solved. You’ll have all your favourite, iconic spots most likely to yourself and can truly enjoy it.

#2

No Crazy Competition

With weddings between June and the end of October, a lot of couples feel immense pressure to try and get all their dream vendors lined up on their date. I’ve had many couples disappointed because they couldn’t get their favourite venue they had in mind, or the decorator they admired for ages. I’ve had to turn away a lot of couples for the same dates every year too, and always feel so bad!

It’s because we live in a small place, and our “nice weather” season is ridiculously short. Side-step the competitive date pressures by choosing to have your wedding in the off-season. The weather risk pays off when you can book all the vendors you’ve been dreaming about since you put a ring on it, with ease.

#3

Simple. Less Stress!

Summertime is CRAZY. You’re taking vacation from work, going on holidays, having relatives visit, and getting out much more when you’re not working to enjoy the weather and have some fun. Your wedding falling on top of all that is HARD, and in my experience has sometimes left my couples wanting it to all be over so they “can enjoy the summer already”.

That’s SAD, guys! Your wedding is a super important celebration of commitment (understatement!) and shouldn’t be something to be wished away. Get married in, say, March? You’ll only have to contest with St, Patrick’s Day and let’s be real, your wedding will be a better party anyway.


#4

Laid back & Relaxed

This one goes out to all my wonderful couples out there with a touch of hippie soul who love staying in maybe even more than going out. My peeps who want a quiet, chill, relaxed day. There’s time for more coffee shop hangouts. Picnics. Chill drinks at a bar downtown. Slow and easy hikes for photos. City wandering. Food breaks. More of spending time with the ones you love. ACTUALLY enjoying your wedding. Heck yeah!

Take it from my bride Jeanie, who had a November 10th wedding full of quality time with her husband and family:

 
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“We decided to have our wedding on our 10 year anniversary of being together, which happened to be in November. Having our wedding during the off-season turned out to be beneficial in many ways. We were able to secure all of our top vendor choices, and pulled our wedding together within a year of being engaged. On the day of, we were lucky enough to have two seasons within one day: Maddie took our photos amongst the fallen leaves at Government house, and then the most beautiful fluffy snow began to fall as we headed to Quidi Vidi. The fall/winter weather combination ended up being the perfect backdrop for our cozy ceremony and reception."

#5

Unique weather,

Unique Photos

This is the one where I MAY have to do some convincing because bad weather seems (only seems!!) scary, but the photos speak for themselves. When you go all in, take the risk, AND have an adventurous heart to go out in whatever conditions you’re given, magic happens!!! I PROMISE. Because guess what? I got a trunk full of snow boots and rain gear, and I’m NOT afraid to use it.

Now that I’ve convinced you to have an off season wedding, stay tuned for Part 2 coming soon where I give you FIVE super useful tips to make it all go smoothly! Easy, Breezy, Beautiful, Covergirl. Or rather, Easy, Breezy, Beautiful, Baygirl?

LET’S DO THIS!!!

Much love & light, xo

-Maddie

Erin + Chris's Wedding at Glendenning in St. John's // Newfoundland Wedding Photographer

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ERIN AND CHRIS GOT HITCHED!! October 6th was the BEST day with these guys!

We laughed until our faces hurt and went on lots of little Newfoundland adventures for these Ontario-dwelling peeps who came home to say I do.

Erin and Chris have the sweetest love and spend so much time smiling and joking that it's easy to see they are meant for one another.

Thank you both for being just as crazy and fun loving as I am, it was an honour to document your amazing day!!

VENDORS:

-George Street United Church - GlenDenning Golf Club -

Kristýna Adamová Event 3Sixty - Pam Picco's Speciality Cakes and Sweets

Devin Sooley DS-Media Photo & Video

Diamond Design NL - Emily Pittman Makeup

FROM THE COUPLE:

Chris and I had Maddie for our wedding photography and let me tell you it was the best decision! We LOVED our photos. She made us feel comfortable when we were both feeling awkward and rolled with our crazy ways making sure we kept the party vibe the whole day. Maddie was under tables, behind chairs, on top of things you name it, just to get the perfect shots! We love you Maddie thanks for the BEST day!!

JOURNAL : Reflecting on 2018 Wedding Season

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As you know, here in Newfoundland we have three seasons: Summer, Fall, and Swinter. ;)

Nearly 6 months of the year our weather is so icky that people usually get married between May and November, making the nature of my career very cyclical and basically split in two parts: 

Half my year (the icky weather half) is the valuable and necessary time for my administration work, planning and development, networking, learning, and working ON my business.

