As a wedding photographer, I remember 2021 as a year of navigating COVID restrictions and rainy weekends. It was an intensive ride for couples and wedding vendors trying to plan weddings guessing what restrictions would be like. Katherine and Mina, like many couples, didn’t want to wait with their lives and decided to get married in the middle of the pandemic.

Family and community are significant parts of their lives for Mina and Katherine. This couple attends the same church, which brings them together. Having a religious ceremony was very important to them as this is a central part of their lives and what helped them form as a couple. For the reception, the couple wanted a relaxed and fun outdoor experience for their family and friends.

The Coptic Ceremony | The Church of the Virgin Mary and Saint Athanasius, Mississauga

Mina and Katherine chose The Church of the Virgin Mary and Saint Athanasius to get married at on this beautiful summer day. In an Egyptian Coptic Wedding Ceremony, the bride and groom walk down the aisle together. During the ceremony, the priest places the crown on the bride’s and the groom’s heads. Two crowns tied with a ribbon unite the two souls and symbolize that the couple is ready to establish their kingdom as heads of a new family.

The Wedding Reception | CJ Country Events, Guelph

After Mina & Katherine exchanged their vows, their guests moved to the reception venue at CJ Country Events in Guelph. This beautiful reception venue is located on 70 acres of land and offers a quiet country setting for a wedding reception. The grounds have a spring-fed pond, a beautiful fountain, multiple hidden pathways, and meticulously maintained gardens. 

I met with Lyssa, the owner and head coordinator of the reception, a couple of days in advance for her to show me the property and the most beautiful sites for the wedding photoshoot.

The owners offer on-site catering with their full-service industrial kitchen, so they can prepare all the food for a reception on-site.

What’s really neat about this location is that they have equestrian facilities right on site. This could be included in anyone’s special event if they wanted to try horseback riding or even have pictures with horses. 

 The backdrop to this venue includes wine barrels, arbours, lanterns, straw bales and a reclaimed wood bar table help to give this location a very rustic elegance. This rustic elegance makes for beautiful pictures, the best keepsakes for any couple. 

From a wedding vendor perspective, I love that this venue has a gorgeous bridal and groom suite for getting ready. You can get ready and have your ceremony, photoshoot and reception all in one place.


Rain on the wedding day… a LOT of rain

Even though the rain started just as the couple and their wedding party arrived at the farm, they didn’t let it dampen their happy mood. We had 30 minutes only to take bride and groom photos, bridal party photos, and family pictures until it started pouring from the sky.

Outdoor farm reception | CJ Country Events

The couple and their wedding party made their grand entrance, which led right into the couple’s first dance. 

Katherine and Mina had long tables set up in the outdoor venue location, with wooden chairs and leafy green centrepieces that stretched from one end of the table to the other. They also had a sweetheart table set up so they could enjoy their dinner together. 

The night continued with speeches from both their family and friends, making all the guests laugh and wishing the couple all the love and happiness. Everyone danced the night away with the newlyweds at this perfect outdoor venue. 

This venue was the perfect spot for an outdoor summer wedding as they have a covered reception space that allows for everyone to still be outside while continuing on with the event even if it rains.