Wedding Venue Niagara: How it turned out to be perfect for Shelby & Andrew leaving downtown Toronto

Shelby and Andrew had already been engaged for a while when I first met them. They were enjoying living life together: coming from the East coast of Canada to Toronto for work, and even having lived in Ireland for a couple of years. Both of them are laid-back, fun-loving, and completely in love with each other. How did they end up getting married and having an amazing wedding venue 120 km from Toronto, at the beautiful Welland in Niagara?

Looking for a perfect Niagara Wedding Photographer

When I meet couples who are not from Toronto, I always ask them how they are enjoying life in the GTA. This couple, like so many others, mentioned how much they love the food, the culture, and the diversity of the city. What they don’t love – also like everyone else – is how busy the city is and how every always seems like they are in a rush. This couple started planning their wedding 6 months before the big day, and they found that even then all the venues they wanted were already booked. Not giving up hope, they started to look outside the city and it just happened to work out perfectly for them.

Wedding Venue Niagara: Cardinal Lake Golf Course, Welland

This was one of my favourite weddings to shoot this year, but what is more important is that is was absolutely perfect for this couple. Shelby and Andrew booked their wedding venue at Cardinal Lake Golf Course, Welland at Niagara Region a whole 120km outside of the city of Toronto. The morning of the wedding, as I was driving to the location, I got off the highway and was driving through back country roads seeing markets and vineyards and either side of me. With little traffic I was able to take in the beautiful scenery of vinaries and farmers markets and I started to get into this summer, laid-back and quiet mood.

Once I got to the venue, the team was so helpful! The event coordinator showed me around and allowed me to scope out the best areas for perfect pictures of the big day. This environment gave a very relaxed and welcoming vibe – almost like you were on vacation. None of the staff were rushing like you feel when you’re in the city and everyone was so welcoming.

Outside the wedding ceremony at the Niagara Wedding Venue

The ceremony itself was outside, with absolutely perfect weather that allowed for many pictures of the bride, groom and all their guests to be captured. Prior to the ceremony, the bride and groom did a first look photoshoot where they gave each other handwritten letters, telling each other how much the other meant to them. This is one of the most emotional and intimate moments of the day and I was impressed that neither Shelby or Andrew sheded a tear during reading the letters! As a Niagara wedding photographer, who shot pretty many weddings in my career, I should have much thicker skin. Sometimes I’m crying more than my couples. Thank God I can hide my face behind the camera!

The Niagara wedding reception was decorated in a simple and classic way, with crisp white linens and homemade jam as a favor. Large chandeliers hung from the ceiling, giving the reception room a very romantic vibe as evening fell on the party. At the end of the evening, we took a picture of Shelby & Andrew surrounded by family and friends holding sparklers lighting up the night around them. It was challenging to get everyone together and put the sparklers on at the same time, but with bridal party help, we managed to successfully coordinate all the guests and capture the perfect picture.

Picking the Perfect Wedding Location

This Niagara wedding was absolutely perfect and I was so happy to be asked to be a part of it. I have since visited this vineyard 4 times, and enjoy it more every time. When you live in the city, sometimes you feel as though you also have to get married there but looking outside the city can give you a venue and experience you never thought possible. When you’re planning your wedding, think outside the box (and the city) and explore your options for destination weddings closer to home.

Dress & Veil: Second Dance

Jewelry: Swarovski

Bridesmaid Dresses: Azazie