 The other half however- the BEST half- is the perfectly crazy, incredibly beautiful, and deeply moving part where I photograph people on the happiest days of their lives. 

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I’m speaking to you today because that best half is over now. The main hustle of photographing weddings every weekend has come to a close for 2018 and I literally don’t know where to begin- because this season has been my most challenging, my best, and my most rewarding yet. 

It’s been my most challenging because for months I’ve been balancing the busyness of my wedding routine against the heartache of my love being in a different country. Honestly, it has not been easy. SO many nights I’ve pulled into my driveway after a 12 hour wedding, wishing more than anything that I was opening the door to Joe sitting on my couch. Despite the distance, it’s been a beautiful adventure and continues to be- and we will be back together for a bit in 43 days... but who’s counting. 

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It’s been my best because I really grew with who I am as an artist and a person. I’ve been unapologetically myself and you’ve embraced that with open arms. You’ve graciously trusted me to bring a smile to your face or inspire you with my stories, and you’ve trusted me enough to share your own stories with me too. I’ve been fortunate to go on wonderful adventures; from weddings all over the island, photographing a proposal at sea, being welcomed into your lives and families, and sharing some really beautiful moments with the people I’ve met. Maddie Mills Photo evolved this year beyond what I expected, and I’m so grateful to you for helping that happen. 

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It’s been my most rewarding- because I’ve been extremely blessed this year. I’ve had amazing clients who have been MY SOUL SISTAS/SOUL PEOPLE. You have understood my heart, adventured with me, and made me feel immensely appreciated. All my incredible couples have continued to prove to me that I’m doing EXACTLY what I am meant to do. I’ve had 25 ceremonies, 25 adventures, 25 (more like 25 million) happy hugs, 25 dance floor goodbyes, and 25 couples who have trusted me wholeheartedly with their stories. Your stories. So many beautiful, moving stories that I’ll always hold close to my heart. 

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I’m still a while away from Christmas vacation, and Maddie Mills Photo never stops just because weddings do! But the end of the wedding season always feels like a wave of change that deserves reflection and appreciation. Thank you SO much to everyone who supported me. You continue to make my dream not just a dream- and for that I can’t express my gratitude enough.

Dana + Ben's Wedding at The Wilds // Newfoundland Wedding Photographer

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Dana and Ben got married at The Wilds this fall and their wedding was the perfect mix of classy and laid back!

The day started with getting ready and hanging out with their hilarious bridal parties, a gift exchange (Ben got tickets to see the Leafs and his reaction below is the BEST!), and an intimate first look by the river- where they both cried and embraced so beautifully to the sound of the river gurgling by and the breeze blowing in the trees.

After a little photo adventure, they said their handwritten vows and did a Celtic knot tying ceremony to make things official.

The rest of the afternoon was spent with their families and bridal party, before stealing away back to the river for a few sweet photos in the warm evening light before partying the night away!!

Thank you so much for having me along to capture your day Dana and Ben, it was an amazing way to start the next chapter of your life together and I wish you both all the happiness in the world!

The Wilds at Salmonier River Golf Club || Assistant Nathan Eddy

Officiant: Craig Murphy || Florist: By Sharpe Design

Decorator: Spotlight Events - Wedding Planning & Event Design Cake/Sweets: Colorful Creations || Video: DS-Media Photo & Video

Hair: Mobile Hair by Allison || Makeup: The Pretty Room

Dress - Ever After Bridal Boutique Alterations - Rodney Philpott

Crystal + Brian's Wedding at The Rocket Room in St. John's // Newfoundland Wedding Photographer

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Call them what you will- Cryan or Brystal (the emcees came up with these gems, not me folks! hahah)- but the real way to describe these guys is best friends and truly committed partners for life.

In August, I got to celebrate with Crystal and Brian for their I do's! Working in the theatre world, having their wedding on "dark day"- Monday- was not the only amazingly untraditional thing about the festivities!

They got ready together in the same house, did a first look, hung out in Quidi Vidi all day with their entourage, walked down the aisle together for their ceremony, and shared their first dance with all the wedding guests.

It was the perfect way to make things official and celebrate the love they share! Thank you C+B for the most chill wedding day ever and for being such friendly, welcoming, fun loving souls <3

Nadia Ali Makeup Artistry | Trang Garments | Rocket Bakery & Fresh Food Kendra Bursey | Quidi Vidi Brewing Co.

Julia + Gerry's Wedding in Gander // Newfoundland Wedding Photography

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The wind whipped around so fiercely and it rained off and on this wedding day, but it was completely irrelevant as soon as you took one look at Julia and Gerry.

