Elora Mill Wedding with a local couple in Guelph

This Elora Mill wedding could perhaps be more of a story about a local Guelph couple’s wedding day. The reception celebration was held at the incomparable Elora Mill Hotel and Spa. However, I’m even more excited to tell you the story of our photo session in downtown Guelph, around the church of Basilica of Our Lady of the Immaculate and of their backyard wedding ceremony.

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The planning stages of this Elora Mill Wedding

As I have mentioned before, after we moved to Guelph, I began to look forward to photographing closer to my studio and showcasing the beauty of this royal city we call home. It was unthinkable that I could one day photograph a wedding at one of the houses in my very neighbourhood. Moreover, my couple wanted to take photos at some of my favourite locations that make Guelph such a unique city. The cherry on top was that their wedding luncheon would be held at Elora Mill Hotel and Spa, giving us reasons to work in Downtown Elora and at the Elora Gorge.

When Mary Ann called to finalize my photography for their wedding day, I was excited to work with this fantastic couple and their inspiring locations. So I went to their house, which happened to be just down the street from me, and we designed a wedding itinerary. The plan was to visit their most favourite locations first.

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The wedding ceremony took place in my couple’s immaculately kept backyard. Russell had kept the grass green despite the harsh summer, and everything looked terrific for their ceremony.
A handful of invited friends were present at their wedding, which made for a very intimate and emotional celebration.
We had time to take some getting-ready, first-look images and photos with their friends before we departed for our Guelph photography session.

To be more efficient and save as much time as possible, we planned that a friend of Mary Ann would drive us around the Guelph area. This way, we reduced any wasted time getting in and out of cars. This meant that instead, we could spend more time on the photography session itself.

The first place we visited was the Arboretum at the University of Guelph. I was here before, so I quickly pinpointed four unique spots for Mary Ann and Russell’s photos. I just knew that the pond with black reflective water, the Japanese garden, the water fountain and the garden maze would be the perfect setting for some great photos.

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The Royal City of Guelph through this Elora Mill Wedding experience

Our next stop was Downtown Guelph. Again, Mary had an idea and some images in mind that we would replicate for her. She wanted the look of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Immaculate from the bottom and the top of the hill.
This church is a must-see for anyone visiting Guelph. Sitting high on a hill overlooking the downtown, the building can be seen for kilometres throughout the city. This iconic structure has two stunning towers and gorgeous architectural details. Essentially, it is a photographer’s dream! So now was when I unveiled my 25 years of photography experience and enjoyed this journey while we were creating fabulous memories.
We capture the church from every angle, including my couple, with different perspectives, lighting, lens choices and poses.
Mary Ann and Russell were great to work with, and the weather was also on our side.
Once we finished what we had planned, we headed to Elora.

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An Elora Mill Wedding photography session in the heart of Elora

I visited this city for the first time with my own family. I remember taking photos of the gorge and talking with my wife, Stephanie, about how cool it would be if I photographed a wedding here. So here we were.
Mary Ann put on more comfortable shoes in a new wedding dress to venture into the canyon’s beauty. We went to the Grand River and took some very relaxed nature photos. On the way toward the mill, we visited their outdoor Riverside chapel and took pictures with the mill in the background.
Walking through the city, I took very candid photos while we were going toward their final destination, the Elora Mill and Spa Hotel.

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The Elora Mill Wedding Luncheon

You would not know that this was a small and intimate lunch based on the set-up in the room. It was immaculately done with no detail left out. My favourite feature was the lovely harvest table set for all their guests. All around, the guests enjoyed their champagne while I continued capturing some candid images.
Near the end of my coverage time, I asked if there was anything left that we still needed to capture for their wedding. I always like to ensure all the details are looked after while checking in with my couple.
Mary Ann said, “Yes, we forgot to take photos of you with us!” That just made my day! I was happy to see the level of enjoyment in their eyes. Then, lunch arrived as I left the mill, and the excitement and celebrations continued.

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The beauty of working with local couples

After working for almost 8 hours, I came home feeling not even slightly tired. On the contrary, I was so happy and energized by the moments I had with my couple. I savoured the joy of working with a local couple in breathtaking locations that were so close to me.
It was an absolute joy to spend more time photographing instead of travelling. I was able to take more creative and unique photos of this 6-hour wedding than in a 10-hour wedding day.
Thank you, Mary Ann and Russell, for trusting me with your Elora Mill Wedding. It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to enjoy our royal city to the fullest through your wedding images.

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Credits to below wedding professionals and locations that helped Mary Ann and Russell’s wedding to be one-of-a-kind.
Photos taken by Dragi Andovski, published ©2023 DA Photography
Wedding Luncheon: Elora Mill Hotel and Spa, Elora, ON
Photography Location One: The University of Guelph Arboretum, Guelph, ON
Photo Location Three: Elora Gorge, Elora, ON
Hair and Makeup: Chas from Beauty by Chas & Co

If you want to see another session that showcase more of Guelph here is Camilla and Tommy’s engagement session.