Capturing the Magic of a Doctor’s House Wedding

Sandra and Mike’s Doctor’s House wedding may not have gone according to the original plan that the couple had envisioned, but the end result was nothing short of absolutely beautiful. Planning a wedding in the middle of a pandemic meant that they learned the hard way how to plan, replan, and adjust their expectations as to what it meant to celebrate their union with a large crowd during these unprecedented times.

The communication and innovative problem-solving needed to adjust wedding timelines and accommodate new restrictions created an amazing bonding experience with all my wedding couples during the pandemic. I believe this bond was especially strong with Sandra and Mike, one of my last couples to reschedule and reinvent their wedding vision. They still wanted to have their loved ones present on their special day, so they chose to reschedule their wedding to a much later date. 

This process created a unique experience for me with all my wedding couples facing this same predicament. During the pandemic, I have witnessed the highs and lows of such uncertainty that required my couples to be open to changing expectations. During this time, I continued to be honest, upfront and direct with my bride and groom, helping to ensure the best experience for them by underpromising and overdelivering – a win-win for everyone in the face of planning amidst a pandemic. 

To top it all off, during this time, I started embracing my documentary wedding coverage, so the connection with the couples I developed was more vital than ever.

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Italian feel at The Doctor’s house wedding

After the engagement session with Sandra and Mike at their local movie theatre, I noticed an increase in their excitement for the wedding day.

By then, most of the pandemic restrictions had been loosened up, so we were happy to start planning the final details for their wedding.

Mike, who was born in Italy, moved to Toronto, where he met Sandra. His brother was his best man, and he and his dad flew from Italy to attend his wedding.

They used Sandra’s grandfather’s place for their getting-ready photos, and all the boys enjoyed the stress-free atmosphere while getting prepared. Erika was with them to document that part of the story.

On the other end, I was covering Sandra’s preparation. Before I arrived, Sandra was almost ready for everything, which made me comfortable that we could have a stress-free day. Her little fur baby, the cutest dog, was with us the entire time. Even at Sandra’s parents’ house entrance, the dog posed for me. The emotions were high from Sandra’s mom while she was helping her daughter get into the dress. Thankfully, I could distract them with my outgoing personality and keep the activities moving as scheduled, avoiding any big cries that would mess up the makeup for all the girls present.

Sandra left their parent’s house for her Doctor’s House wedding, ensuring she had her dog in the bag designed to carry it to the ceremony.

The Chapel ceremony at this Doctor’s House wedding 

Erika, my second photographer, arrived at The Doctor’s House shortly after us. We planned to have the couple’s first look in front of the chapel where they would later marry.

The Doctor’s House’s lush greenery created a secluded space for the couple to share an intimate first look and some time for themselves.

After working with Erika for the past 12 years, we have developed a unique way of covering first looks that doesn’t require discussing before taking the first look photos.

We positioned ourselves away from each other’s view to capture unique perspectives and moments that would be so precious to our couple.

In this part of the property, the vintage Bentley driver was parked so close to the chapel entrance that we were able to take some intimate car photos, too.

Downtown Kleinburg wedding photos 

As I found myself in the heart of downtown Kleinburg, I couldn’t resist taking a photograph of this location with the couple I was with. We had a car available to drop them off, and we began capturing the happy moment. The area was full of unique storefronts, boardwalks, brick walls, and beautiful flower urns, which made for great photo opportunities. Erika and I couldn’t help but take pictures and candidly enjoy the moment with Sandra and Mike.

We chose these particular locations for the photo shoot because guests were starting to arrive at The Doctor’s House. We wanted to ensure that the couples remained hidden before their wedding ceremony. After finishing their final photo shoot in the bridal suite, we left to prepare for the chapel wedding ceremony while the couples moved to another area of the property.

The reception hall was decorated with beautiful floral arrangements, creating a fairytale-like atmosphere. Erika stayed there to capture pictures of the stunning decorations, while I went to the chapel to take candid shots of the guests. Mike had his father and brother flown in from Italy for the occasion, and the only person missing was his mom, who they had lost that same year.

I could relate to Mike because I had also lost my mom, and every time something brought attention to this, Mike’s and his dad’s eyes were full of tears.

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Chapel wedding ceremony at the Doctor’s House 

The chapel at this Doctor’s House wedding was smaller, but that did not stop Sandra and Mike’s desire to enjoy their celebration.

I stood by Mike, their parents, and Erika, eagerly awaiting Sandra’s arrival.

This part of our photography coverage is the most important on a wedding day, where having two photographers covering your event is essential.

I knew that once the ceremony started, it would be non-stop until the newlyweds exited the chapel. And that’s exactly what happened! 

The wedding ceremony was full of laughter, nervousness, happiness, and emotional tears—just some of the words that would describe the images we took of these two. In the end, they both rang the chapel’s bell and exited as husband and wife.

Family and friends wedding photos 

If you have yet to visit The Doctor’s House, you should know that there is often a queue of brides waiting to take their photos in front of the chapel. We knew that, so I quickly took their extended family and friends’ pictures and moved to another location to avoid the wedding party following our ceremony in the chapel.

Fortunately, we had taken photos of the bride and groom during the first look, so now we only need to take pictures of the bridal party and immediate family. 

Spreading out the photo sessions helped ensure everything was covered as Sandra and Mike wanted.

Italian-style wedding reception 

I always make sure to get the bride, groom, and bridal party to the cocktail ceremony on time so they can socialize and enjoy some appetizers and drinks. This break is crucial for them to recharge and for me to prepare for the next task – the grand entrance.

The Doctor’s Study and the Garden Room, where the reception ceremony took place, offered an intimate feel with large wooden beams and an additional fireplace, creating the perfect setting for their wedding.

The evening started with the announcement of the parents and the bridal party, followed by Sandra and Mike’s entrance and first dance.

The intimate ceremony with emotional speeches reconfirmed the importance of sharing special moments with loved ones. It reminded me how once-in-a-lifetime celebrations are that much better surrounded by friends and family. 

As soon as the dance floor opened, the cozy atmosphere transformed into a party room, and people began to enjoy the music.

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The night photography at The Doctor’s House wedding

While finishing some of the dance floor photos, I couldn’t help but get overly excited about the night photos I would take of my couple. I asked the videographer Francisco to join me in capturing pictures since he may also want to capture something.

By then, Erika had already left, and I planned to take the photos myself.

The sky was a dark shade of blue, inspiring me to capture images in front of the chapel that represent them as they are.

After giving them a big hug, I finished taking their final photos and left them to enjoy the rest of the evening with their loved ones. It was a pleasure to witness Sandra and Mike’s long-awaited and well-planned Doctor’s House wedding, and I felt grateful to have captured their special moments so they could cherish them forever. I met with them again a few months later to present their wedding albums.

The moment they picked up their albums, their eyes lit up. I could sense their happiness at trusting their gut feeling and choosing me as their wedding photographer. 

Thank you again, Sandra and Mike, for trusting me with one of the most precious celebrations of your life.

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Credits to below wedding professionals and locations that helped Sandra and Mike’s wedding to be one-of-a-kind.
Photos taken by Dragi Andovski, published ©2024 DA Photography
2nd Photographer: Erika Alvarenga
Downtown Kleinburg Storefronts: Violets And Dahlias
Wedding Ceremony: The Chapel at Doctor’s House, Kleinburg, ON
Wedding Reception Dinner: The Doctor’s Study and Garden Room at The Doctor’s House.

If you want to see another Italian wedding check Diana and Seb’s wedding. Here you can see another Vaughan Italian wedding of Ashley and Paolo.