You can tell that these two share their souls; they are entirely dedicated to loving one another and growing in life together. What's even more apparent is the commitment Julia and Gerry have to happiness and to being grateful, which radiates completely over everything they do. 

We had an incredible day exploring Gander, laughing so hard our sides hurt, and taking time to appreciate the magic of life, so much so that every time I look back on these beautiful people it touches my heart to remember all the blessings we counted and the real human connection that was shared. 

Enjoy this glimpse into the story of some of the most caring, kind, resilient people I've ever met. xo

Amanda & Darrell's Woodsy Engagement Session // St. John's Wedding Photographers

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When you find out that the girl you like is actually single, you hold her close and don't let go. 

Amanda and Darrell got engaged over the holidays and their blended family will soon be official! Before the wedding planning begins however, they went on an adventure in the woods to the spot where their future home will be built. (How adorable is that by the way?!)

We trekked into the trees for a campfire (you know me- I wear hiking boots when I work so I'm always ready to go), staying cozy in a quilt Darrell's grandmother made and drinking hot chocolate. The kids soon joined us for a little skate, and I was definitely NOT jealous that a 7 year old is better on the ice than I am ;) 

Congratulations on your engagement Amanda & Darrell! Thanks so much for having me! xo

GUEST POST : Why You Need A Wedding Planner with Emilee of Life's Sweet Events

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Hey hey everyone! 

Hope you've all been doing swimmingly since we last spoke :) Today I'm SO excited to announce that as part of my commitment to helping you have the BEST, most relaxed and totally-you wedding day ever, I'll be partnering up with some of my favourite wedding vendors to chat about different elements of planning your celebration, and how they can help you along the way!

The first guest post is by Emilee, a local planner and owner of Life' Sweet Events! As a wedding coordinator and human, this gal is so amazing all around, and really has a lot of passion about what she does (which is helping couples be able to ACTUALLY experience their wedding day with no stress!)

She's going to chat with you about the benefits of having a wedding planner by your side, and answer some of your burning questions below! As a photographer, I can't tell you how truly valuable it's been to have a wedding planner there as part of my couples' wedding days. They help my couples stay relaxed, organized, and actually excited about planning their wedding! Take it away, Emilee! 


BENEFITS OF HIRING A WEDDING PLANNER 


Picture yourself on your wedding day, sitting in the makeup chair surrounded by your maids as your mom giggles over the sweet note your darling has just sent. As the photographer is snapping photos, you’re sipping a mimosa and enjoying this moment to the fullest. 

This sense of being relaxed and experiencing all the excitement is something you’ve been waiting for since the day you said “Yes” and put that ring on your finger!

This is how our clients spend their wedding day. 

How, you might ask? As a wedding planner, I take the stress, organization, and the coordination off your plate so you can be a part of your wedding day. After all, you are the couple of the hour!  

So, how does a wedding planner make your day easier? 

Well, it starts when you begin your wedding planning! Since we are organized people by nature, we keep our clients organized too. We keep you on a planning schedule, making decisions, and booking vendors as you go to help to create a plan that not only suits your needs but keeps you from feeling overwhelmed and stressed. 

While we keep the details of your day straight, we also handle the coordination of your vendors, answering questions, and scheduling their drop offs/set ups so you don’t have to worry about the little details, which keeps your wedding day stress free. 

Now you might be thinking, “while I’m drinking those mimosas and hanging with my beauty team, who will pick up the lunch trays and the bouquets? Who takes the phone calls as the vendors set up?”. You’ll be glad to know that a wedding planner and coordinator also takes care of that! We are the wedding day point of contact, and your gal the day before, too! 

So, while Maddie is snapping those photos of your momma putting on your veil, you won’t have 25 notifications dinging on your phone or five people running errands! 

But how can I afford a wedding planner?”

Well, it’s fairly simple! We help you make your budget so that you can stick to it, discussing the individual day of details that are most important to you, and we help you find great vendors that fit within the budget that we’ve already created. We can also help you avoid costly last minute changes or DIYs, because you’ve planned ahead. 

We offer our professional advice and experience to help you make the most of your wedding budget, and some of our clients say that we pay for ourselves in the stress we save you on your big day!

Our goal as wedding planners is to allow you to experience your day, make memories all day long, and save you money! 


So. Experience your wedding!! Let your wedding planner take over the tedious details, act as your point of contact, and free you up to relax enjoy every moment.

Have fun!! After all, this is your celebration, right?

Emilee Marsh, Life's Sweet Events

Marsh.emm@gmail.com

facebook.com/lifessweetevents

Instagram @lifessweetevents

Lifessweetevents.weebly.com